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;
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.
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 has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Alberta Environment and Parks
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.
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.
In June 2022, the Government of Alberta’s Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights released their final report. The report does not recommend developing a separate definition for “landowners’ rights,” although it does make several recommendations related to strengthening the existing rights of real property owners, including providing increased compensation in cases when land is expropriated or government policy decisions impact use of the land, and providing real property owners with a stronger voice related to compensation disputes under the Surface Rights Act.
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.