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Natural Resources

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Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

Former OSC official joins Pallett Valo

Pallett Valo LLP welcomes Barbara Hendrickson to its business law practice. ... [read more]

Monday, February 06, 2017 @ 04:21 PM

Former Hydro-Québec executive Desgagné joins Langlois lawyers

Langlois lawyers has announced that Pierre-Luc Desgagné has joined the firm's business law team, advising on matters of energy law, environmental law, governance, transportation law, governmental affairs, statutory construction and negotiation strategy. ... [read more]

Friday, February 03, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

ABORIGINAL LAW - Aboriginal Lands - Duties of the Crown - Fair dealing and reconciliation - Consultation and accommodation

Appeal by Canadian Silica Industries Inc. and Jeffrey Bond (collectively, “CSI”) and the Director of the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) from the decision in a judicial review proceeding instituted by the Fort Nelson First Nation. The underlying dispute centered on the CSI frac sand mine, located in the traditional territory of the First Nation. CSI had applied to move the mine into production. The First Nation wrote to the EAO, expressing concern that the project was reviewable, requiring an environmental assessment. It argued that production capacity for the project exceeded the numeric threshold for reviewability based on the total amount of sand and gravel to be excavated. Before the EAO could respond to the First Nation, CSI sent a letter seeking confirmation of its view that the project was not reviewable because the production level for products to be sold and used from the operation would be less than 240,000 tonnes per year. The EAO wrote back to CSI, placing responsibility with CSI to determine whether or not the project met the threshold for reviewability. In the letter, the EAO stated that a project with the capacity of CSI’s mine would not be reviewable. The EAO then responded to the First Nation, acknowledging the First Nation’s interpretation of the term “production capacity”, while reiterating its position that production capacity included only sand and gravel produced for sale or use, not all excavated material. Further correspondence was exchanged between the EAO and the First Nation before the First Nation commenced its petition for judicial review. The judge found the EAO’s interpretation of the threshold for reviewability unreasonable. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 07:00 PM

First Nation award called 'precedent setting'

A Saskatchewan First Nations band has been awarded $4.5 million by Specific Claims Tribunal Canada as compensation for retaliatory action taken in the late 19th century by the federal government under Prime Minister John A. MacDonald. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 07:00 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 @ 07:00 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 @ 07:00 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 @ 07:00 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 @ 07:00 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 @ 07:00 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]