Municipalities of Saskatchewan to transition back to SUMA name

Naicam Mayor Rodger Hayward was elected the new President of Municipalities of Saskatchewan at their AGM on Monday.

Following a vote of the membership, Municipalities of Saskatchewan will be transitioning back to the name SUMA.

“As a member-focused association, our members will always have the final say on important decisions,” Naicam Mayor Rodger Hayward, the President of Municipalities of Saskatchewan explained in a release.

“We respect the decision that has been reached through an open and transparent membership vote.”

The membership vote was held electronically from June 1 to June 3. As per the association’s bylaws, each municipality was afforded a number of voting delegates based on population, to vote on their municipality’s behalf.

In total, 364 votes were cast. Ninety municipal representatives voted in favour of the organization changing its name to Municipalities of Saskatchewan, and 274 were opposed. Of the association’s 12 regions, two of the regions were in favour of proceeding with the name change. Given the importance of the vote, the Board of Directors set the threshold for success of the rebranding as a supermajority, with 60 per cent of participating voting delegates needing to vote in favour, as well as a simple majority in at least seven of the association’s 12 regions.

To ensure impartiality, voting was conducted electronically by Data On The Spot.

“No matter our name, our values and principles remain the same,” said President Hayward. “We continue to represent the interests of Saskatchewan’s hometowns – the cities, towns, villages, resort villages, and northern municipalities that more than 80 per cent of Saskatchewan’s population call home,” Hayward continued/

At the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention in March the RM of South Qu’Appelle has a resolution asking SARM to lobby the province to put an immediate stop to this “misuse of the term ‘Municipalities of Saskatchewan’ as their legal identity.”

“The intended outcome is for the immediate stop to this misuse of the term “Municipalities of Saskatchewan” as their legal entity.

The resolution explained that throughout the last year numerous letters were sent by the RM of South Qu’Appelle to Minister Lori Carr, Don McMorris and SARM President Ray Orb regarding SUMA using the name of “Municipalities of Saskatchewan”.

The RM explained at the time that they received a clear message that SUMA has not received a mandate to change their name. According to the resolution the organization continues to use the name Municipalities of Saskatchewan as their name and both SARM and the province continue to not enforce the matter.

The resolution was submitted to receive clarification as to why nothing has been done and a timeline for when these changes will be made.

The transition back to SUMA will begin taking place over the coming weeks.