Land Use

A recent decision from the Federal Court of Canada is notable for its interpretation of the how the precautionary principle must guide government decisions when dealing with scientific uncertainty.  The case revolved around a “special review” request made by an individual to the Minister of...

The Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA), which provides the legal framework for the province’s new land use planning and management system, has been in effect for two years. During that time, a first regional plan has been released in draft form, with a second soon...

Two weeks have passed since Alison Redford became Alberta’s newest premier. One of her first statements as premier was that she would “immediately suspend” the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (ALSA), intending to hold consultations and make any needed amendments. ALSA, together with legislation related to...

The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development released a report yesterday covering the federal government’s climate change plans and cumulative environmental effects assessment of oil sands projects. The Commissioner identifies several significant deficiencies in federal environmental management. On the climate change side the Commissioner notes...

Within the past 7 days the federal and provincial governments published documents that may result in Alberta’s Woodland Caribou going down for the count.   These documents include the proposed federal Recovery Strategy for Woodland Caribou, Boreal population and the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP). So...

A Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan has barely been public for a week and already the criticisms sound familiar: Conservation areas are based more on low value energy resources than high value wildlife habitat. Even then existing energy leases can be renewed.  Delaying a biodiversity...

A recent media release indicates that the Government of Alberta has created a Land Trust Grant program for the purchase and management of conservation easements.  Conservation easements are used to protect the environmental values of land, typically in perpetuity, while allowing the owner of the...

A recent decision of the Federal Court has resulted in the setting aside of the federal Minister of Environment’s decision not to recommend to the Governor in Council that an emergency protection order be issued under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to protect Alberta’s...

Environmental education and programs like the Government of Alberta’s One Simple Act are great…for what they are.   I will generalize and say they are window dressing to a dire and economically costly discussion that should be occurring in government, in media and across all sectors...