The rapid pace of developments in Canadian energy regulation is reflected in this issue of Energy Regulation Quarterly, which includes analysis of two recent major federal announcements.

First, David Wright reviews “Canada’s 2030 Federal Emissions Reduction Plan”, released on March 30, 2022. While noting that this is not the first climate plan in Canada, he opines that “it may be the most significant.” His apparent skepticism, however, is revealed in his subtitle: “A Smorgasbord of Ambition, Action, Shortcomings, and Plans to Plan.”

It seemed appropriate to follow Wright’s overall conclusion with a call to “look behind the labels” in the climate change debate. In “All that Glitters Isn’t Green, or Renewable”, Andrew Roman argues that “green” is being used in the debate as “a political obedience term”. He points out that in the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan “green” appears 216 times and “renewable” 150 times, yet neither word is defined. The debate, he argues, should stop using these labels and instead examine the merits of the various forms of energy, including their reliability and cost.

Just a week after the release of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced his decision that the proposed Bay du Nord oil development project, located approximately 500 kilometres offshore from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, “is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”, thereby clearing the path for the project to proceed through several remaining regulatory steps. This significant development is examined in by one of our Co-Managing Editors, Rowland Harrison, in “Bay du Nord Offshore Oil Production Project Clears Threshold Regulatory Hurdle.”

The Minister’s decision on the Bay du Nord project was taken under the transitional provisions of the federal Impact Assessment Act.[1] Less than a month later, the Alberta Court of Appeal released its decision that the Act was unconstitutional, on the ground that it “would permanently alter the division of powers and forever place provincial governments in an economic chokehold controlled by the federal government.” The landmark decision is reviewed by Brett Carlson et al. in “Alberta Court of Appeal finds Federal Impact Assessment Act Unconstitutional.”

In “ESG Claims: Managing risks and liabilities for Canadian businesses,” Rick Williams et al. outline “key considerations for managing litigation and regulatory risk for Canadian companies making ESG [environmental, social and governance] claims and highlight some relevant cases.”

In the final article in this issue of ERQ, Neil Campbell et al. offer “A Roadmap for Trade-Law-Compliant Border Carbon Adjustments”.

Webinars are now a well-established seminar/conference format. In past issues of ERQ, we have provided links to specific webinars relevant to our audience on an ad hoc basis. With this issue of ERQ, we are formalizing the practice with the introduction of a Webinars section that will be included on an ongoing basis as appropriate. This issue includes links to the proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Canadian Energy Law Forum and to a recent webinar hosted by the Canadian Gas Association on “New Technology and Canadian Energy Regulators.”

The issue closes with a review by Rowland Harrison of Christy Smith and Michael McPhie’s recently published book “Weaving Two Worlds: Economic Reconciliation Between Indigenous Peoples and the Resource Sector.”


  1. SC 2019, c 28, s 1. Know colloquially as Bill C-69.

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