From Our Inbox

20 April 2014
FINLAND, Minn. – Today, by a vote of 28-2, the Vermont state Senate passed H.112, a bill to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Vermont that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill also makes it illegal to call any food product containing GMOs “natural” or “all natural.” Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require four or five other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont’s law contains no “trigger” clauses, making it the first “clean” GMO labeling law in the country.

The bill now goes back to the House which is...
17 April 2014
 -- coal contamination on beach confirmed by citizen lab test, suggests terminal violating existing export permit

Vancouver -- An email sent April 10th by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) to a concerned citizen revealed that the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) quietly approved up to a 20 fold expansion in coal exports from Texada Island one month earlier.  The Lafarge Canada facility on Texada currently handles up to 400,000 tonnes of coal each year from Quinsam Mine on Vancouver Island, but the permit amendment now means that it could handle up to 8 million tonnes...
16 April 2014
April 16, 2013 FORT NELSON, B.C. - A group of B.C. officials has been kicked out of a First Nations forum on liquefied natural gas over the government's decision to exempt most of the gas produced in the province from mandatory environmental assessment.

Chief Sharleen Gale of the Fort Nelson First Nation, organizer of the summit in the northeast corner of the province, asked the bureaucrats to leave and escorted them out.

"There was no consultation as far as changing that policy," said Chief Terry Teegee of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, which represents eight First Nations...
16 April 2014
BC citizens unite to fight 'disturbingly dismantled' NEB Kinder Morgan process

April 16, 2014, VANCOUVER -- A group of concerned BC citizens, with the support of ForestEthics Advocacy, have retained legal counsel to explore options regarding the recently dismantled National Energy Board (NEB) consultation process for the Kinder Morgan pipeline project and its lack of review of climate and environmental impacts.

The co-plaintiffs include residents of Vancouver, the North Shore and the Fraser Valley who were denied intervenor status in the Kinder Morgan NEB hearings. Of the over 2000...
13 April 2014
April 15, 2014  By Mike Chisholm
Just days after the city of Kitimat soundly rejected the Northern Gateway pipeline project, the citizens of Nanaimo have sent a clear message to Metro Vancouver over a proposal for a garbage incinerator in Nanaimo.

In a unanimous vote Monday night, Nanaimo city council voted to reject a proposal for a waste-to-energy incinerator facility at Duke Point. The non-binding vote was taken during a raucous council meeting that followed months of angry emails, phone calls and letters from residents to local politicians.

“We declined an interest in it...
11 April 2014
Victoria City Council passes motion supporting First Nation's call for mining moratorium

First Nation and environmentalists pleased with Council decision

VICTORIA – On Thursday, April 10th, Victoria City Council passed a motion supporting the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s call for a moratorium on mining in its territory in Clayoquot Sound.

The motion, moved by Councillor Ben Isitt on March 21, came in response to a letter from Moses Martin, Chief Councillor of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. The Tla-o-qui-aht declared their territory off-limits to mining activity after the provincial...
09 April 2014
April 9, 2014 Washington, DC--Scientists and environmentalists today condemned a recent press release by researchers at the University of British Columbia announcing they have created genetically engineered (GE) poplar trees for paper and biofuel production, opening the prospect of growing these GE trees like an agricultural crop in the future. [1] 

The poplars were genetically engineered for altered lignin composition to allegedly make them easier to process into paper and biofuels. Groups, however, warn that manipulation of lignin, and the potential contamination of wild...
08 April 2014
Greenpeace asks Elections Canada to investigate whether links between the Conservative Party and Ethical Oil break election rules

(Ottawa) - Greenpeace Canada has asked Elections Canada to investigate whether the Conservative Party is colluding with the Ethical Oil Institute in violation of the measures in the Canada Elections Act that prohibit donations to federal political parties from corporations.

“We have compiled some very troubling evidence on the relationship between Ethical Oil and the Conservative Party that we believe merits investigation by the Commissioner of Canada...
07 April 2014
VANCOUVER, B.C – CRED BC, a collection of over 90 BC-based businesses, along with several other local business leaders, have been denied intervenor status in hearings on Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Today’s announcement by the National Energy Board (NEB) left CRED’s members with questions about the hearing process, particularly the level of consideration given to economic concerns.

“Such a large infrastructure development project will have direct & lasting impacts on many local businesses. The risk of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet or the surrounding...
07 April 2014

"Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Mine proposal that threatens Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. 

We also applaud their recognition that “Alaskans should have a say in Pebble’s future development”.

