Environmental Law Alert Blog: Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with a Deep Blue Sea Legacy: Nominating New Canadian Marine World Heritage Sites

Thursday, August 25, 2016 Next year Canada turns 150. What better present than a gift to the future: preservation of our outstanding heritage sites?   Parks Canada is leading a new public process to nominate more Canadian sites to the World Heritage List just in time for our birthday celebrations. From Coast Salish clam gardens ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with a Deep Blue Sea Legacy: Nominating New Canadian Marine World Heritage Sites

Thursday, August 25, 2016 Next year Canada turns 150. What better present than a gift to the future: preservation of our outstanding heritage sites?   Parks Canada is leading a new public process to nominate more Canadian sites to the World Heritage List just in time for our birthday celebrations. From Coast Salish clam gardens ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Water win against logging giant leaves many unanswered questions

Monday, September 21, 2015 Even though water has been at the heart of logging conflicts in BC for many years, it is very rare that logging companies are actually made to pay financially when they harm watercourses.  That’s why a rare out-of-court settlement announced this past week between logging giant, Tolko Industries, and Chilcotin Rancher, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Foresters, biologists, planners take on the “fundamental impacts” of Climate Change

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Governments and businesses rely heavily on the advice of professionals on a wide range of environmental, resource management and land use planning decisions. That’s why it’s critical that the professionals who are making key decisions about our ecosystems and the evolution of our communities know about current climate science, and incorporate ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Weakening BC’s environmental laws risks eroding social licence for Government’s Cleanest LNG goals

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Several of the most contentious changes to environmental laws passed during the 2014 spring session of the BC Legislature seem to have been developed, and pushed through, in a mad rush and without adequate public consultation. The goal of these laws seems, at least in part, to be to remove perceived ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Should Chevron pay for the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic?

Thursday, May 22, 2014 The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic – a direct result of climate change – has cost British Columbia billions in lost timber value alone – a reality that has influenced the public consciousness of British Columbians about the cost of climate change. Public awareness that climate change is costing us here and ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Bill 24 – Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act: Undermining BC’s Food Security

Thursday, April 10, 2014 Following hot on the heels of the controversial Park Amendment Act (Bill 4), the BC government has introduced another bill that would open up some of the province’s most publicly valuable lands – in this case, its farmlands – to industrial development. Bill 24, the Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act, weakens legal ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Tell the BC government: Hands off Our Food Security!

Monday, March 31, 2014 The BC government has proposed changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act thatput our food security seriously at risk. If passed, these changes would restrict the role of the independent chair of the Agricultural Land Commission, one of BC’s biggest agricultural champions. They would also divide provincial agricultural lands into two ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: New law will regulate Off Road Vehicles

Monday, March 10, 2014 With the BC Legislature’s Spring Session in full swing, there are lots of new, proposed laws to read and comment on, and we’ve been drawing your attention to legislation that we view as problematic (related to Parks and ownership of lakes, for example), but not all of the news is bad.  ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: When a U.S. billionaire claims BC fish and lakes

Friday, March 7, 2014 Can a private resort company own a lake?  If so, are the fish in the lake private or public?  And can the resort keep the public from fishing in that lake?  These critical questions are central to a David vs. Goliath battle unfolding in BC’s Nicola Valley that could have huge ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Climate leadership from BC Foresters

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 A little more than a week ago (on February 13th), the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) awarded its first ever “Climate Change Innovators” Award to Alex Woods, a Forest Pathologist working for the BC Government.  The launch of this award, a clear statement on the importance of addressing climate change ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: BC government’s forestry inspections target the little guy

Thursday, January 23, 2014 When the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) tries to detect violations of BC’s forest laws, do they put their efforts into detecting violations by large logging companies or small-scale operators?  It turns out that small-scale operators and individuals get over half of the attention of government inspectors, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Forestry in BC – few inspections, low consequences

Friday, December 20, 2013 We’ve reviewed the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Compliance and Enforcement Annual Reports from 1998 to 2012.  And what we've found raises a whole lot of questions – dramatic declines in inspections and in the fines imposed on the forest industry, but stable levels of enforcement action as ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Privatizing Salmon Protection: The Failure of the Riparian Areas Regulation

Thursday, March 28, 2013 In BC, key protection for fish habitat is supposed to be provided by the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) – a law intended to ensure that residential and other development is set back from the waterways that provide critical fish habitat on lands regulated by local governments. Unfortunately, this law is not ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Land Use Planning for Nature, Climate and Communities

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 In December 2012 the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria published a collection of environmental law reform proposals, with contributions from a variety of leading environmental lawyers, which included a number of essays from West Coast Environmental Law. This essay, by West Coast Environmental Law Executive Director Jessica Clogg, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: We can’t just roll-over when it comes to the government’s roll-over forest plans

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Last  Wednesday (Feb 20th) the Provincial government announced proposed amendments to the Forest Act that will provide for the conversion of volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences.  This change has the potential to increase corporate control over our forests.  At West Coast we have always believed that large-scale industrial ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Upholding the Law, Protecting the Land, Sharing the Wealth

Friday, October 12, 2012 A recently announced agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Gitanyow Nation is of deep significance not only for the people, the land, and the water of the Gitanyow territories in the mid-Nass and Skeena (upper Kitwanga and upper Kispiox) watersheds, but for all British Columbians.  West Coast Environmental ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Drinking water wins in Jefferd Creek logging battle

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 In 2004 the residents of the tiny community of Stillwater, near Powell River, learned that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) was planning to auction off the rights to clearcut 12.5 hectares in the Jefferd Creek watershed, which is the source of their drinking water.  Well, it’s been a long fight, but after ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Climate change changes everything in our Forests

Thursday, January 28, 2010 For some time West Coast Environmental Law has been advocating for the BC government to change the way it manages forests to recognize the reality of climate change.  These efforts have come together in a report released today by West Coast and the 6 other environmental groups who form the BC ...