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environmental assessment

Fisheries Act amendments brought into force despite widespread opposition

Monday, November 25, 2013

Former fisheries ministers, scientists and public concerned changes will hurt fish and local economies

VANCOUVER – Today, after an almost 18 month delay, Canada is bringing into force changes to the federal Fisheries Act that have faced widespread and persistent opposition and First Nations’ legal challenges since they were introduced in last year’s omnibus Bills C-38 and C-45.

Why Anna’s going to Washington

15 October, 2013

Recently we asked our readers to write to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to talk about their concerns with the Canadian government’s actions in dismantling our environmental laws in omnibus budget bills (Bills C-38 and C-45).  Well, now we’re taking those concerns to Washington, DC to attend the CEC’s public conference, to meet with members of the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) and to press the Canadian government not to bring into force the worst of the changes to our Fisheries Act.  Here’s a recorded statement from Anna Johnston, our staff lawyer, about why she’s going to Washington, and what she’s going to tell the CEC when she gets there.

Recently we asked our readers to write to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to talk about their concerns with the Canadian government’s actions in dismantling our environmental laws in omnibus budget bills (Bills C-38 and C-45).  Well, now we’re taking those concerns to Washington, DC to attend the CEC’s public conference, to meet with members of the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) and to press the Canadian government not to bring into force the worst of the changes to our Fishe

Mining the Family Farm

9 September, 2013

BC’s archaic mining laws have a real cost for BC communities, their environment and their economies. This blog post is the first in a series that highlights the stories of a wide variety of people and places in BC that have felt first-hand the negative impacts of our outdated, gold-rush era mining laws.

During the gold rush, as thousands of prospectors made their way to the west, early colonial legislation gave them a right of “free entry” to most lands in the colony, and established a system for them to acquire mineral rights by “staking a claim”. Over 150 years later, the presence of mineral claims, new or historical, still gives mining activity priority over virtually all other land uses in BC...

BC’s archaic mining laws have a real cost for BC communities, their environment and their economies. This blog post is the first in a series that highlights the stories of a wide variety of people and places in BC that have felt first-hand the negative impacts of our outdated, gold-rush era mining laws.

Public consultation period on LNG project extended after company and federal government caught using map missing major BC river

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vancouver – The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has agreed to extend a public comment period in the assessment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project near Prince Rupert after environmental groups pointed out that the map submitted by the proponent and used in several public notices completely left out the Skeena River, BC’s second largest river.

Standing Up for Nature and Democracy in Federal Court

15 August, 2013

This week, the latest chapter in Canada’s David and Goliath struggle between citizens and Big Oil unfolded as a BC non-profit organization, Forest Ethics Advocacy, launched a constitutional challenge to new requirements in the National Energy Board Act that have the effect of silencing citizens concerned about tar sands pipelines.

This week, the latest chapter in Canada’s David and Goliath struggle between citizens and Big Oil unfolded as a BC non-profit organization, Forest Ethics Advocacy, launched a constitutional challenge to new requirements in the National Energy Board Act that have the effect of silencing citizens concerned about tar sands pipelines.

West Coast is pleased to welcome two new lawyers!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

West Coast is pleased to welcome two new staff lawyers to our team: Anna Johnston and Gavin Smith!

Anna’s work at West Coast focuses on developing and advancing law reform proposals and practical solutions related to environmental assessment law and federal environmental law rollbacks. Click here to read Anna's full bio.

Back to the drawing board for the Raven Coal Mine

17 June, 2013

Congratulations to the people of the east coast of Vancouver Island who have been fighting the controversial Raven Coal Project, proposed by Compliance Coal Corporation.  On May 16th the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) sent a letter to Compliance Coal refusing to conduct a detailed review of the project and outlining a whole host of problems with the Coal company’s application for an environmental assessment.  But promises of a revised application for a detailed assessment, and new applications for coal mining rights, emphasize yet again that some areas are simply not appropriate for mine development.  Until BC modernizes its mining laws to balance mineral rights with other rights and values it looks like the residents of the east coast of Vancouver Island are going to have to say “no” to coal mining companies over and over. 

Congratulations to the people of the east coast of Vancouver Island who have been fighting the controversial Raven Coal Project, proposed by Compliance Coal Corporation.  Coalwatch Comox Valley, which has played a lead role in opposing the project, has received a series of grants from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF).  On May 16th the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) sent a letter to Compliance Coal refusing to conduct a detailed review of the project and outlin

NEB should abandon undemocratic limits on public comment

10 April, 2013

Last Thursday, April 4th the National Energy Board (NEB) announced that anyone who wished to comment on Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline proposal in Central Canada even by simply writing a letter would need to fill out a 10 page application form within 2 weeks.  This is, of course, absurd, since it will take the NEB far longer to review these 10 page applications and decide who will be allowed to write a letter, then it would have taken to read the letters. While the NEB says this new form is in response to Bill C-38 and the new CEAA 2012, in our view, it is still open to the NEB to adopt a more open process in relation to its decisions under the NEB Act – both in relation to Line 9 and generally.  Public participation is a good thing!

[Updated 7 August 2013]

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