And Alaskans have had their say: they overwhelmingly oppose the mine. 98% of comments from Bristol Bay residents oppose the Pebble Mine proposal.  That’s largely because, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s peer reviewed scientific assessment of large...
02 April 2014
April 2, 2014

BC Liberal Government Revives Proposed “Forest Giveaway Scheme” for Major Logging Companies on Public Forest Lands

Revived proposal would entrench the status quo of unsustainable overcutting by granting exclusive logging rights to major timber companies over vast areas of public forest lands by expanding Tree Farm Licences.

“Despite being killed by widespread public opposition just a year ago, the BC Liberals never stop trying to revive their ‘Corporate Timber Zombie’ that is always reaching out to grab our public forests. But this time they’re strengthening and...
01 April 2014
OTTAWA (March 31, 2014) – An agreement has been reached to transfer the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) research center from under the auspices of the Government of Canada to a non-profit organization, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The ELA, a collection of 58 lakes in northwestern Ontario, has conducted ground-breaking research on the impacts of environmental problems – such as acid rain, climate change, and mercury pollution – on lakes and fish populations for over four decades. Today’s announcement brings to an end a two-year campaign by Canada’s scientific...
31 March 2014
Breaking News: GM Alfalfa Release Delayed!

Your actions are working! Thanks to all your protest, we have kept GM alfalfa off the market this spring!

The company Forage Genetics International will not release genetically modified (GM) alfalfa this spring, thanks to farmer and consumer opposition. Your continued protest, culminating in last year’s national Day of Action to Stop GM Alfalfa, has delayed the release of GM alfalfa in Canada. Thank you for taking effective action with CBAN!

The corporate decision to delay the introduction of GM alfalfa was confirmed in the Western Producer...
31 March 2014

94% of BC is "public" or "Crown" land. Commons BC advocates for intelligent, data-driven, democratic stewardship of that land, as well as of BC's public interests, common resources, and shared economy and environment. To aid in this project we produce visual graphics based on publicly available BC data. When thinking about "Crown" lands, please note that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that First Nations Title co-exists with Crown Title.

BC’s farmlands open to fracking & other development? Stop Bill 24

British Columbia contains relatively little farmland...
25 March 2014
VANCOUVER – Today Bill 4 (the Park Amendment Act) is set to become law, despite widespread opposition from the BC public and a consortium of leading environmental organizations and notable park advocates. Changes to the Act will allow poorly-defined industrial “research” to be conducted within provincial parks, facilitating removal of park land to allow for industrial activity, including pipelines, logging roads and resource extraction.

“The Minister has received thousands of letters opposing this bill since it was introduced last month, but the public’s concerns have been ignored” said...
20 March 2014
ISLAND WIDE –   Where does your drinking water come from? Do you know? This year’s Canada Water Week theme “Watersheds 101” aims to celebrate World Water Day (March 22) by educating Canadians about their watersheds and the drinking water systems they serve.  Canadian Geographic defines a watershed as “an area of land where all the surface water drains into the same place, whether it's a creek, a stream, a river or an ocean.” That means that no matter where you are in Canada, you’re standing in a watershed.

For Dr. Paul Hasselback, medical health officer responsible for...
18 March 2014
Burnaby Advises National Energy Board that Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Application is Incomplete and does not meet Legal Requirements for Hearing and Public Evaluation

Today, the City of Burnaby formally requested that the National Energy Board find that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Application is incomplete and reject it on the basis that it contains neither the information needed for the NEB to make an informed decision nor sufficient information for the public to understand and analyze the impacts of the Project and does not...
15 March 2014
The Fluoride Action Network is excited to announce the launch of the FAN Study Tracker, the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for fluoride health research, including studies investigating how fluoride affects the brain (e.g., IQ scores), the bones/joints (e.g., arthritis), the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, and the thyroid gland.

Features of the Study-Tracker include:
-    Over 1,500 abstracts and over 400 full-text studies.
-    Filters that enable 80+ years of research to be organized by health category/subcategory, study type, and date.
-   ...
14 March 2014
Sointula, BC, March 13, 2014  As the Province of British Columbia considers two new fish farm applications, the milestone of over 100,000 signatures on a petition has passed. The petition asks BC Premier Christy Clark to not issue the new fish farm licenses. The petition is at: .

"BC residents are the vast majority of signators," observed the petition's architect Alexandra Morton.  Morton of  Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society observed, "Exceeding 100,000 names is like having almost the entire population of a community the size of Langley,...
14 March 2014

VANCOUVER/FORT ST. JOHN, BC – The Wilderness Committee is charging BC Hydro with using unfair practices in its bid to push ahead with the construction of the Site C Dam. The environmental group is reacting to reports that the Crown Corporation has issued a call for contractors to build Site C Dam work camps, even though the joint federal-provincial panel that reviewed the project has until late April 2014 to release its findings.

