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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

January 19, 2022

This op-ed was originally published in the Georgia Straight on December 17th, 2021.

You know what would make the city’s budget better for taxpayers and better for the climate? Make the companies that are profiting most from fossil fuels that cause climate change pay their fair share of climate costs.

January 5, 2022

The start of a New Year is a time for reflection as much as it is a time for celebration.

December 23, 2021

2021 has been BC’s Year of the Climate Disaster™.

The BC government’s response claims that these remarkable events were unforeseeable, Premier Horgan said when BC declared a state of emergency:

As the Premier highlighted, fossil fuel pollution in the atmosphere is making events like we’ve seen this year much more frequent. It gives us a glimpse of just how costly the fossil fuel economy is becoming and underscores the need to rapidly move away from producing and using fossil fuels, and to build more climate-resilient communities.

2021 flooding in the Fraser Valley, formerly Semá:th Lake (Photo: Tamsin Lyle, Ebbwater Consulting)
December 15, 2021

The telling of true stories is necessary to remember our collective history across the globe. Specifically, this has become clear in recent discussions about the abundant life of Semá:th Lake (also known as Sumas Lake) in the Fraser Valley of BC, which once “reached from Chilliwack into Washington State.”

December 14, 2021

In 2021, British Columbia has been the poster child for what climate change looks like in Canada. This summer’s heat wave caused nearly 600 deaths, while recent catastrophic flooding resulted in at least four fatalities – in addition to devastating impacts on communities, infrastructure, wildlife and livestock. 

Lawyers urge incoming federal government to apply a “climate justice lens” to all statutes

December 7, 2021

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain

The catastrophic flooding in British Columbia will likely be the most costly climate disaster in Canadian history.

At a time when the human and financial costs of climate change are in such stark relief, it is hard to believe that our federal government is still talking about expanding oil pipeline infrastructure. But if the climate impacts of enabling oilsands expansion aren’t enough, skyrocketing costs, exacerbated by the floods and wildfires themselves, should cause them to pause. 

Photo of report card grading BC's Roadmap to 2030 Climate Plan
November 16, 2021

In late October, the BC government unveiled its long-awaited climate plan, Roadmap to 2030, to tumultuous … criticism.

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.

September 24, 2021

The election is over, subject to the counting of mail-in ballots in a handful of close races.* The new Parliament looks very much like the old Parliament, and many people are asking: did this accomplish anything?

Red, blue, green and orange word clouds on a cloudy sky background
September 14, 2021

Tired of reading complicated election platforms, struggling to figure out which party has your interests at heart? West Coast Environmental Law invites you to take a step back from the campaign rhetoric and look at some pretty pictures – word clouds to be precise – instead.