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Privatization of the Land Titles Office

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The Provincial Government has been reviewing over 800 programs and services in an effort to see which programs should be left alone, improved, discontinued or combined with other programs. Included is the possibility of privatizing our Land Titles Office (LTO), as Manitoba and Ontario have done. The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PCAA) defeated a resolution in November 2013 to keep the system as is.

Alberta beginning discussions to privatize land titles

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/28/alberta-beginning-discussions-to-privatize-land-titles

The privatization of the LTO is opposed by a number of stakeholders, including the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), AUPE and the Law Society of Alberta:

  1. RECA’s position as indicated in their August 26, 2013 report is that “neither outsourcing nor privatization is in the public interest”, and the existing Land Titles Registry System is “the right program and service delivered in the right way to achieve the results that Albertans expect be maintained.”

For further details, please read RECA’s report in its entirety:

A Report from the Real Estate Council of Alberta with Respect to the Government of Alberta’s Review of the Alberta Land Titles Registry System In its Results-Based Budgeting Process

http://www.reca.ca/consumers/content/legislation-bulletins/PDF/Privatization-of-Land-Titles.pdf

http://www.protectlandtitles.ca/

  1. The Law Society of Alberta was invited by the Minister to provide a report, and concluded on August 29, 2013 that “the best model for an Alberta Land Titles System remains a government owned and operated model”. The rationale for this position included the following:

>        The current system is one of the best in the world

>        LTO generates $55M per year in net revenues

>        Updating the system can be paid for from current net revenue

>        Our fees are the least expensive in Canada

>        We will encounter unanticipated changes in a revised system

>        Albertans rely on the current system to ensure and protect ownership

>        The Government should not grant a monopoly to a private enterprise

>        The government guarantee of title in our Torrens system, would be less reliable through a private operator

Our Land Titles system is in place to protect the real property rights of Albertans.  I support the conclusion of the Law Society of Alberta in maintaining the current model.