As Alberta’s new provincial government looks to assert itself as a leader on climate change issues, it recently announced that it is taking meaningful steps to achieve real, demonstrable reductions in the province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, Premier Rachel Notley has made it clear that she expects to have a long-term climate change strategy in place for the province before she travels to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) starting in Paris on November 30, 2015. To that end, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, announced on June 25, 2015 that the government is taking a two-step approach to climate change policy renewal. Continue Reading
On June 12, 2015, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark issued updated mandate letters to her provincial cabinet ministers. The annual mandate letter provides the government’s annual direction to the various provincial ministries and confirms each ministry’s priorities for the year. Continue Reading
On June 20, 2015, the federal Department of Transportation published the proposed Port of Prince Rupert Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities Regulations (Regulations) with respect to proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to be built at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Regulations are issued under federal authority by virtue of the Canada Marine Act, which regulates Canadian ports. At present, there are four proposals for LNG facilities to be located at Prince Rupert, two are to be located wholly on federal port lands and two are to be located largely on provincial lands, with small portions on federal port lands. Continue Reading
The IESO has released an addendum to the Large Renewable Procurement I Request for Proposals and Contract.
The amendments to the RFP and the Contract contained in the addenda clarify several matters that had been raised in respect of the LRP program, including: Continue Reading
The deadline for submitting bids in Hydro-Québec Distribution’s RFP A/O 2015-01 was May 20, 2015. Such RFP aims at purchasing 500 MW of firm capacity and associated energy to meet the long-term domestic electricity needs of Québec. Continue Reading
We invite our readers to read an interesting article posted by our colleagues on our Canadian Class Actions Monitor blog regarding a class action in neighborhood disturbances concerning the construction of a wind farm near Quebec City. It can be accessed here.
On May 12, 2015, British Columbia (BC) Premier Christy Clark introduced a Climate Leadership Team that has been tasked with developing a Climate Leadership Plan, which will update and build on the province’s current Climate Action Plan. Chaired by Mike Bernier, Member of the BC Legislative Assembly, the Climate Leadership Team consists of 23 members who are drawn from a diverse range of academic, community, business, environmental, and Aboriginal groups. These groups include Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, several municipalities, the Council of Forest Industries, BC LNG Alliance, Clean Energy Canada, the Pembina Institute and chiefs from three Aboriginal groups, among others. Continue Reading
On Tuesday, April 28th, Gordon Nettleton and Héloïse Apestéguy-Reux will be participating, along with Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the IESO and other energy practitioners, in an Ontario Bar Association (OBA) program on energy regulation.
The program, “Recent Developments in Energy Regulation,” will include insights on the merger of the IESO and OPA, electricity distribution consolidation and rate regulation, as well as what to expect from the upcoming Energy East proceeding at the National Energy Board. Gordon Nettleton is a guest speaker for the program and Héloïse Apestéguy-Reux is co-chair. The program has been organized by the OBA’s Natural Resources and Energy Section.
More information on the OBA’s Natural Resources and Energy Section can be found here.
On April 13, 2015, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would implement a cap and trade system aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province. Ontario has committed to imposing a hard cap on pollution for each sector of the economy.
A cap and trade system, in general, places a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that may be produced in a specified time frame. As time progresses, this limit is reduced as per previously established guidelines. Businesses must hold enough emission allowances in order to equal their actual greenhouse gas emissions. If a business does not hold enough allowances for the given time period, they may purchase allowances to meet the requirement. Conversely, if a business holds an excess of allowances, they may save them or sell them to other businesses.
On April 7, 2015, the Minister of Energy issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the Independent Electricity System Operator (the “IESO”) directing it to make certain changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, while noting there are no substantial changes to be made to the microFIT program in 2015. The Direction is effective as of April 7, 2015.
The Direction can be viewed here.
On April 8, 2015, Québec’s Premier Philippe Couillard introduced his 2015-2020 action plan for the implementation of the Plan Nord. The document entitled Plan Nord toward 2035 aims at setting out the updated policy directions and priority actions which will drive the economic development of northern Québec for the coming years and contribute to relaunching Plan Nord. Continue Reading
In a previous blog entry, we provided comprehensive commentary on the then-recently tabled Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act (the “Act”), the foundational piece of legislation in the B.C. Government’s proposed liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) taxation regime.
On November 27, 2014, the Act received royal assent and the Province has since been in the process of crafting associated regulations and amendments. The first of these, Bill 26 – Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Amendment Act, 2015 (the “Proposed Amendment”), was released on March 25, 2015, and proposes a number of amendments to the Act, including many relating to the Province’s prior commitment to set out enforcement and administration mechanisms for the Act by spring 2015, as well as a welcome change to the new Natural Gas Tax Credit. Continue Reading
Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) has commenced a novel treaty rights infringement claim (Claim) against the Province of British Columbia (Province). The Claim, filed March 3, 2015, alleges that the Province has breached its Treaty 8 obligations due to the cumulative impacts of provincially authorized industrial development in BRFN’s traditional territory.
