Occasional Papers: 70-79

A Citizen’s Guide to Aggregate Extraction in Alberta

By Dr. Judy Stewart, PhD, 2020
43 pp. Occasional Paper #70

A Citizen’s Guide to Aggregate Extraction in Alberta (the Guide) will help citizens understand Alberta’s legal and regulatory system that controls the review of applications and approvals for aggregate extraction on both private and public lands. The Guide is intended to help members of the public influence and participate in decision-making processes about where aggregate extraction might be approved, and under what conditions. It will explain approval processes, and many of the policies, regulations, codes of practice, guidance documents, and administrative guidelines and directives used by regulators and applicants. However, please note that appeal processes are outside the scope of this document although they are mentioned throughout.

The Implications of the Brookman and Tulick Appeal of Wetland Disturbance in Southwest Calgary for Future Protection of Alberta’s Water Resources

By Dr. Judy Stewart, PhD, 2020
39 pp. Occasional Paper #71

The recent Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) report and recommendations to the Minister (the Minister) of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to vary Approval No. 00388473-00-00 (the Approval) to disturb 24 wetlands to construct the Southwest Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) highlight the importance of protecting water resources in semi-arid Southern Alberta. The Approval was issued by the Director, South Saskatchewan Region (the Director) of AEP pursuant to the Water Act (Water Act).

The Role of Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure in Accelerating Germany’s Energy Diversification and Renewable Energy Expansion: Implications for Alberta’s Energy Transition

By Dr. Rudiger Tscherning, PhD, 2020
56 pp. Occasional Paper #72

This paper examines the European Union’s energy diversification agenda and the corresponding rapid expansion of renewable energy capacity, with a special focus on the Federal Republic of Germany. The paper explores the importance of interconnected energy infrastructure, in particular electricity grid infrastructure, which has facilitated the aggressive diversification of Germany’s energy mix through a rapid expansion of renewable energy generation capacity. What lessons can be learnt from this experience for Alberta’s transition towards a greater focus on renewable energy sources? In addition, Canada, and the province of Alberta in particular, should look closely at developments in Germany to replace coal and nuclear energy with a mix of both renewable energy sources and natural gas imports. The European Union’s interconnected energy infrastructure may therefore offer tangible opportunities for Alberta not only as a model to study but may also open up a strategic priority market for Canadian natural resources and technology exports.  

Alberta’s Riparian Land Governance System

By Dr. Judy Stewart, PhD, 2021
60 pp. Occasional Paper #73

The purpose of this paper is to examine Alberta’s current cross-scalar riparian land governance system: this includes the people who govern, and the policies, laws, regulations, institutional arrangements and management strategies they implement. Taking a look at the riparian land governance system as a whole, and examining the many structural couplings of subsystems within, may help politicians, lawyers, land use planners, industry stakeholders, and landowners to identify emergent riparian land governance issues that require systemic improvements. Some recommendations for necessary systemic changes are included. 

Can Provincial Governments Stop Interprovincial Pipelines?

By Alastair Lucas, QC, 2021
38 pp. Occasional Paper #74

This paper focuses on constitutional issues witnessed by major interjurisdictional pipeline projects. The analysis centres around the Trans Mountain Expansion project, and discusses whether provinces have constitutional power to deny interprovincial pipeline construction and operation approvals, conduct environmental assessment and review of pipeline projects, and challenge federal interprovincial pipeline approvals on administrative law grounds.

Implications of the New Federal Impact Assessment Regime for Energy Projects in Alberta

By David V. Wright, 2021
37 pp. Occasional Paper #75

Implementation of the new Impact Assessment Act regime is now underway, changing the process for federal assessment of energy projects in Alberta. Despite much criticism of the Impact Assessment Act in public and political realms, implications for energy projects in Alberta remain not well understood. This article provides an overview of the new federal regime and examines what it may mean in practical terms for energy projects in Alberta. Particular focus is devoted to changes from the previous federal regime, particularly with respect to the assessment and final decision-making phases. 

A Citizen’s Guide to the Alberta Surface Rights Board 

By John McCarthy, 2021
44 pp. Occasional Paper #76

The Citizen’s Guide to the Alberta Surface Rights Board is intended to help Albertans understand the Surface Rights Act and the Surface Rights Board. The Citizen’s Guide focuses on the five key processes in the Act: the right of entry process; determining the compensation payable; the review of the rate of compensation for surface leases; damage claims against energy companies; and the recovery of unpaid compensation. While the Act has a broader jurisdiction, these are the Board processes most used by Albertans. The Citizen’s Guide is an attempt to explain these processes for general educational purposes only. 

A Citizen’s Guide to Ecology and Law in Alberta

By Dr. Judy Stewart, 2022
42 pp. Occasional Paper #77

This paper is intended to fill a knowledge gap for Albertans about ecology basics and provincial laws that attempt to regulate and control human activities in ecosystems. Understanding the rudiments of ecology will help people participate more effectively in municipal and provincial decision-making processes when applications are made for licenses, approvals, permits, and other authorizations to divert, use, or negatively impact components of the environment. The goal is to help people see human activities as critical components of ecosystems on Earth.

A Guide to the Canada Energy Regulator

By Alastair Lucas, 2022
26 pp. Occasional Paper #78

This Guide is a resource for citizens interested in or who intend to interact with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). The CER is very much attuned to citizen interest and involvement in its various activities and decisions. It has posted informative and useful material on its website.

A Guide to the Alberta Utilities Commission

By Indra Maharaj, 2022
60 pp. Occasional Paper #79

The purpose of this guide is to outline the opportunities available to you, the concerned members of the public, to voice concerns regarding the development or expansion of facilities within the AUC’s jurisdiction. By referring to this Guide, you will be able to identify the opportunities in the regulatory process when you can make your concerns known to Applicant, before the hearing, and to the AUC at a written or oral hearing.