environmental law

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…

Herbicide Spray Drift a “Normal” Farm Practice?

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…

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.

Privacy Commissioner: must disclose sources of fill

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:…

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…

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.

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.

Experts permitted to testify via telephone… sometimes

The Environmental Review Tribunal has granted a request to have expert witnesses testify via telephone conference call when the appellants argued that it would be too costly to have them attend in person, and that videoconferencing was also costly, as well as prone to technological failure.

New Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Premier Wynne announced on June 24, 2014 that Glenn Murray will be the new Minister of the Environment and Climate change. According to the announcement, this is “an expanded portfolio that will ensure Ontario can protect the gains it has made in fighting climate change, lead Ontario’s mitigation and adaptation efforts to extreme weather and strengthen its…

Saxe Law Office Welcomes Jennifer Kalnins Temple

   Welcome Jennifer! Saxe Law Office is excited to welcome Jennifer Kalnins Temple to our team.  Jennifer recently returned to Canada after spending over a decade litigating environmental issues in the United States. After graduating from University of Toronto Law School in 2002, Jennifer became an associate at an international law firm, McDermott Will & Emery…