Green Act may prompt flood of litigation

March 2, 2009

Richard King comments on the new Green Energy Act in Law Times.

Excerpt

Ontario's new green energy act could spark a flood of litigation and political battles over provisions giving Queen's Park the power to "big foot" local governments over contentious renewable energy projects, a survey of legal opinion suggests.

Richard King, an environmental and energy lawyer at Ogilvy Renault LLP, says the province put its foot down on local concerns that delayed projects until now, particularly in cases where opposition centered around aesthetic preferences or commercial considerations such as property values.

"In a sense, the province has always been the final say on provincial planning, but this has basically laid down the law and said, 'You know what, we as a province are going to do everything we can to establish or facilitate renewable energy projects; we're not going to subject developers of those projects to the myriad of whims and wishes of municipalities,'" King says in an interview.

"I expect there will be some municipalities that will say, 'How horrible this is to upload this responsibility that really was ours, we are local governments, this is a local issue,'" King adds. "I expect there will be others that say, 'You know what, thank God that it's out of my hair.'"


Ogilvy Renault joined international legal practice Norton Rose Group on June 1, 2011, and is now called Norton Rose OR LLP.