Show Search Options Show Service List
Energy and Natural Resources
Energy and Natural Resources

We understand energy and natural resources – after all, the sector is a mainstay of our practice. We counsel regional, national and international firms in the oil and gas, electricity, renewable energy, forestry, fishery, and mining sectors. With us you’ll get a multidisciplinary approach, combining our experience with administrative and regulatory law, Aboriginal law, environmental law, construction law and corporate finance.


Our team has the depth of experience to provide advice on:


  • Acquisitions;
  • Aboriginal matters;
  • Approvals;
  • Constitutional rights and jurisdiction;
  • Crown royalties;
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Divestitures;
  • Environmental issues;
  • Financing;
  • Government relations and policy development;
  • Labour and employment;
  • Legislative drafting and policy advocacy;
  • Omnibus proceedings for offshore projects;
  • Permitting;
  • Pollution defence;
  • Real property;
  • Regulatory and compliance requirements;
  • Tax; and
  • Toll and rate hearings.


Click here to download our Energy and Natural Resources Brochure.

Legal Update: Stricter Marine Fuel Sulphur (SOx) Content Limit Kicks In – 5 FAQs
January 29, 2015

On January 1, 2015, new – and 90% lower – limits on sulphur (SOx) content in marine fuel in Canada kicked in. The new limits apply to almost all types of vessels (including offshore drilling, production and storage vessels) in a defined area. The penalties for non-compliance can be significant – and Transport Canada warns

... Read More
Legal Update: 5 “Legal” Reasons Why Natural Resource Companies Should Care About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
December 10, 2014

“Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) as a concept has been floating around in business-speak for years – but stakeholders in the mining and other natural resource industries are increasingly focussing on it. It’s safe to say that CSR is part of the “new normal” in the natural resource sector.   CSR has many definitions, but the

... Read More
Legal Update: Making the Most of the New China – Canada Bilateral Investment Treaty
November  6, 2014

On October 1, 2014, the long-delayed and controversial Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between China and Canada came into force. The new FIPA signals a deepening of the growing trade relationship between the nations, offering investors in both a more transparent and more predictable investment environment – and greater certainty that should encourage confidence

... Read More
Legal Update: SCC Says Province has “Crown” Powers (and Obligations) in Traditional Aboriginal Treaties in Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources)
July 15, 2014

On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the “Crown” in historical treaties with First Nations groups includes both the provincial and the federal governments, and the provincial Crown has both the “Crown’s” obligations and rights under them – and can exercise these rights (subject to  constitutional limitations) without the federal Crown’s

... Read More
Legal Alert: SCC Sets Test for – and Defines Rights of – Aboriginal Title in Canada in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. B.C.
June 26, 2014

On June 26, 2014, in a groundbreaking decision on Aboriginal title, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) significantly elaborated on the legal test for Aboriginal title in Canada – and decided that where there is Aboriginal title to land, the government must seek the consent of the title-holding Aboriginal group to proceed with developments on

... Read More
Speaking Notes: Present at the Creation – Reflections on Canadian Law and Relations 1955-2014
May 14, 2014

Brian Fleming reflects on three of the most important international legal issues deeply affecting Canada today in his April 22, 2014 talk to the Canadian International Council, Halifax Branch:   UNCLOSIII and its unfinished business The opening of the Arctic Ocean and its seabed The negotiation of trade treaties by the current government   Click

... Read More
Legal Update: Feds Propose Energy Safety & Security Act – and Toughen Up Atlantic Offshore & North Oil & Gas Regimes
February 28, 2014

On January 30, 2014, the Federal Government introduced the Energy Safety & Security Act (Bill C-22). If the Bill becomes law, it will significantly change the regulatory regime in the Atlantic offshore and North oil and gas sector, creating new opportunities – and risks – for companies with existing or potential interests in the Atlantic

... Read More
Legal Update: NS Moves Closer to Commercial-scale Tidal Renewable Electricity Generation
January 27, 2014

On January 21, 2014, the NS Government amended the Renewable Electricity Regulations, effective immediately.  The amendments move NS forward in its goal of achieving commercial-scale tidal renewable electricity generation.  The highlights of the amendments are:   Developmental Tidal Arrays Eligible For Feed-In-Tariff PPA. Privately-owned “developmental tidal arrays” – as defined in the amended Regulations –

... Read More
Legal Alert: NS Keeps the Ball Rolling With New Tidal Energy Regulations
January 22, 2014

On January 21, 2014, the NS Government amended the NS Renewable Electricity Regulations – moving NS further toward its goal of achieving commercial-scale tidal renewable electricity generation in NS. The amended Regulations clarify the process by which commercial scale tidal energy project developer can qualify for feed-in-tariff approval and a power purchase agreement (PPA) under

... Read More
Legal Alert: Game On – NS Electricity System Review Begins
January 20, 2014

On January 16, 2014 the NS Government announced the kick-off of its Electricity System Review:   Two Phase Review. The Government says the review will have two phases, and it will release a report summarizing the review’s consultation findings in Spring 2015: Phase 1 will consist of a technical review and expert analysis to evaluate

... Read More
Legal Alert: NS Government Proposes a Game Changer in NS Power Market
December  2, 2013

Note: On December 12, 2013 the NS Government passed Bill No. 1 (the Electricity Reform Act). It will come into force on the date it is proclaimed. On January 16, 2014 the NS Government announced it would begin an Electricity Review Process. Click here to read McInnes Cooper’s January 20, 2014 Legal Alert: Game On

... Read More
Legal Update: Feds Amend Triggers for Environmental Assessments
November 25, 2013

