June 2016 Bulletin

Stopping conditional registrations of pesticides

CELA was pleased with the the federal government’s announcement that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will no longer be able to issue conditional registrations on pesticides. Our work helped reveal the extent of this problem. In 2014, we dug into the PMRA public registry and found dozens of conditional registrations for neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been implicated in the worldwide decline of pollinators.

CELA applauds action on Great Lakes chemicals

We applaud recent action taken by the U.S. and Canadian governments to designate eight toxic chemicals of mutual concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This designation follows years of work to identify and evaluate the first group of candidate chemicals.

Consultation on end-of-life lamps containing mercury

CELA submitted comments to Environment Canada on a proposed voluntary code of practice to manage lamps containing mercury at their end-of-life. We made suggestions to strengthen the proposal so it would be in line with the international Basel Convention agreement on hazardous wastes. CELA would prefer a Canada-wide standard to address this problem or the legislative approach as advanced in private member’s bill C-238.

Defining Ontario's 2016 Long-Term Energy Plan

CELA and Greenpeace made submissions to the Minister of Energy to broadly define the scope of the upcoming Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) process. We asked that the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)--the body tasked with preparing a Technical Review--prioritize energy conservation and efficiency and include long-term forecast trends for renewable energy and storage. The IESO should also look at alternatives to nuclear power projects and provide criteria for determining when projects should be abandoned because of cost overruns. In addition, the process should allow the public to ask questions of the IESO and challenge assumptions in the Technical Report, as well as provide funding for public interest NGOs to hire experts.

Consultation on changes to Residential Tenancies Act

CELA continues to work closely with other clinics in the RentSafe project and recently commented on Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing proposals to revise the Residential Tenancies Act. We echoed the serious concerns raised by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario about increasing the power of landlords to evict tenants or otherwise removing tenants’ legal rights. The proposals also sought input on whether landlords should address radon, especially in basement units. We strongly support new measures to require landlords to test for radon and mitigate where necessary. Additional indoor health measures, such as mould problems that are often related to poorly maintained housing, also need attention. We welcomed Ministry involvement in the RentSafe multi-stakeholder session to be held later this year.

BLOG: $900 million for retrofits and energy efficiency

While Ontario will not begin auctioning greenhouse gas allowances under the new Cap and Trade program until 2017, the Province has committed $900 million of the possible proceeds under the program to redress the burden borne by low-income households and vulnerable communities in mitigating climate change. CELA counsel Rizwan Khan explains in this blog post.

BLOG: Ontario's new Climate Change Action Plan

The government of Ontario released its Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), which outlines its approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fighting climate change over the next four years. The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) and CELA were pleased that the CCAP includes actions to support low-income households and vulnerable communities during Ontario’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Faces of CELA

This month we caught up with CELA’s Student-At-Law Keshab Prasad Dehal to learn more about why he joined our legal aid clinic and his plans for the future.

So what do you do at CELA?
I joined CELA on work placement under the Law Practice Program (LPP). LPP is an alternative path to the experiential training for lawyer candidates in Ontario. I work on legal reform files and provide support to counsel on various legal issues.

What’s the significance of your work?
I found my work at CELA amazing and rewarding because it somehow touches the lives of everyone in the province, country and beyond. As the environment is shared by everyone, works related to environmental law have no borders. My work at CELA is aimed at improving environmental legislation and policies, and defending litigation at courts so that Canadians will be able to enjoy a decent and healthy environment.

What’s the path that brought you to CELA?
Canada is my new home. As an internationally trained lawyer, I decided to attend the Law Practice Program because I had little exposure to Canadian laws. In the beginning of a four-month LPP training, I chose CELA as a potential work placement because I had an environmental law background. It is amazing to work at CELA because of the nature of its mission, the office environment and the people I work with.

What inspired you to get involved in environmental law?
While studying law at school, judiciaries in Nepal and India made significant decisions on environmental protection that motivated me to choose an environmental law career. I realized that one good environmental lawyer could make significant contributions to save our planet through litigation and public education.

What environmental regulations would you like to see in Canada?
It is very difficult to single out one particular environmental regulation because there are several issues that require urgent attention. Reduction of green house gas emission, Great Lakes protection, source water protection are a few. In order to fight environmental battles, I would emphasize raising people’s environmental awareness. Their participation in the environmental decision-making process is meaningless if they are not fully aware on environmental issues.

When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do?
I have two daughters and we enjoy spending time in parks when weather permits. I also volunteer with the board of a community organization to help others in my community by providing free legal services.

Updated lawyer referral list

We regularly update our list of lawyers practicing environmental and municipal law in Ontario. If you practice in Ontario, or know of lawyers who do, please have a look and help us ensure the list is up to date. If you would like to be added please contact Andrew Pickles at Andrew@cela.ca.

CELA has moved!

Our new address is:
Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
1500-55 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5J 2H7
Tel: 416-960-2284, 1-844-755-1420, Fax: 416-960-9392
cela.ca
facebook.com/CanadianEnvironmentalLawAssociation
@CanEnvLawAssn
Subscribe to our monthly CELA Bulletin