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.
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.
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.
Why is Canada’s final Strategic Assessment of Climate Change (SACC) like a self-help book? They both contain helpful information, but at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee that they’ll influence real-life decisions.
The federal government is preparing to give the Canadian economy a multi-billion-dollar kick-start in an effort to recover from the COVID-19 health crisis. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a Green Recovery – a sustainable stimulus package focused on increasing employment and helping Canada transition to a cleaner and more equitable economy.
This August, BC residents marked yet another dismal anniversary since the Mount Polley Mine disaster. It has now been six years since the mine’s tailings dam collapsed, spilling almost 25 million cubic metres of toxic mine waste into surrounding waterways and Quesnel Lake.
This summer, we’ve been thinking a lot about the people across BC – and throughout the country – who support West Coast in the work that we do.
It takes courage to take a stand and perseverance to see justice handed down.
With this year’s somewhat unusual school year over, I’ve picked up my kids’ report cards. Some good marks, some areas for work, but at least I know that they’ve done better in their courses than the Canadian government has done in achieving its climate targets over the past three decades.
How can Canada meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and break its cycle of failing grades? Implement a Canadian Climate Accountability Act.
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?
Here at West Coast, we rarely take on lawsuits – instead, we aim to protect the environment through building stronger environmental laws, bridging Canadian and Indigenous law, and empowering communities to harness the law for a more just and sustainable future.