PDF version: Raising Questions About The Use of an Offset For Compliance with Carbon Emission Reduction Obligations.
Case Considered: Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Our Children’s Earth Foundation v California Air Resources Board (Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, January 25, 2013, Case number CGC-2-519544).
This comment examines a recent judicial review decision by the Superior Court of California dismissing a challenge to the legality of the carbon emission offset regime established by California’s Air Resources Board (CARB). The petitioners in this case alleged the offset regime does not comply with its parent statute – the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, (California , AB 32) – and thus the CARB does not have legal authority to implement it. The essence of the claim was that a carbon emission offset created by the CARB regime would not necessarily represent the real and demonstrable carbon emission reduction required by the legislation. The Court ruled the offset regime created and administered by the CARB complies with the legislation.
PDF version: Roundtable on Quebec v A: Searching for Clarity on Equality
Decision Considered: Quebec (Attorney General) v A, 2013 SCC 5 (case summary available here).
On May 13, 2013, we led the Faculty of Law’s first roundtable discussion of the summer on the Supreme Court’s most recent equality rights decision, Quebec (Attorney General) v A. Participants included faculty members, researchers from the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre and Alberta Law Reform Institute, and a number of JD and graduate students. Coincidentally, a virtual roundtable on the case is also ongoing at the moment, moderated by Sonia Lawrence, Director of Osgoode Hall’s Institute for Feminist Legal Studies (IFLS), with participation from law profs Robert Leckey, Hester Lessard, Bruce Ryder, and Margot Young. Many of the issues raised in the IFLS discussion were also debated in our roundtable.
PDF version: Hop(p)s and Water: A Nice Little Water Rights Decision Out of British Columbia
Decision Commented on: Carolyn Hopp v Assistant Regional Manager Water, 2012-WAT-033(a) (EAB).
The Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) of British Columbia is starting to build up a body of jurisprudence on water rights and especially water licensing decisions in the context of fully allocated or fully recorded streams.
PDF version: New Developments in Long Running Alberta Privacy Case
Decision Considered: Alberta Teachers’ Association v Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2013 ABQB 106.
This case, which has a long judicial history, has been followed closely by those interested in information and privacy procedures. The issues raised by the decision were discussed in my previous ABlawg post “Supreme Court of Canada Saves Timing for the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner” here. Also see Alice Woolley’s ABlawg post on this decision ‘True Questions of Jurisdiction: Administrative Law’s Unicorns” here. The current case is interesting because the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) now seeks to amend its Originating Application to the Court of Queen’s Bench to include a request for declarations that selected provisions of the Personal Information Protection Act SA 2003, c P-6.5 (PIPA) and the PIPA Regulation, Alta Reg 366/2003 are unconstitutional, or that the adjudicator’s order is unconstitutional.
PDF version: Language Protection in the Human Rights Sphere
Cases Considered: Caron v Alberta (Chief Commissioner, Human Rights Commission), 2013 ABQB 13, and Chieriro v Michetti, 2013 AHRC 3.
The Caron language rights saga discussed in previous posts on ABlawg (see here) continues, as the next development in his continuing litigation was recently released by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. This post will discuss that decision, as well as a recent decision of the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal, Chieriro v Michetti, 2013 AHRC 3, which also raises issues about the protection of language-related rights.
PDF version: Update in the Area of Family Status Discrimination
Cases Considered: Canadian National Railway v Denise Seeley and Canadian Human Rights Commission, 2013 FC 117.
In 2010, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released three cases involving Alberta women who alleged they were being discriminated against on the basis of family status. In a previous post I wrote on the outcome (see “Accommodation for Family Status Required by Federal Human Rights Tribunal for Three Alberta Women” December 22, 2010 here) in which CNR was required to accommodate parental responsibilities of all three women. Canadian National Railway (CNR) applied for judicial review on the case of Denise Seeley. The decision of Justice Mandamin of the Federal Court presents an attempt to reconcile two lines of decisions that addressed what “family status” discrimination entails. On a larger scale, this case is one of several in which gender and family status discrimination are argued to be result of social construct or personal choice rather than the operation of law or the result of discrimination in an activity that is covered by human rights legislation (e.g., employment, tenancy, services, accommodation and publications).
PDF version: Intersection Between Different Legal Areas
Case commented on: Basha v Lofca, 2013 ABQB 159.
It is quite common for certain legal areas to intersect with others in cases that come before the courts. In the recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench case of Basha v Lofca, this intersection arose within the areas of immigration and family law.
PDF version: Do Covenants to Compensate for Designation as an Historical Resource Run with the Land?
Cases Considered: Equitable Trust Company v Lougheed Block Inc, 2013 ABQB 209.
The foreclosure proceedings taken with respect to the historic Lougheed Building at 604 – 1 Street S.W. in Calgary have generated a number of legal controversies. I have previously blogged on interest issues in the “Perennial Problem of Section 8 of the Interest Act” and on security deposits matters in “Who Bears the Loss for Converted Security Deposits?” This latest judgment — a decision of Mr. Justice Paul R. Jeffrey — concerns compensation paid by the City of Calgary for the decrease in the value of the building when it was designated an “historical resource” under the Historical Resources Act, RSA 2000, c H-9. A Lougheed Building Rehabilitation Incentive Agreement dated September 2006 provided that total compensation would be $3,400,000 and it would be paid in fourteen annual installments of $227,000 each and a final fifteenth payment of $222,000. The question was who was to receive the balance of the annual installments. Would it be The Lougheed Block Inc (LBI), the owner of the building who entered into the Incentives Agreement with the City and did the required rehabilitation work? Or would it be 604 – 1st Street S.W. Inc (604), the purchaser on the judicial sale after LBI defaulted on their mortgage with Equitable Trust Company and Equitable Trust foreclosed. The outcome depended on the answers to one property issue and one (far less interesting) contract issue.