It will soon be easier for rural landowners to take legal action against trespassers.

Changes have been made to The Trespass to Property Amendment Act, 2021 that will create stronger penalties for trespass and make it easier for rural landowners to take legal action against trespassers.

“The vast majority of people in Saskatchewan seek permission to access a property,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said in a release issued by the government. “These changes will support and extend that best practice by creating a statutory tort of trespass and providing for increased penalties for trespassers.”

The Trespass to Property Act seeks to balance the needs of landowners with the wishes of those who want to access private property for legitimate recreational activities. These changes respond to concerns expressed by rural landowners about individuals who repeatedly trespass on their property.

The new legislation increases the maximum penalty set out in the Act to $25,000 for repeat offenders trespassing on the same property and adds imprisonment up to six months as an available penalty. It will also introduce a $200,000 maximum penalty for a corporation that is complicit in a trespassing offence.

The Bill establishes that property owners can take civil legal action against trespassers who enter or engage in activity on their premises without permission. It will also place an onus on the trespasser to justify why they are on the property, instead of requiring the owner to prove that an individual entered without permission.

These changes support previous amendments to The Trespass to Property Amendment Act, 2021 that are scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2022.

More from Play92