BRFN’s traditional territory is located in the Upper Peace River region of northeastern BC, around and mainly north of Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope.
The Claim is significant because it is one of the first treaty rights infringement claims to be argued primarily on the basis of cumulative impacts on a First Nation’s entire traditional territory. The other significant case that stakeholders are watching closely is the ongoing claim commenced in 2008 by the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Alberta alleging that cumulative effects of resource development violates its Treaty 6 rights, discussed in more detail below. Continue Reading
On March 4, 2015, Hydro-Québec Distribution (“HQD”) issued a new request for proposals for the purchase of up to 500 MW of firm capacity and the related energy during “peak periods”.
The energy offered by bidders will need to be available for at least 300 hours per year, mainly during the winter period, in accordance with a delivery schedule which may be communicated by HQD at any time on a four hour minimum prior notice. Continue Reading
On February 26, 2015, following its third reading in the Senate, without amendment, Bill C-22, An Act respecting Canada’s offshore oil and gas operations, enacting the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, repealing the Nuclear Liability Act and making consequential amendments to other Acts (short title, Energy Safety and Security Act), was given Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament. Bill C-22, as assented, is available here. Continue Reading
On February 25, 2015, the Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Mr. David Heurtel, announced a significant reform in relation to the environmental authorization process set forth under the Québec Environment Quality Act (“EQA”). Continue Reading
The federal government announced on February 19, 2015 that accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) treatment would apply to certain property used in liquefaction facilities for the domestic and export liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets and for LNG storage. The new measure signals the federal government’s support for Canada’s emerging LNG industry, and follows a concerted lobbying effort by LNG project proponents and industry associations. Continue Reading
On February 16, 2015, the British Columbia Government tabled Bill 12, the Federal Port Development Act (the “Act”). The Act builds on last year’s amendments to the Canada Marine Act, S.C. 1998, c. 10, which, in part, enabled the federal government to adopt provincial rules and regulations to apply to specific projects on port lands. Once enacted, the Act will authorize the Province to enter into agreements with the federal government and a federal port to administer and enforce provincial law on port lands. Specifically, the Act authorizes a provincial official or body to exercise a power or perform a duty under a federal regulation where:
- the federal regulation incorporates by reference an enactment of British Columbia; and
- the government has entered into an agreement, providing for administration and enforcement of the federal regulation by the provincial official or body.
On February 10, 2015, BC Hydro announced that it is making available yearly target energy volume information to help developers with project planning under its Standing Offer Program (SOP). As part of the “Clean Energy Strategy” included in BC Hydro’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan, the SOP’s annual target energy volume was increased from 50 GWh/year to 150 GWh/year. Continue Reading
In response to the high volume of comments received during the Draft LRP I RFP and draft LRP I Contract feedback period, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has extended the posting date of the final LRP documents to March 3, 2015.
In the meantime, the IESO has released an update document on the IESO website (found here) (the “Update”) which provides Qualified Applicants and interested stakeholders with additional information on some of the proposed changes to the final LRP documents.
On February 4, 2015, the B.C. government released the final report of an independent review of the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), the independent governmental regulatory agency that regulates British Columbia’s natural gas and electricity utilities, intra-provincial pipelines and universal compulsory automobile insurance. Continue Reading
Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed the feedback and comments it received on the draft contract and request for proposals (RFP) for the Large Renewable Procurement I (LRP). The IESO shared some of the ‘key issues/common themes’ that it received during the comment period and also revealed that, due to the large number of comments received and to administrative issues related to the recent IESO/OPA merger (see our prior post), the timeline for releasing the final documentation for the LRP would be postponed for at least one month until February.
Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed and sought feedback on the upcoming enhancements to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program that were proposed in the discussion paper posted in early December.
The approval of industrial wind turbine projects is often met with resistance from the communities in which the projects are to be built. Residents (or businesses) located in close proximity to project sites often challenge the location of a project on the basis that the turbines cause harm to human health or the environment.
Dixon v. Director, Ministry of the Environment is an important case, particularly for those tracking renewable energy or large-scale rural land development projects in Ontario. Dixon is an appeal of three decisions of the Environmental Review Tribunal to approve three wind turbine projects in Bruce and Huron Counties in Ontario. Darryl Cruz, Chris Wayland and Eric Pellegrino of McCarthy Tétrault successfully represented the developer of one of the projects, St. Columban Energy Inc. Continue Reading