1 January 2017 | West Coast Environmental Law


January 2017

Mni Wiconi: Water is life, more than ever

1 February, 2017

These simple and profound words, “Water is Sacred,” have become a call to action in North Dakota. Since April 2016, thousands of people have gathered there to protect water from “the Black Snake,” the Dakota Access pipeline proposed to bring oil under the Missouri River.

After a year of work on the RELAW project, West Coast's Maxine Hayman-Matilpi reflects on her own relationship and responsibilities to care for the sacred gift of water.

The words on this button have become my mantra: “Water Is Sacred. No Pipelines.” Isaac Murdoch’s image of Thunderwoman – the same image we see on social media, at Standing Rock, at protests encouraging divestment – is doodled into my notebook, on my calendar and emblazoned on my hoodie.

Will the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban hold water? A review of Canada’s proposed new legislation

31 January, 2017

On November 29, 2016, the federal government announced that it will introduce legislation in spring 2017 to entrench an oil tanker ban on the north coast of British Columbia, and it provided preliminary details on the content of the legislation. In our new publication, West Coast addresses the federal government’s proposal for oil tanker ban legislation in more detail and evaluates its strengths and weaknesses.


In January 2016, West Coast Environmental Law Association released Keeping Our Coast Clean: Frequently asked questions about

Let’s talk parks – and let’s talk marine protection

25 January, 2017

If you value parks as a way to protect biodiversity, there are two chances for you to speak up: Parks Canada is currently seeking public feedback on parks through its website, Let’s Talk Parks, and regulations for a proposed new marine protected area (MPA) for the Scott Islands are also open for comment.

The Scott Islands, the site of a proposed new marine protected area, support 90% of Canada's tufted puffins. (Photo: Seabamirum)

If you value parks as a way to protect biodiversity, here are two chances to speak up:

Surfacing the science for ocean protection: Reflections from a diver

17 January, 2017

West Coast's new Marine Campaigner Maryann Watson explains why she's looking forward to bringing together the important scientific information needed to make sound policy decisions and protect the marine environment.

Surveying coral within a quadrat on Kiritimati atoll, Republic of Kiribati (Photo: Maryann Watson)

2017: A Look Ahead to Protect Nature, Climate and Communities

5 January, 2017

Check out our short video to meet some of our talented lawyers and see what we're most excited about for 2017!

From providing legal aid for communities to defend their environment, to revitalizing Indigenous laws, and holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in climate change – this year the West Coast team will continue working toward a better future for people and the environment in Canada.

Check out our short video to meet some of our talented lawyers and program staff, and see what we're most excited about in our work for 2017.