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Natural Resources

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Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

How to grow cleantech

Balancing the implications of energy production and consumption on our environment versus the economy is one of the biggest challenges Canada and the world faces. Clean and renewable energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuels are becoming commanded by consumers and incentivized by governments. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Applying Jordan to environmental prosecutions

In July, the Supreme Court, in R. v. Jordan 2016 SCC 27, rewrote the analytical framework for claims of unreasonable trial delay. Departing from its approach in R. v. Morin [1992] 1 S.C.R. 771, the court found that prejudice to all three interests protected by s.11(b) of the Charter (liberty, security of the person and trial fairness) is to be presumed once the ceilings (exclusive of defence delay) of 18 (provincial court) and 30 months (Superior Court) are exceeded. The presumption is not rebuttable. Unless the Crown can establish that exceptional circumstances caused the excessive delay, the prosecution must be stayed. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Natural Resources Law - Fishing - Offences and penalties

Appeal by McKinnell Fishing from its conviction for fishing for crab in a restricted area, a strict liability offence. McKinnell argued that it was not fishing for crab in the closed area, but merely taking possession of them there, having fished for them in an open area. Its alternate argument, that its vessel drifted to a closed area inadvertently, was accepted by the trial judge, who acquitted McKinnell. The summary conviction appeal judge rejected this due diligence defence and substituted a conviction for fishing in a restricted area. The facts underlying the case established that McKinnell laid crab traps on the ocean floor in the unrestricted area, but that its vessel drifted into the restricted area as the traps were retrieved. It argued that the retrieval of the crabs from the traps aboard the vessel did not constitute “fishing”, the act of which was complete when the crabs entered the trap in the unrestricted area. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 12, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Quebec natural gas contracts need work

The natural gas industry in North America has gone through radical changes over the past decade. These principally stem from the ever-increasing production, through unconventional reserves, of shale natural gas in the U.S. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 12, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Global human rights alert

Human rights have long posed reputation risks for the Canadian energy and extractive sectors doing business in other countries, but recent court decisions demonstrate these issues are now legal risks as well. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 01, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Natural Resources Law - OIL AND GAS - Conservation and licensing - Natural gas processing

Application by Coulas for leave to appeal a decision of the Alberta Energy Regulator denying her application for a regulatory appeal of a decision granting a licence to the respondent which operated a liquid natural gas processing plant. The applicant did not receive notice and did not make submissions at the time of the original licence application before the Regulator. The applicant, who resided a short distance from the plant, had a number of concerns with the facility, the majority of which dealt with the noise impact of the plant and other safety and environmental issues. The Regulator dismissed the applicant’s appeal without a hearing on the basis that she was not an “eligible person” under the Responsible Energy Development Act, as she was not directly and adversely affected by the decision to issue the licence because the plant was already operating at the time the licence was granted and did not entail any new construction or operation. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

Natural Resources Law - Public utilities - Regulatory tribunals - Appeals - Provincial boards, tribunals and commissions -

Application by the Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate of Alberta for permission to appeal two decisions by the Alberta Utilities Commission. In 2004, FortisAlberta (Fortis) acquired lands for construction of a proposed centralized inventory facility. In 2015, Fortis reviewed its plans and decided the lands were not required, as a decentralized approach was more desirable. Fortis accordingly requested the Commission’s consent to disposition of the property. The Commission concluded the lands were no longer required by Fortis, and that customers would not suffer a rate or service impact by the proposed disposition. The Commission determined that the lands would remain in the determination of the rate base until rebasing in 2017. The applicant took issue with the timing of the land’s removal from Fortis’s rate base, alleging removal should have occurred in 2011. The applicant sought permission to appeal the Commission’s approval of the proposed disposition and a second review and variance ruling that upheld the approval decision. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 7:00 PM

No changes planned for two way costs rule despite pleas from groups

Despite pleas from environmental groups, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal won’t replace the usual loser pay costs rule by a new rule that would presumptively insulate unsuccessful public interest litigants from having to pay the legal costs of respondent governments and third parties. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 20, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Political heat over federal greenhouse gas plan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caught provincial environment ministers off guard when he announced a federal plan that will put a national price on greenhouse gas emissions. The controversial move fulfils a promise the Liberals made during the 2015 federal election, but has also launched a political firestorm. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 06, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

A call to action

With the publication of Ontario’s first comprehensive action plan on climate change, there are some indications in the press that we are moving from sound bite commentary to a more detailed, productive consideration of how to decarbonize Ontario.  ... [read more]