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The lowdown on changes to BC’s environmental laws

April 12, 2014

The current session of the BC Legislature has kept us quite busy.  While we’ve had occasion to discuss several bills in our Environmental Law Alert, we haven’t even mentioned a host of others that we are following with interest.  This session, the BC government has introduced a whole series of amendments and new statutes with environmental implications – some good, some not good – and many of them with little or no public consultation. 

Here is a list of the several bills dealing with environmental, resource management and public process issues that we’re currently tracking.  For each we’ve indicated whether the bill has been passed and received royal assent, or whether it’s at some other stage in the law making process (each bill needs to receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading and then receive royal assent to be enacted):


That’s a lot to absorb in this summary form, but we hope it gives a sense of the wide range of environmental and democracy issues that the Legislature has had before it so far this legislative session.  For the more major changes we try to give a more comprehensive analysis and either applaud or criticize the changes being made. 

We clearly have significant concerns about a number of these bills.  We wish that the government would take the time to consult the general public, First Nations and stakeholders when making these types of changes.  We believe that such consultations do result in better laws. 

By Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer

Photo by Brandon Godfrey, under a Creative Commons Licence.