Land Use Compensation

This page explains how you can bring land-related compensation disputes to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).

For more in-depth information on how the public can bring compensation disputes to the CER for compensation payable under Part 6 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act), see the CER’s Guidance on land-related compensation disputes.

Questions you may have

What can you be compensated for?

The Commission of the CER can determine compensation for disputes in relation to compensation payable under Part 6 of the CER Act. This may include:

  • the acquisition, lease, or taking of lands;
  • lands whose use is restricted by the operation of section 335 of the CER Act, whether or not the lands were acquired, leased or taken; and
  • damages caused by the activities of the company which are directly related to: the acquisition or lease of lands for a pipeline or abandoned pipeline; the construction of the pipeline; or the inspection, maintenance or repair of the pipeline or abandoned pipeline.

For more information about damage prevention (section 335 of the CER Act), see the damage prevention section of the CER website.

For information on how to document damages, see the Land Agreements page in the Land Matters Guide on the CER website.

What if you do not agree with a company’s offer of compensation?

Parties are encouraged to work together to reach agreements on compensation. Issues can often be best resolved directly between you and the company.

If you and the company are unable to come to an agreement, the CER can support resolution in two ways:

  • Alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This service is confidential and uses an interest-based approach facilitated by the CER’s ADR staff who are trained in dispute resolution. Information shared and any disclosures made through the ADR process is confidential and should not be placed on the CER’s Public Registry.
  • Decision by the Commission (hearing), in which one or both of the parties request that the compensation dispute be decided by the Commission in a hearing process. The Commission sets out the decision-making steps and all documents are placed on the CER’s Public Registry, also known as REGDOCS.

How do you request ADR services?

To request ADR, you can send a letter to the Secretary of the Commission. This letter must include your contact information, a short summary of your request, and the name of the other party (for example, the name of a company with which you might have a compensation dispute). This letter can be emailed to, or mailed to the Secretary at

  • Secretary of the Commission
    Canada Energy Regulator
    210-517 10 Ave SW
    Calgary AB  T2R 0A8

It is important that your email or letter include “Request for ADR” in the subject line.

How do you request that the Commission decide your compensation dispute?

Either you or the company can submit a compensation hearing application with the CER, requesting that the Commission decide the compensation matter with a hearing. Download the compensation hearing application form (English [PDF 266 KB] / French [PDF 294 KB]) from the CER website, or call 1-800-899-1265 (toll free) or email to request a copy.

Instructions on how to file the application are included on the compensation hearing application form. This application will be on REGDOCS, which is viewable by the public. It is important that the compensation application form is filled out in detail. If significant information is missing from the compensation application, it may result in delays to your hearing or the Commission may dismiss your application.

What is a compensation hearing process?

Each hearing is unique and the Commission will provide detailed instructions. Typically, a hearing will involve some or all of the following processes:

A hearing will involve some or all of the following processes
CER receives a compensation hearing application Commission issues Hearing Order Oral Hearing Decision
  • CER confirms receipt of application
  • Parties provide preliminary comments
  • A pre-hearing conference may be scheduled
  • Commission sets hearing steps and deadlines
  • Parties file evidence and other information
  • Parties give opening statements
  • Witnesses give evidence Parties cross-examine witnesses
  • Parties give argument
  • Commission makes decision

What happens after the CER receives a compensation hearing application?

The CER will contact you within 10 calendar days of receiving your compensation hearing application to confirm receipt and provide information on next steps, which may include a preliminary comment process.

What is a preliminary comment process?

Typically, after a compensation hearing application is filed, the CER will have a preliminary comment process. The process provides both parties an opportunity to file preliminary comments and respond to the other party.

How can you prepare for a compensation hearing?

The Commission will typically issue a document called a hearing order after the preliminary steps, that is, once the application is received and the parties have provided their preliminary comments. The hearing order will provide you with the information you need to know about the hearing process and where to get help. In preparing the hearing order, the Commission may schedule a pre-hearing conference to discuss hearing dates, location, and process steps that will be in the hearing order. The specifics of the dispute, including evidence, are not discussed at the pre-hearing conference.

It is important to read the entire hearing order to be aware of important things, such as timelines, information you need to provide at a hearing, and how the hearing will take place. You can be questioned on any evidence you file during a hearing.

The CER has process advisors it can assign to hearings to help participants if they have questions about the process.

What does the Commission consider during a compensation hearing?

The Commission decides compensation matters on a case-by-case basis, relying on the evidence submitted by the parties. Depending on the nature of a compensation dispute, the Commission will consider a number of factors, set out in the CER Act. These factors include market value of the lands, loss of use to the owner, loss or damage to livestock or personal property, and nuisance, inconvenience, and noise.

See subsection 327(2) of the CER Act for the complete list of factors.

Can you participate in either official language in a compensation hearing?

Yes, you can participate in either English or French. The Commission conducts English, French, and bilingual hearings, depending on the official language choices of the participants. ADR processes can also be conducted in either official language. When you contact the CER, let them know your preferred official language.

Where are compensation hearings held?

Hearings can be held in-person or virtually using available technology. In-person hearings may take place at a location near those who are participating, or at the CER Hearing Room in Calgary. The decision on where to hold the hearing is made by the Commission.

Is ADR available during a compensation hearing?

ADR is available upon request. ADR can take place at any time, including when negotiating with a company before filing a compensation hearing application, or during a hearing. For more information about ADR email or visit the CER website.

What if you do not agree with a decision made by the Commission?

A party may appeal a decision by the Commission to the Federal Court of Appeal. A party also has the option to request that the Commission review its decision.

Does the CER provide funding for compensation hearings?

The CER does not provide participant funding for compensation disputes.

Will you be reimbursed for costs to participate in a compensation hearing?

The Commission of the CER may, and in some cases must, order the company to pay some or all of a landowner’s legal, appraisal or other costs reasonably incurred for a compensation hearing. If the Commission awards compensation, it may receive additional submissions from the parties to determine costs. The Commission will consider the amount of costs incurred and whether they were reasonable. In determining costs, the Commission also considers the amount of compensation that was offered by the company.

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