Prairie River Cruises Boat on the river in Saskatoon

Regulations & Approvals

If restaurants, accommodations, swimming pools or water and sewer systems are part of the planned tourism facility, you should be aware of a variety of public health regulations and approvals. Generally, these are administered by the Ministry of Health, Water Security Agency and Ministry of Environment.

Public Health

The Saskatchewan Health Authority's medical health officer administers The Public Health Act, 1994 and related regulations and bylaws. Through the medical health officer and public health inspectors, the SHA administers a variety of regulations affecting:

  • Hotels and motels;
  • Tourist accommodations, including rental cabins, campgrounds, resort facilities, bed and breakfasts and farm vacations;
  • Swimming pools, whirlpools and spa facilities;
  • Public eating establishments (restaurants); and
  • Plumbing systems and sewage disposal.

These regulations specify minimal development standards. Approvals are issued following submission of the appropriate site and building plans. The various licences and approvals may not be required until just prior to construction. In some cases, the general contractor for a project will obtain the necessary approvals as part of the construction package.

Early contact with the SHA medical health officer is advised.

Shoreland Pollution Control Regulations

These regulations were adopted by the Ministry of Health in 1976. They continue to be regulated by the health regions to protect lakes and watercourses from pollution and to ensure safe drinking water in recreational areas. The regulations apply to the disposal of liquid waste for any development within 457 metres (1,500 feet) of a lake or watercourse. Information on the effect of these regulations is available from your local public health office.

Water Security Agency (WSA)

The WSA is responsible for approving the construction of water supply up to the treatment facility. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for approval of subsequent water treatment and liquid waste treatment facilities. This applies to private or public/municipal systems. The WSA also licenses the withdrawal of water from any lake or body of water to ensure that there is an adequate supply and that prior water rights are respected.

Contact with the nearest regional office of the Ministry of Environment and the Water Security Agency will clarify the approvals required for public and private sewer and water systems. It is prudent to plan ahead to anticipate these approvals and associated requirements, as well as any costs that may be involved.

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA)

This authority issues licences for the serving of alcoholic beverages and gambling activities. Early direct contact with the SLGA is recommended if your immediate or future plans include these services. Applications for a commercial liquor licence may take six to eight weeks for processing.

Fire Protection

Fire regulations and protection are administered by the Office of the Fire Commissioner and fire departments in urban and rural municipalities across most of Saskatchewan. Fire insurance coverage is required by most commercial lenders as part of the security for their loans. You will need to investigate the availability of fire protection services and the costs involved. These may include specific charges by the municipality for fighting a fire, in addition to their municipal tax levy. In remote areas, which are not organized municipalities, fire protection from a government agency cannot always be provided. Contact the Ministry of Environment for clarification of fire-fighting priorities and policies that may affect your business (particularly if you are in the commercial forest).


The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and the Building Standards Unit of the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing can provide guidelines that will help you design your facilities and any interpretive programming requirements. These guidelines enable you to serve markets that might otherwise be inadvertently restricted.

Ministry of Highways

If road access is required from a provincial highway or if the development is near a highway, the Ministry of Highways can address any particular concerns and provide criteria regarding the location of access points, sight lines, setbacks, signage and other matters.

Public Health, Servicing, Liquor Licensing, Fire Protection and Access Links:

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