Access to the land
The Surface Rights Act states that no operator has a right to enter the surface of the land until the owner or occupant gives consent or the operator obtains a right of entry order.
If an operator fails to obtain the consent of an owner or occupant to access the land, the Tribunal may grant a right of entry order under the Surface Rights Act.
The Tribunal may grant a right of entry order on both private and Crown land for a variety of activities, including:
construction of pipelines
power transmission lines, or telephone lines
mining and drilling operations
See the Surface Rights Act for a complete list of applicable activities.
A right of entry order specifies the portion of land it involves and may be subject to any conditions the Tribunal panel considers appropriate.
Unless the right of entry order specifies otherwise, it grants to the operator all rights to the surface of the specified land to conduct its operations other than a right to a certificate of title, or the right to take sand, gravel, clay or any substance forming part of the surface of the land.
The operator also has the right to excavate or disturb any minerals in the designated land as necessary for the operations.
An operator who obtains a right of entry order must pay an 'entry fee' (on freehold land only) prior to entry, which is in addition to any compensation payable. The entry fee is a legislated amount specified in the Surface Rights Act.
The operator must also pay 80% of the written compensation offer filed with the right of entry application. The operator cannot exercise a right of entry until the money has been paid either to the owner (or occupant in some cases) or the Tribunal.
Once a right of entry order is granted, the Tribunal must hold proceedings to determine the amount of compensation and to whom it is payable.
If the parties agree on the amount of compensation after a right of entry order is granted, they may ask the Tribunal to issue an order confirming their agreement, or they may sign a settlement agreement to replace the right of entry order and request termination of the order.
If the operator and owner or occupant cannot agree on compensation payable for the rights granted by the right of entry order, the Tribunal holds proceedings to assist the parties in resolving the dispute.
The proceedings could result in a compensation agreement between parties or a panel of Tribunal members may decide the compensation and issue an order.
See Right of entry order – Compensation for more information.
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