Trespass Laws (2022)
As I’m sure everyone is aware, trespass laws took effect on January 1st, 2022, that will impact snowmobiling in our province. Read on to learn more about these laws, how they affect The Snowmobile Act, and discover a new digital solution to landowner permission management in Saskatchewan.
This government has worked hard to balance the rights of landowners in rural Saskatchewan with those of recreational land users
The Trespass to Property Amendment Act, 2019, and The Trespass to Property Consequential Amendments Act, 2019 are coming into force on January 1, 2022.
“This government has worked hard to balance the rights of landowners in rural Saskatchewan with those of recreational land users,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “I’m pleased to see the legislation come into force and I want to thank everyone who has worked and consulted with us in its development.”
This 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. Under the new legislation, 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.
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 our beautiful rural landscapes for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking.
Most people in Saskatchewan already seek permission to access rural property for recreational purposes. These changes are intended to formally support that best practice.
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.
For more information, contact:
Justice and Attorney General
Effect on Snowmobiling
The following changes will occur to The Snowmobile Act and will be in place effective January 1, 2022:
13(1) The Snowmobile Act is amended in the manner set forth in this section.
(2) Section 25 is repealed and the following substituted:
“Prohibitions re trespassing”
25(1) No person shall operate a snowmobile over the following land, whether enclosed or not, without the consent of the owner or occupier of the land:
(a) any privately owned land;
(b) any provincial land as defined in The Provincial Lands Act, 2016 that is the subject of a lease;
(c) any other Crown land that is prescribed in the regulations.
(2) Operation of a snowmobile may be permitted on the land mentioned in subsection (1) with the owner or occupier’s consent, which may be given:
(b) in writing; or
(c) by means of signs that are clearly visible in the daylight under normal conditions from the approach to each ordinary point of access to the land to which the notice applies.
(3) No person, other than the owner or occupier of the land or a person who has the consent of the owner or occupier, shall erect, place or cause to be erected or placed a sign mentioned in subsection (2).
(4) No person, other than the owner or occupier of the land or a person who has the consent of the owner or occupier, shall tear down, remove, damage, deface or cover a sign mentioned in subsection (2).
(5) In a prosecution for a contravention of subsection (1), the onus is on the person charged to prove that the person had obtained the consent of the owner or occupier of the land.
(6) Nothing in this section limits or affects any rights or remedies of an owner or occupier at common law”.
(3) The following clauses are added after clause 41(1)(g):
“(g.1) exempting any land or Crown land from any or all of the provisions of this Act or the regulations;
“(g.2) for the purposes of clause 25(1)(c), prescribing Crown land”.
Where to Ride?
- On Designated Snowmobile Trails.
- Effective January 1, 2022, permission must be obtained from the landowner or occupier to ride on any privately-owned land or leased crown land other than designated SSA trails
- Riding on any vacant Crown land is generally permitted unless prohibited by signs or in the regulations.
- Riding in ditches along a provincial highway is generally permitted unless prohibited by signs or in the regulations.
- Riding in ditches or other public areas within an urban or rural municipality, subject to municipal bylaw.
- When riding in parks, check with the Park Authority.
With regard to riding in ditches, this is generally allowed unless prohibited by signs, regulations, or municipal bylaw.