Category: Environmental

Environmental Litigation on the Rise in Corporate Canada and Around the World

September 10, 2019

Climate change litigation continues to evolve in many jurisdictions and Canada has seen its fair share of proceedings seeking to hold governments and the oil and gas, energy and power industries responsible for carbon dioxide emissions. CLIMATE CHANGE LITIGATION AT HOME AND ABROAD Europe The genesis of much climate change litigation was a 2015 decision of the Hague District Court…

Federal Overhaul of Environmental Laws to Take Effect August 28, 2019: New Impact Assessment Triggers and Other Details Released

August 12, 2019

The federal government’s long-awaited overhaul of key environmental laws (Bill C-69, which implements the new Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act and the Canadian Navigable Waters Act and related regulations) will take effect on August 28, 2019. The Impact Assessment Act will replace the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, (CEAA 2012) overhauling the federal environmental assessment (now impact…

Do Not Pass Go: B.C. Court Confirms Jumbo Ski Resort Needs New Environmental Assessment

August 8, 2019

On August 6, 2019, the B.C. Court of Appeal (Court) upheld the provincial Minister of Environment’s (Minister) determination that the Jumbo Glacier Resort was not “substantially started” by the deadline set out in its environmental assessment certificate. This decision will be of interest to the nearly 30 approved projects in British Columbia which have not yet sought a “substantially started”…

Quebec Tightens Restrictions on Construction and Other Projects in Flood-Prone Areas

July 18, 2019

In 2017 and 2019, Quebec was struck with severe spring flooding. In the Spring of 2019, floods affected more than 250 municipalities, damaged thousands of residences and forced the evacuation of over 13,500 people. Following these incidents, municipalities and the Quebec government were criticized for issuing construction permits in flood zones over the years. In response, the government has set…

Environment and Climate Change Canada Looks to Broadly Expand Protections for Migratory Birds

July 5, 2019

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recently released proposed new Migratory Birds Regulations (Regulations), which will replace the existing regulations of the same name under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (Act). The new Regulations contain many changes that can be classified as modernizing or administrative in nature, some of which will provide clarity that has been previously lacking. However, there…

Federal Government Passes Controversial Environmental Legislation and Tanker Ban

June 27, 2019

The Government of Canada has enacted two new pieces of environmental legislation, significantly altering the process for federal project approvals in Canada. It has also passed extensive amendments to the rules regarding navigable waters and fish habitat protections that had been previously changed through omnibus legislation in 2012. On June 20, 2019, the Senate passed three bills: Bill C-69, the…

B.C. Strengthens Protections for Heritage Sites, Introduces Mandatory Reporting Requirements

March 14, 2019

The British Columbia government recently introduced amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act (Act) to strengthen protections for heritage and archeological sites and objects in the province. Proposed amendments include a duty to report the discovery of a site or object that may have heritage value, which may impact both existing and planned property development and infrastructure projects. Failing to report…

Federal Carbon Pricing System Coming Into Force January 2019: How Will it Impact Your Business?

December 17, 2018

Under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Act), the federal government is empowered to administer and enforce a two-pronged carbon pricing system in provinces and territories that either fail to meet the federal benchmark specified in the Act or choose to adopt it voluntarily (Listed Provinces). For a discussion regarding the political and legal challenges surrounding the Act and its…

Ontario, B.C. Release New Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plans

December 10, 2018

The governments of Ontario and British Columbia recently released new environmental plans that will guide the development of environmental legislation and policies in each province for the foreseeable future. Ontario released the Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (Proposal) and B.C. released its CleanBC plan. These plans will lead to economic opportunities for certain…

New Year, New Environmental Rules: Alberta’s Revised Remediation Rules Take Effect in 2019

November 27, 2018

On January 1, 2019, significant amendments to Alberta’s Remediation Certificate Regulation will come into force. These include: Renaming the regulation the Remediation Regulation Creating a site-based remediation certificate Creating a new reporting requirement for impacts Defaulting to the application of Tier 1 rather than Tier 2 Guidelines Issuing a Tier 2 compliance letter Establishing a new mandatory remedial measures timeline…