N.S. offers help to descendants of black loyalists denied clear title to land

HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government says it will offer free support to descendants of black loyalists still trying to get clear title to their land after more than two centuries.

See Full Article

The province provided land to black loyalists in the communities of 1800s, but the Crown didn't give land titles -- though it did for white settlers.

Now under a provincial pilot program, residents of East and North Preston as well as Cherry Brook who have applied to make a claim will get free advice from lawyers and land surveyors.

A release from the province states the resources are expected to help determine issues such as existence of a will, unclear boundaries and "confusion" about land ownership. It adds that clarity of legal title will help community members enjoy free hold on their land and identify ownership for tax purposes.

The Department of Natural Resources has also posted a summer job for a law student who will perform outreach and work with community residents.

Dwight Adams, a member of a community group advocating for the clearing of the titles, says the announcement is a step forward but further funding is needed to mediate disputes.

The hiring of a law student will help, but it won't suffice, he said.

"We could have 30 applications and we could have 30 conflicts and the application process doesn't mean much if we have two individuals claiming the same piece of property," said Adams, adding that the province needs to hire people from within the community to mediate disputes.

The department is working with the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors to provide the free services.

Darrel Pink, executive director of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, calls the program a "significant first step" to solving the property problem in the communities.

He says the focus initially will be on properties where there isn't a dispute over boundaries, or the dispute can be easily resolved.

Pink says over time the hope is also to develop a process to resolve conflicts.

"We're talking about 500 properties and we don't know yet how many of them involve conflicting claims," he said.

Pink says one of the challenges is that the legislation governing efforts to establish land titles for the descendants of the black loyalists was passed in 1964, and there is different land registration system in place now.

"It's about trying to figure out what the best approach and we have a very competent group of lawyers willing to work with government ... on how to reconcile these two regimes to make this system effective," he said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Montreal police accused of trying to silence whistleblowers

    Canada News CTV News
    Montreal chief of police Philippe Pichet is asking Quebec’s provincial officers to investigate after allegations that some members of his force fabricated evidence in order to silence whistleblowers within the force. Pichet told CTV Montreal on Wednesday that he is “very concerned about the fact that people said that we are fabricating some evidence” following a report Tuesday on the French-language station TVA. Source
  • Canadian educator in northern Quebec among finalists for Global Teacher Prize

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A teacher from northern Quebec is in the running for the prestigious US$1-million Global Teacher Prize. The Varkey Foundation says Maggie MacDonnell has been named a top-10 finalist for the award, which will be handed out in Dubai on March 19. Source
  • Ontario science teacher takes stand in defence of anti-vaccination allegations

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- An Ontario science teacher accused of pushing anti-vaccination views and berating a public health nurse assigned to work at his high school has taken the stand in his defence. Timothy C. Sullivan is testifying before the Ontario College of Teachers on the second day of his disciplinary hearing on allegations of professional misconduct. Source
  • 5 federal by-elections in April will be the 1st major test of Trudeau government

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced five byelections will be held on April 3, the first major electoral test for the Liberal government since its election more than 16 months ago. The byelections will be held in the ridings of:Saint-Laurent (Quebec). Source
  • Charge laid months after 14 dogs die in Sask. kennel of heat exhaustion

    Canada News CBC News
    A 50-year-old man has been charged with negligence after 14 dogs died of heat exhaustion at a Saskatoon dog kennel last year.Former Saskatoon kennel employee says 14 dog deaths could have been avoided'We are heartbroken,' says manager of Saskatoon kennel where 14 dogs diedAn investigation by the Saskatoon SPCA and Saskatoon Police Service found the dogs were left unattended overnight at the Playful Paws Pet Centre in September 2016. Source
  • Canadian promise to bring in Yazidis hailed by refugees

    Canada News CTV News
    DOHUK, Iraq - Canada's promise to welcome hundreds of Yazidis by the end of the year is being welcomed inside Iraq, where Yazidi women and girls have endured horrific abuse and persecution at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Source
  • Pedestrian killed by CTrain was likely distracted by cell, headphones: police

    Canada News CTV News
    Police say a man who was fatally hit by a light rail transit train Monday in Calgary was likely distracted by his cell phone and headphones at the time of the accident. The 30-year-old man was killed after being hit by a CTrain at Calgary’s Whitehorn LRT Station around 8 p.m. Source
  • Black Canadians you probably don't know, but should

    Canada News CTV News
    Most Canadians are familiar with black Canadian icons such as Harriet Tubman, who helped slaves find freedom along the Underground Railroad, or Viola Desmond, a businesswoman who publicly challenged racial segregation, but there are a number of lesser-known black Canadian entrepreneurs, business leaders and community advocates who also deserve attention for their society-shaping contributions to this country’s history. Source
  • Thousands flee, freeway shut in flooding near San Francisco

    World News CTV News
    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Rising floodwaters sent at least 14,000 residents fleeing inundated homes in San Jose, California, and forced the shutdown of a major freeway Wednesday. U.S. 101 was closed in both directions south of San Francisco because of water across lanes and officials said there was no estimate when the key commuter artery into Silicon Valley would reopen. Source
  • Trump lays out tougher approach to illegal immigration

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump the presidential candidate made no secret of his desire to crack down on illegal immigration, but once elected, he repeatedly offered varying interpretations of just how tough he would be in the White House. Source