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.

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Expropriation
By Expropriation Group on 12/19/2012 8:37 AM
Expropriation legislation in Canada typically contains special “home-for-a-home” provisions whose principle objective is to ensure that the expropriated land owner is not left without a primary residence for his or her family.  This article will deal specifically with the Nova Scotia Legislation.
By Expropriation Group on 12/5/2012 2:25 PM
Case summary of Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority v Dell Holdings Ltd, [1997] 1 SCR 32
By Expropriation Group on 10/25/2012 5:02 PM
The Patterson Law expropriation team offers clients a well-established and experienced group of professionals able to provide representation on any issue related to expropriation cases. Our practice is national in scope and we regularly act for landowners, businesses and expropriating authorities. We are experienced in all aspects of expropriation law, including the expropriation process, the discovery process, the retention of appropriate expert witnesses, trials and appellate work. Landowner Representation We regularly represent expropriated landowners in all aspects of expropriation cases, including compensation for land taken, injurious affection, business loss, disturbance damages, etc. Expropriating Authority Representation We act for municipalities in the expropriation of land required for municipal purposes in all aspects of expropriation, including the expropriation process, negotiations with...
By Expropriation Group on 10/23/2012 8:00 AM
Robert Pineo, Michael Scott and Jeremy Smith will be attending the Ontario Expropriation Association 2012 Fall Dinner, Seminar, and AGM in Toronto, Ontario this week.  This event gives practitioners the chance to get together to discuss recent developments in the law of expropriation, and to leverage the benefit of collective experience. ...
By Expropriation Group on 10/15/2012 3:06 PM
From the outset, it should be noted that Antrim is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  It is a 2011 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, overturning the decision of the Ontario Divisional Court which had upheld a decision of the Ontario Municipal Board to award the claimant damages of $393,000 for injurious affection.  The case involves the rerouting of a highway near Ottawa, Ontario, around the claimant’s truck stop.  Before the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Appellant Minister argued that the Divisional Court had erred in upholding the Municipal Board’s finding that Antrim had made out the tort of nuisance, upon which the Board’s finding of injurious affection was based.  The Minister also argued that the Divisional Court erred in upholding the Municipal Board’s finding that the interference with the Antrim land was a result of the construction of the highway rather than its use.

Section 1 of the Ontario Expropriations Act sets out the basis...
By Expropriation Group on 10/9/2012 10:48 AM
Expropriation legislation across Canada sets out very specific procedural requirements that an expropriating authority must follow to obtain title to land.  These procedures are in place to ensure that landowners are treated fairly: they are, after all, being dispossessed of their land.

The authority has the power to enter upon the land long before the land is required for a public purpose to investigate its suitability for the project.  This power is limited only by the requirements to give the landowner notice that it will enter the land and to compensate the landowner for any damage created by the investigation.  The investigation can consist of surveying the land; drilling holes to test the underlying makeup of the soil; environmental or archeological studies; traffic flow testing, etc. 

The usual practice is that the authority will meet with the landowner before entering the land to obtain the landowner’s permission, and, quite often, will enter into an agreement for the investigation stage. ...
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.  ...