Posted on November 05, 2014

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, DC will decide the fate of millions of people.
At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mine operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador’s government against a Canadian gold-mining company, that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset, although gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.

The case’s implications are chilling. If the company wins, this small country will have to either let the company mine or pay hundreds of millions of dollars.
This summer, we returned to northern El Salvador. That’s where the Pacific Rim mining company started to dig its exploration wells about a decade ago.
Near that disputed mining site, local resident Vidalina Morales explained how she and others came to oppose mining: “At first, we thought mining was going to help us out of poverty through jobs.”

Bill 8 is dangerous and outrageous. 

For example, a corporation may apply to the government for a TFL, notify (not consult with) the public asking for feedback within a short period of time, and, then, the corporation reports back to government telling it what it heard from the public.  

Posted on September 09, 2012

Will the wildlife-rich region of Fraser Valley, BC become just another paved-over, smog-infested, gridlocked hellhole for the benefit of the few rich and famous?

by Joe Foy

The hawk wheeled around the big cottonwood looking for a place to land – all the while a gang of smaller birds and crows tried to bully it out of the neighbourhood by making an awful racket and dive-bomb­ing its tail feathers.

But she gave them no notice and landed on one of the

Posted on August 23, 2012

The AGM was held at Weyerhaeuser Centcom on their massive sprawling complex 25 miles south of Seattle. Weyerhaeuser Way winds through acres of 2ndgrowth forests of fir and cottonwood and leads right to their Corporate Headquarters building next to a large duck-pond with expansive landscaped, manicured golfcourse style gardens.

Posted on August 23, 2012

by Jim Cooperman

It has been slightly more than a year since my last Watershed Sentinel update on BC’s forestry issues. Not much has changed, other than the Gordon Campbell Liberal government has now enshrined in law forestry policies that virtually hand over the

Posted on July 11, 2012

Ecologists ignore that everything we use rests on the earth's natural resources. We now see that our galloping economies rely on handouts, massive debt, war, abuse, waste, and a diminished earth. Rivers die, species go extinct, forests disappear, deserts grow, and people suffer. 

by Rex Weyler

In the 1980s, fishermen caught the last wild Beluga sturgeon from the Sea of Azov, source of prized caviar. Wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea failed to reproduce. The sturgeon catch plunged by 95%, and the cost of caviar soared. Such extraordinary price growth is known as “hyperinflation,” or as economist Eric Sprott says, “the caviar syndrome.” 

Posted on July 10, 2012

Real change will arise from our allies whose vision of victory includes the end of exploitive capitalism and colonialism.

by Dawn Paley 

On a cool August morning, members of the Unist’hot’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation sit around an unfinished porch, sipping coffee, looking over the Morice River. A pathway connects the cabin to the river, where they fetch drinking water. Enbridge Pipelines Inc, wants to build two pipelines across the Morice River at that very site. 

Sleepy campers drift onto the porch, in toques and

Posted on July 10, 2012

by Rafe Mair 

I was under the impression that Canada and the world were going to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. What happened? Did those people who bought new Priuses and installed private power plants on wild rivers help reduce our carbon footprint? Doesn’t appear so. 

Now, here we are, in “Super Natural British Columbia,” acting as enablers to Oilaholic Alberta/Ottawa as they try to turn Vancouver and Kitimat into tar sands shipping ports. We are, in oxymoronic terms, amateur whores permitting devastating spills in our pristine marine environment. 

Posted on July 09, 2012

by Joyce Nelson

Our government is using the economy to trump the environment, largely by exploiting people’s ignorance of economics. Allegedly to reduce the deficit, the Harper government cut 776 jobs at Environment Canada and threatens to cut $12.9 million (43 per cent) from the Environmental Assessment Agency budget, while axing one-third of its staff. 


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