Appeal Court Rejects Pollution Exclusion in Oil Overflow

by Jennifer Kalnins Temple on October 17, 2014

In O’Byrne et al. v. Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay), 2014 ONCA 543, the Ontario Court of Appeal has forced an insurer to pay for a fuel oil cleanup after a spill, despite a pollution exclusion clause.

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Fossil fuel divestment catching on?

by Dianne Saxe on October 15, 2014

Is the tide turning on fossil fuel divestment? Climate Week featured promises, by some big mainstream investors, to start divesting from fossil fuels. Notable announcements included the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which was built on the Standard Oil fortune. Europe has more than nine fossil fuel divestment campaigns underway. And now Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has called for investors to report the long-term environmental impacts of their decisions along with their financial results. He warned that fossil fuel companies cannot burn all the reserves on their existing books if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change. [click to continue…]

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New Biodiversity Treaty in effect this week

October 14, 2014

Fair sharing of biodiversity: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), enters into force this week. The Protocol is an international environmental agreement intended to ensure that those, who share access to genetic resources and associated traditional […]

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Quebec Court Recognizes Precautionary Principle for Belugas

October 10, 2014

Quebec Superior Court Justice Claudine Roy granted a temporary injunction on September 23, 2014, stopping Energy East Pipeline Ltd. and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. from conducting exploratory work in the St. Lawrence River near Cacouna, QC until October 15, after a critical period for beluga whale reproduction has passed. The injunction was sought by environmental groups […]

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Powerful reports by environmental commissioners

October 8, 2014

Congratulations to both the federal and provincial environmental commissioners, who continue to strenuously remind our governments how far they fall short on environmental stewardship, and who both issued powerful reports this week. Bees, Algonquin Park, “Chemical Alley”, urban sprawl, climate change, weak environmental assessment, inadequate commitment to environmental monitoring in the oil sands: there is no […]

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Can municipal bylaw stop Hydro One Transformer Station?

October 6, 2014

Can the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario, by bylaw, force Hydro One to submit a groundwater study in order to build a $296 million transformer station, that has been directed to be built by the Ontario Power Authority, and approved by the Ministry of the Environment?

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Ontario Targets for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

October 3, 2014

The Ontario government has released its Climate Change Update 2014 to coincide with Climate Week that was held in New York City from September 21-28. Climate Week involved mass gatherings to demonstrate the public demand for action on climate change, as well as roundtables highlighting the latest strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, all leading up […]

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Ontario Anti-SLAPP law soon after all?

October 2, 2014

Yesterday,  we noted that Environment Minister Glen Murray’s mandate letter includes no reference to a new anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation) law: http://envirolaw.com/environment-minister-murrays-mandate-letter/, even though SLAPPs are often directed against environmental protection groups.  A faithful reader has helpfully pointed out that, thankfully, that is because bringing the anti-SLAPP law back to the Legislature is mandated to […]

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Environment Minister Murray’s mandate letter

October 1, 2014

Every Cabinet minister gets his or her marching orders from the Premier or Prime Minister. These “mandates” used to be top secret, but Ontario now makes them public. Here is the mandate letter for the new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, with our emphasis added. On environmental legislation, note the commitment to reintroducing the […]

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Port Authority biased in approving coal port?

September 29, 2014

This month, Ecojustice filed an application for judicial review of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s decision to permit a coal transfer facility. They claim that the Port Authority failed to consider some environmental effects, including climate change, and that the decision of the Port and its officers and staff was affected by bias. Bias is a serious […]

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Urban Forests Across Canada Valued at $51B

September 26, 2014

TD Bank issued a report on September 24, 2014, providing an economic valuation of urban forests in the greater Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver areas, estimating that these forests contain more than 100 million trees which carry an estimated worth of $51 billion (Halifax: $11.5B; Montreal: $4.5B; Vancouver: $35B). TD claims that for each dollar spent […]

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Herbicide Spray Drift a “Normal” Farm Practice?

September 24, 2014

Organic farmers in Nova Scotia filed a lawsuit against a neighbouring farm for damages allegedly caused by a herbicide which drifted onto their property. In particular, the plaintiffs claimed that the herbicide caused damage to their crops, the miscarriage of four horses, and personal injury. The defendant farmer claimed immunity under section 10(1) of Nova […]

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Can the threat of personal liability stop fluoridation?

September 18, 2014

Opponents of fluoridation have started to threaten councillors with personal liability for fluoridated water, in the hope of changing municipal policy on water treatment. The province created this problem, and they should fix it.

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Class Action for Harming Bees with Neonicotinoids

September 16, 2014

This is the first Canadian class action lawsuit filed for harm caused by Neonicotinoid pesticides, potentially responsible for the worldwide collapse of bee and other pollinator populations.

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Dianne is quoted in the Globe on Green Bonds

September 15, 2014

See Richard Blackwell’s interesting story about Solarshare and Green Bonds in today’s Globe and Mail.

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