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What is a Notice of Application for Approval to Expropriate Land?


Expropriating authorities are often successful in amicably negotiating the acquisition of land required for an infrastructure project.  However, in certain circumstances an authority is required to pursue expropriation to acquire land.  Expropriation often arises where negotiations with the landowner are at an impasse or where a project’s timeline requires timely possession.

A Notice of Application for approval to Expropriate Land is the notice through which expropriating authorities initiate the formal expropriation process.  The Notice, which identifies the lands required by the authority, is served on all “registered owners” of the land via registered mail.  “Registered owners” are owners of the land whose interest appears of title to the lands, including tenants appearing on assessment rolls.

All other “owners” who do not have an interest shown on title are deemed to have been served with a Notice of Application through publication of the Notice in a local newspaper once-a-week for three consecutive weeks. 

Once an owner is provided with a Notice of Application for Approval to Expropriate Land, he or she has 30 days to request an Inquiry to determine whether the proposed expropriation is fair sound and reasonably necessary: see Can I Fight or Contest an Expropriation?  Following the Inquiry, or if no Inquiry is requested, the authority may proceed with seeking approval for the proposed taking and the registration of a plan of expropriation.   

A Notice of Application for Approval to Expropriate Land must be in the form prescribed by the Forms regulation under Expropriations Act:

Related Blogs

Learning of a Potential Expropriation

Landowners often learn of a potential expropriation long before it actually takes place. Owners will sometimes become aware that their lands are to be acquired/expropriated for an infrastructure project through a public consultation or information session.

Why is My Land Being Expropriated

Land can be expropriated for a variety of public purposes, depending on the institution or government authority carrying out the work. Most expropriation projects arise out of a need for new and improved public infrastructure, and arrive on the heels of environmental assessments which determine the best route or location for the project.

Legal Costs Under the Expropriations Act

The Expropriations Act is a remedial statute with the purpose of rendering the expropriated land owner economically whole. Accordingly, in addition to prescribing compensation for land taken and related impacts, the Act also prescribes the reimbursement of reasonable legal and professional costs incurred by an owner in the determination of compensation. The reimbursement of costs is contemplated under section 32 of the Act.

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