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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Speaking Engagements

February 16, 2017

SMART Remediation Ottawa Conference: Making Out the Environmental Due Diligence Defence at Trial

On February 16, 2017, Marc McAree will be speaking at the 2017 SMART Remediation Conference.

The conference will be taking place in Ottawa, Ontario at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre.

Marc's presentation is titled: Making Out the Environmental Due Diligence Defence at Trial.

Environmental prosecutions in jurisdictions across Canada can result where the Crown alleges a violation of an environmental statute or regulation.  Upon conviction, charges can lead to fines and/or jail terms.  These are known as quasi-criminal offences.  The federal government, provincial and territorial governments and municipalities lay charges under a host of environmental laws.

On March 15, 2016, the Court released its decision in R v ControlChem Canada Ltd.  The company was charged with five environmental offences under two provincial statutes.  The charges arose from the independent actions of the company’s employee.  Contrary to the company’s environmental management system, the employee drained the liquid contents of totes to an outdoor storm sewer catch basin at the company’s facility.  The Court found that the discharge of liquid caused the nearby creek to turn milky white and acidic, thereby impairing the creek.  Did the Court find that the company met the environmental due diligence defence and should be exonerated, or did the Court convict?

Environmental due diligence cases highlight the need for corporations, their directors and officers, senior management and employees to implement an integral environmental systems approach to ensure that foreseeable and preventable environmental events and harm do not occur.  Many corporations rely on their environmental advisors to provide incisive and practical advice to keep the company, its management and employees out of environmental trouble.

For more information on the conference, click here.

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