Statement by Rick Strankman MLA Drumheller Stettler

Altario, AB; March 13, 2019Independent MLA Rick Strankman, former provincial Agriculture Critic for Wildrose and United Conservatives, issued the following statement after UCP’s recent unveiling of a property rights plan.

As an independent conservative and former member of the Kenney shadow cabinet, Mr. Strankman notes the UCP caucus, in the context of their property rights plan, has brought to public focus the David and Linda Hansen case of decades-long legal abuse at the hands of successive provincial governments. This case shows clearly why defined property rights legislation and regulation needs major reform in Alberta to restore public trust on property rights. This case is similar to many of Linda Hansen’s neighbors in the eastern Alberta region known as Special Areas.

But What About the Special Areas Act?

There’s a major deficiency in the UCP’s spotlight on this case, however. The UCP neglected to properly identify the enabling legislation, the Special Areas Act which dates back to 1938, as the power source of provincial abuse which severely damaged the Hansen family through decades of legal action by Alberta governments.

This draconian Act needs to be completely modernized to deliver those defined property rights to Special Area families and property owners who lacked any protection whatsoever from overreaching provincial governments.

Section 7 of the Act states: “The Minister may in respect of special areas generally or in respect of any specified special area or any part: h) classify all lands within the special area for the purpose of utilizing them for the purpose to which they are considered by the Minister to be most adaptable” and k) “acquire, by purchase or otherwise, any property whether real or personal that is requisite or incidental to the exercise of any powers conferred by this Act.”

Reform Needed to Restore Property Rights

One cannot fully defend property rights with any degree of righteousness without opposing the 1938 Special Areas Act, with a view to comprehensive reform, and the long-term, distinct absence of personal property rights entrenched in that offensive legislation.

Section 27 of the Act declares “If any conflict arises between this Act and any other Act, this Act prevails.” One cannot submit the Hansen case as compelling evidence without repealing the Special Areas Act to remove dictatorial land controls at the Minister’s direction.

The UCP has properly concluded that the Hansens had “no constitutional right to private property when facing unfair and unjust expropriation.”

However, due to the Ministerial dictatorial nature and legal lack of any right or remedy to change the Act by any prescibed legislation empowering citizens to exercise democratic government, the Special Areas have remained unchanged over 81 years.

In Search of a Better Governing Framework

Drumheller-Stettler constitutents need accurate clarification on why the Special Areas Act was left out of the UCP property rights plan for Alberta. This insidious legislation needs to be repealed and replaced with a better democratic governing framework which completely and effectively protects citizens’ property rights in this constituency.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Rick Strankman, MLA (403) 552-2106, (780) 753-1971