The issue of public notice is surfacing again in the province of Saskatchewan. Some SK town and city councils are attempting to end the practice of publishing public notices in newspapers.
The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is planning to put forth a motion at their convention (being held in Saskatoon from February 3-6) to lobby the provincial government to review the public notice requirements. This will effectively allow councils to choose to only publish notices on their websites, on social media or through emails. This puts the onus on residents to regularly go and check to see if there anything new they need to know.
“Public access” does not equal “public notice”.
Making information accessible online does not mean the public has been informed. It is critical to keep public notices in the public record with newspapers to avoid the risk of misuse of office, government corruption and reduced accountability.
The SWNA has put together an ad that informs the public and encourages them to voice their concern to their respective elected mayors and councillors. Saskatchewan publishers can download the ad material here or email Steve Nixon, SWNA Executive Director for more information.