Protecting Municipalities from Nuisance Liability

Year: 2007


Therefore be it resolved that SUMA lobby the Government of Saskatchewan to enact legislation that limits or prevents municipalities from being sued for nuisance liability.

Provincial Response

Response: During 2005 and 2006, a committee of officials from Government Relations (GR) Justice, the SUMA, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and the city solicitors from the four major cities conducted a comprehensive review of the liability provisions in each of the municipal Acts. The report is posted on the department’s website. The review examined the balance between protecting municipal and taxpayer interests and those of individual citizens, property owners and the general public. Recent trends and judicial rulings were also examined to see if any problems can or should be addressed by changes to the liability provisions. One of the principle recommendations of the review was to limit the general public’s ability to pursue legal actions based in “nuisance: i.e. claims that various municipal activities have injured or interfered with a person’s use of property, to situations of intentional or negligent conduct on behalf of the city/municipality and its employees. Government approved the recommendations in the report. Amendments to implement the recommendations, including “nuisance liability”, for The Cities Act and The Municipalities Act were approved during the spring 2007 legislative session.

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