Bill 48 Proposes to Create Single Land and Property Rights Tribunal in Alberta

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Bennett Jones LLP[co-author: Mikayla Hill - Articling Student]

A key goal of Alberta's Recovery Plan is to create jobs and drive Alberta's economy forward. In this regard, the Government of Alberta has implemented several measures in an effort to reduce the red tape associated with regulatory tribunals and the processes they administer.

As part of these red tape reduction initiatives, Bill 48: Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (No.2), was introduced in the Alberta Legislature on November 12, 2020. Among other things, Bill 48 proposes to overhaul and amalgamate the following four regulatory tribunals with a view to reducing regulatory costs and making it easier for people to access the services these tribunals provide:

  • Surface Rights Board;
  • Land Compensation Board;
  • Municipal Government Board; and
  • New Home Buyer Protection Board.

Brief Overview

The Alberta government began red tape reduction initiatives by enacting the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2019 (Bill 25), which came into force on December 5, 2019. Bill 25 amended eleven pieces of legislation to streamline overburdened regulatory processes and to eliminate outdated regulations and rules.

The Annual report Red Tape Reduction 2019- 2020 released on November 16, 2020, indicates that between May 1, 2019, and June 30, 3030, Bill 25 and other initiatives of the Alberta government and its agencies resulted in savings of over $476 million.

The Legislature is now seeking to build upon the initiatives introduced under Bill 25 through Bill 48 by seeking to streamline regulations and speed up approval and decision timelines by way of amendments to twelve statutes.

Key Features of the Proposed Bill

The boards currently operate as independent, quasi-judicial boards, although the chairs of each were combined into a single position in 2016 and they currently share directors as well as office space.

Through the enactment of the Land and Property Rights Tribunal Act, Bill 48 proposes to combine the boards, all of which deal with disputes related to land and property rights, into a single agency called the Land and Property Rights Tribunal. The objective is to eliminate operational inefficiencies, share labour resources, and speed up turnaround times.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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