Articles 2022


Keeping Up with Environmental Obligations in the Time of Covid-19

  • April 09, 2020
  • Jessica Boily, Anna Côté, Mark Youden, Alexei Paish, and Harry Dahme

COVID-19 has brought upheaval across all industries and sectors of society. While this is no less true with respect to environmental matters, many environmental legal requirements remain in place and require continued compliance, despite challenges faced by companies in Canada. On the other hand, many court proceedings and municipal processes have been suspended. This article sets out some practical guidance on how to navigate both ends of this spectrum.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Soleimani v. Rolland Levesque: Involvement of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks May Not Toll Limitation Period

  • February 18, 2020
  • Julia Schatz

The abandonment of the appeal leaves the decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Soleimani v Rolland Levesque intact. That decision found that the Ministry of Environment’s involvement in investigating and remediating ground water contamination under the EPA does not establish an alternative adjudication or dispute resolution process that would toll or suspend a limitation period pursuant to s. 5(1)(a)(iv) of the Limitations Act

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Time to Dish the Dirt: Ontario’s Excess Soil Regime Becomes Law

  • January 14, 2020
  • Matthew Gardner, Anand Srivastava, and Madiha Vallani

On December 4, 2019, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) filed the long-awaited On-Site and Excess Soil Management Regulation (“Excess Soil Regulation”) and complementary amendments to Ontario’s Records of Site Condition (O Reg 153/04) and Waste Management (Reg 347 and O Reg 351/12) regulations. The Excess Soil Regulation and complementary regulatory amendments will come into legal force in phases.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Supreme Court of Canada Highlights Purpose Driven Contractual Interpretation of Environmental Claims in Resolute Forest Products

  • January 07, 2020
  • Catherine Lyons and Matthew Lakatos-Hayward

In a recent decision, the SCC in R v Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc found that an indemnity against pollution claims granted by Ontario did not cover a regulatory order to remediate contamination. The SCC found that the indemnity did not cover first-party regulatory claims such as an order to prevent discharges. The decision highlights the importance of delineating the sources of contamination and conditions of a business’ property before drafting an indemnity for environmental claims.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Ontario to Simplify Pesticide Management

  • December 17, 2019
  • Julia Schatz and Venetia Whiting

In October, the MECP posted a proposal to the Environmental Registry for amendments to O. Reg. 63/09 under the Ontario Pesticides Act. The proposal would replace pesticide Classes 1 to 6 with four classes – Class A (manufacturing), Class B (restricted), Class C (commercial) and Class D (domestic). Class 12, which relates to neonicotinoid treated seeds, would be replaced with Class E. Classes 7 to 11, would no longer be needed as they would be expressly incorporated into the Regulation.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

The Liberals Hold On - But Is Carbon Pricing Out Of The Woods?

  • November 25, 2019
  • Liane Langstaff and Chris Hummel

In 2020, the Supreme Court will decide whether the federal government has jurisdiction to price carbon under the GGPA. If upheld, the GGPPA will layer over a complex patchwork of provincial regulation and policy. Even if struck down, the federal government will probably retain some role in GHG regulation. While both federal and provincial governments likely have a say in GHG regulations, questions about the allocation of authority and the form regulations will take have yet to be answered.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Ontario and Québec Governments to Regulate Movement of Soil

  • October 28, 2019
  • John Tidball and Claire Durocher

In the past, relocation of large quantities of soil excavated in construction projects was sporadically regulated by provincial governments. In 2019, both Ontario and Québec governments are proceeding with new regulatory schemes that will impose legal requirements on the movement and disposition of excavated soil. This article reviews the requirements imposed by the new regulatory schemes and their impact in both jurisdictions.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Penalty Creep: What is Going On With Environmental Fines Across Canada?

  • October 25, 2019
  • Aaron Atcheson, Bryan Smits, Danielle Parry and Julia Zanetti

In July 2019, a fine of $2.7M was levied against Kirby Offshore Marine Operating LLC for violations of the Fisheries Act. The news raises a broader question: are fines for environmental offenses rising faster than inflation? If so, to what end? Is there any indication that these larger fines are changing behaviour? This review looks at the legislative changes in the minimum and maximum environmental fines, and whether these changes are actually having any real effects on the quantum of fines.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Five Things Project Proponents Need to Know About Canada's New Impact Assessment Act

  • September 23, 2019
  • Rodney Northey, Liane Langstaff, Anna Côté, lawyers at Gowling WLG

The new Impact Assessment Act came into force at the end of summer, changing Canada’s long-standing regime from environmental assessment to impact assessment. Federal decisions to approve projects will now be made after evaluating whether the project is in the “public interest”, replacing the previous test of avoiding “significant adverse environmental effects”. This article explains five things all participants need to know about the new Act as they address its new requirements and processes.

Environmental Law, Student Forum

Hot off the Press: The CSA Issues Guidance on Climate Change-Related Risks

  • September 23, 2019
  • Irwin Greenblatt, Eric Roblin and Jennifer Humphrey, Fogler, Rubinoff LLP

Published on August 1, 2019, the CSA Staff Notice 51-358 Reporting of Climate Change-related Risks, highlights the disclosure obligations of a securities issuer in light of climate change-related issues as they relate to the issuer's MD&A and AIF. This article explains those risks and their impact.

Environmental Law, Student Forum