Environmental Law Alert Blog: Your guide to Canada’s environmental law reviews

Thursday, November 10, 2016 In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws – including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law and processes, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, and National Energy Board. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape Canada’s environmental laws and to contribute to decisions that affect land, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Faith restored? Kinder Morgan Ministerial Panel consultation wraps up

Thursday, October 20, 2016 The report from the Ministerial Panel on Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline project is expected on November 1, 2016. This report will be considered by Federal Cabinet in its upcoming decision on the project, along with the upstream greenhouse gas analysis, the flawed National Energy Board report, and any further information arising from ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: A Review of the Review of Reviews: A Participants’ Guide to the Federal EA Review

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 In mid-September, an expert panel appointed by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the Panel) launched a public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes (the EA Review). While the Panel and its secretariat have attempted to broadcast how the public and Indigenous groups can participate in the EA Review, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Twelve pillars of a “next generation” of Canadian environmental assessment

Thursday, August 25, 2016 Canada needs a visionary new approach to assessing proposals that could impact the environment. This August, West Coast published the proceedings of the Federal Environmental Assessment Reform Summit it hosted in Ottawa in May 2016. Attended by over 30 experts from across the country, the Summit explored leading-edge solutions to key ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Twelve pillars of a “next generation” of Canadian environmental assessment

Thursday, August 25, 2016 Canada needs a visionary new approach to assessing proposals that could impact the environment. This August, West Coast published the proceedings of the Federal Environmental Assessment Reform Summit it hosted in Ottawa in May 2016. Attended by over 30 experts from across the country, the Summit explored leading-edge solutions to key ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Lessons from a summer at West Coast

Friday, August 12, 2016 West Coast Environmental Law Association was lucky to have four talented students join us this summer from law schools across the country. As the season winds down, our summer law students share their reflections on an exciting few months learning about the ins and outs of environmental law. From left to ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Lessons from a summer at West Coast

Friday, August 12, 2016 West Coast Environmental Law Association was lucky to have four talented students join us this summer from law schools across the country. As the season winds down, our summer law students share their reflections on an exciting few months learning about the ins and outs of environmental law. From left to ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: How will we build the next generation of environmental assessment for Canada?

Thursday, July 14, 2016 This June, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that she will establish an independent expert panel to review Canada’s environmental assessment processes under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), and opened up a 30-day public comment period on the Panel’s draft Terms of Reference. ather than tweak at ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: How will we build the next generation of environmental assessment for Canada?

Thursday, July 14, 2016 This June, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced that she will establish an independent expert panel to review Canada’s environmental assessment processes under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), and opened up a 30-day public comment period on the Panel’s draft Terms of Reference. ather than tweak at ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Why navigation protection is also environmental protection

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 The Canadian government has announced that the House Standing Committee on Transportation will soon be starting its review of the Navigation Protection Act. Unfortunately, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, in announcing the review, downplayed expectations that the government would restore lost environmental protections to a wide range of rivers and endorsed the previous government’s views ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Federal government reviews of environmental laws: Processes where people matter

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 On June 20, the federal government unveiled a wide-ranging review of the dramatic weakening of Canada’s environmental laws made in 2012 by our previous administration and affirmed its intention to build stronger, modern environmental safeguards for nature and democracy. While at first blush, "process to review environmental laws" may not sound ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water: The Cheakamus Retreat

Monday, June 20, 2016 The Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) Project is a new initiative that aims to deepen First Nations’ capacity to engage in the process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing their own laws to contemporary environmental problems and proactive land and resource decision-making. In this post, Articled Student Lindsay ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Reflections on RELAW: The role of stories in law

Friday, June 17, 2016 West Coast is excited to launch the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) project in partnership with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria. RELAW is a pilot project with the aim of supporting First Nations in their process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Addressing cumulative effects in BC’s north

Monday, May 30, 2016 Today, in conjunction with the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research (NWI), West Coast Environmental Law is releasing our report Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment for Northern British Columbia: The Case and Opportunity.  The report offers an intimate glimpse into the hearts and minds of northern residents as they face a multitude of ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Working towards a next-generation environmental assessment law for Canada

