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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Energy Law

Overview

Our Energy Law practitioners provide representation and advice to proponents in planning, structuring and implementing renewable energy projects. Our work also includes advice on transmission projects. Our lawyers represent clients at the Ontario Energy Board on regulatory matters, to the Ministry of Environment on project approvals and to courts and tribunals on appeals and administrative challenges.

We understand the challenges inherent in renewable energy generation for private developers in Ontario. In particular, we have been instrumental in assisting First Nations obtain procurement programs to promote economic development on First Nations lands. 

Our involvement with Ontario’s energy demand, supply and conservation planning processes combined with development expertise in this area makes our team unique in its ability to meet client’s needs.

We have a broad range of experience advising and representing proponents, equipment suppliers, land owners and community groups in the following areas:

  • Site acquisitions and land leases
  • Planning and structuring renewable energy projects on First Nations lands
  • Project contracts, such as lease options, development agreements, joint ventures, turbine supply contracts, operation and maintenance agreements and referral arrangements
  • Regulatory advocacy and representation on energy policy and regulatory matters for community and industry associations
  • Applications for regulatory approvals for energy generation and transmission projects

Some Recent Projects

  • Advised various First Nations and community proponents on wind power projects for Ontario
  • Advised proponents on various roof top solar project developments
  • Advised First Nation Joint Venture partner in construction of a transmission line
  • Advised on project development structuring agreements for renewable energy developers
  • Advised wind proponents on regulatory compliance and Aboriginal consultation
  • Advised community power groups on advocacy roles in sustainability, conservation, demand management and procurement planning
  • Negotiated settlement with regulators on behalf of a leading company in the renewable energy voluntary market
  • Advised a biomass energy producer on the environmental assessment regulatory compliance requirements under the Electricity Projects Regulation
  • Advised major municipality on the development of standard form power purchase agreements in submissions to the Nova Scotia Department of Energy
  • Intervened on behalf of a professional engineers’ association in a gas fired energy project in Sarnia, at the leave to construct hearing before the Ontario Energy Board, and before the Ontario Municipal Board
  • Intervened on behalf of a consumer group in rates approval hearings and Demand Side Management hearings at the Ontario Energy Board
  • Advised biomass supplier on environmental assessment and on Ontario Power Generation’s request for expressions of interest
  • Advised on policy and legislative considerations for co-generation pilot projects for adaptive re-use of by-products

Speaking Engagements

Friday, July 21, 2017 to July 23, 2017

APPA 2017 - Triple Bottom Line Achievements Through Energy Savings and Energy Performance Contracts

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

CAUBO 2017: Triple Bottom Line Achievements Through Energy Savings and Energy Performance Contracts

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Monday, May 1, 2017

CANECT 2017 - Managing Indoor Environmental Quality

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CANECT 2017 - Waste Management, Diversion & Stewardship

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

CANECT 2017 - Air, NOD & GHGs: Emissions Regulations & Compliance

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 to April 28, 2017

CBA Environmental, Energy & Resources Law Summit

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

CBA/OBA Climate Change Legislation: Cross-Country Check-In Program

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ontario Waterpower Association: Power of Water Canada Conference

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Monday, October 17, 2016

ERAPPA 2016: Navigating in a Climate of Change

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2016

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cleaner Heat / COHA Annual Conference: Cleaner Heat Light Up The Future

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

2016 Land & Development Conference - Climate & Urbanism: How Is It Affecting Communities and Developments?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CANECT 2016 - Air, NOD & GHGs: Emissions Regulations & Compliance

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016 to January 29, 2016

Environmental Law Forum: Cross Country Check Up

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2015

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A&WMA and ONEIA 2015 Waste Conference: Waste Management and GHG Reduction

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Willms & Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law

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Monday, September 28, 2015

LSAC Toronto Forum: "What Do Lawyers Do?"

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Canadian Oil Heat Association - Ontario Chapter - Annual General Meeting

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Water Law in Ontario - The Multi-Barrier Approach and Personal Liability for Compliance

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cleaner Heat / COHA Annual Conference: Fuel Oil Industry Environmental Liability - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OBA: Cold Truths: Infrastructure Development in the Ring of Fire

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CBA Seminar: Conflicts Between Insolvency Law and Environmental Law and Resulting Directors' Liability Fallout

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014 to May 28, 2014

Insight's North of 60 - Aboriginal Land and Resource Development Conference in Yellowknife, NWT

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 to June 20, 2014

CBA's 2014 National Aboriginal Law Conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CBA NEERLS Webinar: Cross-Border and Inter-Provincial Environmental Disputes

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

OBA: Developments in D&O Liability for Environmental Contamination

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Petrocultures 2014: Oil, Energy and Canada's Future

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Thursday, June 20, 2013 to June 21, 2013

Canadian Bar Association’s 2013 Annual National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fundamentals of Natural Resources and Energy Practice, Ontario Bar Association

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Articles

August 21, 2017

Wind Farm Approval Revoked Due to Human Safety Concerns

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April 06, 2017

Expert Panel Releases Its Report: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada

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January 30, 2017

New NEB Energy East Panel Reset

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December 12, 2016

Canada and Most Provinces Agree to Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

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November 23, 2016

Energy Savings: Unlocking Triple Bottom Line Benefits

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May 26, 2016

Ontario Passes Cap-and-Trade Legislation: What Can You Expect?

