Reader letter: Why was expropriation used in battery plant land deal?

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Re: City to expropriate land for battery plant, by Taylor Campbell, April 26

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Canadian governments seem to have various ways of interpreting legal terms to suit their needs.

It is widely thought the use of expropriation is the last resort when dealing with taking real estate from private entities for use for the good of a general community.

The root of the word itself is dated from a Latin times term expropriatus which means the “taking over of private property by the government, to use for the general public’s good.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but LG and Stellantis are not the government. Yet, the sole purpose for this action was to lease the land to those companies for the construction of the battery plant.

Granted the development of the site will lead to the employment of a large amount of people and provide a welcomed economic boost to the local economy through the multiplier effect. That is a good thing.

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And this writer totally values ​​this.

But by definition expropriation is typically used by various levels of government in Canada to acquire privately-held land under the following: “the building of roads and highways, schools and public medical institutions (hospitals), the land can be taken by a public authority such as a municipality, school board or the province.“

Where does it state the necessity to expropriate for the construction of a privately held consortium or business?

Why was it possible to reach agreement for the land to build the new local hospital without resorting to expropriation, yet to build a battery plant it seems expropriation was so hastily used?

Hopefully Mr. Fazio will use this information to help his clients gain fair compensation — as the former owners of the hospital site surely did.

Paul Prsa, Windsor

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