Keith Wilson Talks About His Meeting with Mel Knight and the Proposed Amendments to Bill 36

The Land Stewardship Act has become a very controversial topic within the borders of Alberta.  In December, Realagriculture.com posted an interview with Keith Wilson discussing the potential hazards of the law and why farmers and ranchers should be very concerned.  We received many emails on this original story and interview from around North America.  It is very clear that people are concerned about the impact of legislation like Bill 36 that gives unprecedented power to the cabinet in power.

Due to the controversy and viral sharing of the video, which is over 7400 views, RealAgriculture.com made several attempts to get a response from the Alberta government and we were never successful.  I personally made calls to the office of Ted Morton, MLA. Mel Knight, MLA and the Premiere’s office and received no phone calls back.

Yesterday Keith Wilson met with Minister Mel Knight, MLA and discussed the amendments to the legislation that will be discussed today.

SEE THE AMENDMENTS AS PRESENTED BY THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT

I spoke to Keith Wilson within an hour of him leaving the meeting to get the latest on what is happening on Bill 36.

What are some of the changes in the amendments?

Should producers be happy about the changes as presented by the Alberta Government?

Will these changes really make a difference?

If you cannot see the video interview below, click here to make sure you hear the update from Keith Wilson

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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6 Comments

Tom Jackson

Dear Shaun

Great interview!!

It is sad you believe the CWB is right on extinguishing our farm’s property rights… In forcing us to buy ships that no reasonable person in Alberta would have any reason to buy.

Do you know that Alberta grain growers already pay a significant portion of the freight costs of other eastern ‘designated area’ grain going from Thunder Bay to Saint Lawrence Port?

It used to be the eastern pool point was Thunder Bay when the CROW rate ruled.

I had totally forgot that since the change in the mid 1990’s that eastern ‘designated area’ growers pay rail to Thunder Bay… then receive a blended subsidised cost (partly paid for out of CWB pools) for their CWB grain to be shipped to eastern St. Lawrence ocean ports.

Soooo SHaun;

Just as it is important to protect ‘real’ property like that we have with a land title… confiscation of our grain without consultation is no better than what the Alberta Government is doing on these 4 bills you just talked with Keith about.

The comment on ‘political accountability’ is very telling… I have been saying the same exact things as Keith Wilson for the last 3 years on the Agri-Environmental file. These folks just don’t get it!

Thanks for taking the time to bring this very important issue… property rights… to our attention.

Cheers!

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wayne

The MLA’s want more power. The part I cannot believe is the number of people who own property in this province think everything is all right because their MLA said it will be fine. Do they also think that all Libyans love Kadaffy just because he is only killing a few of them!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
Ria

To me this should be headline news on every Albertan/Canadian TV channel, newspaper, and all other media sources til it is resolved and change actually happens. It’s important to understand what is going on abroad but when we are being raped of our very own rights, we need to refocus our attention closer to home. It makes me sick that our local newspaper editors (Lethbridge Herald for example) choose to censor what does or does not get published in order to maintain a so called “non partisan” stand, also concerning this issue on property rights. To be non partisan, their should be no such thing as censorship. Not when it concerns our basic rights and the real concerns of citizens. If our local media will not give us a voice, who will?

It also doesn’t cease to amaze me how brainwashed and senseless some people are when they immediately tag somebody who speaks out against this attack on our fundamental rights as a “biased”, “partisan”, “in it for their own interests” or even “revolutionary”. Get real, and get educated! Good on realagriculture.com for spreading the word. The 7400 views needs to become 1000000+ views. The world needs to see this incredible display of power hungry politicians. It’s ironic that as we see people across the world putting their lives on the line for their fundamental rights, Albertans are carelessly or cluelessly watching as our leadership is making grabs at our fundamental rights. It’s our land now, what’s next?

I’ll have to see to believe that any of the amendments being introduced will reverse any of the damage that is already done. Here’s hoping this issue never becomes “old news” til this is completely reversed and our rights are returned to us. Many are already battling the effects of this bill and are left powerless by it, especially with the introduction of the MATL line and the proposed altalink line.

