Site C Finally Faces B.C. Utilities Commission

Site C Finally Faces B.C. Utilities Commission r1 ... Share Tweet Forward It's Finally Happening: Site C Gets Its Date with the
B.C. Utilities Commission

By Sarah Cox

David Vardy has a message for British Columbia about continuing work on the Site C dam while the project undergoes a quick independent review by the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC).

“My comment to British Columbia is a big red sign saying ‘Stop.’ This is crazy. Don’t go ahead with this [project],” Vardy told DeSmog Canada. “While the review is taking place the activity should be suspended.”

On Wednesday the B.C. cabinet instructed the BCUC to provide two reports on Site C — a preliminary report by September 20 and a final report by November 1. Read more.

10 Things Albertans Might Actually Like About Their Carbon Tax

By James Wilt

It’s been a full six months since Alberta introduced its economy-wide carbon levy and the sky has not fallen.

In fact, unlike what many politicians and pundits were predicting ahead of the implementation of the $20/tonne carbon levy, the cost of gasoline at the pumps hasn’t spiked — and has in fact been consistently lower than when politicians like Jason Kenney and Derek Fildebrandt made photo ops by filling jerry cans ahead of January 1, the date the carbon tax took effect.

Here are 10 ways carbon levy revenues are being used to create a better quality of life and lower emissions in Alberta. Read more.

Mount Polley Investigation Still On, Federal Charges ‘In Play,’ Says
B.C. Environment Minister

By Carol Linnitt

B.C.’s new Minister of Environment, George Heyman, says he identifies with the many British Columbians eager for the outcome of the single ongoing investigation into the Mount Polley mine disaster that sent 24 million cubic metres of mining waste into Quesnel Lake on August 4, 2014.

As B.C. approaches the three-year anniversary of the incident, British Columbians, including local residents directly impacted by the spill, have expressed disappointment that Imperial Metals, owner and operator of Mount Polley, has received no charges and no fines for the disaster, considered one of the worst environmental incidents in Canadian history.

As DeSmog Canada recently reported, while B.C. has reached the expiration date for provincial charges, the statute of limitations has not run out for federal charges under the Fisheries Act. Read more.

The Fight Over Taseko Mine Permits Issued During Forest Fire Evacuation Just Levelled Up

By Judith Lavoie

Representatives from the Tsilhqot’in National Government were in the B.C. Supreme Court this week asking for an immediate injunction to stop Taseko’s exploratory drilling for the controversial open-pit New Prosperity Mine from beginning August 7.

To the dismay of the Tsilhqot’in, B.C. issued Taseko exploratory permits in the dying days of the former BC Liberal government while the Tsilhqot’in were under a wildfire evacuation order — even though the $1.5 billion gold and copper mine project itself has been twice rejected by the federal government in 2010 and again in 2014.

A court decision on the injunction is expected this week. But the fight both for and against the permits doesn’t stop there. Read more.

Five Ways Alberta Can Raise the Bar on Methane Regulations

By James Wilt

Environmental organizations, labour groups and technology companies are calling on Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to take decisive action on methane emissions from oil and gas activities.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with 25 times the global warming potential as carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. It is a huge component of natural gas, so Alberta generates a lot of the stuff because it gets vented in all sorts of ways once you start digging around beneath the earth’s surface.

In an open letter, the groups call on Alberta to go above and beyond the draft federal regulations on methane. Read more.

What You Need to Know About the B.C. Utilities Commission and
the Site C Dam

By Sarah Cox

Until 11:13 on Monday morning, the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) had a website that was as much of a snoozer as its name. It had tiny lines of text and looked like something that harkened back to the horse and buggy days of the World Wide Web.

Just as all eyes turn to the BCUC — which will begin a review of the Site C hydro dam project any day now — the commission is striving to find a bit more sizzle and pop when it comes to public relations. Read more.

When B.C.’s Wildfires Are Over, What Comes Next?

By Kevin Grandia

British Columbians have been suffering through some of the worst wildfires in memory. These latest fires are turning out to be even more devastating than the horrible 2003 Kelowna fires that saw more than 27,000 residents displaced and the loss of 239 homes in B.C.’s lake country.

It’s hard to overstate the impacts of this latest wildfire disaster: as of last week, more than 45,000 people had been displaced or evacuated. While some of them have been able to return home, they’ll be returning to the tragic sight of burned down homes and a whopping 4,000-plus square kilometres of burned forest. The wildfires this summer have been so severe that the province declared a state of emergency for the first time since 2003. r34


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