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Natural Resources

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Thursday, August 18, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

New licence transfer restrictions

Alberta oil and gas licensees face several implications following an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision, including an increase in licence transfer restrictions imposed by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). ... [read more]

Thursday, August 18, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Natural Resources Law - Agriculture - Farms - income programs - Price supports and guarantees

Appeal by Ferme Vi-Ber inc. and others from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal setting aside a decision granting their action against La Financière agricole du Québec (La Financière). The Court was called upon to identify the rules governing the interpretation of the rights and obligations of the parties to the Programme d’assurance stabilisation des revenus agricoles (ASRA Program), administered by La Financière. The appellants were Quebec farm producers that voluntarily participated in the ASRA Program. Under that program, La Financière undertook, in return for contributions from producers, to protect them from the income fluctuations associated with the agricultural market. The appellants contested certain decisions made by La Financière in determining their compensation payments for 2007. Those decisions were related to the calculation method chosen by La Financière in determining the compensation payable under the program, which aimed to protect participants from having their income drop below a predetermined percentage of the average income of a skilled worker. La Financière took account of additional income received as farm financial assistance from the federal government (linkage) based on the amounts the average benchmark farm would have received, as opposed to the amounts each ASRA Program participant actually received from the government. The appellants argued that the ASRA Program was a contract of insurance and that La Financière had improperly incorporated that additional income into its calculations so as to reduce their compensation under the program, in violation of the terms of the contract, which had to be interpreted on the basis of their reasonable expectations as insured persons. The producers applied to the Superior Court, which allowed their action, characterizing the ASRA Program as a contract of insurance and ordering La Financière to pay them substantial additional compensation for 2007. The Court of Appeal set aside that judgment, finding that the ASRA Program was not a contract of insurance and that the impugned decisions were reasonable. The appellants asked the court to declare that La Financière had to, under the ASRA Program, deduct any amounts to which each participant was entitled under a federal program on an individual basis. ... [read more]

Thursday, August 18, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Agriculture - Farms - Income programs - Price supports and guarantees

Appeal by Lafortune and other hog and piglet producers from a judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal affirming a decision of the Quebec Superior Court dismissing their action against La Financière agricole du Québec (La Financière). The Court was called upon to identify the rules governing the rights and obligations of parties to the Programme d’assurance stabilisation des revenus agricoles (ASRA) Program, administered by La Financière. The appellants were Quebec producers that participated in the ASRA Program. Under that program, La Financière undertook, in return for contributions from participants, to support them with compensation payments. The appellants contested the value of the compensation they had received from La Financière under the ASRA Program for the years 2006 to 2008. They equated the program with a contract of insurance and argued that the compensation they had received was neither sufficient nor consistent with their reasonable expectations as parties to such a contract. In their view, the process that had been followed and the statistical and accounting methods that had been used in the economic study carried out to calculate their compensation payments for the years in question had yielded an unfair result. The Superior Court dismissed the appellants’ claim. It held that the ASRA Program was not a contract of insurance within the meaning of the Civil Code of Québec, that La Financière’s decisions were fair and that it had employed appropriate methods in making them. The Court of Appeal upheld that judgment. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Quebec shines a light on investment

Those whose practices focus on international resources and the structuring of investments made by foreign companies in the resources sector in Canada will be familiar with these key questions: what investment, environmental and First Nations consultation requirements must I meet and how can I understand them with enough certainty to be able to make a responsibly informed decision about whether to invest or not? ... [read more]

Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Cohesion urged for Aboriginal consultation process

The widening gap between what Aboriginal communities expect from consultation and what is required by law is creating confusion and frustration among Aboriginal communities and project proponents. Consultation guidelines offer assistance to Crown agencies, proponents and Aboriginal communities, but they can be improved if the parties’ roles and the guidelines’ enforceability is clarified. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 16, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

Alberta going greener

The Alberta government has set aside almost $8.5 billion in its April 2016 budget to build and modernize major public infrastructure in the province. The budget also provides further details on the implementation of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, which is based on recommendations put forward by the climate change advisory panel in November 2015. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 14, 2016 @ 8:00 PM

The unknown cost of green mining

During the current global business cycle, the Canadian mining sector has been very much at the forefront of the market volatility and resultant uncertainty. More recently, an additional element of change on the socio-political front looks set to add to that uncertainty, at least in the short to medium term. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 08, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

Climate change rethink

In May, Alberta ended 40 years of Progressive Conservative government by electing Rachel Notley’s NDP. Since then the price of oil has fallen sharply. Broad-based layoffs in Calgary’s oil and gas sector have started with no sign of abating, and Goldman Sachs, the large U.S. investment firm, predicts a doomsday scenario where oil falls to $20 a barrel. ... [read more]

Thursday, August 20, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

Risky business

In the wake of this summer’s chaos in Greece, the sudden crash of the Chinese stock market, and persistently weak commodities prices, Canadian foreign investors are facing new challenges to keep existing assets viable while discovering new opportunities. ... [read more]

Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

Women on board

The mining industry is a significant contributor to Canada’s GDP and a significant employer across Canada, providing the largest proportion of high-paying and skilled jobs of all industrial sectors in Canada. Due to the richness of its natural resources, Canada is a world leader in the global production of 11 major minerals and metals. ... [read more]