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Province issues Water Sustainability Act policies for comment

On July 30, 2015, the Province of British Columbia issued for comment four policies associated with the Water Sustainability Act (“WSA”).  The WSA is expected to come into force in 2016, with associated regulations (which will likely be based on the proposed policies).

The policies relate to groundwater licensing, groundwater protection, dam safety and enforcement. The comment period expires on September 8, 2015.  Below are key points set out in the policies.

Municipal waste management - fines should be more than the cost of doing business

Waste management facilities, if not properly managed and controlled, can create a significant environmental risk.  The recent ruling of the BC Provincial Court in R. v. Fraser Valley Disposal and Liang, 2015 BCPC 0127 confirms that if an operator of a waste management facility violates applicable bylaws and licenses, fines should be sufficiently significant to deter such conduct. 

Sewer system malfunction – liability of local governments

When infrastructure fails, it is usually unpleasant and costly.  Most local infrastructure – such as sewer, water and drainage – is operated by municipalities.  Section 288 of the Local Government Act protects local governments from liability for certain actions in nuisance resulting from malfunction of such systems.  A recent ruling in

Interpretation of municipal powers to contract

On July 2, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal from a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 1298417 Ontario Ltd. v. Lakeshore (Town) 2014 ONCA 802.

The decision in Lakeshore highlights the principle that a person contracting with a municipality should take careful notice of the municipality’s power to contract.

Canada Post v. City of Hamilton: using municipal streets for community mailboxes

We reported earlier in this blog on the dispute between the City of Hamilton and Canada Post. To recall, the City adopted a bylaw that required Canada Post to obtain a City permit before placing community mailboxes on City streets.

Canada Post challenged the constitutional validity of the bylaw and, on June 11, 2015, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued its decision.  The Court agreed with Canada Post and declared the bylaw invalid.   

To quote some of the Court’s reasons:

CASL Enforcement: Porter Airlines doesn't have an escape route, agrees to pay $150,000 fine

The CRTC has reported that Porter Airlines has agreed to pay a $150,000 fine due to its failure to include an unsubscribe mechanism, or a clearly set out unsubscribe mechanism.  Some emails also allegedly did not include complete contact information as required by CASL. For certain emails sent between July 2014 and February 2015, the company was unable to provide proof that it had obtained consent.

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