CAEPLA BLOG

If You Don’t Like It, Too Bad

CER inspection powers and your Charter rights

Posted on June 29, 2020

IAMC Series 4/7

“Landowners will face prosecution and fines and jail time on conviction if they challenge the entry onto their lands of anyone accompanying a CER inspector”

We’ve already explained why CAEPLA thinks the Government is wrong to use its authority to regulate energy security and environmental safety to expand Indigenous access onto private property. 

Rather than coming out and telling Canadians what it wants to do, and opening public debate on its proposal, the Government is instead misusing its regulatory powers to open up private lands to indigenous activity unrelated to energy projects.

But the problem is more than just a Government getting something in through the backdoor that it doesn’t want people to know about – the Government’s misuse of its inspection powers is also an illegal violation of the Charter rights of landowners. 

Yes:  The Government is violating the rights of private landowners to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, which is protected by Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

CER inspectors may be authorized to enter your property to conduct inspections of energy projects, but when they bring outside parties onto your property who have their own private agendas that have nothing to do with the regulation of energy projects, the inspection becomes an unreasonable and illegal invasion of your private property. 

Landowners Prohibited from Denying Entry

CER Inspectors don’t have to ask for your permission to bring outside parties onto your property.  CER Inspectors don’t have to tell you why they say they need to bring outside parties onto your property. 

Through Bill C-69, the Government has given the CER and its inspectors wide open authority to bring anyone onto your property.  And if you don’t like it, too bad – landowners are prohibited from denying entry to anyone who is accompanying a CER inspector.  Landowners will face prosecution and fines and jail time on conviction if they challenge the entry onto their lands of anyone accompanying a CER inspector, and even if they refuse to assist the inspector. 

CAEPLA believes this violates the Charter rights of landowners, not to mention other legal-protected privacy rights.  Who knows what information the CER, Indigenous Monitors and other third parties will collect on your property, and what use they will make of that information?

And here you thought you only signed up for a pipeline.