Tuesday, 20 December 2011 13:37

Land-use task force gathering feedback about concerns over Alberta property rights and legislation

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By Susan Quinlan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Albertans are again being given the opportunity to voice their opinions to members of government about concerns over property rights, when a task force tours the province in December and January.

“The premier, in her campaign, heard the ‘three c’s’ many times … consultation, compensation and access to courts. She’s asked us to have another listen to make sure we’ve heard everything,” said Minister of Agriculture Evan Berger, who will serve as vice-chair on the task force appointed by Premier Alison Redford.

Berger explained the job of the task force is to “pay attention and listen,” to ensure the property rights of landowners and title owners are being respected.

“We’ll make sure we have not missed anything.”

In a recent press release issued by the premier’s office, it was stated in addition to meetings with stakeholders in December and January, a website (available in January) will serve to gather written input from Albertans. The Lethbridge meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17 at the Italian Canadian Club from 6:30-9 p.m.

“I can’t guess about what we’re going to hear. My job on this is to ensure we’ve gone out one more time and listened and brought back that feedback,” said Berger.

The Land-Use Framework was completed over a period of a few years, with stakeholders and all other Albertans invited to provide input. That framework then became the foundation for Bill 36, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

“When we went around with the Land-Use Framework there was a lot of consultation and that was built into the (Alberta Land Stewardship) Act … you think the name is reflective (of stewardship), but people may be seeing it as the Land-Use Framework Act.

“There was somehow a disconnect between the (Land Stewardship) Act and the Land-Use Framework.

In the press release, Environment and Water Minister Diana McQueen, who will head the task force, said,

“We want to listen to Albertans and have a discussion about what property rights mean to them and what needs to be improved.”

Berger said meetings will be wrapped up by about the third week in January. The communities that will be visited in southern Alberta include: Jan.16: Brooks (1-3:30 p.m.), Heritage Inn; Hanna (6:30-9 p.m.) Legion Hall; Jan.17 Medicine Hat (1-3:30 p.m.) Medicine Hat Cypress Centre; Lethbridge (6:30-9 p.m.) Italian Canadian Club.

Also, Albertans have until April 30, to fill out an online workbook on advice from the South Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council for a land-use plan for southern Alberta. Originally, the deadline was Dec. 19.

Acting on its terms of reference, the council had recommended how a regional plan could address water supply, economic development and conservation needs in southern Alberta. Public and stakeholder consultation sessions on this advice will start in late February.

More information is available online at https://www.landuse.alberta.ca

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