Alberta’s farmers’ property rights under attack by the energy industry and the UCP government

Click here to read the Press Release

Court of Appeal decision for Redwater

Click on link below to go to PDF document of the “Redwater Court of Appeal”

Redwater Court of Appeal

Letter from Grant Thornton proposing to resiliate lease agreement

I am forwarding an email from Keith Wilson concerning attempts by Verity to resiliate (cancel) a surface lease so they no longer have to pay annual rentals, and possibly may no longer need to reclaim it as well.

I am becoming very concerned with the Oil Industry’s attempts to circumvent the intent of the Surface Rights Act and other legislation put in place to protect landowners when Industry comes on there land.

There are four main areas where the SRB and Industry is circumventing the intent of the SRA.

1)  The Board refuses to deal with Section 36 applications where the Operator has bankruptcy protection.

2)  The Board commonly only awards 25% of what is owed in Section 36 Recovery of Rentals owing.

3)  The Board apparently is stating that it cannot order the Minister of Finance to pay landowner legal costs for dealing with any Orphan or Bankrupt company situations.

4)  Oil companies are attempting to cancel leases so that they will not have to pay landowner annual compensation, and possibly will not need to reclaim surface leases.

It looks like there will be hundreds of Oil and Gas companies going bankrupt and they are seeking to leave landowners holding the bag.  The PC government was warned that this could happen and they did nothing to protect landowners.  It remains to be seen what the NDP government will do.

In the meantime, the Surface Rights Associations are going to need to fund some legal challenges, or at least help pay landowner legal fees in challenging some of these Operator tactics.  This is simply too important and will have serious repercussions if not stopped.

Please circulate this to your SRA directors and landowners who may be willing to help fund these legal challenges.

Daryl Bennett

The Companies Creditors Arrangement Act is more complex and uncertain than the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

It is not clear that the Verity can resile (cancel) the leases.  It may be possible to convince a court that leases have to remain in place.

It is possible that if the leases are cancelled under the CCAA that the Board may not award any further compensation under section 36 and the landowners will be left on the hook.

If the court is made to understand that these are not ordinary commercial leases (see arguments in Lemke) and if the court is made aware of the provincial statutory provisions prohibiting the cancellation of leases without there being a reclamation certificate, and if the court is informed of the hardship that the landowners will suffer, the court may deny Verity’s plan to cancel the leases.

A lawyer would need to serve immediate notice on Verity, the monitor and parties that an application will be made to the court to challenge the plan.  That notice would have to be circulated tomorrow, Friday, June 5th, 2015.  Then an application would have to be brought forward in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary before June 22, 2015.

Immediate action needs to be taken.

I have hearings starting on June 15th and would not be able to bring the application to the court on the Verity matter.  Alex Mosaico, the lawyer who has been assisting me on the sec. 36 matter, may be in a positon to take this on.

I have copied Alex with this email.

Let me know your thoughts on this.


Keith Wilson

Expropriated Landowners Not Giving Up Yet

Did You Know?…

There will be a Rally to support landowners affected by Manitoba Bipole III on March 7 at 1:00 pm at Canad Inns, Polo Park. It will occur during the NDP Leadership Convention. To join the rally or receive more information about it please email [email protected]. There is strength in numbers!


Ernst v. EnCana Corporation

Landowner Jessica Ernst sues EnCana and
Alberta government regulators over water contamination


AltaLink consultation – open houses and information centres

Castle Rock Ridge to Chapel Rock Transmission Project

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

4 – 8 p.m.

Lundbreck Community Hall

304 1 Street

Lundbreck, AB


Castle Rock Ridge to Chapel Rock Transmission Project

Saturday, October 25, 2014

1 – 4 p.m

Heritage Inn & Convention Centre

919 Waterton Ave

Pincher Creek, AB


abp 2014 plan to review

Click here to view the 2014 Plan Review Discussion Paper


Release of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:59:10 +0000

Following three phases of consultation from November 2009 to February 2014, the Government of Alberta has released the final version of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP). The SSRP is a forward-looking and comprehensive blueprint to ensure our continued success over the next 50 years.

