Pivotal lawsuit over the Peel River watershed

Peel River Watershed

Last week, the Yukon Court of Appeal heard arguments about the future of the massive Peel River watershed, and about the meaning and application of modern aboriginal treaties. Will this land be mostly protected from development, as the Planning Commission decided after extensive aboriginal consultation? Or will it mostly be used for resource extraction, as the Yukon government wants? So soon after the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will First Nations interests again be  

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Zoning our air shed: a new pathway to cleaner air?

Zoning our air shed: a new pathway to cleaner air?

On any given day, Ontarians can look up the Air Quality Health Index  and find out what health risks they face just by breathing. When Ontario closed its coal fire plants, it made a huge difference to the quality of air and had a significant impact on reducing Greenhouse gas emissions as well. But there is more to be done.  

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Recent Decision Affirms Precautionary Principle

Recent Decision Affirms Precautionary Principle

In May of this year, the Federal Court released a decision that affirms the importance of the precautionary principle in the management of fisheries. The decision (Morton v Canada (Fisheries and Oceans), 2015 FC 575) comes as a result of a challenge, launched by lawyers at Ecojustice on behalf of biologist Alexandra Morton, to an aquaculture licence granted by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (the “Minister”) to Marine Harvest, a multinational seafood company.  

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Rouge National Urban Park: bigger, but probably not better

Rouge National Urban Park: bigger, but probably not better

Stephen Harper announced over the weekend that if re-elected, his government will increase its proposed contribution of federal lands towards the creation of the Rouge National Urban Park. The park has been in the works for some time. To comprise a patchwork of both provincial and federal lands located within metropolitan Toronto, the park was once touted widely as a conservation coup and prototype for the country’s first national urban park. As part of an agreement between the provincial and  

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Liability for delays in issuing environmental permits?

Liability for delays in issuing environmental permits?

Can the government be liable for financial damages, when they refuse environmental permits for unreasonable reasons, or cause an unreasonable delay in issuing a permit? Yes, it is possible, according to the British Columbia Court of Appeal! Given the chronic delays in federal and provincial environmental permitting across the country, this could be an important new remedy for aggrieved applicants. It should also ratchet up the importance of swifter decision making on applications for  

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Anti-fracking and Great Lakes Bills to Committee

Anti-fracking and Great Lakes Bills to Committee

The Ontario Legislature rose for the summer on June 4, with two environmental proposed environmental laws having received second reading, but awaiting Committee review and public hearings. The third environmental law, Bill 52, Protection of Public Participation Act, 2015 (anti-SLAPP) has been debated but has not yet received second reading.  

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