I am a lawyer (inactive), surveyor (honourary), and analyst (impartial), with degrees in law, environmental ethics, engineering, surveying, and geography. Given that I am principled, rigorous and conscientious: You might not get the answer that you want. The facts and principles might lead to a different answer; that is the nature of bespoke, artisanal analysis.
Principles are generally set by the courts, by the legislatures, and by Royal Commissions (and other reform bodies). For instance, these institutions have set out the doctrines of accretion (for riparian boundaries), of unalterable monuments (for rectilinear boundaries), of ratcheting (for First Nation boundaries), of proactivity (for parcel fabric reform), and of self-governance (for Indigenous lands).
However, I know of at least three other sources for principles:
- T.S. Elliot set out that one lights a cigar only after the third glass of port.
- Harold Pinter set out that one does not drink champagne before lunch.
- Tom Stoppard set out that one does not drink crème de menthe if wearing a blue cravat.
Applying principles to resolve riparian and rectilinear disputes
I have provided advice and opinions to surveyors, lawyers, landowners, and municipalities in re-establishing boundaries on many watercourses: North Saskatchewan River, Sandy Lake, Pembina River, Wabamun Lake, Fraser River, English Bay, Trevenon Bay, Salmo River, Revelstoke Lake, Gull Lake, Lake Okanagan, Three Mile Creek, Qu’Appelle River. For 13 years, I was the Senior Advisor to Canada’s Surveyor General, during which time I rendered 281 opinions on boundary issues (Indigenous lands, Crown land in the North, the offshore, and National Parks) across all 14 jurisdictions.
Assisting indigenous communities and organizations
I am working with the National Aboriginal Lands Manager Association (Indigenous-centric survey system), Manitoba Uske (flooding of First Nation communities), Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics (boundary principles); First Nations Tax Commission (Indigenous land titles initiative); Curve Lake First Nation (land use planning) and the Assembly of First Nations (additions to Reserves). I have helped with litigation at First Nations: Peter Ballantyne (SK), Haida (BC), Blood (AB), Saugeen (ON), West Moberley (BC), Couchiching (ON) and Ermineskin (AB).
Analyzing/researching land tenure issues
I assisted the Ontario Surveyor General, the British Columbia Surveyor General, Alberta Land Titles, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Alberta Land Surveyors Association, the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors and the Canadian Council on Geomatics with: title to beaches, adverse possession, coordinates in lieu of monuments, restoring parcel fabric after earthquakes, a boundary dispute tribunal, integration of surveys with control, private rights vs public goods on the riparian frontier. Such analysis/research has been grist for the ppt mill: I have delivered 115 CPD seminars to surveying associations and land administrators. Finally, I have worked on cadastral reform in New Zealand, Russia and Brazil.
See the attached cv for more stuff.