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Mariner Real Estate Ltd v Nova Scotia (Attorney General) (1999), 177 DLR (4th) 696 (NS CA)


Mariner wanted to build homes on a beach area, but was denied by the government due to concerns over the best interest of both the public and the property owners (sensitive nature of the land, and consequences of breakdown for the potential homes).


2-Step test to determine whether an action by the government constitutes expropriation:
** 1. Is it direct expropriation: is the state forcibly acquiring an interest and becoming the owner?
** 2. Is it de facto expropriation:
*** Is this considered “acquisition (is the state taking a degree of indirect interest such that it has in effect acquired an interest equal to ownership)?
*** Is it a stringent regulation of use of the property? Note that mere loss of economic value on its own is not adequate for an action to constitute expropriation.

Also consider whether there is an applicable expropriation statute, which may override the common law regarding compensation.


The provincial Expropriation Act did not apply here.

Mariner could made other use of the land, other than building the homes.


Decision against Mariner.

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