1 October 2016 | West Coast Environmental Law

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October 2016

Mount Polley Mine private prosecution: Stepping up to demand accountability

25 October, 2016

In the face of a disaster like the Mount Polley mine disaster, swift action is essential to send a message to industry that breaking environmental laws will not be tolerated. In this case, when the government failed to act in a timely manner, MiningWatch Canada brought a private prosecution to enforce Canada’s environmental laws. West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund provided financial support for this important legal action.

Filing charges at the Provincial Court in Williams Lake, BC (Photo: Robert Moberg).

Faith restored? Kinder Morgan Ministerial Panel consultation wraps up

20 October, 2016

The report from the Ministerial Panel on Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline project is expected on November 1, 2016. This report will be considered by Federal Cabinet in its upcoming decision on the project, along with the upstream greenhouse gas analysis, the flawed National Energy Board report, and any further information arising from First Nations consultation.

The process moved quickly and its summer meetings were not without controversy, including allegations of conflict of interest and imposition of a tight timeline without input from or adequate notice to First Nations. The Panel also seemed ill-prepared to deal with the breadth and depth of participants.

What remains to be seen is how the Ministerial Panel will deal with the tens of thousands of messages and questionnaire responses in its final report- much of which it tried to reject arbitrarily. Beyond that, how Prime Minister Trudeau will incorporate all of this information into his decision in December. Will he maintain his position that “only communities grant permission?” Or will he approve the project in the face of strong opposition?

A large crowd gathered inside and outside the Kinder Morgan Summer meetings in Vancouver. Photos: Eugene Kung

A Review of the Review of Reviews: A Participants’ Guide to the Federal EA Review

19 October, 2016

In mid-September, an expert panel appointed by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the Panel) launched a public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes (the EA Review). While the Panel and its secretariat have attempted to broadcast how the public and Indigenous groups can participate in the EA Review, many people remain either unaware of it or uncertain whether or how to be involved.

If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. 


This fall, Canadians are invited to take part in a public review of federal environmental assessment processes.
Photo: Jamie McCaffrey

When wild salmon win – toward a renewed Fisheries Act?

18 October, 2016

The Fisheries Act failed to protect an important BC coastal salmon habitat. It’s time to renew the legislation.


Young salmon rearing in the Skeena River estuary. (Photo: Tavish Campbell)

Will Canada's national carbon price clean up our climate mess?

17 October, 2016

Canada will soon have a national price on carbon. West Coast has been calling for carbon pricing for over twenty years – putting a price on harm to our atmosphere is a good first step in dealing with the gigatonnes of fossil fuel pollution that Canada produces each year. That being said, we have a number of questions about what else we are doing to clean up our climate mess, how the new carbon price will work and how the provinces will respond to it. 

Canada will soon have a national price on carbon.  It will start at $10 per tonne of carbon in 2018, rising to $50 tonne in 2022 (equivalent to about 11¢ per litre of gas in 2022).