Road Right-of-Way Widening

Res #: 36-11A
Number: 36
Year: 2011
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

WHEREAS many municipalities across Saskatchewan are effected by reserve status lands; and

WHEREAS the volume of heavy traffic has created the need for primary weight corridors, which require a 150 foot right-of-way that may not have been purchased prior to lands receiving reserve status;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Federal Government for changes to this process allowing the federal government authority to directly grant the additional right-of-way necessary for public use to all levels of government.

Response from Honourable John Duncan, PC, MP:

The Government of Canada has the authority to directly grant rights-of-way for roadways to all levels of government pursuant to section 35 of the Indian Act. In addition, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has a policy of working co-operatively with First Nation communities to obtain their consent to ensure minimal adverse impact on their lands.

It should be noted that it is very important for neighbouring communities to communicate their needs with First Nations before reserve creation takes place. As part of the provincial canvas, rural municipalities are encouraged to identify and acquire rights-of-way for future primary weight corridors, prior to reserve creation and, whenever possible, to acquire land control from the fee simple landowner once a parcel of land is selected as an addition to reserve.

As you can appreciate, finding solutions involves the collaborative efforts of all levels of government, and I encourage the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities to work in consultation with First Nation communities to negotiate terms which are acceptable to both parties. Departmental officials remain available to facilitate those negotiations and to carry out instructions from Chiefs and Councils on land management matters.