Latest updates

Quebec Lays Foundation for Emerging Carbon Market
  • Canada
  • 27 July 2009

The minister of sustainable development, environment and parks recently introduced Bill 42, which, if passed into law, will create government regulatory powers that will deepen its control over greenhouse gas emissions through market mechanisms. Essentially, the bill will allow for the creation of a provincial cap-and-trade system, the details of which will be established by government regulation following the enactment of the law.

Overview (June 2009)
  • Canada
  • 22 June 2009

Including: Environmental Policy and its Enforcement; Environmental Permits; Waste; Liabilities; Contaminated Land; Powers of Regulators; Reporting and Disclosure Obligations; General; Emissions Trading and Climate Change; Asbestos; Environmental Insurance Liabilities; New Cases, Trends and Developments.

Ontario Embraces a Green Energy Economy
  • Canada
  • 06 April 2009

Ontario's deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure recently introduced Bill 150 for its first reading in the legislature. If passed, the bill would create a new standalone Green Energy Act 2009 and significantly amend or repeal 17 other statutes in order to set Ontario on course to a greener economy and a conservation culture.

New Regulation on Use of Water Resources
  • Canada
  • 16 February 2009

The Quebec government plans to adopt a new regulation in order to collect information on the impact of water withdrawals and allow for better management of conflicting uses of water resources. Industries, businesses, municipalities and institutions will be required to communicate various data to the government on the water that they withdraw from the natural environment.

New Ontario Environmental Incentives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Canada
  • 06 October 2008

A new list of Canadian governmental incentives targeted specifically at businesses is now making it easier to be green. This update provides an overview of the environmental incentive programmes available to businesses located in Ontario, together with a description of the respective eligibility requirements.

British Columbia’s New Contaminated Sites Approval System Now in Effect
  • Canada
  • 26 August 2008

Under British Columbia’s Environmental Management Act, the Ministry of Environment has the authority to issue contaminated sites approvals, notably certificates of compliance and approvals in principle of remediation plans. The newly created and independent Society of Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals of British Columbia now processes the vast majority of applications.

Liability for Cross-Border Pollution Is Here to Stay
  • Canada
  • 21 July 2008

Canadian companies face an uncomfortable new reality with respect to cross-border pollution: even if they conduct no activities in the United States, the long arm of the US Environmental Protection Agency is applicable if their Canadian operations result in pollution south of the border.

Death by Water
  • Canada
  • 18 September 2000

Contaminated water in a small Ontario town, which caused much illness and death, has forced the government to focus on ensuring that there is an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The tragedy in Walkerton is already having a far-reaching impact in Ontario and nationwide.

Ontario Court Cleans Up Contaminated Land Issues
  • Canada
  • 11 September 2000

The Ontario Superior Court has considered two cases that have important implications for those dealing with contaminated land. One case provides guidance as to when parties assume the risk of dealing with contaminated lands, and the other provides that neighbouring landowners may be entitled to both remediation costs and reduction in value.

Courts Examine Parent Corporations' Liability
  • Canada
  • 04 September 2000

Recent cases confirm that American parent corporations may be held liable for pollution caused by their Canadian subsidiaries without the need to pierce the corporate veil; and companies must comply with both environmental statutes and occupational health and safety laws, even when the statutes seem to conflict.

Annual Report Gives Government Poor Marks
  • Canada
  • 31 August 2000

The acting commissioner of the environment and sustainable development has given his report to the House of Commons regarding the government's progress in tackling key issues. The government gets poor marks for dealing with smog, climate control and other problems inherent with industrialization.

Ontario Reviews Occupational Exposure Limits
  • Canada
  • 03 July 2000

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released revised and new occupational exposure limits for a 90-day comment period.

Road Salts: Toxic Substances?
  • Canada
  • 07 March 2000

The possible listing of road salts as a toxic substance will have significant implications for users. These include limiting the manner of use, prosecution for a breach (resulting in fines or imprisonment), requirement of environental remediation and increased civil liability.

Property Taxes Reduced Due To Air Pollution
  • Canada
  • 07 March 2000

A number of property owners were successful in appealing property tax assessments on the basis of adverse impacts due to industrial air pollution caused by a nearby factory. The decision may have consequences in any situation where pollution is found to occur.

Scope of Federal Assessments Clarified
  • Canada
  • 07 March 2000

Two recent federal court decisions discuss the manner in which environmental assessments should be conducted by the government authorities.

Toronto Implements Strict Policy on Sewer Use
  • Canada
  • 15 November 1999

The City of Toronto will become actively involved in approving pollution prevention plans that must now be formulated by industries that discharge effluent with concentrations of metals. At the same time, these industries must comply with the city’s new sewer use by-laws.

Position on Hazardous Waste Mixtures Clarified
  • Canada
  • 15 November 1999

Canadian environmental legislation contains a confusingly-worded 'mixture rule' with regard to hazardous waste. Recent amendments to Regulation 347 clarify that listed hazardous waste is always listed a hazardous waste, unless it is formerly de-listed by the ministry of environment.

Overview (November 1999)
  • Canada
  • 15 November 1999

Including: Federal Protection; Provincial Measures; Ontario Legislation; Other Provinces; Municipal Measures; Common Law

New Environmental Protection Act Introduced
  • Canada
  • 15 November 1999

After three years’ debate, the Canadian government has passed new environmental protection legislation. The new legislation calls for the virtual elimination of the most persistent and bio-accumulative toxic substances, and also endorses cost-effective action against threats to the environment even if scientific data cannot yet confirm that threat.

Moves to Codify Assessment Standard
  • Canada
  • 15 November 1999

The Canadian Standards Association has proposed a standard for environmental assessment that provides a framework for considering environmental protection programmes. If accepted by the government, assessment practices will be codified for the first time in Canada.