Backgrounder: An Introduction to the CPRI

Published on July 17, 2023

In the broad tapestry of human rights, property rights often get less attention, despite being foundational to our lives. In Canada, the importance of property rights is increasingly recognized through the Canadian Property Rights Index (CPRI), an innovative project designed to measure the level of property rights protections across the provinces and territories of Canada.

The CPRI: An Introduction

The CPRI is a comprehensive tool that assesses the protections currently in place for property rights. Using seven key indicators, it evaluates property rights: Land Title System, Expropriation, Regulatory Takings, Municipal Power of Entry, Civil Forfeiture, Endangered Species, and Heritage Property.

Each indicator is carefully chosen to provide a nuanced picture of the protections available for individuals’ property rights. As the CPRI states, “By measuring the property rights protections of the provinces and territories on these seven criteria, it allows for an easy comparison between jurisdictions.”

Why the CPRI Matters

Property rights are pivotal for individuals and the economic well-being of a country. They provide security, foster investment, and spur economic growth. As the CPRI puts it, “Property rights are essential for economic freedom.”

Despite their importance, property rights are often overlooked. This issue becomes even more critical in Canada because the Constitution does not explicitly protect property rights. As the CPRI explains, “Without constitutional protection for property rights, Canadians in all provinces and territories exist at the mercy of legislative activism.”

This lack of constitutional protection makes the CPRI invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive and comparable measure of the protections in place. This information empowers citizens, organizations, and governments to identify gaps and take steps to bolster protections.

The CPRI’s Findings and Importance

The CPRI findings highlight considerable disparities in property rights protections across Canada. An interesting pattern that emerges from the Index is an east-west dimension, with western provinces dominating the rankings.

These findings highlight the CPRI’s importance as a tool for transparency and accountability. It serves as an important call to action for all Canadians to become more informed and vigilant about their property rights.

Moreover, it provides a roadmap for governments and legislators to address these disparities. As the CPRI concludes, “The hope is that Canadians in all jurisdictions can learn from this Index and improve in the areas that need improving.”


In essence, the Canadian Property Rights Index serves a dual purpose. It provides a comprehensive measure of property rights protections across Canada, and by doing so, it underlines the necessity for stronger property rights protections. The CPRI is not just an index; it’s a call to action, reminding us all of the vital importance of property rights in our society. As Canadians, we must heed this call, become more vigilant, and strive for better property rights protection.

Read the Canadian Property Rights Index 2023 here.

Read the Media Release here.

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