POP: Servicing Agreements for TLE lands
Res #: POP 3-14A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
WHEREAS existing Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) land and First Nations lands reside within the boundaries of RMs in Saskatchewan; and
WHEREAS gravelling, plowing, grading and other regular maintenance of municipal roads is a service provided by an RM; and
WHEREAS RM ratepayers live beyond roads that pass through First Nations land; and
WHEREAS RM road maintenance services cannot end at the boundary of First Nations land;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Federal Government to make Municipal Road Maintenance Servicing Agreements mandatory for both existing and newly named Treaty Land Entitlement and First Nations lands to ensure adequate funding is provided to the RM that is providing the service.
RESPONSE FROM HONORABLE BERNARD VALCOURT, MINISTER OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT CANADA
A Rural Municipal Compensation fund was established under the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement (1992) to compensate rural municipalities for tax losses following reserve creation. A one-time lump sum tax payment was considered to be a reasonable amount to allow rural municipalities to plan for the loss of the property tax for the lands that achieve reserve status.
It is the Department's position that the upgrading and maintenance of roads located off reserve are a provincial responsibility. As such, the Government of Saskatchewan provides funding to rural municipalities based on road maintenance rates. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada provides funds to First Nation governments for the maintenance of community assets, such as roads, located on reserve. It is the responsibility of the First Nation's elected leadership to prioritize their capital budgets based on the needs of their respective communities.