Offshore British Columbia
The potential of the British Columbia offshore region is largely unknown, due to a moratorium on oil and gas activities that has been imposed by both the federal and provincial governments since 1972. The moratorium was imposed due to concerns regarding interference with fishery activities and the concerns of adverse environmental impacts. However, interest in the area remains high. While there have been no significant discoveries, there are areas within the British Columbia offshore region that are considered to be highly prospective. In 2003, the federal government initiated a scientific review, a public review process and a First Nations engagement process. The scientific panel found some scientific gaps needed to be filled prior to lifting the moratorium. Strongly held and widely polarized views were identified in the public review, and all participating First Nations expressed the view that lifting the moratorium would not be in their best interest, although some qualified their response with “not at this time”. In the 2007 BC Energy Plan, the government of British Columbia committed to offshore oil and gas exploration and development, and asked the federal government to lift the moratorium. The BC government indicated the provincial moratorium would be lifted at the same time. Currently, the moratoria were still in place.
Additional posts from the blog
Last week the Canadian Government introduced amendments to the Investment Canada Act (ICA) to implement its revised policy towards state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which it announced in December last year. At that time, while it approved the acquisition by Chinese SOE, CNOOC, of Canadian oil and gas company, Nexen, the Government announced its intention to prohibit acquisitions of control of Canadian oil sands businesses by SOEs except on an exceptional basis.
In this presentation, Dentons' Doris Bonora and Cheryl Gibson describe the important considerations for business owners regarding estate planning.
The complicated interplay between holding parties to an arbitration agreement and upholding the purpose and intent of legislation concerned with public order is not new in Canada. In 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada decided Seidel v Telus Communications Inc, in which the court refused to enforce an arbitration agreement at the expense of a class action proceeding. Seidel concerned the British Columbia Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.