On September 7, 2016, the federal Minister of Indigenous and
Northern Affairs released its report on the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and its
recommendations for changes. While concluding that industry
generally supports the regime under the Act, it did recommend two
The Act governs the issuance of petroleum rights in the offshore
areas north of 60. On November 26, 2015 Indigenous and Northern
Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett confirmed Rowland Harrison QC as
the Minister's Special Representative to conduct a
comprehensive review of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to
engage with stakeholders to determine how the Act can best ensure
the responsible development of Canada's Arctic oil and gas
resource opportunities. The Special Representative filed the Review with the Minister on May 30, 2016. The
Review concluded that industry generally
supports the regime under the Act, but recommended two key
Longer term for offshore exploration licenses.
The Act currently restricts exploration licenses held in the
Beaufort Sea offshore region to a non-renewable nine year term. As
of August 2016, there are 15 such licenses held. Based on
stakeholder input and having regard to encouraging offshore
exploration in the challenging frontier areas of the north, the
review recommended an increase in the term of exploration licenses
to 16 years, with a limited authority to extend. The review
concludes that failing to do so will discourage future exploration.
This extended term should be applied retroactively to the existing
exploration licenses to encourage development of existing
Strategic environmental assessment. The review
also recommends that the Minister complete and consider a strategic
environmental assessment covering the area in which bids for
licenses are contemplated before the federal government issues a
call to industry for bids to lease the relevant lands.
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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.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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