“It’s a kind of bullying tactic in our view – one that should not be used by a Crown Corporation. It is wrong to start moving ahead on construction associated...
14 March 2014
March 13, 2014
The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) and Living Oceans Society (LOS) spoke out today against the cloud of

secrecy obscuring federal government approvals of genetically modified (GM) organisms in Canada –

including what may be the world’s first GM food animal to hit supermarket shelves: AquAdvantage™


In December of 2013, EAC and LOS brought a legal action against the Ministers of Environment Canada

and Health Canada, as well as AquaBounty Canada Inc., asking the Federal Court to decide if the Canadian

government violated its own law when it permitted the...
12 March 2014
(Fort Nelson BC - March 12, 2014) The Fort Nelson First Nation is hosting the First Nation Shale Gas/LNG Summit – Striking the Balance being held in our Traditional Territory on April 14th-16th. This event is invite only, and will be bring together over 300 First Nations leaders, provincial and federal government representatives, natural gas industry proponents, as well as leading energy thought leaders to share information and to discuss the risks and opportunities that come from Shale Gas – LNG development.

We are a nation of approximately 800 Dene and Cree members who...
12 March 2014
EU Parliament resolution calls for Arctic sanctuary around North Pole

12 March 2014 (Toronto) – The European Parliament today passed a resolution calling for a protected area around the North Pole which could ban oil companies and industrial fishing fleets from the region. The text echoes the demands of the international Save The Arctic campaign which has attracted the support of over five million people including Sir Paul McCartney and renowned US oceanographer Sylvia Earle.

The resolution represents a clear break from the current positions of Arctic Council members such as Norway,...
09 March 2014
Defend Our Marine Highways Rally

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Provincial Legislature Lawn

Victoria, B.C.

Quadra Island:  British Columbians from across coastal communities and throughout the province will bus and carpool to converge on the lawn of the Provincial Legislature on Tuesday, March 11 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm to deliver their pointed message directly to the Premier and the Transportation Minister: stop the cuts, lower the fares and put BC Ferries back into the Highway system and listen to the people.

Impacted communities were stunned and...
07 March 2014
Washington, DC – On the last day of the public comment period, Keystone XL opponents held a rally in front of the State Department to deliver more than 2 million comments submitted to the State Department to urge Secretary Kerry and President Obama to reject the dirty, dangerous pipeline. The public comment period regarding the national interest of the pipeline began on February 5, after the State Department published the final environmental review.

These 2 million+ comments telling Secretary Kerry and President Obama that Keystone XL is not in the national interest exceed the more than...
06 March 2014
Line 9B Reversal Brings Tar Sands to New England’s Doorstep; Faces Major Obstacles to Get In  

Today, Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) approved Enbridge’s controversial application to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of Line 9B between southern Ontario and Montreal. Enbridge’s requests are part of an effort to ship tar sands oil to Eastern Canada and the United States. Anti-tar sands groups in Canada and the United States are united in condemning the decision.

Though the NEB approved this request, the tar sands industry is still a long way off from sending tar sands...
04 March 2014
Two people were taken into custody this morning on a Slocan Valley logging road, less than a day after a judge extended an injunction against the Sinixt First Nation and their supporters.

RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little confirmed two people were arrested without incident for failing to comply with the injunction but said names would not be released until formal charges are laid.

However, Facebook posts have identified one of them as Marilyn James, a prominent member of the Sinixt First Nation. Another post encouraged supporters to attend a hearing at 2 p.m. at the Nelson courthouse, but...
20 February 2014
BC Coastal Mainland Alliance

Defend Our Marine Highways!

Tell the Premier: Stop the Cuts and Listen to the People Rally

Great Speakers & Music

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Provincial Legislature Lawn

Victoria, B.C.

Bring your voices, your placards and your energy to the Legislature lawn to tell Premier Christy Clark to:

Immediately put service cuts and fare increases on hold;
Conduct open consultations with ferry impacted communities to determine what they need from BC Ferries; and
Bring BC Ferries back under government control to lower...
14 February 2014
Kinder Morgan Pipeline Threatens Ecology and Economy of Salish Tribes Tribes on Both Sides of the Border Intervene in Proceeding to Address Tanker Traffic and Oil Spill Risks


Seattle, WA & Vancouver, BC, Coast Salish Territories; February 13, 2014

- Opposition to Kinder Morgan's TransMountain proposed pipeline project ramped up today as Coast Salish peoples on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border vowed to oppose the project as intervenors before Canada's National Energy Board (NEB).  Coast Salish intervenors include the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip...
13 February 2014
The first thorough comparison of evidence for natural gas system leaks confirms that organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have underestimated U.S. methane emissions generally, as well as those from the natural gas industry specifically.

