May 2018 |  Donate  |  Leave a Legacy
 
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It feels like the world has been turned on its head. With Kinder Morgan’s announcement last month, halting non-essential spending on the $7.4 billion dollar Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, the future of this pipeline expansion is very much in question.

Since then, the legal and constitutional debates have only ratcheted up across the nation, the federal government is scrambling, and community members and Indigenous leaders continue to risk arrest in the name of environmental justice. Just last week, the federal government announced its plans to 
bail out this ill-fated project.

On top of that, new information about the federal government’s internal strategy on Kinder Morgan adds weight to concerns that the approval was rigged, and that consultations with Indigenous peoples were virtually meaningless.

Stand with us today – donate $5 a month to support a healthy environment! 

West Coast Environmental Law is working tirelessly to implement legal strategies that uphold Indigenous rights and safeguard the health of our environment in the face of risky projects like Trans Mountain. We are committed to holding the pressure on Kinder Morgan’s investors and shareholders, sharing with them the insurmountable financial and legal risks associated with this project.

Recently, I accompanied Indigenous leaders attending Kinder Morgan’s annual shareholders meeting in Houston, Texas – where shareholders voted to 
support our allies' motion calling on the company to report on environmental and social issues,
 and we were able to tell Kinder Morgan’s executive team directly that the pipeline would not get built.  

This is our opportunity to demonstrate – to governments and shareholders alike – that it’s bad business to support a project that faces overwhelming community opposition, flies in the face of Canada’s climate commitments, and above all, violates Indigenous rights and title.

West Coast needs your support today to ensure that the future health of BC’s communities and ecosystems stays in our hands, and not in the grip of Big Oil.
 
Please consider becoming a monthly donor or making a donation today.
 
Together, we are standing up for the interests of Canadians who care about the environmental legacy we leave for our children.

Eugene Kung, Staff LawyerIn gratitude,

Eugene Kung
Staff Lawyer
West Coast Environmental Law

 

 

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MAY 2018 |  Donate  |  Leave a Legacy
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This month we’re celebrating two major wins for the environment and the right to speak out! Last week, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act was passed in the House of Commons. And this Tuesday, the BC government tabled long-awaited legislation to protect British Columbians from strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) – stay tuned for our analysis of the bill.

Read on below for West Coast’s take on possible Kinder Morgan court outcomes, BC environmental assessments, new provincial climate targets and more.
Federal Oil Tanker Moratorium Act passes in House of Commons
Last week, West Coast was thrilled to see that Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, was passed in the House of Commons.

After advocating for this law for over 40 years, we are celebrating the tireless efforts of Indigenous nations, northern communities and other allies who have fought so hard for a legislated oil tanker ban on the north Pacific coast. We hope the bill passes swiftly through its final stage in the Senate!
A vision for next-generation environmental assessment in BC
This month, we joined 23 environmental organizations, legal experts, social justice and community groups to release our shared vision for the future of environmental assessment in BC.

Together, we’ve proposed some bold reforms that will prioritize scientific and Indigenous knowledge, rebuild credibility and help achieve sustainability. For more details, you can also check out this Blueprint for Revitalizing EA in BC, co-authored by West Coast, Ecojustice, the UVic Environmental Law Centre and Pacific Centre for Environmental Law & Litigation. 
Face-off: Possible outcomes from the Kinder Morgan Federal Court of Appeal legal challenges
Everyone is eagerly awaiting a decision from the courts on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, and what happens next will shape BC’s future. Ongoing court challenges present serious legal risks for the project – risks that were ignored yesterday when the federal government announced its plans to bail out the company.

Staff Lawyer Eugene Kung walks us through the possible outcomes of the federal court cases, complete with hockey metaphors and recent updates from on the ground. 
The provincial government's new Bill 34 claims to give BC a newClimate Change Accountability Act. But while it sets new greenhouse gas reduction targets, it misses the “accountability” part.

Staff Lawyer Andrew Gage sifts through what’s new and what hasn’t changed, and offers best practices for a robust climate accountability law. 
A watershed moment: Building a modern Fisheries Act for the 21st century
Bill C-68 is entering the final stages in the House of Commons, ushering in important amendments that will restore lost protections under the federal Fisheries Act. These new amendments will have lasting implications for fish and their habitat – and we owe it to them to get it right.

