A former northern Saskatchewan mayor is concerned about the time allotted for a survey on the use of Crown lands in the province.

On Monday, the province posted a survey to get public feedback on the current rules and restrictions in regards to the leasing and use of Crown lands. The survey also includes questions on wild rice regulations.

The survey is set to end on December 31.

Max Morin, former mayor of Ile a la Crosse as well as the former board chair of the northern organization New North, believes this isn’t enough time to hear everybody’s concerns.

“Not everybody, especially traditional resource users, trappers and fishers, has the time to go online and do the survey,” said Morin. “A lot of people won’t have an opportunity to participate.”

The former mayor is also concerned how a change in the use of crown lands will affect Aboriginal people who use these lands for traditional use.

“A lot of people will not participate and if most of the participation is from the agricultural sector in the south (the government) will go ahead without very much input from the north.”

Morin says he is bringing his concerns to Aboriginal leaders and is hoping the province will participate in public consultations on the matter before any changes are made.

In a statement provided to MBC the province says the survey is a tool to get broad direction from stakeholders and the public. They statement says the survey should take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete and those without internet can complete the survey by calling the Ministry of Environment’s general inquiry line at 1-800-567-4224.

The province also says no amendments have been put forward at this time and if they are a wider public discussion will take place. They encourage everyone, including those concerned with traditional use, to complete the survey.

The Ministry of Environment currently administers 377,000 square kilometres of Crown land in central and northern Saskatchewan.

The Crown resource land and wild rice survey is available online here.

(PHOTO courtesy Saskatchewan.ca)