Oceanside Coalition for Strong Communities

Environmental issues

The environment is part of the economy.

Pipelines not the pathway to Paris solutions

Pipelines not the pathway to Paris solutions

Pipelines and fracked gas are not the pathway to Paris solutions; they are the path to increased wildfires, water shortages and other disasters. Read more by clicking on title.

The Leap Manifesto

The Leap Manifesto is non-partisan social and political initiative supporting the idea that we could live in a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities. A leap to a non-polluting economy creates countless openings for similar multiple “wins.” We want a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term. We want training and other resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to take part in the clean energy economy. Please visit their website

UN warns of fewer bees and other pollinators

Many species of wild bees, butterflies and other critters that pollinate plants are shrinking toward extinction, and the world needs to do something about it before our food supply suffers, a new United Nations scientific mega-report warns.

The 20,000 or so species of pollinators are key to hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of crops each year — from fruits and vegetables to coffee and chocolate. Yet 2 out of 5 species of invertebrate pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are on the path toward extinction, said the first-of-its-kind report. Pollinators with backbones, such as hummingbirds and bats, are only slightly better off, with 1 in 6 species facing extinction. Read more by clicking on title.

Most of Canada's oilsands must stay in ground if world moves on climate: report

The report, published in the journal Nature, says three-quarters of all Canada's oil reserves and 85 per cent of its oilsands can't be burned if the world wants to limit global warming. The report also concludes that no country's Arctic energy resources can be developed if global temperature increases are to be kept manageable.

It adds that about one-quarter of Canada's natural gas reserves and four-fifths of its coal would also have to be left in the ground.
Read more by clicking on title.

Let the oil industry die a natural market death

When the tide goes out in one part of the world, it comes in in another.
A decade ago, explosive growth in the oilsands attracted workers from every corner of Canada, unintentionally costing thousands of workers in tourism and manufacturing their jobs as the value of the loonie soared.
Today, the tide has turned and jobs are being redistributed away from the oilsands toward businesses that can thrive with a devalued Canadian dollar.
Rather than attempt to resuscitate the oilsands, far better to view the low price of oil as a market-driven opportunity — a golden opportunity — to transition workers into industries such as manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure repair, construction and green energy projects, which do not threaten the planet.
If Canada is to do its part to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees, the Alberta oilsands and their attendant pipelines must be allowed to die a natural market death as low oil prices weed out the most expensive, greenhouse-gas-intensive operations on the planet.
Our only concern should be to do everything possible to help yesterday’s oil workers transition to other fields.
The tide has turned, and it couldn’t have come at better time.
Mike Ward

Trade deal will make carbon reduction costly

Times Colonist
Re: “Ottawa, provinces start journey to cut carbon,” Jan. 30.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and provincial environment ministers face a significant challenge in their journey to cut carbon: the multilateral trade agreement.
McKenna and company can profess “satisfaction with the outcome of their conference” but unfortunately, they don’t have the last word.
The corporate world’s unelected tribunals, which adjudicate investor-state trade-agreement disputes, make the decisions that determine how much carbon is released into the atmosphere, not governments.
To date, under NAFTA, Canada has never won an investor-state dispute. It is the most-sued country in the world.
Canada’s carbon-cutting journey is going to be extremely costly, probably more than its citizens are willing or able to pay.
Ken Dwernychuk

Review board says LNG project a significant ecological threat

The re­port said the project would re­sult in up­stream green­house gas emis­sions of 6.5 to 8.7 mil­lion tonnes of car­bon monox­ide in the at­mos­phere ev­ery year, emis­sions that are high in mag­ni­tude, con­tin­u­ous, ir­re­versible and global in ex­tent. First Na­tions in the re­gion have been di­vided on the project, with some groups voic­ing strong op­po­si­tion over the po­ten­tial im­pact on the area’s salmon pop­u­la­tion.
The draft re­port finds Pa­cific North-West’s pro­posed mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures means the salmon-spawn­ing area out­side the Skeena River won’t be sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected, but that there would be an im­pact on har­bour por­poises in the area.

