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

No ‘commercial mainstream’ exception allowing receiver to seize on-reserve Indigenous assets: OCA

Ian Collins is satisfied with the result for his client but remains unhappy with the decision By Julius Melnitzer | October 13, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that s. 89 of the Indian Act prohibits court-appointed receivers from seizing an Indigenous person’s on-reserve businesses and assets. The ruling overturns Superior Court Justice Stanley Kershman’s […]

Trial judge may consider accused’s Indigeneity in criminal records admissibility determination: OCA

Decision dispels controversy about whether Gladue principles apply to trial process By Julius Melnitzer | September 30, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that trial judges may consider an accused’s Indigeneity in determining whether their criminal records are admissible in cross-examination. “This is an important and helpful legal precedent on an issue that […]

Maritime shipping tries to reduce emissions, but key obstacles remain in its lane

By Julius Melnitzer | July 23, 2022 Aviation tends to get the public’s attention when it comes to the transportation sector and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but shipping, which is responsible for 2.9 per cent of emissions compared to aviation’s 2.4 per cent, is at least as much of a culprit. “Very few people understand […]

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 […]

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