What does the future hold for the Alberta Land Stewardship Act?



What does the future hold for the Alberta Land Stewardship Act?


Two weeks have passed since Alison Redford became Alberta’s newest premier. One of her first statements as premier was that she would “immediately suspend” the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA), intending to hold consultations and make any needed amendments. ALSA, together with legislation related to major infrastructure projects and electricity transmission development, has been on the receiving end of significant public criticism in relation to possible effects on property rights, as well as the broad scope of government discretion. This criticism, together with Premier Redford’s declaration, raises questions about ALSA’s future.


So what can the premier do about ALSA? In spite of the popular references to it as Bill 36 (which imply it is still under development), ALSA is current law in Alberta. It was passed by the Legislature in 2009 and given royal assent, which makes it law. Any action to repeal or amend ALSA would have to be taken by passage of another bill through the Legislature; the premier does not have individual powers to change laws. Digging a bit deeper into the story, it appears that Premier Redford is inclined to deal with concerns about ALSA by amendment, rather than repeal. In a leadership policy statement, she supported suspending further implementation of ALSA in favor of review of Albertans’ concerns; see Redford – leadership policy position on ALSA. She also indicated her intention to add three elements to ALSA: “improved consultation, an explicit compensation model and access to the courts”.


Read “What does the future hold for the Alberta Land Stewardship Act?” on the ELC blog.




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