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March 28, 2016

2016 Federal Budget Increases Funding for Environmental and Aboriginal Issues in Canada

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November 19, 2015

Ontario Releases Details on Proposed Cap and Trade Program

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April 17, 2015

Ontario to join Quebec and California in Implementing Carbon Cap and Trade System to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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March 02, 2015

Northwest Territories Supreme Court Grants Tłįchǫ Government Injunction To Delay Elimination of Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board

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January 12, 2015

Energy East Pipeline Project Moves Closer to National Energy Board Hearing

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January 06, 2015

First Nation Challenges to Hydroelectric Development - A Tale of Two Provinces

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November 19, 2014

Health Canada’s Preliminary Results Indicate Wind Turbine Noise Exposure is Annoying, But Not Linked to Self-Reported Illnesses and Conditions

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November 18, 2014

Alberta Court Rules Novel Fracking Claim Against Province Has Reasonable Prospect of Success

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November 06, 2014

Positioning Ontario within Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

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October 03, 2014

Ontario Premier Wynne Mandates Environmental and Energy Priorities

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September 19, 2014

Alberta Court of Appeal Upholds Regulator’s Immunity in Fracking Case

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September 18, 2014

Mining Claim Staking in Remote Areas – Ontario Mining Recorder Order Confirms Use of Helicopters

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July 17, 2014

Supreme Court Clarifies Provincial Aboriginal Consultation Responsibilities When Issuing Resource Permits in Keewatin and Applies Tsilqot’in Infringement Test

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July 16, 2014

Court Awards Ostrander Costs in Blanding’s Turtle Appeal

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July 08, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal Title in William – Implications for Resource Development in Canada

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June 23, 2014

Ottawa Summer Shuffle

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June 18, 2014

Federal Government Approves Northern Gateway Pipeline With Conditions

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June 03, 2014

Julie Abouchar Quoted in Article – Eastbound and Down: Atlantic Canada is the Next Major Pipeline Battleground

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May 08, 2014

TransCanada Files Eastern Mainline Pipeline Project Description with National Energy Board

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May 05, 2014

Limited Partnerships – Dangers for Unwary Limited Partners

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May 01, 2014

Council of Canadian Academies Raises Questions on Environmental Impacts of Fracking – Current Regulations not Based on Strong Science

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April 28, 2014

Federal Government Releases Details of New Environmental Review Process Under CEAA, 2012

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April 22, 2014

2014 Nunavut Mining Symposium Stresses Investment, Patience and Diligence in Developing Mineral and Exploration Sector

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March 05, 2014

Ontario Court Overturns ERT Decision Revoking Ostrander’s Renewable Energy Wind Farm Approval

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February 13, 2014

Federal Budget 2014 Largely Quiet on Major Energy, Environment and Aboriginal Initiatives

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December 09, 2013

Ontario’s New Long-Term Energy Plan Emphasizes Conservation, Demand Management and Renewables

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August 20, 2013

Joint Review Panel Releases Report & Decision on Oil Sands Jackpine Mine Expansion

The Joint Review Panel for the Jackpine Mine Expansion issued its lengthy report and decision on July 9, 2013. It addresses Shell Canada Energy’s application to increase bitumen production at the existing Jackpine Mine located 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray by 15,900 cubic metres per day.

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January 13, 2012

Turbine opponents whistling in the wind?

Last summer, the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed the first appeal of a renewable energy approval (REA) for a wind turbine project in its decision Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment. The tribunal acknowledged the appellants presented evidence about the risk of wind turbines in general, but did not provide enough evidence about the risks posed by the project in question.

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News

December 07, 2016

Willms & Shier Lawyers Are Once Again Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada© 2017

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August 26, 2015

Willms & Shier Lawyers Are Once Again Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada© 2016

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September 08, 2014

Welcome Nicole Petersen and Robert Woon!

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August 25, 2014

Willms & Shier Lawyers Once Again Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada© 2015

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June 19, 2014

Willms & Shier Partners Called to the Nunavut Bar

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June 03, 2014

Eastbound and Down: Atlantic Canada is the Next Major Pipeline Battleground

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May 02, 2014

John Donihee Speaking at the North of 60 - Aboriginal Land and Resource Development Conference in Yellowknife, NWT

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April 25, 2014

Marc McAree Speaking at CBA NEERLS Webinar on Cross-Border and Inter-Provincial Environmental Disputes

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April 25, 2014

Willms & Shier Lawyers Participating in CBA's 2014 National Aboriginal Law Conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Join Willms & Shier lawyers John Donihee, Charles Birchall and Julie Abouchar at this event, being held June 19-20, 2014 in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

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April 21, 2014

Katherine Koostachin Quoted in Article - An economic transformation: Business law, with an aboriginal twist, has gone mainstream

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April 03, 2014

Conference: All-Energy Canada Exhibition & Conference

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February 13, 2014

Federal Budget 2014 Largely Quiet on Major Energy, Environment and Aboriginal Initiatives

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January 23, 2014

Conference: Petrocultures 2014: Oil, Energy and Canada's Future

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December 09, 2013

Ontario’s New Long-Term Energy Plan Emphasizes Conservation, Demand Management and Renewables

More

November 01, 2013

Conference: 25th Annual Meeting of NEERLS and Justice Canada, November 7-8, 2013

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