The Trespass to Property Amendment Act, 2019, and the Trespass to Property Consequential Amendments Act, 2019 become law on January 1, 2022.
Legislators say the new law means those wishing to access a rural landowner’s property for recreational purposes will need to gain consent from the owner. Consent can be provided in writing, electronically online, orally or through signage.
Additionally, the legislation responds to concerns expressed by rural landowners about individuals who trespass on their property, while still giving Saskatchewan people the opportunity to take advantage of beautiful rural landscapes for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking.
Also, the legislation clarifies existing laws and ensures consistency in the rules regarding trespassing. Most notably, it moves the onus of responsibility from rural landowners to individuals seeking to access their property.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant is thanking all those who worked and took part in consultations on the new legislation.
“This government has worked hard to balance the rights of landowners in rural Saskatchewan with those of recreational land users.”
The government says most people in Saskatchewan already seek permission to access rural property for recreational purposes. These changes are intended to formally support that best practice.
Officials say the legislation provides legal protection to landowners and occupiers against property damage and the risk of agricultural diseases and limits any liability that may arise from a trespasser’s presence on their property.
Police and provincial enforcement officers will continue to be responsible for laying charges related to trespassing. Anyone who believes someone is trespassing on their property is urged to contact their local police service.