environment

Fossil fuel divestment catching on?

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…

New Biodiversity Treaty in effect this week

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…

Powerful reports by environmental commissioners

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…

Ontario Anti-SLAPP law soon after all?

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…

Port Authority biased in approving coal port?

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…

Class Action for Harming Bees with Neonicotinoids

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.

Municipal Anti-Wind By-Laws Inoperative

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”).

Wind opponents lose health challenges around the world

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…

Regulatory tweak on export controls

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.

Canada lags US in protecting endangered Sage-Grouse

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…

Minister receptive to Commissioner’s climate report

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.

Environmental consultant’s negligence claim to proceed

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.

Blue Box funding arbitration final argument

The massive Blue Box funding arbitration enters the final stretch this week, with closing arguments starting today. Our firm will file our written argument why Ontario Blue Box stewards owe municipalities more than $115 million this year, under the Waste Diversion Act. Separate closing arguments will be delivered on the “in kind” newspaper advertising deduction, which Stewardship Ontario claims…

Waterkeepers want notice of sewage bypasses

Congratulations to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper for their innovative application to the Ontario Environmental Commissioner, to force Toronto to give public notice when it bypasses sewage into Lake Ontario due to wet weather- about three times a month.