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July 2012

Enbridge foes: Schedule your statement so you don’t get Calgaried

1 August, 2012

All right, maybe Calgary is not a verb.  But if you’re among the 4000+ Canadians who have registered to make an oral presentation to the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel (JRP) that’s considering the controversial Enbridge Pipelines and Tankers Project, and you haven’t scheduled a time to be heard, then you’d better jump to it.  Calgarians who were registered to speak found out the hard way last week – if you snooze your public hearing gets cancelled. And the thing is - it's not their fault.  They were told that they would be contacted when it was time to schedule a time, and in our view a generic email entitled "Updated Hearing Schedule" just doesn't cut it.  

All right, maybe Calgary is not a verb.  But if you’re among the 4000+ Canadians who have registered to make an oral presentation to the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel (JRP) that’s considering the controversial Enbridge Pipelines and Tankers Project, and you haven’t scheduled a time to be heard, then you’d better jump to it.  Calgarians who were registered to speak found out the hard way – if you snooze your public hearing gets cancelled. 

Yes to a national energy strategy, no to tankers

27 July, 2012

Today (July 27th) Premier Christy Clark walked out of the Council of the Federation meetings, being held between Canada’s Premiers in Halifax, vowing that she would not discuss a National Energy Strategy until Alberta agrees to share revenue that it gets as a result of the controversial Enbridge Pipeline and Tanker project.  Canada does not need a pipeline to export bitumen to Asia for processing.  What Canada, and BC, does desperately need is a national energy strategy that helps us transition from a fossil fuel extraction economy to a renewable energy superpower.  The implication of walking away from that discussion was that, if Alberta coughs up the dough, Premier Clark would join Premiers Redford and Wall in pressing for an unsustainable, fossil-fuel-based energy strategy. 

Today (July 27th) Premier Christy Clark walked out of the Council of the Federation meetings, being held between Canada’s Premiers in Halifax, vowing that she would not discuss a National Energy Strategy until Alberta agrees to share revenue that it gets as a result of the controversial Enbridge Pipeline and Tanker project. 

Don’t do the environmental crime if you can’t pay the fine

18 July, 2012

Imagine that a corporation is charged, convicted and fined for destroying your local stream. Now imagine that they don't pay the fine. Imagine that more money has to be spent to hassle them through collection agencies and legal demand letters to pay the fine, but that the fine remains unpaid. The reality is that 40% of court ordered environmental fines in British Columbia are not being paid.The good news is that the Ministry of Environment is working to improve the situation, but we believe that they should go further.

Imagine that your local stream is being polluted by a corporation.  Imagine that corporation is one of the very small number of polluters actually charged with violating the Environmental Management Act. Imagine that they go to court and, after spending taxpayer dollars on a trial, are ordered to pay a fine (a fine could be up to a maximum of $1,000,000). That fine won’t restore the stream, but at least there’s a consequence for polluting your stream.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation sign Save the Fraser Declaration

11 July, 2012

On Saturday, July 7 2012 the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation signed onto the Save the Fraser Declaration. In doing so, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish joined more than 100 First Nations in asserting their own Indigenous Laws which effectively ban Tar Sands projects throughout their territories, and put Kinder Morgan on notice that it's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is banned under Indigenous Laws. 

On Saturday, July 7 2012 the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation signed onto the Save the Fraser Declaration.

Burns Bog, Strathcona Park cases ask: who benefits from BC’s protected areas?

10 July, 2012

Two legal cases are underway, funded by West Coast Environmental Law, argue that the government has a responsibility to manage protected areas for the benefit of BC's public and future generations.  Burns Bog v. Canada, which challenges the impact of the South Fraser Perimeter Road on Burns Bog, will be heard this Thursday in the Federal Court, while Friends of Strathcona Park v. BC argues that plans to build a horse trail through wilderness portions of Strathcona Park to benefit a commercial resort violates that responsibility.  Hopefully both cases will be a start in establishing in law what Canadians take for granted – that parks and protected areas are there to endure for nature, for the public and for future generations, and do not exist at the whim of politicians. 

Two legal cases are underway, funded by West Coast Environmental Law, that may answer the question: who benefits from BC’s protected areas?  The government?  The Queen of Canada? Or the public?