On August 22, 2012 the Government of Alberta approved the Lower
Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP), making it the first regional plan
to be completed under Alberta's Land-use Framework. The plan
came into effect on September 1, 2012.
Alberta's Land-use Framework (LUF), released in December
2008, set out an approach to managing Alberta's land and
natural resources to achieve its long-term economic, environmental
and social goals. The LUF established seven new land-use regions
and calls for the development of a regional plan for each.
The Alberta Land Stewardship Act supports the LUF and
establishes the legal basis for the development of regional plans.
The first of the regional plans, the LARP, was released in draft
form on April 5, 2011. The region covers approximately 93,212
square kilometres and is located in the northeast corner of
Alberta. It is bordered to the north by the Northwest Territories
and to the south by the County of Vermilion River, the County of
St. Paul and Smoky Lake County. To the east, it is bordered by
Saskatchewan and to the west by Wood Buffalo National Park,
MacKenzie County and the Municipal District of Opportunity.
The development of the LARP used a three-phase consultation
process which gathered:
input on the region's issues;
feedback on the advice from the Lower Athabasca Regional
Advisory Council; and
feedback on the Government of Alberta's Draft Lower
Athabasca Integrated Regional Plan.
The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan:
Establishes a long-term vision for the region;
Aligns provincial policies at the regional level to balance
Alberta's economic, environmental and social goals;
Reflects ongoing commitment to engage Albertans, including
aboriginal peoples, in land-use planning;
Uses a cumulative effects management approach to balance
economic development opportunities and social and environmental
Sets desired economic, environmental and social outcomes and
objectives for the region;
Describes the strategies, actions, approaches and tools
required to achieve the desired outcomes and objectives;
Establishes monitoring, evaluation and reporting commitments to
assess progress; and
Provides guidance to provincial and local decision-makers
regarding land-use management for the region.
The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan has four key components:
Introduction – includes the purpose of the regional
plan, land-use planning and decision-making in Alberta, and how the
regional plan will inform land-use decisions.
Strategic Plan – includes a stated vision for the
future of the region along with desired regional outcomes. Builds
on existing policies and initiatives by establishing a set of
strategic directions that help achieve the regional vision and
Implementation Plan – includes regional objectives,
strategies and actions that will be undertaken to support
achievement of the regional vision and outcomes and indicators to
measure and evaluate progress.
Regulatory Details Plan – designed to make it
possible to achieve the strategic direction and strategies and
Up to 19 oil sands leases that are currently undeveloped will be
cancelled to provide for conservation areas. While the matter of
compensation for these leases is likely to be an important issue in
the coming months, there is presently a lack of clarity surrounding
particulars as to what that compensation will look like.
While there are relatively few substantial changes from the
draft version of the LARP released a year ago, one significant
change involves the Dillon River Conservation Area, which stretches
along the eastern border of the province north of the Cold Lake Air
Weapons Range. The final revisions call for this area to be
increased by 27,000 hectares to a total of 191,500 hectares and to
receive greater protection by being designated a Wildland
Provincial Park. This particular area is considered key habitat for
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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