Updated trespassing legislation coming into force Jan. 1 in Saskatchewan

File / Global News

Amendments to trespassing legislation are coming into force on Jan. 1 in Saskatchewan.

Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said the provincial government worked hard to balance the rights of landowners in rural Saskatchewan with those of recreational land users.

Read more: Saskatchewan government introduces amendments to Trespass Act

“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,” Wyant said in a press release.

The legislation clarifies existing laws to make sure there is consistency in the rules regarding trespassing.

The amendments move the onus of responsibility from rural landowners to individuals seeking access to the property. It responds to the concerns that have been expressed by rural landowners about people who trespass on their property while still giving Saskatchewan residents the chance to participate in outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking.

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Under the new legislation, those wanting to access a rural landowner’s property for recreational purposes will need to get consent from the owner. Consent may be provided in the form of writing, electronically online, orally or through signage.

The province added that most people in Saskatchewan already seek permission to access rural property for recreational purposes, and these changes are meant to “formally support that best practice.”

The legislation also provides legal protection to landowners and occupiers against property damage and the risk of agricultural diseases. It also limits any liability that may arise from a trespasser’s presence on their property.

Read more: Manitoba Conservatives strengthen trespass laws relating to transport of animals

The province added police and provincial enforcement officers will continue to be responsible for laying trespassing-related charges.

Anyone who thinks someone is trespassing on their property should contact their local police service.

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