Canadian Institute of Resources Law
Wetlands are among the most valuable natural systems on earth. They store and release surface water, re-charge groundwater, and aid in flood control. They reduce sedimentation and purify water, help control erosion, and sequester carbon. They can be hotbeds of biological diversity and serve as important habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other animals. They provide vast ecological goods and services and have aesthetic, economic, heritage, recreational, and intrinsic values. Notwithstanding the significant values, functions, and services of wetlands, it was not until the middle/latter 20th century that the need for wetland protection and conservation was visibly recognized. Even though efforts are now universally made to protect and conserve them, losses continue.
Laws and policies have a powerful and definitive role to play in whether a wetland is protected, impacted, restored, or lost. Alberta Wetlands: A Law and Policy Guide, Second Edition (Guide) provides macroscopic to microscopic descriptions and explanations of many of the major threads in the tangled web of laws and policies the implementation of which can impact wetlands for better or worse. It looks not only at laws and policies that directly apply to wetland impacts, such as wetland drainage laws, or wetland conservation policies, but also at the myriad of regulatory and other legal influences that more indirectly influence and determine the fate of wetlands. These include legal rules and frameworks concerning common law, property rights, energy resource exploration and development, residential, commercial and industrial development, and those relating to dispositions on and use of public land, including for agricultural and forestry operations. It also looks at legal approaches to protect, restore, and recognize wetlands and their values, including government designation, environmental assessment, international recognition, land use planning, economic instruments, development restrictions, and wildlife laws. The Guide attempts to put the legal concepts and rules within a context so that they will be understandable to readers from a variety of backgrounds. For example, the Guide provides information on our Constitution and on which levels of government have the right to legislate areas of law that could impact wetlands, as well as on the various sources of laws and legal directives and the ways they can relate to wetlands.
The Guide contains eight primers that offer general instruction on areas of law or jurisdiction, sixteen chapters on particular areas of law that can impact wetlands, a chart identifying and describing tools for municipalities and others that could be used to protect wetlands and prevent
or address impacts on them, and a detailed bibliography. This is the Second Edition of the Guide, current to February 2016. The first Edition, published in 2001, is significantly out of date primarily owing to substantial legislative and policy changes and to shifts in government, industry, and community approaches towards wetland conservation. The Second Edition is fundamentally a new work that updates, revises, rewrites, and adds extensive material to the First Edition.
Alberta is a mosaic of private and non-private land. This book is a legal Guide to non-private lands in Alberta. Private land is land owned by an individual or corporation for which a private land title is registered at the Alberta Land Titles Office. Private land constitutes less than 30% of the province. This Guide concerns the roughly 70% of land in Alberta that is non-private lands. By “non-private land” this Guide means land that is owned by a level of government (federal, provincial, or municipal) or a federal or provincial Crown agent or corporation, land owned or managed by a public or shared governance entity under legislation (e.g. airports), and Aboriginal lands. The term also includes land that is not typical private land, such as land that has specific legislation applying to it, and where there is a limited public right of access. A college campus is an example.
This Guide is roughly in the same camp as field guides, such as field guides popularized by Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996). Field guides are intended to provide a layperson with information on what may be observed in a local area, on a subject matter, such as wildlife or natural phenomena. This Guide is intended to provide legal and policy information on the kinds and categories of non-private lands that a layperson may observe in Alberta. It provides information on the legal landscape, in contrast to information on the natural landscape.
The first six parts of the Guide provide general background and legal information. Here the Guide takes a historical look at how land ownership and legislative authority over land came to be in Alberta. It discusses constitutional authority over management of private and non-private land, and how common law and legislation relate to ownership and management of land. It also looks at the concept of Crown immunity and how it may apply to owners or managers of non-private lands. The next three parts of the Guide provide specific legal landscapes on lands administered or managed by the federal government such as national parks and other protected or heritage areas, military bases, airports, experimental farms and forests, harbours, and postal lands. The next part considers Aboriginal lands, including First Nations reserves, off reserve traditional lands, and Métis Settlement lands. Then the Guide looks at the railway lines, as a unique kind of non-private land. Following that, the Guide provides legal and policy information on the provincial administration and management of non-private lands including a variety of protected and heritage areas, post-secondary institution lands, Special Areas, watercourses, water bodies, and beds and shores, and Crown lands under a range of dispositions, such as forestry or grazing. Next the Guide provides legal and policy information on non-private land owned or administered by municipalities, including the categories of municipal reserve lands. The last part deals with public access to non-private lands, including municipal reserves, public land under agricultural disposition, other provincial public lands, and public places. Throughout the Guide provides examples, and raises policy and other issues concerning non-private lands and their management and administration.
by Dr. William N. Holden. 2015.
