Legislation for Farmland Ownership to be Introduced
Legislative amendments to The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act will enshrine the regulations introduced in April as law.
- Making pension plans, administrators of pension fund assets and trusts not eligible to buy farmland;
- Defining “having an interest in farmland” to include any type of interest or benefit (i.e. capital appreciation), either directly or indirectly, that is normally associated with ownership of the land; and
- When financing a purchase of farmland, all financing must be through a financial institution registered to do business in Canada, or a Canadian resident.
In addition, the FLSB will receive new and expanded authority to enforce the legislation, including:
- At the discretion of the FLSB, any person purchasing farmland must complete a statutory declaration;
- Placing the onus to prove compliance with the legislation onto the person purchasing the land;
- Increasing fines for being in contravention of the legislation from $10,000 to $50,000 for individuals and from $100,000 to $500,000 for corporations; and
- Authorizing the FLSB to impose administrative penalties to a maximum of $10,000.
“Our government understands that to many in the province, farmland is not just an asset,” Stewart said. “It is a connection to our history and who we are as people. Farmers and ranchers want the opportunity to own the land they farm.”
Through the consultations, the views of more than 3,200 individuals, businesses and organizations were heard. Overwhelmingly, the majority voiced support for making pensions and large investment trusts ineligible to purchase farmland, and limiting the ownership of farmland to Canadian residents and 100 per cent Canadian-owned corporations.
The complete results of the consultation are available at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland.
Following passage of the legislation and regulations, the new rules are expected to come into effect by the new year.
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