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environmental assessment

Why navigation protection is also environmental protection

5 July, 2016

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.

Unfortunately, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, in announcing the review, downplayed expectations that the government would restore lost environmental protections to a wide range of rivers and endorsed the previous government’s views that the purpose of the act is to protect navigation, and not navigable waters. That’s contrary to what the Liberal Party of Canada promised in the last election.

Canadians who were expecting better protection for the 99% of lakes and rivers that lost their legal protection in 2012 will want to let the government know their views.

 

The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act.

Federal government reviews of environmental laws: Processes where people matter

21 June, 2016

On June 20, the federal government unveiled a wide-ranging review of the dramatic weakening of Canada's environmental laws made in 2012 by our previous administration and affirmed its intention to build stronger, modern environmental safeguards for nature and democracy.

While at first blush, "process to review environmental laws" may not sound like the most exciting news to make environmental headlines, the announcement marks a rare opportunity for Canadians to help shape the laws governing the things they value.

Vancouver shoreline

Photo: Gord McKenna via Flickr

Environmental lawyers have high hopes for planned overhaul of environmental assessment in Canada

Monday, June 20, 2016

 

Federal government announces long-awaited review of environmental legislation

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – The federal government today set in motion a process to rebuild and strengthen Canadian environmental laws, including the much-criticized system for conducting environmental assessments of major projects – a move welcomed by environmental lawyers who have been working for many years to champion this goal.

Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water: The Cheakamus Retreat

20 June, 2016

The Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) Project is a new initiative that aims to deepen First Nations’ capacity to engage in the process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing their own laws to contemporary environmental problems and proactive land and resource decision-making. In this post, Articled Student Lindsay Borrows recounts her powerful learning experiences at the recent 5-day RELAW retreat at the Cheakamus Centre in Squamish Nation Territory.

A meandering stream at the Cheakamus Centre (Photo: Alice William)

Reflections on RELAW: The role of stories in law

17 June, 2016

West Coast is excited to launch the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) project in partnership with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria. RELAW is a pilot project with the aim of supporting First Nations in their process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing Indigenous laws in relation to a contemporary aspect of environmental governance. In this post, Staff Counsel Georgia Lloyd-Smith reflects on her experience researching Secwepemc law with ILRU and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, to provide insight into the work we will be doing in the RELAW project.

West Coast is excited to launch the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) project in partnership with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria.

Addressing cumulative effects in BC's north

30 May, 2016

Today, in conjunction with the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research (NWI), West Coast Environmental Law is releasing our report Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment for Northern British Columbia: The Case and Opportunity.  The report offers an intimate glimpse into the hearts and minds of northern residents as they face a multitude of proposals for industrial development in their communities, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), forestry, mining, oil and gas, and hydroelectric projects.

Today, in conjunction with the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research (NWI), West Coast Environmental Law is releasing our report Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment for Northern British Columbia: The Case and Opportunity. The report offers an intimate glimpse into the hearts and minds of northern residents as they face a multitude of proposals for

Northern British Columbians share concerns over rampant resource development

Monday, May 30, 2016

New report highlights need for strategic regional environmental assessment (EA) as federal government prepares to overhaul EA processes in Canada

VANCOUVER, BC – A new report released today by West Coast Environmental Law and the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research underscores the urgent need to consider cumulative impacts of resource development in northern BC, as residents face a growing barrage of mining, forestry, oil and gas, and other industrial proposals.

Working towards a next-generation environmental assessment law for Canada

20 May, 2016

On May 1-3, West Coast Environmental Law hosted a Federal Environmental Assessment Reform Summit in Ottawa. Over 30 lawyers, academics and practitioners, representing universities, Indigenous and environmental groups and industry attended the Summit. They gathered to discuss, crystallize their thinking, weigh options and seek to find common ground on solutions to key issues in federal EA. Staff Counsel Anna Johnson shares her reflections on the Summit and Canada’s once-in-decades opportunity to enact a visionary new next-generation environmental assessment law for nature and democracy.

Rarely does environmental assessment get to be sexy.  While environmental assessment (EA) processes and decisions have been increasingly subject to lawsuits, criticism and protests, the target of dissent is usually either the project (say, Kinder Morgan’s controversial proposed oil sands pipeline) or the r

Canada’s leading thinkers converge to find solutions on environmental assessment

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ottawa, ON – Experts from across the country are gathering this week in Ottawa for a highly anticipated “meeting of the minds” to help shape the future of environmental assessment (EA) in Canada.

Emission Omission: Canadian government plans to assess only some pipeline greenhouse gases

12 April, 2016

The Canadian government wants to know what you think about its plans to consider “upstream” greenhouse gas emissions associated with “major oil and gas projects.” But whatever you do, don’t look downstream – there’s no dirty fossil fuel pollution to see there, upstream is much prettier to look at. Since 89% of emissions for a project may be from so-called “downstream” emissions (in the case of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, for example), that’s a major emission omission.

To the Canadian government: Consider all greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas projects

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