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MD of Bighorn heading to tribunal over Ghost Lake land annexation

“Most of it is underwater. A little bit along the shoreline. It is actually owned by TransAlta, but it is in our boundary. It corrects an old change that should have been done years ago, to the 1940s or earlier, when the lake was formed.”
MD of Bighorn office 1
MD of Bighorn Office. EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

MD OF BIGHORN – A land boundary change, dating back to at least the 1940s, is heading to the Land and Property Rights Tribunal.

The change, which was brought forward by the Summer Village of Ghost Lake, would involve the annexation of 13.75 hectares (34 acres) of land by the summer village.

“Most of it is underwater. A little bit along the shoreline. It is actually owned by TransAlta, but it is in our boundary,” MD of Bighorn CAO Robert Ellis said. “It corrects an old change that should have been done years ago, to the 1940s or earlier, when the lake was formed.”

The lake was formed in 1929 upon the completion of the Ghost Dam, using land leased from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation by Calgary Power Ltd., now called TransAlta.

Due to the small nature of the land strip, the MD did not want to contest the annexation.

To proceed with the annexation, all stakeholders in the land were notified, with the Stoney Nakoda First Nation objecting to it.

“As part of the annexation process, you have to talk to adjacent neighbours,” Ellis said. “There is the requirement now because the First Nations are opposed to it, so we are being pulled into a tribunal hearing. Ghost Lake will be there, as we will and the First Nations.”

Reeve Lisa Rosvold asked administration if the issue would take any time away from legal or administration. Ellis responded that they did not want to engage legal in the matter.

“We want to be there at the tribunal, and to listen to what the concerns are,” Ellis said.

The date for the tribunal has not been set.