2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nova Scotia Board allows compensation claim for expropriation of contractual rights to proceed

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board is allowing PEV International Research & Development Incorporated (PEV) to proceed with a somewhat unusual claim under the Expropriation Act.  PEV claimed compensation arising from the expropriation of land owned by James Irving Warner by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (for the purpose of its inclusion in an industrial development for the regasification of liquid natural gas).

Warner and PEV had already entered into a business agreement involving the development of an LNG regasification plant and related facilities on the same land.  Warner applied for compensation under the Expropriation Act.  PEV then applied for compensation for the value of its interest in the land (arising from the contract).  PEV withdrew claims for business loss and disturbance.  Guysborough challenged PEV's ability to bring the claim for "market value" of the land, questioning whether PEV was an "owner" pursuant to the Expropriation Act.

In ruling that the claim could proceed, the Board said that it was satisfied that, but for the expropriation, the agreement between PEV and Warner would not have terminated (as it did when the expropriation occurred).  The Board was not persuaded that there was sufficient evidence before it to support a finding that PEV has no claim.  Therefore, the motion for summary judgment failed.  However, the Board made it clear that, in allowing the claim to proceed, it refrained from any consideration of the value of the PEV interest (i.e. an interest that might be valueless).

Read the decision at: PEV International Research & Development Incorporated (Re).