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EXPROPRIATION - Injurious affection

Thursday, March 04, 2021 @ 6:07 AM  

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Appeal by Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) from the dismissal of its application for summary judgment to dismiss the respondent Annapolis Group’s de facto expropriation claim. HRM’s Regional Municipal Planning Strategy reserved Annapolis’ lands for possible future use as a regional park. In 2007, Annapolis requested HRM to initiate the secondary planning process with respect to its lands so that it could develop its lands. HRM passed a resolution in 2016 refusing to initiate the secondary planning process. The motion judge found the de facto expropriation claim raised genuine issues of material fact that required a trial.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The motion judge erred in finding motive played a role in the law of de facto expropriation. Improper motive did not create an alternative way of providing the claim and could not compensate for the failure to establish the required elements of de facto expropriation. There was nothing on the facts presented that could be remotely considered a taking of the Annapolis lands and a corresponding deprivation of all reasonable uses of the lands. The best that could be said was that Annapolis could not make the use of the lands they wished but that did not result in a taking. Although the resolution restricted Annapolis’ ability to develop its lands, that was not sufficient to constitute de facto expropriation. Annapolis’ claim for de facto expropriation had no reasonable chance of success and was dismissed.

Halifax (Regional Municipality) v. Annapolis Group Inc., [2021] N.S.J. No. 4, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, D.R. Beveridge, D.P.S. Farrar and A.S. Derrick JJ.A., January 7, 2021. Digest No. TLD-March12021008