Feb. 15, 2022. Getting BC to cut oil patch subsidies, allowing more pollution from coal mines. The real cause of the forestry industry crisis.



Will next week’s BC budget cut billions in subsidies to the fracked gas industry? Stand.earth’s Sven Biggs says it should. Federal environment has increased the allowable amount of pollution coming out of the Elk Valley and Crowsnest open pit coal mines. The pollution travels hundreds of kilometers in BC rivers. Wyatt Petryshyn from Wildsight BC discusses the change. The save old growth movement in BC wants to protect more forests and ancient trees from logging and some people claim this conservation effort is causing the loss of thousands of jobs in BC forestry. The reality is much different and Torrance Coste from the Wilderness Committee outlines the real issues in BC logging.

Reducing BC’s massive subsidies to the gas fracking industry:

Stand.Earth campaign

CCPA-BC says Modernizing BC’s Oil and Gas Royalty Regime to Tackle Climate Change

Environment Canada raises pollution allowed from open pit coal mines

Ottawa Bows to Lobbyists, Weakens Standards for Coal Mine Pollution

Loss of thousands of BC forestry jobs NOT caused by protecting forests

Don’t blame conservation for forest industry woes


Thanks to the West Kootenay Climate Hub for pulling together a great listing of local environmental events coming up.  You can get on the Climate Hub list at  WestKootenayClimateHub.ca

Interfaith Group hosts review of COP26 

Sunday, February 27th at 4pm 

Firsthand participants and observers Linn Murray, Nelson Lee and Janet Gray will offer their reflections of what took place in Glasgow last fall and where we go from here. What changes need to take place with respect to government policy, human behaviour, and international cooperative actions. Q & A to close.

Online via Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83067871943 Passcode: 151711 

Sponsored by the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative.


Recruiting climate champions to run in the October 2022 local elections

Wednesday February 16, 7pm   

West Coast Climate Action Network (WE-CAN) is hosting the second of four Roundtables focused on the upcoming municipal elections on Wednesday. This one is a how-to session on finding activists to run for municipal office in this October’s elections. Experienced election campaign organizers will share their stories, including Ned Taylor, District of Saanich Councillor; Megan Curran, District of North Vancouver Councillor; and Nicole Charlwood, Nelson City Councillor. Moderated by Andrea Reimer, past Vancouver city councillor.

Register here: https://tinyurl.com/WE-CAN-Roundtable 


Petitions and National Day of Action for a Just Transition

The Nelson/West Kootenay chapter of The Council of Canadians is gathering signatures to petition Parliament for Just Transition legislation. There are only 5 signatures per page, making it simple – you just need to print it. Contact Sandra to return completed pages of the petition: sandra@netidea.com.

Stay tuned for more details for a local event on March 12 as part of the National Day of Action.

Watershed security public engagement

Deadline: Friday March 18th

Speaking of public engagement, the BC government is calling for feedback on its Watershed Security Strategy and Fund Discussion Paper. It’s a big topic. 

• In forested areas, we need an ecologically-based approach to logging and forest management on crown and private lands.

• In urban areas, we need an ecological approach to stormwater management and the protection of green space.

• In farmed areas, we need an ecological approach to soil management, carbon storage and manure pollution. 

Here’s a good commentary in the Tyee.

POLIS Water Sustainability Project document on BC’s Watershed Security Strategy




Nearly three-quarters of Canadians believe fossil fuel companies should definitely or probably be held accountable for their environmental impacts, according to a Politico-Morning Consult survey of 1,000 people in each of 13 countries.

The poll also found that many Canadians are taking fewer flights out of concern for the climate, with 37% saying they fly less now that the climate crisis is on their radar, Politico reports.

But the poll results still pointed to a sharp rift in Canadians’ views on the climate emergency, with large majorities of Green, NDP, and Liberal Party supporters declaring it a top or moderate concern, but 20% of Conservative and 45% of People’s Party of Canada supporters professing no concern at all.


Six land defenders arrested last fall and charged with criminal contempt for breaching the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Pipeline injunction will be sentenced in the BC Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, starting at 10am on both days. The land defenders, who are calling themselves the Brunette River 6, are facing from 14-28 days in jail. A rally will be held in advance of Monday’s sentencing at 9:30am.

Three women arrested in September for breaching the Trans Mountain (TMX) injunction plead guilty today and were sentenced to 14 days in jail by BC Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick. After a lively rally outside the courthouse, the three land defenders—Catherine Hembling, 79, Janette McIntosh, 58, and Ruth Walmsley, 61— delivered impassioned statements to the court, after which they were taken into custody to serve their sentences. Hembling will spend her 80th birthday, on February 23, in jail.
A further court hearing and possible sentencing is on Feb 15 for three other members of the Brunette River 6.

The Brunette River 6 are members of a nondenominational, multi-faith prayer circle and are residents of Burnaby and Vancouver who came together to oppose the extensive tree cutting by TMX, as well as stream and urban salmon river degradation caused by the company. 


Activists from Save Old Growth blocked traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway on January 10, 2022. According to their press release, their sole demand is for old-growth logging to cease immediately in the province of BC. This protest has continued several times a week, leading to a total of 28 arrests as of January 20.

