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.

Right of Entry
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For more details regarding the determination of compensation see the Guide below:

Guide to Compensation for Right of Entry


Determination of Compensation

Once a Right of Entry Order has been issued, the Board has the authority to hold proceedings to determine how much compensation is payable and to whom, pursuant to Section 23 of the Surface Rights Act. The Board’s objective in this process is to assist the parties to resolve their dispute about compensation. If the parties reach an agreement during these proceedings, the Board may adopt their agreement an as an order of the Board (see Settlement Agreement for more information). If they fail to reach an agreement, the Board will hold a hearing and issue a binding order.

The Board may consider the following factors when helping to determine the rate of compensation, as listed in subsection 25(1) of the Act:

  1. the amount the land granted to the operator might be expected to realize if sold in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer on the date the Right of Entry Order was made,
  2. the per acre value, on the date the Right of Entry Order was made, of the titled unit in which the land granted to the operator is located, based on the highest approved use of the land,
  3. the loss of use by the owner or occupant of the area granted to the operator,
  4. the adverse effect of the area granted to the operator on the remaining land of the owner or occupant and the nuisance, inconvenience and noise that might be caused by or arise from or in connection with the operations of the operator,
  5. the damage to the land in the area granted to the operator that might be caused by the operations of the operator, and
  6. any other factors that the Board considers proper under the circumstances.

Previous decisions of the Board and the Courts may be of assistance when attempting to understand how the Board may decide a particular matter. Please refer to Decisions

For new rights of entry, if an operator wishes to exercise its right of entry on freehold land, it must first pay an entry fee (section 19 of the Act) as well as 80% of the compensation offered in the written offer filed with the application (section 20 of the Act). The Board will generally follow the following procedures when assisting the parties to resolve their dispute about compensation:

Minimize 1. Negotiations:

The Board encourages parties to negotiate rate of compensation on their own. A majority of disputes are settled through negotiation and never require the Board to intervene. If the parties are able to reach an agreement on their own, see Settlement Agreement for information on how to enact that agreement.

Minimize 2. Pre-Hearing Dispute Resolution Conference and Mediation:

Upon the issuing of a Right of Entry Order, Board Administration will schedule the parties to attend a telephone Pre-Hearing Dispute Resolution Conference (“DRC”) to determine how to proceed further (rules 18 and 19 of the Surface Rights Board Rules). If requested by the parties, mediation may be scheduled to aid the parties in settling the matter (rule 20 of the Rules).

Note: If the parties come to an agreement at any time during the DRC or mediation process, they can end the process. See Settlement Agreement for more information.

Minimize 3. Oral Hearing:

If parties are unable to reach an agreement about the rate of compensation, an oral hearing may be held. For more information on hearings and decisions, please refer to Part 4 of the Surface Rights Board Rules and the Hearings page of this website. After a hearing is held, the Board will issue a decision and order determining compensation.

Minimize 4. Appeals:

Either party has the right to appeal a Compensation Order to the Court of Queen’s Bench, pursuant to section 26 of the Act. For more information on appeals, see Appealing to the Court.

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