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In This Volume

  • 9 The proof required may be by or in the form of affidavits or certificates, or may be given orally, or may be in any other manner or form that is satisfactory to the court.



In 1988, the petitioner purchased a ranch property comprising two registered parcels and three unregistered parcels (“fractions”). On application under the Land Title Inquiry Act, the court considered historical evidence, finding chain of title from the 1921 Crown grant of three fractions through to the petitioner, and granted the petitioner a declaration that she was the beneficial and legal owner of the fractions. The Land Title Inquiry Act is remedial in nature, and ss. 8 and 9 provide for relaxed evidentiary standards. The statute is intended to allow the court to investigate and confirm a title to land that is “unquiet” in an efficient, practical and fair manner (Allen v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2019 BCSC 292).

By way of a Crown grant made to Cartwright in 1899, Cartwright acquired a small riparian acreage that had been used for a hotel business since before 1893. The acreage was unsurveyed federal Crown land within the railway belt owned by Canada. A survey commission in 1901 showed some of the hotel buildings were on an adjacent legal section. The matter remained unresolved when the petitioners purchased the parcel in 1997, when a survey confirmed that a portion of the four acres they believed they had purchased was on LS 7, not LS 8. On application under the Land Title Inquiry Act, the court defined the issue as whether a mistake was made in the title of the land conveyed. The court concluded that the legal description misdescribed the land granted and ordered the petitioners to have a survey of the conveyed parcel conducted by a qualified land surveyor. The survey could then be submitted to the Registrar of Land Titles in the expectation that the legal description of the land conveyed would be corrected. On the Attorney General’s appeal, the court found no error in the trial judge’s definition of the issue, findings of fact, or grant of relief, saying it was open to the judge to have regard to extrinsic evidence and the surrounding circumstances to determine what the Crown intended to grant (Hamilton and Squario v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2019 BCCA 348).