Rural landowners expressing views to task force

Rural landowners have turned out in droves to ask that the province delete four bills that they believe threaten their ability to live their lives and run their farms.

Rural landowners have turned out in droves to ask that the province delete four bills that they believe threaten their ability to live their lives and run their farms.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford has struck a task force, chaired by Environment and Water Minister Diana McQueen, to investigate how people interpret their rights as property owners and where the government needs to amend its policies and laws.

McQueen took the Property Rights Task Force on the road last week, visiting property owners in six communities throughout the province, including Olds and Rocky Mountain House on Wednesday. The tour is to stop in four more communities on Monday and Tuesday.

It’s a no-brainer for people like Innisfail-area cattle producer Don Bester, president of the Alberta Surface Rights Group.

Bester joined more than 200 people who attended the Olds meeting in the afternoon and then joined another 100 or so at Rocky during the evening.

He said they’re asking for one thing: Get rid of Bills 19, 24, 36 and 50, which directly affect property rights, or face the consequences during the provincial election expected this spring.

The four bills, which were all passed into law in recent sessions of former premier Ed Stelmach’s government, affect the processes through which the province acquires land for major projects, carbon sequestration to offset greenhouse gases, construction of new power lines and decisions on land use.

Bill 24, which covers carbon sequestration, is especially contentious now because of perceived threats of storing carbon dioxide in deep formations, said Bester.

McQueen said on Friday that Bester’s concerns were a common thread at all six meetings, but it’s too early to make any decisions on their comments.

What she has heard so far is that people seek more public consultation and more access to the courts when decisions are to be made on projects that affect their properties.

A report with recommendations is to be generated and made public by the end of the month, based in part on the public meetings and on a survey now underway.

Those interested in having their opinions included have until Jan. 23 to complete the survey, available online at www.environment.alberta.ca or by calling McQueen’s Edmonton office, 403-426-2391.

Copies of the survey are also available through members of the legislature.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta premier kicks off Westerner Days with optimistic message

Premier Jason Kenney spoke at Westerner Days President’s Lunch after participating in parade

Parade day in Red Deer

Westerner Days kickoff

Barber-Body Challenge a success

Magdalene House Society fundraiser

Junior Chicken and bacon cheeseburgers Red Deer’s top orders on Skip the Dishes

Red Deer’s favourite home delivery choices include McDonald’s Junior Chicken burgers and… Continue reading

Companies to appear before panel today in public inquiry into B.C. gas prices

VANCOUVER — Four oil and gas companies are expected to answer questions… Continue reading

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Former head of RCMP in Saskatchewan named province’s lieutenant-governor

REGINA — A former head of the RCMP in Saskatchewan has been… Continue reading

Ebola outbreak in Congo declared a global health emergency

GENEVA — The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: Red Deer’s love affair with parades goes back 120 years

This morning, another Westerner Days Fair & Exposition kicks off with a… Continue reading

Angels beat Astros 7-2 for 5th straight W; Marisnick plunked

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Houston Astros expected the Angels to retaliate against… Continue reading

Canada opts for blend of experience and youth for rugby sevens Pan Am teams

Some familiar faces will be missing as Canada looks to defend its… Continue reading

Asian entertainment industries grappling with #MeToo issues

When Wu Ke-xi was looking for a frightening plotline for her latest… Continue reading

Apple, Google continue inclusive push with new emojis

Apple and Google are rolling out dozens of new emojis that of… Continue reading

Most Read