Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:46

Wildrose MLA tells leaseholders Bill C-36 will be nothing but trouble

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Joe Anglin, the Wildrose MLA from Rimbey-RockyMountain House-Sundre, spoke in Medicine Hat Feb. 6. Joe Anglin, the Wildrose MLA from Rimbey-RockyMountain House-Sundre, spoke in Medicine Hat Feb. 6.

Joe Anglin, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre was the guest speaker at the Feb. 6 annual general meeting of the Alberta Grazing Leaseholder’s Association which was held at the Medicine Hat Lodge.

Anglin tells the story of how as an avid hunter and a native of the United States, he used to hunt sage grouse in Montana and Idaho.
However, now with all of these issues with the Emergency Order For Recovery of the Greater Sage Grouse, Anglin says he feels guilty about it. Whether he was being sarcastic or not, this brings about light laughter from Anglin’s crowd of members of the Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association.
He sympathizes with the leaseholders in regards to the Emergency Order for the grouse and how some grazing land could be turned into “conservation” land. Anglin asked them how the federal government can equate conservation strategies without acknowledging grazing.
“If you believe in long-term planning, those discussions with leaseholders has to be implemented,” Anglin told the crowd. “It has to be developed from the ground up, not from the top down ... (it’s) very much dictatorial.”
The Wildrose MLA said on a related note, Bill C-36, or the Land Stewardship Act, implemented by the provincial government has basically taken all the rights away from landowners and has given the power to the provincial government to do as it pleases. Anglin called it a dangerous bill because it supercedes many different rights or departments including agriculture, environment, energy and justice.
“It’s one of the most overreaching pieces of legislation out there,” explained Anglin. “This is something I feel is a threat to our democracy. Nobody wants to give up their land.”
He said consultations with so-called regular Albertans did nothing to change the original intent of the Act. He said the key was Section 19 which Anglin said originally stated that “no person has a right to compensation by reason of the Act, a regulation under this Act, a regional plan or anything done in or under a regional plan.”
He noted after that, the amended bill said a person has the right to apply for compensation.
Anglin noted it doesn’t mean anything if you are leasing or grazing. Nothing in the section gives a person the right to any compensation.
As well, if there is a conflict amongst any other bill in any department, Bill 36 always rules.
“A regional plan can affect amendment or extinguish the statutory consent or the terms or conditions of the statutory consent,” explained Anglin, who noted statutory consent includes everything from land titles to marriage certificates. “Do you think we’re that stupid?
“It has unlimited property rights’ power. It’s the most egregious bill I’ve ever seen. There is no limit. No unrestricted power to cabinet.”
Anglin noted there will be court challenges to be sure the first time someone wants to take it on, but added, “I don’t want to be the guy who challenges it first.”
He noted the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan will also be a challenge. While government officials are still accepting feedback about the plan which can be submitted until Feb. 28, Anglin said landowners will be in for a surprise. He has heard numbers such as 30-35 per cent of land in Cypress County and 10-15 per cent of land in Forty Mile County could be designated as land targeted for conservation.
Anglin added the leaseholders needed to get vocal and come at the government with a lot of force and using as many voices as possible.
“They don’t like large groups,” Anglin said of the provincial government. “They can amend your rights, mineral rights for the bill. You should be protected.”
Anglin was asked how the provincial government was able to get away with “running roughshod” over the provincial property rights issues.  Anglin said the denial they have expressed was “absolutely amazing.” Bureaucrats had an idea for a piece of property legislation and then just ‘ran with it.”
“They want to give themselves absolute power so they can implement the regional plans.”
 He added a Wildrose government would eliminate the Bill.

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Ryan Dahlman

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