Was BP evil or unlucky?
Did the Gulf oil spill occur because BP was negligent or unlucky? They may have been merely unlucky; the sorts of tradeoffs that they made are likely common in the oil industry. Still, it was inevitable, given the scale of the spill, that BP would be vilified and probably prosecuted. It is …Continue reading the post titled Was BP evil or unlucky?
Time to slap down SLAPPS?
Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are lawsuits that some organizations use to suppress or punish their opponents, including public interest groups that fight proposed developments.[i] These suits used to be rare in Canada, but are now an increasing concern.[ii] They c…Continue reading the post titled Time to slap down SLAPPS?
Does pollution breach human rights?
Is heavily polluting a community a breach of its human rights? The Inter American Commission on Human Rights has agreed to hear a precedent-setting case against the United States based on environmental racism in Cancer Alley, as a breach of human rights. Heavily polluting industries are ofte…Continue reading the post titled Does pollution breach human rights?
Transit class action, EA and the St. Clair Streetcar
Curactive Organic Skin Care is starting a class action over the St. Clair streetcar. It wants to sue the Ontario government, Toronto and the TTC for $105 million in damages. Curactive says hundreds of small businesses lost money, due to delays in transit construction, and to changes in the d…Continue reading the post titled Transit class action, EA and the St. Clair Streetcar
Big climate win for Harper
Harper gambled that he could break both domestic and international law and get away with it, and he was right.Continue reading the post titled Big climate win for Harper
Kyoto Protocol Implementation decision tomorrow
On March 25, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide Friends of the Earth’s application for leave to appeal. In 2006, FOE asked the Federal Court of Canada to order the Harper government to comply with a valid Canadian statute on managing climate change, the Kyoto Protocol Implementati…Continue reading the post titled Kyoto Protocol Implementation decision tomorrow
Does law have to be so dysfunctional?
It's a debate worth having - have we allowed the role of litigation and courts to expand too much, in environmental and other fields? And if so, what should we do about it?Continue reading the post titled Does law have to be so dysfunctional?
Designing a holdback clause
Real estate transactions often include holdbacks to deal with environmental issues. Unfortunately, the holdback clauses are often poorly worded, which can lead to unnecessary disputes. A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court illustrates the problem:Continue reading the post titled Designing a holdback clause
Climate change, KPIA and the rule of law
When abroad, I have often bragged about Canada’s legal system, how competent and respected are our courts and how no one is above the law. But this boast has taken a blow in the area of climate change and the Kyoto Protocol.Continue reading the post titled Climate change, KPIA and the rule of law
More Olympic nuisance lawsuits
Olympic nuisance claims have now spread past transit. Last year, Susan Heyes was awarded $600,000 for the disruption she suffered during construction of the Canada Line. (The decision is under appeal.) Other businesses in the area have launched a class action seeking similar redress. Now Mar…Continue reading the post titled More Olympic nuisance lawsuits