+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 1-14S

Privatization of the Alberta Land Titles Registry System

March 26, 2014
Expiry Date:
April 1, 2017
Active Status:
MD of Taber
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Planning and Development
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the Alberta Government is considering the sale of the Alberta Land Titles Registry System to the private sector; and

WHEREAS the Alberta Land Titles Registry System is a model for the protection of property rights and property interests including the principle of indefeasibility of title and management of the assurance fund  which is guaranteed by a publicly owned and administered system; and

WHEREAS property rights depend upon a secure and accurate system of record keeping which guarantees through registration legal property interests by individuals and corporations; and

WHEREAS the Alberta Land Titles Registry System generates between $50 million and $55 million in net revenues per year to the Province of Alberta based upon cost recovery which permits the capitalization of infrastructure investment rather than for a profit motive only; and

WHEREAS the Alberta Land Titles Registry System is a repository for virtually all of the municipal non-regulated assessment and taxation information; and

WHEREAS the privatization of Alberta Land Titles Registry System would open up private personal information for access to a private corporation; and

WHEREAS a foreign controlled enterprise may purchase and control Alberta’s Land Title Registry System if the Government of Alberta proceeds with a sale of the Registry;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to retain the Alberta Land Titles Registry System status quo or as a public system as a statutory non-profit corporation.

Member Background:

The land registration system used in Alberta is based on the Torrens System of land registration and operates under the legislative authority of the Land Titles Act.   Under this system the Province of Alberta has custody of all original titles, documents and plans and has the legal responsibility for the validity and security of all registered land title information.   The Government guarantees the accuracy of the title through the internal application and enforcement of laws derived from a multitude of statues and court decisions.  An assurance fund is operated by the Government to compensate any person impacted from fraudulent transactions which may occur.


All current titles as well as all titles that have been electronically cancelled by the Alberta Land Titles Registry are maintained in electronic register form. The contents of the register represent the legal, guaranteed title at all times.


The principles of the Torrens System are as follows: 

  1. The Mirror Principle – this refers to as the ‘register’ or certificate of title, which accurately and completely reflects the current facts about a person’s title.
  2. The Curtain Principle – this means that the current certificate of title contains all the relevant information about the title. A potential purchaser does not need to be concerned about dealings on any prior title.
  3. The Insurance Principle – provision for compensation for loss of rights. 

The Real Estate Council of Alberta released a report in August 2013 with respect to the Government of Alberta’s review of the Alberta Land Titles Registry System in its Results-Based Budgeting process.  The report is available online at:




RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

Service Alberta

Service Alberta is currently looking at the possibility of delivering land titles services through a public sector agency, such as a crown corporation.  No decision has been made at this time; however, the possibility of land titles being sold or outsourced is not under consideration.


Service Alberta has clarified, both in their response to this resolution and through a discussion between the Minister of Service Alberta and the AAMDC Board of Directors, that the privatization of the province’s land title registry system is not being considered. The new provincial government has given no indication that they are considering privatizing registry services. As such, this resolution is deemed to be Accepted. 

Provincial Ministries:
Municipal Affairs,
Service Alberta
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