The Jurisdiction of the Alberta Surface Rights Board Under Section 30 of the Surface Rights Act


  • Sarah Nykolaishen JD Candidate (2012), University of Calgary
  • Nigel Bankes Professor of Law, University of Calgary



This article examines the jurisdiction of the Surface Rights Board of Alberta to award damages under section 30 of the Surface Rights Act. Section 30 provides owners and occupiers with a statutory cause of action for losses or damages caused to their lands through the activities of an operator.

In examining and contrasting jurisprudence under section 30 of the Surface Rights Act with common law tort causes of action, the authors opine that while section 30 does not prevent an owner or occupier from bringing a tort action in relation to loss or damage, a tort action may not be a viable option. The authors therefore propose that in particular situations, section 30 of the Surface Rights Act provides an alternative cause of action through which an owner or occupier may seek damages. The article concludes by finding that section 30 possesses a lower threshold regarding the elements of the cause of action as well as the issue of causation in comparison to common law tort causes of action.





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