ALSA Q&A – Budget for landowner compensation?

ALSA Q&A – Budget for landowner compensation?

By Cindy Chiasson

Question
What would the expected budget allocation be for government payments to landowners resulting from easements, land value impacts, etc.?

Answer
There is no right to compensation under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA) other than (1) what can be claimed in relation to conservation directives or (2) what may be allowed under other legislation.

The conservation directive is the only tool that specifically allows for compensation to be paid under ALSA. It enables the provincial government to impose restrictions or limitations against land for conservation purposes.  A conservation directive must be specifically set out in a regional land use plan.  The title holder of land subject to a conservation directive can apply for compensation from the government within 12 months of getting notice of the directive.  If the title holder and government cannot come to an agreement on compensation, it will be determined by a provincial board (either the Land Compensation Board or the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal Land Access Panel) or the courts.

It’s not clear specifically which part of the provincial government would pay any compensation for conservation directives.  Alberta Sustainable Resource Development’s 2009-12 business plan shows allocations in the 2009-10 budget year of $15 million to the Land Use Secretariat, which is responsible for ALSA’s implementation, and $10.2 million to three decision-making bodies reporting to the Ministry, the Natural Resources Conservation Board, Surface Rights Board and Land Compensation Board.  Keep in mind that these allocations would include all operations of those bodies for the year and not just any compensation that might be paid or payable.

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