Category: Environmental Law

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Chevron v Yaiguaje: Small Step for the Plaintiffs, (Relatively) Small Step for Mankind

It is tempting to believe, or at least hope, that the recent Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) decision in Chevron Corp v Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42 [Chevron] is one of the last acts of the Chevron saga, and a leap forward for environmentalism. Alas, the decision is more like the prologue to yet another season of the show, and without further changes, the leap may be more like a gentle skip. My colleague has discussed and summarized the decision itself, here. Now, I invite you to look ahead to what’s coming for Chevron and the future of global corporations’ liability...

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Forest Ethics Advocacy Assn v Canada: Three Administrative Decisions on the Line 9 Pipeline

On 31 October 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) released Forest Ethics Advocacy Assn v Canada (National Energy Board), 2014 FCA 245 [Forest Ethics]. In the decision, Justice Stratas considered an “inseparable triumvirate” of interlocutory decisions by the National Energy Board (“NEB”) related to a proceeding on the approval of the Lin 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project (at para 61). First, whether the NEB should consider the climate change effects associated with the upstream development of Alberta’s oil sands and downstream use of oil transported by the pipeline. Second, whether the NEB facilitated meaningful participation during...

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Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections Under the Charter : Part 4

This is the final post in a multi-part series that explores constitutionalizing environmental protections through s. 7 of the Charter in the context of heavy oil processing in Peace River, Alberta. The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed, and any errors or omissions made. For a PDF version of this post with full citations, please click here. *** The Implications of Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections On December 6, 2013, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq approved Shell’s Jackpine Mine expansion project in northern Alberta. The project was approved despite having “significant adverse environmental effects.” According to the minister, these adverse...

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Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections Under the Charter: Part 3

This post is the third of a multi-part series that explores constitutionalizing environmental protections through s. 7 of the Charter in the context of heavy oil processing in Peace River, Alberta. The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed, and any errors or omissions made. For a PDF version of this post with full citations, please click here. *** How Odours from Heavy Oil Processing in the Peace River Region Can Constitute a s. 7 Infringement The evidentiary record before the Alberta Energy Regulator inquiry into odours and emissions from heavy oil operations in the Peace River region makes...

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Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections Under the Charter: Part 2

This post is the second of a multi-part series that explores constitutionalizing environmental protections through s. 7 of the Charter in the context of heavy oil processing in Peace River, Alberta. The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed, and any errors or omissions made. For a PDF version of this post with full citations, please click here. *** The Anatomy of a s. 7 Charter Claim Asserting Environmental Protections The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, unlike the constitutional bills of rights found in Ecuador and South Africa, does not specifically include protections for the environment. However, the Charter’s...

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Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections Under the Charter: Part 1

This post is the first of a multi-part series that explores constitutionalizing environmental protections through s. 7 of the Charter in the context of heavy oil processing in Peace River, Alberta. The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed, and any errors or omissions made. For a PDF version of this post with full citations, please click here.  *** Constitutionalizing Environmental Protections Under the Charter: Health Complaints and Heavy Oil Processing in the Peace River Region Reno and Three Creeks are communities located in Alberta’s Peace River region. For years, community residents have complained of adverse health impacts resulting from...

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The Supreme Court Redefines Taxable Consideration: Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. v. Canada

The Supreme Court’s decision in Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. v. Canada, 2013 SCC 29, addressed the question of how much tax was owed by a forestry company on the sale of land with environmental reclamation obligations.  It will be of considerable economic significance for all types of resource industries.  This can be divined from the range of interveners in the case, prominent among them the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

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Chevron Corp v Naranjo: Goliath’s Global Anti-Enforcement Injunction against David

The clichéd David vs. Goliath depiction is one which is often used when describing legal cases. But Ecuador’s Lago Agrio community vs. the Chevron Corporation is one legal battle which aptly fits the analogy. The controversial case has a long history, involving alleged environmental violations in Ecuador’s Amazon region by Texaco (now Chevron) from 1964 to 1992, allegations of corruption, and litigation since 1993. Along the way there have been many twists and turns, a high public profile (Justice Lynch of the Second District Court even calling it “among the most extensively told in the history of the American federal...

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Ha-Redeye and Yap — Piedra v. Copper Mesa Mining Corporation

In the spirit of increased collegiality and collaboration within the Canadian legal blogging community, LawisCool.com and TheCourt.ca have set aside their heated rivalry to bring you their first ever joint posting. What follows is a commentary on the interesting case of Piedra v. Copper Mesa Mining Corporation, 2010 ONSC 2421. Commentator for LawisCool.com: Omar Ha-Redeye, Juris Doctor, University of Western Ontario; founding contributor of LawisCool.com. Commentator for TheCourt.ca: James Yap, Juris Doctor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; former Senior Contributing Editor, TheCourt.ca. The Facts Copper Mesa Mining Corporation is a Canadian company based in British Columbia who planned through...

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Newfoundland Loses Latest Round Against AbitibiBowater Inc.

Newfoundland has failed in its latest effort to compel AbitibiBowater Inc. to clean up industrial sites that the company once owned and operated in the province. The Quebec Court of Appeal decision in Newfoundland v. AbitibiBowater Inc., 2010 QCCA 965, denied the province leave to appeal of an earlier decision by the Superior Court in AbitibiBowater Inc. (Arrangement relatif à), 2010 QCCS 1261. Media reports suggest that the Newfoundland may seek leave to appeal to the SCC, though that is not certain. Background and Facts AbitibiBowater Inc., a US incorporated pulp and paper manufacturer, operated throughout the province of Newfoundland...