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Published on: 5 Dec 2012 By

When can municipalities regulate environmental impacts?

Eleven years after the landmark Spraytech case, how far have municipalities been able to go in regulating environmental impacts of federally and provincially regulated activities? The people who must live closest to a resource or energy project often turn to their municipalities to protect t…

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Published on: 4 Dec 2012 By

Canada must answer: why aren't we protecting polar bears?

As the polar bears of the Beaufort Sea face record low ice, the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has issued a determination, requiring a response from Canada to submission SEM-11-003 (Protection of Polar Bears). A year ago, on 5 December 2011, the US Center f…

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Published on: 27 Nov 2012 By

Town liable for negligence re developer's storm sewer

Property owners often suffered damage when storm and sanitary sewers malfunction. Canadian municipalities are generally exempt from civil suits in nuisance relating to their sewers, due to special statutes adopted across the country. However, they can be successfully sued in negligence. Such…

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Published on: 26 Nov 2012 By

When will Ontario courts refuse to impose minimum environmental fines?

Now that mandatory minimum environmental fines are so high, courts occasionally refuse to impose them.  For example, in R v. KIE Farms Ltd., a justice of the peace refused to impose a $25,000 minimum fine on a local farm, even though seepage from its corn silo made a local  watercourse toxic…

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Published on: 26 Nov 2012 By

Jurisdictional Issues in Canadian Defamation Law: Can you sue in your home province?

In this new article Siskinds Associate Mike Polvere takes an in depth look at the issue of cross border litigation and defamation. He discusses how the courts go about choosing the best jurisdiction to hear the matter. Is it prudent to start a libel action in Canada if the person who defamed…

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Published on: 19 Nov 2012 By

Waterpower projects can't be reviewed because they don't get review?

So, waterpower development can't be reviewed by the ERT, because it gets only minimal scrutiny under the Environmental Assessment Act. Given the substantial adverse environmental impacts that waterpower development can have, it is incongruous to exempt it so fully from public review.

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Published on: 8 Nov 2012 By

Twitter Moot: Common law right to a healthy atmosphere?

Saxe Law Office is proudly sponsoring the environmental law Twitter Moot for the second year. The question being debated by Canadian law students (in 140 characters or less) is: Do Canadians have a legally recognized right to a healthy global atmosphere? If so, large scale emissions of green…

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