Saskatchewan introduces amendments to trespass legislation

The Government of Saskatchewan today introduced legislation to better balance the rights of rural land owners and members of the public.  The legislation will make amendments to The Trespass to Property ActThe Snowmobile Act, and The Wildlife Act, 1998.

This legislation will clarify and ensure consistency in the rules regarding trespassing, and will move the onus of responsibility from rural land owners to individuals seeking to access their property.

“There have been concerns raised over the years that the current legislation unfairly places the onus on rural land owners to post their land to legally deny access,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “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.”

This requirement for improved communication will help ensure that land owners and occupiers are aware of the presence of others on their property.  The legislation provides legal protection to land owners and occupiers against property damage and the risk of agricultural diseases, and limits any liability that may arise from a trespasser’s presence on their property.

Government gathered opinions on this issue through an online questionnaire from August 9 to October 2.  The results of that questionnaire indicated that a large majority (65 per cent) of respondents were in favour of requiring those who wish to access rural land to gain prior permission beforehand.