On November 30, 2013 the Alberta Energy Regulator Rules of
Practice Amendment Regulation (Amended Rules) will be
proclaimed into force which will bring significant changes to the
regulatory process before the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
The Amended Rules have been developed in an effort to re-define and
clarify certain procedural issues that have occurred since the
creation of the AER in June 2013. Noteworthy aspects of the
Expedited applications. The Amended Rules set
out a variety of types of applications for which the AER may make a
decision prior to inviting statements of concern from potentially
affected parties. These include routine applications under the
AER's Directive 56, applications under the Public Lands Act
Enhanced Approval Process, and temporary field authorizations under
the Public Lands Act. This provision will also apply to
water licence applications once the AER assumes responsibilities
under the Water Act (which is expected in Spring
Clarification around hearing triggers. The AER
will now have considerable discretion to decide whether or not to
hold a hearing on an application and will be required to consider
factors such as: whether the matter to which the application
relates has been adequately dealt with or addressed through a
previous hearing or other proceeding; whether the concerns raised
relate to matters outside the AER's jurisdiction, are unrelated
to or beyond the scope of the application, or relate to policy
decisions of the Government; or whether the application will result
in minimal or no adverse effect on the environment.
Time limits. In the case of electronic and
oral hearings, the AER will be required to establish time limits
for the presentation of evidence, questioning of witnesses,
argument and any other procedural items.
Changes to participant costs. The AER will be
required to consider new factors when making a cost award,
including whether there is a compelling reason why the participant
should not bear its own costs, whether the participant made an
attempt to use other funding sources or whether the participant
refused to attend a dispute resolution meeting.
In our view, these changes are significant and should address
many of the procedural issues that have arisen in the AER
regulatory process since June 2013. As with any legislative
amendments, however, it remains to be seen how the AER will
interpret the Amended Rules and we expect to gain additional
clarification on each of these changes in the coming
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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