Residents of Muskoka launched a $900,000,000
class action against the Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources and Forestry ("MNRF") on September 14, 2016.
They allege damages related to "[MNRF's] failure to
adequately manage and lower the water levels of Lake Joseph, Lake
Muskoka and Lake Rousseau... which resulted in significant property
damage to the Plaintiff."
The residents claim that the MNRF was at all times responsible
for the management of the water levels through the development,
implementation, enforcement and operation of the Muskoka River
Water Management Plan ("the Plan"). The Plan establishes
a "High Water Zone" beyond which damage may start to
In early 2016, the claim alleges that Ontario, through the MNRF
failed to follow the standards established by the Plan by allowing
the "Normal Operating Range" and the "High Water
Level" to be exceeded, causing flood situations on the Muskoka
lakes in March and April 2016.
The claim alleges that Ontario owed a duty of care to the
plaintiffs, including that it had an obligation to prevent or
minimize flooding resulting from the operation of its water control
works; its failure to do so was a breach of its statutory duty.
In news reports the MNRF is noted as saying that
while sympathetic to those who suffered damage, severe weather
conditions were out of its control, with a spring melt that was
earlier and faster than normal this year. In a letter from then Minister Bill Mauro, the
Ministry indicated that ministry dams were not designed to be flood
control structures and don't have the capacity to store or hold
This type of claim will no doubt become more common as climate
change causes more extreme weather events. Without insurance
coverage, residents will look to provincial and
municipal governments to cover losses if they fail to keep pace
with the needed changes to manage their infrastructure and respond
to these events.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
It is relatively common knowledge that the government has a "duty to consult" aboriginal groups when undertaking actions or making decisions that could adversely affect aboriginal rights, aboriginal title and treaty rights.
On April 5, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the report of an external Expert Panel that was established in August 2016 to review the scope and process of federal environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers LP) v Imperial Oil Limited, 2017 ABQB 218 [Brookfield].
Our April 7 post on the report of the Expert Panel reviewing federal environmental assessment processes noted that the report contains recommendations for greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples in federal environmental assessment processes.
Over the past week, the Project Law Blog has been discussing the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
On April 5, 2017 the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change received her report from an expert panel of four, comprised of three lawyers with significant environmental and aboriginal law experience as well as a retired senior executive of a resource company.
On April 5, 2017, an Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the "Panel") released its report, Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the "Report").
Last week we summarized the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).