Property rights Holey Land

Property rights Holey Land by Andrew Nikiforuk, May 21, 2007, Canadian Business Magazine
After EnCana Corp. and Aquila Networks Canada, a utility firm now part of Fortis, lodged more complaints against Strom, the registrar formally charged him with breaching the Land Agents Licensing Act. The complaints, however, were not entirely accurate. According to Bob Chalut, a farmer in Bonnyville, Alta., Strom never misrepresented himself as a land agent and had in fact been hired by the family’s lawyer, Julian Bondar, to help out with negotiations. “We asked Exxon Mobil why they lied,” says Chalut, who got no answer. “It really bothered me…. It frustrates me that the companies don’t want to be fair.” … Judge Ayotte found Strom guilty as charged and fined him $500. “I felt like I had been hit by a train,” says Strom. The decision also made it technically illegal for a son to offer his mother advice on an oil and gas land deal — if he charged a fee and wasn’t certified as a land agent. … “David has been asked to put down his sling and go and fight Goliath.”

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