We are delighted that McCarthy Tétrault partner Seán O’Neill has been quoted in a recent article by Reid Southwick and Chris Varcoe of the Calgary Herald. In the interview, Seán discusses the potential impact of Alberta’s NDP government enacting retroactive legislation to change or invalidate the change of law provisions in Alberta coal-fired generation power purchase arrangements. … Continue Reading
On Monday, June 20, 2016, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) issued Bulletin 2016-16 (Bulletin) detailing its interim regulatory response to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Re Redwater Energy Corporation (Redwater).
As detailed in a previous post, the Redwater decision allows a trustee to disclaim certain assets (and their associated abandonment and reclamation obligations) under the provisions of the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). In doing so, such a trustee will not be liable as a licensee under the provincial oil and gas regulatory regime in relation to the renounced assets. Further, the trustee … Continue Reading
The following article published in our firm’s newsletter could be of interest to many readers active in the energy industry across Canada. It discusses the applicable rules for lobbyist registration in Ontario, Ontario municipalities, Québec, British Columbia, Alberta and at the federal level.… Continue Reading
On April 13, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal related to the environmental assessment (“EA”) for the refurbishment and continued operation of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Facility (the “Project”). The appeal was from the Federal Court’s earlier decision dismissing a judicial review application related to the EA for the Project.… Continue Reading
On March 16, 2016, the Government of Alberta finally named the coal facilitator, and announced the next steps for its plan to phase-out coal by 2030. The province appointed Terry Boston to act as the province’s independent coal phase-out facilitator, and released details of Boston’s mandate and next steps.
Boston’s Prior Experience
Boston is the recently retired CEO of PJM Interconnection (PJM), which is a regional transmission organization in the United States. PJM controls approximately 105,502 km of transmission lines and manages 186,000 MW of generation serving 61 million people.… Continue Reading
On November 22, 2015, Alberta released its long-awaited Climate Leadership Plan (Climate Plan). Contemporaneously with the Climate Plan, the Government released the Climate Change Advisory Panel’s (Climate Panel) Report to the Minister, Climate Leadership. As background, previous blogs on the Climate Panel’s mandate and the Climate Leadership Discussion Document can be found here and here.… Continue Reading
As we previously wrote here and here, in a 2014 judicial review application, the Federal Court found that the environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”) conducted by the Joint Review Panel (the “Panel”) contained a number of deficiencies. The Federal Court allowed the judicial review application and directed that the EA report be returned to the Panel for further consideration of certain issues, including those related to disposal of nuclear waste and severe nuclear accidents. The Federal Court’s decision was subsequently appealed by Ontario Power … 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 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
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 (the “Bill”) was first introduced in the House of Commons on January 30 2014 and was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources for study on December 4, 2014.
On November 7, 2014, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister Responsible for the Northern Plan, Mr. Pierre Arcand, announced the beginning of a consultation process on Québec’s new energy policy set to be released in Fall 2015.
Over the next few weeks, the Government will publish four documents intended to initiate and encourage discussions on the new energy policy. The first document, entitled “Contexte, défis et vision” (“Context, Challenges and Vision”) will set out the framework for the consultation process. The other documents will tackle the issues of (i) renewable energy, (ii) efficiency and energy innovation … Continue Reading
On October 9, 2014, Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC’s (“Trans Mountain”) motion was heard by the National Energy Board (“NEB”) after a series of incidents between Trans Mountain and the City of Burnaby (“Burnaby”). Burnaby officials ticketed Trans Mountain contractors for contravening the Burnaby Street and Traffic Bylaw and the Burnaby Parks Regulation Bylaw (the “Bylaws”) while carrying out land surveys in and around the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area (the “Subject Lands”).
The attempted surveys were in response to a ruling by the NEB that in order to assess … Continue Reading
On October 10, 2014, the British Columbia Supreme Court (“Court”) issued reasons in Western Canada Wilderness Committee v. British Columbia (Oil and Gas Commission), 2014 BCSC 1919. In this case, the petitioners, Western Canada Wilderness and Sierra Club of British Columbia Foundation (together, the “Petitioners”), brought a judicial review application against the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (“OGC”).
