April 2019

Environmental Law and Liability

Please Note
Please note, the live seminar has been cancelled due to low regsitration. This seminar will be proceeding as a webinar only. Log-in details will be sent to all webinar participants by Monday, April 1, 2019.
Status: Advanced registration is now closed. A limited number of registrations will be taken at the door.
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time: 8:30 AM–9:00 AM: Registration and Hot Breakfast
9:00 AM–12:00 PM: Environmental Law and Liability
Location: Vancouver, BC and Webinar
Presenter: Michael Manhas
Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada
Credit: 3 Informal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $299.00 + GST = $313.95 until Mar 20, 2019

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $399.00 + GST = $418.95

Non-Member Price: $399.00 + GST = $418.95

Student Member Price: $199.50 + GST = $209.48
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by March 20, 2019 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Gurjeet Phungura | Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.412.4886
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext. 4886
Fax: 604.639.8180
Email: [email protected]
In this seminar, Michael Manhas will provide a comprehensive overview of environmental regulation in British Columbia. The presentation will cover the environmental law policy framework, including federal and provincial jurisdiction over the environment, and will summarize the primary forms of environmental regulation. Mr. Manhas will also identify liability concerns for environmental consultants and will describe forthcoming changes to the law that practitioners should be aware of. This seminar will be useful for those who practice in the area and seek a refresher and want to stay apprised of current trends in environmental law, and for those who want a general survey overview of the area.


Overview of Environmental Law Issues Generally

  1. Environmental Law Policy Framework
    • Constitutional framework: federal vs provincial jurisdiction
    • Areas of regulation
  2. Statutory Prohibitions and Permitting
  3. Reporting, Inspections, and Enforcement Powers
  4. Investigations, Offences, and Due Diligence
  5. Private Law and Public Participation
    • Common law and statutory liability
    • Contaminated sites case studies
  6. Liability for Environmental Consultants

Changes to Environmental Law on the Horizon

  1. The Professional Governance Act
    • New BC legislation passed in November 2018 that consolidates government oversight over qualified professionals, including engineers and geoscientists, who work in natural resources.
    • Set to come into effect in the next several years, perhaps in 2019.
  2. The new Environmental Assessment Act
    • New BC legislation passed in the legislature in the fall of 2018.
    • Intended to advance the three main objectives of:
      • Enhance public confidence, transparency and meaningful participation;
      • Advance reconciliation with First Nations; and
      • Protect the environment while offering clear pathways to sustainable project approvals.
    • Set to come into effect in 2019.
  3. Bill 68: Amendment to the Fisheries Act
    • Pending federal legislation that would expand protections for fish populations and fish habitat (largely providing protections that were removed from the regime in 2012).


Michael Manhas’ practice encompasses litigation, regulatory and administrative law matters relating to the environment, natural resources, energy, aboriginal law, and economic regulation. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as the British Columbia and Alberta Utilities Commissions and the Environmental Appeal Board. Mr. Manhas has also assisted on matters before all levels of court in Alberta, the National Energy Board, the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Forest Appeals Commission, and the British Columbia Ferries Commissioner.
Mr. Manhas’ environmental law experience includes contaminated sites litigation and administration, common law claims in nuisance and negligence, defence of environmental permits and against environmental criminal charges, and water law issues. He also regularly speaks on environmental law issues and contributes to several continuing legal education publications on environmental law.

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