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environmental assessment

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]

On Greenwashing Canada’s Enviro-Assessment Laws

8 April, 2013

A press release issued last Tuesday (April 2nd), by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) concerning a proposed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal at Kitimat, BC referred to the "strengthened and modernized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012)."  This term appears literally tens of thousands of times on web pages, press releases and other documents generated by the Agency.  “Strengthened”?  “Modernized”?  In what way is CEAA 2012 strengthened, compared to the old CEAA? The reality is that CEAA 2012 was a major step back for environmental assessment in Canada. 

Last Tuesday (April 2nd), the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) invited the public to give input on whether an environmental assessment should be conducted for a proposed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal at Kitimat, BC.

Jessica Clogg explains Bill C-45, First Nations Rights, FIPA

4 March, 2013

This interview was originally published by Digital Journal and was written by Grace C. Visconti. Click here to go to the article as it was originally published.

Vancouver - West Coast Environmental Law Executive Director and Senior Counsel Jessica Clogg explains ramifications of Bill C-45, First Nations Rights, and FIPA. Jessica provides legal and strategic support to First Nations to help protect land and resources of their territories.

This interview was originally published by Digital Journal and was written by Grace C. Visconti. Click here to go to the article as it was originally published.

From Oolichan to Enbridge: Getting to the Heart of Cumulative Impacts Management in the Northwest

14 January, 2013

In November 2012, 170 resource management practitioners, scientists, academics, and community members came together at a conference in Smithers, BC  entitled “Adding it All Up: Balancing Benefits and Effects of Resource Development”. The conference, organized by the Bulkley Valley Research Centre, focused on the issue of cumulative impacts management in the northwest region of BC. Gerald Amos from the Headwaters Initiative and a member of the Haisla Nation captures the challenges and opportunities facing the region in his remarks at the conference, excerpts of which we reprint as a guest post. 

A guest blog post from Gerald Amos, Headwaters Initiative

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