Find Lawyers in Canada for Expropriation Law

Practice Area Overview

Expropriation law is concerned with the process by which authorities may acquire property without the consent of an owner.

Federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as many other prescribed authorities in Canada (such as public utilities, transportation authorities, and school boards) are vested with powers of expropriation and may exercise those powers in furtherance of a public purpose. Federal and provincial statutes set out the rights of owners and the duties imposed upon authorities in the context of expropriation.

The Supreme Court of Canada has described the act of expropriation as "one of the ultimate exercises of governmental authority" as it constitutes a very significant interference with private property rights.

Expropriation lawyers assist authorities and affected owners in navigating the legal processes that are engaged when the public interest necessitates such interference with private property rights. Landowners, tenants, and mortgagees are common respondents to an expropriation.

Legal advice and representation in the context of expropriation frequently entails:

  • Advising as to the legal basis for expropriation
  • Advising as to the prescribed expropriation procedures to be followed, including delivery of prescribed statutory notices and offers
  • Advising as to the potential heads of compensation
  • Coordinating such other consultants as may be required, such as real estate appraisers, land use planners, traffic consultants, and business loss valuators, to assist in the determination of compensation
  • Engaging in settlement negotiations
  • Preparation of interim and/or final settlement agreements
  • Conduct of hearings of necessity, negotiations, and compensation hearings
David Sunday Sorbara, Schumacher, McCann
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