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On 10 May 2022 the Alberta Court of Appeal issued an advisory opinion (i.e., non-binding) on the Province’s challenge to the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA). Alberta had argued that the legislation amounted to an unwarranted intrusion into provincial jurisdiction, especially the provincial authority to regulate the development of provincial Crown resources. In a 4 – 1 decision the justices determined that the IAA and the Physical Activities Regulations authorized by it are unconstitutional.

The majority reasoned that the IAA establishes a federal regime that makes all activities designated by the federal government, both those recognized as falling within exclusive federal jurisdiction and those which otherwise fall within exclusive provincial jurisdiction, subject to an assessment of all their effects and to federal oversight and approval.

The federal Minister of Natural Resources said that the federal government will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.