Incorporation is the process of establishing a new village or resort village from an existing organized hamlet.
Section 51 and Section 53(1)(d) of The Municipalities Act provide the authority for municipalities to apply for an incorporation.
To apply for incorporation as a village or resort village, a community must:
- have been an organized hamlet for at least three years;
- have a population of 100 or more in the most recent census taken pursuant to the Statistics Act (Canada);
- contain 50 or more separate dwelling units or business premises; and
- have a minimum taxable assessment of $15,000,000.
An organized hamlet that is adjacent to another organized hamlet, or that is adjacent to a municipality other than a rural municipality, may be established as a village or resort village only if:
- the other organized hamlet or adjacent municipality refuses to annex the area of the organized hamlet;
- natural physical barriers separate the organized hamlet from the other organized hamlet or adjacent municipality;
- there is a lack of continuity in the development between the organized hamlet and the other organized hamlet or adjacent municipality; or
- access is limited between the organized hamlet and the other organized hamlet or adjacent municipality.
Residents proposing the incorporation of their organized hamlet as a village or resort village should meet with the council of the surrounding rural municipality (RM) to discuss the issues surrounding their desire to incorporate and to discuss any issues that may assist in facilitating the process of incorporation. The RM may wish to discuss alternative options to the incorporation.
It is recommended that an informal public meeting be held to discuss the implications of incorporation and to determine the wishes of the community. Any residents that would be affected by the incorporation should attend to discuss the proposal.
Should the community wish to pursue incorporation, and the minimum requirements are met, a petition (Form D from The Municipalities Regulations) with the signatures of at least 30 persons who would be voters of the proposed village or resort village must be submitted to the administrator of the RM. The petition must be completed by a person who resides in the organized hamlet and who will represent the petitioners and undertake all further communications on their behalf.
Within 30 days after the receipt of the petition, the municipal administrator must verify the signatures of the petition and report to council on whether the petition is sufficient.
If the petition is sufficient, the RM council must prepare a notice to the public outlining the intention of the organized hamlet to become incorporated as a village or resort village.
Please note that for the formal notice to the public and the public meeting the submission to government must be complete and available for public viewing. As such, it is recommended that the petitioner’s representative and the municipal council meet to discuss the proposal.
Additionally, as the submission must be complete, a proposed operating and capital budget and a future growth plan for the proposed village or resort village must be complete and available for public viewing.
The Notice to the Public
The notice must be:
- published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a locally circulated newspaper; or
- personally delivered or sent by ordinary mail to:
- each person assessed on the last revised assessment roll with respect to land or improvements located in the area affected by the proposed application;
- the council of all involved municipalities affected by the proposal;
- the board of all school divisions affected by the proposal.
The notice must contain:
- a map and description of the proposed incorporation;
- a brief explanation of the reasons for the proposal;
- a statement saying where the proposal may be examined;
- a statement saying that anyone who objects to the proposal may file a written objection, clearly explaining their reasons for objecting to the proposal, with the council within four weeks of the last publication of the notice; and
- the date, time, and place of a public meeting that will be held by council to discuss the proposal. The meeting must be held at least one week after the day on which the notice was last published, delivered, or sent.
The Public Meeting
Pursuant to Section 57 of The Municipalities Act, council must conduct the public meeting and all of the material required to be included with the submission pursuant to Section 59 of The Municipalities Act must be available for public review.
It is recommended that the petitioner’s representative attend the public meeting and be available for questions regarding the proposal.
The Possibility of a Vote
Pursuant to Section 58 of The Municipalities Act:
- a vote may be called by the RM council;
- the Minister, if it is considered desirable and in the public interest to call a vote, may require the rural municipal council to hold a vote; or
- the voters of a municipality may petition their council to hold a vote.
Once the RM has completed the required public consultation, an application for incorporation may be submitted to the Ministry of Government Relations.
An application includes a completed "Form E" from The Municipalities Regulations and the following schedules:
Schedule 1:the petition and the certificate of the rural municipal administrator verifying that the petition is sufficient.
