The Cost of Internment

Year: 2016


Whereas Part Vlll (s.50) Graves for Indigent Persons of The Cemeteries Act 1999 states that: subject to the regulations, a municipality or an owner of a commercial cemetery shall provide internment rights free of charge for an unclaimed body or for a deceased indigent person where the municipality or owner is instructed to provide internment rights free of charge by a person prescribed in the regulations”; and 

Whereas the majority of municipal cemeteries generate minimal revenue, while the 
expenses for equipment and labour to maintain cemeteries continue to increase; and 

Whereas municipalities are struggling to minimize property tax increases while still performing the necessary maintenance of infrastructure, recreation facilities, and equipment; 

Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA advocate with the Government of Saskatchewan to amend The Cemeteries Act, 1999, to have the fee for internment rights for indigent people be paid for through the Saskatchewan Assistance Program, rather than being provided free of charge by municipalities or private owners of cemeteries.

Background Information
While the Saskatchewan Assistance Program provides funeral expenses for unclaimed or indigent persons (i.e., those with no financial assets), cemetery owners — including municipalities — are required to cover the costs of burial and perpetual upkeep for the gravesite.

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