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Dave Core, CAEPLA's CEO and Director of...
Let's make something clear: this petition against eminent domain is not really about respect for landowners, their property rights or safer pipelines. In fact it is simply hypocritical. These folks feel taking private property is fine as long as it benefits "them" (the petitioner) but it's not fine if it benefits someone else.
The language in the petition is the dead give away. The philosophy expressed is essentially anti market -- the foundation of which is the principle of property rights -- just like eminent domain itself.
"Taking private property from landowners for corporate profit is an abuse of emiRead more »
Canada's nationally regulated oil and gas pipelines were originally constructed more than 50 or 60 years ago. Many of these pipelines are reaching the end of their useful economic life.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has the regulatory authority to authorize pipeline companies to decommission or abandon these pipelines. While the NEB has implemented a toll surcharge to generate funds for this purpose, the abandonment funding currently being generated will be sufficient only to accomplish removal of approximately 20 percent of this pipeline infrastructure.Read more »
In our blog entry Davis "Bullying" Story not an Isolated Case, I stated: "I have talked with TransCanada and the man in charge of lands on the company's Eastern Mainline pipeline project (applied for at the same time as the Energy East Project) concerning the complaint about land agent bullying. This gentleman stated that he believes that his land agents would never bully a landowner and his proof is that he has the land agent's reports and his report does not "refer to any bullying". He said he would fire any agent that bullied and that there was no implications of that in the Davis caRead more »
This article about pipelines in Wisconsin clearly shows how respecting property rights would address pipeline safety issues.
Contract law, enforced if need be by the courts, would allow for market insurance coverage. Government administrative laws, regulations and regulatory bodies have failed on these issues and will continue to fail at making pipelines safer.
These "supposed" safe pipeline activists do not and will not recognize that respect for property rights would provide the very solutions they say they are after. Why? Because respect for property rights will not just level the playing field witRead more »
Privacy Rights Are Property Rights
Everybody has the right to privacy - even pipeline companies
Our recent post critiquing the reliance of some landowners on freedom of information (FOI) laws to help level the playing field when dealing with pipeline companies struck a chord with many landowners and seems to have touched a raw nerve for one irate industry critic.
Indeed the gentleman who types the "Line 6B Citizens' Blog" in Michigan waxed a wee bit hyperbolic in response to our pro property rights postRead more »
I have talked with TransCanada and the man in charge of lands on the company's Eastern Mainline pipeline project (applied for at the same time as the Energy East Project) concerning the complaint about land agent bullying. This gentleman stated that he believes his land agents would never bully a landowner and his proof is that he has seen the land agent's reports and his report does not "refer to any bullying." He said he would fire any agent that bullied and that there were no implications of that in the Davis case!!!!
I was assured that the company was not threatening landowners that TransCanada would apply to the NEB for Right of Entry on landowner's property to do the archeologicRead more »
My attendance (Dave Core) at the Manitoba Legislature the other day was indeed unique. The Minister of Agriculture (Food), not only refused to answer direct questioning by MLA's concerning the implications to farmers of expropriation of their land for Bipole III, but he also refused to acknowledge the food producers seated in the gallery or meet with them.
Here is a press release from the Manitoba farmers and landowners present explaining how they felt.Read more »
When King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 it was the first time the notion that "the law stood above the government took written, contractual form." The Magna Carta was a promise to the people that "no one could be bullied or expropriated by someone higher up on the social scale."
Yet that is exactly what is happening right now in Manitoba with the government's controversial Bi-Pole III hydroelectric project.
800 years after the Magna Carta was signed, Manitobans are fighting the Crown for their property rights as more than a hundered farm families have had their land expropriated by the Greg Selinger's NDP government.
It's interesting to note that the recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg was built around a cornerstone from the very spRead more »
Brad and Karen Davis own and operate a sheep farm in Eastern Ontario. Following is their personal story of their experience with pipelines, dealing with pipeline company land agents and the effects of the National Energy Board (NEB) Act.
We purchased our farm in September 2012 knowing there were pipelines running through the farm, but not having any knowledge of what exactly that meant to us. Our farm is 400 acres with the pipelines splitting the farm into north and south halves. We operate a pasture based sheep farm where all 400 acres are used for rotational grazing.Read more »
Snooping on pipeline companies does not make them safer…
House Bill 4540 is being depicted as a threat toRead more »
“We just don’t understand where landowners fit in.” Those words were uttered to us earlier this month when CAEPLA attended the annual CAMPUT conference in Calgary. CAMPUT is the umbrella group for Canada’s energy and utility regulators, boards, and commissions. The regulatory apparatchik we were talking to made the remark offhandedly, as if you, the landowner, were a mere afterthought – if that – in the consciousness of the people government pretends are looking out for the public interest in the energy transport sector. CAEPLA has attended these conferences about every other year for the past decade. We feel it is important, as your watchdog, to understand the “enemy.” We call them the eRead more »
At CAEPLA we often get calls and e-mails from landowners seeking help dealing with a pipeline company when a land agent knocks on their door. Recently, we had such a landowner contact us from the United States regarding a pipeline that is being built in Vermont. The following is a letter Dave Core wrote in response to her concerns regarding pipelines and landowners and the lack of landowner rights.
