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RAPIDRegulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit
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Bulk Transmission Canadian Land Access (3)

Information current as of 2019
In Canada, a bulk transmission developer may need a right-of-way, lease, or other use approval to access property necessary for project development. A developer may need to acquire access to or need to pass through, under, or over federal, provincial, territorial, local, municipal, tribal, or private land for bulk transmission development. Generally, to gain access to federal, provincial, territorial, local, municipal or tribal land, the developer will need to obtain a right-of-way, lease, or other use authorization. For access to private land, the developer may need to negotiate an easement with the private landowner.



Canadian Land Access Process


3.1 to 3.2 – Does the Project Require Access to Private Land?

If the bulk transmission project requires access to private land, the developer may need to purchase the land or obtain an easement from the landowner. The developer should conduct a due diligence review of the private land before signing the easement or purchasing the property. At minimum, the due diligence review should include a title opinion, an environmental assessment, a survey, an on-site evaluation, and a zoning opinion.

Private lands may also include rights-of-way held by railroad or telecommunication companies that may affect the development of the bulk transmission project. If the bulk transmission project will cross over, under, or anyway affect a railroad or telecommunication right-of-way, the developer will also need to negotiate a private lease agreement with the holder of the right-of-way for an easement to access the right-of-way.

3.3 to 3.4 – Does the Project Require Access to Local Government Land?

If the project requires access to, under, or over municipal, county, or other local government land, the developer should contact the local government with jurisdiction over the land. The developer should consult with the local government to determine the approvals required and what the process is for obtaining such approvals. The local land approval process will vary from local government to local government.

3.5 to 3.6 – Does the Project Require Access to Provincial or Territorial Land?

A developer seeking access to, through, under, or over provincial or territorial land may need to obtain a lease, right-of-way, or other approval from the provincial or territorial agency with jurisdiction over the land. Each province and territory has its own land right-of-way process. Some provinces and territories have a centralized land right-of-way process where a single entity regulates land access. Other provinces and territories have a more decentralized land access process where the agency with jurisdiction over the land has its own regulatory process for land access approvals. The developer should refer to the provinces or territory’s regulations to determine the necessary state land access approvals required for development.

Alberta

In Alberta, a bulk transmission developer may need an Easement from the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks to install utilities across or on public lands. For more information, see:

Crown Land Right-of-Way:
3-AB-b

British Columbia

In British Columbia, a bulk transmission developer may need a Statutory Right-of-Way or Easement from Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations to access Crown lands for public or private utility development including electric transmission lines. Land Act, RSBC 1997, c. 245 s. 40. For more information, see:

Crown Land Right-of-Way:
3-BC-b

Manitoba

In Manitoba, a bulk transmission developer may need an Easement and a Work Permit from the Lands Branch of the Department of Sustainable Development if the project is located upon, over, under, or in respect of any Crown lands. For more information, see:

Crown Land Right-of-Way:
3-MB-b

New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, a bulk transmission developer may need an Easement, License of Occupation and/or Utility Lease from the New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development for any project involving the extended use or development of Crown Land. For more information see:

Crown Land Right-of-Way Overview:
3-NB-b

Ontario

In Ontario, a bulk transmission developer may need an Easement from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry if the project is located in or over any public lands. For more information, see: Crown Land Right-of-Way:
3-ON-b

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, a bulk transmission developer may need a Crown Resource Land Disposition from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment to build across, over, under on or through any Crown resource lands. For more information, see:

Crown Land Right-of-Way:
3-SK-b

Yukon

In Yukon, a bulk transmission developer may need a Utility Land Easement or a Land Use Permit from the Yukon Department of Energy, Mines and Resources Land Management Branch if any part of the project will occupy Yukon lands or territorial lands, respectively. For more information, see:

Territorial Land Right-of-Way Overview:
3-YK-b

3.7 to 3.8 — Will the Project Encroach on a State or Local Highway Right-of-Way?

A developer may need a lease, right-of-way, or other approval from the province, territory, or local agency with jurisdiction for projects that encroach upon a provincial, territorial, or local highway. Provincial, territorial, and local governments require encroachment approval (e.g., lease, right-of-way, etc.) for any object placed in, over, or under a local or state highway right-of-way (i.e. towers, poles, pipelines, fences, and other structures), as well as when a private access road or driveways that join a public road.

Alberta

In Alberta, a bulk transmission developer may need a Permit for Placement of an Electrical Facility from the Alberta Ministry of Transportation to construct a utility line within a provincial highway permit area. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way Overview:
3-AB-c

British Columbia

In British Columbia, a bulk transmission developer may need a Utility Permit from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation to use or occupy a provincial highway right-of-way. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way:
3-BC-c

Manitoba

In Manitoba, a bulk transmission developer may need a Highway Right-of-Way Permit from the Manitoba Department of Infrastructure for any project on or across a departmental road, or in a controlled area. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way:
3-MB-c

"'New Brunswick'"

In New Brunswick, a bulk transmission developer may need a Highway Usage Permit from the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure or the New Brunswick Highway Corporation to erect or place any structure, equipment or other object under, across, through or alongside a highway. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way:
3-NB-c

Ontario

In Ontario, a bulk transmission developer may need an Encroachment Permit and/or a Building and Land Use Permit from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for any project located along or near a provincial highway. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way Overview:
3-ON-c

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, a developer may need a Utility Permit from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure if any part of the project runs within the right-of-way of a provincial highway. For more information, see:

Provincial Highway Right-of-Way:
3-SK-c

Yukon

In Yukon, a bulk transmission developer needs a Work Within Highway Right-of-Way Permit from the Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works Transportation Maintenance Branch for "the installation or maintenance of utilities, including cables…buried or above ground." For more information, see:

Territorial Highway Right-of-Way:
3-YK-c

3.9 to 3.10 – Does the Project Require Access to Indigenous Land?

A developer may need a Designation Lease or Locatee Lease from the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada for any project requiring a right-of-way across indigenous land (reserves). Reserves are tracts of land, the legal title to which is vested in the Crown, that have been set apart by the Crown for the use and benefit of a Band. Bands are a “body of Indians for whose use and benefit in common, lands, the legal title to which is vested in [the Crown] have been set apart. If the project requires access to indigenous land, the developer needs approval from the applicable band. For more information, see:

Indigenous Land Right-of-Way Overview:
3-CAN-b

3.11 to 3.12 – Does the Project Require Access to Federal Land?

A developer may need access to federal land, and they should contact the federal government agency with jurisdiction for details. Currently, the RAPID Toolkit does not have content regarding federal land access regulatory requirements for bulk transmission development in Canada.




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