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

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 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 measures going forward. “The decision comes down […]

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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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Rising municipality charges stalling efforts to develop green buildings in Canada

The Hastings-Quinte Social Services committee announced Wednesday that five retirement complex buildings in Belleville will have solar panels installed on their rooftops, like here at The Prince William building. PHOTO BY POSTMEDIA FILES By Julius Melnitzer | September 8, 2021 Rising development charges and insufficient incentives are stifling some major municipalities’ efforts to encourage developers […]

Ottawa’s Muskrat Falls bailout triggers First Nations lawsuit

Given the number of natural resource projects that have Indigenous support, this type of litigation could become more frequent A pair of disputes in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta relating to resource projects on Indigenous territory, suggests that federal and provincial governments still don’t get it when it comes to their well-established duty to consult […]

Shell-shocked: Could a Dutch court’s ruling on Shell’s emissions encourage similar cases in Canada?

‘It’s a decision that’s worth paying attention to, and that people are talking about’ By Julius Melnitzer | August 11, 2021 If there’s any doubt about the extent to which societal and legal expectations regarding climate change are evolving, a Netherlands court’s ruling ordering Royal Dutch Shell Plc. to reduce the CO2 emissions of its 1,100 companies […]

B.C. court ruling could mean First Nations consent needed for any new project on historic treaty lands

Ruling dramatically lowers the bar for First Nations to demonstrate their treaty rights have been infringed By Julius Melnitzer | July 28, 2021 A British Columbia Supreme Court decision requiring the provincial government to consider the “cumulative effects” of development could mandate First Nations’ consent for any new project on historic treaty lands in Canada. […]

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BARE BONES BRIEFS: FC dismisses murdered Indigenous women’s class action, certifies class for feds’ negligence to Indigenous in custody | Divisional Court dismisses ‘intrusion upon seclusion’ class action against Equifax | Lawyers fined $33,500 for missing fraud at firm | ICC touts arbitration as part of international minimum tax framework | Best of: law firm bulletins

By Julius Melnitzer | June 25, 2021 MIXED RESULTS IN INDIGENOUS CLASS ACTIONS Indigenous class actions seeking to impose liability for mistreatment on governments and police have achieved mixed results. On June 23, the Federal Court certified a class consisting of Aboriginal persons assaulted by the RCMP while in custody in the Northwest Territories. The […]

Bill C-12: Why the Green Party and environmental groups are against Ottawa’s net-zero climate bill

By Julius Melnitzer | June 16, 2021 Make no mistake about it: Bill C-12, the federal legislation designed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is nothing more than a top-down mandate focused on making net zero emissions commitment the obligation of the federal government. “What Bill C-12 doesn’t tell us is how the federal government […]

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