Dec. 3, 2019
Third-year students' research win awards at Undergrad Research Symposium
Brady Chapman received the SU Sustainability Award, which rewards work with a sustainability-related topic, including energy, water, waste, economics and community development. Brady's project, “Finding a Home for the Orphans and Inactives: repurposing oil and gas wells for geothermal?", explored the use of oil and gas wells for geothermal high-heat and low-heat applications in Alberta. The project offers recommendations for the development of a legal regime and policies that will better foster industry development in this area. Brady's project cumulated in a final paper written for the law school's Energy Infrastructure and Transportation course, which explains the current issues with orphan well and inactive well regulations in Alberta, including the fact that wells are permitted to remain in suspended status indefinitely and that the Orphan Well Fund is insufficient to pay for the required cost of cleaning up wells in Alberta. The paper also discusses specific law and policy recommendations, including the development of a geothermal statute and regulations in Alberta, specific changes to current oil and gas laws, modifications to current tax regimes, and the potential development of a crown corporation tasked with repurposing wells. Brady's work was supervised by Professor Rudiger Tscherning.
Joey Bogle received the Faculty of Law Award, which is given to a law student to showcase any legal research undertaken, for his project "Treaty Shopping and the New Multilateral Tax Agreement: Is it Business as Usual in Canada?" The Multilateral Convention (MLI) entered into force in Canada on December 1, 2019. The MLI is an international agreement created by the OECD whereby countries agree to tax treaty minimum standards. These include a new preamble specifically referencing treaty-shopping arrangements, and a principal purpose test (PPT). The PPT denies benefits unless the benefit is in line with the object and purpose of the treaty. It is widely thought that these measures will substantially lower the bar to deny tax treaty benefits that had been set by Canada’s general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR), and challenge the status quo that for tax purposes, ‘treaty shopping’ is not in and of itself “inherently proper or improper.” In this paper we beg to differ. The new minimum standard introduced by the MLI, if applied based on Canadian jurisprudence and principles of statutory interpretation will achieve the same results in a pre and post MLI regime in most treaty shopping arrangements. The main change that will be introduced to Canada’s 93 tax treaties by the MLI will be an array of different tax avoidance regimes depending on whether the treaty is a covered agreement and the specific tax avoidance measures it adopts. Joey's work was supervised by Professor Catherine Brown.
The Students' Union Undergraduate Research Symposium is an opportunity for undergraduate students from all faculties to showcase their exceptional research alongside their peers to the broader campus community. It is an accessible, multidisciplinary event for students to acquire academic presentation experience while providing exposure to all types of research and resources at the University of Calgary.