Good health requires environmental security

The greatest universal threat to our security and that of our descendants — in Canada and globally — arises from climate change and from other global ecological changes that are underway and that we are causing. The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, described climate change as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” in the report of its 2009 Commission on Climate Change.
Read more by clicking on title.

Ocean Acidification

Watch Sigourney Weaver explain how we are conducting the world's largest chemistry experiment and what this could mean for ocean health. Acid environment is attacking some marine shelled organisms while others are dying because they are not able to form a shell. This could affect all sea life. View this video by clicking on the title.


Sea change : Pacific Ocean takes perilous turn

Ocean acidification, the lesser-known twin of climate change, threatens to scramble marine life on a scale almost too big to fathom.
View this video by clicking on the title.

Vote for wild salmon

The full version of Alexandra Morton's film Salmon confidential can viewed online by visiting  SalmonConfidential.ca The film describes her problems in trying to save the wild salmon and frustrations she has had with the Canadian and BC governments. She hopes that some day that the Atlantic salmon farmed fish ocean pens will be removed from the close proximity to the wild salmon routes so that they can avoid the virus infections.

Your voice matters more than ever before the BC election is over. Please take action by voting for wild salmon:

1. Call or email your MLA candidates & party leaders ask them to protect & restore BC's wild salmon economy by removing salmon farms from the wild salmon routes. Visit SalmonConfidential.ca for links to your MLA contact info.

2. Share this film link SalmonConfidential.ca with your friends.

3. Write letters to the editor of local papers.

4. Boycott feedlot salmon.

Message from Alexandra Morton in Norway, disease and sea lice are not under control in Norwegian salmon farms and BC stands to lose all

VIDEO: Everyone loves wild salmon, don't they?

Salmon Farms Break the Natural Laws that cause Wild Salmon to thrive

The Dawn of a New Era in Fisheries Management in Canada - Lets Make it Happen

Oil spills and the destruction to the economy when they occur

oil spills

West Coast oil tanker spill clean-up could cost $9.6 Billion

UBC study looks at impacts of major spill from tankers servicing Northern Gateway Pipeline

A new study says the cost of cleaning up a major oil spill on the North Coast of B.C. could hit $9.6 billion, wiping out any economic benefits from the Northern Gateway Pipeline project for the region. Read more by clicking on title.

Citizen Marsh calculates the odds of a Northern Gateway oil spill

That is why, in a healthy democracy, it's important for citizens to challenge the influence of elites who seek advantage and to keep nudging the process back to transparency and accountability.

And this is why we should all be grateful to Kelly Marsh.

On June 25, he presented the pipeline panel with his calculations for the probability of an oil spill at sea, at the Kiti-mat terminal or in the six geo-logical regions traversed by the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline route.

Coast oil spill will be 'catastrophic'

It's not if but when a spill will happen as a result of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to BC's west coast, Marine Operations and Guide Outfitter Brian Falconer, from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, told a crowd at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Saturday.

"By playing fast and loose, Enbridge has vastly under-represented the risks," he said. Read more by clicking on title.

Alberta should refine the oil themselves

If the Alberta oil sands Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tankers project is allowed I, as a British Columbian, fear the ultimate damage of an oil spill to our beautiful coastline and wildlife.

A fisherman has said that if an oil spill occurred near Kitimat, where some of the worst storms occur, it could pollute beaches as far as Campbell River or further south into the Georgia Strait. (letter to the editor)

Read more by clicking on title.

