Environmental Law Alert Blog: Jessica Clogg explains Bill C-45, First Nations Rights, FIPA

Monday, March 4, 2013 This interview was originally published by Digital Journal and was written by Grace C. Visconti. Click here to go to the article as it was originally published. Vancouver – West Coast Environmental Law Executive Director and Senior Counsel Jessica Clogg explains ramifications of Bill C-45, First Nations Rights, and FIPA. Jessica ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: #IdleNoMore and the future of Canada

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Idle No More raises questions about both the past and future of Canada itself. It goes to the reality that we are a nation with a colonial history, and that we have not yet come to grips with that history. And it raises the possibility of a future in which First ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: From Oolichan to Enbridge: Getting to the Heart of Cumulative Impacts Management in the Northwest

Monday, January 14, 2013 In November 2012, 170 resource management practitioners, scientists, academics, and community members came together at a conference in Smithers, BC  entitled “Adding it All Up: Balancing Benefits and Effects of Resource Development”. The conference, organized by the Bulkley Valley Research Centre, focused on the issue of cumulative impacts management in the ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Yukon court decision could force BC to overhaul its antiquated mining laws

Thursday, January 10, 2013 The decision of the Yukon Court of Appeal in Ross River Dena Council v. Government of the Yukon – delivered just days before the end of 2012 (on Dec 27th) – may force governments across Canada – including in BC – to rewrite their mining laws.  The decision essentially holds that ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: First Nations and BC Mayors stand together against threat of oil tankers and pipelines

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 In December 2010, representatives of sixty-one Indigenous nations came together in an historic alliance to protect the Fraser watershed and our coastal waters from the threat of oil spills.The result was the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands projects, like the Enbridge pipeline and tankers project, from impacted First ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: First Nations lead the charge against Canada-China Trade deal

Friday, December 14, 2012 First Nations in BC are playing a national leadership role in pushing back against the controversial Canada China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA), and are hooking up with some non-Aboriginal allies in that fight.  A press release issued today by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), the Hupacasath ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: CEAA 2012 – On the Ground

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Jay Nelson has a unique perspective on the new Canadian Environmental Assessment act, 2012 (CEAA 2012); as the lawyer for the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) in the current environmental assessment of the controversial New Prosperity mine project at Fish Lake (Teztan Biny), he has been grappling with how CEAA 2012 works ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Is Canada-China Investment Treaty (FIPA) an attack on Aboriginal Rights?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 The Canadian government is preparing to ratify the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) possibly as early as tomorrow (November 1st) – an agreement which many individuals and organizations, including West Coast Environmental Law, have grave and deep concerns about.  But one clear legal problem with the FIPA, which ...

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: Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation sign Save the Fraser Declaration

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 On Saturday, July 7 2012 the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish Nation signed onto the Save the Fraser Declaration. In doing so, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish joined more than 100 First Nations in asserting their own Indigenous Laws which effectively ban Tar Sands projects throughout their territories, and put Kinder Morgan on notice ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Freedom Train 2012 Taking Enbridge opposition Canada-wide

Thursday, May 17, 2012 The cross-Canada railway has always been a powerful symbol. Over the years it has been celebrated as a “nation-building” exercise by some, while it is remembered as a source of deep injustice by others. Chinese and Indigenous labourers worked to build the tracks in dangerous conditions inferior to those of white ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Headlines, Pipelines and Time Spent on the Front Lines

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Reflections of two legal interns from Australia As part of our internship with West Coast Environmental Law, we recently travelled with staff counsel to some of the Northern BC communities that would be affected by the proposed Enbridge pipelines and supertankers project,  to the community hearings being currently being held by ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Enbridge linked to PNCIMA cancellation

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Revelations on Sunday that Enbridge had actively, and successfully, lobbied the federal government to walk away from a decade long planning process with Coastal First Nations and the Province of BC do nothing to help the company’s embattled pipeline and tankers project, or its reputation with First Nations.  Meanwhile, since the ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Save the Fraser Declaration – Alberta and Northwest Territories First Nations join BC First Nations in opposing Enbridge Pipeline and Tankers Proposal

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 On January 30th, media, First Nations groups, activists and one law student intern crowded into a hotel room on the outskirts of Edmonton for a press conference held by the Yinka Dene Alliance. Alberta and Northwest Territories First Nations signed on to the historic “Save the Fraser Declaration” to oppose the ...

