Canadian Energy Perspectives Developments in Energy and Power Law

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In Pursuit of Sustainable Communities: Survey finds that Indigenous Participation is Driving Clean Energy Growth in Canada

Posted in Aboriginal, Climate Change, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Energy Partnerships

A pioneering survey has found that Indigenous participation in Canada’s clean energy economy has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, in all regions of the country. Lumos Clean Energy Advisors (Lumos), an advisor to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, undertook a review of national research and drew on the company’s database of clean energy projects. In particular, Lumos looked at 152 medium to large-scale solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy clean energy projects now in operation (medium to large projects are categorized as renewable energy projects generating one (1) megawatt of electricity at full operating capacity). The resulting report, … Continue Reading

Legal Challenges to Site C Dam by BC First Nations Dismissed by Federal Court of Appeal and BC Court of Appeal

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas
British Columbia

Two separate court challenges of the federal and provincial environmental assessment approvals for the Site C hydropower project in British Columbia have recently been dismissed by the federal and BC appellate courts.  The two appellate courts separately upheld earlier decisions of the BC Supreme Court and the Federal Court which had dismissed applications for judicial review by the Prophet River First Nation and the West Moberly First Nation (the First Nations) of the provincial and federal environmental assessment decisions approving Site C.  The First Nations argued that the approvals infringed their treaty rights under Treaty 8 and that there was … Continue Reading

Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Emissions Regulation, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Regulation

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McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Power Group has launched the 2nd edition of its publication, ‘Canadian Power – Key Developments in 2016/Trends to Watch for in 2017’. The publication provides a detailed overview of significant developments in the Canadian power sector over the past year, as well as emerging trends that will be relevant in the coming year. Content includes in-depth regional analyses of developments in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec, as well as commentary on the impact of specific issues on the power sector, such as recent M&A activity and developments in aboriginal law and environmental regulations … Continue Reading

Focus on Aboriginal Law, from Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Aboriginal, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

As part of our continuing series of blog posts highlighting specific topics addressed in our publication Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016, we focus here on our analysis of developments and anticipated trends in Aboriginal Law across the country that will impact the power sector.

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP recently released Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016.  This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and to highlight key trends to watch for.  In … Continue Reading

Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015/Trends to Watch for in 2016

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Climate Change, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Federal, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Power, Project Finance, Québec, Québec Hydro-Québec, Regulation

The National Power Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to introduce Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 /Trends to Watch for in 2016. This publication provides an unprecedented overview of the most significant developments in the Canadian power industry and highlights key trends to watch for.  In addition to providing a detailed review of developments in each region, we look at developments in key areas of national scope, including project finance, environmental, regulatory and aboriginal law matters.

A full pdf version of Canadian Power: Key Developments in 2015 / Trends to Watch for in 2016 can be accessed … Continue Reading

Increased Clarity or More Uncertainty? Federal Government Takes First Steps to Review Environmental Assessment Process and Introduces Interim Pipeline Assessment Rules

Posted in Aboriginal, Federal, National Energy Board

On January 27, 2016, the Federal Government announced five principles that will guide its discretionary decision making powers on major natural resource projects. These principles are intended as an interim measure while the Government undertakes a broader review of the environmental assessment process. As stated in the December 2015 Speech from the Throne, the Government plans to introduce new environmental assessment processes as part of its efforts to restore public trust.… Continue Reading

BC Hydro Site C Litigation Update – Appeals Pending

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
British Columbia

This post provides an update on the latest developments in the litigation proceedings involving BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C). Please see our earlier posts on July 21, August 14, and September 2 for additional background on the proceedings.

