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The Lay of the Land DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADIAN REAL PROPERTY LAW

Author Archives / Bryan West

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In distinguishing Iona, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta confirms the sanctity of the Torrens registration system in determining priority interests even in the face of a statutory trust

Posted in Commercial, Construction, Land Use

In the recent decision of 1864684 Alberta Ltd. v 1693737 Alberta Inc., 2016 ABQB 371, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta held that purchasers claiming a statutory trust pursuant to section 14(3) of the Condominium Property Act, RSA 2000 c C-22 (“Condo Act”) were subject to the same registration requirements, and priority regime, as other creditors under the Land Titles Act, RSA 2000 c L-4 (“Land Act”).… Continue Reading

The Iona Decision (National) – Supreme Court of Canada dismissal bolsters priority of builders’ lien trust

Posted in Construction, Land Use

On April 14, 2016, the priority of statutory trust protections afforded to subcontractors and suppliers under Alberta’s lien legislation was strengthened: the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in Iona Contractors Ltd. v. Guarantee Company of North America, 2015 ABCA 240, thereby bolstering the priority of the trust even in the face of a bankrupt general contractor.… Continue Reading

How long is the builders’ lien registration period for drilling and/or servicing a well or well site on an oil sands project? Spoiler Alert – it’s 90 Days!

Posted in Construction, Land Use, Litigation

In the recent decision of Davidson Well Drilling Limited (Re), 2016 ABQB 416 (“Davidson”) the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta held that the 90-day lien period to register a lien against an “oil or gas well” or “oil or gas well site” applies to drilling on oil sands mines. The Court also concluded that the costs of trucking equipment away from a project site after it is completed may, in certain circumstances, be properly included in a builders’ lien.… Continue Reading

Seizing Your Tenant’s Property – The Landlord’s Remedy Of Distress

Posted in Commercial, Policy, Residential

One of the most difficult and common problems faced by a landlord is a tenant who is unable or unwilling to pay rent. Under s. 104 of the Alberta Civil Enforcement Act, a landlord may seize the personal property of a residential or commercial tenant in order to secure the landlord’s claim for unpaid rent under the lease (although seizure is typically much more effective in a commercial context). This is called the landlord’s “right of distress.”… Continue Reading

The Builders’ Lien Trust – A Separate Statutory Right

Posted in Construction, Policy

On September 18, 2015, in Stuart Olson Construction Ltd. v Structal Heavy Steel, the Supreme Court of Canada held that builders liens and statutory trusts are separate remedies that exist independently of one another and may be pursued concurrently by a subcontractor pursuant to the terms of the Manitoba Builders Lien Act.1 One effect of this decision is that a lien bond posted to discharge a lien will not discharge a contractor’s trust obligations. Structal has application to all other jurisdictions that employ the concept of a builders’ lien trust, including Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia.… Continue Reading