The story of Canadian federalism is one that has been characterized, at times, by pushes to greater centralization and pulls to decentralized provincial autonomy. Throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, natural resource and energy policy was one of the primary drivers of this jurisdictional tug-of-war.

The section 92A resource amendment, the National Energy Program and the Western Accord are all examples of a struggle that was largely characterized by the provinces’ desire for greater control over their resources. As Canada entered the 1990s, the “energy federalism” debate resolved with greater provincial autonomy and decentralization.

Thirty years later, the Canadian oil and gas sector is once again a political cause célèbre and the energy federalism debate continues to be litigated in the courts. This time, however, the protagonists’ motivations are different and the constitutional parameters less clear.

In this presentation, we examine four recent cases that illustrate this trend: Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Saskatchewan), Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Ontario), British Columbia (Attorney General) v Alberta (Attorney General), and Reference re Environmental Management Act. To varying degrees and from different perspectives, each of these judgments balances the competing concerns of resource development and economic growth against environmental protection and stewardship. Given the unique and ambiguous role the environment plays in the constitutional division of powers, the resolution of this chapter in the energy federalism debate has the potential to shift the balance of legislative power in Canada and reshape the contours of our national political conversation.

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Cost: $40.00
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About the Speakers

1595883718-6952c26c09489558 Anh Nguyen

B Brendan Downey
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

P Paul Chiswell
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

R Robert Martz
Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

1599150517-67f7c9ac9eaf3da3 Ramona Salamucha
Ramona Salamucha is Senior Legal Counsel at Enbridge, North America’s largest energy infrastructure company, with a practice focused on regulatory, administrative and environmental law. Ramona has extensive experience advising on major energy infrastructure projects across Canada, including liquids and gas pipelines and energy transmission facilities. Her day-to-day work includes leading project teams through regulatory processes, including developing regulatory strategies, obtaining regulatory approvals and ensuring compliance. Ramona also works with senior leaders in the company to advocate on key policy issues impacting the energy sector.

Prior to joining Enbridge, Ramona represented a diverse range of clients, including municipalities, Indigenous groups and landowners. Her regulatory experience includes proceedings before the Canada Energy Regulator, Alberta Energy Regulator, Ontario Energy Board, British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, and several federal-provincial joint review panels for major oil sands projects.

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