Function and Jurisdiction

The Commission was created in 1965. The Commission exists by virtue of Part II of The Land Acquisition Act. Its operation is governed by both The Land Acquisition Act, respecting government purchases, and The Expropriation Act, respecting government expropriations; mostly the Commission deals with government (provincial, municipal, crown corporation) land acquisitions by expropriation. The Commission is an independent adjudicative tribunal, not connected in any way to any governmental body purchasing or expropriating land.

In the case of a government purchase under The Land Acquisition Act or an expropriation under The Expropriation Act, if an agreement is unable to be reached by the parties, by virtue of ss.14(1) and 15(1) of The Land Acquisition and Expropriation Acts either the landowner (including anyone with a leasehold, mortgage, or easement interest) or the governmental body can initiate an application to the Commission.

The Commission has a precise, single jurisdiction; by virtue of ss. 14(1) and 15(1) of The Land Acquisition and Expropriation Acts, respectively, the sole jurisdiction of the Commission is to “determine and certify an amount which, in the opinion of the Commission, represents [the] due compensation” payable. The Commission applies the law in this regard prescribed in The Expropriation Act, ss. 25-36. The certification of due compensation is the Commission’s sole jurisdiction; it does not have power to initiate land acquisitions, or to stop or even alter them. As mentioned, the Commission’s jurisdiction is to adjudicate, not mediate or conciliate. Commission decisions are binding on both the landowner and the governmental body, each having a full right of appeal to the Court of Appeal.