What happened to Liberal promises on NEB

The prime minister’s pledges and the Liberal platform reassured British Columbians that a Liberal government would prioritize the restructuring of the NEB and that the controversial Kinder Morgan bitumen pipeline application would ultimately come to be evaluated by an independent NEB, one that would take a broad view of the public interest and true costs and benefits.
All seemed well when, after the election, the prime minister’s mandate letter to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr required the minister to: “Modernize the National Energy Board to ensure that its composition reflects regional views and has sufficient expertise in fields such as environmental science, community development and indigenous traditional knowledge.”
Then, on Nov. 18, after a Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers announcement that “the rule of law” required the Kinder Morgan application to continue under the 2012 Harper rules, Carr announced:
“They [the reviews] have not stopped. The process will continue … There will be a transition as we amend the ways in which the National Energy Board goes about the process of evaluating these processes, and we will announce those changes as soon as we can, but the process continues.”
Read more by clicking on title.

BC slams pipeline, leaves the door open

B.C.’s final submission to the panel judging the merits of the new line is a litany of criticisms of the company’s proposal. But two things emerge from the lengthy outline. One is this statement: “The province supports bringing Canada’s oil to international markets.”

That means there are no objections to the general concept of getting Alberta’s bitumen to offshore markets. It’s the details of doing it through B.C. that they’re hung up on. Read more by clicking on title.


Politicians cancel oils sands pollution probe, tear up draft reports

Federal politicians from the government and opposition benches have mysteriously cancelled an 18-month investigation into oilsands pollution in water and opted to destroy draft copies of their final report, Canwest News Service has learned.

Read more

Harper out of step with majority of British Columbians

- May 05, 2011 - Victoria and Ottawa

“Prime Minister Harper is dead wrong in his assessment that the people of B.C. do not support calls by other political parties for a ban on crude oil tankers along Canada’s northwest coast,” said Sierra Club BC spokesperson Caitlyn Vernon. “Opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway project is strong, united and rapidly growing.”British Columbians support oil tanker ban to protect Great Bear Rain forest. Read more by clicking on title.

Visit 'Pacific Wild' to learn more about the Great Bear Rain Forest

There mission is to defend wildlife and their habitat on Canada’s Pacific coast by developing and implementing solution-based conservation strategies. Pacific Wild supports innovative research, public education, community outreach and awareness to achieve the goal of lasting environmental protection in the lands and waters of the Great Bear Rainforest. Read more by clicking on title.

Spoil - Documentary on the Great Bear Rainforests under threat by Dirty Tarsands

Spoil is a lovely 45 minute film on the Great Bear Rainforest and a perfect way to encourage us all to help protect and nurture nature and not destroy it for the sake of dirty oil. We need to stop buying dirty oil and move faster into clean renewable electricity. Please click on title to view film.

Kinder Morgan files project description with energy board

The project description also shows Kinder Morgan intends to build 973 kilometres of 36-inch-diameter pipeline alongside its existing 24-inch and 30-inch pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. The existing line, which has already received some upgrades, is 1,150 kilometres long. The total capacity of the two lines is to be 890,000 barrels of oil a day, almost triple the current 300,000 barrels a day. Read more by clicking on title.

Lax enforcement risks environment, projects

Lax enforcement risks environment, projects

Lax enforcement risks environment, projects

Bill C-38: the Environmental Destruction Act

The misnamed Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-38, brings in sweeping changes to Canada's environmental laws. Fully 30% of the 420 page bill is actually not about the budget at all.

Instead, it attacks environmental legislation, repealing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and introducing an entirely new approach to environmental assessment. It also re-writes the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Navigable Waters Protection Act. It also repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, and cancels outright the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

This will forever change Canada's natural environment with devastating effects on our future, and that of our children.

Please read more by clicking on title.

The Top 5 Reasons why C-38 will devastate Canada’s environment

  1. It repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and introduces a weaker version, without a single day of hearings before the environment committee.
  2. It removes protection of endangered species and their habitat, when approving pipeline projects, by amending the Species at Risk Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
  3. It guts the Fisheries Act by removing provisions for habitat protection.
  4. It repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act.
  5. It eliminates the National Round Table on Environment and Economy.
This bill was passed on June 15, 2012

Take action, phone Prime Minister Harper at 613-992-4211

Don’t gut Environmental Assessment Law through Budget Bill, Groups say

May 11, 2010

OTTAWA— Ecojustice and Sierra Club Canada will tell the House of Commons Finance Committee today to remove sections from the budget bill (C-9) that gutenvironmental assessment law. Again this year, the federal government is hiding changes to Canada’s environmental protection laws in the budget to avoid public scrutiny. Read more by clicking on title.

