North America:

Title Insurance and the Canadian Land Conveyancing Systems, Canada (CMHC)

Norman Siebrasse (Faculty of Law) received a second contract to complement the Land Title Conveyance Practices and Fraud report.  The project deals with the role of title insurance in the Canadian residential real estate conveyancing system, with a view to assessing whether an expanded use of title insurance would be desirable.

Partners:    Kelly Murray, Independent Consultant

Land Title Conveyance Practices and Fraud, Canada (CMHC)

The aim of this study which was funded by the Canadian Mortgage and House Corporation was to provide background information and proposals which will assist interested parties to “effect or propose changes to legislation, regulations and/or practices to protect against fraud in title conveyance, mortgage registration, funding, and discharge.”

There were four main distinguishing features: a focus on minimizing the overall social cost of fraud; a combination of academic and practitioner expertise; a comparative approach to identification and analysis of key issues; and consideration of personal property security financing regimes. The premise of the study was that the overarching goal of any reforms should be to minimize the overall cost of fraud in real estate transactions.

Project Lead:  Norman Siebrasse, Faculty of Law

Radio-communication Antenna Supporting Structure Siting Procedures Review, Canada (Industry Canada)

The project requires conducting a national policy review of antenna siting and approval in Canada.  David Townsend (Faculty of Law) lead a team to conduct a thorough study and public consultation on the current environment related to this nation's regulatory authorization process(es) for radiocommunication antennae and their support structures. 

The policy review deployed a team of experts in their respective fields to conduct the data-collection, research, analysis and writing necessary to respond to the study requirements.  The policy review team consisted of six principal members who represent faculties and departments at the University of New Brunswick (law, political science and sociology), the Centre for Social Innovation Research (CeSIR), the Centre for Property Studies (CPS) and xwave Solutions Inc., an Aliant company.

Of particular note within this project is the nation-wide, public consultation through an innovative experiment in e-Democracy.  While adopting the appearance and format for an "e-Town Hall Meeting" a fully bilingual web-site was used to capture the sentiment, the experiences, the informational needs and the suggestions-for-improvement submitted by concerned citizens, local and provincial land use planners, and municipal councillors who have experienced Canada's antenna siting and clearance process.  Our research team believes that this was "a first" for Canada.

Project Lead:  David Townsend, Faculty of Law

Partners:  xwave, UNB - Faculty of Arts, Law, Political Science and Administration

Workshop Panel:  Who Owns America ? III - The Marshall Decision,  United States (NB Law Foundation)

A CPS team of four formed a panel to discuss topics including the Marshall decision, Aboriginal Title and Land Tenure frameworks, political issues regarding self-government and social development of rural communities.  The objectives were to create, disseminate and share the New Brunswick experience on land-related issues and learn of successful approaches to the challenges facing minority communities in North America.

Project Lead:  John McEvoy, Faculty of Law

Building Property Systems: From Theory to Practice, United States (World Bank)

A one-day seminar for Task Managers at the World Bank, as a module in an overall development called The Land and Real Estate Initiative.  The CPS module is entitled Building Property Systems - From Theory to Practice.  Materials and presentations examined five issues: Property and Development; The "Law" in Law and Development; Cost Effectiveness, Risk Management and Sustainability in Property Systems Conversion; Organizational Aspects of Property Reforms: Building Inter-Organizational Systems; and Financing Land Market Programs in Central America: Poverty Relief, Support for the Capable.

A Review of Secured Lending Theory, United States (World Bank)

A literature review of the role of secured lending in access to credit as developed from the pure economics, and the law and economics literature. The ultimate goal of the review, in association with another paper, is to assess the degree to which deficiencies in secured lending regimes may have impeded access to credit and the nature and efficacy of alternatives to secured landing in developing countries.

Project Lead:  Catherine Walsh, Faculty of Law

Secured Credit: A Review of Selected Foreign/ Comparative Law Sources, United States ( World Bank)

This literature is based on an analysis of available, English language foreign and comparative law sources on secured credit laws and institutions. It examines the views of analysts on the extent to which the classic division of western legal systems between the common and civil law  (and within the civil law, between the German, French, Scandinavian families)still informs legal policy in the area of secured landing. The comparative analysis is then taken to a more detailed level, examining land and moveables financing respectively.

This analysis is particularly urgent and pressing for two reasons: the reform agenda in developing and transitional economies; and globalization of trade and markets favouring harmonization of the laws and institutions regulating secured credit along market discipline lines.

Project Lead:  Catherine Walsh, Faculty of Law

Land Acquisition Strategies for First Nations, Canada (Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs)

This is the first phase of a land administration strategy for the Confederacy for self-government. The project involved investigation of the opportunities for, requirements for, and barriers to acquiring land and resources outside of reserves.

Project Lead:  Sue Nichols, Department of Geodesy & Geomatics Engineering

Strategies for Improving Land Records Management, Canada (LRMI - Government of Nova Scotia)

This project involved provision of a final report to the Land Records Management Group in Nova Scotia on international trends and issues affecting land registration. It also involved development of a strategy and recommendations for improvements for Nova Scotia systems.

Project Lead:  Sue Nichols, Department of Geodesy & Geomatics Engineering

Boundary Resolution, Canada (Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors)

A one-day educational seminar for professional land surveyors. Topics covered included resolving line-boundary agreements and conventional lines; resolving title-adverse possession, quit claims and quieting of titles;  the Boundaries Confirmation Act and application procedures; and court procedures.

Partners: Service New Brunswick, McDonald Surveys Ltd., College of Geographic Sciences, Bingham Blair Macaulay Erhardt Teed.

Property Infrastructure on Canada Lands - Strategies for the 21st Century, Canada (Legal Surveys Division, Geomatics Canada, NRCan)

This study examined a number of issues related to resource levels, procedures, and the mandate of the LDS.  In essence, the study examined how the LSD should carry out its mandate of providing the survey system for property and jurisdictional boundary on Canada Lands in order to support: LSD clients, including Aboriginal peoples and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC); and sustainable economic development of Canada Lands. The latter include approximately 2500 Indian Reserves across Canada, the National Parks, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, historical canals, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and Canada's offshore.

Project Lead:  Sue Nichols, Dept of Geodesy & Geomatics Engineering

New Brunswick - Aboriginal and Treaty Rights  (NB Government)

A comprehensive research initiative briefing government on the underlying historical facts and legal issues concerning aboriginal entitlement and land and resources in the province was conducted. This entailed a series of expert studies offering critical support for future policy development and decision-making in this area. Topics included: archaeological and anthropological research concerning aboriginal land occupation and resource use prior to and following European contact; the legal status of aboriginals under the French regime; the status of the Royal Proclamation of 1763; the texts and interpretation of the 18th century British treaties; imperial/colonial policy dealing with aboriginal land and resources to 1867; and post-Confederation policy and practice.

Project Lead:  John McEvoy, Faculty of Law
Partners: Memorial University, Université de Moncton, York University.

New Brunswick - Proposal for A Land Security Act (NBGIC)

The proposed Land Security Act is intended to provide a more simplified and efficient legal framework for consensual financing on the security of land in New Brunswick. The Act is comprehensive in scope covering the creation, formal validity, registration, priority and enforcement of security interests in land created by voluntary agreement. It would thus consolidate the provincial laws in this area within a single statute, superseding the bulk of the existing legal, equitable and statutory rules, including those found in the Property Act, the Land Titles Act, the Standard Forms of Conveyances Act, and the Statute of Frauds.

Project Lead:  Norman Siebrasse, Faculty of Law