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February 2010

Ecological values & drinking water compromised in clash of laws and cultures

25 February, 2010

We are now 5 days into a stand-off between the Okanagan Indian Band and Tolko Industries at Browns Creek  on the west side of Okanagan Lake.  With Tolko in court today seeking an enforcement order to remove Elders, band members, supporters and Chiefs from Browns Creek, things are about to escalata further.

Commissioner Cohen Responds

24 February, 2010

Last week West Coast Environmental Law told you about our letter to Commissioner Bruce Cohen, who has been appointed to investigate why the Fraser River sockeye salmon runs have collapsed.  We were (and still are) concerned about the requirement in the Commission’s rules for standing that participants demonstrate that they have a “substantial and direct interest” in the Commission’s investigations.  West Coast feels that this requirement could be interpreted a

Local Governments and Clean Air

15 February, 2010

Dianne Saxe, an Ontario environmental lawyer, writes about the efforts of the municipality of Oakville to regulate air pollution and to block plans for a proposed power plant.  “Spurred by opposition to a new gas-fired electric power plant, the Town of Oakville has opened a new front in the long battle over the role of municipalities in controlling pollution.”

BC’s Throne Speech chooses “one process” over “good process”

12 February, 2010

One expects a certain amount of rhetoric from the Speech from the Throne, but nonetheless, it takes a bit of gall to describe the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), one of Canada’s most important environmental laws, as a “Byzantine bureaucratic practice” that holds “jobs and investment hostage.” 

Everyone’s talking about forests and carbon

4 February, 2010

As we reported last week, West Coast Environmental Law, along with the other members of the BC Working Group on Biodiversity, Forests and Climate, has released A New Climate for Conservation, a report calling for a comprehensive and integrated provincial Nature Conservation and Climate Action Strategy to address the impacts of cli

Home is a source of power

2 February, 2010

For me one of the most interesting observations in West Coast Environmental Law’s “Emerging Solutions on Clean, Green Power” Dialogue came from former Hupacasath Chief, Kekinusuqs (Judith Sayers), when she suggested that every community should be self-sufficient in energy generation.  Her comments are i

Just 11 Caribou Left

1 February, 2010

This morning Chief Roland Willson and the entire Council of the West Moberly First Nations, from Northeast BC, walked into a courtroom in Victoria to ask a judge of the BC Supreme Court to overturn permits allowing mineral exploration in the habitat of the Burnt Pine Caribou Herd.  West Coast Environmental Law is supporting this landmark case through our