Islanders to play a leadership role in reviewing land ownership and use

Islanders will soon have the opportunity to share their thoughts on how to improve land ownership and use in the province. 

Through the Department of Agriculture and Land, the province will be undertaking a comprehensive review of both the Lands Protection Act and the Planning Act starting later this year that will include significant public consultation. 

“Islanders are incredibly passionate about our land. In fact, land has always been at the center of our history and serves as a primary source of fuel for our economy. We need a renewed Lands Protection Act 2.0 that is reflective of our values about land ownership and use. We also need to be more transparent in sharing the information we have with Islanders so that we can move forward, together.”

- Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson

During the upcoming sitting of the Legislature, Government will be introducing amendments to both the Lands Protection Act and the Business Corporation Act as immediate measures for transparency. 

Land ownership is currently governed by the Lands Protection Act and regulated by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. There are restrictions on ownership and how much land a person or corporation can own.  There is also a specific process in place to review corporate and non-resident ownership.  Amendments to both Acts being introduced this fall will strengthen the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission’s and other regulatory bodies’ authority to request information for their investigations, reviews and duties.

“The legislation that is currently in place has done well to serve its purpose over the last number of years, but like all legislation it needs to be reviewed regularly to determine if the objectives remain current. It is important that our land laws continue to strike appropriate balances to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to use our land: to live, work and play,” added Minister Thompson.

The introduction of legislative amendments and a planned fulsome review of land related legislation is part of Government’s workplan to strength and modernize land use and ownership in Prince Edward Island through a renewed Lands Protection Act 2.0 and other related legislation. 

“We know that we need to maintain an agricultural land base, and that our land base is deeply connected to water and the environment. We know that our urban populations are growing. While there are competing interests, it is important that we consider the ability for Island farmers to succeed and for Island residents to acquire property. We need to get this right, for current and future generations of Islanders,” said Premier Dennis King.  

Public consultation sessions are expected to take place in early 2020.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Agriculture and Land

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