The Incarcerated Complainant: Submissions to the Minister of Justice

By: Alice Woolley

PDF Version: The Incarcerated Complainant: Submissions to the Minister of Justice

Matter Commented On: Investigation by Roberta Campbell of the Incarceration of the Complainant in R v Blanchard, 2016 ABQB 706 (CanLII)

On June 14, 2017, I sent the following letter to Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, Chief Judge Terence Matchett of the Alberta Provincial Court and to the Law Society of Alberta. The letter concerns the conduct of Crown counsel, duty counsel and the judge in the preliminary inquiry into the matter of R v Blanchard, 2016 ABQB 706 (CanLII). It should be noted that the final assessment of the conduct of counsel and the judge in this matter depends on a full review and investigation by those parties; this letter comments only on the transcript and other written materials (as listed in the letter). Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal, Ethics and the Legal Profession | 1 Comment

The NEB Modernization Report

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: The NEB Modernization Report

Report commented on:  Forward, Together: Enabling Canada’s Clean, Safe and Secure Energy Future, Report of the Expert Panel on the Modernization of the National Energy Board, May 2017, and Volume II, Annexes.

This post provides a summary of and preliminary comments on the Report of the Expert Panel on the Modernization of the National Energy Board (NEB), which was released in May 2017. The Report begins with an overview of “What the Panel Heard” and then articulates a set of five principles which underlie the Panel’s recommendations. The Panel follows this with a statement of the Panel’s vision for Canada’s regulator of energy infrastructure and then a set of recommendations focused around six key themes for realizing the Panel’s vision. These recommendations constitute the meat of the report. The six key themes are: (1) mandate, (2) relationships with Indigenous Peoples, (3) governance and decision-making, (4) public participation, (5) Î-kanatak Askiy Operations (keeping the land pure), and (6) respect for landowners. Continue reading

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Does a US Entity Have a Cause of Action (Cognizable by the Federal Court) where a Downstream Road/Dyke in Canada Serves to Prevent Dispersion of the Natural Flow of a Transboundary Stream? Answer: No

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Does a US Entity Have a Cause of Action (Cognizable by the Federal Court) where a Downstream Road/Dyke in Canada Serves to Prevent Dispersion of the Natural Flow of a Transboundary Stream? Answer: No

Case Commented On: Pembina County Water Resource District v Manitoba (Government), 2017 FCA 92 (CanLII)

The Pembina River is transboundary stream. Its geography is as follows (at para 6 of the judgement):

The Pembina River originates in Manitoba and crosses into North Dakota. It then flows eastwards through North Dakota before joining the Red River, which flows northward back into Canada. Within North Dakota, part of the river is “perched” meaning that it is elevated above the level of the surrounding prairie. When the river overflows these elevated banks, as the appellants allege happens “virtually every year,” the water should naturally disperse.

The gravamen of the plaintiffs’ claim was that (at paras 5 and 6):

…. in the relevant areas of southern Manitoba, there is a 99 foot wide road allowance running parallel to the international border. In or around 1940, a raised road was constructed within this allowance. The road [blocks] the flood waters of the Pembina River from crossing into Canada. Continue reading

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Preliminary Skirmishing in Ongoing Compulsory Unitization Hearings for the Hebron Field

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Preliminary Skirmishing in Ongoing Compulsory Unitization Hearings for the Hebron Field

Case Commented On: ExxonMobil Canada Properties v Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, 2017 NLTD(G) 80 (CanLII)

In this decision Justice Burrage dismissed an application for leave to appeal an interlocutory decision of the Oil and Gas Committee established under the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, SC 1987. c. 3 (the “Federal Accord Act”) in which one of the parties responding to the application of the Chief Conservation Officer (the “CCO”) of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (the “C-NLOPB”) for a unitization order pursuant to the Accord Acts sought to compel production of a legal opinion prepared for one of the other parties. Continue reading

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Party Principally Interested in Thermal Recovery Succeeds on Appeal

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Party Principally Interested in Thermal Recovery Succeeds on Appeal

Case Commented On: IFP Technologies (Canada) Inc v EnCana Midstream and Marketing, 2017 ABCA 157 (CanLII)

The Court of Appeal by a majority (Chief Justice Fraser, Justice Rowbotham concurring;  Justice Watson dissenting) has concluded that a party (IFP Technologies) who acquired from PanCanadian Resources (PCR, now Encana) a 20% undivided interest in a set of oil and gas properties under the terms of a conveyancing document (denominated here as the Asset Exchange Agreement, AEA), retains a working interest in those properties even where other contemporaneous documents executed by the parties, including a joint operating agreement (JOA), purported to limit IFP’s interest to an interest in the production that occurs as a result of thermal processes and not as a result of primary production. As a result of its interpretation of the AEA, the majority concluded that IFP was entitled to an accounting for its proportionate share of the net revenue realized from primary production from the relevant properties (now held by Wiser – and most recently Canadian Forest Oil – pursuant to a farmout from PCR to Wiser). The Court also held that IFP had reasonably withheld its consent to Wiser’s acquisition of PCR’s interest in the lands. In reaching these conclusions the majority overruled Chief Justice Wittmann’s decision at trial (2014 ABQB 470 (CanLII)) acting in place of the Trial Judge, Justice Ron Stevens who (at para 48) died in spring 2014 without having been able to render judgement based on a trial which took place between January and June 2011. Continue reading

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