If the Expropriating Authority is not the Crown or a Municipality, the Board is the Approving Authority.
As the Approving Authority, the Board may be responsible for inquiring into whether the intended expropriation is fair, sound and reasonably necessary in the achievement of the objectives of the Expropriating Authority. If the Board does not receive an objection, as the Approving Authority, the Board may approve the expropriation.
Notice of Intention to Expropriate (NOITE)
The process begins when an Expropriating Authority issues a NOITE (PDF, 191 KB).
- The Expropriating Authority must file a NOITE in the Land Titles Office.
- The Expropriating Authority must serve every person who is known to have an interest in the land with a copy of the NOITE.
- The NOITE must also be published in at least 2 issues of the local newspaper, no fewer than 7 or more than 14 days apart.
- The Expropriating Authority may also have to fulfill other requirements before issuing a NOITE, depending on what law it is using to expropriate.
- For further details regarding the NOITE, see section 8 of the Expropriation Act.
If an objection is not filed with the Approving Authority, the Approving Authority may approve the expropriation. The Approving Authority must be satisfied that all required persons have been served with the NOITE and no one objects to the expropriation.
If an expropriation has been approved and an owner disagrees with the amount of compensation, an owner may file an Application for Determination of Compensation (ADC) and follow the ADC process. An owner may dispute compensation, even if they did not object to the expropriation.
File an objection
An owner has an opportunity to object to the expropriation.
- Within 21 days of being served the NOITE, an owner may object to the expropriation and request an Inquiry.
- An owner can object by filing a Notice of Objection (PDF, 189 KB) with the Approving Authority, whose name and address can be found on the NOITE.
- Objections to expropriation are separate from questions of compensation. An owner may agree to the expropriation but still dispute the amount of compensation offered.
- In some cases, an objection might not lead to an Inquiry (for example, see sections 9 and 13 of the Expropriation Act).
An Inquiry Hearing is only necessary if an owner objects to the expropriation. The Inquiry Officer will determine the time and place for the inquiry and shall serve the Notice of Inquiry (PDF, 190 KB) on the expropriating authority and on each person who has made an objection to the expropriation.
- If the Expropriating Authority is the Crown or a municipality, the Inquiry Officer is appointed by the Deputy Minister of Justice (or designate). In all other cases the Board is appointed as the Inquiry Officer.
- Once appointed, the Inquiry Officer holds a public hearing. At the hearing, each party will have an opportunity to present their case, and the Inquiry Officer will inquire into whether the expropriation is fair, sound, and reasonably necessary.
- The Expropriating Authority will pay the Landowner’s reasonable legal costs unless there are special circumstances.
- Within 30 days of being appointed, the Inquiry Officer issues an Inquiry Report (Expropriation Act, section 16) to the parties, the Expropriating Authority and the Approving Authority, who will decide whether the expropriation is approved.
Approve, modify or reject
An Approving Authority decides whether to approve, modify or reject any expropriation.
- The NOITE and the Inquiry Report are sent to the Approving Authority. Depending on the situation, the Approving Authority may be a government department, a municipal council, or the Land Compensation Board.
- The Approving Authority considers the Inquiry Report, if applicable, and decides to approve, modify or reject the proposed expropriation (Expropriation Act, sections 11 and 18). Any modifications cannot impact the land of a person who was not a party to the Inquiry.
- If expropriation is approved, a Certificate of Approval is issued.
Certificate of Approval
- If the Approving Authority issues a Certificate of Approval (PDF, 189 KB), it may be registered in the Land Titles Office. For more information on time limits and extensions, see section 20 of the Expropriation Act.
- Once the Certificate of Approval is registered, the estate or interest in land becomes property of the Expropriating Authority and the owner has the right to claim compensation (Expropriation Act, section 61).
- Registration of a Certificate of Approval does not mean that an owner must give up possession of the land. Owners do not have to give up possession until a Notice of Possession is served. See Additional compensation below.
The Expropriating Authority must register a Certificate of Approval within 120 days, or longer if an extension is granted, otherwise the NOITE lapses and the expropriation is abandoned.
- The Expropriating Authority may abandon its intention to expropriate, either wholly or partially, at any time before registration of the Certificate of Approval by serving a Notice of Abandonment (PDF, 189 KB) on all owners, as well as notifying the Land Titles Office.
- If an expropriation has been abandoned, the Expropriating Authority shall pay the owner any actual losses and the reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs incurred by the owner up to the time of abandonment, as a consequence of the initiation of the expropriation proceedings.
- If parties do not agree, compensation related to the abandonment, including costs, must be determined by the Board.
Date of possession
Within 30 days after the Certificate of Approval has been registered, the Expropriating Authority shall serve on the owner a Notice of Possession (PDF, 189 KB) that it requires the land on a specific date.
The Notice period cannot be less than 90 days, unless the interest is a right of way (Expropriation Act, section 64).
If an expropriation has been approved and the Certificate of Approval registered at the Land Titles Office, an owner may file an Application for Determination of Compensation with the Board.
- When a Certificate of Approval has been registered, the Expropriating Authority shall serve the owner with a Notice of Expropriation (PDF, 289 KB) – Expropriation Act, section 31(1).
- Within 90 days of registration of the Certificate of Approval, the Expropriating Authority must give the owner written notice of its estimate of the value of the owner's interest and must include a copy of its written appraisal. The proposed payment must be based on an appraisal – Notice of Proposed Payment (PDF, 284 KB).
- The owner is immediately entitled to receive the amount of the proposed payment. Acceptance of the proposed payment does not prevent the owner from seeking additional compensation before the Board.
- An owner must provide information necessary to assist the Expropriating Authority in making its appraisal. If the Expropriating Authority is unable to obtain the necessary information to properly determine the proposed payment, the Board may determine the amount of the proposed payment – Expropriation Act, sections 31 to 34.
- The owner may decide to pursue compensation over and above the proposed payment.
- If either party does not agree on the compensation payable, the party may apply to the Board to determine the amount of compensation (Expropriation Act, section 36). For additional information and time limits, see sections 30 and 36.
- The owner may obtain an independent appraisal and/or legal advice to help them decide whether to accept the proposed payment, and the Expropriating Authority must pay all reasonable costs of the appraisal and/or for legal advice.
- If parties cannot agree on compensation, then in most cases, it is determined by the Board. Where expropriation is by the Crown, the owner can instead elect to have the Court of Queen’s Bench determine compensation.
- Principles of compensation are described in sections 41–58 of the Expropriation Act and relevant case law to the facts and expertise presented to determine fair compensation.
- Procedures for compensation hearings are outlined in the Expropriation Act Rules of Procedure and Practice.
- The Expropriating Authority will pay the owner’s reasonable legal, appraisal and other costs unless there are special circumstances.
- Parties may elect to use mediation as an alternative means to reach their own agreement on compensation. For more information, see Mediation.