Law is Cool: Legal Submissions in 140

I’ve been invited to participate in the first moot to be held entirely on Twitter.  The Twitter Moot will cover environmental law and First Nations rights, and is already attracting international attention.  I’ve written a little more about this on Slaw. The student competitors this year are: Team Dalhousie: Michele Charles and Kristen Balcom from ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: First Nations from North, South and Interior stand against oil tankers and pipelines

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 December 1st marked a turning point in the effort to protect the Pacific coast and the watersheds that we all depend on from the threat of oil spills. For the first time, First Nations from the north coast, the south coast, and the Interior gathered together to declare, in solidarity, that ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Tsilhqot’in v. Taseko and smart litigation

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 West Coast Environmental Law congratulates the Tsilhqot’in First Nation on its most recent court win in its efforts to protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) from the development of Taseko’s Prosperity (now called “New Prosperity”) mine.  Last week lawyers for the Tsilhqot’in and Taseko tangled in court, with the Tsilhqot’in coming away ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Prosperity Redux: a disappointing decision for the environment, First Nations and the EA process

Monday, November 7, 2011 Today, November 7, 2011, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) announced that Taseko Mine Ltd.’s gold and copper mine proposal, New Prosperity, will undergo a federal environmental assessment. As we have explained, we do not think that the New Prosperity proposal is anything more than a re-packaging of the previously ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Viewing mining’s effects on First Nations through the lens of aboriginal rights

Monday, October 31, 2011 A Guest Post by Bonnie Docherty, Lecturer on Law and Senior Clinical Instructor, Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic – The ongoing tension in British Columbia between mining interests and First Nations concerns has resurfaced yet again this fall. In September, Premier Christy Clark announced her B.C. jobs plan, in ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: No pumping from Chemainus Aquifer for now

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Last July (2011) we told you about the Halalt First Nation’s win in the BC Supreme Court to protect water flow in the Chemainus River, when the BC Supreme Court ordered a halt to the use of water from the Chemainus Aquifer until the Halalt First Nation are meaningfully consulted. Unfortunately, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Why Harper’s shot at PNCIMA also hit Enbridge in the foot

Thursday, September 15, 2011 The Canadian government recently withdrew suddenly and unexpectedly from a funding agreement to create a plan to manage BC’s North Coast, known as the Pacific North Coast Integrated Marine Area Plan (PNCIMA). Prime Minister Harper’s government may have believed that it was helping Enbridge and its Northern Gateway Pipelines by withdrawing ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: “No ‘elsewhere’ to go”

Friday, July 22, 2011 The Dene Tha’ First Nation has sought an order from the B.C. Supreme Court declaring that the provincial government breached its constitutional duty to consult with and accommodate the Dene Tha’, when the Ministry of Energy authorized the sale of twenty-one oil and gas parcels within the Dene Tha’s traditional territory ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Halalt Nation’s win protects Chemainus River

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 Last week (on July 13th), Madame Justice Wedge of the BC Supreme Court sided with the Halalt First Nation and suspended plans to pump water from the Chemainus aquifer to be used in the District of North Cowichan.  The decision raises fundamental questions about how we manage water, and our assumption ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Treaty 8 First Nations appeal to the UN to intervene against proposed Site C Dam

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Treaty 8 First Nations have taken their struggle against the proposed Site C Hydroelectric Dam on the Peace River into the international arena by appealing to the United Nations to intervene against the BC government to protect their interests.  The appeal was issued in New York last month at the 10th ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: West Moberly Nation wins second round for the Caribou

Monday, May 30, 2011 BC's Court of Appeal has sided with the West Moberly First Nations in requiring the government of BC to address the impacts of a proposed mining project on an endangered Caribou Herd.  This case is the first time in Canada that Aboriginal Treaty Rights have been used to force the government ...