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West Coast Environmental Law

West Coast Environmental Law is BC’s legal champion for the environment. For over 40 years, West Coast has provided the expert research and analysis needed to inform strong environmental laws. Through our free advice and information service, environmental legal aid program, workshops, and publications, West Coast empowers citizens and organizations to protect our environment and provides a balanced and authoritative resource upon which British Columbians can rely.

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Tenure Reform: Law Reform Discussion Paper

The nature of the forest industry in BC is closely linked to the forest tenure system, through which rights and responsibilities are allocated. The system does not deal honourably with Aboriginal Title and Rights. This ...
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Public Rights and the Lost Principle of Statutory Interpretation

This paper briefly considers what is meant by public rights, then turns to a broader review of the cases that have interpreted government action that impacts on public rights. The relevant principle is illustrated and ...
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Do Development Cost Charges Encourage Smart Growth and High Performance Building Design? - Summary

The objective of this report is to determine whether Development Cost Charge rates favour particular growth patterns and to suggest practical ways for municipalities to modify their systems to encourage smart growth and ...
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Back to top Undermining Our Future : How Mining?s Privileged Access to Land Harms People and the Environment - A Discussion Paper on the Need to Reform Mineral Tenure Law in Canada

An overview of the law of free entry as it exists in Canada, and the problems arising from it. Solutions are not complex; the challenge is that info about this arcane legal system is not widely available. Public ...
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A Case for Smart Growth

This document introduces the concept of smart growth, sets out the eight principles of smart growth, identifies benefits, and describes the challenges to developers, municipalities and citizens. It is one element of ...
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The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline: Do British Columbians Stand to Gain?

This 4-page brochure looks at the risks and benefits of this project. It answers 10 key questions about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, from What is the Project?, to How likely is a spill?, to Will the law ...
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Cutting Green Tape: An Action Plan for Removing Regulatory Barriers to Green Innovations

This action plan shows how the need for sustainable communities could be accommodated within the current regulatory framework. It identifies green building practices and regulatory barriers to those practices, and ...
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Protecting the Working Landscape of Agriculture: A Smart Growth Direction for Municipalities in British Columbia

This report details the range of tools local governments use to protect the agricultural working landscape and includes specific examples of local government by-laws & policies. Its purpose is to encourage local ...
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Local Government and Public Health Hazards

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the powers of local governments under BC’s Health Act, in light of the Act and the developing case law.
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Please Hold. Someone Will Be With You : A Report on Diminished Monitoring and Enforcement Capacity in the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection

In three years, the BC government cut nearly 30% of public service jobs at the Ministry of Air, Water and Land Protection. This report documents a steady decrease in monitoring and enforcement capacity and looks at the ...
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