Considered a last resort, expropriation is the legal process by which the City is permitted to take private interests in land for a public benefit or purpose without the consent of the owner. This option is available when a private party is unwilling to voluntarily sell their land. The City can take a portion of the land or the entire parcel depending on what makes the most sense for the project.
This process is regulated by the Expropriation Act, RSA 2000, c. E-13, which requires all municipalities to comply with the same requirements and gives all private land owners the same rights and entitlements when their land interest is being expropriated.
The process and timelines for notices, approvals, payments and possession dates are directed by the Act and can be time consuming and lengthy. Whenever possible, the City would rather reach a voluntary agreement to provide property owners ample time to make necessary arrangements without having to go through a formal legal process. This is always the preferred route over the expropriation process.