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Natural Resources


Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 9:52 AM

AGRICULTURE - Farms - Financing

Appeal by the Skyline Agriculture companies from a Queen's Bench judgment affirming a decision by the Farm Land Security Board. In 2014, farmers approached investors seeking alternative financing arrangements for young farmers who sought to acquire farmland. A proposed financing structure divided farm ownership between a parent company, a management company, and an operating company. The financing involved a series of instruments and transactions which included a traditional mortgage and swap and derivative agreements held by additional entities. The farming entities were Canadian-owned. The balance of the structure was held by offshore entities, the appellants. In a test case ruling, the Board determined that the arrangement contravened s. 77 of the Saskatchewan Farm Security Act, as the non-resident appellants had acquired a land holding within the meaning of the Act. Skyline appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench. The Court determined that the Board's decision was reasonable. Skyline appealed to the Court of Appeal. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

Mahar joins Miller Thomson partnership

Kyla Mahar is the newest partner in Miller Thomson’s Toronto office. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 9:59 AM

Corporate veil shouldn’t prevent moral responsibility | Julius Melnitzer

Instead of rambling on about globalization and its impact on jurisprudence, it’s time for courts to get real about our archaic notions of corporate liability and take the hard measures to ensure that their ramblings benefit everyone — not just big business. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:41 AM

MINES AND MINERALS - Subsurface mineral rights - Contracts - Proprietary estoppel

Appeal by two couples who sought a declaration that they were entitled to a quitclaim of subsurface mineral rights involving the building in which they resided for many years. The claim was made on the basis of proprietary estoppel and arose when a previous owner, Westmin Resources, held the mineral rights. One of the couples moved on to the property in 1975 and the other moved on to the property in 1995-1996. Both couples had spent time and money maintaining the buildings on the property. Both couples had paid modest rent to live on the property. In 2003, sales agreements for the couples to purchase the buildings were prepared, but the agreements were never executed. The rights were currently held by the respondent, Dave Weinrauch and Sons Trucking (Weinrauch). Weinrauch was not aware of the appellants’ attempts to acquire the properties when it purchased the mineral rights in 2008. When Weinrauch was unsuccessful in its attempts to evict the appellants, Weinrauch filed a petition seeking a declaration that it owned the buildings. The appellants then commenced the action, claiming that the previous mineral rights holders assured the appellants that the buildings would belong to them, and that it would be unconscionable for Weinrauch to not honour those assurances. The Weinrauch petition had been stayed. Despite finding she could assume the predecessor gave representations required for a proprietary estoppel claim, the trial judge dismissed the appellants’ claim on the basis that there was no evidence fixing Weinrauch with knowledge of the appellant’s equitable claim. The couples appealed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:36 AM

AGRICULTURE - Agricultural products - Protection of animal livestock

Application by Maple Lodge Farms (MLF) for an order quashing the decision of the Canadian Agricultural Review Tribunal that it transported or caused to be transported spent hens in circumstances where undue suffering was likely caused to the animals by reason of exposure to the weather. On a cold January day, an egg farmer in New York transported spent hens to MLF in Brampton, Ontario for meat processing. At the farm, the hens spent hours in the extreme cold, as it took time to catch and load them and there were mechanical problems with the trailer tailgate. The trip to Brampton took 12 hours. Upon arrival at MLF’s facility, the trailer was taken to an unheated barn. The driver reported that there were 100 dead hens, although MFL’s staff noticed only 12 dead. 12 hours later, when the trailer was finally unloaded, 863 hens, roughly 12 per cent of the load, were found dead. Upon receiving MLF’s report, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a notice of violation against MLF for a violation of s. 143(1)(d) of the Regulations and assessed a penalty of $7,800. MLF requested a review. The Tribunal concluded that the spent hens likely had been subjected to suffering as a result of undue exposure to the weather during the stationary period following loading, and that their compromised state could not have improved to a state of no undue suffering during the course of transport or during the period of lairage at MLF. It concluded that the load should not have been transported, given the four hours of stationary exposure in sub-zero weather. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION - Approvals, licences and orders - Renewable Energy Approval

