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World Wildlife Fund Canada et al. v. Minister of Natural Resources et al.

Apr 15, 2024
Nombre del tribunal
Supreme Court of Canada
Número de referencia
On July 26, 2022, the World Wildlife Fund Canada and The David Suzuki Foundation, supported by Ecojustice Canada, have filed in the Federal Court of Appeal an application for judicial review of the federal government’s decision to extend 20 oil and gas “sleeper” permits originally granted off the coast of British Columbia in the late 1960s and 1970s. The applicants submit that these permits, held by Chevron Canada Limited and Exxon Mobil for offshore oil and gas exploration in British Columbia, were to expire decades ago, but Natural Resources Canada has indefinitely extended these permits in violation of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. As such, the applicants submit that because the federal government has unlawfully kept these permits on the books for more than 40 years, these permits should be found to be expired and invalid. The areas covered by the permits include Scott Islands Protected Marine Area and the Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs Marine Protected Area in British Columbia. The applicants note that these sleeper permits pose an underlying threat to at-risk species and critical habitat in these areas, which are areas rich in biodiversity.

Key environmental legal questions:

Whether the federal government has unlawfully extended oil and gas permits of the coast of British Columbia under the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
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