Changes due to COVID-19
The Surface Rights Board is following all public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while preserving the rights of parties to fair hearings and timely decisions.
Rather than conducting in-person public hearings, the Board will work with parties to determine whether there are unique issues in a particular hearing that could be addressed through postponement or proceeding on the basis of written submissions, telephone or video conferencing.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are following the recommendation of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health for physical distancing. We will continue to accept applications dropped off in-person, however, our staff cannot meet with clients in person to discuss applications. We appreciate your understanding and hope to return to normal operations soon.
The Surface Rights Board is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about surface access and compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.
The Board has authority to grant rights of entry and to assist landowners and operators resolve disputes about:
- rights of entry and related compensation
- compensation review
- recovery of rentals
- review of its past decisions
It reports to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, but it operates independently and can generally set its own procedural rules.
As part of the Government of Alberta's Red Tape Reduction mandate, we have changes the Surface Rights Board Rules. These changes will result in more efficient and straightforward process for parties involved.
Go to Surface Rights Board – Resources for full details.
In response to COVID-19 and new provincial health measures in place, including physical distancing, the Board has approved the use of a provisional application form for Section 36 Recovery of Compensation (PDF, 2.1 MB). This form no longer requires applicants to submit a signed Statutory Declaration, which eliminates the need to see a Commissioner for Oaths.
The Surface Rights Act General Regulation was recently amended. The Schedule 1 Application for Right of Entry as well as the Termination and Partial Termination application forms have been updated to align with the recent changes. Board administration will be updating the website and instruction documents. Please contact Board administration should you have any questions regarding changes to the application process.
As part of the Board's ongoing commitment to improving efficiency and reducing waste, the Board has developed an electronic communication only consent form. This form allows a company or individual to designate an email address to receive ALL communication from the Board by electronic means only.
The Board has also compiled information for s. 27 review of compensation in order to better assist parties at the Board. These documents are intended to provide information on the Alternative Dispute Resolution process such as Dispute Resolution Conferences and Mediations. Additionally, the Board has developed information sheets for how to prepare for a s. 27 hearing and examples of evidence you can bring to a hearing.
Go to Apply for surface rights compensation review for more information.
In our continuing efforts to expedite the processing time for Recovery of Rentals applications under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act, the Surface Rights Board has further modified its form for first-year applicants. This new form includes a shortened version of the statutory declaration for applicants to declare/swear they have not received the annual compensation owing to them for one or more years under a lease agreement or compensation order. Providing a completed and signed statutory declaration with the application form will help improve processing timelines. Previously, the statutory declaration was provided to applicants by Board administrators after an application form had been submitted. In any unusual cases where the wording on this statutory declaration does not apply, Board administrators can prepare a modified version for applicants, as they have in the past.
Download Rental Recovery – New Applicant(s) (PDF, 2.2 MB)
As part of the Boards’ continuing commitment to assist in the resolution of disputes, we are pleased to announce that Don Sibbald, Q.C. has agreed to provide mediation services for the Board. Visit Mediation for surface rights for more information.
The Surface Rights Board has introduced new application forms for recovery of unpaid rentals. Among the changes are:
- applicants must answer questions about the condition of the site
- signatures on repeat applications no longer need to be witnessed
- forms can be submitted electronically by clicking the “Submit by email” button in the PDF
The forms are available on the Surface rights – Forms page under ‘Surface rights rental recovery’ and may also be available at a provincial government office near you.
Mission, values and vision
The mission of the Surface Rights Board is to provide accessible processes, delivering timely and fair dispute resolution processes within our legislated mandate.
