Archive

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...

“Water worlds” and nutrient management policies: recent isotope hydrology studies may have significant policy implications 2/18/2011 Jeffrey McDonell, a hydrologist from Oregon State University and this year’s Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, was recently in Alberta presenting on recent research in isotope hydrology.   It quickly became apparent...

We need an independent environmental protection and monitoring agency with teeth 1/13/2011 Given all of the recent reports on the Oilsands released late last year, including the Royal Society report (RSC), the Liberal report, the NDP report, the report released through the Pembina Institute on behalf of various environmental groups, and the...

Updates 1/18/2011 Here are some updates on previous blog posts compiled by Laura Bowman, Staff Counsel at the ELC. The David Suzuki v. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Killer Whale protection) case is being appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal. The Eastern Irrigation District approval for change of purpose is under appeal to...

RSC Report: Science, regulation and the precautionary principle 12/18/2010 Earlier this week the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) released a lengthy report on the state of oilsands science and regulation in Alberta.  The report rightly notes the lack of data on such important issues as water quality, air...