COVID-19 Resources for Municipalities
The COVID-19 outbreak is a challenge to public health in our hometowns. Find information and resources below to help keep your residents safe. Click on a focus area below to go directly to that information or browse all the resources.
Effective June 22, indoor gatherings increased to a maximum of 30 people while maintaining a two-metre separation. Outdoor gatherings remain at a maximum of 30 people with a two-metre separation.
Council meetings still need to happen, and still need to be public, but efforts should be made to allow distance between people of two metres where possible. If a municipality's council procedure bylaw allows for it, council could hold regular and special council meetings electronically.
If a muncipality's council procedure bylaw does not address meeting electronically, but council would like to, council can pass a resolution at the beginning of the meeting indicating the reason for, and approval of, the use of electronic means for the meeting. If council chooses to meet through electronic means and prohibit the public from attending in person, alternative methods for the public to have access to meetings needs to be considered. Options include live streaming, conference calling, or video calling.
When meeting electronically, it is important for each council member to be aware of confidentiality - as a requirement of the Code of Ethics bylaw and Oath of Office, it is the responsibility of each council member to ensure confidentiality of municipal business. Councils may hold in-camera meetings or portions of meetings, in accordance with legislation and its council procedure bylaw.
A municipality, through a bylaw, can extend the time for up to 90 days for things such as financial statements, tax notices, and audit deadlines.
As municipalities establish property tax payment deadlines, municipalities have the authority to change property tax payment dates and defer payments and penalties within the tax year. This also applies to education property tax - municipalities are only required to remit school taxes to the province once it is collected.
Municipalities planning to hold by-elections need to determine what preventative measures, if any, need to be taken. Any changes to scheduled by-elections need to be clearly communicated to the public. This should include posting in the same places as the original notices and any additional places such as a website or putting up posters in public locations.
Developement appeals board matters can be handled through written submissions or delayed by mutual consent with the applicant. If an appeal will be delayed, the length of the delay should be reasonable and can always be revisited.
Provided by the Ministry of Government Relations March 30
Safe water is essential to ensure good sanitation and hygienic conditions to best protect people against COVID-19.
Waterworks operators must maintain adequate filtration, treatment, and disinfection at the water treatment plant, as well as adequate disinfectant residual through the distribution system. The Water Security Agency (WSA) is communicating to ensure municipalities are aware of maintaining their regular oversight of their drinking water systems and are designating waterworks operators as essential staff during this situation.
During this time of physical distancing, waterworks operators must continue their normal schedules. If the operators are unavailable or not performing the necessary tasks to guarantee a safe drinking water supply, or for any reason proper operation is interrupted, the municipality, the permittee, employees, and contractors must notify the WSA via the 24-hour upset Reporting Line at 1-844-536-9494 of any disruption, so that alternate certified operators can ensure that water is safe.
The permittee, employees, and contractors also must ensure the proper operation and monitoring of wastewater systems and proper treatment in accordance with the permit and must notify WSA if operations are interrupted or upset for any reason.
WSA is also advising that its Environmental Project Officers (EPOs) must be allowed on site as needed to conduct inspections and monitor the proper functioning of both water and wastewater systems. EPOs are present to assist in ensuring a safe water supply for the public.
See the COVID-19 and water issues question and answer for more information.
Fire departments responding to motor vehicle collisions should have personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against viral transmission. If your community needs PPE for its first responders, please email the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency. Your information will be collated and PPE will be prioritized based on provincial needs and priorities.
In the event of an evacuation, the Ministry of Social Services is responsible for securing evacuation accommodations for communities and coordinates its efforts with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) during events. When an event occurs requiring evacuations; hotels are always the first option considered. If no near by centre is available, the province looks at the closest viable option. In cases where a large population is evacuated a congregate facility may be considered; however given the restrictions in these during pandemic conditions, it will likely not be an option.
Plans to safely house evacuated persons under pandemic conditions are being prepared. Every community should have an emergency plan that identifies a muster point or registration location in the event the community is impacted by any threat.
Concerned communities are encouraged to work directly with their regional Emergency Services Officer to ensure their plans are adequate.
With dry conditions in some parts of the province and restrictions related to the pandemic, the SPSA is asking municipalities to share a fact sheet with residents.
Municipalities are also being asked to:
- Review their community's emergency plans to ensure that information and contacts are up-to-date.
- Monitor the fire risk in their area and consider implementing burning bans, if needed.
On March 17, the provincial government introduced and passed legislation that will provide job protected leave in light of the novel coronavirus. The primary points of the amendments to The Saskatchewan Employment Act are:
- The Public Health Emergency Leave provision applies where Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer (“Officer”) orders that people must take measures to reduce the spread of disease, including through isolating themselves. On March 17, 2020, the Chief Medical Health Officer issued an order limiting public gatherings, restricting access to long-term care homes, personal care homes, group homes and hospitals, and indefinitely suspending classes in all primary and secondary educational initiatives, so we consider this condition precedent to be met and if it is not, that a further order will be forthcoming.
- Employees are entitled to the Public Health Emergency Leave if any of: (a) their employer, (b) a medical practitioner, (c) the Government or (d) the Officer directs them to isolate themselves to reduce the spread of disease. They are also entitled to the Leave if they must care for a child family member who is affected by a direction or order of the Government or the Officer (such as school closures).