On November 6, 2013 amendments to the Regulations Designating Physical Activities under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 took effect. The Regulations determine whether a project triggers a requirement for a federal environmental assessment.   Prior and current amendments reflect a significant shift in federal environmental policy. The prior statutory amendments generally reduced the federal

... Read More
Legal Alert: Environmental Contamination – SCC Says When In Doubt … Report
October 17, 2013

On October 17, 2013 the SCC decided a contractor breached Ontario’s environmental protection legislation by failing to report its discharge of contaminant into the natural environment to the Ministry of Environment.  The SCC’s decision was based on the specific wording of the Ontario environmental protection legislation.  However, it delivered two key messages about how courts

... Read More
Legal Alert: SCC Opens the Door to Compound Interest – and Bigger Awards – in Commercial Arbitrations
October  7, 2013

On October 4, 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada decided whether an arbitrator under provincial commercial arbitration legislation has the power to award commercial rates of compound – rather than merely simple – interest.  In British Columbia (Forests) v. Teal Cedar Products Ltd., the SCC found that an arbitrator acting under the BC commercial arbitration

... Read More
Legal Alert: SCC Confirms Marine Liability Act Does Not Oust Workers Compensation Bar
August  6, 2013

On August 2, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that workers’ compensation legislation still bars an injured worker (or his dependents, if the accident was fatal) from suing an employer with respect to the injury (or fatality) when:   the federal Marine Liability Act applies; and a worker is injured or killed in a

... Read More
Legal Update: The Duty to Consult: Important Lessons from Canada’s Mining Sector
March 15, 2013

Recent developments in Ontario and Yukon are an important reminder of the practical implications of the Crown’s legal Duty to Consult with First Nations on exploration rights granted to the mining industry under provincial laws. Resource and energy sector companies operating in Canada should learn a lesson from the Ontario and Yukon experience:  blind reliance on

... Read More
Legal Update: N.B.’s Oil & Gas Industry Subject to New “Rules”
March  7, 2013

On February 15, 2013 the N.B. Government released “Responsible Environmental Management of Oil and Natural Gas Activities in New Brunswick – Rules for Industry,” governing the activities and facilities of oil and gas companies on both privately and publicly owned lands in N.B.  Purporting to be a “one stop shopping” framework for oil and gas activities

... Read More
Legal Alert: N.B. Issues New “Rules” for Oil and Natural Gas Industry
February 15, 2013

  Today, the N.B. Government released “Responsible Environmental Management of Oil and Natural Gas Activities in New Brunswick – Rules for Industry.” These Rules are not in the form of legislation or a regulation; the N.B. government says it will implement them “for the most part” as conditions to approvals and certificates issued under through existing

... Read More
Proposed Changes to the Nova Scotia Environment Act
September  6, 2011

Nova Scotia Environment (“NSE”) recently released a discussion paper addressing its suggested changes to the Environment Act, 1994-95, c. 1 (the “Act”).   We are pleased to provide you with this outline of the most significant proposed changes, and our comments regarding how these changes may affect your business. Also note, NSE is accepting comments

... Read More
Green Technology Expedited Patent Application Summary
September  6, 2011

Following last year’s public consultation, rules regarding “green technology” patents have changed. As of March 3, 2011, Canada’s Patent Act allows expedited examination of “green technology” applications.   The amendments alter the prior expedited examination regime permitting expedited examination “if the applicant files with the Commissioner a declaration indicating that the application relates to technology

... Read More
Renewable Energy Law Atlantic Canadian Update
June  6, 2011

• Emera Inc. and Nalcor Energy sign Term Sheet for Muskrat Falls Lower Churchill Project • Renewable Electricity Regulations passed in Nova Scotia – Legislated mandate of 25 per cent of electricity to be produced by renewable energy facilities starting in 2015; – Interim cap on forest biomass supply; – Community feed-in-tariff rates to be

... Read More
Legal Update: CleanTech Strategic Fund
April  6, 2011

The Nova Scotia government has decided to support its growing clean technology industry and help spur innovation in this growing sector with its announcement on April 13th of the creation of a $24 million provincial cleantech strategic fund. This fund will provide opportunities for early stage and venture capital investments in cleantech companies in Nova

... Read More
Wetlands Conservation Update
March  6, 2011

Department of Environment Introduces New Operational Guidelines under the New Brunswick Wetlands Conservation Policy   New Brunswick’s new Operational Guidelines issued under the Wetlands Conservation Policy took effect as of January 1, 2011.   Real estate developers and industrial project proponents planning development activity in or near wetlands are encouraged to review the new Operational

... Read More
A Review of the Project Scope and Environmental Assessment Scope for Mining and Energy Projects Across Canada
April  6, 2010

Carole Chan was the Co-author of the following publication:   A Review of the Project Scope and Environmental Assessment Scope for Mining and Energy Projects Across Canada, presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment (Geneva: April 6-11, 2010).   The paper is available at

... Read More
Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link/Labrador Link Project named one of Lexpert’s Big Deals for 2014
January  8, 2015

Recently Lexpert Magazine released their list of big deals for 2014. The $5-Billion global bond financing of Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Generating Facility and Labrador-Island Transmission Link, which is to be built on the Lower Churchill River in Labrador, was named number 4 amongst the top 10. McInnes Cooper acted as lead counsel for Nalcor Energy

... Read More
A Message From the Atlantic
July 16, 2012

McInnes Cooper’s Energy & Natural Resources Group hosted our “Atlantic Canada Party” during the Calgary Stampede. Clients, colleagues and friends joined us on July 9 to celebrate the annual festival.   For information on the Calgary Stampede and events, click here.    

... Read More


Email Address: