In Canada, land ownership law and rules are dictated by each province. Some provinces have zero foreign ownership restrictions while others have strict rules. Saskatchewan farmland ownership is currently a hot topic as we've seen a considerable increase in value in recent history and significant tracts of lands being acquired by the Canadian Pension Plan and other entities.
Some keys to the recent increase in land values...in 2002, Saskatchewan farmland ownership changed allowing Canadian Residents and Corporations to purchase farmland. And since the market turmoil in 2007, Food Security and Investors alike have changed how we view Agriculture.
What is the right answer to ownership rights? Good luck, ask 10 different people and you'll likely get 10 different opinions.
In Saskatchewan, Foreign Ownership (Non Canadian Resident or non-100-per-cent Canadian owned entities) is restricted to no greater than 10 acres. We see in other parts of the world, huge tracts of land being bought by foreign investment for various reasons. Who should be allowed to own it? In what amounts?
Somewhere in all of this, there is a balance to be struck. Networth and equity positions on many Saskatchewan farms look markedly different than it did 15 years ago allowing more financial freedom. However, the higher price of land is seen a road block to young potential farmer entrants. Additionally, having an environment where an investment firm or corporation from the Middle East or Europe is able to secure 250,000 acres doesn't sound real appetizing either. In the end, a balance between the two worlds exists and makes sense.
As a result of the increased debate, the Government of Saskatchewan is reviewing farmland ownership rules under The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act. They are asking for feedback from the public...from farmers, landowners, investors and other interested parties. If farmland ownership affects in you anyway...I encourage you to follow this link and have your say...http://www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland
Regan Martens BSA, PAg, CAFA, Realtor
Farm Focused Realtor
Century 21 Tisdale Agencies