Sarah Newton from Revelstoke talks about the Revyultion blockade of interior old growth logging, part of the province-wide drive to protect old growth forests. Registered Nurse Helen Boyd from Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment talks about the UnnaturalGas.org campaign to highlight the health dangers of LNG fracking in BC. Along with doctors, nurses mounted two billboards on the health dangers of gas at Tswassen. Nelson’s Mayor John Dooley doesn’t think the city should ban plastic bags or other single use plastics, even though BC municipalities now have that power.
facebook: OLD GROWTH REVYLUTION
BC allowing municipalities to ban single-use plastics
ENVIRONMENT NEWS FOR AUGUST 31, 2021
The federal election is in full swing and protection of old growth forests has already come up.f On August 21, the Liberal Party campaign promised a C$50-million B.C. Old Growth Nature Fund. The party says it aims at “reaching a nature agreement with the province of British Columbia to protect more of the province’s old growth forests and expand protected areas,” treating First Nations, workers, and communities as “partners in shaping the path forward”, and attracting further funding from other partners.
North Vancouver Liberal candidate Jonathan Wilkinson, the Liberal’s environment minister said: “This urgent situation requires urgent action, and the Liberals are the only federal party proposing concrete steps and funding to support the province in protecting iconic old growth forests,”
After a year of pressing the Liberal government to take action, Nanaimo Green MP Paul Manly welcomed the Liberals’ decision to finally protect old-growth forests.
“Since the Fairy Creek protests started I have been pressing the federal government to intervene to protect the last of these threatened ecosystems in BC,” said Manly. “I am happy to see that the Liberals have finally listened and are promising to take action. I just hope that this is not like the empty BC NDP election promise to protect old-growth forests. So far, the Liberals have repeatedly abdicated responsibility and answered me with empty words.”
Meanwhile the federal Conservative Party, led by Erin O’Toole, proposes to amend Canada’s Criminal Code to stop protests that disrupt key infrastructure such as pipelines or railways.
“Peaceful protest is a fundamental right in Canada, but respect for the rule of law means that illegal blockades that shut down critical infrastructure, threaten access to vital supplies, or endanger lives cannot be tolerated,” the Conservatives say.
But Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, from the Union of BC Indian chiefs asked:
“What are they planning to do, throw thousands and thousands of Canadians in jail for protecting what is essential to life?”
B.C.’s Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the Fairy Creek enforcement action “is an operational matter for the RCMP and is entirely at arms’ length from government.”
While the world’s attention has been on Fairy Creek logging protests, tree sits and blockade action continue in Burnaby forests where activists are seeking to block the construction of the TransMountain pipeline. Since August 3, 2020, the coalition group, Protect the Planet Stop TMX (PPST), has blocked construction by occupying the forest canopy of the Brunette River Conservation Area. After the Holmes Creek protection camp was lost in December 2020 to a raid by TMX and private police force, BNSF, a new treesit was established at neighbouring Lost Creek. PPST land defenders also won a series of stop work orders from April until August 15, by documenting and reporting violations to active bird nests, which are protected by law.
Now the protestors have set up a suspension ladder that connects two of their treetop camps at Lost Creek. They have rigged ropes high within the canopy that connect up with other trees, like a giant spiderweb. They’ve also posted signs to warn construction workers of the hazards of trying to take out the trees.
The Nuxalk Nation on B.C.’s central coast issued an eviction notice last week to Juggernaut Exploration, a Vancouver-based company that received two permits for exploratory work in the nation’s territory without gaining consent from the community.
The Nuxalkmc Stataltmc, which is the nation’s hereditary leadership, ordered an immediate halt to the company’s exploratory work on the nation’s territory. The eviction notice received written support from the elected Nuxalk chief and council.
“Our lands have been illegally occupied by British Columbia and Canada in their various forms since the time of the gold rush,” Nuskmata Jacinda Mack, speaking on behalf of the Stataltmc, told The Narwhal in an interview. “It’s our duty and our responsibility to protect these lands — so that’s what we’re doing.”
B.C.’s mining laws do not require companies to obtain consent from Indigenous communities before registering mineral claims or filing for permits, which critics have called archaic and colonial.
