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.

1 February, 2017

These simple and profound words, “Water is Sacred,” have become a call to action in North Dakota. Since April 2016, thousands of people have gathered there to protect water from “the Black Snake,” the Dakota Access pipeline proposed to bring oil under the Missouri River.

After a year of work on the RELAW project, West Coast's Maxine Hayman-Matilpi reflects on her own relationship and responsibilities to care for the sacred gift of water.

31 January, 2017

On November 29, 2016, the federal government announced that it will introduce legislation in spring 2017 to entrench an oil tanker ban on the north coast of British Columbia, and it provided preliminary details on the content of the legislation. In our new publication, West Coast addresses the federal government’s proposal for oil tanker ban legislation in more detail and evaluates its strengths and weaknesses.


25 January, 2017

If you value parks as a way to protect biodiversity, there are two chances for you to speak up: Parks Canada is currently seeking public feedback on parks through its website, Let’s Talk Parks, and regulations for a proposed new marine protected area (MPA) for the Scott Islands are also open for comment.

17 January, 2017

West Coast's new Marine Campaigner Maryann Watson explains why she's looking forward to bringing together the important scientific information needed to make sound policy decisions and protect the marine environment.

5 January, 2017

Check out our short video to meet some of our talented lawyers and see what we're most excited about for 2017!

19 December, 2016

At West Coast we’re buckling down to protect the Salish Sea, the global atmosphere, and future generations – a journey that will take us through 2017 and likely well beyond.  My colleague Eugene Kung has described the new phase of efforts to stop the Kinder Morgan expansion. At the same time, we are also looking at opportunities to achieve better coastal management, generally. Even without Kinder Morgan there are gaps to fill.

16 December, 2016

The new Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change – and the games played by BC’s Premier Christy Clark during the process leading up to it – demonstrate clearly that Canada needs scientists, and not politicians, to be front and centre in developing its climate policy.

8 December, 2016

Understandably, those opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project have not been in a mood to celebrate this past week. At the same time as the Prime Minister announced the federal government’s approval of Kinder Morgan (and the Enbridge Line 3 project), he confirmed something that most people already knew to be true: the Enbridge Northern Gateway project is dead. In addition to rejecting Northern Gateway, last week the federal government also provided preliminary details on oil tanker ban legislation that it will introduce in spring 2017.

The fact that First Nations, communities and individual citizens who opposed Northern Gateway were successful in stopping the project, even in the face of a previous federal approval and a determined pipeline company with deep pockets, deserves a moment of reflection.

6 December, 2016

Staff Counsel Eugene Kung recounts an action-packed week preparing for – and responding to – the federal government's approval of the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline and tankers proposal.

1 December, 2016

The thing that frustrated me most when watching the Prime Minister’s press conference earlier this week approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines is that he – or at least his government – knows that these pipelines undermine Canada’s climate goals and move us away from a sustainable future. 

That’s pretty clear from the government’s “mid-century long term strategy” on climate change, released on the last day of the Marrakech climate negotiations (Friday, November 18th).