A new group hopes to unite grassroots efforts to be a voice for Alberta landowners in the legislature. As well as taking on Bill 19, the United Landowners of Alberta (ULA) will be challenging government ownership of coalbed methane.
Director Don Bester says the ULA was founded in 2008 when group of landowners “realized that the only way to end the erosion of landowner rights was to form a province-wide organization that could speak, lobby and take action on behalf of all Alberta’s landowners.
“So many smaller organizations are banging their heads together and we’re going to try and bring all those efforts together under one umbrella.”
Bester says the erosion of landowner rights such as those seen under the proposed Bill 19 must be stopped. “The days of governments engaging landowners in meaningless discussions with predetermined outcomes must end.”
One of most ambitious items on the new group’s agenda is challenging the government’s ownership of coalbed methane. “The provincial government holds no ownership of coalbed methane,” says Bester. “There is no reference in legislation to the ownership of coalbed methane and other renewable resources such as wind, solar, and geothermic energy under the Law of Property Act and the Mines and Mineral Act.”