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r1 Legal solutions to support environmental justice ... r19 March 2021 | Legal e-Brief FacebookTwitter YouTube Instagram WCEL logo Donate today!

Dear Paov,

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of environmental promises kept and broken by our governments. Like many British Columbians, we were aghast with BC’s recent announcement that the Site C Dam would move ahead, despite rising costs to taxpayers, and ongoing opposition from Treaty 8 Nations, farmers and Peace River Valley families.

Site C is just one of many projects and activities across Canada that seem to contradict government commitments, threatening the environment and Indigenous rights. That’s why we need strong laws and decision-making processes that protect nature and public health, while addressing environmental racism and the intersectional impacts of development.

Standing up for families, community health and safety in Beaver Creek Kackaamin sign on front lawn, with marijuana leaf on yield sign in corner Despite a moratorium on cement-based cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), a massive growing facility is being developed in a rural residential area on Vancouver Island, across the street from an Indigenous healing and recovery centre, Kackaamin (pronounced cots-common).

As our new blog explains, the social costs to Kackaamin and the neighbourhood are high, and local advocates say environmental racism has played a part in the facility’s approval. Our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF) stepped in to offer legal support, and you can contribute to their case here.
Canadian decision-makers must redress environmental racism Take action to redress environmental racism written over smoke stacks Soon, your Member of Parliament will debate whether to move forward with the National Strategy to Redress Environmental Racism Act (Bill C-230). This is a chance that Canada cannot afford to miss.

Across the country Black and Indigenous communities and people of colour face more extreme environmental burdens than white Canadians – but Bill C-230 can help. Take action today: urge decision-makers to prioritize anti-racism and address environmental harms by passing this important bill.
Intervening to uphold the Impact Assessment Act Mountains with grey cartoon gavel in corner In late February, Staff Lawyer Anna Johnston was in (virtual) court to defend the constitutionality of Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) on behalf of Nature Canada.

The Alberta government is challenging the law, arguing that it is outside federal authority – but Anna explains why this important legislation must be upheld.
Gender-based analysis-plus in impact assessment: What it is, and why it is important (hint: it’s not just about jobs) Black silhouettes on background with sunset

When Parliament enacted the IAA, it introduced a requirement to consider “the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors” in federal impact assessments – known as GBA+.

This particular aspect of the IAA has been causing quite a stir, and has sparked some very disappointing displays of sexism. Learn more about what this provision means and why it is so necessary.

Net Zero – Ambitious climate target or fairy tale? Business men with unicorn that says Momentum is building around climate plans to get Canada to “net zero.” But the Canadian oil and gas industry's support for net zero emissions targets should offer a clue as to how ambitious these targets really are.

Staff Lawyer Andrew Gage demystifies carbon capture technologies and other proposed solutions, and explains why Canada’s laws need a strong interpretation of net zero with a realistic roadmap to get us there.
Reducing Impacts from Shipping in Marine Protected Areas: A Toolkit for Canada Three shipping booklets stacked

Canada’s existing marine protections do not adequately consider or mitigate the impacts of shipping in marine protected areas (MPAs).

Our new toolkit with WWF-Canada dives into the impacts of shipping in MPAs. These comprehensive reports are meant to help marine law enthusiasts, MPA practitioners and shipping experts identify tools to reduce shipping impacts on sea life.

You're Invited...
Join Raincoast and partners (including West Coast lawyer Deborah Carlson) for Connected Estuary, a six-part webinar series exploring how the Fraser River Estuary connects people, salmon, whales and birds across ecosystems. Employment Opportunities with West Coast Environmental Law The work we do would not be possible without our incredible network
of donors and supporters!

You can show how much you love the environment by making a tax-deductible donation to West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation today.
Thank you ♥
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