Articles 2020

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Pollution Exclusion Clauses: When do Ontario courts allow an insurer to limit recovery for environmental damages?

  • April 19, 2022
  • Nicole Tzannidakis, Dentons Canada LLP

This article reviews the decision of the Ontario Superior Court in the case of Kin v Ecclesiastical. The application was brought as a result of the claim brought by the purchaser of the property for damages due to the discovery of underground storage tanks. The applicants were the defendants in the claim and the issue dealt with by the court, and reviewed in this article, relates to the determination of insurance coverage and application of the pollution exclusion clauses.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Expanding Administrative Penalties for Environmental Contraventions

  • April 19, 2022
  • Rizwan Khan, Counsel, Viridius Lex LLP

This article provides an explanation and overview of the new administrative penalty regime (“AMP”) proposed for the enforcement of Ontario's environmental laws. The article reviews the process for the issuance of an AMP under the proposed regulations and the approach applied for the calculation of penalty amounts. Note that the associated draft regulations implementing the administrative penalty regime have not yet been posted on the ERO for review and comment.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Plan for the Ban: Our New Year’s Update of Single-Use Plastics Bans Across Canada

  • March 03, 2022
  • Talia Gordner, Julia Loney and Tess Dimroci, McMillan LLP

This article provides an updated summary of the current state of legislation across Canada relating to single use plastic and explores the changes and trends businesses can expect over the next few years. The article concludes that the existing, pending and future regulations are likely to continue to expand over time resulting in an increased need for innovation and production in the area of reusable, recyclable and biodegradable alternatives for businesses and consumers.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

The Quick and Dirty on Phase Two of Ontario’s Excess Soil Regulation

  • February 16, 2022
  • Talia Gordner, Annik Forristal & Kamal Azmy (student), McMillan LLP

Phase Two of Ontario’s On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation took effect on January 1, 2022. Since coming into force on January 1, 2021, the Regulation has introduced a new framework for the excavation, removal and transport of “excess soil” between two or more sites. These regulatory changes have affected property owners, developers, consultants, and the construction industry as a whole, exposing its participants to new risks and legal requirements.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

OBA Environmental Assessment Primer Recap

  • February 16, 2022
  • Angela Dittrich

How has impact assessment (IA) and environmental assessment (EA) legislation evolved over the past fifty years in Canada? How will recent IA/EA amendments and modernization schemes impact environmental protection, meaningful Indigenous consultation, socio-economic benefits, and post-approval processes? The Ontario Bar Association’s “Environmental Assessment Primer” provided valuable insight into these questions as well as a comprehensive overview of the practice of environmental assessment law. 

Environmental Law, Student Forum

OBA Case Law Update: Top 10 Environmental Cases of 2021

  • February 16, 2022
  • Nicole Tzannidakis

As part of the 2022 OBA Institute conference on February 3rd, 2022, the speakers presented a non-exhaustive list of top ten cases from 2021 based on their relevance to the wide membership of the OBA Environmental Law Section. The selected cases are summarized below and are grouped in themes.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Recent Amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007: Conservation Fund Species and a New Option for Compliance

  • February 14, 2022
  • Joanna Rosengarten

Recent changes to the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (“ESA”) include allowing payment of species conservation charges to a Species at Risk Conservation Fund and streamlining conditional exemptions for activities impacting prescribed species at risk. One significant change is the introduction of a new option allowing proponents undertaking authorized activities to contribute to the Species at Risk Conservation Fund instead of completing beneficial actions for species impacted by their activities.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Climate Change and Environmental Law: Where are We Heading? Keynote Presentation by Dr. Dianne Saxe

  • December 04, 2021
  • Angela Dittrich and David McRobert

In this article, Angela Dittrich and David McRobert review the keynote presentation made by Dr. Dianne Saxe to the OBA’s Environmental Law Mentorship Session on June 29, 2021. Dr. Saxe presented a summary of the scientific evidence supporting human-caused climate change and argued that the moral case for the courts taking action on climate change now has been made. A review of climate litigation to date is also provided.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Out of Charge: Do insurers and lenders hold the key to the mass adoption of electric vehicles?

  • December 02, 2021
  • Aaron Atcheson, Kelsey Vicary and Kyle Bertsch

In an effort to reach its stated goal of net-zero emissions across the country, the Government of Canada has plans to implement a ban on the sale of all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. This article explores concerns that Canada is not ready for the mass adoption of EVs. Significant upgrades are needed to EV infrastructure, from chargers to local distribution capacity.

Environmental Law, Natural Resources and Energy Law, Student Forum

Adding It All Up - Cumulative Impacts of Industrial Development & First Nations’ Rights

  • November 25, 2021
  • Denisa Mertiri and Rebecca Murray, ,

On June 29, 2021, the British Columbia Supreme Court held for the first time that the Crown’s power to take up lands for industrial development under a treaty could violate First Nation treaty rights if industrial development resulted in the First Nation no longer being able to meaningfully exercise their treaty rights. The Yahey v. British Columbia decision may have significant impacts on industrial developments involving forestry, oil and gas, and renewable energy in Canadian provinces.

Environmental Law, Student Forum