The Government of Saskatchewan has moving to keep a throne speech promise.
Legislation was introduced in the House on Monday that would amend a trio of acts: Trespass To Property Act, The Snowmobile Act and The Wildlife Act, 1998.
Proposed amendments to those existing legislative acts would, if passed, see rural land be treated the same as urban lands, with owners not needing to show proof of their property being marked or fenced.
- Throne speech outlines provincial government’s plans during fall session
- Premier Moe’s first throne speech receives mixed reaction from Saskatchewan stakeholders
“This legislation shifts that responsibility to those wishing to access the land, by requiring them to obtain prior permission from the land owner or occupier,” said Justice Minister Don Morgan.
The province also notes this change will better protect against agricultural diseases and damage(s) to property. One area the legislation doesn’t address is ways for people wanting to access the private lands to contact the owners.
Groups like SARM have openly expressed their praise and support for this legislation. However, Morgan noted the FSIN doesn’t.
- Agriculture & rural crime on the docket as SARM conference begins in Regina
- SARM welcomes Sask government review of trespass laws
“They’ve taken the position that they don’t believe the legislation applies to them and that they should have the right to hunt or travel wherever they want,” he said. “The position of the province, I think is correct, is that the treaties have taken the right to own or have access to land and that goes and that right exists with the land owner.”
Not everyone is excited about the amendment. Take the Saskatchewan NDP’s Municipal Relations critic, who voiced his opposition to it following Question Period.
“At worst, we see a government that is playing dog whistle politics.” said Trent Wotherspoon.
Wotherspoon noted the racial tensions in Saskatchewan aren’t just perceived, they’re very much real.
“To bring forward a change without having Indigenous people and their leadership at the table is a disgrace. And, it’s a disgrace and damaging to not have hunters and fishers at the table.”