1 June 2017 | West Coast Environmental Law

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June 2017

Protecting Pípsell: Standing up Secwépemc law on Aboriginal Day

21 June, 2017

West Coast is proud to ally with the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN) in their use of their own laws to determine the future of Pípsell (also known as Jacko Lake and environs), a sacred area threatened by the proposed open pit Ajax mine. Our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund team travelled to Secwépemc territory back in March to support the SSN’s independent environmental assessment of Ajax mine, which rejected the proposed project (read about it here). It was a powerful ceremony. Today, on National Aboriginal Day, we stand with the SSN as they share the video of their ceremony designating Pípsell as a Cultural Heritage Site according to Secwépemc law, protecting this special place for future generations.

Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation celebrates declaring Pípsell a Cultural Heritage Site

Over 30 organizations joined the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) to sign the Declaration of Support for their rejection of the Ajax Mine.

In court: Communities take on Metro Vancouver coal port project

15 June, 2017

At the end of May, as a summer law student at West Coast Environmental Law, I attended Federal Court as an observer at the hearing where the Communities and Coal Society and Voters Taking Action on Climate Change called into question the legality of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s approval of Fraser Surrey Docks LP’s plans to construct a four million tonne direct transfer coal facility in Surrey, BC. 

Communities and Coal Sign protesting proposed Coal Port - Don Pitcairn

Communities and Coal sign protesting proposed coal port. Photo by: Don Pitcairn, South Surrey

Fight Trump’s Paris withdrawal by taking climate justice into our own hands

13 June, 2017

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is disappointing, outrageous and immoral. And it should surprise no one. 

We’ve seen time and again that countries with major fossil fuel industries are very reluctant to put the health of the planet ahead of their short-term economic gain. The reality is that it’s going to be extremely challenging to solve climate change as long as the world’s largest corporations and economies are making an awful lot of money from causing it, with no plans to pay their fair share of the costs. It’s just too lucrative to trash the global atmosphere and leave others to clean up the mess.

But – and here’s the good news – this latest setback is also an opportunity! Rather than depending on governments to act on climate change, our communities have the power to demand that the industry pay a fair share of the costs of climate change. Demanding accountability will force fossil fuel companies (and the governments that benefit from the fossil fuel economy) to confront the true costs of their business model.

President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is disappointing, outrageous and immoral. And it should surprise no one. 

Canada's ocean protection ripple could become a wave

8 June, 2017

Twenty-five years after Canada proposed the idea of World Oceans Day to the United Nations, people around the world are still celebrating on June 8. It's also a time to reflect.

Twenty-five years after Canada proposed the idea of World Oceans Day to the United Nations, people around the world are still celebrating on June 8. It's also a time to reflect.

Here’s what we’re expecting from an NDP-Green BC government

2 June, 2017

After a surprising election result culminating in the announcement that the BC NDP and BC Greens will cooperate to bring in a new government, it makes sense to look forward to what we might expect on the environmental law front from a BC NDP government (supported by the Greens).

In 2013, after Christy Clark’s unexpected election win, we wrote a post about what environmental wins we might expect from her new government. So now, in 2017, after another surprising election result culminating in the announcement that the BC NDP and BC Greens will cooperate to bring down her government, it makes sense to look forward to what we might expect on the environmental law front from a BC NDP government (supported by the Greens).