Province Introduces Measure to Ensure Local Government Elections Proceed Safely
Saskatchewan Hit With Extreme Winter Storm, May Impact Local Municipal Elections
Due to the record-setting snowfall and hazardous conditions on Saskatchewan roads, the Government of Saskatchewan is authorizing municipalities and school divisions to postpone their elections, where conducting a general election is being significantly impeded by the weather.
Given the uncertainty of the situation and because not all municipalities may be affected to the same extent, a Ministerial Order has been signed by Government Relations Minister Lori Carr to allow each municipality’s appointed returning officer to postpone the elections.
This Order allows:
“If in the opinion of a Returning Officer appointed under the Act, the weather conditions on November 9, 2020, impede the ability for voters to attend the poll(s) in order to vote, including in situations where voting day polls have already opened, the Returning Officer may postpone the general election of the municipality, school division or ward, as the case may be, scheduled to take place on November 9, 2020 to a date on or before November 25, 2020.”
This Order does not mean elections across the province are postponed, rather each local Returning Officer will have the authority to postpone an election if needed. Local Returning Officers should exercise this authority with caution and clearly communicate with their citizens regarding any changes in their election day.
The safety of citizens is the first priority of the Government of Saskatchewan. In signing this order, safety can also continue to be ensured at a local level during these elections.
Technical questions from local election officials may be directed to the Ministry of Government Relations at 306-787-2680.
The ministry is also reminding drivers to stay safe on the roads.
Drivers can help keep roads safe by:
- slowing to 60 kilometres per hour when highway equipment or other emergency vehicles are stopped with warning lights in operation;
- staying back and staying safe since snowplows can create mini-blizzards known as the “Snow Zone”;
- allowing snowplows sufficient time and space since they will pull over about every 10 kilometres or when safe to do so;
- driving according to weather and road conditions;
- passing only when safe to do so; and
- planning ahead by using the Highway Hotline at www.saskatchewan.ca/highwayhotline or calling 511.