Case Comment: Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54 (CanLII)

November 2, 2017

On November 2, 2017 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54 (CanLII), a 92 page decision finding that a First Nation could not establish its asserted rights in judicial review of an administrative decision, that their religious beliefs that development… Read More »

Case Comment: $100,000 Fine Plus Surcharge for Criminal Negligence Causing Death in R. v. Stave Lake Quarries Inc.

November 3, 2016

On October 27, 2016, a judge of the B.C. Provincial Court sentenced Stave Lake Quarries Inc. (“SLQ“) to a $100,000 fine plus victim surcharge for the death of an employee at its work site in 2007.  This is the third case in Canada in which an employer charged with criminal negligence causing death has pled… Read More »

Mutual Interests in Combating Climate Change at COP 21 in Paris: We’re In This Together

October 30, 2015

Corporations, First Nations, Inuit in Canada’s Arctic, and individual Canadians all have an interest in ensuring Canada plays a positive role in the coming international negotiations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, (“COP 21”), being held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11.  While all face increasing environmental instability and rising… Read More »

Aquaculture Activities Regulations Open for Comment

September 9, 2014

The federal government’s proposed regulations to close a longstanding regulatory gap for the aquaculture industry is now open for comment. On August 23, 2014, notice of the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations (“AAR”) were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette (Click here for link). The AAR is intended to reduce some of the legal… Read More »

News Update on Mount Polley Tailings Pond Disaster and Adaptive Management Perspective

August 8, 2014

Mount Polley Update The B.C. Ministry of Environment (MOE) released some further information on the Mount Polley Tailings Pond Breach yesterday August 7, 2014. Water test results from the Mount Polley tailings pond breach were released by the MOE yesterday. MOE reports that of the chemical and physical contaminants they looked at from samples collected… Read More »

Legal news and foreshadowing of future blog postings

August 6, 2014

I’m posting this blog as an “interim” blog of some newsworthy items while I find some time for a more focused article. It has been a busy summer, which is good for my legal practice, but prejudicial to the rate of my blog postings. In particular, I’m hoping to find some time to write on… Read More »

Wildfire Prevention in BC: Obligations, Restrictions, and Due Diligence

June 3, 2014

With weather forecasters already predicting a warmer and drier summer in British Columbia than normal (see CBC News “Warm, dry summer forecast for B.C., western Alberta“), everyone who ventures out beyond the city limits should be aware of their legal obligations under the British Columbia Wildfire Act and Regulations, particularly anyone undertaking an industrial activity outside the… Read More »

The Reasonableness of Confidential Contracts in the Railway Industry: Canadian National Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General)

May 28, 2014

On May 23, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC“) released its decision in Canadian National Railway Co. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 40.  The SCC’s decision means that under the Canada Transportation Act, S.C. 1996, c. 10 (“CTA”) there is an almost “unlimited or unconditional” right to petition the Governor in Council (“GIC“) who has… Read More »

Welcome to Shane R. Hopkins-Utter’s Law Blog

May 28, 2014

I am a Barrister & Solicitor in British Columbia, Canada, practicing through the Shane R. Hopkins-Utter Law Corporation.  I was called to the bar in British Columbia in 2010, and worked at one of Canada’s largest law firms until I left in 2013 to form the Blair Law Group,* a space sharing firm with Alan Blair… Read More »

Quarries and Environmental Assessment: Is the trigger proposed production capacity or actual production capacity? (republished)

November 1, 2012

This article was originally posted in Eco-Bulletin, the newsletter of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section, in November, 2012. By Shane Hopkins-Utter On June 29, 2012, the B.C. Court of Appeal rendered a unanimous judgment in Friends of Davie Bay v. Province of British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 293. I believe… Read More »