Sask. trespass law takes effect July 1

Saskatchewan, starting Wednesday, will allow police to issue tickets and fines for simple trespassing, rather than take people to court to answer to federal Criminal Code charges.

Effective July 1, the province’s new Trespass to Property Act gives police legal power to “deal quickly and easily with simple cases of trespassing,” provincial Attorney General Don Morgan said Tuesday in a release.

Under the Act, police can issue a ticket for a fine of up to $2,000 to anyone who refuses to leave private or commercial property or who ignores posted “no trespassing” signs.

“Now, police can issue a ticket, instead of having to go to court with a more complex Criminal Code charge,” Morgan said.

The new Saskatchewan legislation leaves Quebec as the only jurisdiction without similar provincial-level legislation on trespassing.

The Saskatchewan government noted its legislation will not prevent activities that are protected by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, such as peaceful picketing on public property or peaceful demonstrations or rallies at the legislature.

The new law also will not change trespassing rules contained in other provincial legislation, such as Saskatchewan’s Wildlife Act or Snowmobile Act, the government said.

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