Law gives land owners more rights than they might realize

By Letter to the Editor on May 7, 2014.

In reply to Alvin Shier’s letter of March 27, “Owner of mineral rights controls the land”: Many individual Canadians and foreigners own mineral rights in Alberta and cannot trespass on private land. What gives conglomerates that right?

The constitution belongs to the people, as does the jurisdiction of powers of Section 91 and 92 of the British North America Act.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Rinfret, in a ruling on a 1950 case, Attorney General of Nova Scotia v. Attorney General of Canada, said (page 33): “The Parliament of Canada and the legislatures of the several provinces are sovereign within their sphere defined by the British North America Act, but none of them has the unlimited capacity of an individual. They can exercise only the legislative powers respectively given to them by Sections 91 and 92 of the Act, and these powers must be found in either of these sections.

“The Constitution of Canada does not belong either to Parliament, or the legislatures; it belongs to the country and it is there that the citizens of the country will find the protection of the rights to which they are entitled.”

Supreme Court Judge J. Kerwin, on page 36 of the same ruling, said: “But the federal Parliament cannot amend the British North America Act, nor give, either expressly or implicitly to the local legislatures, a power which the Imperial Act does not give them. This is clear, and has always been held in this court to be the law.”

Under the above, Prime Minister Trudeau did not have the right, power or jurisdiction to amend the BNA in 1982.

There is a law protecting us from the pollution of air, water and land that also applies to polluting and fracturing the subterranean strata. Pumping in millions of gallons of poisonous liquids in same can pollute the aquifers. If the governments don’t have the guts or fortitude to stop this, the people do, by right.

I know my rights and one of them is the Trespass Act and provincial governments cannot change it. I will challenge any company or anyone else to trespass without legal authority onto my property. Land or property owners also control the atmosphere above the said land.

As a property owner, I can drill a well, dig a dugout, put in a fence line, trench, dig a basement, etc., so don’t tell me I own just the top six inches of soil.

Dean Oseen