In carrying out its mission, the Surface Rights Board is guided by the following values:
The Surface Rights Board will be known for:
- providing independent, community-based, accessible, fair, timely, and ethical processes
- supporting Board Members in the provision of high-quality adjudication services
- ensuring a high level of awareness and knowledge of the Board’s mandate and purposes
- creating a healthy work environment that supports staff to provide quality service and to continually learn and develop knowledge, skills, and expertise
- Mandate and Roles document
- Public recruitment process
- Competency matrix (PDF, 251 KB)
- Code of Conduct
- Organizational Chart (PDF, 635 KB)
Read the annual reports from 2017 to 2006.
Public sector bodies are required to post online the names and compensation paid to:
- all board members, regardless of amount
- employees who earn over a threshold amount (see Public sector body compensation disclosure)
This is a requirement under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. The postings are required by June 30 each year and will be maintained for 5 years.
As of July 2016, the Chairs of the Surface Rights Board, Land Compensation Board, Municipal Government Board, and New Home Buyer Protection Board were combined into a single position.
Compensation disclosure files
All Board Members and the Board Chair are appointed by the Government of Alberta Cabinet. The Board is comprised of a cross-section of Albertans selected through a public recruitment process.
The Board reports annually to the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs, but the Board sets its own rules and operates independently from the government and other agencies.
Susan McRory (Chair)
Susan McRory spent 20 years as Alberta’s chief environmental prosecutor. During that time, she helped develop and grow the province’s system of creative sentences for environmental offenders. Prior to her work in the environment, she was the first full-time female Crown prosecutor north of Edmonton, the first woman appointed a chief Crown prosecutor west of Ontario, and routinely handled murder cases before being recognized as the Edmonton office’s expert in historical child sexual assault.
Leaving Alberta Justice in 2013, she served as a member of the Environmental Appeals Board for Alberta, a public member with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, and has co-authored the second edition of Regulatory Offences in Canada with Canadian legal legend John Swaigen. She lives in Edmonton with her husband, Tim; her cats, Charlie, Samantha and Livy; and their new dog, Lily, across the street from the house her grandfather built in 1912.
Born in High River and raised on her family’s ranch west of Longview, Tamara obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary.
Tamara is a lawyer who has practiced primarily in the areas of administrative law, commercial law, and regulatory compliance for the past 25 years. Throughout her legal career, Tamara has gained a broad range of experience in energy, transportation, and agricultural issues. She has worked as a lawyer in both private practices and as in-house legal counsel for TransCanada Pipelines Limited, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, and Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Tamara has represented clients in significant regulatory applications before provincial and federal administrative tribunals, and in judicial review applications before the Alberta Court of Appeal.
Tamara has acted as a session chair for energy-related industry conferences and co-developed and co-instructed courses on energy-related issues to professional organizations and post-secondary institutions. Currently, Tamara is a board member of the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board and Alberta Public Lands Appeal Board; and a member of the Governance Board for the Calgary Rural Primary Care Network.
Tamara enjoys spending recreational time out in the country where her family continues to farm and ranch in Foothills County.
Shannon practiced civil litigation in Edmonton for 17 years, becoming a member of the MGB in 2013 and the NHBPB in 2014. Shannon serves across the province hearing CARBS, AB Disaster Relief, Linear and Subdivision matters. She resides in Edmonton with her husband and two teenage sons and is an avid painter, gardener and skier.
Mary Kay Brook
Mary Kay Brook is a retired lawyer of 35 years, and was born, raised and educated in Edmonton. Prior to going into law she worked in a wide variety of jobs: from car wash to meat packing plant, from child care therapist to clerical. As a lawyer she was General Counsel for the Alberta Liquor Control Board for 12 years then moved to a senior position at Alberta Justice. When Ms. Brook retired in 2015, she was a Director at Alberta Justice, leading a team of 25 lawyers, practicing in six distinct areas of law.
Ms. Brook was described by a Deputy Minister as the lawyer who could be given any file. Her practice was primarily in the areas of administrative, employment, and trade law. Files involved negotiating and settling agreements, public policy, mediating and settling disputes, advising administrative tribunals, and crafting legislation. Ms. Brook is a Government appointee on the roster of arbiters under Art.37.1 (bid protest mechanism) of NWPTA, which establishes an administrative mechanism for suppliers in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to resolve complaints about procurements by government entities. She has served on many community and church boards and as a volunteer for Habitat and an orphanage in Tanzania.
