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Monday, February 08, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

The power to expropriate in Saskatchewan is found in a number of Acts. The Expropriation Procedure Act governs most expropriations and determines compensation for expropriated lands.

Expropriation is the taking of land for public purposes without the consent of the owner of the land. The power to expropriate is given to expropriating authorities - usually the province or an association or person empowered by law to acquire land by expropriation.

The Act does not apply to either The Crown Minerals Act or The Surface Rights Acquisition and Compensation Act which have separate expropriation provisions with respect to both procedure and compensation, or to any expropriation where an urban or rural municipality or school board is the expropriating authority.

No action to expropriate land can be taken unless the expropriating authority has first made a reasonable effort to acquire the land by purchase from the registered owner.
The Act establishes a Public and Private Rights Board. The Board is responsible to investigate expropriations when an application is made by the owner for a review and to negotiate claims with respect to compensation.

When land is or will be expropriated for a public improvement, the owner may apply to the Board for a review of the route, situation or design of the improvement.

A person may apply to the Board for a review of the amount of compensation offered at any time after being served with an offer of compensation.

An expropriating authority wishing to expropriate land must file a declaration of expropriation in the Land Titles Registry office. Once the declaration is filed, the land described in the declaration is transferred to the expropriating authority. The expropriating authority is immediately entitled to take possession of the land. However, before entering on the land, an expropriating authority must give notice of its intention to the occupier of the land.

When land is transferred to the expropriating authority, the mines and minerals are not included unless the expropriating authority is authorized to expropriate mines and minerals and describes them in the declaration of expropriation.

Immediately after filing a declaration of expropriation or a notice of possession, the expropriating authority must serve a notice of compulsory acquisition on the registered owner of the expropriated land. The notice must include the address to which claims may be forwarded and the time within which an action for compensation must be begun. A copy of the notice must be served upon each person having an interest in the land.

The expropriating authority must make an offer of compensation within four months to the registered owner and any interested person. At any time after receiving the notice of compensation, an owner may serve notice on the expropriating authority requiring the expropriating authority to give the owner an evaluation report respecting the amount of compensation offered.

If the owner does not accept the offer of compensation, he or she may apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for an order fixing the amount of compensation.

If the division of the compensation awarded or accepted cannot be agreed to, the expropriating authority shall pay the amount of the compensation into Court and, upon application of any of the persons affected, the judge shall determine to whom the compensation or any portion of it shall be paid.

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