LETTER: Without property rights industry can divide and conquer landowners

Real property rights would mean landowners could ‘Just Say No,’ and be left alone

Alberta’s new UCP government campaigned on becoming a national leader in property rights.

And it is gratifying to see the Kenney government take action to protect rural landowners from the crime wave of recent years.

Proposed legislation on trespassing and those who orchestrate such acts are a great first step.

But there is another kind of trespass and theft that Premier Kenney can tackle: the kind where energy companies can gain forced entry onto your land whether you like it or not.

Real property rights protection means landowners would have the right to refuse offers the same way any Albertan can turn down an offer on their home or other property.

Real property rights would mean landowners could ‘Just Say No,’ and be left alone.

The right to just say no to offers such as from the CETO transmission project would force ATCO/Altalink to negotiate openly, honestly and fairly.

Without legislated protection for property rights, companies can ‘divide and conquer’ landowners with lowball offers for option and easement agreements – because they know at the end of the day, they can always get government to expropriate you.

Because companies can get away with lowball option offers, not working together with your neighbours to get the best deal possible is sure to be very expensive to landowners over the long run.

Working together with your neighbours is the best way to level the playing field where there is no legislated protection for your property rights.

Because the odds are currently stacked against landowners like myself and my neighbours on ATCO/AltaLink’s CETO project, I reached out to the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations, (CAEPLA).

CAEPLA is a landowners’ agent, not a company land agent, or a government agent working in the interest of industry and tax revenues.

CAEPLA has negotiated ‘win, win’ business agreements for landowners and companies across Alberta and Canada on every major project of the last two decades.

Contact me if you want your concerns properly negotiated and wish to join our local grassroots group represented by CAEPLA. Phone 403-742-3904.

Brett Penosky

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