Co-founder of Save Old Growth, Zain Haq, says“For the past 30 years, not just the government and the media, but even the climate movement have been using euphemisms to talk about the climate emergency,” said Haq. “We’re trying to cause drama and tension in society and we’re trying to make a fuss so that the government can start taking this seriously.”


The head of Greenpeace International, Jennifer Morgan, is expected to become Germany’s new climate envoy.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has recruited the chief of Greenpeace International as a special envoy for international climate policy, German media reported last week.

The Minister Annalena Baerbock is the co-leader of the German Green Party.

Morgan could play a leading role in Germany’s efforts to curb global warming on the international stage — particularly as the country takes presidency of the G7 group of leading world economies.


Many of the world’s rivers are awash in pharmaceuticals, according to newly published research.

Researchers who examined water samples from over 1,000 locations warn that “pharmaceutical pollution poses a global threat to environmental and human health.”

The paper notes that four contaminants detected on every continent—caffeine, nicotine, acetaminophen or paracetamol, and cotinine—are “considered either lifestyle compounds or over-the-counter drugs. Another 14 drugs, including various antidepressants and antihistamines, were found on all continents except Antarctica.

“Concentrations of at least one drug at one quarter of the sampling sites were greater than concentrations considered safe for aquatic organisms, or which are of concern in terms of selection for antimicrobial resistance,” the study states. 



Some BC scientists are making a final bid to stop Port of Vancouver’s terminal expansion because they say ‘they can’t mitigate the consequences’ of greatly increasing the traffic in the Salish Sea.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, a federal Crown corporation, promises it can mitigate the impacts of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion on endangered species like Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales. But in a recent letter to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, scientists argue the port’s final plan still impacts more than 100 species of concern in the heart of the Fraser River estuary.

At issue is a controversial proposal to double the size of the container terminal at Canada’s busiest port. The $3.5 billion expansion, called Robert Banks Terminal 2, is intended to increase capacity at the Delta, B.C., terminal.


Tens of thousands of Canadians are asking the federal government to pause any further construction spending on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) until a cost update is provided, two years after the federal government last told Canadians how much they would be paying for the pipeline.

“Nearly 20,000 Canadians have signed petitions supporting this call, and that number is growing every day,” said Angus Wong, Canadian campaigner with SumOfUs.org.

 A 2021 report from West Coast Environmental Law analyzed hundreds of regulatory findings and found evidence of delays in every segment of the pipeline. But Trans Mountain has failed to provide an official updated cost estimate, leaving its owners, the Canadian public, with a stale dated cost estimate from before the COVID-19 pandemic which is now over 80 percent spent ($10B) to complete about 40 percent of the pipeline. Recent news stories have cited industry insiders predicting the construction cost to be more than $17 billion, with completion delayed by over one year into 2024.


The federal Conservative Party under interim leader Candice Bergen is dropping its commitment to a consumer price on carbon.

At the Conservatives’ weekly caucus meeting last Wednesday, Bergen said the party “will stick to its official position against federal carbon levies,” the Toronto Star reports.

“We believe that there should be no federally imposed carbon taxes or cap and trade systems on either the provinces or on the citizens of Canada,” the party’s policy book states. “The provinces and territories should be free to develop their own climate change policies, without federal interference or federal penalties or incentives.”

Former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was voted out last week by his caucus partly because of his decision to call for a price on carbon during the last federal election.


The federal government has bowed to provincial and industry lobbying in weakening proposed standards for coal mining effluent, critics say.

A discussion document for draft regulations, released earlier this year, would double the amount of toxins—such as selenium—the mines are allowed to release and wouldn’t apply to any mine that starts producing before 2027, The Canadian Press reports. Nor do they require companies to monitor overall environmental effects.

“Environment Canada got pushback,” said Bill Donahue, an environmental scientific consultant and former head of monitoring for the Alberta government. “It dramatically reduced the proposed standards in terms of their stringency.”

Environment Canada began reviewing its rules for coal mine effluent in 2017 and released a previous set of proposals in 2020. The current proposals are weaker in several respects.

They allow effluent to contain up to 20 micrograms of selenium per litre in any one sample and a monthly average of 10 micrograms. That’s twice as much as the previous proposal.


One thought on “Feb. 15, 2022. Getting BC to cut oil patch subsidies, allowing more pollution from coal mines. The real cause of the forestry industry crisis.

  1. Thinking about the awe experienced and even love felt by astronauts for the spaceship Earth below, I wonder: If a large portion of the planet’s most freely-polluting corporate CEOs, governing leaders and over-consuming/disposing individuals rocketed far enough above the earth for a day’s (or more) orbit, while looking down, would have a sufficiently profound effect on them to change their apparently unconditional political/financial support of Big Fossil Fuel?

    We do know that industry and fossil-fuel friendly governments can tell when a very large portion of the populace has been too tired and worried about feeding/housing themselves or their family, and the continuing COVID-19 virus variants — all while on insufficient income — to criticize them for whatever environmental damage their policies cause/allow, particularly when not immediately observable. And that global mass-addiction to fossil fuel products undoubtedly helps keep the average consumer quiet about the planet’s greatest polluter, lest they feel and/or be publicly deemed hypocritical.


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