Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers

 LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers
Apr 112017

Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers

An oil company shut down leaving the well on my land abandoned. What do I do now?
There is a transmission line running through my property. Is it necessary? Can I challenge it?
Should I sign this lease agreement? How will it affect me in the future?

Rural property owners are constantly faced with these kinds of challenges. From abandoned and broken wells and weed contamination, to difficult OH&S questions, wetlands and noxious weeds issues, and more.

Join seminar chair Gayle Langford and knowledgeable panelists in Red Deer (June 2) for Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers to address some of these challenging issues.

Program Overview

When it comes to standing up for the “little guy” Gayle is as passionate as she is knowledgeable. We recently spoke with Gayle to find out more about why this program is valuable. Here’s what she had to say.

I see property rights as an extension of personal rights, so as we see an erosion of property rights we also see an erosion of personal rights. These are such important topics and they’re ones that few lawyers get the opportunity to learn about. It’s the kind of subject that you can’t get out of a book. Unless you have the experience or a really good mentor, this is a hard area to learn. It’s a great opportunity for attendees to ask some of the more challenging questions.”

Topics and Presenters

We also spoke with Gayle to find out more about the topics that each of the presenters will be discussing with attendees. Here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect.

Darryl Carter QC | Stringam LLP

Darryl Carter practices out of Grande Prairie and is very experienced in Surface Rights. What’s happening right now is that most landowners get enticed to sign an agreement, but when they sign that agreement, they actually give away a lot of their Rights of Appeal, which they may not realize. Darryl is going to speak about why landowners may want to reconsider giving consent as well as the other options available to them.”

Lee Cutforth QC | Chair, Lethbridge Police Commission

Lee Cutforth is the Former Property Rights Advocate, and he is going to explain why property rights are so important and why we ought to care as lawyers.”

Michael Niven QC & Christy Lee | Carscallen LLP

Michael Niven and Christy Lee did an appeal for me on adverse effects – damages for outside of the right-of-way. I managed to get a dissenting opinion from the Appeal Board and then Michael and Christy successfully appealed it. This is significant because it’s the first time that there has actually been recognition of the adverse effects of property outside of a transmission line where it dissects that property. They are also going to talk about Clubroot as it is becoming more of an issue for those who earn a living from their land.”

Daryl Bennett | My Landman Group Inc.

Darryl Bennett became involved with Surface Rights and leases because they were impacting his family’s land, so his story is very personal. He is well respected and can advise on what to do if your leases are not maintained and if oil companies are not repairing wells. Darryl will also be able to answer questions attendees may have about the orphan well program.”

Shafak Sajid | Co-Author of A Matter of Trust

Shafak recently conducted a study with the University of Ottawa. Her focus in the study was on the changes in legislation affecting rural property owners and the adverse impacts these changes have had. This study shows how Alberta compares with other provinces.”

Christopher Spasoff | F2 Legal Counsel

Christopher Spasoff used to work for OH&S, so he is an expert when it comes to understanding some of the broad powers OH&S inspectors have. Christopher is going to discuss the broad powers that lawyers need to understand.”

Keith Wilson | Wilson Law Office

Keith Wilson is very experienced in all areas of administrative law. He has a wealth of knowledge, and his presentation deals with Alberta environment and wetlands. Keith is also going to present on drones and the use of drone evidence. Keith’s section won’t just be useful for those who act for the ‘little guy’, but will be beneficial for lawyers who work for municipalities as well.”

Register Online

Get practical pointers, take away useful resources, and gain a better understanding of the challenges rural property owners face so you can give confident, competent advice to your clients.

Register online to attend Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers in Red Deer (June 2).

Constitutional Law Symposium: Review Recent SCC Decisions

 Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Constitutional Law Symposium: Review Recent SCC Decisions
Sep 152015

Constitutional Law Symposium image

UPDATE: This seminar occurred in the past, and the seminar materials are now available.

Every year LESA works with the Centre for Constitutional Studies to host the Constitutional Law Symposium, where members of the bar and academics across western Canada gather together to discuss recent Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions, analyze trends emerging from the Court, and review helpful litigation strategies.

This year’s program promises to be exciting and informative, with panel discussions focusing on some of the most current topics of the day – the Khadr case, Trinity Western University, freedom of association, the Saguenay case, and more. As program chair Patricia Paradis pointed out, this program is particularly timely. Just last week, Edmonton’s city council decided that it would no longer say a prayer before it’s meetings as a result of the decision in the Saguenay case.

To help give you an idea of what to expect from this program, we asked Patricia a few questions about the why you are going to want to attend.

What are attendees going to gain?

“First of all they’re going to hear from first-rate practitioners who have been involved in some of the significant cases that have been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, and they will also hear from academics who can provide more of an analysis of the decisions, from a different perspective. In one particular case, we have a practitioner coming from Toronto, Ranjan Agarwal, who’s been involved in some of the significant cases that were decided by the Supreme Court of Canada this year, for example, the Saguenay case. He’ll be able to talk about some litigation strategies, …  so there’s the practical element. There’s also a more theoretical element. Overall, they’ll get a very good taste, over the course of the day, about what’s happened this year in the courts with respect to constitutional issues.”

What types of practitioners will find this program beneficial?

“Practitioners whose practice areas intersect with constitutional issues, … for example labour lawyers, anyone who does employment law, people who work on division of powers issues, … and generally people who do constitutional litigation and who might want some tips.”

Could you talk a little about the format and content of the program?

“The day is divided into 4 distinct sections. These are all panels, so there will be 2–3 people speaking on a panel on a particular subject. We have a section that deals with the section 2(d) of the Charterfreedom of association. We have one on federalism, division of powers. Another one we’re calling God and the State. And then there will be a panel on looking, generally speaking, at the year in review. There are also a couple of special talks being given that day. … Professor Donna Greschner from UVic will discuss the evolution of section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as it is 30 years old this year.. … An interesting highlight of the day will be our keynote speaker Nate Whitling; he was counsel on the Khadr case and is going to be giving us an inside look at that case from his perspective. … So there’s a little bit of something for everyone, and there will be some very challenging presentations made, for example, in the panel on God and the State, because there are some controversial issues out there, for example, Trinity Western University.”

What do people like most about the Constitutional Law Symposium?

When we asked Patricia what she liked most about this program, she highlighted the fact that it brings together a variety of academics and practitioners from across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. As she says, “It’s a western-based opportunity for interactions and synergies to be created between the bar and the academy. “

We also spoke with past attendee Lee Cutforth QC about why he likes to attend and what he’s looking forward to about the program this year. He explained that, while there are a lot of continuing legal education options, this program serves him well because it covers a lot of ground with its structure as an overview and its focus on examining general principles.

I enjoyed it last year and found it worthwhile. It was a well run seminar … that I could glean a lot from.”

Register Online

Whatever it is you are most looking forward – the general review, like Lee – the networking opportunity, like Patricia – or maybe a particular speaker or topic – this program is sure to offer you plenty of insights, information, and helpful strategies to use in your own practice.

You can register online now to attend the program in Edmonton (October 23); just make sure you register online by September 22 to take advantage of the early bird savings.