Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

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Page 14 of 59 13 Committee, arguing that the province inten- tionally violated the Environmental Bill of Rights by not consulting with Ontarians before passing the legislation, which made major changes to environmental law. "Since being elected, the Ford govern- ment has attempted, I think it's fair to say, to dismantle environmental protections in Ontario," says Ian Miron, a lawyer at Ecojustice. "We also represented Greenpeace in a past challenge concerning the failure to consult by the Ford government when it repealed the cap and trade regulation. "We certainly are concerned that this appears to be a pattern of behaviour on the part of the government." The changes will impact the duty to consult and accommodate First Nations impacted by projects because it is the environmental assess- ments that trigger that duty, says Kempton. "Things could just start out there on the lands to which first nations have significant rights without telling First Nations at all. And that's just inviting disaster," she says. In its amendments removing environmental assessment requirements for forestry projects, the government said it is "eliminating duplica- tion and onerous and ineffective processes." "And that's not true," says Kempton. "Where there is legitimate excess red tape and duplica- tion, my clients have nothing against that, but that's not what's going on. They are removing environmental protection, procedural require- ments and costs for companies to make it easier for companies to get on the land — the environment — and go industrialize it." MAG consulting on estates law amendments Q&A Legal career: » In 2001, co-founded law firm Lewis Downey Tornosky & Lassaline » Ontario Bar Association secretary from 2009 to 2010 and treasurer from 2010 to 2014 » Created the first municipal conservation easement in Ontario » Completed the first court-ordered dissolution of a time-share condo in Canada Doug Downey Attorney general of Ontario, MPP for Barrie—Springwater— Oro-Medonte The MAG is consulting on how to define a small estate for tax exemption purposes. Can you tell me about the feedback you have received on that? We floated the number of $50,000 as a number to consult from. And I've heard from several people that that number may be too low, that we may have to move it higher to have it be meaningful. So, I'm open to that. We haven't settled on a particular number. But we are going to go through all the feedback that we got and see if there's any further insights in those submissions. What is the ministry planning on doing with the provision in the Succession Law Reform Act, which revokes a will on marriage? That one is of particular interest to me because we want to make sure that we're protecting vulnerable people. The whole reason [regarding] wills revoked on marriage has to do with property law going back hundreds of years. Back when the groom was given a dowry from the father of the bride, it wiped out any previous obligations that he would have set out in his will. And now that we're in a position where we have a vulnerable population, logic around the original rule may not be appropriate. How about giving the court greater latitude with authorizing an improperly prepared will? That came up in the consultations we did around the remote signing of wills. That idea came up, and I guess it's been out there a couple of times, so we put it out for comment in the town halls. I'm going to go through the submissions from the OBA and then FOLA and others to see what position they take and see if there's a consensus or not. 1-866-685-3311 |

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