Leaves of Absence for Members of Council
Whereas, The Cities Act, The Municipalities Act, and The Northern Municipalities Act all contain provisions restricting a leave of absence by a member of council to no more than three months; and
Whereas, to take a leave of absence longer than three months, members of a municipal council require a resolution of council; and
Whereas receiving council support for a leave of absence is not guaranteed, which may create uncertainty for potential candidates wanting to serve their community as an elected member of council, and provide an unnecessary barrier to participation in the local democratic process; and
Whereas, removing real or perceived barriers to those wanting to serve in municipal government has the potential to attract a diverse range of candidates who may be interested in the possibility of running for municipal council; and
Whereas, some provinces have enacted or are enacting legislation to allow municipalities to adopt a bylaw for members of council to take a leave of absence for specific circumstances, such as maternity/paternity leave.
Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association advocate the Government of Saskatchewan to amend The Cities Act, The Municipalities Act, and The Northern Municipalities Act to allow for leaves of absence greater than three months without the consent of the municipal council, in defined circumstances.
Be it further resolved that the amendment allow flexibility so that municipal councils can decide, by the adoption of policy, the type of leaves that are acceptable for their community.