Alberta government makes changes to controversial land expropriation bill

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has introduced new rules to quell criticism over how it plans to expropriate land for transportation corridors and water projects.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has introduced new rules to quell criticism over how it plans to expropriate land for transportation corridors and water projects.

The proposed amendments to Bill 19 clarify the buying rules and timelines and spell out the option to bring in an independent third party to solve disputes over purchase price.

The changes also delete a section of the bill that critics said could be used by the government to override the rights of landowners.

Rural landowners have been fighting the bill, saying it tramples on their rights.

Premier Ed Stelmach signalled last month that changes were coming to make sure the bill was clear and that fears from landowners would be addressed.

The opposition Alberta Liberals say there’s already widespread distrust in rural Alberta of the Tory government after the province’s energy regulator hired investigators to spy on landowners during power corridor hearings two years ago.

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