Category Archives: Bankruptcies

Redwater Resources

Originally posted 1 July 2017

Since our last post on the Redwater decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal, in a two-one decision, upheld the earlier judgment of Chief Justice Neil Wittman. The judgment was rendered by Justice Frans Slatter with Madam Justice Frederica Schultz concurring. Madam Justice Sheilah Martin’s dissent is the first ray of hope for the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and the Orphan Well Association (OWA) which has contested the Trustee in Bankruptcy’s right to disclaim unproductive oil wells.  The trustee, Grant Thornton LLP, acting on behalf of Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial), sought only to claim the productive wells.  The ultimate outcome in this case is central to the relationship between oil and gas producers and lenders and to the financial viability of oil and gas producers, and in fact to the whole province’s economy. The case pits environmental values and interests against financial values and interests. Who cleans up when oil companies go bankrupt15-7-17 GM

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Update on Land Lease Delinquencies

Originally posted 31 October 2016

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Legal Notice BankruptcyCanada North Group19-12-17 EJ

Cleanup liabilities to continue swelling with orphaned oilsands site in Alberta18-10-17 EJ




Back in July, we highlighted a growing concern among farmers who were not receiving lease payments on a timely basis from oil and gas explorers in exchange for access to rural properties. Alberta’s Surface Rights Board adjudicates between farmers and the oil and gas community. As the tables below illustrate, this board handles thousands of cases every year.  The Board is a creature of Provincial Legislature under the Surface Rights Act  a relatively small statute consisting of 41 sections (32 pages). Predecessor statutes include the  1947  Right of Entry Arbitration Act, The Right of Entry Arbitration Act, 1952, the 1972 Surface Rights Act,   the 1942 Water, Gas, Electric and Telephone Companies Act,  the 1961 Expropriation Procedure Act, and the 1974 Expropriation Act.  Related Acts include the Water, Gas and Electric Companies Act , the Pipeline Act,  and Hydro and Electric Energy Act. Continue reading

Update on personal bankruptcies

Originally posted 18 August 2016

Equifax Canada, one of Canada’s largest consumer debt rating monitoring firms,  released today (18 August) information about average debt and delinquency rates by age categories, major city, and provincial breakdowns. In Calgary, the average debt level (excluding mortgages) was the highest in Canada at $28,572 up by only 1.2 per cent year-over-year.  This was, significantly, the smallest increase in Canadian cities.  Calgary’s delinquency rate at 1.1 per cent was the same as the average Canadian delinquency rate. The delinquency rate for Calgary rose by 32.2. per cent year over year, the second fastest in the country. Continue reading