At the outset, we note that on November 25, 2015, BC Hydro and the BC Government announced the awarding of a $1.5 billion construction contract for Site C to Peace River Hydro Partners (which includes Petrowest Construction, ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc. and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.). There will be an emphasis on hiring local … Continue Reading

Site C Update – Federal Court judicial review proceedings to commence this week, following BC Hydro’s receipt of provincial authorizations to begin construction

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro
British Columbia

This article provides a consolidated overview of recent developments in the six judicial review proceedings challenging the governmental approvals of Site C. Please check our blog for future updates on key developments in the proceedings.… Continue Reading

BC First Nation Commences Treaty 8 Infringement Action Against Province

Posted in Aboriginal
AlbertaBritish Columbia

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.[1]

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 … Continue Reading

OGC to Prohibit Conversion of LNG Facility Pipelines

Posted in Aboriginal, British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Energy – Conventional, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On January 5, 2015, the Province of British Columbia issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”) prohibiting the OGC from issuing permits to convert LNG facility pipelines, which are built to support liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facilities, into pipelines for transporting oil or diluted bitumen. The Direction prohibits the OGC from permitting project proponents to convert natural gas pipelines supplying LNG facilities to pipelines carrying oil.… Continue Reading

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund – LRP Support Funding is Now Available

Posted in Aboriginal, Electricity, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario Power Authority
Ontario

While most of us were dreaming of winter vacations, the OPA announced changes to the Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund (“AREF”) on December 19, 2014 to make interim funding available to First Nations and Métis communities for due diligence work required to assess and develop opportunities for participation in the Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP”) program.

The latest program rules, guidelines and other materials have been posted and can be found here.… Continue Reading

Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, Supreme Court of Canada decision – Highlights and impact in Quebec

Posted in Aboriginal
Québec

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a major ruling on aboriginal title in its Nation Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia decision.[1]

The Court recognized that the nomadic and semi-nomadic people of the Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia hold the exclusive occupancy rights to a territory of more than 1,500 sq. km. in the province.

The Tsilhqot’in decision marks a turning point from 1990s jurisprudence on ancestral rights and aboriginal title. In the Van der Peet [2] case (1996), the Court established the requisite conditions for proving ancestral rights. This decision was followed in 1997 by … Continue Reading

Site C Project Granted Environmental Approvals by B.C. and Federal Governments

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Electricity, Hydroelectric
British Columbia

The B.C. and federal governments have granted environmental approvals to BC Hydro for its Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C).  B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak announced on October 14, 2014 the issuance of an environmental assessment certificate (EA Certificate) for Site C, concluding that the project is in the public interest and that its benefits outweigh the risks of significant adverse environmental, social and heritage effects.  In addition, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq issued a decision statement (Decision Statement) approving Site C, declaring that the significant adverse environmental effects that Site C is likely to cause are justified in … Continue Reading

Sunny Days Ahead for 500 FIT 3.0 Applicants

OPA offers 500 renewable energy contracts through FIT 3.0 process and is prepared to make 63 additional offers under the Unconstructed Rooftop Solar Pilot

Posted in Aboriginal, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Ontario Power Authority
Ontario

On July 7, the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) published a list of 500 renewable energy contract offers under its Feed-in Tariff  3.0 (“FIT 3.0”) Program, which are expected to produce 123.5 megawatts (“MW”) of power.

The list of successful applicants is heavily skewed in favour of solar projects. Of the 500 contract offers, 490 are solar photovoltaic (“PV”) projects, which account for 120.89 MW of the 123.5 MW approved by the OPA. The 10 successful non-solar applicants can be divided into eight bioenergy projects; one wind energy project, and one waterpower project.… Continue Reading

Assessing the Implications of the Tsilhqot’in Decision on Resource Development Projects in Canada

Posted in Aboriginal

As discussed in our earlier blog posting, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently released its decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia (2014 SCC 44), a decision which granted a declaration of title over a tract of Crown lands located in interior British Columbia (BC) to the Tsilhqot’in Nation (Tsilhqot’in). As Aboriginal groups celebrate the SCC decision, parties involved in resource development across Canada are no doubt dissecting the decision to assess the potential implications of the decision for their projects.

