Environmental Law Alert Blog: Surfacing the science for ocean protection: Reflections from a diver

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 West Coast's new Marine Campaigner Maryann Watson explains why she's looking forward to bringing together the important scientific information needed to make sound policy decisions and protect the marine environment. Surveying coral within a quadrat on Kiritimati atoll, Republic of Kiribati (Photo: Maryann Watson) read more

Environmental Law Alert Blog: The “other” Bill C-38 – Fish habitat redux and lessons for today

Thursday, November 24, 2016 Many Canadians who care about nature, democracy and Indigenous rights will recognize the name Bill C-38 – the omnibus budget bill from 2012 that dramatically weakened environmental protection under federal laws such as the Fisheries Act. But did you know that Parliament debated another Bill C-38 almost forty years ago, led ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: A new law is needed to protect citizens’ voices through the charities they support

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Canadian law and policy restricts the involvement of charities in public debate and public policy development – activities labeled by the Canada Revenue Agency as “political activities”. Limiting charities’ involvement in public debate and public policy development silences the voices of Canadians who rely on the charities they support to advance ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: West Coast Conversations: 6 questions that define the fight against Kinder Morgan

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 West Coast Staff Counsel Eugene Kung sat down with Senior Communications and Engagement Specialist Alexis Stoymenoff to discuss the recent report released by the Ministerial Panel on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project. Here’s what Eugene had to say about the report, and the six key questions it poses in ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: The imminent federal decision on Northern Gateway…and the oil tanker ban?

Monday, November 14, 2016 As the deadline approaches for a federal decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, West Coast Environmental Law Staff Counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with Ministers to talk about the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban. West Coast Environmental Law staff counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with ...

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: When wild salmon win – toward a renewed Fisheries Act?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 The Fisheries Act failed to protect an important BC coastal salmon habitat. It’s time to renew the legislation. Young salmon rearing in the Skeena River estuary. (Photo: Tavish Campbell) read more

Environmental Law Alert Blog: What are we going to do about Site C?

Monday, August 15, 2016 As the Site C dam project forges ahead, West Coast's RELAW Project Manager Maxine Matilpi considers difficult questions about the future of the Peace River Valley and the Indigenous communities fighting to preserve their territories.     It's the end of the day and our shared office is hot and stuffy. ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: What are we going to do about Site C?

Monday, August 15, 2016 As the Site C dam project forges ahead, West Coast's RELAW Project Manager Maxine Matilpi considers difficult questions about the future of the Peace River Valley and the Indigenous communities fighting to preserve their territories.     It's the end of the day and our shared office is hot and stuffy. ...

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: Catching up with science: Salmon biodiversity and Aboriginal fisheries rights in BC

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws. A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Catching up with science: Salmon biodiversity and Aboriginal fisheries rights in BC

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws. A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: #LovetheGreatBearSea: Put laws in place to protect it

Thursday, July 28, 2016 Earlier this year the BC government approved the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order, grounding the region’s land and forest protection into law. Now it’s time to anchor the Great Bear Sea solution – comprehensive ecosystem-based marine spatial plans – into law as well. It’s time to achieve lasting protection for ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: #LovetheGreatBearSea: Put laws in place to protect it

Thursday, July 28, 2016 Earlier this year the BC government approved the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order, grounding the region’s land and forest protection into law. Now it’s time to anchor the Great Bear Sea solution – comprehensive ecosystem-based marine spatial plans – into law as well. It’s time to achieve lasting protection for ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Enbridge asks for another shot: Public comment period open on Northern Gateway’s request to extend its expiring federal approval

Friday, June 3, 2016 The Enbridge Northern Gateway project's conditional approval is on track to expire at the end of 2016. To keep its project alive, Northern Gateway has requested a three-year extension from the National Energy Board (NEB) and federal Cabinet. Now is the time to have your say on whether Enbridge should get another ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Poor mines enforcement undermines social licence

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 BC’s government accuses political opponents of being too keen to say “no” to development, but a recent report by BC’s Auditor General, Carol Bellringer, blasted the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment for the carte blanche they have provided to mining companies with little monitoring or compliance ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: How do we make the environment a top issue in Supernatural BC’s next election?

Thursday, May 26, 2016 One year to go until BC’s next election – what role will defending our natural environment play? A recent poll from Insights West contains good and bad news for environmentally-minded voters, but nonetheless reminds us that the environment can and should play a major role in the coming election. Share your ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Making a splash: Time for Canada to catch up as marine protected area networks take off around the world

Monday, May 16, 2016 Canadians love parks and wilderness. Banff, Nahanni, Algonquin, Gros Morne – these names are etched in our consciousness. Yet we’re less familiar with the grandeur and ecological wonders of Canada’s ocean world. It’s time to make a splash and make Canadians proud of this essential part of our natural heritage and ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Taking action on fish habitat protection

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Momentum is growing to get habitat protection reinstated into the federal Fisheries Act through a petition launched recently by a network of scientists, First Nations, and organizations including West Coast Environmental Law. Below is a guest post by authors from both coasts about the need to make this change to Canada’s ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Scaling Up the Fisheries Act: #Act4Fish

Thursday, March 24, 2016 Fish matter to Canadians. Fish habitat, called the “bedrock” of fisheries by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), matters. And so the law to protect fish and their habitat really matters. That's why WCEL launched Scaling Up the Fisheries Act: Restoring Lost Protections and Introducing Modern Safeguards, a brief that outlines preliminary ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Mining good and bad news from a Mines Act announcement

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 Good news and bad news on the environmental enforcement front from a recent BC government announcement on improving tools for Mines Act enforcement. Bad news: Energy and Mines Minister, Bill Bennett, confirmed the government only lays charges when mining corporations refuse point-blank to follow a government order to comply with the ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Is BC’s environmental enforcement plummeting because conservation officers are stuck at their desks?

Monday, September 21, 2015 During the summer a news story on Global TV suggested that BC has too few conservation officers to deal with all of the problem wildlife calls. The key report that Global based this story on also helps explain why BC's enforcement of environmental laws been dropping for well over a decade. ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: An open letter to FactsCan.ca on Navigable Waters and Environmental Protection

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 Dear FactsCan.ca – We write in regard to your recent “fact check” of a 2014 petition by the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) related to the removal of environmental protection from 2.5 million of Canada’s lakes and rivers. The NDP states that “Canada went from 2.5 million protected lakes and ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Pricing the priceless: Why BC’s new water prices don’t violate NAFTA

Friday, July 17, 2015 We have suggested that BC's new water rates are too low – an assessment shared by the signatories to a SumofUs.org petition signed by 225,000 people. As a result, the BC government has commited to review its water rates. But with former MLA Judy Tyabji suggesting that we warned against higher ...