Dianne is quoted in the Globe on Green Bonds

by Dianne Saxe on September 15, 2014

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


Crowdfunding to defend anti-fracking bylaw

by Dianne Saxe on September 12, 2014

The tiny Québec village of Ristigouche-Sud-Est, population 168, is crowdfunding to pay for the defence of its anti-fracking by-law, intended to protect municipal drinking water. [click to continue…]


Privacy Commissioner: must disclose sources of fill

September 11, 2014

The Township of Scugog refused to disclose the sources of the fill it had purchased, on the basis that this was confidential third party information, exempted from disclosure under section 10(1) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In Township of Scugog (Re), 2014 CanLII 50835 (ON IPC), the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) ordered: […]

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Innovative illustration of the climate change consensus

September 9, 2014

In its Fifth Assessment Report,  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” Skeptical Science, a website dedicating to explaining “what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming”, has launched an innovative project to demonstrate this near total consensus among […]

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Convictions for not reporting natural gas?

September 8, 2014

Just as we predicted after R. v. Castonguay, the Ministry of the Environment is aggressively prosecuting in new areas of the economy, for not reporting events that are far from conventional “pollution”. This time, it was a natural gas leak.

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Municipal Anti-Wind By-Laws Inoperative

September 3, 2014

Another Ontario municipality’s attempts to block wind energy development have been thrown out by the courts. Municipalities cannot use anti-wind by-laws to frustrate Renewable Energy Approvals (REA), under the Green Energy Act, S.O. 2009, c. 12 (“Green Energy Act”).

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Should Energy Board consider climate before approving pipelines?

September 2, 2014

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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Removing Locked Bikes From Public Property: Bad Idea, But Not Theft.

August 29, 2014

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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