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
Category Archives: Speeches
Replacing Expropriation with Voluntary Exchange: A Property Rights Approach to Siting Facilities
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?
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
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
Water and Wastewater Utilities: The Challenges Ahead
In her remarks to the CCPPP National Conference on Public-Private Partnerships, Elizabeth Brubaker stresses that municipal water and wastewater utilities are performing badly, and that many municipalities lack the resources – both financial and professional – to solve this problem on their own.
Weathering the Perfect Storm: Water Survival Strategies for Alberta’s Municipalities
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.
Meeting the Challenges: How the private sector can help solve the problems plaguing Ontario’s water and wastewater providers
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.
A General Introduction to Property Rights and the Environment
In this presentation to Property Rights and the Environment, a student colloquium held in Vancouver in July 2009, Elizabeth Brubaker explains that property rights provide incentives to conserve scarce resources, such as water and fish.
Protecting the environment: Are property rights a better solution than legislation?
Elizabeth Brubaker spoke at the Canadian Constitution Foundation’s annual law conference, Individual Freedom and the Common Good, held in Toronto, Ontario, on October 18, 2008.
The Economic Water Cycle
The 2007 EPCOR Distinguished Lecture, presented by the Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment, in Edmonton, Alberta, on October 18, 2007.
The Future of Water and Wastewater in British Columbia: The Case for Public-Private Partnerships
A presentation to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, in Victoria, British Columbia, on May 2, 2007.
A right to harm: How right-to-farm laws violate rural residents’ property rights and promote unsustainable farming practices
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.
Agriculture, the Environment, and Private Property Rights
A speech to the Annual Conference of the Alberta Agricultural Economics Association, held in Red Deer, Alberta, on May 4, 2006.
How to win over environmentalists
In this presentation to the Water Utility Executive Council of the National Association of Water Companies, Elizabeth Brubaker urges water services providers to embrace transparent and inclusive processes, to advocate tough regulation and strict enforcement, and to perform well. Continue reading
Water and Wastewater Privatization in England and Wales: An Advocate’s Perspective
A talk prepared for Water Utilities in British Columbia: Industry Challenges and P3 Experiences, a workshop organized by the British Columbia Water and Wastewater Association in Richmond, BC, on October 23, 2003.
Water and wastewater privatization in the United States and Canada: The new challenges, and how we can meet them
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
Public Goals, Private Means
Presented to "Public Goals, Private Means" Research Colloquium
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, October 3, 2003
Lessons Learned from Walkerton
A speech to the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships’s Ninth Annual Conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, on November 27, 2001.
The Role of Government
EPRF’s presentation to the Walkerton Inquiry’s Public Hearing on the Provincial Government’s Functions recommends that the government should limit itself to strictly regulating water and wastewater systems. Continue reading
Responding to the Crisis: Strengthening Regulation Through Privatization
A presentation to the Safe and Clean Drinking Water Strategies Conference, held in Toronto, Ontario, on July 10, 2001.