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Environmental Law Alert Blog

Through our Environmental Law Alert blog, West Coast keeps you up to date on the latest developments and issues in environmental law. This includes:

  • proposed changes to the law that will weaken, or strengthen, environmental protection;
  • stories and situations where existing environmental laws are failing to protect the environment; and
  • emerging legal strategies that could be used to protect our environment.

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

BC Election Platforms Word Clouds
October 16, 2020

With just over a week to go until election day, are you reading the election platforms of BC’s main parties?

October 15, 2020

British Columbia is in the middle of an election and the three main parties have recently released their election platforms (NDP,

September 9, 2020

As Canada’s Parliament returns to session this fall, we must make sure that a green and just recovery is the government’s top priority. We don’t have a moment to lose – big polluters have been busy lobbying for bailouts and exemptions from environmental rules. 

UBC Vancouver Campus (Photo: Russ Heinl/UBC Media Relations)
September 3, 2020

As a record low number of sockeye salmon are returning to the Fraser River and First Nations leaders are calling for an emergency closure of the fishery, concern about the health of the Fraser River watershed has likely never been higher. So, it was good to see the BC Supreme Court recently uphold Fisheries Act convictions and fines against the University of British Columbia (UBC) stemming from a 2014 incident in which ammonia from Thunderbird Arena was discharged into the Fraser River watershed, killing at least 70 fish.

August 26, 2020

Summer 2020 has been intense, to say the least – but luckily this summer we've had a group of dedicated law students to energize and inspire our work at West Coast.

Photo Credit: BC Government Flickr
July 13, 2020

It’s been encouraging to see reports that three federal ministers have been leading internal discussions about “green” COVID-19 stimulus funding for infrastructure: the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Three is nice, but four would be better. Wouldn’t it be great to see the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, at the table?

Antarctic Ocean iceberg (Photo: Kyle Mortara via Flickr Creative Commons)
June 8, 2020

Oil spills, plastic waste, sewage, dumping, ocean heating and acidification, overfishing, whaling, harmful fishing, anchoring, engine noise, pile driving, submarine cables, seismic surveys, offshore oil drilling and wind development, wave energy, container shipping, and cruise ships. If you were the ocean, wouldn’t you want a break?

Great Bear Sea photos
May 19, 2020

The Great Bear Sea, also known as the Northern Shelf Bioregion on the north coast of BC, is an area of profound beauty, ecological diversity and cultural richness. Rich ecosystems support an abundance of life – from salmon, herring, humpback whales and orcas to seabirds, bears and wolves. 

May 5, 2020

This pandemic is a stark reminder of how our economies and societies are interdependent, and how the well-being of humans, other living beings, and ecosystems, are deeply connected. Only a healthy planet can support healthy people.

Masset Inlet, Haida Gwaii (Photo: Dru! via Flickr Creative Commons)
April 29, 2020

Last week, a barge belonging to Taan Forest spilled 4,500 litres of diesel into Dinan Bay (Diinan Kahlii) in Masset Inlet.

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