The False Security of Commingled Trust Accounts

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: The False Security of Commingled Trust Accounts

Case Commented On: Alberta Treasury Branches v Exall Energy Corporation, 2017 ABQB 602 (CanLII)

Working interest owners in the western sedimentary basin have long sought to have the best of both worlds: the convenience of allowing an operator to commingle joint account monies from multiple properties in a single general account, while offering (through the provisions of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen (CAPL) operating procedures) the contractual assurance to non-operators that their funds were impressed with a trust while in that commingled account. The weakness of such an assurance is that its underlying premise is that the operator will always have a balance in that commingled general account equal to or greater than the amounts represented by the “monies of the joint operator”, whether those monies are monies contributed by a joint operator to fund joint operations or whether they represent monies received by the operator on account of the sale of a joint operator’s share of production. If that premise turns out not to be the case then a joint operator’s proprietary claim evaporates. The premise of course is most likely to be false when the operator is in financial difficulty – the precise point in time when a joint operator would like to have access to a proprietary remedy. Continue reading

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Posted in Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Oil & Gas | Leave a comment

Landlords, Tenants and Domestic Violence: Introduction to a New ABlawg Ebook

By: Jennifer Koshan and Jonnette Watson Hamilton

Editors’ Note: ABlawg is pleased to publish this new ebook, Landlords, Tenants and Domestic Violence: An ebook collection of ABlawg posts concerning residential tenancies and victims of domestic violence, on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada.

This ebook is a compilation of ABlawg posts from the last two years concerning residential tenancies and domestic violence. Continue reading

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Posted in Landlord/Tenant, State Responses to Violence | 2 Comments

PPA Terminations and the AESO Tariff

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: PPA Terminations and the AESO Tariff

Matter Commented On: Application from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) requesting legal determinations by the AUC under Section 8 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act with respect to system access service for generation from the Keephills facilities, November 24, 2017

The complicated issues surrounding the termination of Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs) are about to get a lot more complicated. Justice Horner’s decision mandating the Balancing Pool to complete its assessment and verification of ENMAX’s notice of termination (delivered May 5, 2016) of its Keephills PPA (see ENMAX PPA Management Inc v Balancing Pool, 2017 ABQB 718 (CanLII) and my post on that decision here) has triggered an application by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) to have the AUC decide certain questions of law so as to assist the AESO in ensuring the continuation of an appropriate legal framework within which the Keephills facilities will continue to supply power to the Alberta Interconnected System (AIES). Continue reading

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Posted in Utility Regulation | Leave a comment

The Cost of Cohabitation Agreements: Considering Property Division Laws for Unmarried Cohabitants

By: Kyle Gardiner

PDF Version: The Cost of Cohabitation Agreements: Considering Property Division Laws for Unmarried Cohabitants

Report Commented On: Alberta Law Reform Institute, Property Division: Living Together Before Marriage, Report for Discussion No. 31

 On September 29, 2017, the Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) released Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners, Report for Discussion No. 30, addressing Alberta’s lack of statutory law dealing with property division for unmarried cohabitants. That report recommended that property division rules should apply to adult interdependent partners as defined in the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, SA 2002, c A-4.5 (AIRA) (i.e. “common-law partners”), and that those rules should be based on the Matrimonial Property Act, RSA 2000, c M-8 (MPA) — the statute that governs property division upon marriage breakdown in Alberta. This recommendation necessitated a further question answered by ALRI’s Report for Discussion 31: how should laws of property division deal with couples who first cohabit and later marry? Continue reading

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Posted in Family, Property | Leave a comment

Property Division: Living Together Before Marriage

By: Genevieve Tremblay-McCaig

PDF Version: Property Division: Living Together Before Marriage

Report Commented On: Alberta Law Reform Institute, Property Division: Living Together before Marriage, Report for Discussion 31

The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) is considering changes to property division rules for spouses who live together before marriage. It recently published Property Division: Living Together before Marriage, Report for Discussion 31. Report 31 follows a separate report for discussion on property division for common law couples and adult interdependent partners. Report 31 covers the related but distinct issue of premarital cohabitation and property division. Before it makes final recommendations to the Alberta government, ALRI is seeking feedback on the proposals below. Continue reading

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Posted in Family, Property | Leave a comment