After testifying before the Parliamentary committee reviewing the bill, Staff Lawyer Linda Nowlan explains what could be doneto make Canada’s modernized Fisheries Act even stronger.
New staff and students at West Coast
It’s the summertime and time to welcome our new law students and new staff!
  • We’ve got six excellent law students: Aakash Taneja, Christie McLeod, Christina Clemente, Dan Cheater, David Schecter and Jennifer Wong.
  • Rumnique Nannar is our new Communications & Engagement Specialist.
Check out their bios on our staff page.
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West Coast Environmental Law
200 - 2006 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6J 2B3
phone: 604.684.7378   
fax: 604.684.1312
toll-free in BC: 1.800.330.WCEL
admin@wcel.org
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The Legal E-Brief is a publication of West Coast Environmental Law Association

 



APRIL 2018 |  Donate  |  Leave a Legacy
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Canada’s pipeline hysteria is reaching a fever pitch, with the federal government now proposing to use taxpayer funds to bail out Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project. This Earth Day weekend, check out our latest update on the legal risks and uncertainties surrounding Trans Mountain, then find three ways you can take action to protect the coast and waterways from oil spills:
Also this week, West Coast's Anna Johnston appeared before the Parliamentary committee reviewing proposed federal environmental law reforms under Bill C-69. See our submissions on strengthening the new Impact Assessment Act and restoring lost protections under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
National interest or national liability? Kinder Morgan: risk and uncertainty abound
Kinder Morgan has set a May 31 deadline to get political certainty for building its Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project. What can the federal government do to achieve this? And will it alleviate the host of legal, financial, reputational and practical risks facing the project?

Read Staff Lawyer Eugene Kung's analysis, and support our work by donating today.
Support stronger regulations to keep BC safe from oil spills
Right now, British Columbians have an opportunity to make sure that lands, waters and the coast are protected from oil spills – not just from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tankers, but from other sources as well – through the modernization of our oil spill response regulations.
 
Read about the key elements needed to make sure these regulations do their job, then submit your comments to the BC government. Take action by April 30th to make your voice heard!
Parliamentary petition urges federal government to pass stalled oil tanker ban legislation
Has the north coast oil tanker ban stalled in Parliament? Some recent signs point to yes, so West Coast is supporting a Parliamentary petition initiated by Marilyn Slett, president of the Coastal First Nations and elected Chief of the Heiltsuk Nation, urging the federal government to finally keep its promise and enact the oil tanker ban.

Learn more from Staff Lawyer Gavin Smith, and add your nameto the petition.
The movement to demand climate accountability is quickly gaining momentum. Last weekend the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) – representing 53 local governments and over 850,000 British Columbians – voted to send Chevron and other fossil fuel companies a letter demanding that they pay a fair share of local climate costs. 

The AVICC joins Sooke, Slocan, Castlegar, and Powell River who voted to send climate accountability letters during the past month.
Meanwhile, a new climate liability bill introduced in Ontario is making waves, asserting that fossil fuel producers shall be made "strictly liable for climate-related harms that occur in Ontario." Staff Lawyer Andrew Gage explains.
 
Game of Floods: How BC can plan for climate change and protect coastal ecosystems
Despite the rise in flooding, wildfires and other climate impacts, the governments of BC and Canada aren't making climate adaptation a priority.

Staff Lawyer Deborah Carlson explains how better climate adaptation planning and changes in provincial laws could help protect coastal ecosystems, make communities more resilient, and improve our chances in the "Game of Floods".
It’s 2018. Is your health care system prepared for climate change?
Rising temperatures, heatwaves, droughts and other climate impacts can have serious effects on public health.

Staff Lawyer Andrew Gage takes a look at what's needed to prepare our healthcare systems for a changing climate – and who should pay for the costs.
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West Coast Environmental Law
200 - 2006 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6J 2B3
phone: 604.684.7378   
fax: 604.684.1312
toll-free in BC: 1.800.330.WCEL
admin@wcel.org
Update Profile      Manage Subscriptions       Unsubscribe

The Legal E-Brief is a publication of West Coast Environmental Law Association