Annapolis Group Inc. v. Halifax Regional Municipality

(Nova Scotia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Expropriation - Municipal law - Expropriation - Municipal law - Municipal council declines to initiate planning process required by developer to develop lands - Public uses lands as a park - Whether exercise of a zoning power which deprives a landowner of the reasonable uses of its land in favour of creating a public park carries an implied obligation to pay compensation - Whether test for de facto expropriation should be revisited - Whether motive of government authority is a relevant consideration in considering whether a de facto taking occurred?.


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Annapolis Group Inc. seeks to develop lands that it owns. The lands lie within the boundary of Halifax Regional Municipality. Council of Halifax Regional Municipality declined to commence a planning process and to amend a by-law, both of which are required to permit development of the lands. Annapolis Group Inc. alleges Halifax Regional Municipality encourages members of the public to use the lands as a public park. It commenced an action seeking damages for alleged de facto expropriation, abuse of public office and unjust enrichment. Halifax Regional Municipality filed a motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim of de facto expropriation. The motions judge dismissed the motion. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and dismissed the claim of de facto expropriation.