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Environmental Issues

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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B.C. considers benefit corporations

British Columbia may become the first province in Canada to pass legislation that provides for the creation of “benefit corporations.” Benefit corporations are different from the typical for-profit business corporation in that they must be mandated to conduct business for the purpose of creating a general public benefit. It will be interesting to see where the benefit company model will go in B.C. The benefit company is somewhat similar to the existing B.C. C3, which is a hybrid corporate structure featuring both for-profit and a non-profit components.

 

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Bill-68: Significant Amendments to the Fisheries Act

The proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence would provide enhanced enforcement powers under the Fisheries Act, and proposes an alternative to traditional prosecutions in the event of non-compliance. The federal government may offer some persons charged with offences under the Fisheries Act to enter into “Alternative Measures Agreements” in lieu of prosecution.

 

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Bill C-69 represents an overhaul of the Federal environmental assessment process

Bill C-69 and the expanded scope of federal review represents a significant change to the federal environmental process in Canada, both in terms of procedural matters and in terms of the substance of the assessments.

 

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Charities can now help businesses in the aftermath of disasters

aftermath of disasters

In August 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) updated its Guidance CG-014 on community economic development (“CED”) activities and charitable registration. There were a number of updates to the Guidance, but the most significant was the inclusion of the statement that charities are now able to support, on a more long-term basis, the efforts of businesses that are helping to rebuild communities affected by disaster.

 

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