I have great respect for all those who have the balls to stand up for what’s right, and don’t mind being tagged a “revolutionary”. Alberta needs more men like Keith Wilson, that have a good sense of right and wrong, and have the heart and passion to fight for our freedom. They are the one’s that can make change happen, if anyone can. It is disappointing that somebody as invaluable as Mr. Wilson is not receiving more financial backing in order to maintain the fight. It is clear he is fighting for our collective rights rather than his own personal interest.

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wayne

I can not believe that there isn’t more people standing up and being heard. There was one individual in the High River meeting with Mr. Wilson that said that we are not like the Americans who actually stand up for themselves! All I have to say to this person is -keep bending over till you have nothing left but a state run country!!!! Wake up people and protect your property rights!!

Reply
Roger

It is clear that over time, new transmission lines are needed to connect generation sources to the increasing demand we have in our province. It is worth noting that even on this realagricuture.com blog, the top stories in the feed regarding new technology all use electricity to increase farmer’s profits. Also worth noting is that to reply to this blog, I need to use a computer, and would not even be able to read it without electricity.

It is a disappointment to see the current government’s response to Keith Wilson and others, as it does not seem to explain landowner’s rights in this province with regards to transmission lines. Let me explain a few of the processes,

Alberta’s transmission grid is monitored by the Alberta Electric System Operator or AESO. They monitor the load on existing lines and determine if new infrastructure is needed. In the case that new lines are needed in an area, the AESO will begin with notifying landowners, and consulting with stakeholders at local open houses.

Once the need has been determined to build new lines, a transmission provider is informed, and they are required to begin consultation to determine the best location for the lines. They are governed by the Alberta Utility Commission or the AUC. The AUC requires the transmission provider to investigate a number of route options, and consult with all stakeholders within 800m of any of the routes. This includes all landowners, renters, and residents. If there are any location specific issues or objections, the transmission provider needs to address them, and pick the route with the least overall impact on agriculture, residents, and environment. It is in this consultation phase, and in the AUC hearings, where a landowner (or occupant) has the rights to object to the line, and explain why it should not be located on their property.

Alberta landowners are also entitled to compensation for any land being taken for right of way use. This compensation is governed under the Surface Rights Act and is made up of the following
1. Entry Fee – $500.00 per acre payment –only paid in Alberta.
2. Land value of the acreage taken based on the highest and best use.
3. First year adverse effect.
4. An annual rental based on ongoing adverse effect and loss of use for the structures. This again is an Alberta only payment with many other jurisdictions in North America not paying anything annually. This is also reviewable every 5 years.
5. Damages to crops, and also any other damages, such as losses due to having to change farming practices. If the transmission provider and the landowner cannot come to an agreement, the landowner has the rights to go to the Surface Rights Board or SRB a present a case for more compensation.

It should be noted that the landowner or occupant also has rights to submit cost claims for themselves and legal representation at either AUC or SRB hearings.

Landowners have rights to be involved from start to finish on all transmission projects. They have the right to have a say in where the line goes, and also have a right to fair compensation if the line ends up on their property. Alberta leads the way in consultation and compensation as well as creating a grid that will take us into the future with reliable, cost effective power sources.

Reply
Ria

You know, it all sounds good in writing. Theoretically, thats the way it should work. What if a company like MATL agrees to meeting with landowners, is given the right to access the land by the SRB based on this promise, and than does not follow up on it’s promises? This is exactly what is happening. It does not surprise me that people think these landowners are crazy, all of this is going under the radar of the media and general public. Only those affected seem to know what’s going on. This case is appearing before the courts this month.
It’s not because we are radicals and against progress and change where it is needed, the problem is, we are NOT being consulted and the need for these lines is also questionable. This particular case is not actually directly linked to Bill 36, but is just another prime example of our basic rights being stolen from us.
If you wonder where my strong interest and opposition in this started, I was witness to the delivery of some documents to our front door by none other than the RCMP, acting as mail men to MATL…not one, but two police cars. They were rude, arrogant SOB’s. If that’s not radical, what is? None of this is publicized, but it’s what these landowners have to deal with. All of your step by step processes are lovely to read but it’s not as pretty in reality.

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