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February 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

From Campbell’s farewell kiss to the oil industry, to the Prosperity Mine arising once again like a zombie from the grave, to government plans that prioritizeing industry over people and animals when it comes to our fresh water resources, to co-hosting a forum with for the country’s top environmental lawyers, it’s been a busy month acting as BC’s environmental law watchdog!

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wcel Campbell’s swan song in favour of oil tankers doesn’t fly with 80% of British Columbians  

West Coast is disappointed by Premier Campbell‘s decision to join the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan in calling on Parliament to defeat the legislative tanker ban introduced by MP Joyce Murray last December, Bill C-606, just two days before he steps down as Premier. Eighty percent of British Columbians and a majority of Canada’s MPs support a ban on tankers on the north coast. The passage of a legislative tanker ban will allow the continued growth of a sustainable coastal economy, fisheries and tourism that aren't compatible with tanker traffic and oil spills.

  • Click here to read the reactions to Campbell's message to Stephen Harper from citizens all across BC.

wcel Prosperity Mine - take 2?  

On Monday the mining company Taseko announced that it had submitted new plans for its controversial Prosperity Mine to the federal government. While Taseko says that the new plans don’t involve destroying Fish Lake, the new application raises plenty of questions about just what the company is planning and about Canada’s environmental assessment process.

  • Click here to read about the implications of Taseko's new (old) proposal.

wcel Are Water Markets the same as Privatization?  

Water sustainability is about streams, not markets – British Columbians care passionately about our water. Now’s the time to let the BC government know that a new Water Sustainability Act needs to focus on protecting the flow of water for fish and wildlife, instead of trying to create water markets.

  • Click here to read about what potential water markets could mean for British Columbians.
  • Click here to read about the strengths and weaknesses of the policy proposal for BC's Water Sustainability Act.
  • Click here for more information on how to make your voice heard on the Water Sustainability Act.
  • The new deadline for comments on the Water Sustainability Act is March 14. Head over to the Living Water Smart blog to read more and submit your comments.

wcel West Coast warns against BC water bottling plan  

Water, water everywhere, so let’s open a bottled water company – West Coast is concerned about a unique proposal to collect water from up to 34 streams from 4 different inlets on the Mid-coast of BC. While the project's proponents claim that they will only use a fraction of the available water, there are unanswered practical and legal questions about the project.

  • Click here to read about West Coast's legal concerns over the proposed bottled water operations.

wcel Highlights from the Renewing Environmental Law Conference  

At the beginning of February some of the country’s top environmental lawyers came together at the Renewing Environmental Law Conference – co-sponsored by West Coast. The entire conference was incredible, but highlights included:

  • The keynote speech by Chief Judge Brian Preston of the New South Wales Land and Environment Court explaining how a dedicated environment court can revolutionize environmental law. Read our blog post: A Land and Environment Court for BC.
  • West Coast’s presentation of the Dr. Andrew Thompson Award to Calvin Sandborn for his outstanding contribution to environmental protection and sustainability in British Columbia. Click here to read Calvin’s acceptance speech.

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Campbell's swan song in favour of oil tankers doesn't fly with 80% of British Columbians

Prosperity Mine - take 2?

Are Water Markets the same as Privatization?

West Coast warns against BC water bottling plan

Highlights from the Renewing Environmental Law Conference

Next issue we’ll tell you about our Feb 16th dialogue on Nature, Climate & Communities. For a sneak peek click here.



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