The UCP want to address decades-old property rights issues with a new Alberta Property Rights Protection Act.
The UCP say that existing legislation only provides for compensation when title is formally taken by expropriation, but not for property partially taken or devalued through government regulation.
Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon, who was in Red Deer Sunday, said protecting the property rights of landowners has been an issue for a long time, particularly for rural Albertans.
“Cattle ranchers, farmers, and people living with large pieces of land end up dealing with lots of property rights issues on a constant basis. In my constituency is one of the top four or five phone calls,” Nixon said on Monday.
He said problems with energy projects, power lines and easements are some of the issues his constituents face.
“The UCP has been clear in the past we will tackle this issue. We haven’t forgotten about it and we will deal with it after the next election.”
The UCP want to preserve the right of governments to expropriate and regulate for the public good, but ensure government regulation is treated similar to government expropriation when it comes to compensation for private property owners.
Nixon said UCP would hold a province-wide referendum to pressure the federal government to enshrine property rights in the Constitution of Canada. A legislative committee would review all provincial legislation and policy to determine if its compliant with the new property rights.
A UCP government would create a Property and Farmer’s Rights Advocate Office out of the existing two offices to reduce duplication and focus the office on supporting Albertans. The proposed property act would also ensure that all landowners have recourse to the courts to protect their rights.
“We want to make sure that not just the government can make the decision. That landowners have the right to appeal to another authority. Sometimes there’s a lot of conflict between landowners and the government in those types of situations,” Nixon said.