The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

Recovery of Rentals
Overview of the Process
Minimize 1. Confirm that compensation is owing

Section 36 states “Where any money payable by an operator under a surface lease, right of entry order or compensation order has not been paid and the due date for its payment has passed, the person entitled to receive the money may submit to the Board written evidence of the non-payment”.

Minimize 2. Apply to the Board for recovery of rentals

The person entitled to receive compensation is required to submit an application for recovery of rentals to the Surface Rights Board, which should include:

  • Copy of the original Surface Lease or Board Order and amendments (including plan of site if it is available),
  • Any correspondence relevant to the non-payment with respect to the involved site,
  • Copy of the last cheque stub received.

For more information, see How to Apply.

Minimize 3. Statutory Declaration

After receiving the Application and required documentation, if the matter is straightforward, Board Administration will provide the applicant with a draft Statutory Declaration reflecting the information provided. In more complicated cases, the applicant may be required to prepare the declaration.

The applicant must carefully review the Statutory Declaration for accuracy and have it sworn in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths (or Notary Public if outside of Alberta) and then return the signed Statutory Declaration to the Board. The Board may ask for additional information. 

Minimize 4. Board serves notice to operator

On receiving the evidence, if the Board considers that it satisfactorily proves non-payment, the Board will send a written notice to the operator demanding full payment. If the operator does not respond within 30 days, the Board may send a second notice and then suspend the operator’s right to enter the site. If there is no response to the suspension order after another 30 days, a final notice and may be issued and the operator’s right to enter the land may be terminated.

Minimize 5. Possible payment from general revenue fund

If the operator’s rights have been terminated and full payment still has not been made, the Board may direct the Minister to pay out of the General Revenue Fund the amount of money to which the applicant is entitled. After receiving payment from the General Revenue Fund, if the applicant provides evidence of a subsequent non-payment of compensation by submitting an application, the Board may direct the Minister to make further payments.

Where the Minister pays an operator’s compensation owing, the amount paid and any expenses incurred constitute a debt owing by the operator to the Crown.

Minimize 6. Hearing and site inspection

At any stage of this process the Board has discretion to hold proceedings if it is deemed appropriate.

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