Appeal by the Association for the Protection of Amherst Island from a decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal. The Tribunal dismissed the appellant's challenge to a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) issued in favour of the respondent, Windlectric, for a proposed wind facility on Amherst Island. The proposed project involved 26 wind turbine generators over a 10,000 square metre area. Each generator was 156 metres tall with 55-metre blades. The Island was 66 square kilometres. It had 400 year-round residents and approximately 1,000 summertime residents. The appellant challenged the issuance of the REA on the basis the project would cause serious harm to human health, and serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. The Tribunal confirmed the Director's decision to issue the REA. The Association appealed. ... [read more]

Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 2:06 PM

BLG adds three new associates

Borden Ladner Gervais has added two associates to its Calgary office, Xiaodi Jin and Patrick Mah, while Mario Pedro is joining the Toronto office. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

OIL AND GAS - Constitutional powers and ownership - Constitutional law - Federal jurisdiction - Pipelines - Inter-provincial

Appeal by the City of Burnaby from a ruling that the National Energy Board (NEB) had jurisdiction to limit Burnaby’s ability to enforce bylaws when they conflicted with the National Energy Board Act. Trans Mountain, operator of a petroleum pipeline routed through Burnaby, contravened several Burnaby bylaws in the course of expanding its pipeline by cutting down trees, clearing vegetation, drilling boreholes and operating heavy machinery. A ruling was issued by the NEB confirming that Trans Mountain was authorized to enter onto Crown or private land in the intended route of its pipeline to make surveys and examinations for the purpose of the NEB’s assessment of the expansion project. The NEB also confirmed that Trans Mountain could enter onto Burnaby’s land without Burnaby’s consent. Burnaby did not appeal from the ruling, but when engineering studies commenced, Burnaby had Trans Mountain workers served with notices of bylaw violations. Trans Mountain obtained from the NEB an order directing Burnaby to give it access to city lands to complete the required studies. Burnaby filed a civil claim, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief restraining work from continuing on the expansion project, and asserting that the NEB lacked jurisdiction to issue an order limiting Burnaby in the enforcement of its bylaws. Burnaby’s application was dismissed because the matter was properly before the NEB. The NEB subsequently ruled that it had jurisdiction to determine that specific Burnaby bylaws were inoperative or inapplicable to the extent that they conflicted with Trans Mountain’s work. Burnaby was denied leave to appeal the NEB’s ruling to the Federal Court. It was granted leave to proceed before the British Columbia Court of Appeal in applying for a declaration based on the constitutional question of the NEB’s jurisdiction. Although the Court considered the application an abuse of process, it nonetheless made a ruling that the NEB had jurisdiction to address the constitutional issues and that it had correctly determined that Burnaby’s bylaws were inapplicable or inoperative in relation to the work conducted by Trans Mountain. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

Whyte new partner in McCarthy Tétrault's Calgary office

Andrea Whyte is the newest equity partner in McCarthy Tétrault's Calgary office. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

Environmental Law - ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION - Approvals, licences and orders

Appeal by the Sipekne’katik First Nation from a decision by the Minister of the Environment dismissing its appeal from the granting of an Industrial Approval in favour of Alton Natural Gas Storage (Alton). Alton sought Approval of a brining pond as part of a larger project involving construction and operation of an underground natural gas storage facility. The underground facility would be built through solution mining using water from the Shubenacadie River. Water removed from the underground excavation would contain significant levels of dissolved salt. The brine storage pond was intended to keep the salt solution until sufficiently diluted for return to the River. Alton received an Industrial Approval for operation of the brine storage pond, subject to terms and conditions. The Minister dismissed the appellant’s appeal pursuant to s. 137 of the Environment Act (Act). The appellant appealed to the Court pursuant to s. 138 of the Act. The appellant submitted that it was denied procedural fairness and that the Crown breached its duty of consultation and accommodation. ... [read more]