Category: Environmental

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B.C. Introduces New GHG Regulations, Focuses on LNG Facilities

October 23, 2014

  On October 20, 2014 the British Columbia government introduced new legislation to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industrial operations. Bill 2, the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Actmarks a significant shift in the province’s approach to GHGs and more closely aligns B.C. with the approach taken by Alberta and the federal government. Of note, the bill proposes…

Alberta Finalizes First Nation Consultation Guidelines

August 5, 2014

On July 28, 2014, the Government of Alberta released the final version of its Guidelines on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management (Guidelines). The Guidelines, and the Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013 (Policy), replace its former 2005 policy and 2007 guidelines. For industry, the primary…

Shifting Currents: Legal Protection of Whales and Waterways

July 21, 2014

  The federal government recently released a proposal to acknowledge the improved status of the northern Pacific population of the humpback whale through downlisting of its legal status under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The proposal has spotlighted the potential implications of changes in legal status of endangered species for resource operations and provides a specific example of why being aware…

Ontario Can “Take Up” Lands Under Treaty 3 Without Seeking Federal Approval

July 11, 2014

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in the Keewatin case, confirming that Ontario can “take up” lands in Treaty 3, in northwestern Ontario, without requiring preapproval from the federal government. This decision confirms that the provinces retain jurisdiction, as defined in the Constitution, over land ceded to the Crown by treaty with First Nations. The court also took…

Ontario Can “Take Up” Lands Under Treaty 3 Without Seeking Federal Approval

July 11, 2014

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in the Keewatin case, confirming that Ontario can “take up” lands in Treaty 3, in northwestern Ontario, without requiring preapproval from the federal government. This decision confirms that the provinces retain jurisdiction, as defined in the Constitution, over land ceded to the Crown by treaty with First Nations. The court…

Supreme Court of Canada Releases Landmark Aboriginal Title Case

June 26, 2014

  Today the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its unanimous decision in the Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia case (generally known as the Roger William case), upholding the First Nation’s claim to aboriginal title and rights over a portion of its traditional territory. This is the first case in which the SCC has confirmed aboriginal title over specific areas of land. The SCC…

New Fisheries Act Regulation Anticipates Streamlining With Provincial Approvals‎

May 8, 2014

  On April 10, 2014, the federal cabinet granted the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans the power to issue regulations allowing certain deposits of deleterious substances, provided they are authorized under other federal or provincial laws or guidelines. This may turn out to be one of the most significant actions arising from changes made to the Fisheries Act in 2012.   The Fisheries…

​Supreme Court Won’t Bring Order to ‘Untidy Intersection’ Between Environmental Law and Insolvency

April 22, 2014

  On April 17, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal to Nortel from the decision rendered by the Ontario Court of Appeal last October. For additional details and commentary on the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, please see our November 2013 Blakes Bulletin: Ontario Court of Appeal Applies AbitibiBowater Test in Concurrent Decisions.   For…

New Quebec Liberal Government’s Commitments on Environmental and Energy Matters

April 15, 2014

  Quebecers held a general election on April 7, 2014 and elected a majority government led by the Quebec Liberal Party. During its campaign, the Quebec Liberal Party (Liberal Party) made certain electoral commitments with respect to environmental and energy issues. Below is an overview of what we can expect in terms of policy developments on these issues based on…

Agreeing (How) to Disagree: Dispute Resolution Clauses in Impact Benefit Agreements with First Nations

March 19, 2014

  First Nations and resource companies commonly enter into impact benefit agreements (IBAs) and other related economic benefit agreements when a resource development project may potentially impact First Nations’ rights. While the avoidance of disputes is often the impetus behind IBAs, one often overlooked element of the IBA is how any future disputes under the IBA itself will be addressed….

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