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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.

2020 Canadian Law Blog Awards Winner

Picture of bull kelp on beach at Calvert Island, BC
November 9, 2021

With the COP26 UN climate negotiations underway until the end of this week, the world is watching political leaders to see how they will work together on reducing emissions, phasing out fossil fuels and decarbonizing the economy, and how they will support the Global South in this transition.

With the COP26 UN climate negotiations underway until the end of this week, the world is watching political leaders to see how they will work together on reducing emissions, phasing out fossil fuels and decarbonizing the economy, and how they will support the Global South in this transition.

Rocky shore with seaweed, Prince Rupert BC
October 4, 2021

With Election 2021 behind us, the Liberal Party of Canada is now beginning its third term in office with another minority government.

West Coast has reviewed the party’s ocean commitments in its election platform and assessed how they measure against the work that needs to be done. We identified a few glaring holes, many important and encouraging commitments, and several high-level statements whose effectiveness will depend on the details.

August 9, 2021

This is the first blog in a series about the benefits of marine protected areas (MPAs).

January 19, 2021

On December 17, 2020, Bernadette Jordan, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced that open-net salmon farm licences in the Discovery Islands would be phased out by June 30, 2022.

November 23, 2020

Ignorance is bliss, they say. While this may be true for some things, British Columbia should not be feeling that way about the deterioration of our coastal ecosystems.

October 15, 2020

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

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.

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?

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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