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3 Responses to Comments

  1. Mark Dorin says:

    As to REDA, Bill 2, and bloggers comments that the Surface Rights Board has expertise, there is a case that has been ongoing for 34 years and counting that could finally test just how expert such Board was in the past and is now (see Surface Rights Board Decision 2012/0468). All proceedings related to this matter are:

    SRB Decision C46/78
    Dorin v. Dyco Petroleum Corporation [1980] AJ No. 814
    SRB Decision 2003/0142
    SRB Decision 2012/0468

    The Board has finally recognized after some 34 years that it MAY have made errors in 1978, and decided to review compensation in relation to a right of entry order issued in 1977. A review will occur unless the oil comany prevails in its argument that the Surface Rights Board has no juridiction to determine compensation in relation to one of its own orders.

    Also in relation to this case, the ERCB ruled that the Surface Rights Board has jurisdiction to proscribe the location of roadways (the SRB does not, only the ERCB has such jurisdiction).

    Overlap (gaps more likely) between legislation is a serious problem.

    Registering private agreements so parties to such agreements can be forced to abide by the terms thereof is probably a good idea in theory. The oil companies in the above cases never kept their agreements. They presumably feel they are exempt from following the laws of Alberta, and who can blame them? So far, they have had a free pass.

    Only in Alberta.

    Mark Dorin

  2. Nigel says:

    Hi Mark,

    This Bill should improve the position of landowners in relation to the enforcement of surface agreements. In the future you will now be able to take issues of enforcement either to the Courts or the Regulator.

    This issue I raise in this comment is why the Regulator and not the Surface Rights Board (SRB)? Your response is that the SRB has made mistakes which it has been slow to correct. But perfection is more than any of us can hope for; the real issue might be what are the available remedies in the event somebody makes a mistake? It is probably easier to take an issue relating to the SRB to the court (Queen’s Bench) than it is to take a matter decided by the current ERCB or the proposed regulator (the Court of Appeal but only with leave on a point of law or jurisdiction).

    Nigel

  3. For what it is worth, and without making any comments about other cases considering it or applying it, I substantially agree with you as to the intend of the principles in Meads v. Meads.

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