As you are all aware, government recently indicated an intention to move certain Crown Lands offices/activities to Corner Brook. Over the last number of months we have had a number of queries about this proposed move and, through subsequent follow up with government officials, can advise as follows:
1. Crown Lands has both regional offices and a Corporate Office;
2. The regional offices are all remaining in place, including the regional office in St. John’s at the Howley Building;
3. The functions of the Corporate Office, which includes the review of legal land surveys, the preparation of Crown land title documents( grants, leases, easements), the maintenance of the Crown lands vault and the Geographic Information System (GIS) will be split. The Crown Lands vault will remain at the Howley Building while the other Corporate Office functions, including the GIS group, will be moving to Corner Brook.
We have been advised that the move should have no impact on services and, in particular, no impact on access to the Crown Lands Vault for the public or the legal community.
We have also been advised that digitization of Crown Lands title documents is ongoing and nearing completion. The documents will be available electronically through the Provincial Land Use Atlas, which the government hopes will improve service to those individuals needing to access them. The target date for electronic availability is the fall. Further, in the interest of document security and for the protection of historical provincial documents, the government has engaged an archivist to assess the most sensitive documents and to take appropriate measures to ensure that their integrity is maintained. The process of digitizing these has already commenced to ensure that they will continue to be available to the public, searchers and the legal community in the future. In the meantime, they continue to be accessible via the current practice at the vault.
St. John’s, Howley Building – will house the Eastern Regional Office, the Crown Lands Vault, and access to all the documents contained within will remain available.
Corner Brook – Corporate Office functions excluding the Crown Lands Vault. The process to move the staff to Corner Brook is nearing completion, and is expected to be completed by September 1, 2017.
We will let you know if further information becomes available.