In July BC’s environmental assessment office issued an order approving an initial plan for the Ksi Lisims (pronounced “S’lisims”) LNG project. The proponents are Texas-based Western LNG, with Canadian partners Rockies LNG, and Nisga’a Nation. The facility is proposed to be built at Wil Milit on undeveloped Pearse Island, 80 km north of Prince Rupert, near the Alaskan panhandle. It will sit on Nisga’a land and water, and is estimated to begin production in late 2027 or 2028.
The Ksi Lisims (pronounced “S’lisims”) LNG project is still far from final approval. It still needs permits to disturb more than 2 hectares of foreshore and underwater land, arrange for a new BC Hydro line, and build a new pipeline from the Montney Basin gas field on the northern BC-Alberta border, to the project site.
Critics are saying A $5.6 BILLION PETROCHEMICAL COMPLEX proposed for Prince George has go to public hearings as part of an impact assessment. conducted by an expert independent panel before any provincial approvals, say Environmental law scholars at the University of Victoria say the plan has to be vetted by an expert independent panel.
Calgary-based West Coast Olefins Ltd wants to tap into a natural gas pipeline through northern BC to extract liquid ethane, propane, butane and natural gas condensate as feedstock for manufacturing plastics and synthetic rubber for export to Asian markets.
The Prince George proposal would be a major expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in British Columbia. Three co-dependent plants would include: a natural gas liquids recovery plant; an ethylene plant to produce a million tonnes of polymer-grade ethylene a year; and the polyethylene plant producing plastic.
A citizens’ group in Prince George raised concerns about air pollution from the proposed plant.
Both the Lheidli T’enneh Nation in Prince George and the McLeod Lake Indian band have since publicly opposed the proposed development and rejected future negotiations.
A 2021 study by Carleton University scientists has been examining fugitive methane emissions from fracking gas operations in western Canada. The research paper found that methane emissions from natural gas fracking in BC are about double what the government has assumed. They say Methods used by the BC government to measure fugitive emissions were inadequate.
Combined data suggest methane emissions are 1.6−2.2 times current federal inventory estimates…
In the short term, methane released to the atmosphere is estimated to be up to 80 times worse than carbon dioxide in greenhouse gas effects.
Early in August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its recent report. They say Global climate change is accelerating and human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are the overwhelming causes. The UN report however does say there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming this century, but only if countries around the world stop burning fossil fuels as quickly as possible, the authors warn.
The message to world leaders is more dire, and more unequivocal, than ever before.
Ko Barrett, the vice chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the senior adviser for climate at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. said “It is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change,” and “Each of the last four decades has been the warmest on record since preindustrial times.”
The authors — nearly 200 leading climate scientists — hope the report’s findings will be front and center when world leaders meet for a major climate conference in Scotland in November.
This summer was a major climate crisis wake up for BC, with the heat dome… smashing all previous heat records, by a large margin. With the heat and drought, it’s not surprising that we again had a dangerous and destructive wild fire season.
Wildfire destruction has grown tremendously in BC in the last decade. The acreage burned by wildfires for the last five years 2017 to 2021 is over triple the amount burned over the immediately previous five years, 2012 to 2016.
Hey… here’s some gritty street-level politics from Vancouver.
A longtime Green party supporter has offered a challenge to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, reports The Straight newspaper in Vancouver.
Imtiaz Popat says he’s prepared to support NDP candidate Anjali Appadurai in Vancouver Granville as long as Singh promises to implement proportional representation if the NDP forms government or is part of a coalition government.
Popat has been approved to run as a Green candidate in Vancouver Granville.
If the NDP and Greens were truly serious about climate action, they would make a deal on Vancouver’s West Side.
He made the pledge in the wake of an August 21 commentary on Straight.com calling on Singh and Green Leader Annamie Paul to make a deal on the West Side of Vancouver.
The column urged Popat to step aside in Vancouver Granville and NDP candidate Naden Abenes to step aside in Vancouver Quadra to help two climate activists, Appadurai and Green candidate Devyani Singh, get elected in each of those ridings.
This year, the NDP has said that if it forms government, it will bring in mixed-member proportional representation in its first mandate. But the NDP has not explicitly stated that it will make proportional representation a price for supporting another party in a minority government.