Archive

Single energy regulator bill a poor deal for Alberta’s environment 11/1/2012   Last week, the Alberta government introduced Bill 2, the Responsible Energy Development Act, which is intended to create aone window regulator that will “improve the energy regulation system for landowners, industry and the environment.” While this new...

Navigable waters may be litigable waters if Bill C-45 passes 10/19/2012   As has been widely reported, the second omnibus budget bill has been tabled in Parliament (Bill C-45).  Part of the Bill is aimed at amending the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) to focus its regulatory application on impacts on prescribed...

Rio + 20 = 1867? Canada’s interesting math 6/22/2012   On the verge of the end of Rio +20 and the passage of the federal budget bill (C-38), I felt it worthwhile to do some math.  Rio +20 is intended to move “sustainable development” into 2012 and beyond.  Yet,...

EPA finds fracking causes water contamination 2/16/2012   A draft report from the US Environmental Protection Agency on fracking for natural gas in Wyoming found that disposal pits caused shallow groundwater contamination.  The report also found some evidence of substance release into the Wind River drinking water aquifer from production...

Will Statoil’s “creative sentence” prevent illegal water use? 12/9/2011   Norwegian giant Statoil has pled guilty to breaching the terms of a Water Actlicense, joining Suncor and Syncrude as the third oil sands operator to be convicted under provincial legislation in the last three years.  Statoil’s $190,000 fine  is...

Court directs precaution in pesticide review case 12/2/2011   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...

The Alberta Water Authority: Should the idea sink or swim? 6/23/2011   Last month the Report of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy Shaping Alberta’s Future outlined five “big” ideas to further provincial economic diversification and growth.   One of them is to create the Alberta Water Authority to “innovate in water...

“Water exchange” vs. money for a licence – regardless the environment needs law and policy to evolve 5/12/2011   There has been a bit of a media fury around the idea of a “water exchange” in recent days.  First, the chairman of Nestle proclaimed Alberta a great place to...

Canada Water Week and standing 3/14/2011   To kick off Canada Water Week (the 14th to the 22nd of March) with a legal spin I have borrowed a quote from a case from our southern neighbours in 1972.  At issue in Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 was the standing of the non-government...