The effects of the Tsilhqot’in decision will be felt most by projects in parts of Canada where … Continue Reading

Aboriginal title declared in historic SCC decision, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia

Posted in Aboriginal, Supreme Court

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its highly anticipated decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia.[1] In this ground-breaking decision, Canada’s highest court granted a declaration of Aboriginal title over a tract of Crown lands to the Tsilhqot’in Nation (Tsilhqot’in) of the west central interior of British Columbia. This is the first time in Canadian history that Aboriginal title has been definitively established and affirmed.

In allowing the appeal of the Tsilhqot’in from the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) in William v. British Continue Reading

Joint Review Panel finds that Site C will have Significant Environmental and Aboriginal Impacts

Part 2 – Aboriginal

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
British Columbia

In their assessment of the Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C), the Joint Review Panel (the Panel) considered the potential impact of Site C on Aboriginal rights and treaty rights, along with the possible effects of the project on the cultural and economic well-being of First Nations. It identified 24 groups claiming an interest in the Local Assessment Area, as well as 6 other Aboriginal groups with potential interests who did not participate in the review process.  Overall, the Panel determined that Site C would likely cause significant adverse effects on fishing opportunities and practices and on hunting and … Continue Reading

Joint Review Panel finds that Site C will have Significant Environmental and Aboriginal Impacts

Part 1 – Environmental

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean
British Columbia

As reported in our earlier blog, the Joint Review Panel (the Panel) appointed to review BC Hydro’s proposed Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) recently released its report to the public. In addition to assessing the project costs associated with Site C and BC Hydro’s methods for analyzing load forecast and demand, the Panel put forward a number of conclusions and recommendations in relation to the environmental and aboriginal impacts of Site C.  Part 1 of this blog presents an overview of the key environmental findings of the Panel, while the Panel’s findings on the potential impacts to … Continue Reading

BC Minister of Environment Reverses Amendment to Reviewable Projects Regulation on Sweet Gas Processing Plants

Fort Nelson First Nation puts Government on Notice for Upstream LNG Development

Posted in Aboriginal, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On April 14, 2014, the BC Government issued Order in Council (No. 185) amending the Reviewable Projects Regulation (B.C. Reg 370/200) to remove the need for a provincial environmental assessment for sweet natural gas processing plants (the Proposed Amendment).  The Proposed Amendment, which was to come into effect on April 28, 2014, would have had significant implications for upstream activities, especially in northeast BC where shale gas development is rapidly underway.… Continue Reading

Landmark Ring of Fire Framework Agreement

Matawa First Nations and Ontario sign Landmark Framework Agreement

Posted in Aboriginal, Ring of Fire
Ontario

On March 26, 2014, the Government of Ontario and the group of nine Aboriginal communities known as the Matawa member First Nations entered into a “Regional Framework Agreement” for the development of the so-called “Ring of Fire” in northern Ontario. This long-awaited agreement is expected to be a crucial step forward in the development of the Ring of Fire, a remote area of northern muskeg that is considered to have $60 billion worth of known mineral potential and includes North America’s largest chromite deposit.… Continue Reading

BC Government Further Delays Introduction of LNG Tax Regime

Posted in Aboriginal, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean, Liquefied Natural Gas
British Columbia

On February 5, 2014, the BC government announced that it is unlikely to release the detailed tax regime for the province’s proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector before the fall legislative session.  In his address to the media, BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong explained that he expects the government to make the framework for the LNG tax public when he presents the provincial budget on February 18, 2014, but tax rates are unlikely to be released until legislation is tabled this fall.

In September 2013, the BC government cancelled the fall sitting of the legislature on the basis that … Continue Reading

BC Hydro Releases Final Integrated Resource Plan; Includes New Clean Energy Strategy to Support Renewables Sector and Promote Opportunities for First Nations

Posted in Aboriginal, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, Energy – Renewable, Alternative and Clean

On November 26, 2013, the BC government confirmed its approval of BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP provides a 20-year outlook of how BC Hydro expects to reliably and cost-effectively meet the anticipated future electricity needs of the province through conservation and acquisition of sufficient generation and transmission resources.… Continue Reading