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2022 February

Municipalities Today is a web-based newsletter published monthly by the Ministry of Government Relations. It lists deadlines, training opportunities, services and programs that may be of interest to Saskatchewan municipal administrators.

View past editions of Municipalities Today by visiting the Publications Centre.

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1. Municipal Administrators' Corner

Key Tasks in February and March

  • By end of February: T4 slips and Workers’ Compensation Board Employer’s Payroll Statement are due.
  • On or before March 1: a regional park authority is to authorize a uniform rate to be levied on properties within a regional park. The park authority shall notify the RM of the rate by March 1 or a mutually agreed-upon date.
  • On or before March 1: requests for a special levy to be placed on properties within an organized hamlet (OH) must be received from the board.
  • By March 1: OH boards are to submit an annual budget to the RM unless the board and the council have agreed to a different date.
  • By the tenth of each month: submit school tax collections directly to the Minister of Finance.
  • It’s time to start thinking about your 2022 budget. Council must adopt annual operating and capital budgets, and if necessary, adjust tax policies from previous years.

2021 Census Data

Statistics Canada released the 2021 population data on February 9, 2022. The population data for Saskatchewan generated by Statistics Canada is used as the official population of your municipality.

Contingency Planning

Making a contingency plan involves making various decisions before an identified risk becomes a reality. During the current pandemic, it is even more imperative contingency plans are prepared in the event key employees are unable to perform their duties for an extended period. For example in 2020, section 81.1 (procedures at meetings) of The Municipalities Act was amended and requires council to designate an alternate person to call a special meeting in the event the administrator is unable to, or if the position is vacant. Council may wish to designate an administrator from a neighbouring community whereby a service agreement may be required. Your council procedures bylaw must be amended to reflect this decision. The same type of arrangement could also be made for other key personnel, such as public works employees.

Consider taking some time to: determine the key functions required in your municipality; identify the outcome if an employee is unable to perform their duties or the position becomes vacant; discuss it with council; and ensure your contingency plans are in place.

Rural Municipalities with Organized Hamlets

Each year, the OH board must hold an annual meeting of the voters of the OH. The OH board must give seven days’ notice to the voters of the time and place of the annual meeting. To accommodate voters, the OH board may want to consider permitting attendance by electronic means. This option should be outlined on the annual meeting notice.

At the annual meeting, the next year’s annual meeting date should be set by the voters by resolution or the OH board will make the decision. Within 30 days of the annual meeting, the secretary of the board must send a copy of the meeting minutes to the RM council.

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2. Updated Saskatchewan Procurement Thresholds

Saskatchewan is a party to a number of trade agreements, including the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA), the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Each of these agreements contain procurement provisions to which municipalities are subject. Unlike the fixed thresholds of the NWPTA, the CFTA and CETA procurement thresholds are adjusted for inflation every two years. The updated thresholds for 2022-2023, which came into effect on January 1, 2022, are available for download from the Publications Centre.

If you have any questions, please contact Lyndi Blakley with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Trade and Export Development at 306-787-8910 or lyndi.blakley@gov.sk.ca.

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3. Annual Reporting on Building Officials Appointed, Cancelled or Suspended

The Construction Codes Act, which came into effect January 1, 2022, requires local authorities to advise the Chief Codes Administrator of the status of their building official appointments on an annual basis.

Within 60 days after the end of the local authority’s fiscal year, local authorities must provide the Chief Codes Administrator with the name and licence number of every building official who was appointed, whose licence was cancelled, or whose licence was suspended by the local authority in the previous fiscal year. Local authorities will be required to report this on an annual basis.

This report may be provided to the Chief Codes Administrator at btstandards@gov.sk.ca or at the following address:

     Building and Technical Standards
     Ministry of Government Relations
     1430 – 1855 Victoria Avenue
     Regina SK   S4P 3T2

Please contact Building and Technical Standards at btstandards@gov.sk.ca or 306-787-4113 if you have any questions.

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4. Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal Nominations

The annual deadline for the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal nominations is March 31.

