May 30, 2016
On May 18, 2016, the Ontario government (Government) passed the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 (Act). The Government says that the Act’s objective is to make the province accountable for transparently investing proceeds from the cap-and-trade program into actions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, create jobs and help people and businesses shift to a low-carbon economy….
May 25, 2016
The devastating impact of the wildfire that continues to burn throughout northern Alberta has left those directly affected with unanswered questions relating to sources of income and financial stability. Many workplaces have either ceased operations indefinitely or no longer exist. The situation has many employers asking about their duties to employees in these circumstances. This bulletin is a summary of…
May 19, 2016
In January 2016, I wrote an article about the commencement of the new federal government’s promised review of its environmental assessment process. Given that the existing process has been an issue that has seriously divided Canadians — and is of clear national importance — a review seemed timely. Then, nothing happened. On May 17, 2016, the Minister of Natural Resources (Minister)…
May 9, 2016
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) recently released Bulletin 2016-10 (Bulletin), as a reminder to directors and officers of corporate holders of AER oil and gas well licences (Licensees) that they may be personally responsible for the statutory obligations of the Licensee when it enters insolvency proceedings or otherwise ceases operations. The AER’s traditional position has been that the failure of…
April 25, 2016
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has published a staff discussion paper, Rate Design for Commercial and Industrial Electricity Customers: Aligning the Interests of Customers and Distributors (Staff Discussion Paper), in which it considers a new rate design that will affect all commercial and industrial customers who receive electricity from a distribution company. Although commercial and industrial customers only account for…
April 21, 2016
Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan (Plan) was released on November 22, 2015. The Plan represented a dramatic and fundamental shift in Alberta’s approach to climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) issues, including to achieve the government’s stated objective of gaining support and “social licence” for the pipeline takeaway capacity needed to support Alberta’s oil and gas production and export industries. With…
April 11, 2016
After extensive public consultations, the Government of Quebec announced Quebec’s energy policy for 2016–2030 (Policy) on April 7, 2016. By focusing on energy efficiency, innovation and renewable energy, the Policy aims to transition towards a low-carbon economy that will help fight climate change. Environmental organizations, businesses and First Nations thus far seem to be in favour of the Policy. The…
March 31, 2016
ONE | OILPATCH PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT AND OPPORTUNITIES Between June 2014 and December 2015, the price of a barrel of oil was cut roughly in half, resulting in a significant downturn in the earnings of companies with businesses connected to the oil industry. Private equity (PE) firms with portfolio companies that have operations in or exposure to Alberta and Canada’s energy…
March 11, 2016
Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) has allowed another wind project Renewable Energy Approval (REA) appeal on the basis of environmental concerns. In doing so, it has made findings on the statutory test of “serious and irreversible harm to animal life or the natural environment” with respect to species at risk that could have significant impacts on future renewable energy projects….
March 9, 2016
ONE | LOW COMMODITY PRICES As depressed oil prices continue to dominate the headlines and natural-gas prices hover near record lows, sustained low commodity prices have had a cascading effect on the industry, compelling companies to fundamentally alter their business strategies. Cash-flow management is among the areas most impacted. Without a steady income stream, companies are left with few options….