The Vesting Order, issued June 15 by the Department of Natural Resources, initiates the process to see private property removed from one private entity so as to give the same property to another private entity.
Priest said the issue is simple. “DVD Gold Mines owns the mineral rights, the Higgins family has held the land for several generations.
Mineral rights provide access to the minerals underneath the soil, property ownership provides control of the surface of the land. In this case the mineral (gold) cannot be commercially mined without the removal of the surface. DVD Gold now wants to remove what is not theirs, and the Province of Nova Scotia will assist this trampling of traditional ownership rights through expropriation.
“The Province has stated that this is not a new precedent, but to date has not been able to offer the concrete example as to where such procedure has been utilized to remove personal property from one person so as to give it to another. This is an erosion of personal rights that the Christmas Tree Council finds very disturbing - and although easy to say that the potential income for the Province is enormous, the hard reality is that this measure will remove personal property from an individual or family simply because the offer is better from someone else, “ Priest said.
“The potential damage to the traditional interpretation of ownership and personal rights is extraordinary and disturbing in the implication for all Nova Scotians - you own it until someone promises the Province more money.”
Priest said, “The Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia awaits an explanation as to how traditional mineral rights to mine ore or precious metals from under the surface now applies to the removal of the surface. Our membership is extremely concerned that this precedent represents serious intrusion into democratically established rights of ownership.”