At issue was the proper interpretation of the Water Act as it relates to the granting by the OGC to the oil and gas industry of short-term water use approvals under s. 8 (“… Continue Reading
We recently wrote about the judicial review application challenging the adequacy of the federal environmental assessment (“EA”) process for the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project (the “Project”). To recap, the Federal Court found that the EA was deficient for a number of reasons, including that the Joint Review Panel did not adequately consider the issues of long-term management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and the potential of a large-scale nuclear accident. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (“CNSC”) has now announced that it is appealing the Federal Court’s decision regarding the Project.
The CNSC takes the view that the … Continue Reading
Our prior instalment considered the changes that the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (“CETA”) will have on procurement by public utilities. We will now look at the extent to which the obligations imposed by CETA on procurements by public utilities will be limited by minimum monetary thresholds and certain special exceptions.
Under all procurement treaties including CETA, only procurements which exceed a certain monetary value are subject to the treaty’s obligations. Under CETA, only those procurements by a covered public utility that exceed $630,000 will be subject to its requirements. Procurements by utilities below that threshold will not be subject … Continue Reading
The Darlington Nuclear Project (the “Project”) was first proposed in 2006. In 2009, following the Project’s initial planning stages, an environmental assessment (“EA”) process was commenced under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (since replaced by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and referred to below as the “CEAA”). The federal EA process was conducted by a review panel (the “Panel”) and in August, 2011, the Panel concluded that the Project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, provided that certain recommended mitigation measures were implemented. … Continue Reading
On March 31, 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) completed its transition into the principal regulator of the entire life cycle of oil and gas development in Alberta. The effect of the AER’s expanded jurisdiction is to consolidate decision-making relating to environmental and energy permits from disparate government bodies.
The following article may be of interest to readers of this blog: Patent Law Year in Review: Oil and Gas (2013)
In 2013 the Federal Court experienced a surge in patent infringement actions. Whereas 48 patent infringement actions were filed in 2012, that number rose to 101 in 2013. Part of that increase came about because of growth in the oil and gas patent infringement sector. Put simply, oil and gas companies were more aggressive at enforcing their patent rights in 2013. Read More.… Continue Reading
We are delighted to announce our partnership with HEC Montréal’s new Chair in Energy Sector Management, which is held by renowned expert on energy policy Professor Pierre-Olivier Pineau. The new Chair is dedicated to advancing knowledge of energy issues, with a view to optimizing energy systems and ensuring that there are adequate energy sources to meet society’s needs. In its role as partner to the Chair, McCarthy Tétrault will contribute a total of $100,000 over a five-year period. Our very own Marc Dorion will serve on the Chair’s advisory committee.
As a major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the transportation sector has been identified by policy makers as a sector in which significant emission reductions can be achieved. In British Columbia (BC), the transportation sector accounted for approximately 37.1% of the province’s total GHG emissions in 2011. One of the policy instruments designed to reduce GHG emissions is the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which is intended to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels measured on a life-cycle basis. The LCFS also requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of life cycle emissions, which is intended to spur … Continue Reading
We are pleased to announce that George Vegh, the head of our energy regulatory practice, was recently invited to discuss Ontario’s new Long Term Energy Plan on the Agenda with Steve Paikin. You can watch a recording of the program by clicking here.
The Government of Ontario today released the province’s most recent Long Term Energy Plan (“LTEP”). A copy of LTEP materials can be accessed by clicking here. As expected, the LTEP did not provide any drastic supply mix or policy changes from current plans. However, there are a number of changes that are worth noting.
Major Supply Changes:
- As expected, there will be no new nuclear facilities;
- A schedule has been set for the refurbishment of the Bruce and Darlington nuclear facilities, starting in 2016;
- The target for non-hydro renewable capacity remains unchanged, but its implementation is extended from
BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) intended to streamline environmental assessments and permitting for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other reviewable projects by reducing duplication and improving timelines.… Continue Reading
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, British Columbia and Alberta announced that the provinces have entered a framework agreement on moving energy resources to new markets and confirmed certain principles that will apply to the development of heavy oil pipelines from Alberta’s oil sands to the BC coast. The Premiers have reportedly been at odds with respect to pipeline issues since the British Columbia outlined its five requirements for supporting oil pipeline development.… Continue Reading