1 Environmental Law Alert Blog | West Coast Environmental Law

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Environmental Law Alert Blog

Through our Environmental Law Alert blog, West Coast alerts you to environmental law problems and developments affecting British Columbians. It is the public voice of our Environmental Law Alert unit which is a legal “watchdog” for BC’s environment.

If you have an environmental story that we should hear about, please e-mail Andrew Gage. Also, please feel free to comment on any of the posts to this blog – but please keep in mind our policies on comments.

23 March, 2017

Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel – the marine area between Vancouver Island, Denman Island and Hornby Island – has been identified as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA) because of its importance as spawning habitat for herring. But does that mean it gets any extra protection?

Marine Campaigner Maryann Watson explains what's really needed to protect this special area, highlighting the disconnect between scientific research and decisions around ocean management.

15 March, 2017

West Coast's RELAW Project Lead Maxine Hayman Matilpi shares stories from a recent conference that brought together historians, legal scholars and Indigenous people who are direct descendants of the signatories to the Vancouver Island Treaties (aka Douglas Treaties). The topic spurred rich conversations about the ways Indigenous people view land and resources, as well as what it means to live under these treaties today.

15 March, 2017

Many of us feel some pressure, or even guilt, about our environmental footprint and our role in creating climate change. Climate campaigner Anjali Appadurai breaks down this common narrative and points to the need to hold Big Oil accountable for the much bigger part it has played in creating and perpetuating the climate crisis.

14 March, 2017

It’s been a while since we’ve updated you about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion project (KMX). A lot has happened in the past few months, so here’s a snapshot of where we’re at.

13 March, 2017

Fish across Canada breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the top recommendation from the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ report reviewing the Fisheries Act: to reinstate strong habitat protection for fish.

10 March, 2017

On Thursday, February 23, Staff Counsel Andrew Gage appeared before the City of Victoria’s Mayor, Lisa Helps, and its Council to talk about climate accountability. This is just one of many conversations we’re having with city councils, councillors, municipal staff and others following up on our January 25, 2017 letter about climate accountability

As part of that discussion, we’ve unveiled a new resource – Climate Accountability Letters: An introduction for local governments – which explains why local government must step up to the plate.

9 March, 2017

MiningWatch needs your help to ensure accountability for the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster. In late 2016 the mining watchdog launched a private prosecution (with the help of our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund), but the federal government is now trying to stay the charges. You can help by signing this petition asking Prime Minister Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc to make sure the prosecution proceeds.


9 February, 2017

Last December, the Expert Panel appointed by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to review federal environmental assessment (EA) processes completed its cross-Canada tour. With the panel wrapping up its consultations, many people are asking, what now?

Staff Counsel Anna Johnston lays out some of the next steps we can expect in the EA review.

8 February, 2017

Last week, the BC NDP released its “Clean Growth Climate Action Plan.” Unfortunately for both the NDP and public debate on climate policy, much of the media coverage focused less on the plan, and more on a leak of the plan by the BC Liberals. The BC Greens apparently have not released their climate strategy as yet, although it sounds as if a policy is under development. In the meantime, we bring you a score card comparing the BC Liberal and BC NDP climate plans.



2 February, 2017

On January 25, 2017 West Coast and over 50 other organizations from around BC wrote to 190 local governments asking them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its role in causing climate change. If you agree, it’s time for you to get involved too – by asking your Mayor and Council and other local government officials to respond to, and act on, this letter.