Leviathan: Is Resistance Futile?

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In this conference presentation, Elizabeth Brubaker discusses the expropriation of private property to promote private economic development – a practice that is not restrained by Canada’s constitution or by federal or provincial legislation. She contrasts the unrestricted taking of property in Canada to recent experience south of the border, where 45 states have passed laws limiting the use of expropriation. Continue reading

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Replacing Expropriation with Voluntary Exchange: A Property Rights Approach to Siting Facilities

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In this conference presentation, Elizabeth Brubaker questions whether development that relies on expropriation can ever be truly sustainable. She proposes a voluntary siting process in which developers acquire land or easements from willing sellers on the open market. Continue reading

Expropriation: Inescapably Necessary, or a Convenient Tool?

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In this conference presentation, Elizabeth Brubaker discusses the expropriation of Frank Meyers’s farm. The case calls attention to problems common in expropriation. The hearing process is a sham; alternatives to expropriation are not fully considered; and financial compensation cannot make everyone whole. Brubaker argues that expropriation should be allowed only when inescapably necessary in the interest of good government. Continue reading

Expropriation Gone Awry: A Case Study

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In this conference presentation, Elizabeth Brubaker discusses the city of Toronto’s expropriation of six properties on the northeast corner of Yonge and Dundas in order to make way for a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, shops, and offices. Brubaker argues that forcibly taking land from private owners and re-selling it to private developers was an abuse of the city’s powers. She calls for an overhaul of the expropriation process to ensure that property is taken only for legitimate public uses and that landowners are treated fairly. Continue reading

Weathering the Perfect Storm: Water Survival Strategies for Alberta’s Municipalities

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In this presentation to mayors and chief administrative officers of Alberta municipalities, Elizabeth Brubaker describes the challenges facing Alberta’s water providers: Many water systems perform poorly, many face growing water shortages, and all are operating in an ever more difficult regulatory environment. Brubaker advises municipalities to price their water right, invest in their systems, get experts to operate them, and hold the operators accountable for their performance.

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Meeting the Challenges: How the private sector can help solve the problems plaguing Ontario’s water and wastewater providers

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In this presentation to a conference on Infrastructure Renewal held in Toronto in October 2009, Elizabeth Brubaker discusses Ontario’s water and wastewater problems, including poorly performing utilities, unmet capital needs, and underpriced services.

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A right to harm: How right-to-farm laws violate rural residents’ property rights and promote unsustainable farming practices

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A presentation to Property Rights, Economics, and Environment: Land Resources, an international conference organised by the Centre d’Analyse Economique Environnement and the International Centre for Research on Environmental Issues. The conference took place in Aix-en-Provence, France, on June 26-28, 2006.

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Water and wastewater privatization in the United States and Canada: The new challenges, and how we can meet them

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In this speech to the Annual Conference of the National Association of Water Companies, Elizabeth Brubaker addresses both legitimate concerns about privatization — including several high-profile failures — and less legitimate political barriers to privatization. Continue reading

Responding to the Crisis: Strengthening Regulation Through Privatization

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A presentation to the Safe and Clean Drinking Water Strategies Conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, on July 10, 2001.
 

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