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.
1. 2022 Municipal Elections for Rural Municipalities
Rural municipalities (RMs) will have elections for even-numbered divisions on Wed., Nov. 9, 2022. Be sure to download the recently updated Election-Byelection Scheduling Tool, which is a useful resource to assist with legislated and operational dates during the election process. To enter an election date, use the MONTH DD, YYYY format, for example: November 09, 2022. All forms are available on the “Election Forms and Links” tab found along the bottom of the spreadsheet.
All election notices must be posted:
- In the municipal office;
- In one or more public locations within the municipality aside from the municipal office;
- If the returning officer (RO) is not the administrator, in the office of the RO;
- And must be published in at least one issue of a newspaper that circulates within the municipality unless council has adopted a general election bylaw specifying the method of distributing election notices; and
- The RO may also choose to advertise on the local radio station, television station, and website or by other electronic means.
To be an eligible candidate in a rural municipal election, an individual:
- Must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election;
- Is not disqualified pursuant to The Local Government Election Act, 2015 or any other Act;
- Is a Canadian citizen at the time the nomination paper is submitted; and
- Has resided in Saskatchewan for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the date on which the nomination paper is submitted and is eligible to vote in the RM.
Remember that a candidate does not have to reside in the division they are nominated in, nor do they have to reside in the RM. The nomination paper must be signed by two voters of the division they are being nominated in.
Public disclosure statements (PDS) are required to be attached to the candidate's nomination papers. It is the responsibility of the returning officer or nomination officer to ensure that the nomination papers are complete. It is not their responsibility to ensure it is correct. Successful candidates are required to file another PDS within 30 days of being elected.
Criminal record checks are required to be completed and attached to the candidate’s nomination papers, but only if your municipality has a bylaw requiring it. Prescribed Form B.1 (Results of Criminal Record Check for Candidate for Election), found in The Municipalities Regulations, should be made available to all candidates, and must be completed not more than 30 days before nomination day by the candidate’s local police service.
In a RM, a voter is qualified to vote if they are:
- A Canadian citizen;
- At least 18 years of age; and
- Has resided in the RM, or on land now in the RM, for at least three consecutive months;
- Is the registered owner of property in the RM, or property now situated in the municipality;
- Is the assessed person with respect to property in the RM;
- Is the occupant of a trailer or mobile home in the municipality;
- Is the spouse of a person mentioned above; or
- Is the chief executive officer in a duly incorporated co-operative, corporation or religious association that is assessed and taxable on the last revised assessment roll.
RMs no longer have the authority to prepare an assessed owners list. The administrator must notify voters of the division in which they are entitled to vote by including the division number on the assessment notice and the tax notice.
The administrator is required by legislation to determine the time, date, and place for the first meeting of council following a general election, and it must be held within 31 days after the election. This may conflict with scheduled regular meetings and may require a council resolution to accommodate legislation.
The administrator or designate is required to submit municipal election results to the Minister as soon as possible after a municipal election or by-election. Municipalities are encouraged to electronically submit their election results using the Municipal Elections Results Form. Municipalities should also update their information in the Municipal Directory. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have forgotten the username or password for your municipality.
2. Municipal Input Requested for new Federal Transit Program by Sept. 30, 2022
Municipalities across the province have until Sept. 30, 2022, to provide input to help develop a new federal transit program.
To participate, click on the online questionnaire below and follow the steps.
For more information about the program, visit the Infrastructure Canada website.
If you have any questions or require assistance, please email: email@example.com.
3. New Farm Building Advisory
The Building and Technical Standards Branch has published a new advisory to assist administrators, building officials and building owners in understanding when buildings should be classified as farm buildings for the purpose of applying construction standards.While farm buildings remain exempt from construction standards, The Construction Codes Act and The Building Code Regulations provide definitions to help distinguish between exempt farm buildings and non-exempt buildings located on agricultural land.
Farm residences and other buildings where sleeping accommodation is provided on a regular or temporary basis are no longer considered farm buildings and subject to construction standards. Additionally, buildings used for the either the cannabis or alcohol industry are not considered farm buildings and are subject to construction standards. Local authorities retain the ability to amend their building bylaw to require all buildings (including farm buildings) to comply with construction standards and obtain building permits.
The advisory is available from the Publications Centre. Local authorities, administrators and building officials who have questions on the advisory should contact the branch at 306-787-4113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Board of Revision Certification and Training
Previous newsletters contained information about the new requirement for all boards of revision to be certified to hear property assessment appeals starting with the 2023 taxation year as well as the new online training program for board of revision members and secretaries.
The application for certification is now open. You can view the most current list of certified boards of revision in Saskatchewan.
For details on how to apply for certification, visit Board of Revision Training and Certification and refer to the Board of Revision Certification Guide. This guide has more details on the responsibilities of the board, municipality, and registrar.
For a board of revision to be certified, all members and secretaries must take an Oath of Office and successfully complete an online training program developed through the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS).
To learn more about the training program and register, visit the JSGS Board of Revision Training Program page.
Once these certification requirements are met, the board of revision should apply for certification to the Office of the Registrar.
It's the board's responsibility to ensure its members and secretaries meet certification requirements and apply for certification. Municipalities are responsible for ensuring they have a certified board before the assessment roll is prepared and to notify the registrar with resolution of council of the appointed board of revision.
The mandatory training and certification of boards of revision will help ensure Saskatchewan taxpayers receive qualified property appeal services.
5. Targeted Sector Support Initiative: Intake Now Open
The Targeted Sector Support (TSS) Steering Committee is currently accepting applications for municipal projects under the TSS Initiative, with cost-shared grants again available to Saskatchewan municipalities.
TSS is a portion of Municipal Revenue Sharing ($1.5 million per fiscal year) used to encourage inter-community collaboration, help build capacity and promote good governance in all Saskatchewan municipalities. The funds are used to support projects that help municipalities strengthen their core governance and administration responsibilities.
The Steering Committee consists of representatives from the Ministry of Government Relations, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and Saskatchewan Association of Northern Communities. TSS funds are administered by SUMA on behalf of the Steering Committee.
The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2022.
Examples of past TSS-funded projects include:
- training to enhance municipal officials' governance skills;
- developing regional emergency plans;
- completing a joint parks and recreation plan;
- co-ordinating asset management;
- harmonizing official community plans and zoning bylaws;
- undertaking a municipal district feasibility study; and
- various other projects aimed at strengthening collaboration and co-operation among communities.
For more information on eligibility, program funding and how to apply, visit the TSS Initiative page.