In this case, the Yukon Supreme Court considered whether a
zoning bylaw and Official Community Plan (OCP) designating lands as
green space amount to de facto expropriation or injurious
affection of mineral claims on those lands.
In 1998, Lobo Del Norte Ltd. acquired nine mineral claims in the
City of Whitehorse registered under the Quartz Mining Act,
but did not apply for the required approvals or land-use permits
from the Yukon government. Lobo had, however, performed some
mineral assessment, drilling and geophysical work costing
approximately $350,000. At the time Lobo acquired the claims, the
city zoning bylaw did not permit mining. In 2012, the city passed a
zoning bylaw and implemented an OCP that designated the area with
the claims as a "Greenbelt," and informed Lobo that it
would have to apply to the city to amend both the OCP and bylaw in
order to conduct mining operations. Lobo instead applied for a
declaration that the OCP and bylaw had resulted in a de
facto expropriation or extinguishment of its mineral
The Court found that the actions of the city did not amount to
expropriation, which requires a finding of a confiscation or
removal of virtually all of the aggregated incidents of ownership
or all reasonable private uses. There was no evidence that
Lobo's rights in the lands had been completely confiscated. The
mineral claims remained vested in Lobo, and Lobo had not been
denied permission to mine. In addition, Lobo had not made any
efforts to exercise its rights, such as by applying for an
amendment to the bylaw.
The Court went on to consider Lobo's claim for injurious
affection under the Expropriation Act, which can be made
out where some of the incidents of ownership are lost or damaged.
The Court held that the test had not been met because the status of
the mineral claims was the same as when Lobo acquired them. Even if
the new OCP and zoning bylaw could lead to more scrutiny of
Lobo's activities, mining had not been permitted at any time
that Lobo had owned the claims.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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