Alberta to Introduce Bill to Prevent Federal Employees From Trespassing on Private Land

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Alberta says it will soon introduce legislation to prevent federal government employees from trespassing onto private land.

On March 1, House Leader Joseph Schow outlined the legislative agenda for the spring session which is expected to last one month. It will be the final sitting before the next provincial election on May 29.

One of the proposed bills to be introduced this session includes Bill 9, the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, which will make amendments to the Trespass Act and Petty Trespass Act in order to prevent the entry of federal government agents onto privately owned land in Alberta.

At a news conference on March 1, Schow said if federal employees “decide to trespass on private land, they will be charged.”

“In this province, we do respect property rights. And it’s always nice to ask for permission before you go on someone’s private land,” said Schow. “So we’re making that an offence in this province.”

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro is expected to provide specific details about the bill, once it is tabled.

A spokesperson for Shandro said there had been no “confirmed cases” of trespassing by federal government employees in Alberta, but that “concerns were raised by landowners following events that transpired in Saskatchewan in 2022 when a property owner identified trespassing occurring without permission.”

Last summer, the Saskatchewan government amended its laws to include federal workers among those who cannot trespass, after a landowner in that province alleged federal inspectors took water samples from a dugout on private land without consent.

The Alberta government said a review determined the trespass legislation in the province “could be further strengthened.”

NDP Leader Rachel Notley said the bills seemed “to be part of a longer pattern to distract Albertans from key priorities that really matter to them and to pick fights with Ottawa.”

The Canadian Press contributed to this report.

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