Farmers leery about land bill

Landowners and environmentalists feel leery about a new bill they helped the province create.

INNISFAIL — Landowners and environmentalists feel leery about a new bill they helped the province create.

Personnel from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development held an open house in Innisfail on Thursday to promote Bill 36, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

Bill 36 grew out of the Alberta Land-use Framework, developed from public and stakeholder input.

Now awaiting third and final reading, it is supposed to streamline and regionalize land-use planning while protecting environmental and historic resources.

But Red Deer environmentalist Dorothy Dickson said many of the recommendations made during that process no not appear in the resulting bill.

All final decisions rest with cabinet, which Dickson said raises questions about who will be accountable for those decisions.

In addition, the two regional advisory councils minister Ted Morton has appointed so far are both heavily weighted toward groups that stand to benefit from the resources in the areas they represent, said Dickson.

The sole environmentalist on each council will therefore have very little impact on its recommendations to cabinet, she said.

Dave Bartesko, senior consultation manager for the Alberta Land Use Secretariat, said the appointees are supposed to set their business interests aside and act on the input they receive in making their recommendations.

“If you look in the document, it says that we’re going to use science, traditional knowledge and experience as part of the information base around making recommendations and or decisions,” said Bartesko.

The province has appointed advisory councils in two of the seven regions.

A date for creating Red Deer’s council will be set in the future, with all plans to be done by the end of 2012, he said.

The act does not take full affect until the regional plans are done, he said.

Red Deer County councillor Jim Lougheed said Bill 36 takes a great deal of weight off of municipalities, similar to the way creation of the Natural Resources Conservation Board streamlined the process and created a more even playing field for the construction and expansion of intensive livestock operations.

But members of the Pine Lake Surface Rights Action Group said the new act further erodes property rights.

Founding member Glenn Norman said that, while the act is available online, he has not been able to view its amendments. Norman was distressed to see that portions of Bill 36 are contingent on passing of Bill 19, the Land Assembly Project Area Act, which his group sees as another strike against owners’ rights.

Fellow member Don Bester decried the open house format, calling it a tool the government uses so members of the public cannot hear each others’ concerns.

Just Posted

Maskwacis RCMP seeking suspect in fatal hit and run

A Maskwacis man was fatally injured after being hit early Saturday morning on Hwy 611

Red Deer to get new a plan to end homelessness as the problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Many Red Deer-area farmers deal with a disastrous year

Dought in the spring, snow at harvest creates bad yields, sends hay prices soaring

Photos: Part of downtown Red Deer covered in trash over the weekend

Downtown businesses deal with trash, needle debris, graffiti

Delburne man’s reckless driving led to fatal crash: Crown prosecutor

Jury began deliberating in manslaughter trial on Monday afternoon

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Most Read