Katherine Camarta is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario in Politics, Queen's University in Law and Mount Royal University in Journalism. She has been practicing law in Calgary since 1979; firstly in private practice followed by practice in the oil and gas, pipeline and electricity industries. She has considerable experience in the areas of corporate finance, securities regulation, energy project development, energy and environmental regulation and corporate and commercial transaction work. Mrs. Camarta currently sits on the Board of Directors of a charitable foundation promoting medical research and is a Board Member of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for the City of Calgary.
Dennis Dey is a graduate of the University of Alberta, earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree as well as an MSc. in Agriculture Economics. He has been working with decision-makers in farm businesses, producer associations, agribusinesses and government for over 35 years, providing economic, strategic and financial analyses. He has completed research on a wide range of economic issues in agriculture, including the adoption of new crop production practices, risk management processes and investment analyses. He has served on the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board of Kneehill County and is a member of the Central Alberta Regional Assessment Review Board.
Jerry Krysa is an accredited municipal assessor (retired) with over 25 years of experience. He is the former Manager of the City of Edmonton Assessment Review Board. Jerry is also a retired farm operator.
Line Lacasse is a graduate of the University of Montreal and of McGill University where she obtained both her civil and common law degrees. Ms. Lacasse has practiced law for 25 years and is currently a member of the Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia Law Societies.
Ms. Lacasse has extensive experience as legal counsel in the energy and utilities industry. She has provided advice on regulatory, administrative, Indigenous and environmental matters, represented clients in court cases and regulatory hearings, developed, negotiated and implemented agreements, participated in project development, assessment and implementation and in the development of corporate strategies and policies in Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia.
Ms. Lacasse’s early career included high profile litigation cases in Quebec and British Columbia representing resource industry clients developing energy and utilities projects in court proceedings and in regulatory hearings. At the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (predecessor to the Alberta Utilities Commission), Ms. Lacasse advised Board members and staff on legal aspects of energy developments including landowners and Indigenous matters, participated in public hearings, organized and analyzed complex evidence, cross-examined panels and participated in drafting decisions when required.
More recently, as senior legal counsel for TransCanada, Ms. Lacasse provided strategic, business, regulatory and legal advice to all departments and to senior executives regarding Indigenous, land interests and environmentally related matters on new and existing projects and facilities as well as on proposed acquisitions. This included acting as lead Indigenous counsel on the Energy East Project.
Ms. Lacasse has always been involved in a number of volunteer activities, including school boards, community boards, and fund raising for various causes. Currently, Ms. Lacasse is a Red Cross trained emergency response team member and a personal responder for Calgary. She also volunteers at Making Changes and the Walk-In Closet, two organizations helping women by facilitating their integration into the Alberta work force.
Terri Mann was appointed a Member of the Surface Rights and Land Compensation Board July 2016. Terri has a B.Comm from the University of Alberta, a Law degree from the University of Western Ontario and a diploma from the Canadian Securities Institute.
Terri has significant experience in litigation, having practiced civil litigation in Alberta for a decade, before all levels of Court. She retired from law to serve on a complex familial trust, which managed both residential and commercial property, then served as an adjudicator with several administrative tribunals including notably, serving as Chair of the Edmonton Assessment Review Board. In this role, she adjudicated disputes concerning the assessment of Edmonton residential, commercial and industrial properties and acted as liaison between Board members and the Executive Committee of City Council and the Municipal Government Board. She has also remained active in the academic community, having instructed entry-level and graduate business law with the Alberta School of Business, both to domestic and international students.