Thank you for providing your input and feedback during the SSRP consultation process. You may view and download the SSRP at

Some of the highlights of the SSRP include:

  • Eight new and expanded Conservation Areas on provincial Crown land including the 54,588 hectare Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the 34,356 Pekisko Heritage Rangeland.
  • An increase in tenure terms from 10 to 20 years for leaseholders with high-level stewardship management practices throughout any region where protection of intact native grasslands is needed.
  • Air and surface water quality management frameworks to help ensure negative trends are identified and assessed, and the environment remains healthy for residents and ecosystems.
  • Commitment to a Biodiversity Management Framework to support cumulative effects management of important elements of biodiversity that are affected by land uses in the region.
  • Regional trail system plan that will identify and designate winter and summer motorized, non-motorized and mixed-use land and water-based trails, routes, and areas that link communities, neighbourhoods, destinations and tourism areas.
  • Development of approaches to address the climate variability found in the region supporting flood risk management and drought management.
  • Endorsement of the Efficient Use of Land Principles and the release of the Efficient Use of Land Tools Compendium to encourage municipalities to minimize the amount of land taken up by the built environment.

Once effective, a regional plan is implemented as part of a larger integrated resource management system. All regional plans are reviewed every five and 10 years to evaluate its ongoing effectiveness and relevance to the region.

Land Use Secretariat

9th Fl. 10035-108  St. Centre West Bldg.

Edmonton Alberta, T5J  3E1
Phone: 780-644-7972 / 780-644-7973

Fax: 780- 644-1034

This is our land, and it’s up to us to ensure the aspects of this province that we enjoy are there for current and future generations. 


Labour Coalition: Alison Redford awarded ‘Political Oscar’ for promise-breaking performance

Sunday, 02 March 2014

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford was named the winner of a “Political Academy Award” this afternoon for her remarkable promise-breaking performance persuading so many Albertans she would fight to protect their right to a secure retirement.

“When Ms. Redford said she wanted Alberta seniors to be able to live their lives with dignity and respect, who could have imagined she would attack the modest pensions of her own government’s employees,” asked Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan, speaking on behalf of the Labour Coalition on Pensions.

The mock “Oscar” award ceremony in Churchill Square during which Premier Redford was also nominated for convincing Albertans she would protect their public health care system and for convincing them she would protect their public education system may have been light-hearted, but it had a serious point.

“The point was that the Progressive Conservative government is breaking promises to many groups of Albertans and attacking public services that Albertans value,” McGowan said. “What incredible acting skill it took for them to get elected!”

The judges picked the premier’s broken pension promise because her government is consistently doing the opposite of what it claims to be trying to achieve.

  • It says its policy on public sector pensions is designed to make the plans sustainable, while the report of the Auditor General of Alberta says it in fact puts the survival of the plans at risk
  • It says it wants to encourage inter-generational fairness while it in fact it intends to treat younger workers much worse in future
  • It says it wants to encourage recruitment and retention of the best public employees in government and health care, while it is in fact likely to prompt a serious skill shortage in those fields as workers rush to depart

Premier Redford did not attend the ceremony. Her award was accepted on her behalf of the thousands of Albertans who voted for her party thinking she would deal fairly with public employees, all Albertans and our public services.



Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.289.6528 (cell) or via e-mail [email protected]


Blackie Area 138 kV Line Re-configuration

Project overview

AltaLink is currently completing public consultation for this project and wants your input.

The Blackie Area 138 kV Line Re-configuration is part of an area transmission development called the Southern Alberta Transmission Reinforcement (SATR). This reinforcement includes new transmission lines and upgrades to the electric system in southern Alberta. These projects will connect new wind-generated power to Alberta’s electric system and strengthen the transmission system in the area.

Project details

The proposed project includes:

  • removing approximately 24 kilometres of existing single circuit, H-frame 138 kV transmission line and replacing it with a new double circuit, single pole 138 kV transmission line between the Blackie Substation and the Queenstown Substation
  • upgrades to the existing Blackie and Queenstown substations to accommodate new connections for the proposed transmission line

Anticipated project schedule

Although we attempt to follow the anticipated project schedule it is subject to change. We will continue to provide you with updated schedule information as the project progresses.

Project schedule
October 2013 to January 2014 Notify and consult on proposed route options
February 2014 File application with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC)
August 2014 Start construction, if project is approved
July 2015 Complete construction