Each year since the publication of the first issue in 2013, Energy Regulation Quarterly has included an invaluable review of recent “Developments in Administrative Law Relevant to Energy Law and Regulation” by Professor Emeritus David J. Mullan. After a long and distinguished career, Professor Mullan has decided to put down his reviewer’s pen.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Paul Daly, Chair in Administrative Law and Governance at the University of Ottawa, has assumed the mantle. Professor Daly’s distinguished resume[1] includes numerous publications that have been cited by Canadian courts and administrative tribunals. His award-winning blog Administrative Law Matters[2] was the first blog ever cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. His first annual review for ERQ is the lead article in this issue.

Developments in energy policy and regulation continue to focus on efforts to adapt to climate change by meeting commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts of these efforts are felt most immediately by the wide spectrum of stakeholders in the energy production and distribution sectors, which must initially be concerned with regulatory compliance.

Concerns about climate change, however, have expanded beyond immediate impacts to include secondary effects, such as climate-related risks. In “Climate-related Financial Disclosures and Data Challenges: What Does it Mean for Canada’s Energy Companies?”, Anik Islam et al. note that Canada, alongside other G7 and G20 counterparts, has committed to moving towards mandatory disclosures aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (2022) and the International Sustainability Standards Board. As Canada moves towards implementation of these “essential mandates,” the authors submit that Canadian energy enterprises will need to understand their own data gaps and challenges. Filling climate data gaps and addressing data-related challenges, however, will require greater collaboration among federal and provincial/territorial governments, regulators, standard-setters, statistical agencies/data providers, businesses and financial institutions.

The most pervasive response to concerns about climate change is of course the “energy transition,” away from fossil fuels. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the British Columbia Utilities Commission have recently considered the risk that assets used to serve existing and new customers could become stranded by the transition. In “The Energy Transition, Stranded Assets, and Agile Regulation”, Gordon Kaiser (Managing Editor of ERQ) compares the two decisions and observes that both faced three central questions:

  1. Is the demand for natural gas going to decline in the future as a result of the energy transition?
  2. Will there be stranded assets?
  3. What steps should regulators take to reduce the stranded assets?

Ian Mondrow’s article “Why Bother with an Independent Energy Regulator?” reviews the OEB decision and questions the reaction of the Minister of Energy that he was “extremely disappointed,” arguing that the conclusions expressed in the Minister’s statement were inconsistent with the facts and the determinations made by the OEB.

The Canadian government’s previously-announced policy on mandating a transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) has now been implemented with the promulgation in December of amendments to the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. Beginning with the new model year 2026, the amendments require manufacturers and imports to meet minimum EV sales targets, increasing by specified percentages each year until 100 per cent of new sales are required to be ZEVs in 2035 and beyond. The scheme for implementation “compliance units” for exceeding the specified requirements in any particular year and for offsetting deficits for failing to meet those requirements are discussed in “Regulating Zero Emission Vehicles in Canada: The Final Federal Regulations are Now in Place”, by Timothy Cullen et al.

Due to its current heavy dependence on hydrocarbons for electricity generation, Alberta faces particular challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In “Alberta Needs a Stable Policy Approach to Power”, Charles DeLand identifies the analysis, consultations and initiative that are underway to help meet the challenges and urges that “Alberta should not roll out any new electricity system changes until it has received and digested all the incoming reports so it can avoid compromising reliability, affordability, and supply security as the system evolves towards net zero.”

This issue of ERQ concludes with a review by one of our editors of Andrew Leach’s BETWEEN DOOM & DENIAL: Facing Facts About Climate Change. Leach is a prominent commentator on Canadian climate change issues who holds a joint appointment at the University of Alberta in the Department of Economics and the Faculty of Law. In BETWEEN DOOM & DENIAL he “tackles a series of…half-truths, lies by omission, and too-clever-by-half excuses that we, as Canadians, deploy when talking about climate change.” The real value of the work, however, is found in Leach’s discussion of the challenges of planning a just transition: “Economic transition will be painful: there will be upheaval, there will be regional pain, and there will be people who never recover.”


  1. Professor Paul Daly holds the University Research Chair in Administrative Law & Governance at the University of Ottawa. See online: <www.uottawa.ca/faculty-law/common-law/faculty/daly-paul>.
  2. Paul Daly, Administrative Law Matters, online: <www.administrativelawmatters.com>.

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