Read more »
What is government good for? It's time to answer this question.
I read this editorial at the Globe and Mail's news service this morning.
After reading the article I realized that CAEPLA has been asking the same question about the Canadian Government's National Energy Board (NEB) and the many provincial Energy Regulators across Canada for years.
At the recent NEB Safety Forum (June 2nd and 3rd, 2015) I was asked to make a presentation on landowner issues concerning pipeline safety and I was asked to look to the future. As I look back at my remarks. I realize we simply responded in the same fashion and came to similar conclusions about the NEB as the Globe and Mail's Editors did in this editorial about government.
The NEB bureaucrats have simply compromised pipeline safety by creating "Goal Oriented Regulation" where safety is a goal rather than an expectation.
If property rights were respected, and landowners, private property owners were able to negotiate contracts disciplined by the courts, rather than bureaucrats, then the prescriptive covenants in those business contracts would enforce safety. Safety would then be an expectation.
This article in the Globe supports our historical and ongoing concerns with the NEB as explained in my presentation at the NEB Safety Forum.
"We are also witnessing the alienation of the public from the regulator with trust in the Board at an all time low. Regulators are seen either as serving industry, or government, or as being too remote or slow moving to address issues in a meaningful way."
"We need to depoliticize and 'debureaucratize' the process. We need to liberalize the system to provide landowners and industry the freedom to negotiate 'win-win' business agreements on a level playing field."
"We believe Enbridge's new working relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines."
"This is a trend that CAEPLA's member pipeline landowners are ready to embrace. We believe it will result in safer, more environmentally friendly pipelines."
On June 2nd and 3rd, the National Energy Board held a Pipeline Safety Forum. CAEPLA's CEO, Dave Core was invited to be on a panel to discuss Right of Way Issues and Solutions.
Other Members on the Panel were Pierre Lemieux, Union des producteurs agricoles du Quebec and Humphrey Banack from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Banack provided excellent coverage of landowner issues and the challenges of having pipelines "forced" on their land.
Mr. Core, from his years of experience dealing with pipeline landowner issues across Canada, provided a fresh perspective of the future and how respecting landowner property rights and resolving their legitimate issues addresses concerns for pipeline safety and the environment.
"I was helpfully advised by a nice person at the Board to please not come here to give a history lesson. I was reminded that there is a new team at the NEB now, a new chair, and a whole new attitude..."
Paul G. Vogel is a partner in the London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul contributes to Agrilaw, a syndicated column produced by the full service London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul G. Vogel practices in the area of commercial litigation and environmental law. Agrilaw is intended to provide information to farm operators on topics of interest and importance. The opinions expressed are not intended as legal advice. Before acting on any information contained in this column, readers should obtain legal advice with respect to their own particular circumstances and geographical area.
Farmers across Canada are becoming increasingly concerned about the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and other pathogens and the potentially disastrous consequences of these biosecurity risks for annual crop production. From clubroot in the West to soya bean cyst nematode in Eastern Canada, government agencies, producer organizations and farmers are all focused on controlling these biosecurity risks.
CAEPLA has been working hard on behalf of you, the landowner, to build bridges with industry.
Since reaching out formally to pipeline companies last year in pursuit of "win-win" business agreements that address your legitimate concerns in the way no regulator or green activist ever could, we are pleased to report some progress.
At this year's Enbridge Annual General Meeting, Enbridge CEO, Al Monaco, reported to Enbridge shareholders and its board of directors how the company has responded to CAEPLA's plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues. We include some excerpts from his comments down below.
Dave Core, CEO and Director of Federally Regulated Projects for CAEPLA, also took the opportunity to respond to Enbridge now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. We also include his comments below.
Al Monaco's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
"…This is all to say that the energy landscape in North America has changed.
And we’re leading that change.
Here’s how Enbridge is approaching the business today."
Engaging Communities and Landowners
"First of all, the most important thing we emphasize – listen to what communities are saying!
We’re using that input to make our projects better.
It’s important for our staff, but that also applies to me as CEO.
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of communities.
