Letter to the Editor
The Saskatchewan Green Party is sincerely thanking the Wall Government for not passing its proposed new Surface Rights Act. The legislation was previously expected to be tabled and passed by the Saskatchewan Party government, but didn’t come to pass. Regardless of the motivation for not approving the new Act at this time, it is the right move.
Farmers, ranchers and other farmland owners clearly had misgivings about the proposed Act, and therefore ramming these changes through the Legislature could have been bad for the people of this province. But it seems members of this government have had some sober second thought, and done the right thing by respecting the rights of surface rights holders.
The Saskatchewan Green Party wants two key additions to the Surface Rights Act:
• Establish a Rural Landowner’s Advocacy Office to advocate for farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners when negotiating with energy companies over surface rights, and
• Drilling must be a minimum distance away from occupied dwellings, at a distance to be mutually agreed to by the energy company and the people living in the dwelling.
The government should also continue to work with surface rights holder groups and other stakeholders to ensure that the will of Saskatchewan people prevails in any new Surface Rights Act.
Victor Lau, Leader of the Saskatchewan Greens