What is the Municipal Boundary Committee?
The Municipal Boundary Committee is a committee of the Municipal Board established to receive applications for the
alteration of boundaries when the affected municipalities do not agree to the proposal or where the Minister requests
that the committee review any boundary alteration applications made to the Minister.
As explained earlier in the discussion about the board's mandate
, hearings for
this committee are conducted under what is best described as a Hybrid Model, leaning more to the Inquiry Model.
How does a Council file an application?
Council may make application to the committee for the alteration of boundaries under The Municipalities Act
or The Cities Act
when the other municipality(ies) affected by the proposed alteration does not provide a complementary resolution in support of the application as required by the Acts. If a council makes application directly to the Minister, he or she may decide to forward the application to the committee for review. Applications will be presented by completing the Application for Alteration of Boundaries
. City councils will use the application,
and all other municipal councils will use Part 1A
With whom does a municipal council file the application?
The complete application and schedules are to be sent to the following address:
Secretary, Municipal Boundary Committee
Saskatchewan Municipal Board
480-2151 Scarth Street
REGINA, SK S4P 2H8
How much time does a municipal council have to file an application with the Municipal Boundary Committee?
There are no legislative timeframes for a municipality to make application to the committee for boundary alteration. The only requirement before making application to the committee is that the preliminary proceedings set out in The Municipalities Act or The Cities Act, as the case may be, have been completed.
Does a municipal council have to forward the completed application and schedules to the affected municipality/municipalities?
No, the committee will forward a copy of the completed application and schedules to the affected municipality(ies).
What happens once the application is filed with the committee?
The secretary will circulate the material submitted to all committee members.
The committee may decide to meet informally with both councils, without prejudice, to discuss the issues associated with the application. Sometimes it is appropriate for these informal meetings to be facilitated by other expert persons. Any associated costs for the informal meetings are the responsibility of the applicant municipality.
The committee determines if it will review and decide the application with or without a public hearing.
Will the committee hold a public hearing?
The committee may decide to hold a public hearing to deal with those applications it receives directly.
In the case of an application under The Cities Act, if one of the municipalities requests it, a mediator will be appointed by the committee. In the case of an application under The Municipalities Act, if the matter is referred to the committee by the minister, a mediator will be appointed by the committee. If mediation fails to resolve the dispute, the committee will hold a public hearing.
If the committee holds a public hearing, how are the affected municipalities and interested parties notified?
The affected municipalities will be notified in writing of the date, time and place of the hearing. As well, a notice of the public hearing will be published in a newspaper circulating in the area at least once a week for two successive weeks. The hearing is usually held in one of the affected municipalities.
What does the committee consider when reviewing an application?
The Municipal Board Act
outlines what is to be considered in reviewing an application. The matters include:
- land use planning
- tax sharing
- local boards and commissions
- municipal services
- municipal capital works
- mill rates and assessments
- disposition of land or improvements that is owned by or leased to a municipality, local board or commission
- disposition of assets and liabilities
- municipal electoral boundaries
- grants or other assistance from the government of Saskatchewan or Canada
- local school divisions
- transportation, communication and utilities and rates for those things
- local improvements in the area affected
- hospital, library and other inter-municipal bodies
- bylaws; and
- any other matters that the minister or the board considers relevant.
Who sits on the Committee?
The committee is composed of full-time members of the board as well as part-time members who are nominated by the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.
Can interested parties make a presentation at the public hearing?
Do you have to be a resident of the affected municipality/municipalities to make a presentation at the public hearing?
No. All persons who wish to make representations relevant to the application are allowed to be heard.
What happens at the public hearing?
The hearing chair may modify the procedures to accommodate particular circumstances. In most situations the following procedure would apply:
- All questions or comments are directed through the chair;
- First, the floor will be opened to the applicant municipality to make its presentation;
- Second, the affected municipality(ies) will make its presentation; and
- Third, the floor will be opened to any interested persons who wish to make a presentation;
- The municipalities will be given final opportunity for concluding remarks in the reverse order of their presentations.
Written copies of all presentations should be filed with the secretary after presentation. The committee reserves the right to ask questions of any party at any time.
How long does the committee have to make a decision?
The committee is to make its decision or submit its recommendation in a report to the Minister of Municipal Affairs within four months after the date an application is submitted or referred to the committee. The Minister may, at the request of the committee or a municipality affected by a proposed alteration of boundaries, extend the time within which the committee is required to submit its report to the Minister.
If the committee rejects a municipal council’s application is there an avenue for further review?
There is no further review of a committee decision regarding a municipal boundary application filed under The Municipalities Act or The Cities Act except to the Court of Appeal on a question of law or jurisdiction.
Once an application is rejected, there can be no similar application considered under The Cities Act for one year or under The Municipalities Act for three years.