Natural gas consists predominantly of methane. Even small leaks from the natural gas system are important because methane is a potent greenhouse gas—about 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A study, "Methane Leakage from North American Natural Gas Systems," published in the February 14, 2014 issue of the journal...
06 February 2014
Kamloops, The Kamloops Area Preservation Association, February 5, 2014 - The undersigned demand the resignation of the BC Minister of Mines, Bill Bennett who recently went to Ottawa in an attempt to persuade the Federal Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, to ignore the recommendations of the Review Panel to decline the application for Taseko’s Prosperity Mine near Williams Lake, BC. This is the second time that the minister has been to Ottawa in order to persuade the federal government to overturn the findings and recommendations of the environmental...
05 February 2014
'Three Sisters' Initiative Addresses Critical Sustainability Questions

Cedar, February 5, 2014 - With the Pacific west coast in the midst of one of its driest winters three Vancouver Island organizations are taking positive proactive steps to help ensure the Island is prepared should there be food or  water shortages this summer.

"We're concerned that California has just declared a drought emergency," notes Gillian Butler, a Director of the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society, "and that it's so severe the State will not be distributing water to local authorities....
04 February 2014
Business focus of federal science strategy consultation ignores science crucial for the well-being of Canadians

Ottawa, February 4, 2014 - The federal government is soliciting feedback on their consultation paper - Seizing Canada’s moment: moving forward in science, technology and innovation - to inform a revised science, technology and innovation strategy to be released later this year. This will update a strategy adopted in 2007 entitled Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.

“Most of the questions posed in the consultation paper are focused on business...
29 January 2014
29 January 2014 (Toronto) – In response to Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s announcement on the launch of the Arctic Economic Council at the Northern Lights Trade Show in Ottawa today, Greenpeace Canada Arctic Campaigner Farrah Khan said:

“We welcome the creation of this council to discuss development opportunities and imagine a prosperous future for the Arctic.  Northerners can only hope this forum will focus its efforts on proposing lasting development solutions that do not rely on non-renewable natural resources, and especially not on fossil fuels. Climate change is the biggest threat to...
23 January 2014
Shawnigan Lake, BC January 22, 2014:  
As part of our public information campaign to stop South Island Aggregates (SIA) aka Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH) establishing a contaminated soil dump in the basin of the Shawnigan watershed, the SRA is using a billboard to raise awareness of the permit that will negatively impact the health, economy and well-being of the people of Shawnigan Lake by jeopardizing the drinking water used by over 12,000 people.

Through a generous donation from a local Shawnigan business the billboard is being utilized to help get the message out to the people...
23 January 2014
David Suzuki, Ian Hanington, Huffington Post, Jan 22 2014

Debating the best way to do something we shouldn't be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place. That's what's happening with the "rail versus pipeline" discussion. Some say recent rail accidents mean we should build more pipelines to transport fossil fuels. Others argue that leaks, high construction costs, opposition and red tape surrounding pipelines are arguments in favour of using trains.

But the recent spate of rail accidents and pipeline leaks and spills doesn't provide arguments for one or the...
22 January 2014
by Curtis Tate, Bellingham Herald, McClatchy Washington Bureau, January 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents last year than was spilled in the nearly four decades since the federal government began collecting data on such spills, an analysis of the data shows.

Including major derailments in Alabama and North Dakota, more than 1.15 million gallons of crude oil was spilled from rail cars in 2013, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

By comparison, from 1975 to 2012, U.S. railroads spilled a combined 800,...
22 January 2014
by Mark Hume, Globe and Mail, Jan 21 2014

VANCOUVER — A former scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada has cast doubt on the B.C. government’s promise of an economic boom from increased liquefied natural gas production.

Premier Christy Clark has made gas development a cornerstone of her administration, saying the province has “an unprecedented opportunity” to exploit several new fields and develop LNG export plants. Her government says that would produce a cumulative gross domestic product benefit to B.C. of $1-trillion by 2046 and make the province debt free.

But David...
22 January 2014
New Worldwatch Institute report reviews extent of global energy subsidies

Washington, D.C.----Efforts by a variety of organizations to quantify global support for fossil fuels have generated estimates that range from $523 billion to over $1.9 trillion, depending on the calculation and what measures are included. What is clear is that the level of support has rebounded to 2008 levels following a dip in 2009-10 during the global financial crisis, writes Worldwatch Research Fellow Philipp Tagwerker in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online trend (