It’s critical to build strong relationships with our landowners and communities – and through that, we build trust.
The value of constructive relationships is evident in our Line 3 Replacement Project.
I’d like to acknowledge the involvement of Mr. David Core the president of CAEPLA (Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations).
Dave is here today. He’s been at our Annual General Meeting before.
He does a good job of holding us to account, but also in finding solutions to make projects better.
In 2009, a key factor enabling construction of our Alberta Clipper pipeline was a landowner agreement we developed working with Dave and his membership.
More recently, Dave was instrumental in pioneering an environmental protection protocol with Enbridge to prevent the spread of club root.
In Q1 2015, we were successful in reaching an agreement – and support – for Line 3.
That collaboration is testament to the ability of both groups to find common ground."
Dave Core's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
I attended last year's annual meeting to plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues and suggest it was time to do business another way. Time to move away from regulatory processes in favor of "win-win" business agreements. Time to stop expropriating landowners and embrace us instead as business partners. And perhaps more importantantly, as public relations partners. Partnership with property owners will permit pipeline companies to win political and PR battles and earn the social license the public demands in order to get projects done. Why, because addressing landowner issues will make pipelines safer. Landowners can help ensure that.
As an owner of shares in a number of pipeline companies I attended other annual meetings to pitch these same ideas. In 2014 we began to sense a shift in attitude -- an evolution of thinking, if you will, coming from the executive suite at Enbridge.
So when we reached out to industry to propose new ways of doing things, we were pleased to find Mr. Monaco and his team reaching back. CAEPLA and Enbridge are now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. And in just the last six months, CAEPLA landowners across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba negotiated and signed a settlement agreement, a business agreement with Enbridge on the proposed Line 3 Replacement Project. That agreement was unanimously supported by our landowner members.
In addition, CAEPLA has recently agreed to work with Enbridge to produce much needed research on the pressing issues of pipeline decommissioning and corrosion -- one benefit of which will be to help the company clear costly regulatory hurdles that delay construction.
Another benefit of the common ground we have found with Enbridge is the creation of a precedent setting Clubroot Biosecurity protocol sure to become the industry standard across Canada.
We believe Enbridge's new relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines.
CAEPLA has spent the better part of a quarter century advocating for these things on behalf of pipeline landowners. Landowners and their families live and work with pipelines 24/7/365 - safety for us has always been paramount - so who better to partner with in the promotion of new projects?
We are encouraged to see Enbridge acknowledge this and welcome the opportunity to work cooperatively.
Yet, many challenges remain. Important landowner issues still need to be addressed. But we are committed to working on these issues incrementally, one by one, to achieve 'win-win' business agreements. Business agreements that are not only good for landowners, but good for the bottom line and good for shareholders. Business agreements that are not only good for the company, but good for the public, for pipeline safety, and the environment.
We wish to congratulate the executive of this company for your forward thinking and your ability to adapt in a changing environment.
CAEPLA/Manitoba Pipeline Landowners Association(MPLA)/Saskatchewan Association of Pipeline Landowners (SAPL) have recently concluded negotiations that was unanimously ratified by affected landowner members. Another precedent setting pipeline agreement for our landowners on the Enbridge 3 Replacement Project, as precedent setting as the agreement negotiated on the Enbridge Alberta Clipper and Southern Lights projects in 2007. Also included in the agreement is an updated Integrity Dig Agreement and resolution to outstanding issues on the Cromer Line 3 Replacement Project.
CAEPLA/MPLA/SAPL and Enbridge continue to discuss and negotiate the issue of decommissioning of Line 3 as the NEB Hearing process approaches.
Congratulations to our landowner members and Enbridge on a settlement that respects the environment, improves pipeline safety and respects property rights. Another win for the public, landowners and Enbridge.
Research by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre concludes that, whether it is federally regulated pipelines or pipelines that are regulated by provinces the current regulatory processes are manifestly unfair to landowners, pose unacceptable risks to our environment, and allow companies to escape responsibility for the full spectrum of risks posed by their pipelines.
Under the current regulatory regime, landowners have few rights when a company decides to build a pipeline across their land – and the procedures are anything but transparent. This begins right at the outset.
This paper provides needed independent research on landowners issues and provides the evidence that the federal regulations, regulatory processes and legislated Right of Entry for pipelines is nothing more than rent control and externalization of costs for the Energy Industry.
1) Ottawa's National Energy Board and its disposition towards landowners;
2) The Alberta Land Bills and the impact they will have on property rights, not just in Alberta, but even elsewhere in Canada (see what the CAEPLA SmartPig has to say about that in the letters section), and;
3) What to do when the landman comes calling.
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