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Published on: 11 Dec 2012 By

Lethal buildings slaughter migratory and threatened birds

It’s a horror story – the beautiful glass-walled building you may work, shop or live in are wastefully killing millions of migratory birds. Many readers are likely familiar with the distressing thud of a bird breaking its neck or wing on those lovely glass panes, often at night when the ligh…

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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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