Patterson Law Expropriation Blog

Patterson Law routinely represents parties involved in all aspects of expropriation cases. Our expropriation practice is national in scope and we represent all classes of parties to expropriations.

Author: Created: 7/6/2012 2:12 PM RssIcon
By Expropriation Group on 8/28/2012 12:49 PM
In Smith v Alliance Pipeline Limited, 2011 SCC 7, the Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal under the National Energy Board Act (“NEBA”).  In 1998, Alliance Pipeline Limited obtained approval from the National Energy Board to build a pipeline that would cross the farm land of Mr. Smith.  The pipeline was completed in 1999, but once complete, Alliance failed to perform the agreed-upon remedial work on the easement.  Mr. Smith performed the remediation work himself, but Alliance then refused to fully compensate him for the work.  Mr. Smith therefore turned to statutorily-mandated arbitration for what was meant to be an expeditious resolution of the dispute.

The result was anything but expeditious:  two Arbitration Committee Hearings; one Court of Queen’s Bench action; one judicial review; one appellant review proceeding; and an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The proceedings...
By Expropriation Group on 8/20/2012 8:35 AM
Expropriation compensation cases have special rules regarding the landowner’s costs of litigation.  Consistent with the primary goal of expropriation legislation to fully compensate the expropriated landowner, the courts and tribunals generally treat the landowner’s entitlement to costs as compensation.  In non-expropriation cases, costs are treated as discretionary and not as part of a party’s compensation.

The term “costs” refers to the litigation expenses incurred by the landowner.  This includes legal fees, legal disbursements (photocopying, delivery charges, postage, etc.) and experts’ fees.  In most Canadian jurisdictions a landowner becomes entitled to their full reasonable costs provided that they achieve a result better than the statutory offer made by the expropriating authority.  In some jurisdictions, the landowner need only achieve a result better than a percentage of the statutory offer, making recovery even more likely. The Supreme Court of Canada in a number of cases has stated that the...
By Expropriation Group on 8/9/2012 7:38 AM
This article is intended to be a very basic introduction to the various types of compensation payable to expropriated landowners. We will cover each component of compensation in much greater depth in future articles. The intention of these articles is to present the information in an objective manner, favouring neither the position of the expropriated landowner nor the expropriating authority.

Any compensation payable to an expropriated landowner...
By Expropriation Group on 8/3/2012 8:04 AM
On July 27, 2012 the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board dismissed a claim by an Annapolis Valley Resident for compensation for lost business arising from a highway expropriation.  Mrs. Inglis operated a roadside fruit stand next to Highway 201.  As part of a program to extend neighbouring Highway 101, the Province expropriated some of the lands belonging to Mrs. Inglis and paid her for that land.  The Board noted that the construction and subsequent operation of Highway 101 created no impediment to the access of Mrs. Inglis’s fruit stand.  However, when Highway 101 came into operation, the amount of traffic along Highway 201 diminished and revenue for the fruit stand dropped.  Ultimately, the fruit stand closed.  Mrs. Inglis claimed for her lost business, with an expert calculating her losses at $477,037, plus other expenses. The decision turned on the interpretation of “injurious affection” in the Nova Scotia Expropriation Act and the application of what has been termed the “actionable rule”.  This rule is simply that the damage claimed must be something which would be actionable under the common law.  It is derived both from caselaw and the language of the Expropriation Act.  The Board found that the claim by Mrs. Inglis for injurious affection could only succeed if it could be shown that the Province would be liable at common law for the type of damage which she claimed.  ...
By Expropriation Group on 7/27/2012 7:12 AM
The Expropriation Blog launched on July 27, 2012.  As you can see, our first entry is already posted. That first entry is meant to be a brief introduction to the law of expropriation. Our experienced expropriation team will post informative articles providing information related to the expropriation process, compensation, comments on new cases and news updates in this specialized area of legal practice. We will regularly update this blog, posting on a wide range of topics including principles of expropriation law, developments in the case law, legislative amendments, and judicial pronouncements. 

If you have questions or would like to discuss this topic further, please contact Robert H. Pineo or Jeremy P. Smith at...
By Expropriation Group on 7/27/2012 12:01 AM
“Expropriation” is the taking of land by a statutory authority without the consent of the owner.  In practical terms, land is required for the public good.  Infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, sewer plants, industrial parks, railroads, power transmission lines, pipelines, schools, airports, etc. are required for the public interest.  Often, specific land is required for these projects: for example a road must run continuously in a line, so the land in its path is required; a hospital must be near transportation routes; schools away from dangerous industrial activities; etc.

The underlying theory of expropriation compensation is that the landowner whose land has been expropriated should not be required to contribute “more” to a project than any other member of the public does by paying taxes.  Therefore, expropriation legislation is to be interpreted by tribunals and courts in such a way as to provide full compensation to the landowner.  Otherwise, the landowner contributes twice – once by providing...