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The Saskatchewan Land Titles Registry: A partial picture of changing land ownership in Saskatchewan

Authors: Melissa Davidson*,
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Rural Geography, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: landownership, land concentration, land titles
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In Saskatchewan, recent large-scale land acquisitions such as The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s purchase of 115,000 acres in 2013 and the rapid accumulation of over 200,000 acres by Albertan investor, Robert Andjelic, have raised concerns around changing farmland tenure in the province. The Saskatchewan Land Titles Registry, a privately-managed, yet easily-accessible database documenting the location and owners of all registered parcels of land in Saskatchewan, is an essential source for conducting research on changing land tenure patterns in the province. This paper addresses the following question: What can information contained in the Saskatchewan Land Titles Registry reveal about farmland ownership, changing farmland tenure, farmland concentration, and changing farmland use in Saskatchewan? In doing so, I outline the specific information contained in the registry and explain how this information can be utilized. I discuss the various challenges faced in using this data, the steps undertaken to clean, organize, and analyze the data, as well as the limitations of the registry and what it cannot tell us. While the Land Titles Registry is an invaluable source that that can help determine changes in land ownership, it provides only a partial picture of land concentration.

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