Public Service Union Advocates for Government Reacquisition of Unused Lands
Another subject brought to the forefront by the Public Service Union is the matter of land. The PSU President says he supports the idea of the government reacquiring lands that are not being serviced or maintained. President Flowers made an interesting point in this interview, saying that the government has essentially blocked itself from accessing the names of the owners of the large land parcels.
Dean Flowers, PSU President: “We’re of the view that it is now time for us to change the Lands Act to provide for government to be able to reacquire those lands on which the land owners continue to default on their tax obligation. I mean, it’s not that simple as was explained to us yesterday. There’s a lot of land registered out there in company names and there seems to be a difficulty tracking who exactly own what and what’s ironic about this is that, and we made mention of this, that when the Companies Registry was statutorized the legislation was changed to make it a little bit more difficult for us to be able to look behind the curtain of who owns these shell companies in whose name these land or different businesses are registered. And so it’s kind of ironic that that’s a challenge that the Lands Department is facing but the legislative changes or the most recent legislative change that we’ve seen where the registration of companies and businesses are concerned does not assist the Lands Department to get behind those veils and to find out who are the beneficial owners. So that’s an area that we spoke on a lot in terms of how do we try to bridge or narrow or reduce the amount of arrears that continue to build.”