Hydro project approval threatens steelhead and salmon habitat

For the first time, the B.C. government has approved a run-of river power project that diverts water from salmon or steelhead habitat. It means that no wild river in B.C. is safe from diversion and industrialization, regardless of its value to fish and wildlife. Read more by clicking on title.

Let's leave the dirty business of coal exports behind us

Between B.C., Washington, and Oregon, there are proposals for eight brand spanking new coal-export ports, and additional plans to double output at three existing facilities.

These proposals represent a massive increase in our carbon footprint. Once burned, the coal from our fair province’s ports would add over 200 millions tonnes of carbon pollution to the atmosphere every year. Whether used to generate power or as a part of the steelmaking process, the burning of coal for energy is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. B.C.’s growing contribution to this industry represents a dire threat to our collective future. Read more by clicking on title.

Mines should be required to post a bond

Maybe it's tme to demand that a huge bond be posted with the application to develop a mine.
It’s time the people of B.C. stopped being left to mop up financially after environmental disasters.

Lax enforcement risks environment, projects

What resource company can make a profit when the provincial government permits these environmental disasters, then tries to shirk responsibility? What company wants to invest the billions of dollars it takes to develop a new mine when the government won’t provide it with appropriate guidelines to protect their investments? It’s not entirely industry’s fault: that fault lies at the feet of the provincial government.

Mine owner major B.C. Liberal contributor

Since 2005, Imperial Metals [who owns Mount Polley Mine] has donated at least $149,890 to the B.C. Liberals. With a win, place and show wager, that total includes $2,500 to each of the leadership campaigns of Christy Clark, Kevin Falcon and George Abbott.

Mine owner major B.C. Liberal contributor



Message from Alexandra Morton in Norway, disease and sea lice are not under control in Norwegian salmon farms and BC stands to lose all

VIDEO: Everyone loves wild salmon, don't they?

Salmon Farms Break the Natural Laws that cause Wild Salmon to thrive

The Dawn of a New Era in Fisheries Management in Canada - Lets Make it Happen



Finally, a clear head talks pipeline

Former ICBC boss looks at Northern Gateway pitfalls - from an economic standpoint.

Energy in BC & beyond

Run-of-River Hydropower in BC (pdf)

A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Approvals, Impacts and Sustainability of Independent Power Projects

Private land versus public interest(pdf)

Logging operations on privately managed lands near protected parks was a
hot button issue in 2009 and there’s no sign relations between the forestry
companies and activists intent on protecting remaining old growth forests
will improve anytime soon. See full article.

Illegal dumping of garbage in rural areas

One can report any illegal dumping of garbage in rural areas to the Zero Waste Compliance Officer, Maude Mackey - 250-390-6576 or toll free 1-877-607-4111

report illegal dumping call the Ministry of Environment's hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

The time it takes for common items to decompose when dumped in the environment.

- Glass bottle: 1 million years

- Fishing line: 600 years

- Aluminum can: 80-200 years

- Disposable Diapers: 450 years

- Styrofoam cups: 50 years

- Rubber boot sole: 50-80 years

- Tin cans: 50 years

- Plastic bag: 10-20 years

- Cigarette butt: 1-5 years

- Plywood: 1-3 years

SOURCE: U.S. National Parks Service


The less we know and appreciate about the natural world, the narrower and darker our lives will become.
. . . Andrew Nikiforuk

Please also see:


Our water

Parks: protect and increase

Run of the rivers projects

Sustainable future

Sierra club media releases

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