Environmental Law Alert Blog: Solidarity with the Secwepemc: Yes to a healthy environment, no to Ajax Mine

Friday, April 7, 2017 On April 1st, the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund team had an opportunity to visit some of our grantees in Secwepemc territory/Kamloops and participate in a declaration of solidarity and support for the Secwepemc decision to reject the proposed Ajax mine. The ceremony brought together Indigenous communities, Kamloops residents and allies in ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Sign the Mount Polley petition to demand accountability

Thursday, March 9, 2017 MiningWatch needs your help to ensure accountability for the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster. In late 2016 the mining watchdog launched a private prosecution (with the help of our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund), but the federal government is now trying to stay the charges. You can help by signing this petition ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Sign the Mount Polley petition to demand accountability

Thursday, March 9, 2017 MiningWatch needs your help to ensure accountability for the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster. In late 2016 the mining watchdog launched a private prosecution (with the help of our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund), but the federal government is now trying to stay the charges. You can help by signing this petition ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: 2017: A Look Ahead to Protect Nature, Climate and Communities

Thursday, January 5, 2017 Check out our short video to meet some of our talented lawyers and see what we're most excited about for 2017! From providing legal aid for communities to defend their environment, to revitalizing Indigenous laws, and holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their role in climate change – this year the ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Mount Polley Mine private prosecution: Stepping up to demand accountability

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 In the face of a disaster like the Mount Polley mine disaster, swift action is essential to send a message to industry that breaking environmental laws will not be tolerated. In this case, when the government failed to act in a timely manner, MiningWatch Canada brought a private prosecution to enforce ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Government charges (finally) laid in Lemon Creek jet fuel spill – thanks to private prosecution

Friday, July 29, 2016 In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts, plunged off a road in the Slocan Valley, crashing into the pristine Lemon Creek and dumping 33,000 litres into the river, compromising drinking water and killing fish. The province investigated, concluding that ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Government charges (finally) laid in Lemon Creek jet fuel spill – thanks to private prosecution

Friday, July 29, 2016 In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts, plunged off a road in the Slocan Valley, crashing into the pristine Lemon Creek and dumping 33,000 litres into the river, compromising drinking water and killing fish. The province investigated, concluding that ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: This Earth Day: Celebrating the campaign to get local government out of the fossil fuel business

Friday, April 22, 2016 To celebrate Earth Day 2016, we’re highlighting the remarkable work of Divest Victoria and their campaign – with help from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF) – to allow communities across BC to divest from fossil fuels. As a result of their work, this August BC’s local governments will be considering ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Fort Nelson First Nation Shuts Down Nexen’s License to Frack

Friday, November 20, 2015 In September, the Fort Nelson First Nation won a major legal challenge at the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) that overturned a long term water license issued to gas giant Nexen Inc for hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). The EAB decision is an important win – setting new precedents on how water managers ...

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: Cowichan Watershed Board Goes for the Flow

Monday, September 21, 2015 A recent decision of the Environmental Appeal Board raises important questions about the ways that we can assist natural ecosystems in adapting to climate change. The EAB confirmed a decision by the BC Government to change how water in Cowichan Lake is released into Cowichan River, to better address climate change. ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: A new and improved Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 West Coast is excited to unveil our new and improved Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF). A recent review of the EDRF’s last 5 years, which included interviews with EDRF clients, allies, lawyers, and much internal reflection, convinced us that we can be more effective and efficient by strategically funding cases we ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Demand justice for Lemon Creek

Thursday, January 15, 2015 We need your help to get justice for Lemon Creek and the residents of the Slocan Valley.  Please take a moment to ask the Canadian Department of Justice to pursue charges against the BC Government and Executive Flight Centre for their role in the August 2013 spill of more than 30,000 ...

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 ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Taking the law into her own hands after Lemon Creek jet-fuel spill

Friday, October 31, 2014 After months of pressing the province and the federal government to charge Executive Flight Services for spilling 35,000 litres of jet fuel into Lemon Creek, killing fish and prompting an evacuation, Slocan Valley resident Marilyn Burgoon took the law into her own hands. She walked into a courthouse and filed an ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: British Columbians go to court to protect the environment

Monday, October 27, 2014 Over the next 2 months five cases funded by our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund will be in courts in 3 cities, addressing disputes involving 5 different communities. We’ve written about most of these court challenges on these pages over the past year or so. West Coast supporters who are in Vancouver, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: British Columbians using the law to fight back and protect their environment

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 One of West Coast Environmental Law’s services is to operate the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF). The EDRF is funded by the Law Foundation of BC, and is a granting program for citizens and communities who need to access legal help to solve an environmental dispute. We are pleased to bring you an ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Field notes on the Hupacasath legal challenge to the Canada-China FIPA: WCEL summer law student volunteer reports from the Federal Court of Appeal

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 On the morning of June 10, 2014, as my first investigative assignment as a law student volunteer working with West Coast Environmental Law, I was sent to the Federal Court of Appeal on the corner of the busy Georgia and Granville streets to observe an appeal brought by the Hupacasath First ...

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: How Pioneer Forest was saved

Thursday, February 20, 2014 In June 2012 word went around our community that Pioneer Forest park – heavily used from 1966 – was going to be sold. The information about the pending sale of the park found its way to some concerned citizens who were not about to let this happen. We engaged Patrick Canning, ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: The Lemon Creek jet spill and emergency release of data

Thursday, August 29, 2013 I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to have your drinking water, and your entire community, contaminated with jet fuel.  So when some folks who live near Lemon Creek contacted West Coast looking to find out what they had been exposed to, we were happy to write to ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Lack of footnotes costs fish farm activist $75,000

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 On Monday, July 22nd the BC Court of Appeal ordered well-known anti- fish farm activist Don Staniford to pay $75,000 in damages because the mock cigarette packages he had made criticizing Norwegian fish farm companies lacked footnotes. What does this mean for fish farm activists?  For the most part, the lessons ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Lessons from a fish farm defamation lawsuit

Friday, October 12, 2012 Congratulations to Don Staniford – and his lawyer, David Sutherland – who, last month, defeated a lawsuit brought against him by fish farm giant, Mainstream Canada (with help from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund)!   The fish farm company had sued Don for a series of mock cigarette ads with warnings related ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: Burns Bog, Strathcona Park cases ask: who owns BC’s protected areas?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Two legal cases are underway, funded by West Coast Environmental Law, argue that the government has a responsibility to manage protected areas for the benefit of BC's public and future generations.  Burns Bog v. Canada, which challenges the impact of the South Fraser Perimeter Road on Burns Bog, will be heard ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: No new fish farms for 10 months – BC Supreme Court

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 Alexandra Morton’s constitutional challenge to BC’s fish farm laws just keeps getting better.  Justice Hinkson today has effectively created a moratorium on new fish farms and fish farm expansion in BC for 10 months.  read more