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Environmental Law Alert Blog

Through our Environmental Law Alert blog, West Coast alerts you to environmental law problems and developments affecting British Columbians. It is the public voice of our Environmental Law Alert unit which is a legal “watchdog” for BC’s environment.

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

15 May, 2015

The recently-announced Marine Planning Partnership is co-led by the Province of BC and 18 First Nations dedicated to producing world-leading marine management plans. The MaPP process is unique and precedent-setting, and should help ensure that our northern Pacific coast is managed sustainably.  It is unique in terms of the area covered, the process used, and the results achieved.

15 May, 2015

Staff Counsel Eugene Kung reports on a landmark journey with Tsleil-Waututh Nation leadership to New York and Texas to meet with Kinder Morgan investors and attend the megacorporation's AGM. Along the way he makes connections between oil giants and families in the path of health hazards, and reflects on the meaning of environmental justice. 

15 May, 2015

Despite the Province of BC’s tough talk about its conditions for oil pipelines, in ongoing litigation regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal BC is fighting to keep its decision-making responsibility in the hands of the federal government. Legal counsel Gavin Smith and summer legal volunteer Lucy Yuan highlight the gap between the provincial government’s public position on Northern Gateway and the arguments it is making in court.

22 April, 2015

On April 21, the federal government released its 2015 budget. Weighing in at over 500 pages, it contains a number of measures related to the environment. But what do those measures actually mean?

16 April, 2015

BC has had the dubious distinction of being the “Wild West for groundwater” – with no licensing of groundwater resources – for over a hundred years. The new Water Sustainability Act is poised to change this. But will the Act relieve the pressure on groundwater in BC’s northeast from the oil and gas industry? The answer may depend on regulations currently under development. 

16 April, 2015

How much environmental protection could Canada get for the price of government advertising? In the lead-up to the 2015 federal budget release, Staff Counsel Anna Johnston explores the contrast between government spending on the environment and its spending on its own advertising. Take our survey about federal spending priorities to tell us how you would spend $75 million!

15 April, 2015

Staff Counsel Hannah Askew reports back from a conference in Fort St.John on gas development in Treaty 8 territory. At times inspirational and at times somber, the conference provided a forum for community members to explore solutions to cumulative effects of gas development.

15 April, 2015

Staff Counsel Eugene Kung draws links between the recent oil spill in English Bay, Kinder Morgan's pipeline proposal, and why the legitimacy of the National Energy Board is being called into question by a wide swathe of civil society and policymakers alike. 

1 April, 2015

Were you excited to read our take on the supposed visionary green budget proposed by the federal government earlier today? Or did you catch on right away that anything received on April 1st should likely be taken with a grain of salt? It would certainly be a major about-face if the Canadian Government passed a bill restoring our environmental safety net. But there is no reason why it shouldn’t. Join us in urging the federal government to restore strong environmental legal protection for Canadians, democracy and the environment.

1 April, 2015

Media Release: Green groups across Canada celebrate the new federal omnibus budget bill, which makes sweeping improvements to environmental laws in Canada and rectifies all the harm done by the last two omnibus bills, Bill C-38 and Bill C-45.