91 pp. ISBN 978-0-919269-51-4. $35.00 (softcover)
The Special Areas in Alberta fall under a unique provincial land management regime created under the Special Areas Act. This book considers the historical origins of the Special Areas during the drought of the 1920s and 1930s. In light of increasing concerns about global warming in the 21st century, it is worth examining the role of the Special Areas Board in administering these provincial lands in the context of the capacity to cope with reduced precipitation that is anticipated to accompany climate change.
by Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh. 2006.
217 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-50-7. $35.00 (softcover)
There is increasing recognition both in academic and policy debates of the need for specific initiatives to ensure effective follow-up to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and to achieve meaningful Aboriginal participation in environmental management of major resource projects. This book examines the potential of a novel policy instrument, Environmental Agreements involving industry, government and Aboriginal peoples, to promote these goals. It argues, based on case studies from the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Newfoundland, that Environmental Agreements have considerable potential in this regard. However, if this potential is to be realized, greater attention must be focused on design of structures and processes that actively encourage Aboriginal participation and the application of Aboriginal environmental knowledge; and on provision of financial and other resources needed to support the effective operation of Environmental Agreements.
A Guide to Impact and Benefits Agreements
by Steven A. Kennett. 1999.
120 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-48-4. $35.00 (softcover)
The negotiation of impact and benefits agreements (IBAs) has become common practice in Canada when mining developments are located within traditional aboriginal territories or in proximity to remote communities. The increasing prevalence of IBAs has not, however, been matched by the emergence of an extensive descriptive and analytical literature examining these agreements. This paper contributes to filling this information gap by reviewing contextual factors relevant to IBAs and providing an overview of the topics that they commonly address.
Part I of the paper places IBAs in context, beginning with a review of socio-economic considerations. The paper then turns to the legal and policy context for IBAs and the project-specific factors that shape these agreements. Part I concludes with brief comments on the legal nature of IBAs and the role of government in the IBA process.
Part II of the paper examines the contents of IBAs. Beginning with an overview of general trends relating to IBAs, the discussion then turns to the issues addressed in these agreements. The topics covered include employment and training; economic and business development; social, cultural and community support; financial provisions; and environmental protection. The paper concludes by underlining the growing importance of IBAs in Canada and noting the potential of these agreements to meet the needs of aboriginal organizations, mining companies and government.
by Janet M. Keeping. 1999.
122 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-47-7 $35.00 (softcover)
This document reports on the law guaranteeing that local people will benefit from mineral development in the Northwest Territories. It surveys the applicable statute law, as well as the land claims which so far have been settled in both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It considers how the fiduciary duty of the Crown to protect indigenous peoples' interests should affect the law on local benefits and contains some observations on the importance of negotiations on devolution of authority from the federal government to the territorial level for the law in this area.
The report points out that there are important legal issues that could not be fully examined by it. One set of these arises from international trade law, and the report briefly discusses how free trade agreements could impact on the law requiring the negotiation of local benefits.
The report also examines directions for improvement of the law in this area through a discussion of several public policy considerations. The report concludes with a recommendation that legislation be enacted to ensure greater consistency and fairness in the guarantee of local benefits in the NWT.
by Marjorie L. Benson. 1996.
192 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-43-9. $35.00 (softcover)
This book documents in four parts the history of agricultural law in Canada. The first part develops a classificatory model of agricultural legislation and examines the history of the principal regimes. The second part classifies the conventional policy arguments for and against each type of regulation. The third part observes that there is not much regulatory reform with respect to land use and land tenure, and that any attempt at reform has met with significant resistance. The fourth part summarizes the conclusions with respect to the processes of regulatory reform.
This book is a valuable reference for lawyers and non-lawyers in government, industry, academia, consulting firms and non-governmental organizations, with an interest in agricultural law and policy.
by Monique Ross. 1995.
388 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-42-2. $20.00 (softcover)
This book provides a comprehensive review of the policy and legal framework of forest management in Canada. Its main purpose is to assess the extent and the means by which political institutions and legal practices are responding to the increasingly complex and competing demands being placed on Canada's forests. The book describes the evolution of Canadian forest policy and analyzes issues and conflicts inherent in contemporary forest policy-making. It then addresses the legal aspects of forest management and in particular, provides a comparative analysis of forest tenures on Crown lands. The book concludes with a discussion of policy and legal reforms which could facilitate the transition from timber to forest management.
