Once a right of entry order issues, the Tribunal must hold proceedings to determine how much compensation is payable and to whom. The Tribunal’s objective in this process is to assist the parties to resolve their dispute about compensation.
If the parties reach an agreement during these proceedings, the Tribunal may adopt their agreement an as an order of the Tribunal (see Settlement agreement below for more information).
If they fail to reach an agreement, the Tribunal will hold a hearing and issue a binding order.
The Tribunal may consider the following factors when helping to determine the rate of compensation, as listed in subsection 25(1) of the Surface Rights Act:
- the amount the land granted to the operator might be expected to realize if sold in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer on the date the right of entry order was made
- the per acre value, on the date the right of entry order was made, of the titled unit in which the land granted to the operator is located, based on the highest approved use of the land
- the loss of use by the owner or occupant of the area granted to the operator
- the adverse effect of the area granted to the operator on the remaining land of the owner or occupant and the nuisance, inconvenience and noise that might be caused by or arise from or in connection with the operations of the operator
- the damage to the land in the area granted to the operator that might be caused by the operations of the operator
- any other factors that the Tribunal considers proper under the circumstances
Previous decisions of the Tribunal and the Courts may be of assistance when attempting to understand how the Tribunal may decide a particular matter. Refer to Surface rights – Decisions.
How disputes are resolved
For new rights of entry, if an operator wishes to exercise its right of entry order on private land, it must first pay the entry fee legislated in the Surface Rights Act, as well as 80% of the compensation in the written offer filed with the application for the right of entry order.
The Tribunal generally expects you to follow the steps below to help resolve the compensation dispute.
Step 1. Negotiation
Parties are encouraged to negotiate the compensation on their own.
The majority of disputes settle through negotiation and do not require the Tribunal to intervene.
If the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own, see Settlement agreement below for information on how to enact that agreement.
Alternatively, parties who settle may decide to sign a surface lease agreement (includes right of way agreements and easements) to replace the right of entry order and then apply for a termination of the order. See Terminate a right of entry order.
Step 2. Pre-hearing dispute resolution conference and mediation
Upon the issuance of a right of entry order, Tribunal administration will schedule a pre-hearing Dispute Resolution Conference (DRC) to determine how to proceed further.
If requested by the parties, a Tribunal facilitated mediation may be held to aid the parties in settling the matter. The parties may come to an agreement at any time during the DRC or mediation process.
See Settlement agreement below for more information.
Step 3. Hearing
If parties are unable to reach an agreement on compensation, the Tribunal will hold a hearing.
After a hearing is held, the Tribunal will issue a decision and order determining compensation.
Step 4. Appeals
Under the Surface Rights Act, either party has the right to appeal a compensation order to the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.
In many cases, the operator and the owner (or occupant) will reach an agreement on their own without using the Tribunal’s dispute resolution services.
Settlement by agreement is typically the preferred outcome, as it saves each party time and often results in both parties being more content with the result.
The parties may reach an agreement on right of entry order compensation with or without the Tribunal’s dispute resolution services.
When the parties reach an agreement, they have the option of asking the Tribunal to adopt their agreement as an order, or they may sign a private surface lease (includes right of way agreements and easements) to replace the right of entry order and then apply for termination of the order.
If the parties wish to request the Tribunal to adopt their agreement, they submit a completed Compensation Order Request form.
Parties who sign a private agreement (surface lease, right of way agreement) should refer to Request to terminate a right of entry order.
Connect with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal:
Land and Property Rights Tribunal
2nd Floor, Summerside Business Centre
1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1E9