Wildrose urging changes to protect landowners

Alberta’s Wildrose leader says her party will pitch amendments to a government bill on resource regulations to make sure landowners have meaningful say on what gets built on their land.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Wildrose leader says her party will pitch amendments to a government bill on resource regulations to make sure landowners have meaningful say on what gets built on their land.

Danielle Smith says the bill as it stands would lead to the same angry criticism from landowners that forced the Tories to pull back similar legislation in recent years.

Bill 2, the Responsible Energy Development Act, would reduce red tape by having all coal, oil and natural gas projects funnelled through a single regulator.

But Smith and other critics say the bill fast-tracks the process at the expense of landowners.

Smith says the bill removes references that landowner concerns and rights must be considered in any decision, and takes away all avenues for independent appeal.

Alberta Liberal critic Kent Hehr says the bill has lost the balance between the needs of the energy industry and that of private landowners and the environment.

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