On February 4, 2015, the B.C. government released the final
report of an independent review of the British Columbia Utilities
Commission (BCUC), the independent governmental regulatory agency
that regulates British Columbia's natural gas and electricity
utilities, intra-provincial pipelines and universal compulsory
The final report, which is dated November 14, 2014, is available
Launched in April 2014, the BCUC review was conducted by an
independent task force appointed by the B.C. government with a view
toward increasing the BCUC's effectiveness and efficiency,
prior to resuming its role in setting BC Hydro rates in 2017
pursuant to the 10 Year Plan for BC Hydro, as we noted in a
prior blog post.
The final report addresses key findings arising from the review
by providing 35 recommendations on restoring a strong and
independent BCUC. The B.C. government's response to those
recommendations is available here.
One of the recommendations set forth in the final report is that
the B.C. government should make use of Section 5 of the
Utilities Commission Act (British Columbia) for projects
and plans that it may otherwise wish to exempt from BCUC review.
Section 5 requires the BCUC, on Cabinet's request, to provide
advice on any matter regardless of whether or not it is a matter in
respect of which the BCUC otherwise has jurisdiction, allowing a
review and recommendations by the BCUC while giving the B.C.
government the authority to make the final decision. The B.C.
government indicated that the government will consider making use
of Section 5 when appropriate.
Examples of projects that were exempted from BCUC review but
that could be sent for review and recommendation under Section 5
the Northwest Transmission Line, a 287 kilovolt transmission
line between the Skeena substation and Bob Quinn Lake;
Mica Units 5 and 6, a project to install two additional
turbines and related works and equipment at BC Hydro's Mica
Revelstoke Unit 6, a project to install an additional turbine
and related works and equipment at BC Hydro's Revelstoke
Site C, a project to build a third dam on the Peace River in
northeast British Columbia (discussed
in a prior blog post).
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
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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