Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced details of the consultations for The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act. The consultations will allow all interested parties to share their views regarding farmland ownership rules.
“Consultations with the public will help us understand who should, or should not be, allowed to own farmland in Saskatchewan, specifically pension plans, investment trusts, pension plan administrators and foreign investors,” Stewart said. “I encourage all interested parties to participate in the consultations to help determine what is best for Saskatchewan.”
The consultations will take place online at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland. The process includes an education document that illustrates:
•the current situation surrounding farmland ownership;
•the role of the Farm Land Security Board;
•the current agricultural landscape in Saskatchewan; and
•a jurisdictional comparison of farmland ownership rules in other provinces.
Currently only Canadian residents and 100 per cent Canadian-owned entities can own more than 10 acres of farmland in Saskatchewan. Regulations announced on April 13, 2015, clarified the existing legislation by placing a pause on the acquisition of land holdings by non-family trusts (with more than 10 beneficiaries), pension plans and administrators of pension plans while the review is being undertaken.
“We want to make sure our government is on the right path and makes the correct decisions regarding farmland ownership,” Stewart said. “We need to hear from stakeholders before determining if changes to the legislation are necessary.”
The survey can be completed online at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland. A paper copy of the survey may be picked up at any Ministry of Agriculture Regional Office or can be requested by calling the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377. At the end of the consultation period, the results of the survey and all comments will be posted online. Once the results have been analyzed, decisions will be made regarding next steps.
The consultation process runs until August 10.