Statement by Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson
Prince Edward Island’s Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson today issued the following statement regarding the investigation by Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission:
“I have received the report from the investigation that was initiated by the Island Regulatory & Appeals Commission in August 2019 related to Red Fox Acres Limited. The report is lengthy and complex and I will be happy to speak to specifics once IRAC releases the report to the public.
The report I received from IRAC states that there are reasonable and probable grounds that two individuals and the corporation involved contravened the Lands Protection Act by having aggregate land holdings in excess of the prescribed limits during the time period reviewed by IRAC.
The involved parties have received correspondence from government asking them to divest land and become compliant with the Lands Protection Act within 120 days. The parties will be required to report their actions to become compliant directly to IRAC who will then confirm this with government. If they do not come into compliance within 120 days, I am prepared to take further enforcement steps as may be determined necessary.
As government, there are two options for penalty for individuals or corporations who contravene the Lands Protection Act. An order can be issued to reduce aggregate land holding to the maximum permitted, which is currently in progress. There is also an option to pursue a summary conviction, which would be brought before a provincial court judge. In addition to these options, IRAC has the ability to impose a financial penalty as well.
I would like to encourage the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability to invite IRAC to present their findings of the investigation, and provide members of the Legislative Assembly an opportunity to ask questions on the investigation.
Our government is committed to respecting and enforcing the Lands Protection Act. I hope that all those involved in this investigation will respect the findings of the investigation and act to take the corrective actions.”
Department of Agriculture and Land