Schedule 2:a map or plan showing the boundaries of the organized hamlet to be incorporated as a village or resort village, including the legal land description, verified by the municipal administrator and the petitioners representative.
Schedule 3:an outline of the future growth or development of the RM and the proposed village or resort village.
Schedule 4:a proposed operating and capital budget for the RM and the proposed village and resort village.
Schedule 5:a certified copy of the resolution from the RM within which the organized hamlet is located, either consenting to or not consenting to, the incorporation of the organized hamlet and the reasons for their position.
Schedule 6:a copy of the public notice and any written submission respecting the proposal that was received by council.
Schedule 7:minutes from the public meeting held to discuss the proposal.
Schedule 8:a statement setting out the population, total taxable assessment, total number of dwellings and lots for the RM and the organized hamlet requesting incorporation.
Schedule 9:if applicable, attach a signed copy of any voluntary restructuring agreement.
If necessary, the Minister may request further information or clarification respecting any aspect of the application. Additionally, the Minister may request the Saskatchewan Municipal Board to review an application for incorporation.
After a review of the submission, if the Minister is of the opinion that the remaining RM and the proposed village or resort village will be viable as separate entities, the Minister may issue an order incorporating the organized hamlet as a village or resort village.
- An order incorporating a village or resort village will:declare the municipality to be incorporated, assign a name to it, and describe its boundaries;
- fix a day, hour, and place for the nomination day for the election of a council, which day may be before the effective date of the order;
- appoint a person to act as the returning officer for the election;
- fix a day, hour, and place for the first meeting of the council; and
- include any other provision the Minister considers necessary to facilitate the incorporation and to enable the holding of the first election and first meeting of the council.
Once an order is made incorporating an organized hamlet as a village or resort village, on and from the effective date of the order:
- the RM council ceases to have any further authority over the area of the village or resort village;
- the persons designated by the Minister shall immediately make the necessary arrangements for the election of the council of the new municipality;
- if the order provides for the new municipality to be divided into wards, the order has the effect of a bylaw passed pursuant to section 83 of The Municipalities Act;
- all bylaws and resolutions in force in the RM continue in force as the bylaws and resolutions of the new municipality for one year or until they are sooner repealed or others are made in their place;
- all taxes and local improvement charges due in that portion of the rural municipality that is incorporated as the new municipality at the time of the incorporation are deemed to be taxes and charges due to the new municipality and may be collected and dealt with as if they were imposed in accordance with this Act or The Local Improvements Act, 1993;
- all rights of action and actions by or against the former municipality may be commenced, continued or maintained by or against the new municipality;
- all land or improvements vested in the former municipality are vested in the new municipality and, subject to any trusts or other conditions that may be applicable, may be dealt with by the new municipality in its own name;
- all other assets, liabilities, rights, duties, functions and obligations of the former municipality are vested in the new municipality and may be dealt with by the new municipality in its own name; and
- any proceedings commenced by the former municipality pursuant to The Tax Enforcement Act on any real property within that portion of the former municipality that is incorporated as the new municipality are, for all purposes, deemed to have been commenced by the new municipality, and after the order is made the administrator of the new municipality shall carry out all the duties imposed by The Tax Enforcement Act respecting redemption and furnishing of returns to the Registrar of Titles, and title to the real property is to be issued in the name of the new municipality.
Once part of a municipality is incorporated as its own municipality, as soon as possible after the date of the incorporation, the administrator of the municipality from which the land is incorporated shall provide to the administrator of the new municipality:
- a copy of the assessment and tax roll for the part of the former municipality that has been incorporated; or
- a statement setting out the pertinent details of the information reflected in the assessment and tax roll for that part of the municipality.
It is important to note that all bylaws and resolutions in force in the former municipality continue in force as bylaws and resolutions of the new municipality until they are repealed or others are made in their place. This primarily affects planning and land use bylaws that will follow the land and the newly incorporated municipality will have to pass new bylaws to replace those of the rural municipality.
If the application to the Minister is rejected, the Ministry will provide reasons for the decision and publish a notice in a newspaper circulated in the area of the proposal. If an application is rejected, no subsequent application that is substantially similar may be made for three years.