Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution and the firm’s appellate group Andrew Bernstein has authored a piece in The Lawyer’s Daily that discusses paramountcy after a couple of significant announcements made by the federal government in recent weeks.
Andrew wrote the piece “Pipelines and Pot—A Primer on Paramountcy” which touches on both the government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline as well as the legalization of recreational cannabis.
A small excerpt from the article is below.
However, it’s equally true there are many areas in which both the provinces and the federal government can regulate, including the environment.
The question the courts will have to answer is therefore whether the province’s environmental regulation is somehow inconsistent with the federal government’s exercise of its powers. This inconsistency could arise through the doctrine of paramountcy, which requires an operational conflict or provincial frustration of a federal purpose. It could also arise through the imposition of the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity, which applies when a provincial authority attempts to regulate something that goes to the core of a federal power. Moreover, the fact that the pipeline is owned by the federal government puts another brick in the already substantial wall keeping British Columbia at bay.
This article originally appeared on The Lawyer’s Daily website published by LexisNexis Canada Inc.
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