Posts Tagged ‘directly affected’

Nesting dolls of “directly affected” in federal law under judicial review

October 18th, 2013 by Laura Bowman

Recently, the Federal Court of Appeal released a decision on a procedural issue in Forest Ethics Advocacy Association v. Canada (National Energy Board), 2013 FCA 236 (CanLII).  Forest Ethics is suing the government over recent changes to the National Energy Board Act which it claims “unreasonably restrict public comment on project proposals.” At issue is a new section introduced in one of the large conservative budget bills which limits participation on issues before the National Energy Board (NEB) to those who are “directly affected.”

In the decision, the Federal Court of Appeal had to decide whether Enbridge and Valero – two oil and gas companies – would have standing to become respondents or intervenors in the case against the government.  Ironically, the court had to interpret section 303 of the Federal Courts Act which also uses the “directly affected” test.

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A small victory: decision grants broad rights to participate in environmental reviews, but changes to scope of EAs and cuts will hamper access, result in less thorough reviews

January 17th, 2013 by Paula Boutis and Jessica Weizenbluth

Last November Laura Bowman wrote a blog post about Alberta case law which might shed some light on how “interested party” status under the new federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) might be interpreted, particularly as it relates to who is deemed to be “directly affected”.   To have a right to participate in hearings under CEAA, parties must establish they are an “interested party”, and to be an interested party, the party must either be “directly affected by the carrying out of the designated project” or have “relevant information or expertise”.

Subsequent to Laura’s post, we learned of a decision of a Federal Review Panel (the Panel) constituted under CEAA which explored this question.

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How will CEAA review panels interpret “directly affected” and “interested party”? Alberta provides some clues

November 12th, 2012 by Laura Bowman

The new federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) has adopted new criteria for standing at review panel hearings that includes the words “directly affected”.  The Kelly series of cases from Alberta help shed some light on the meaning of that requirement and how it might develop at the federal level.  Under CEAA 2012 review panels will decide what it means, but will be subject to supervision by the courts.

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