Completing and submitting your nomination form

Nominations are accepted year-round:

  • Nominations received after March 31, 2021, are already in the queue for this year’s medal.
  • Nominations received on or after April 1, 2022, will be added to next year’s queue.

When completing the form, ensure all information is accurate, that criteria associated with this medal has been met and that the form is signed by the correct person:

  • The person of the eligible agency that is being nominated must have 25 years of exemplary service as of March 31, 2022.
  • If you are nominating the head of an eligible agency (e.g., Fire Chief, Chief of Police), your mayor, reeve or town administrator must sign the form.
  • If you are nominating a member of an eligible agency (e.g., fire fighter, police officer, etc.), the form must be signed by the head of the eligible agency or by the chair of government-approved agency selection committee (Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Warden, etc.).

Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal Nomination Form

If you have any questions, please contact the Protocol Office by email at honours@gov.sk.ca, toll-free at 1-877-427-5505 or 306-787-8965.

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5. 2021 Financial Statements

The 2021 financial statement template was emailed to your municipality in early December 2021. If you did not receive the email, please check your SPAM/JUNK folder. If you are unable to find the email, please email financialstatements@gov.sk.ca or you may download a copy of the template.

Your municipality is required to submit a copy of the audited financial statement, auditor’s report and management letter to financialstatements@gov.sk.ca on or before July 1, 2022, unless you are a city, in which case your due date is on or before September 1, 2022.

Your municipality is also required to submit a copy of the management letter for any controlled corporation.

Operating under COVID-19 may raise accounting and financial reporting issues that you would not have dealt with as a municipality or are of a greater magnitude than usual. It is important that you consult with your appointed auditor on issues in the Public Sector Accounting Standards that may be of particular relevance to you.

If you have any questions regarding completing or submitting your financial statements, please email financialstatements@gov.sk.ca.

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6. Training Opportunities for Local Boards of Revision and Other Administrative Tribunals

To assist municipalities with having a qualified board of revision, an online training program has been developed through a partnership involving the Ministry of Government Relations, the Board of Revision Renewal Stakeholder Steering Committee and Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS).

All board members and secretaries are encouraged to take the training to achieve better quality hearings and decisions for taxpayers. Registration for the online training has opened and at a price of only $100 per student. Over 75 individuals registered for this training in January 2022.

Although focused on the board of revision work and property assessment appeals, any person involved in the work of other appeal bodies can benefit from the administrative justice training offered in this course. To learn more about the training program and register, visit the JSGS Board of Revision Training Program page.

Municipalities are responsible for property assessment appeals at the first level. The legislation requires every municipal council to appoint a board of revision. They may decide to appoint their own board of revision, establish or join a district board with other municipalities, or contract a private board. In each instance, this training program will provide new or existing board members and secretaries with the essential knowledge needed to conduct hearings and ensure property owners receive high-quality services throughout the province.

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7. 2021 Grant Confirmation Report

The Municipal Infrastructure and Finance Branch emailed the 2021 Grant Confirmation Report to your municipality in mid-January. It provides a detailed listing of grant payments your municipality received in 2021 from the branch. If you do not receive this email, please check your SPAM/JUNK folder.

A copy of this report may be forwarded to your auditor to verify the grant payments your municipality received.

If you have any questions about this report, please email financialstatements@gov.sk.ca.

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8. Upcoming Heritage Conservation Branch Webinar Series

The Heritage Conservation Branch with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is hosting a series of free, virtual webinars on historic buildings, historic sites and archaeological projects.

The webinars will be presented on March 1, 3, 8 and 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The deadline to register is Wednesday, February 23. Visit the ministry’s Webinars page to get more information about the webinars and how to register.

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9. Canada Community-Building Fund Reporting Reminders

The Municipal Gas Tax Fund Agreement requires municipalities with active projects under the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly called the federal Gas Tax Fund Program) to submit a Municipal Annual Expenditure Report (MAER) each calendar year.

Municipalities required to complete a MAER for 2021 were emailed a request in January 2022.

If you haven’t completed this request yet, please submit your MAER to the Ministry by the March 31, 2022 due date.

For further information, visit the Municipal Annual Expenditure Report page or watch the video about reporting requirements.

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