Archive

Is Canada ready for the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference? 2/23/2015   At the 2015 Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies Conference held at the University of Calgary last week, I presented a brief overview of global, Canadian and provincial developments in carbon pricing and greenhouse gas reduction policies.  One of the questions I sought to...

What Lies Beneath? Buyer Beware It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: You buy a home, move in, then find out there’s an abandoned gas well beneath, leaking and contaminating your property.   Think it can’t happen to you? It can. According to the Energy Resources Conservation Board in November 2012 over...

The Regional ‘Plan to Plan’ 1/26/2015   In September 2014 the Government of Alberta released the first South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) made under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act(ALSA). On January 17, 2015 I was honored to present some thoughts on the implications of the SSRP to the Ghost Watershed Alliance Society.   The Ghost...

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency seeks comments on its Cumulative Effects Guideline 1/13/2015 Following significant changes to the federal environmental assessment regime, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) continues to revisit its policy and guideline documents.  Currently, the CEA Agency seeks public comments on its draft Technical Guidance...

 Omnibus budget bills that transformed Canada’s environmental laws visited by the Federal Court 12/22/2014   The Federal Court issued its decision in Courtoreille v Governor General in Council 2014 FC 1244 on December 19th.  In this case, Chief Steve Courtoreille – on behalf of himself and the Mikisew Cree First Nation...

Calmar: What lies beneath? 12/9/2014   Yesterday the Edmonton Journal ran a piece called “Five years, five homes demolished and gas keeps bubbling from the deep.” It’s a story about any homeowner’s nightmare: old oil and gas wells leaking under and near homes in Calmar.   Most land in Alberta...

Facts, Reasons and Environmental Evils: Recent Canadian Environmental Law Decisions 10/1/2014   In recent months, there have been several interesting environmental law decisions issued by the Federal Court of Canada. In both Greenpeace Canada v Canada (Attorney General), 2014 FC 463 (CanLII) and Council of the Innu of Ekuanitshit v Canada...

Update on the MGA Review: Government releases first "What We Heard" document 8/20/2014   As indicated in previous posts, the Alberta government is currently reviewing the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Given the key role that municipalities play in the management and protection of Alberta’s environment, we have participated in this...