I read with interest the reply to my property rights column from Colin McNiven.
Of course, there was no mention of the Special Areas Act in the Hansen case.
There did not need to be.
The irrigation project was being built under the Public Lands Act.
The bureaucrats in public lands knew the people in the Special Areas do not have property rights on either deeded or lease land so they just proceeded to take that property without compensation.
The government admitted that the Hansen’s did not have property rights when they seized the property.
If any level of government wants some land for any reason from someone in a rural municipality, they must negotiate or expropriate some level of compensation for the property.
Some years ago the county wanted a corner out of a quarter section of mine to widen an intersection on the road. It was only a few 100 square feet but I got paid.
That does not have to happen in the Special Areas.
The government can just take land for whatever reason when they want to without compensation.
Public Lands would not have taken land in a rural municipality without compensation because the people in a rural municipality have property rights or at least did have until the Stelmach government passed Bill 36. Section 11 of that legislation does give the government the authority to take land without compensation.
The Hansen case is a real eye-opener. It demonstrates just how little respect bureaucrats have for citizens and their tax dollars.
They spent over a million dollars to defend themselves when they could have offered the Hansen’s a few thousand dollars for the dam and surrounding property.
They didn’t offer the Hansen’s compensation just because they didn’t have to.
The government has no compassion so they don’t care about the hell they put people through just to prove their point!