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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 @ 08:57 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 @ 08:00 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]

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

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]

Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 09:02 AM

Media relations isn't marketing, and that's just the first mistake lawyers make | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to maximizing the benefits of good media relations, many Canadian law firms haven’t quite got it yet. For those of you who are thinking, “What are you talking about? The profession’s marketing savvy has come a very long way” — you’re making my point. What a lot of law firms still don’t seem to understand is that marketing and media relations are two distinct arts. Lumping them together is akin to shoving an admiralty lawyer and an entertainment lawyer into the same pigeonhole. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 08:00 PM

Environmental Law - Environmental assessments - Canadian Environmental Assessment Act - Decisions of Governor in Council - Aboriginal issues - Traditional uses and traditional environmental knowledge

Appeal by The Prophet River First Nation and the West Moberly First Nations from a decision denying their application for judicial review of a decision by the Governor in Council (GIC). The appellants were British Columbia Treaty 8 First Nations. BC Hydro purported to take up Treaty 8 lands for the Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C Project), a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River. The GIC’s decision deemed that although the Site C Project would likely cause significant adverse environmental effects, including adverse effects on the Aboriginal peoples use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, these effects were justified in the circumstances pursuant to s. 52(4) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Site C Project was issued federal authorization to proceed by Order in Council. On judicial review, the judge found that the Crown had met its duty to consult and accommodate and that there was no requirement on the part of the GIC to determine the appellants’ treaty rights and whether the Site C Project unjustifiably infringed their treaty rights under s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act. The appellants submitted that the judge erred in applying a reasonableness standard of review, in concluding that the GIC was not required to determine treaty rights, and in concluding that a judicial review was not the appropriate forum to determine the appellants’ treaty rights and whether they had been infringed. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 03:48 PM

B.C. law firm collaborates with indigenous communities to translate traditional laws Maxine Matilpi

West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) is working with indigenous communities across British Columbia to identify legal principles in their traditional stories. These ancient laws are unique to each community and identify principles related to rights and standards of environmental governance. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

Dentons expands eastern Europe reach with new Tbilisi office

Global law firm Dentons is expanding its presence in Central and Eastern Europe by opening an office in Tbilisi, Georgia. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS - Canadian Environmental Assessment Act - Decisions of Governor in Council - Aboriginal issues - Traditional uses and traditional environmental knowledge

Appeal by The Prophet River First Nation and the West Moberly First Nations from a decision denying their application for judicial review of a decision by the Governor in Council (GIC). The appellants were British Columbia Treaty 8 First Nations. BC Hydro purported to take up Treaty 8 lands for the Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C Project), a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River. The GIC’s decision deemed that although the Site C Project would likely cause significant adverse environmental effects, including adverse effects on the Aboriginal peoples use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, these effects were justified in the circumstances pursuant to s. 52(4) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Site C Project was issued federal authorization to proceed by Order in Council. On judicial review, the judge found that the Crown had met its duty to consult and accommodate and that there was no requirement on the part of the GIC to determine the appellants’ treaty rights and whether the Site C Project unjustifiably infringed their treaty rights under s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act. The appellants submitted that the judge erred in applying a reasonableness standard of review, in concluding that the GIC was not required to determine treaty rights, and in concluding that a judicial review was not the appropriate forum to determine the appellants’ treaty rights and whether they had been infringed. ... [read more]

Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 01:21 PM

Lawyer/scientist Anand joins Gilbert's LLP

Nisha Anand has joined Gilbert’s LLP as a partner. ... [read more]