Courtroom drama over enviro laws

r1 What to know about the recent Impact Assessment Act decision ... r19 October 2023 | Legal e-Brief FacebookTwitter LinkedIn InstagramYouTube WCEL logo Donate today!

Dear Paov,

The West Coast team has been busy in court defending nature, Indigenous rights and strong environmental laws.

In the past month, we celebrated Gitxaała Nation's recent victory over BC’s mineral tenure regime. West Coast co-represented Gitxaała in the legal challenge.

And just last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision on the federal Impact Assessment Act. Now we are ready to hold governments accountable to ensure they make the legal reforms these court decisions call for.

The Court requires BC to overhaul its mineral claim process The verdict is in and the BC Supreme Court has agreed that the Province is breaching its constitutional duties to Gitxaała Nation and all First Nations in BC by automatically granting mineral claims in their territories without consultation. Read Gitxaała Nation's reaction and learn more in this article from The Narwhal.

BC has 18 months to put in place a new mineral tenure system. Now that the Court has confirmed the legal imperative for change, West Coast is hitting the ground running to support Indigenous Nations in reforming BC’s archaic mineral tenure regime and creating new legislation aligned with UNDRIP – moving all of us closer to environmental justice.
“This is not the win Alberta was hoping for” The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision on the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act.

Although the Court identified constitutional issues within the Act, the decision confirms the federal government’s authority to carry out impact assessments on projects such as mines, pipelines and dams, so long as those projects have potential to impact areas of federal jurisdiction like fisheries and navigation. Staff Lawyer Anna Johnston highlights key takeaways, and what happens next.
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Deadline extended: Help support Indigenous law revitalization in BC Join West Coast as our next RELAW Coordinator. This role fulfills administrative, coordination and communications duties to ensure the smooth functioning of our RELAW program (Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air & Water).

We’re accepting applications on a rolling basis. Click for the full job posting and share with your circles!

Say hello to our new Donor Relations Coordinator! This week we are excited to welcome Flarell Caldeira to the West Coast family. Flarell is joining our development team as the Donor Relations Coordinator, with a rich background in the nonprofit sector both in Canada and abroad.

See Flarell’s bio here.

Donate today and help West Coast develop legal strategies to safeguard the environment.

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