Environmental & Aboriginal Law

The rights of First Nations & Métis in terms of the Crown’s duty to consult, and legislation and jurisprudence relating to the environment in the aboriginal law context and otherwise

Utica Resources files lawsuit seeking billions of dollars if Quebec implements Bill 21

By Julius Melnitzer | June 27, 2022 Utica Resources Inc. filed a lawsuit this week seeking to invalidate the Quebec government’s ban on hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, or obtain billions of dollars in compensation for what it claims is an expropriation, giving new life to critics’ claims that the legislation will hamper economic development and […]

Blood Tribe reserve ruling draws distinction on treaty rights

By Julius Melnitzer | June 8, 2022 First Nations seeking to enforce treaty rights must commence their claims within the applicable limitation periods in provincial and federal legislation, even if the treaty rights arose before Aboriginal rights were enshrined in the Constitution Act of 1982, according to a Federal Court of Appeal ruling earlier this […]

Alberta energy sector still in limbo as appeals court weighs Impact Assessment Act

By Julius Melnitzer | May 3, 2022 More than 14 months after hearing Alberta’s challenge to the federal government’s Impact Assessment Act, the province’s court of appeal has yet to render a decision, leaving industry players on “pins and needles” over a ruling that could have a major impact on the regulation of Alberta energy […]

In the push to net-zero, Scope 3 emissions are increasingly on the radar. Here’s why they put companies in a tricky spot

By Julius Melnitzer | March 29, 2022 Pressure to pursue climate-change strategies that address Scope 3 emissions — those generated not through operations but across the value chain — is mounting on Canadian companies, despite challenges posed by a lack of regulatory guidance and the breadth of the category itself. “Investors’ focus is gradually shifting […]

B.C. Supreme Court ruling on First Nations’ infringement rights to ‘open up broad range of remedies’

The court found that Rio Tinto had ‘significantly impaired’ the Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations’ historical fishing rights By Julius Melnitzer | January 26, 2022 The British Columbia Supreme Court has opened up yet another avenue for First Nations seeking redress against project developers for infringement of their Aboriginal rights and title. “While litigation has […]

Ottawa’s last-minute interventions in energy projects eroding Canadian regulators’ independence

By Julius Melnitzer | December 22, 2021 Uncertainty about who ultimately makes energy decisions and how they are made is among the largest stumbling blocks to Canada’s chances of achieving net zero by 2050, according to a recent study from the University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy group. “The road to net zero requires an unprecedented […]

AltaLink ruling underscores Crown’s duty to consider Indigenous groups’ economic interests when making decisions

The ruling can be a roadmap for a win-win relationship with First Nations By Julius Melnitzer | November 30, 2021 Resource developers are welcoming an Alberta Court of Appeal ruling in October requiring the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to address Indigenous groups’ economic interests in its decisions. The ruling followed on an appeal by AltaLink […]

Manitoba vs Ottawa: Why the province lost its legal challenge against the federal carbon tax

The ruling leaves provinces with little wiggle room in opposing such measures going forward By Julius Melnitzer | November 3, 2021 A recent Federal Court ruling validating the federal government’s fuel charge backstop on Manitoba because the province’s own carbon pricing regime was not “stringent” enough leaves provinces with little wiggle room in opposing such […]

Women with pencil on shoulder putting check marks on clipboard list

BARE BONES BRIEFS: Pandemic spurs unprecedented satisfaction with lawyers | Non-humans can be patent ‘inventors’ | SCC revisits statutory interpretation? | EU declares open season for environmental challenges | Best of: law firm webinars & bulletins

By Julius Melnitzer | October 29, 2021 CLIENT SATISFACTION WITH LAWYERS PEAKS DURING PANDEMIC A UK survey suggests the inability to meet lawyers in person has, at the very least, not diminished clients’ satisfaction with their services. Indeed, according to the Law Society Gazette, satisfaction levels reached an all-time high during the pandemic. The Legal […]

Why Canadian companies are preparing for a wave of ESG cases coming their way

By Julius Melnitzer | October 25, 2021 By all accounts, environmental, social and governance (ESG) litigation will soon be flooding Canada’s courts. The international trend, after all, is undeniable: according to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, more than 1,385 lawsuits seeking relief from climate change, which is but one […]

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