John McCarthy has over 35 years of public and private sector leadership experience in the energy sector with a concentration in regulation, safety, environmental protection and economics. During a long career with the National Energy Board (NEB), John held a number of executive positions including leadership of the Safety and Environment Operations group. During his tenure, he served as both the Chief Conservation Officer and the Chief Safety Officer under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act. John also led the Strategy and Analysis group responsible for the development of the regulatory program and the NEB’s Energy Information Program. In that capacity, John has directed or contributed to over 20 studies related to energy in Canada.
Subsequent to leaving the NEB, John worked in the area of safety and environment compliance, landowner relations, strategic planning, technical training and quality for a major energy company. John has experience on corporate and volunteer boards and is now an independent energy consultant in Calgary.
John has an MBA from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Engineering from Carleton University. John is an active community volunteer and a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geophysicists of Alberta.
Tim is a seasoned civil litigation lawyer, having been in practice for thirty years. He has conducted numerous trials in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, appeared on many appeals to the Alberta Court of Appeal, and has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada.
In addition to his trial work, he has been appointed as an inquiry officer on several occasions by the Government of Alberta to conduct inquiries in accordance with the Expropriation Act of Alberta. Tim has broad experience appearing before administrative tribunals on behalf of professional associations and on behalf of their individual members.
Tim retired from the practice of law in April of 2019 but continues to be a member of the Law Society of Alberta. He volunteers with Pro Bono Law providing free legal advice to people through the QB Amicus Court Assistance Program.
Phil has a wealth of experience in the governance of various committees and associations dedicated to issues relevant to the agriculture community. Phil is an active farmer and rancher and has previously worked in the NDT industry, has co-owned and operated an aircraft company and is a former Chair of Livestock Identification Services Ltd.
Glenn Selland is a highly qualified land use, environmental and regulatory professional with over 33 years of progressive leadership experience within various environmental agencies. He is experienced in the management and resolution of sensitive and controversial issues and is committed to sound environmental stewardship. Early career experiences in the field of forestry and natural resources built a strong foundation of experience and lifelong interest in natural resources conservation and management as well as environmental policies. Glenn’s well-developed interpersonal and public speaking skills, comfort in working with groups and individual external stakeholders and ability to maintain positive working relationships supports achievement of positive, constructive results. Glenn was first appointed to the Natural Resources Conservation Board in February 2016 and looks forward to continuing with an agency that models balanced decision making in the public interest.
Glenn is an active member of the Cloverdale Community League (Edmonton) serving as co-chair of the LRT Liaison Committee and member of the Gallagher Park Master Planning Team and is a member of the Board of Governors – Concordia University, Edmonton.
Dr. Tywoniuk is a Civil Engineer with substantive dispute resolution experience. He operates his own consulting business that provides environmental, engineering, and mediation and arbitration services. He has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Water Resources) and is a member of the Alberta Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGA). He has worked with Environment Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada and internationally, in Eastern Europe and Pacific Rim countries.
Dr. Tywoniuk is a chartered arbitrator and chartered mediator and is a member of the ADR Institute of Alberta and the ADR Institute of Canada. He participates in conflict resolution services to the private sector and to public agencies: Environmental Appeals Board, Alberta Civil Courts, Service Alberta business license appeals, Public Lands Appeal Board, Surface Rights Board, Land Compensation Board and Alberta Municipal Affairs.
The Alberta Law Society has recently appointed Dr. Tywoniuk as a public adjudicator for the Society’s conduct hearings.
Ivan grew up on a central Alberta farm and continues to own and manage farmland. He has a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) degree from the University of Alberta and a Master of Economics Degree from the University of Calgary. He is also a Chartered Arbitrator.
Ivan is an accredited appraiser and focuses on appraising rural and commercial properties. He has appeared as an expert witness in valuation before the Surface Rights Board and Land Compensation Board. He is a licensed Land Agent and instructs the on-line Land Agent Licensing course through Olds College.
