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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.
For many municipalities, summer months in the office tend to be a little slower than others. Now is the time to review different online resources and training available for you and your council members. You may want to schedule time on your agenda to do the 10-Minute Trainers with your council. For rural municipalities, as you are preparing for fall elections, these resources may be ideal to provide to your newly elected council members or to review with your current council.
For additional resources or training opportunities, check with your associations to see what they have scheduled or planned. Ombudsman Saskatchewan and the Information and Privacy Commissioner also have resources available that may be beneficial to you and your council.
The 2022 mill rate return template was recently emailed to all municipalities and is also available for download from Mill Rate Returns page on the Government of Saskatchewan website.
To comply with legislation, municipalities must submit the mill rate return by August 15, 2022, on the template provided. Should you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Municipalities are required to submit a 2021 waterworks financial overview to the Ministry by the deadline of September 1, 2022. Failure to do so may affect eligibility to access funding under the Municipal Revenue Sharing program.
Please submit this information using the questionnaire link provided to you by email. Should you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Please call the Financial Management Unit in the Municipal Infrastructure and Finance Branch if you require further information on these reporting requirements: 306-787-8859 or 306-787-2655.
The Targeted Sector Support (TSS) Initiative supports municipalities partnering to strengthen their core municipal responsibilities through projects focused on good governance, capacity building and regional co-operation. Funding is provided through cost-shared grants, covering up to 75 per cent of eligible project costs.
The next intake for funding under this program is expected to run from September 1 to November 15, 2022. More information on the application process will be available to municipalities, once the application window is open.
Each year, the TSS Initiative receives $1.5 million from the Municipal Revenue Sharing Program. Since 2020, $4.5 million of provincial funds has been made available to Saskatchewan municipalities through the TSS Initiative. Funding is administered by the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) on behalf of the TSS Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee consists of representatives from SUMA, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, the Saskatchewan Association of Northern Communities and the Ministry of Government Relations.
In last month's Municipalities Today newsletter, there was a story about upcoming regulatory amendments that will set an effective tax rate (ETR) limit of 7:1 for the 2023 property taxation year.
You are invited to register for the following live webinar which will demonstrate how to calculate the new effective tax rate:
Webinar: Learn How to Calculate the Effective Tax Rate
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
11 a.m. to noon
Registration deadline: August 30, 2022
You may also wish to visit Municipal Property Tax Tools and Other Taxes page to read about the effective tax rate ratio limit or download the 2022 Municipal Tax Policy Guide.
If you have questions after reviewing the materials, please reach out to the ministry at 306-787-2653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under section 49.1 of The Municipalities Act, rural municipalities (RMs) are required to have a policy in place for the review of division boundaries by January 1, 2023. This section came into force at the beginning of 2021, giving RMs two years to develop their policies.
In many cases, RM division boundaries have not changed, yet their populations may have changed considerably over time. Legislation does not prescribe how or when a review is done, and it does not require division boundaries be changed after a review – only that the results of the review be made public.
The legislation sets out what a policy should contain but does not prescribe a one-size-fits-all model or template. An RM’s policy should reflect its own unique characteristics and circumstances.
Here is an outline of what a division review policy should include:
Rural and urban communities in Saskatchewan that have posted division or ward review policies online include the RM of Browning, RM of Invergordon, RM of Edenwold and the cities of Regina and Saskatoon. Other good examples from across Canada include Lac la Biche County in Alberta, the towns of Grimsby, Whitby and Whitchurch-Stouffville in Ontario, and this Nova Scotia guide.
Learn more by visiting the Division Boundary Changes within a Rural Municipality page. You may also wish to view online sample bylaws for a number of matters. The Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner’s site also has a useful example of how to organize and draft a municipal operational policy.
The deadline for municipalities to submit a copy of their 2021 financial statement — with the audit report and management letter — to the ministry was July 1, 2022. (NOTE: Cities have until September 1, 2022, to send a copy of their 2021 financial statement with the audit report and management letter.)
Municipalities that have not already submitted their financial statement should submit them as soon as possible. Failure to do so may affect eligibility to access funding under programs such as the Municipal Revenue Sharing program and the Canada Community-Building Fund, previously known as the federal Gas Tax Fund program.
Municipalities may also pass an extension of time bylaw to extend the submission date by up to 90 days. However, this bylaw must be passed by July 31, 2022, and a copy sent to email@example.com.
The Construction Codes Act allows for ministerial interpretations of construction codes to be issued by the Minister of Government Relations. This power is intended to:
Due to the global pandemic affecting supply chains, there is a shortage of some plumbing materials in North America, namely some forms of plumbing pipes which are used in smaller residential buildings. The 2020 edition of the National Plumbing Code (NPC 2020) will allow for cellular core PVC pipe to be used in select residential settings and there are no reported shortages of this form of piping. However, the NPC 2020 is not proposed for adoption until January 1, 2024, which limits the ability of building owners and contractors from using cellular core PVC piping until then.
To address this situation, a ministerial interpretation has been issued to allow for the use of cellular core PVC piping in select residential situations. The ministerial interpretation took effect July 1, 2022; it expires on the date NPC 2020 is adopted in Saskatchewan. As a result, building owners and contractors can immediately start to use cellular core PVC piping as described in the ministerial interpretation without need to wait for the NPC 2020 to be adopted in Saskatchewan.
You can access all ministerial interpretations in the Publications Centre. For more information on ministerial interpretations, contact Building and Technical Standards Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-787-4113.
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