Friday, May 20, 2016 On May 1-3, West Coast Environmental Law hosted a Federal Environmental Assessment Reform Summit in Ottawa. Over 30 lawyers, academics and practitioners, representing universities, Indigenous and environmental groups and industry attended the Summit. They gathered to discuss, crystallize their thinking, weigh options and seek to find common ground on solutions to ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Emission Omission: Canadian government plans to assess only some pipeline greenhouse gases

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 The Canadian government wants to know what you think about its plans to consider “upstream” greenhouse gas emissions associated with “major oil and gas projects.” But whatever you do, don’t look downstream – there’s no dirty fossil fuel pollution to see there, upstream is much prettier to look at. Since 89% ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Getting to yes: A process for building Canada’s visionary new environmental assessment act

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Last November, in a federally-unprecedented move, Prime Minister Trudeau made public his mandate letters to Canada’s new Cabinet. Among the important directives contained in those letters, there was one that created a particular stir among many environmental groups, academics and communities. Public participation is essential when it comes to decisions affecting ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Province Can’t Pass the Buck on Oil Pipelines: BC Supreme Court

Thursday, January 14, 2016 West Coast has previously suggested that, in spite of the Province of British Columbia’s “tough talk” on oil pipelines, it has been trying to pass the decision-making buck to the federal government’s National Energy Board (NEB).  A year ago, the Gitga’at First Nation and Coastal First Nations (CFN) sought a court ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Day 5: Northern Gateway seeks to defend the "gold standard" review process

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 Day 5 of 6 – we are on the home stretch! Today we heard from Northern Gateway about what it labelled the “gold standard” approach to consultation and review for the project as a whole. Counsel for Northern Gateway argued that Northern Gateway went ‘above and beyond’ the legal requirements of ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Day 3: Environmental and labour organizations challenge Enbridge approval

Monday, October 5, 2015 Another day down at the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver and just like that we are half way through the six day Enbridge hearing. Today we heard arguments from four environmental organizations and one labour union – all challenging the legal basis for the Enbridge pipeline approval. Tomorrow, Canada seeks ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Yinka Dene Alliance kick off Day 2 of the Enbridge hearing

Sunday, October 4, 2015 Day 2: Another inspired and spirited day at the Enbridge Hearing! The courtroom was jam-packed all day as lawyers for the Nak’azdli, Nadleh Whut’en, Gitga’at and Gitxaała Nations presented their arguments. This wrapped up the submissions from the eight First Nations applicants. Next Monday, October 5th, four environmental organizations and a ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Time travel with the National Energy Board – Where 15 months can feel like years

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 On September 24, 2015 the National Energy Board (NEB) did something remarkable. They stopped time. More precisely, they traveled back in time, to September 18, 2015, stopped time, then traveled back to the future, to January 8, 2016 to start it again. In the words of the Time Lord, Dr. Who, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Want to help protect our environment? Have your say on how you can have a say

Thursday, May 21, 2015 Meaningful public participation is a backbone of environmental assessment. But the BC environmental assessment backbone is broken. Now is your chance to help fix it. Until May 26th at 9:00 am PDT, you can provide feedback to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on its public participation processes by posting comments to ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Social licence: mob rule or democracy in action?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 The term “social licence to operate” is used frequently by project proponents and in the media, but has recently attracted some controversy. However, In a context where Canada’s environmental laws are being aggressively weakened in favour of big resource companies, and where many Canadians are feeling alienated and excluded from formal ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: West Coast and NWI Launch North Coast Community Dialogue Session Series on LNG and Cumulative Impacts Management

Thursday, December 18, 2014 On December 11, West Coast Environmental Law, along with the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research (NWI), co-hosted the first of a series of community dialogue sessions on LNG and cumulative impacts management.  We held the opening session in Prince Rupert last week and were moved by the depth of knowledge, thoughtfulness ...