+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 5-19F

Landowners’ Rights

Date:
November 1, 2019
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2022
Active Status:
Active
Sponsors:
County of Warner
District:
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Year:
2019
Convention:
Fall
Category:
Other
Status:
Intent Not Met
Vote Results:
Carried
Preamble:

WHEREAS the Petty Trespass Act and Trespass to Premises Act provide conditions for trespass on lands and premises; and

WHEREAS inconsistencies exist between how the two Acts address the rights of landowners; and

WHEREAS section 19.1 of the Land Stewardship Act, which extends the Government of Alberta’s power to limit development of private land, is unclear in its treatment of compensation in cases where the Governement of Alberta repeals private land rights and compensates the previous land owner due to a regional plan or amendment to a regional plan;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request the Government of Alberta to develop a clear definition of landowners’ rights;

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that all relevant acts and regulations be amended to reflect the clarified definition of landowners’ rights.

Member Background:

Agriculture has historically been a major part of Alberta’s culture and economy.

Some rural landowners feel that because of the confusing and contradicting wording of the Petty Trespass Act, Trespass to Premises Act and Land Stewardship Act, their livelihoods are at risk. Their rights as landowners are slowly being eroded through these unclear acts.

Stakeholders want to know exactly what their rights are as landowners so that in the event of a trespassing or compensation issue, all parties involved understand their position clearly.

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

Alberta Environment and Parks

  • The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) supports the government’s need to plan and manage for growth, and to enhance environmental management while respecting property rights. The ALSA does not limit any existing landowner rights to compensation or existing appeal mechanisms. In 2011, Bill 10 amended the ALSA to include a clear statement that government must respect property and other rights of individuals. The ALSA also provides additional ways for Albertans to request a review, compensation or a variance in relation to a regional plan.
  • The ALSA provides mechanisms for public input. Under the ALSA, consultation with Albertans is a legal requirement during the drafting of regional plans. Government must also present regional plans or amendments to the Legislature before Cabinet can approve them.
  • The Surface Rights Act assures a reasonable right of entry for industry operators (obtained through the Surface Rights Board), but also provides landowners and public land occupants with certain protections against impacts to private property or ability to maintain public land leases.
  • While definitions may not be centrally located, Alberta’s various legislation and regulations already contain consideration of rights largely in respect of property and land.

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General

Property rights are being considered as part of a platform commitment to create legislation to address property rights. The Alberta government is committed to passing an Alberta Property Rights Protection Act that will further entrench the right not to be deprived of enjoyment or use of property without due process of law.

Development:

The Government of Alberta’s response indicates that they amended the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) to include a clear statement that government must respect property and other rights of individuals. However, the government has stated that the definition of landowners’ rights is not centrally located or consistent, as Alberta’s various legislation and regulations already contain consideration of rights largely in respect to property and land. This resolution is requesting the Government of Alberta to develop a clear definition of landowners’ rights and that all regulations be amended to reflect the clarified definition. The RMA assigns this resolution as Intent Not Met and will re-evaluate the resolution based on the introduction of the Alberta Property Rights Protection Act.

Provincial Ministries:
Environment and Parks,
Justice and Solicitor General
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