The book incorporates policy, legal and economic analyses and offers a unique comparative perspective on the Canadian situation and the latest developments in forest management. It is a valuable reference for lawyers and non-lawyers in government, industry, academia, consulting firms and non-governmental organizations, with a working familiarity with forestry law and policy.
by Magdalena A.K. Muir. 1994.
152 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-44-6. $30.00 (softcover)
This book reviews the legal and constitutional status of the comprehensive land claims agreements in the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, the Gwich'in Final Agreement, and the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut Final Agreement, and examines the aboriginal water rights and the land and water management regimes established under each of them. The book analyzes how the land and water management regime established under each agreement integrates with the existing legislative regime. Finally, the book reviews how the aboriginal water rights and the land and water management regimes arising under each agreement will interact and will create a new land and water management regime for the Northwest Territories.
This book will be of interest to those working with aboriginal, administrative and resource management issues, as well as comprehensive land claims agreements and shared resource management arrangements.
by Barry J. Barton. 1993.
522 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-39-2. (hardcover)
This book is a comprehensive study of Canadian mining law. From the broad concepts of ownership rights to the intricate details of claim-staking, it covers a wide variety of topics. In addition to practice and procedure, this book addresses the policy inherent in different systems of disposition of mining interests, especially the free miner system. It covers many other issues important to mining, such as acquisition of rights and interests from the Crown, transfers of mining interests, royalties, withdrawal of lands from mining, surface rights, and mining issues in relation to native lands. This book is the culmination of a thorough study of all Canadian case and statute law that deals with these topics.
The variety of issues dealt within this book, as well as the comprehensive coverage, make it a valuable reference for practitioners and non-lawyers in the mining industry, and for government personnel involved with regulating mining activity.
by Janet Keeping. 1993.
75 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-40-8. $5.00 (softcover)
This Guide to Alberta public utility regulation has three primary purposes. The first is to describe how energy utilities in Alberta are currently regulated by government. The Guide discusses what public utilities are, why they need to be regulated, the process by which the rates charged by utilities are regulated, and how provincial laws control the construction and operation of utility facilities. The second purpose of the Guide is to alert readers to the ways in which the existing system of utility regulation is changing and the third purpose is to provide information on how interested individuals can get involved in the provincial processes for regulating utilities.
by Monique Ross and J. Owen Saunders. 1993.
175 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-34-7. $5.00 (softcover)
This book provides a comprehensive review of legislative provisions governing environmental concerns in Canada which affect forestry activities.
In particular, the chapters deal with air and water pollution, pesticide use, environmental impact assessment processes, as well as the enforcement of environmental obligations. The implications of international obligations on the roles of the federal and provincial governments with respect to forestry are also addressed. Although an important part of the research focuses on legal analysis, this book also incorporates policy analyses and economic considerations.
This book is of interest to readers with a legal background as well as to those with a working familiarity with forestry law and policy - for example, forest companies, and government personnel and consultants.
by Adrian J. Bradbrook. 1992.
87 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-36-1. $5.00 (softcover)
This book addresses the legal problems that surround energy conservation for new and existing buildings. It includes a review of existing legislation, with examples taken from a number of jurisdictions including Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Japan. This book analyzes options for law reform and proposes a legal management model that could be adopted in all jurisdictions.
This book is of interest to people concerned with energy conservation, especially as it can be implemented in buildings. It is of particular interest to people in any jurisdiction who are looking into possible means of regulating and encouraging energy efficiency in the building sector. Professor Bradbrook was the 1991 incumbent of the Chair of Natural Resources Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.
by Steven A. Kennett. 1991.
238 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0-919269-31-6. $5.00 (softcover)
This book addresses constitutional questions related to water management in the context of divided jurisdiction and transboundary watersheds. The characteristics and uses of water and the federalism background to water issues are reviewed. Three policy options for interjurisdictional water management are identified and discussed: intergovernmental agreements, adjudication of transboundary water conflicts, and federal use of the "peace, order and good government" power. While legal and political obstacles remain, all three options could contribute to better management of Canada's interjurisdictional waters.
This book will be valuable to those with an interest in the workings of Canadian federalism, as well as anyone involved in water resources management, or natural resources management generally, in Canada.