Some Things Have Changed but Much Remains the Same: the New Canadian Energy Regulator

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF Version: Some Things Have Changed but Much Remains the Same: the New Canadian Energy Regulator

Bill Commented On: Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Given the discussions over the last year as to the future of the National Energy Board (see posts here and here) it is hardly surprising that Part 2 of Bill C-69 takes the form of an entirely new Act to be known as the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CERA) rather than a set of amendments to the existing National Energy Board Act, RSC 1985, c N-7. This no doubt creates the impression that the new Bill represents a wholesale replacement of the NEB rather than mere tinkering. This post examines whether this is indeed the case by examining in some more detail what has changed and what remains the same. My focus is Part 2 of Bill C-69. My colleague Martin Olszynski has already provided a post on Part 1 of the Bill, the proposed new Impact Assessment Act (IIA) as well as the amendments to the Fisheries Act. Continue reading

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In Search of #BetterRules: An Overview of Federal Environmental Bills C-68 and C-69

By: Martin Olszynski

PDF Version: In Search of #BetterRules: An Overview of Federal Environmental Bills C-68 and C-69

Legislation Commented On: An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence (Bill C-68) and An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Bill C-69)

Last week, the federal government tabled its much-anticipated package of federal environmental law reforms. Regular ABlawg readers will know that the Faculty of Law’s Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law group has been actively participating in this process from the beginning, with several members submitting briefs and testifying before both parliamentary committees and expert panels (a full list of relevant ABlawg posts is included at the end of this post). In this post, I provide an initial overview and analysis of Bill C-68 (Fisheries Act) and the proposed Impact Assessment Act under Bill C-69. Subsequent posts will examine specific issues in more detail, as well as the proposed Canadian Energy Regulator Act. Continue reading

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A Right to be Forgotten Online: A Response to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Draft Position

By: Emily Laidlaw

PDF Version: A Right to be Forgotten Online: A Response to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Draft Position

Document Commented On: Draft OPC Position on Online Reputation

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) published its draft position on online reputation last week stating that the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, SC 2000, c-5 (PIPEDA) provides a right to de-index search results (remove a link to a webpage from search results based on a keyword search) and a right to source takedown (removal of a webpage from the host site). De-indexing and source takedown are specific ways that a person might deploy a right to be forgotten, an issue hotly debated for several years, but especially since the Court of Justice of the European Union decided Google Spain SL, Google Inc v Agencia Espanola de Proeccion de Datos (AEPD), Marios Costeja Gonzalez, (2014) Case C-131/12 (known as Google Spain). Scholars have already responded to the OPC, such as here, here and here. I offer a different commentary, reflecting my first critical thoughts on three key issues arising from the report: (a) the public interest test suggested by the OPC to balance freedom of expression and privacy; (b) the role of private technology companies; and (c) the blurring of the line between data protection and defamation regimes. While I will discuss source takedown briefly (and for a more thorough analysis of intermediary liability and defamation law, see my work with Dr. Hilary Young here), the focus in this post will largely be on search results.  Continue reading

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Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Introduces the Accelerated Habeas Corpus Review Procedure

By: Amy Matychuk

PDF Version: Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Introduces the Accelerated Habeas Corpus Review Procedure

Case Commented On: Latham v Her Majesty the Queen, 2018 ABQB 69 (CanLII)

In an attempt to address the proliferation of habeas corpus applications from inmates in Alberta institutions, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Edmonton) has introduced a new procedure to prevent vexatious habeas corpus applications from wasting court resources. Habeas corpus is a constitutional remedy for an unlawful loss of liberty (see s 10(c) of the Charter, which provides for the right “to have the validity of … detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.”) Since 2014, Alberta inmates have attempted to use habeas corpus to air an increasing number of grievances about their conditions of detention. Because the only remedy available on a habeas corpus application is release from detention, it applies narrowly to deprivations of liberty within an institution (such as transfers from lower to higher security) and is useless as a means of addressing complaints about prison conditions. Nevertheless, Alberta inmates appear either to have misunderstood this limitation or to have ignored it, and the Court of Queen’s Bench has introduced a procedure designed to keep the most senseless of these applications from reaching the hearing stage and thus wasting judicial time.

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So Help Me God: ALRI Recommends Changes to Make the Alberta Evidence Act More Inclusive

By: Laura Buckingham

PDF Version: So Help Me God: ALRI Recommends Changes to Make the Alberta Evidence Act More Inclusive

Report Commented On: Alberta Law Reform Institute, Competence and Communication in the Alberta Evidence Act, Final Report 111

It might not be surprising that the first version of the Alberta Evidence Act, adopted in 1910, required judges to investigate the religious beliefs of certain witnesses. What is surprising is that more than a century later, these requirements are still in force in Alberta. Under Alberta law, children, adults with cognitive impairment, and anyone who wishes to make an affirmation instead of swearing an oath may be questioned about their religious beliefs before they are allowed to give evidence. Continue reading

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