The City of Calgary has identified portions or all of several dozen residential and commercial properties it may need to expropriate along the planned route of the Green Line Southeast LRT. Councillors debated the potential acquisition of those properties during the confidential portion of the Land and Asset Strategy Committee meeting on Thursday, January 28.

Each stakeholder (ownership or leasehold interests) that receives a Notice of Intention to Expropriate from the City has rights under the Expropriation Act, and may be entitled to more compensation than is offered by the City. Stakeholders faced with the forced taking of their interest by the City are cost-protected under the Act, meaning that they can recover reasonable legal and certain other costs from the City incurred in connection with the expropriation process.

At a high level, the expropriation process under the Act includes an opportunity for stakeholders to object to the taking of their interest upon receipt of a Notice of Intention to Expropriate from the expropriating authority (i.e., the City), in which case an inquiry hearing will be held to determine whether the intended expropriation is fair, sound and reasonably necessary in the achievement of the objectives of the expropriating authority. If the expropriation is approved following such an inquiry hearing, the expropriating authority will serve a Notice of Expropriation on the impacted stakeholders followed by a written notification setting out the amount of compensation it estimates to be appropriate for the property in question.

When a stakeholder and the expropriating authority do not agree on the compensation payable under the Act for the expropriation, either party can initiate proceedings before the Land Compensation Board to determine the appropriate amount of compensation based on the various heads of compensation provided for in the Act.

The Regulatory and Environmental Group at Bennett Jones LLP has extensive experience with expropriation and compensation proceedings under the Act, most recently assisting stakeholders impacted by the City of Calgary’s West LRT Project.