SARM convention taking place virtually this week

·3 min read

The annual Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention is taking place online on March 9 to 10.

When the convention debates resolutions on Tuesday afternoon there is one from the RM of South Qu'Appelle regarding the name change of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, which represents the province’s cities, towns and villages, to Municipalities of Saskatchewan.

The resolution asks SARM to lobby the province to put an immediate stop to this “misuse of the term 'Municipalities of Saskatchewan' as their legal identity.”

“The intended outcome is for the immediate stop to this misuse of the term “Municipalities of Saskatchewan” as their legal entity.

The resolution explained that throughout the last year, numerous letters were sent by the RM of South Qu'Appelle to Minister Lori Carr, Don McMorris and SARM President Ray Orb regarding SUMA using the name of “Municipalities of Saskatchewan”.

The RM explains that they received a clear message that SUMA has not received a mandate to change their name. According to the resolution, the organization continues to use the name Municipalities of Saskatchewan as their name and both SARM and the province continue to not enforce the matter.

The resolution was submitted to receive clarification as to why nothing has been done and a timeline for when these changes will be made.

The only way the name change can be made legal is through a Private Member's Bill to amend the act which founded SUMA in 1967. Municipalities of Saskatchewan plans to formalize the name change officially and SARM is requesting that it is not supported.

Because the name is used in communications and on their website, the resolution claims that this has had an adverse effect on SARM.

Some resolutions are from the RM of Duck Lake, RM of Prince Albert and the RM of Buckland — all located near Prince Albert. The RM of Duck Lake has a resolution about weed control expenses incurred on land belonging to the Ministry of Highways. All three municipalities have a resolution involving fire bans.

The resolution states that “that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to implement Fire Bans in specific areas where the surrounding municipality has implemented a Fire Ban due to the area being under extreme fire hazard in order to protect citizens.”

The conference begins with the trade show on Tuesday with Opening Ceremonies commencing at 9:00 a.m. Minister of Government Relations McMorris will address delegated followed by Rural Municipal Administrators' Association(RMAA) President Guy Lagrandeur and Orb.

After the addresses SARM Executive Director Jay Meyer will present the Financial and Operational Report at the AGM portion followed by the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards winners announcement.

Federal representative Jim Carr will address the convention later in the morning

On Tuesday afternoon there will be two sessions for dialogue with Provincial Cabinet Ministers Wednesday includes Scott Moe's Premier's Address and the ever popular Bear Pit Session with the Provincial Cabinet.

Wednesday also includes the elections for the SAMA board of directors, presentations from Saskatchewan Municipal Hail Insurance and STARS Air Ambulance followed by the Division Meetings.

“Over the course of two days, convention delegates will have the opportunity to hear from and dialogue with elected officials, network digitally and debate resolutions,” the release from SARM explained.

Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald