Digest: Council of Rural Municipality of McKillop No. 220 v Schmidt, 2018 SKQB 206

Date:July 18, 2018
 
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Reported as: 2018 SKQB 206

Docket Number: QB17589 , QBG 1075/18 JCR|QBG 1075/18 JCR

Court: Court of Queen's Bench

Date: 2018-07-18

Judges:

  • Leurer

Subjects:

  • Municipal Law � Referendum � Application for Direction

Digest: The applicant, the Rural Municipality of McKillop, applied to the court pursuant to s. 138 of the Municipalities Act for directions regarding the wording it should use in drafting two separate petitions presented to it by different groups of electors: the first, the Schmidt petition, and the second, the Johnston petition. The Schmidt petition asked the elected council of the applicant to hold a referendum directing council to request that the government of Saskatchewan alter the applicant�s divisional boundaries. The redrawn electoral boundaries were intended to more evenly distribute the RM�s population among its six electoral districts. The Johnston petition requested the applicant�s council to hold a referendum to explore options to give the resort communities the ability to have self-government and control over their administration, taxation, zoning and bylaws, if they so chose, while leaving the division boundaries unchanged. As the applicant�s administrators found the petitions to be �sufficient� within the meaning of s. 135(1) of the Act, it was mandatory under s. 136(1) for the applicant to submit the matter as a bylaw or resolution to the voters in accordance with the request of the petitioners. The applicant raised three issues: 1) was the wording of each of the petitions clear; 2) was there a conflict between the petitions; and 3) what direction should the court provide regarding the referenda required by each petition.
HELD: The court found with respect to each issue that: 1) the wording of each petition was clear and unambiguous; 2) there was no conflict between the petitions. It was possible for the applicant�s council to carry out or implement the resolution that would be required by an affirmative vote on each referendum question; and 3) the questions put to voters must accord with the petitions and be sufficiently clear so that the applicant�s
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