In the Spring 2019 edition of the Pipeline Observer (magazine), we told you about how a Manitoba couple’s retirement dreams were stolen from them…

To fund a retirement lodge.

"Give a group of government ‘good old boys’ a look at a couple of acres and they’ll take it all.

The Boyne Lodge personal care home expansion has created controversy in the Manitoba town of Carman, after details emerged that cast doubt on the claim that the Pembina Valley property had to, just had to, be expropriated.

Homeowners Steve and Vicki Hetherington saved carefully and bought wisely with his mother’s former property, the keystone to their retirement plan.

The Hetheringtons say the hearing officer stated in the fall hearing that the proposed project only required 3 1/3 acres, and not actually all 8 acres proponents claimed. Now, townsfolk who contributed to the $3.7 M pot have been wondering if they were misled. We spoke with one donor who reflected that concern but asked not to be named to avoid small-town retribution."

Expropriation in Canada is everywhere and always a government enterprise.

In this case, beginning in 2018, the Town of Carman initiated the expropriation of the Hetheringtons’ home acreage.

The town proceeded with some urgency and wound up taking almost 8 acres from the couple, notwithstanding the fact Carman is not short of developable land – in fact there is an abundance of it, everywhere you look.

Turned out the land grab by the municipal level of government leveraged a bunch more spending from the province, via the regional health authority.

Now, five years after we first reported on this story, we have an update.

And a whole lot has happened since the Hetheringtons were robbed of their retirement plans.

Very little of it as promised, or advertised.

Sure, the couple did get a partial and woefully inadequate “compensation” payment for the taking of their land.

And Boyne Care Holdings, the beneficiaries of the expropriation, did manage to complete one whole phase of the promised multi-phase project.

They even opened a bistro to compete with local privately owned eateries(!).

The Town of Carman, meanwhile, went ahead and installed a walkway on the river that runs through what used to be the Hetheringtons’ backyard.

But as for the ambitious continuing care campus and all the benefits promised for local retirees, progress amounts to a whole lot of nothing.

Unsurprisingly the Hetheringtons and their neighbours and supporters are left wondering why a landgrab executed in the name of the “Greater Good” has been allowed to turn into an exercise in land banking by a group of locals who appeared to have been connected to the previous government of Manitoba.

Residents of Carman and four neighbouring rural municipalities are still paying a property tax surcharge for the project while the Hetheringtons continue to await the rest of their “compensation” for their loss on the once “urgent” and “necessary” project.

Land values soared in the years after the expropriation – robbing the Hetheringtons of the opportunity to sell part of their property at an advantageous price. An advantage the Boyne Care Holdings group of insiders swindled the rural Manitoba couple out of.

Pipeline Observer


Landowner-driven, CAEPLA advocates on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and other rural landowners to promote safety and environmental protection through respect for your property rights.