Survival of Rural Saskatchewan

Res #: 15-19A
Number: 15
Year: 2019
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS one of the major obstacles facing rural Saskatchewan is the cost of implementing new regulations which are brought forward under the guise of environmental protection or public safety;

WHEREAS these costly upgrades, be it water, sewer, garbage, building codes or labor regulations, are in many cases not affordable for rural communities and it is being suggested that the villages join with the local rural municipalities to access a larger taxation base;

WHEREAS many of the smaller communities are not interested in joining the local rural municipality and would prefer to work with the RM versus being part of it.

WHEREAS the additional tax base does not address the problem, which is extremely high cost projects being forced onto rural communities through changing regulations;

WHEREAS taxpayer groups or representatives are rarely at the table when the regulations are being developed;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to have a review process of environment, labour and building regulations that are directly impacting rural communities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that representatives from SARM, SUMA and other taxpayer groups be part of the review process.

Responses From: The Ministry of Government Relations

April 18, 2019

Prior to a village being formed, that land area and population was served by a rural municipality (RM). When a village decides to no longer deliver local services, that land area and population reverts to being served by the RM. Since 1985, seventy-two villages have restructured into their surrounding RM.

In the event a small village cannot continue as its own government, it has no choice but to become a part of the RM.

The province encourages municipalities of all sizes to work in cooperation to provide services to citizens in the most efficient and effective manner.

As part of its regular consultation process for legislative and regulatory amendments, GR consults broadly with the municipal sector, industry and other interest groups.

For all proposed regulatory amendments, implementation costs to stakeholders are estimated and examined before government gives it approval. Every effort is made to reduce red tape and eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements while also meeting important health, safety and environmental standards

In addition, ministries undertake regular reviews of legislation and regulations that fall within their mandate to address needed changes and outdated policies.

Clause 3{2)(d) of The Municipalities Act requires municipal councils to encourage and enable public participation in the governance process, which could include local taxpayer groups.

Warren Kaeding – Minister of Government Relations