- Note that employees may be entitled to this unpaid leave from their first day of work, and do not need to provide a written note in support from a medical practitioner – there is no exception for probationary employees in their first 13 weeks of work.
- That is, if an employer directs their employees to isolate themselves to prevent or reduce the spread of the disease, then the employees are placed on unpaid Public Health Emergency Leave. Effectively, this places an employee on protected, unpaid leave that does not result in a temporary layoff or termination, and which does not trigger payment of severance. As with all employment leaves, employees are entitled to remain on their benefit plan, if the terms of the plan permit, and so long as the employee continues to pay the required benefit plan contributions.
- Employees are entitled to their regular wages and benefits during the leave so long as they are authorized to work at home, follow the Officer’s order, and follow any additional regulations passed by Government. Conversely, if an employee on leave is not authorized to work from home, or does not follow the Officer’s order, they are not entitled to their regular wages.
- Employers must reinstate employees returning from a Public Health Emergency Leave, which would occur when the Officer rescinds the public health order. That is, there is no recall provisions and there is no limit (at this time) on how long this leave can last.
- The amendments are retroactive to March 6, 2020.
Municipalities of Saskatchewan
- Poster for parks and playgrounds
- Poster for beaches
- Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Poster
- Webinar recording | Keeping COVID in the Penalty Box: Safely Re-opening Recreation Sites
- Webinar recording | COVID-19 Panel: Preparing Your Community
- Webinar recording | COVID-19 Panel: Addressing Your Concerns
- Webinar recording | COVID-19 Update from Emergency Responders
- Convention 2020 Recording | Bracing for Disasters with Emergency Preparedness
Government of Saskatchewan
- Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan
- Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan Guidelines
- COVID-19 in Saskatchewan
- Self-Assessment Tool
- Latest updates
- Municipal Econmic Enhancement Program
- Fast-tracked Municipal Revenue Sharing
- Safe Schools Plan
- Tourism Sector Support Program
- Office of Residential Tenancies | Eviction Suspensions Lifted
- Ministry of Environment | Temporary Enforcement Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Toll-Free Line for Non-Health Related Questions: 1-855-559-5502
- Saskatchewan Health Authority | New Pandemic Modelling
Government of Canada
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Employment and Social Development Canada - Reaching Home Funding
- Being Prepared - Communities
- Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings
- Risk-informed decision making for workplaces and businesses
- Outbreak update
- Know the Facts: Factsheet
- Being Prepared: Factsheet
- Canadian Centre for Cyber Security | Staying cyber-healthy during COVID-19
- COVID Alert App
As an Employer
- Government of Saskatchewan | Managing Staffing and Leave
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety | Pandemics
- Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety | Employment Standards Legislation and Regulatory Change to Assist Employers and Employees
- Worksafe Saskatchewan | COVID-19
- Miller Thomson LLP | Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace and COVID-19 Employment Considerations for Municipalities
- CentralSource partner PeopleFirst HR Webinar | COVID-19 and Your Workplace
- CentralSource partner Campbell Safety Consulting | Infectious Disease Policy sample
- BC Municipal Safety Association | Draft Exposure Control Plan
- Solid Waste Association of North America | COVID-19 and Solid Waste Management
- World Health Organization | Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19
- Water Security Agency | COVID-19 and Water Issues - Question and Answer
- Building Standards and Licensing Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations | COVID-19 Best Practices for Inspections
- Canadian Water and Wastewater Association | COVID-19 and the re-opening of buildings
- Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance | Preparedness and Recovery Toolkits
- Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance | Community Resilience Webinar Series
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Government of Canada | COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Government of Canada | Safe Restart Canada Plan
- Government of Canada | Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
- Government of Canada | Fast Tracked Gas Tax Funding
- Government of Canada | Emergency Community Support Fund
- Government of Saskatchewan | Municipal Econmic Enhancement Program
- Government of Saskatchewan | Fast-tracked Municipal Revenue Sharing
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities | COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities | Federal Emergency Funding Letter Template
- Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program | COVID-19 Resilience Funding
- Wellness Together Canada
- Canada Life | Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- Conference Board of Canada
- Webinar: Managing People During A Crisis CERT
- Elections Saskatchewan | COVID-19 and Electoral Best Practice
- Canadian Urban Institute | Bring Back Mainstreet
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities | COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide
- Regina Downtown Business Improvement District | Reconnect Posters
- North West Communities Incident Command Centre | Offer of Help for Municipalities
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities | Designing property tax deferrals
- MLT Aikins Webinar Recording - Saskatchewan’s COVID-19: Municipal Navigation Through A Global Pandemic
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities | Urgent federal recommendations to address the financial crisis in our cities and communities due to COVID-19
- Central Source partner All-Net | Livestreaming Council Meetings with Zoom
- Municipal World | Steps to good council communication during COVID-19
- CityWatch Canada | An interactive platform that tracks emergency response measures put in place by local governments across Canada
- CityShare Canada | A platform that houses resources, tools, and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19
- CentralSource partner Campbell Safety Consulting | COVID-19 safety video