Expropriation for Scarborough subway extension an unnecessary evil

Gallery

A common test of whether a proposed expropriation is legitimate is whether it is “fair, sound, and reasonably necessary.” Expropriations for the Scarborough subway extension fail all three tests. Continue reading

Advertisements

If we build it, will they come? Expropriating land for economic development dreams

Gallery

Brockville, Ontario’s, plans to expropriate land for an industrial park illustrate the problems that may arise when municipalities act as developers. Continue reading

Leviathan: Is Resistance Futile?

Gallery

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

Windsor confirms place in expropriation hall of shame

Gallery

The city of Windsor, Ontario, is infamous for expropriating private property for the benefit of private companies. The city has now outdone itself, taking two homes for an admittedly unknown private use at some unspecified time in the future. In addition to being unnecessary, the expropriation is unfair and economically unsound. Continue reading

Voluntary Exchange: Replacing Expropriation with Respect

Gallery

The inaugural issue of Pipeline Observer features an article by Elizabeth Brubaker, who proposes a voluntary siting process for pipelines, transmission lines, and other facilities. Continue reading

Expropriation hearings are charades

Gallery

Inquiries into expropriation create a phony sense of participation and empowerment, and do nothing to protect Canadians’ property rights. Elizabeth Brubaker calls on public agencies to provide for due process and take property only when expropriation has been demonstrated to be truly fair, sound, and necessary. Continue reading

Expropriation in the news: The private projects edition

Gallery

This sampling of stories covered by the media in 2014 provides an overview of expropriations undertaken for the benefit of private companies in Ontario. It describes the taking of land for a private transmission line, residential and commercial real estate developments, industrial parks, and an auto plant. Continue reading

Expropriation in the news: The public projects edition

Gallery

This sampling of stories covered by the media in 2014 provides an overview of expropriations for roads, sewers, and other public purposes. Despite the public nature of the projects, many of the takings raise troubling questions about the process. Continue reading

Corporate bullying: Expropriating for private purposes in Nova Scotia

Gallery

Nova Scotia’s Expropriation Act authorizes the taking of private land for public works and other public purposes. But expropriation in the province increasingly serves private purposes, helping international resource development companies acquire land at reduced prices. This article by Elizabeth Brubaker reviews recent expropriations for three private projects – the Black Point Aggregate Quarry, the Touquoy Gold Mine, and the Maritime Link Transmission Project. Continue reading

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

Gallery

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 in Canada: Discretion Masquerading as Law

Gallery

Although expropriation is one of the most extreme uses of government power, Canadian governments have almost complete discretion over when they resort to it. Governments often justify this violation of their citizens’ property rights as being necessary to carry out public purposes. But expropriations that serve private interests, and those that are unnecessary, have become commonplace. Citizens have little recourse against arbitrary, unfair, and unjustified expropriations. This study by Elizabeth Brubaker provides an overview of federal and provincial expropriation laws. It examines the forums that give landowners only an illusion of meaningful participation in the expropriation process. It looks at a number of disputed expropriations, and at how the courts have grappled with them. And it suggests reforms to better balance the needs of governments with the rights of landowners. Continue reading

Expropriation: Inescapably Necessary, or a Convenient Tool?

Gallery

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

Gallery

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