Respecting Property Rights

This week saw the introduction of Bill 1, “Respecting Property Rights”, in the Alberta Legislature. Earlier this year, the Alberta Land Institute released A Guide to Property Rights in Alberta, and one of that study’s authors, Dr. Eran Kaplinsky, today posted his observations about this new piece of legislation:

Earlier this year, my colleague David Percy and I published A Guide to Property Rights in Alberta, which we wrote with the generous support of the Alberta Land Institute. So it is no surprise that I was intrigued to learn that this government’s first piece of legislation, Bill 1, which was introduced on Monday, is called “Respecting Property Rights Act”. It begins with the following words:

WHEREAS private ownership of land is a fundamental element of Parliamentary democracy in Alberta;

WHEREAS the Alberta Bill of Rights recognizes and declares the right of the individual to the enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;

WHEREAS the Government is committed to consulting with Albertans on legislation that impacts private property ownership;

WHEREAS the Land Assembly Project Area Act was enacted by the Legislature in 2009 and was amended in 2011 but has not been proclaimed in force; and

WHEREAS the repeal of the Land Assembly Project Area Act reaffirms the government’s commitment to respect individual property rights;

Bill 1 has a single section, and it repeals the Land Assembly Project Area Act. LAPAA was originally proposed in 2009. It gave the government the power to halt all uses and freeze any development of land eyed by the government for large infrastructure projects, such as transportation and utility corridors and water reservoirs. LAPAA was meant to give the government time to plan complex projects, preventing private owners from making investment and development decisions in the interim that were inconsistent with the government’s designs.

To read the full article, please see Dr. Kaplinsky’s post on the University of Alberta Faculty of Law blog, here