Allow Elected Officials to Temporarily Assist with Maintenance Duties
Whereas many small urban municipalities do not have adequate trained maintenance personnel; and Whereas elected municipal councillors are often ready to volunteer their time to perform maintenance-related duties, and are often on the scene and prepared; and Whereas Section 112 of The Municipalities Act prohibits elected council members from being or acting as employees of the municipality; and Whereas current legislative restrictions may also leave municipalities liable, should elected officials assist with maintenance duties; Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA work with the Ministry of Government Relations to amend legislation to allow elected officials in Saskatchewan villages with a population of 500 or fewer to temporarily assist with maintenance duties for which they are properly trained and physically capable, on an unpaid basis.
The ministry does not concur that The Municipalities Act, as currently worded, would prohibit a council member from assisting with maintenance duties on an unpaid basis. Section 112 of The Municipalities Act states that "no member of council is eligible to be appointed as an employee of the municipality, or of any committee, business improvement district, or controlled corporation of the municipality in which he or she serves as a member of the council". Current labour legislation defines an employee as "any person of any age who is in receipt of or entitled to any remuneration for labour or services performed for an employer". As a result, the council member would not be considered an employee of the municipality, as long as that council member is not receiving remuneration for the temporary maintenance duties or services he or she is performing, and the Act affords them liability protection when acting in good faith as a volunteer for the municipality. It may be important to note the use of council member volunteers does not exempt municipalities form ensuring an qualifications that may be prescribed under other legislation as required to perform that maintenance duty or service are in fact in place.