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Category Archives: Administrative Law

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The Seven Year Itch: The SCC Returns to Address an Unresolved Question regarding the Crown’s Duty to Consult Aboriginal People and the Legislative Process

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Project Permitting, Public Law, Regulatory
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On May 18, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal in an important case that could further define the nature and extent of the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people, including the previously unresolved question as to whether the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal people can be triggered by legislative action…. Continue Reading

Bulletin 2015-28: The AER Will Be Publishing Participation and Procedural Decisions

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On September 23, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator released Bulletin 2015-28: “Posting of Participation and Procedural Decisions” a significant change in the AER’s practice with respect to the publishing of its decisions. Until now, relatively few AER decisions were directly available on the AER’s website. To date, only five AER decisions from 2015 have been… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Determines Regulator Discretion is Wide and the Prudency Test is Ongoing

Posted in Administrative Law, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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The past week has seen three significant decisions relating to the manner in which the rates of public utilities are to be determined in Canada. Although one can argue about whether the decisions clarify and confirm existing law or create new law, no one can reasonably dispute that utilities face new challenges to establish rates… Continue Reading

“Free, Prior and Informed Consent” to become part of Alberta law?

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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On July 7, 2015, Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley directed her Cabinet Ministers to review their Ministries’ policies, programs and legislation that may require changes based on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration). Premier Notley tasked her Ministers to “engage directly with Indigenous people to find a… Continue Reading

Water Use in BC: Recurrent short-term water use approvals are lawful

Posted in Administrative Law, Environmental, Oil & Gas Law, Project Permitting, Regulatory
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In yet another indication of the increasing prominence of water use issues in BC, the Supreme Court of British Columbia recently upheld the practice of the BC Oil and Gas Commission to grant recurrent short-term water approvals for oil and gas activities under the Water Act. In Western Canada Wilderness Committee v British Columbia (Oil… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Tsilhqot’in Nation a Declaration of Aboriginal Title

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Consultation, Environmental, Mining, Oil & Gas Law, Project Development, Project Permitting, Public Law, Public Utility, Regulatory, Regulatory Compliance
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Introduction On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its much anticipated decision on Aboriginal title in the Tsilhqot’in case and surprised many by granting the Tsilhqot’in Nation a declaration of Aboriginal title to approximately 200,000 hectares (2,000 km2) of land. The Tsilhqot’in case is the first case decided by the SCC… Continue Reading

British Columbia Gives Utility Regulator New Fangs

Posted in Administrative Law, Public Utility, Regulatory
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British Columbia has become the latest North American jurisdiction to give utility regulators – in this case the BC Utilities Commission –  the power to impose “administrative penalties”.  Administrative penalties are like fines, but are imposed directly by the regulator outside the court process.  The fines can range from $25,000 to $1,000,000 per day, depending… Continue Reading