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December 2012

Federal government balking at first small step to rebuild Environmental Assessment

18 December, 2012

Together with our allies, we are continuing to hold the federal government's feet to the fire to minimize the fall out from "budget" bill C-38 in relation to the new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012. The so-called consultation process for CEAA 2012's critical Project LIst continues - currently a document virtually copied and pasted from the previous Act - and we're asking the Minister to make good on the government's consultation and amendment promises

Nerd alert: Discussion of tedious yet vital regulatory procedure ahead.

First Nations and BC Mayors stand together against threat of oil tankers and pipelines

18 December, 2012

In December 2010, representatives of sixty-one Indigenous nations came together in an historic alliance to protect the Fraser watershed and our coastal waters from the threat of oil spills.The result was the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands projects, like the Enbridge pipeline and tankers project, from impacted First Nations’ territories as a matter of Indigenous law. The Declaration states:

We will not allow the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, or similar Tar Sands projects, to cross our lands, territories and watersheds, or the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon.

In December 2010, representatives of sixty-one Indigenous nations came together in an historic alliance to protect the Fraser watershed and our coastal waters from the threat of oil spills.The result was the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands projects, like the Enbridge pipeline and tankers project, from impacted First Nations’ territories as a matter of Indigenous law. The Declaration states:

West Coast questions legality of wolf-kill contest

17 December, 2012

Should hunting clubs be able to hold wolf-killing contests, with the intent to cull the wolf population? A legal opinion we prepared for Pacific Wild on the legality of a controversial wolf-kill contest is calling the legality of the contest into doubt, and escalating concerns about how we manage wildlife in BC.

“British Columbians should be furious that our government continues to allow wolves to be killed for money, prizes and other illegal lottery schemes when it is clearly against the law to hold a contest of this nature.” – Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild

First Nations lead the charge against Canada-China Trade deal

14 December, 2012

First Nations in BC are playing a national leadership role in pushing back against the controversial Canada China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA), and are hooking up with some non-Aboriginal allies in that fight.  A press release issued today by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), the Hupacasath First Nation, as well as Leadnow.ca and the Council of Canadians headlined challenges the Canadian government to deal honourably with First Nations before ratifying the Canada China FIPPA.

First Nations in BC are playing a national leadership role in pushing back against the controversial Canada China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA), and are hooking up with some non-Aboriginal allies in that fight.  We’ve just received a press release issued today by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), the Hupacasath First Nation, as well as Leadnow.ca and the Council of Canadians headlined: “First Nations Demand Harper Government Honour Constit

From Twitter Moots to Chemical Valleys, lawyers are talking environmental rights

14 December, 2012

On November 20th Team U of Alberta won the world’s second-ever Twitter Moot, arguing that we all have a right to a healthy atmosphere.  Meanwhile our friends at Ecojustice and David Suzuki Foundation are asking Canadians to demand environmental rights.  Why are more and more environmental lawyers talking environmental rights, and how do we build community movements based on those rights?

Environmental law organizations are increasingly talking about your right to a healthy environment.  And that’s a good thing.

Living Democracy from the Ground Up: Why Local Voices Matter

6 December, 2012

Living Democracy from the Ground Up is a mini-documentary series produced by West Coast Environmental Law that takes an up close and personal look and the impacts that individuals could feel on the ground from rollbacks to our environmental laws. The stories in the series demonstrate how robust and participatory environmental assessment is important to real people and communities and how consulting local people in the process leads to better projects. As Justice Thomas Berger says in Part 3 of the series, “that’s a lesson in democracy.”

“This is your future, you tell me what you want me to know about all this.” – Justice Tom Berger

Gutting Canada’s environmental laws = increased litigation

6 December, 2012

Almost a year ago, Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, made an unfounded accusation that environmental organizations were adopting "a quintessential American approach:  sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further."  Now, one year later, it's become clear that the government's attack on Canada's environmental laws are forcing environmental, and other, interests into the courts.  What does this mean for Canada's environment and environmental movement?

It’s been almost a year since Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, attacked Canadian environmental groups in an open letter as “radicals”.  Lots has been said since then about the Minister’s inflammatory rhetoric, but very little has been said about this statement: