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 or by calling McQueen’s Edmonton office, 403-426-2391.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Government announces 79 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 2 in Red Deer

There are 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta, bringing the provincial… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital bracing for COVID-19 impact

“We’re all worried about what’s coming, but I think we feel confident”

WATCH: COVID-19 doesn’t stop Red Deer Public Library from telling stories

Deb Isbister has been reading stories to children for more than 20… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

I am still facing that existential angst

Stir crazy. I looked the phrase up, just for fun. “Restless or… Continue reading

Red Deer College adapting and adjusting to COVID-19

I have worked in post-secondary education for more than 30 years, and… Continue reading

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Saskatchewan cabinet Minister deletes ‘pray and repent’ tweet over COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan cabinet minister who tweeted an Old Testament passage… Continue reading

Ontario allows youth to remain in care after passing cut-off age during pandemic

TORONTO — Youth in Ontario’s child welfare system who pass the cut-off… Continue reading

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Most Read