Gateway Gazette

Jean Announces Policy to Strengthen Property Rights

OLDS, AB: Ending squatter’s rights, improving communication when energy companies access land, fixing Bill 36, and amending other laws that don’t respect property rights all highlight Brian Jean’s new policy to respect landowners in Alberta.

“Property rights are essential to a free economy, and action is needed to ensure landowners know their rights are being protected,” Jean said. “We will ensure proper input, compensation and access to the courts while ending squatter’s rights as has been done in virtually every province. It’s time Albertans were protected from losing property to someone merely occupying it for a long enough period of time.”

Jean’s plan to improve property rights include a commitment to:

  • Protect property rights by amending all legislation that fails to respect property rights, including statutory consents, with a minimum guarantee of full, fair, and timely access to the courts;

  • Begin by passing MLA Pat Stier’s Bill 210, to fix Bill 36, end squatter’s rights, and improve notification and appeals on energy lease access; and

  • Work with federal counterparts to entrench property rights for Alberta under s.43 of the Constitution.

Squatter’s rights have been replaced in virtually every other province. Despite a motion being passed by an all-party committee to put an end to to this practice, the NDP government voted down MLA Pat Stier’s legislation.

Amendments to Bill 36, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, would include taking out provisions granting draconian ministerial powers in Bill 36 and strengthen landowner’s rights.

“As long as this outdated legislation is on the books as it currently exists, there will continue to be a breakdown of trust between Alberta landowners and government,” Jean said. “These changes are well overdue. Albertans can expect that our team will deliver.”

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