Top 10 Takeaways From ONCA Decision Upholding Federal Carbon Pricing Law

On June 28, 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal issued its opinion on the constitutionality of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (i.e. the federal government’s carbon-pricing framework).

Like with the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision, project team member Nathalie Chalifour has succinctly outlined her top ten takeaways from the decision (originally posted to Twitter, and reproduced here).

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Top 10 Takeaways from SKCA Decision Upholding Federal Carbon Pricing Law

On May 3, 2019, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal issued its opinion on the constitutionality of the federal government’s carbon-pricing framework. A 3-2 majority of the court agreed that Ottawa can impose a gradually rising floor price on greenhouse gas emissions across the country, confirming the consensus view of Canada’s legal experts. While the court’s opinion is only an advisory one and is confined to Saskatchewan (the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision is next, and Saskatchewan has already filed leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada), its recognition of climate change as a major threat requiring urgent political action is welcome.

Here, project team member Nathalie Chalifour succinctly outlines her top ten takeaways from the decision.

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Extracting Environmental Justice: A Q&A Panel by Level uOttawa

By: Christa Croos and Aneta Bajic

Level’s chapter at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law hosted a Q&A panel on February 7, 2018 featuring associate professors Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Aimée Craft, Penelope Simons and Nathalie Chalifour, as well as the Human Rights Clinic Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the university, Salvador Herencia. The chapter was grateful to have the support of the Indigenous Law Students Association, the Environmental Law Students Association, and Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) uOttawa as co-hosts. The discussion was shaped by questions posed by the students in the hosting clubs, which sparked enthusiasm in the speakers as it demonstrated to them the various areas of interest. We were pleased and overwhelmed by the interest and engagement of the law students who filled up the classroom for a casual lunchtime chat on the chosen topic.

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Waste Not, Want Not: The Opportunities and Challenges Presented by Food Waste in Canada

By: Angela Lee

Increasingly, a cogent body of evidence demonstrates that the impact of global food and agricultural production and consumption patterns on environmental sustainability is not to be understated. For example, the recently published EAT-Lancet Commission report, the result of a multi-year study bringing together 37 experts from 16 countries, comes to the consensus that “[a] radical transformation of the global food system is urgently needed.” Put starkly, if we are to maintain human and planetary health, there needs to be a “great food transformation” entailing a number of significant dietary shifts, including increased consumption of plant-based foods while, in many settings, substantially limiting animal-sourced foods.

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While politicians flex, she suffers

By: Alexandra Machicado-McGee. Originally posted on Inter Alia.

She keeps giving, we keep taking, yet no one ever asks for consent nor sets reasonable limits on what we can do to her. Carbon pricing is an important method that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and therefore combats climate change. With the death of the cap-and-trade program, environmental rights are once again set aside. Doug Ford’s Conservative government is failing to consider the serious impact that its policies will have on climate change and the residents of Ontario.

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Reflections on the Environmental Law Speaker Series on “The United Nations Global Pact for the Environment: Implications for Canada?”

By: Sunitha Bisan

The magnitude of issues under the United Nations Framework Agreement for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement raises questions about the purpose of the Global Pact for the Environment proposal. The current challenges under the Paris Agreement ranges from greater accountability of climate financing, gender integration, and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to loss and damage issues. Taking a step back, these concerns are around inequalities, ensuring there is no regression on commitments and just actions. Could a normative framework like the Global Pact for the Environment be the key to enhance implementation of our collective global commitments?

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The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience

By: Angela Lee

Recently, Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and I traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the 2018 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, hosted by the University of Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance. The colloquium, now in its 16th iteration, is a major event within the environmental law community around the world. Hundreds of scholars, practitioners, and students convened at the University's Technology and Innovation Centre to discuss and reflect on this year's theme, The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience

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A Promising Event for the Future of Environmental Rights: Symposium on Formalizing the Right to a Healthy Environment in Canada

By: Danielle Gallant, LLM Candidate and Environmental Justice Research Fellow 2017-2018

On February 15th, 2018, a diverse crowd assembled in the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall at the University of Ottawa. Members of Parliament and federal government workers, representatives of environmental NGOs and activists, university professors and students as well as foreign diplomatic staff gathered to address a topic at the convergence of their varied perspectives: the recognition of environmental rights in Canada. The presentations of many distinguished Canadian and international speakers, as well as their panel discussions, fostered stimulating debates and ultimately presented a convincing argument in favour of formalizing these rights as soon as possible.

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An Indigenous Community’s Case Against Mining Concessions, from the Lens of Ecological Law

By: Carla Sbert

In Mexico, as in several other countries where large-scale mining has boomed since the 1990s, hundreds of communities have declared themselves “free of mining.” Many Indigenous communities have challenged mining concessions on their territories, arguing that these were granted in violation of their constitutional rights. While these are mostly described as struggles for self-determination, they are also struggles for environmental justice.

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