Posts Tagged ‘Precautionary principal’

When in doubt, report: Castonguay Blasting upheld at SCC

October 21st, 2013 by Laura Bowman

Last week the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Castonguay Blasting case, which I have previously written about.  Despite numerous critics of the Court of Appeal’s decision from the environmental law bar, the Supreme Court made the right decision and upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling that all discharges of contaminants are reportable under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act.

Continue reading “When in doubt, report: Castonguay Blasting upheld at SCC”

Shark Fin Ban Case: Does Biodiversity Have Anything to Do With Social and Civic “Well-Being”?

April 2nd, 2013 by Laura Bowman

In November 2012 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that Toronto’s shark fin by-law was ultra vires.

Eng v. Toronto (City) was an application seeking a declaration that By-law No. 12347-2011 of the City of Toronto (Shark fin by-law) was ultra vires and of no force and effect. The by-law provides, in section 3, that “no person shall possess, sell or consume shark fin or shark fin food products within the city of Toronto”. The by-law was passed by a vote of 38-4 at council. The applicants argued that the shark fin by-law’s purpose was directed against the extinction of sharks and lacked a proper municipal purpose. The court agreed that this environmental threat was a purpose of the ban on shark fin food products as it was “a theme that persists in the public record of the proposed ban” and “environmental well-being of the City” was mentioned the preamble.

The applicants submitted that the City was the “wrong level of government” for the by-law and that there was no identifiable environmental benefit to the city. The court rejected the first argument and accepted the second.

Read more in the Ontario Bar Association’s Envronews (pdf) »