Summer updates from West Coast

r1 Vancouver votes YES on Sue Big Oil motion ... r19 July 2022 | Legal e-Brief FacebookTwitter LinkedIn InstagramYouTube WCEL logo Donate today!

Dear Paov,

Things are heating up this summer.

In a historic win, yesterday the City of Vancouver voted YES to a motion to fund a class-action climate lawsuit against Big Oil. It's only been a month since we launched our Sue Big Oil campaign, and we’re floored by how the community came together to spread the word and ensure the motion passed. We can’t thank you enough!

Also in this edition of the Legal e-Brief – read about how we’re holding Canada’s feet to the fire for weak regulations on cruise ship pollution, how humans can reap an ocean-full of benefits from marine protected areas, upcoming volunteer opportunities, and more.

Vancouver votes to fund climate lawsuit against Big Oil Great news for climate justice! We're thrilled about the City of Vancouver's decision to set aside $1 per resident towards a class action lawsuit against oil companies, for their role in causing climate change and the costs that BC communities are now experiencing. Currently, taxpayers are covering all these costs on our own – but the Sue Big Oil campaign aims to change that.

This is a huge first step, and one we can challenge other local governments to follow. Read more about this historic win and show your support by signing the Sue Big Oil Declaration.
Keeping the spotlight on cruise ship pollution Our work to reduce cruise ship pollution on the coast has gained a lot of traction since we released our report with Stand.earth last year.

After our most recent update about Canada’s weak measures to counter pollution from these vessels, international media outlets like The Guardian have picked up the story – highlighting how lax Canadian regulations incentivize ships to dump their waste along the BC coast, and how the industry uses scrubbers to offset air pollution by contaminating the waters instead.

West Coast will continue to advocate for stronger regulation of cruise ship dumping to protect coastal communities and waters.
How protecting the ocean helps humans in return By nurturing ocean life, replenishing fish stocks and other harvestable resources, and halting further degradation, marine protected areas (MPAs) can unlock pretty powerful benefits for human well-being, too.

Well-managed MPAs can offer us recreation and leisure opportunities, mental and emotional enrichment, and more. We explain in Part 5 of our blog series on the benefits of ocean protection.
Are BC lawyers climate laggards? Unlike many other law societies and professional bodies that are acting in the face of the climate crisis, the Law Society of BC has failed to pass a recent resolution to encourage lawyers to engage with climate change and its effects.

Staff Lawyer Erin Gray and Summer Law Student Kaymi Yoon-Maxwell report on what happened and the worrying implications.
Introducing new West Coast staff members This month we’re excited to welcome Samantha Myran, Coordinating Lawyer, who will be coordinating West Coast’s day-to-day operations in addition to working on RELAW (Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water) projects; and Georgia Beaty, Donor Relations Specialist, who will be supporting and engaging donors around our work. Volunteer with us Interested in getting more involved with West Coast? We’ve got three volunteer positions available:
  • If you enjoy activating community members around environmental issues and love spending time at events like festivals and farmers’ markets, join our Street Legal Team.
  • Savvy with social media? Want to build your digital marketing skills? Consider becoming a Social Media Ambassador with us.
  • There’s an opening for a Treasurer on our volunteer Board of Directors. An individual with strong environmental values and a background in accounting and/or financial administration would be a great fit – sound like you?
Applications for these roles are welcomed on a rolling basis. Click here to view all of our current opportunities.

West Coast Environmental Law depends on the support of caring people like you. Please consider making a small donation to our Research Foundation today to help us continue our crucial work for the legal protection of the environment for generations to come.

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