Bill 2 extinguishes property rights

Dear Editor,
Alberta Surface Rights Group strongly recommends that the Alberta Government withdraw Bill 2 immediately from the legislative approval process.
The Government of Alberta has drafted offensive and invasive legislation through the introduction of Bill 2.  This legislation strips property owners and others of their right to object to any energy project that may adversely and directly affect them. Inappropriately named the “Responsible Energy Development Act”, it removes the legislation that has guided the ERCB and the former EUB for years.  It eliminates any and all references that it must act in the public interest and violates the social contract that has been in place since the 1930’s for responsible development.

The New Alberta Energy Regulator is given extreme dictatorial powers to make energy related decisions.
Here is a glimpse of this new act.
“Every decision of the Regulator is final and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court by application for judicial review”
“The Regulator, alone, may reconsider a decision made by it” and “no action may be brought against the regulator”!
Who will this new board be operating for the benefit of?   Will it be to act in the interest of private businesses at the expense of the citizens of this province?  Why then were all references to public interest removed from the act?
Accountability currently in place with our judicial system has been eliminated in a dictatorial fashion! There is no right to appeal to a court with a judge who is unbiased.
Our modern free society is based on checks and balances.  This new legislation makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible for landowners and people concerned about development and it’s far reaching impacts to challenge it in our province once this legislation takes effect. Government can unilaterally dictate what it wants to do on private lands without any recourse to the long term effects and consequences.
In light of Remembrance Day, should we not be mindful of the scores who perished fighting for a choice and freedom?  We do not think they fought and died to have future generations succumb to authoritarian tyranny which benefits a select few rather than the “public interest”.
Alberta Surface Rights Group

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