- There are local governments for every area in Saskatchewan.
- They are elected by the citizens who live in the area.
- Local governments are made up of councillors plus a mayor if it is a city or a reeve if it is a rural area.
Saskatchewan is divided into municipalities. Municipalities can be cities, towns, villages, hamlets or rural areas. Everyone in Saskatchewan, whether they live on a farm, in a city or in a town, lives in a municipality. Each municipality elects its own local government.
Most places in Saskatchewan are governed by local councils. Councils are elected by the people who live in the community. Each municipality elects its own local council. Cities, towns and some hamlets elect a mayor and councillors. Rural Municipalities elect a reeve and councillors. The number of councillors generally depends on the size of the municipality. Some areas elect a board instead of a local council.
Some municipalities are divided into smaller areas called wards. In these cases people run to be elected as councillor for that ward. The people who live in that ward vote and the candidate who gets the most votes becomes the councillor for that ward.
If the municipality is not divided into wards, people vote for councillors for the whole municipality. People can vote for as many candidates as there are seats on the local council. For example, if the local council has 6 members people can vote for up to 6 candidates. The candidates with the most votes win.
Mayors and reeves are elected by individuals throughout the municipality. The candidate with the most votes wins and then is the mayor or the reeve.
When are Municipal Elections Held?
Municipal elections are generally held every 4 years. Rural Municipalities hold elections every 2 years but only elect half the local council at each election. Councillors still serve for 4 years. Except for resort areas, elections are held in October. In resort areas they are held in July.
Who can vote for Local Council and run for Local Council?
To vote or run in a municipal election people must be:
- 18 years old
- a Canadian Citizen
There are additional requirements depending on the type of municipality.
For rural municipalities people voting or running for election must also:
- have lived in the municipality for at least 3 months, or
- owned land in the municipality for at least 3 months, or
- be the spouse of someone who has owned land in the municipality for at least 3 months
For cities, towns, villages (except resort villages) or hamlets, anyone voting or running for election must also have lived in:
- Saskatchewan for at least 6 months
- the municipality for at least 3 months
For resort villages individuals must also:
- have lived there for 3 months, or
- owned or leased land there for at least 3 months, or
- be the spouse of someone who has owned or leased land there for at least 3 months
Even if you cannot vote, there are many ways to get involved with your community and have your voice heard. You can:
- write a letter or email to an elected representative – councillor, mayor, Member of Legislature or Member of Parliament
- attend a local council meeting and express your views
- join a political party
- volunteer to help a candidate run for election
- join a group that has come together to deal with an issue
- attend a protest or rally organized to draw attention to an issue
Published on October 21, 2016.