Now That You've Been Elected
Congratulations! You've been elected to serve the residents of your municipality. You may have many ideas and goals that you'd like to achieve during your term in office, and this section provides some information and resources on how to achieve your goals.
Whether you're an experienced politician or just beginning your career in municipal government, there are always learning seminars and workshops you can attend to familiarize yourself with your role as a member of council.
If you have not already done so, a good first start as a member of council is to ask your administrator where you can access previous council meetings agendas and minutes. This will give you a good indication of the challenges facing your community and what stance, if any, previous members of council have taken on the issue.
In addition to familiarizing yourself with local issues, all newly elected members of council across Saskatchewan are encouraged to attend the Municipal Development Leadership Program (MLDP). The module Municipal Leaders' Roles and Responsibilities, provides current information to assist you in council procedures, as well as your role as policy decision-makers, employers, and community leaders. This module is delivered separately through the SUMA, SARM and NewNorth newly elected workshops.
MLDP also offers additional workshops dedicated to assisting members of council understand the many challenges they will face during their term in office. Workshops are offered in various locations across the province on an annual basis. Upon completion of all six modules, recipients receive a certificate recognizing completion of all modules. The other five modules are:
Please visit MLDP'S website (link below) for more information, or contact your local municipal association.
In addition to MLDP, there exists a variety of educational training opportunities for councillors to attend. While none of these courses or certificates is mandatory for councillors, they will assist you in the many challenges you will encounter in your time in office. A comprehensive and detailed list appears below:
Local Government Authority Certificate Program (LGA)
The LGA is offered by the University of Regina Continuing Education Centre and consists of four separate courses. Municipal administrators are required to complete this course to receive their certification. While the LGA is not a requirement for councillors, it may be a beneficial opportunity to better understand the role your administrator plays in the management of the municipality. Additional electives can be completed to receive the advanced certificate. For more information, visit LGA'S website (link below).
Saskatchewan Economic Development Association (SEDA)
In addition to Municipal Economic Development Fundamentals of MLDP, SEDA offers a wide variety of economic development training workshops. "SEDA developed the foundational program Introduction to Economic Development for Western Canadian Communities to provide an understanding and skill sets in basic community economic development. This course is accredited by the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) and can support the attainment of professional certification in the field of economic development (an EcD)."
Visit SEDA's website (link below) for more information.
The Municipal Affairs website also contains a wide variety of information for elected officials in the publications section of this website. You can browse this information at the bottom of this page or visit our publications page (link below).
Each of the above learning opportunities is an excellent way to make sure you have the skills and knowledge to serve the residents of your municipality to the best of your ability. Through their annual conventions, SARM and SUMA will also provide workshops to assist councillors become educated and familiar with current challenges facing municipalities in Saskatchewan. Your learning opportunities are endless. You owe it to yourself and the people who elected you to gain as much knowledge as possible to make the most informed decision you can for your municipality.