Clarifying Property Rights in Alberta

Alberta Land Institute (ALI) has launched to assist Albertans with questions about property rights.

The paper, entitled A Guide to Property Rights in Alberta, is the first result from its new research program. The Guide will be presented at the Land Use 2014 Conference organized by ALI, which will be attended by approximately 280 representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

“There’s a great deal of confusion among Albertans as to which expectations, with respect to land, are going to be protected,” said Eran Kaplinsky, University of Alberta Faculty of Law Professor and co-author of the Guide. “The two most common questions are: Just how far can the government go in regulating my land, and will I have recourse of the courts to be entitled to financial compensation under government regulations?”

The Guide is a comprehensive review of property rights as they relate to Alberta. It contains important information on property rights and the law, what compensation mechanisms are in place and how they work, and a review of existing legislation.

“In the last six years, the Alberta government has passed new laws that many people have viewed as imposing serious restrictions on the right to use property,” said David Percy, University of Alberta Faculty of Law Professor and co-author of the Guide. “What has struck me is the enormity of the disconnect between what people believed property rights were and what the law actually said property rights are.”

ALI is an independent, non-partisan research institute based at the University of Alberta that connects research and policy for better land management, established in 2012. ALI conducts and funds interdisciplinary academic research on land-use challenges in Alberta to develop and evaluate alternative policy options that consider social, economic and environmental perspectives.

“We’re very excited about this research product from our institute that we see as providing helpful facts that will promote useful conversations about property rights”, said Vic Adamowicz, ALI Research Director.

In its first year, ALI has funded over $300,000 in research to address land-use issues in Alberta. Current research projects include Agricultural Land Fragmentation, Wetland Restoration and Retention, Irrigation, and Municipal Governance. Please visit for more information on current and upcoming ALI research projects.