Can, and should, the National Energy Board consider climate impacts before approving oil pipelines? The federal government says no, objectors say yes. Now the courts must decide.

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Earlier this month, Torontonians learned that Brookfield Property Group was cutting the locks off of bikes parked outside their Hudson’s Bay Centre Building.  Knowing that we are devoted cyclists, a number of readers have asked us whether their actions constitute theft.

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2014 Pesticide Prosecution “Roundup”

August 27, 2014

Earlier this summer we reported that Ontario Pesticide Act prosecutions have become infrequent since the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOE) stopped having specialized pesticide enforcement staff. Now that the season is soon to change over, we decided to take a look at the year’s violation reports to see if MOE’s intentions with […]

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Should Children Have a Right to a Healthy Environment?

August 22, 2014

On June 17, 2014, several environmental groups in New Brunswick circulated for comment a draft environmental bill of rights for children. Called “A Bill of Rights to Protect Children’s Health from Environmental Hazards,” it is the first of its kind in Canada. If passed, the law would confer on every child “the right to protection […]

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Millions for offsite gasoline contamination

August 21, 2014

The Ontario Superior Court has awarded millions to a neighbouring property owner for historic offsite gasoline contamination. The decision in Canadian Tire Real Estate Ltd. v. Huron Concrete Supply Ltd. illustrates, and will perpetuate, the continuing confusion over liability for off site groundwater plumes. Justice Leitch never explains how her decision can be reconciled with the landmark Smith v. […]

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Wind opponents lose health challenges around the world

August 19, 2014

A recent report  by the Energy and Policy Institute documents the rejection of anti-wind health claims by 48 courts and tribunals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. In one anomalous US case,  two turbines which had had a known problem were ordered to be shut down 12 hours a day, four hours […]

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Toronto zoning change to promote Tower Renewal

August 18, 2014

Toronto contains the second largest concentration of high-rise apartments in North America. Most were built half a century ago, during the City’s post-war expansion. The Tower Renewal Project is a major initiative to update these buildings, and make them part of green and equitable future Toronto. Improved energy efficiency, reduced car dependence, increased recycling, more usable green space […]

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Regulatory tweak on export controls

August 12, 2014

The federal government  has tweaked the regulations it uses,  under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999), to control which polluting substances can be exported from Canada. The new rules reduce redundancy, and add in Canada’s obligations under the Stockholm Convention.

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As minimum fines get higher, is there a work-around?

August 11, 2014

As minimum fines on multiple charges lead to increasingly unfair results, defence counsel, and occasionally judges, are looking for ways to reconcile the law with what they consider to be just results. Earlier this year, the Ontario Court of Appeal slammed the door shut on two such ideas: credit for compliance with regulatory orders, and concurrent […]

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Canada lags US in protecting endangered Sage-Grouse

August 7, 2014

In July, the US Fish and Wildlife Service launched a website to “communicate the breadth of the ongoing conservation actions underway to support Greater Sage-Grouse and the sage brush habitat the bird and 350 other species need.” The Greater Sage-Grouse website highlights work being done at the federal, state, NGO and individual level. Public affairs […]

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Ottawa wins Green Bin arbitration – appeal pending

August 6, 2014

Following years of conflict, and a long arbitration process, a commercial arbitrator has ruled  that Orgaworld Canada must accept leaf and yard waste in the City of Ottawa’s green bin program and dismissed Orgaworld’s claim against the City. The decision is a win for Ottawa taxpayers, but a critical internal audit of the City’s contracting process shows […]

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Minister receptive to Commissioner’s climate report

August 5, 2014

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner issued his annual Climate Change report last month, as usual scolding the provincial government for its inaction on both mitigation and adaptation. But this year, the report got an unusual reception: the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, attended the announcement, and seems to be receptive to its message.

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Our apologies

August 1, 2014

Please accept our apologies for any difficulties you may have encountered in reaching our site this week. I suppose it means we’ve reached the big time- we had our very own brute force attack. Or perhaps the bad guys now bother to go after all sizes of sites. In any event, we have a new […]

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More anti-wind power appeals dismissed

July 31, 2014

Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) recently dismissed two more anti-wind power appeals, this time relating to the same project. One of the appeals had a new feature: whether wind turbines interfere with weather forecasting radar. July 9, 2014, Fata v. MOE, ERT Registry Nos.: 13-145/13-146.

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Environmental consultant’s negligence claim to proceed

July 30, 2014

Environmental consultant’s negligence claims for failing to clean up contaminated sites continue to multiply. The Ontario Superior Court recently allowed a professional negligence lawsuit to go ahead against an Ontario environmental consultant, XCG, despite a long delay, which,  according to XCG, was causing it unfair prejudice.

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