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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Environmental Issues

Making producers pay – from product stewardship to innovative EPR programs

To date, Canada has focused on two approaches for managing products and their packaging at end-of-life: (1) extended producer responsibility or “EPR”, and (2) product stewardship programs. For the most part, these programs (which cover various categories) fall under provincial jurisdiction.

 

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Overseas claims for foreign environmental harm: Vedanta and the Canadian context

Last month, in Vedanta Resources PLC & Another v. Lungowe & Others, the UK Supreme Court allowed Zambian citizens to proceed with a claim in the UK against a UK-based mining company for environmental contamination allegedly caused by its Zambian subsidiary. As our colleague Lee McBride has recently written, this landmark decision will be of particular interest to multinational parent companies headquartered in the UK.

 

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Transportation pilot projects in Ontario and British Columbia

Recent technological advances in self-driving cars, e-scooters and electric low-speed vehicles are rapidly changing the nature of personal and commercial transportation. While some laud such technology as convenient, inexpensive, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional means of transportation, others are concerned about the safety ramifications of their presence on roads.

 

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Interjurisdictional road carriers – Registration under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act

On April 1, 2019, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act came into force in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan, and it will come into force on July 1, 2019 for each of Nunavut and the Yukon.

 

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New Environmental Emergency Regulations

The new Environmental Emergency Regulations apply to a responsible person that owns or has the charge, management or control of any of the 249 listed hazardous substances located at any fixed land-based facility in Canada.

 

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Making buildings more accessible

On May 23, 2019, the Ontario government announced it is investing $1.3 million over two years through a new partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation to create the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program (RHFAC).

 

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Ontario reveals the details about its performance standards for large industrial emitters

cap trade auction

On February 12th 2019, Ontario announced its proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, the Industrial Emissions Performance Standards Program.

 

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Redwater – SCC delivers the final word

On February 1, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its highly anticipated decision in the Orphan Well Association, et al. v. Grant Thornton Limited, et al, 2019 SCC 5 (Redwater).

 

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Ontario’s environment plan: Preserving and protecting our environment for future generations

On November 29, 2018, the Ontario government released its Environment Plan: Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations.

 

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Back to square one? Ontario government winds down cap and trade program and overhauls approach to climate change

On July 25, 2018, the newly formed Ontario Government introduced Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018 (the “new Act”), which repeals the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 (the “old Act”) and provides for the wind-down of the province’s cap and trade program[1]. The new Act also sets out a renewed approach to climate change policy.

 

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Uncertain ground: Owners may be liable for unforeseeable environmental effects

In Huang v. Fraser Hillary’s Limited, 2018 ONCA 527, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently ruled that foreseeability of harm is not an element of the tort of nuisance in the context of historical environmental contamination of a neighbouring property by a dry-cleaning business.

 

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Plastic bag bans

Communities such as the City of Victoria recently enacted a bylaw prohibiting businesses from providing single-use plastic bags to customers and otherwise charging a fee for paper and reusable bags.

 

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Target 2030 and beyond: BC government unveils legislation to update greenhouse gas reduction targets

The British Columbia government has emphasized its intention to “remove barriers, and make it attractive and affordable for people, communities and industry to move to lower-carbon alternatives” while at the same time “grow[ing] an economy that’s stronger, cleaner, more diverse and more resilient.”

 

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