Sask. passes legislation to 'clarify' trespassing laws
Legislation the province says will better balance the rights of rural land owners and members of the public received third reading Wednesday afternoon.
The legislation clarifies existing laws and ensures consistency in rules regarding trespassing, the province said in a news release. It will come into force after the “necessary regulations” are developed, though the release doesn’t say how long that will take.
“This legislation strikes the right balance between rural land owners and those wishing to access rural property for recreational purposes,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in the release.
“We believe this legislation will promote communication with rural land owners, while still giving Saskatchewan people the opportunity to take advantage of our beautiful rural landscapes for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking.”
Under the previous legislation, responsibility rested primarily with the land owner to post their land if they wanted to limit public access. Under the new legislation, those wishing to access a rural land owner’s property for recreational purposes will need to first gain access from the land owner. Land owners will be able to provide consent for activities, like berry-picking and hunting, on their land through posted signs.
The province says requirement for improved communication will help ensure that land owners and occupiers are aware of the presence of others on their property. The legislation also provides legal protection to land owners 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.