In an attempt to address the public’s concerns that the government could use Bill 19 The Land Assembly Area Act, to expropriate land for private interests; last Tuesday the NDP introduced an amendment to insert the words ‘Public Interest’, into the definition of a project classified under Bill 19. The amendment would have required that projects (lands bought or expropriated under Bill 19) be necessary in the public’s interest. The amendment failed!
Among the PC MLA’s that voted against the amendment to limit the definition of projects, to the ‘Public’s Interest’ was Ray Prins of Lacombe/Ponoka, Diana McQueen of Drayton Valley/Calmar, Wayne Drysdale of Grande Prairie/Wapiti, Richard Marz of Olds/Didsbury, Frank Oberle of Peace River, and Minister Jack Hayden of Drumheller/Stettler. A full list of the MLA’s that voted against the ‘Public’s Interest’ are reprinted below and can be found in Tuesday’s April 21st Hansard.
I watched from the gallery as the amendment was rejected and this is a clear contradiction of the public statements given by the PC caucus in defense of Bill 19 that projects would not be used to accumulate land for private interests. When it came down to a vote, the evidence is irrefutable, the PC caucus voted unanimously to reject inserting the words ‘Public Interest’ into the Bill. Section 3(1)(a) of Bill 19 specifically grants permission to approve any kind of use once the government takes control of a property. By rejecting this amendment the new law will not have any limitations on why property can be forcefully taken from a citizen.
The PC MLA’s, as recorded in the Hansard who voted against the motion to insert the words ‘Public Interest’; by last name include: Ady, Fritz, Marz, Benito, Griffiths, McQueen, Berger, Groeneveld, Morton, Bhardwaj, Hayden, Oberle, Blackett, Horne, Prin, Brown, Horner, Renner, Campbell, Johnson, Rodney, Danyluk, Johnston, Sarich, DeLong, Knight, Webber, Doerksen, Liepert, Woo-Paw, Drysdale, Lukaszuk, Zwozdesky and Elniski.
Alberta Green Party Leader