Ivan has lived in Calgary since 1981, where he is involved in a number of community organizations and charitable foundations.
Jerry Zezulka was raised in Lethbridge, Alberta. At the age of 19, Jerry moved to Calgary and began work with a private consulting firm that specialized in property assessments. From there, he moved to Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC), where he spent almost two years before being transferred back to Lethbridge as head of the appraisal department.
In 1970, Jerry was transferred to Halifax, Nova Scotia, as the assistant head of the appraisal division. For personal reasons, he left CMHC and moved back to Lethbridge where he started his own fee appraisal firm. After two years, he relocated to Calgary where he spent 12 years as a commercial real estate appraiser.
In 1986, Jerry moved his family to Medicine Hat, where he currently resides with his new wife, Paulette. In 2009, Jerry joined the Municipal Government Board, while he continued his appraisal practice.
Jerry is a real estate appraiser with more than 40 years’ experience. Former executive with property appraisal firms. Currently, also a Member of Municipal Government Board.
Mike Hartfield (Operations)
Mike Hartfield is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over twenty years of business experience spanning private industry, public accounting, federal and provincial governments. Mike joined the Surface Rights Board and Land Compensation Board as director of Operations in 2016.
Jill Mason, B.Sc.N, LLB, LLM (Dispute Resolution)
Jill L. Mason commenced her position as Director, Surface Rights Board and Land Compensation Board in March, 2007. Responsibilities of this new position include:
- Administration of the Boards hearing and adjudication processes issued by the Chair pursuant to the Surface Rights Act and the Expropriation Act.
- Provision of expert legal, procedural and operational advice to the Chair, Vice Chair and Board Members.
- Administration of the Board member recruitment and appointment processes.
- Allocation and training of staff resources.
Jill has extensive senior management experience with quasi-judicial tribunals including the City of Edmonton Assessment Review Board and Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. She also has teaching experience at the University of Alberta as a sessional instructor with the Faculty of Law. Jill was appointed as a member to the Sturgeon County Subdivision and Development Appeal Board in January, 2007.
Jill obtained her law degree and Master of Laws from the University of Alberta. She was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1987. Prior to joining the legal profession Jill enjoyed a career in nursing.
Mike D' Alquen
Mike D' Alquen has worked in the area of administrative law since 2004. He serves as Board Counsel to the Municipal Government Board and New Home Buyer Protection Board, and joined the Surface Rights Board and Land Compensation Board with the administrative amalgamation of the four boards in 2016.
Karen Sinclair-Santos, Q.C.
Karen obtained her LL.B. from the University of Alberta in 1989 and was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1990. In addition to her law degree, Karen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in political science from the University of Calgary. Karen practiced law for 14 years prior to joining the Boards and has argued cases at all levels of Court in Alberta. Karen has also completed various continuing education courses in administrative law as well as Mediation of Civil Disputes through the Legal Education Society of Alberta. Karen joined the Boards in 2004, as a Board Member on the Land Compensation Board and Solicitor for the Surface Rights Board. Karen has been senior counsel for both Boards since 2007.
Karen is currently Chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Administrative Law Section. She co-chaired the CBA 2013 National Administrative Law and Labour and Employment Law Conference in Ottawa and has served as Chair the Canadian Bar Association Alberta Administrative Law (North).
Karen has delivered numerous presentations and lectures on expropriation, surface rights and related topics to such organizations as the Legal Education Society, Canadian Bar Association, Expropriation Association of Alberta, Alberta Surface Rights Federation and various Surface Rights Groups throughout Alberta, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL) AAMDC, Municipal Government Board of Alberta , Alberta Energy Resources and Conservation Board ( now AER) and the Energy Regulatory Forum.
Karen has also been an active member of her community for many years. In addition to sitting as a Director on several boards, Karen has served as President of the Stony Plain & District Chamber of Commerce and President of the Stony Plain and Spruce Grove RCMP Victim Services Society.