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Cohen Highley LLP

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Using the Internet to find expropriation resources
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This article describes the features found on the Expropriation Law Centre website.

As most visitors to the Expropriation Law Centre will appreciate, the Internet has become an extremely valuable research tool. This is especially so when looking for information about expropriation because this is a very narrow area of the law and the Internet can provide access to information that would be too costly to distribute to such a limited market otherwise.

Except for expropriation professionals and property owners who have gone through the process, few people have much knowledge of this subject beyond perhaps a general understanding that it involves the taking of land without the owner's consent.

An owner who discovers that an expropriating authority intends to acquire his or her property immediately gains an interest in expropriation but often has difficulty finding information needed to properly respond to the expropriating authority. Owners often try to seek out professional assistance at this point but do not know where to find it.

For expropriation professionals, keeping current requires access to the latest developments in the field. Here too, resources are limited.

Since this article is an obvious effort to promote greater use of the Expropriation Law Centre website, we hesitate to point out (but will do so anyways) that the Expropriation Law Centre provides unequalled access to a large variety of expropriation resources.

News of recent developments in expropriation law or large projects requiring land acquisition is available from our News page.

Longer articles which examine specific issues at greater length are available from our Articles page.

Commentary about specific cases is available on the Reviews page.

Our Professional Directory provides a promotional opportunity for Canadian expropriation professionals. If you are a Canadian expropriation professional, you can obtain a free directory listing here by using the online Directory listing application.

Notices about upcoming events are available on the Notices page.

Expropriation is a statutory process so legislation is a critical resource. Statutes can be purchased from the appropriate government agency in each province or accessed through major libraries. Alternatively, most statutes are now available online as well. The Expropriation Law Centre has collected links to the major expropriation statutes across Canada. These links are found on the Statutes page.

There are few textbooks on the subject. We are aware of Challies, Law of Expropriation, 2nd ed. (1963), however this hardcover text is more than fifty years old, out of print and no longer very relevant. Todd, The Law of Expropriation and Compensation in Canada (2d ed.) (Carswell, 1992) is a hardcover text, also somewhat dated. Coates and Waque, New Law of Expropriation (Carswell, 1990) is a loose leaf publication that is kept current with frequent update releases. All three can be found in major libraries or in the case of the two still in print, purchased from the publisher (Carswell). However, these texts are costly and written primarily for expropriation professionals. So far as we can determine, none of them are available online.

An extensive body of case law dealing with expropriation issues has developed from the decisions issued by courts, administrative tribunals and arbitration panels in each province. Some cases are available online but many are not. Some courts and tribunals provide better access than others. Arbitration awards are rarely published anywhere. There is no single comprehensive source or index to the case law at the present time. However the Expropriation Law Centre has been building its own case law collection. This collection is continually expanded with both new and old decisions. Limited access to this database is available from the Cases page. The Expropriation Law Centre also offers a paid Online Subscription Service. This service provides a full set of search tools and reports, including case digests and reasons for decision. Information about this service can be found on the sign-up page where you can sign up and obtain immediate access.

If you would like to keep on top of the latest changes to the Expropriation Law Centre website, join our mailing list. You can do this by using the form titled "Join the Mailing List" which is located near the top right corner of most pages.

Finally, if you have a question about expropriation, go to the Forum where visitors can post questions and responses in a bulletin board format.

 

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