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You Need to Be Concerned About Bill 36 – The Land Stewardship Act

By Shaun Haney

I have to admit that I have missed the boat on this one.  I have been hearing many different people talk about the Land Stewardship Act and why as a farmer you should be concerned about it.  At first glance I thought it had to do with re-classifying land for environmental concerns but the reality is that it is way more than that.  The cabinet has given itself the power to re-classify land depending on what it deems as the best for it’s long term area planning.  This essentially takes the power out of the hands of the local municipalities and has potentially very negative affects for agriculture, oil patch and acreage owners.

Yesterday I interviewed Keith Wilson, Wilson Law Office, about Bill 36 – Land Stewardship Act and why as a landowner in Alberta you need to be very concerned about what the PC cabinet is trying or going to do.  The interview is 15 minutes but believe me you will not believe what you are hearing.

If you cannot see the below embedded video, click here

As Keith Wilson mentions in the interview, it is hard to believe that the provincial government is actually granting itself this kind of power.  To be able to have this kind of power in people that are potentially so detached from the ground floors of reality is incredibly dangerous and scary. Giving the provincial cabinet the power to re-classify land without even the consideration for appeal or compensation is ridiculous.  This kind of central planning seems to be the philosophy for the Stelmach government.  Why are we moving to central planning in Alberta?  Whether it is health super boards or central land planning, the government seems to think that it can do a better job than local health boards or municipalities.

Being able to overrule pre-approved NRCB permits or disregarding how land has been used for 100 years is what this bill accomplishes for the government.

Below is a map of the areas of that the provincial government is very interested in.  the color code is as follows:

green – International concern

red – National level of concern

blue – provincial level of concern

map of sensitive areas

Is your farm in the red?  Why are so many areas classified as a national concern?  If your farm fits into the red area, what does this mean for your farming operation?  The government needs to have power to get certain things accomplished but absolute power seems a bit scary to me.  History has shown us that power in the wrong hands can have drastically terrible results.

I suggest that you take the time to listen to the 15 minute interview above with Keith Wilson and get engaged in the outrage towards this bill.  Apparently in Alberta, your land is not your land.  The Alberta Government has decided that they are now the decision makers for land use in the province and there is essentially nothing that you can do about it.  Welcome to the Soviet Union…..errrrrr……..Alberta.

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