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December 3, 2014
For immediate release
Changes to Lands Protection Act will better meet today’s needs
Finance and Energy
Updates to the Lands Protection Act will help to better balance the requirements of landowners on Prince Edward Island with the need to protect our limited land resources, Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan says.
“The Lands Protection Act needed to be reinvigorated after more than 30 years, and Commissioner Horace Carver’s recommendations showed us the way,” Minister Sheridan said. “These amendments – like the report that inspired them – are intended to protect, enhance, and sustain the integrity of the land in this province for generations of Islanders to come.”
Produced in 2013 after extensive public consultation, the Carver Report is the blueprint for the amendments passed during this fall’s legislative session that include:
• defining “arable land” as land where a temporary agricultural crop has been planted within the past four years;
• allowing landowners to deduct non-arable land (such as forest land) from being counted toward their holding limits, up 400 acres for individuals and 1,200 acres for corporations;
• permitting landowners to deduct leased-out land from their holdings – up to a maximum of 500 acres for individuals and 1,500 acres for corporations – to create more flexibility for crop rotation;
• defining and guiding how to measure shore frontage; and
• allowing a person or corporation up to five years to bring their aggregate land holdings into compliance of the act where – due to extenuating circumstances such as illness or death – the person or corporation exceeded the land limits.
The Lands Protection Act was first written in 1982 to regulate the amount of land that can be owned by an individual or corporation. Government enlisted Carver in 2012 to review how the act could better meet the current needs of Islanders.
Now that the Carver Report recommendations are enacted, work continues on implementing the January report of the Task Force on Land Use Policy. Government has endorsed the general direction of the report and has assigned a group of senior staff to review the recommendations and coordinate their implementation across departments.