Does B.C. Need a Public Inquiry into Site C?

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This B.C. First Nation is Harnessing Small-Scale Hydro to Get off Diesel

By Jimmy Thomson

The rain comes down in a dense mist as John Ebell shows off the construction site of the Nicknaqueet River Hydro project, high on a hillside above the Wannock River in Rivers Inlet, a fjord on the central coast of B.C.

It’s the perfect weather, he says, to illustrate why a small-scale hydroelectric project is so perfect for the area. Read more and watch the video below.

B.C. Using Kitimat Smelter Workers as ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Air Pollution Monitoring, Union Says

By Carol Linnitt

In October, B.C. Premier John Horgan made a visit to the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter on the banks of the Douglas Channel in Kitimat.

He praised the facility for being “a great example of how companies can improve conditions for workers and reduce pollution all while improving their bottom line.”

What he didn’t mention was the ongoing battle at Rio Tinto Alcan over a provincial permit that allowed the company to increase sulphur dioxide pollution by more than 50 per cent, or the union representing 800 workers at the smelter that appealed that permit, saying the increase in pollution was a direct threat to their health. Read more.

Why British Columbians Should Demand a Public Inquiry on the Site C Dam

By Emma Gilchrist

Construction on the Site C dam, the most expensive public project in B.C. history, began without any independent, in-depth examination of the costs of the project or the demand for the project. Seriously.

That’s led to calls this week for a public inquiry into how (and, perhaps more importantly, why) BC Hydro and the BC Liberal government made that decision. Read more.

The Best Canadian Climate Policy You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By James Wilt

The Clean Fuel Standard has the incredible potential to cut Canada’s annual greenhouse emissions by upward of 30 megatonnes per year (the equivalent of removing seven million cars from the road), nearly double the reductions promised by a price on carbon.

So why haven't you heard of it? James Wilt investigates. Read more.

Coalition Calls for Public Inquiry Into B.C. Fracking

By Judith Lavoie

A full public inquiry, with powers to call witnesses and gather research, is needed to investigate natural gas fracking operations in B.C., says a coalition of 17 community, First Nations and environmental organizations.

The group, which includes the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, David Suzuki Foundation, Public Health Association of B.C. and West Coast Environmental Law, is appealing to the NDP government to call a public inquiry — instead of the scientific review promised during the election campaign — because of mounting evidence of problems caused by fracking.  Read more.

Kinder Morgan At Risk of Violating NEB Condition With Premature 300,000-Tonne Pipeline Order

By Carol Linnitt

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain may be in violation of a condition laid out by the National Energy Board, Canada’s federal pipeline regulator, after ordering nearly 300,000 tonnes of pipeline for the expansion project without submitting a quality management plan.

According to regulatory documents filed by the National Energy Board in September, Trans Mountain was required to file a quality management plan “at least four months prior to manufacturing any pipe and major components for the project.” Read more.

Supreme Court’s Jumbo Ski Resort Ruling Offside Of Canada’s International Commitment to Indigenous Peoples

By Judith Lavoie

A ground-breaking Supreme Court of Canada decision on Charter protection of religious beliefs that depend on sacred areas is likely to reverberate through future legal cases and will test Canada’s support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Ktunaxa Nation appealed a 2012 decision by the B.C. government to approve a plan by Glacier Resorts Ltd. to build Jumbo Glacier Resort, a 6,250-bed ski resort, on Crown land in the Purcell Mountains, about 55 kilometres west of Invermere.

“The Charter protects the freedom to worship, but does not protect the spiritual focal point of worship,” says the ruling. Read more.

Hudson’s Hope Goes Solar As Town Faces Site C’s Biggest Impacts

By Sarah Cox

Solar-powered curling, anyone? Or what about solar-powered sewage treatment?

Hudson’s Hope, the municipality that would be most affected by the Site C dam, is going solar with a blast. Read more.

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