Government of Saskatchewan
Quick Search:
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

The Expropriation Act authorizes the taking of real property by an expropriating authority under The Conservation and Development Act or The Water Power Act.

Expropriation involves the compulsory transfer of land or of any interest in land (including property attached to the land) to an expropriating authority in the exercise of the greater public interest. In this case, the expropriating authority may acquire full ownership of the land or it may acquire a lesser interest, such as an easement, without the owner's consent, to allow construction and maintenance of works under those Acts:

  • to create, protect or develop any water power; or
  • to achieve environmental protection objectives by saving, conserving or developing any land or water resource.

The Act provides a procedure for expropriation that must be followed.

Expropriation proceedings are begun by the expropriating authority (applicant) giving a notice of intention to expropriate to each owner (or affected party) whose property interests are to be expropriated. The notice must contain:

  • a description of the lands to be expropriated or a description of the undertaking intended to be exercised on the land;
  • a certificate of a Saskatchewan land surveyor, stating that the land is required by the applicant under The Conservation and Development Act or The Water Power Act, and stating the amount which is fair compensation for the land and damages;
  • a declaration of readiness to pay compensation for the land or for damages; and
  • a notification of the owner's right to have compensation fixed by arbitration if the owner does not accept the sum offered within ten days after the service of the notice, where service is made by advertisement, or within one month of first publication.

If the land owner is absent or unknown, the applicant must apply to a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench to be allowed to effect service by advertisement. The judge must order publication of a notice to be made three times in one month in a newspaper published at the judicial centre nearest to which the land is situated. If no newspaper is published at that judicial centre, the notice must be published in a newspaper published nearest to the land and in any other newspaper the judge deems proper. In this situation, the owner's right to arbitration runs for one month after the first publication.

If the notice improperly describes the land or the applicant decides not to take the land, the applicant may abandon the expropriation proceedings but is liable for all damages suffered and costs incurred. A judge shall fix the damages and costs.

If the compensation offered is not accepted within ten days after the service of the notice or, where the service is made by advertisement, within one month after the first publication, either party has a right to apply to a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench to have a judge, acting as an arbitrator, determine the compensation.

The costs of arbitration are at the discretion of the arbitrator. If not agreed to, the amount of the costs may be set by an officer of the Court.

When notice of the compensation award is given, if the award exceeds $600, the applicant may appeal from the award to the Court of Appeal upon any question of law or fact, or any other ground of objection. If the claim is for more than $600 or if there is an objection to an easement or other thing approved by the arbitrator, any other party may appeal the award upon the same grounds. If the award is less than $600, the applicant or the land owner may appeal the award upon any question of law or any question of mistake of proceedings. The Court may set aside the award or remit it to the arbitrator for reconsideration.

The decision of the Court is not subject to further appeal except where the amount awarded or claimed exceeds $5,000.

The applicant may pay the compensation into Court, together with six month's interest, if:

  • the applicant has reason to believe there is a claim, mortgage or encumbrance on the land;
  • the person to whom the compensation is payable refuses to make a proper transfer of the land, or cannot be found; or
  • for any other reason the applicant deems advisable.

A notice of the payment, in such form and for such time as the Court determines, shall be published in a newspaper published at the judicial centre nearest to which the lands are situated. If no newspaper is published at that judicial centre, the notice shall be published in The Saskatchewan Gazette and in a newspaper published nearest to the land.

All claims or encumbrances on the land shall be received and adjudicated by the Court against the compensation award, and the adjudication forever bars claims to the land.

After an agreement on compensation is reached or an award of compensation is made, an applicant is entitled to take immediate possession of the land or exercise the right taken upon payment of the compensation to the person entitled to receive it or on payment into Court.

A judge may also grant a warrant for possession without the award or agreement if the judge is satisfied, on affidavit, that the powers sought are necessary for the construction or maintenance of some part of the works or undertaking. However, ten day's notice of the application for the warrant must first be served on the owner of the land or the party empowered to convey the lands, and the applicant must give security by payment into Court to cover the probable compensation and arbitration. The security must not be less than 50% of the amount offered by the applicant in the notice of expropriation. If notice of service can not be made, the judge may order substitutional or other service, or may dispense with service if the circumstances justify it.

When the power to take possession of land becomes vested in an applicant, and the previous owner or party fails to make a transfer to the applicant on the applicant's demand, the applicant must apply to the Registrar of Titles to issue title in the name of the applicant. If the parcel is not already shown as a parcel on a plan, the applicant must first submit a plan for approval to the Controller of Surveys.



© 2014 Government of Saskatchewan. All rights reserved.