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Kinder Morgan TMX: Crude Awakening PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 11 August 2017 17:24

By Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
Subject: - KM TMX: Crude Awakening
August 11, 2017 at 2:22:29 PM

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

KM TMX: Crude Awakening

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC – - August 11, 2017 The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) remains steadfast in its ongoing opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX).

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated, “Though we welcome the BC Government’s commitment to defending the coasts and waterways, and commend BC’s resolve to ensure the Province meets its constitutionally-enshrined, judicially-recognized obligations to consult Indigenous Peoples, for all future generations, we must continue the true fight against increasingly rapid climate change. These devastating mega-projects must obtain the free, prior and informed consent of all affected Indigenous Peoples. Period.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 August 2017 23:25
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Wildlife-management reform is long overdue PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 11 August 2017 12:56

By Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist.

AUGUST 11, 2017 08:17 AM

The underpinnings of contemporary wildlife management are political and ideological, largely at the expense of wildlife for the presumed benefit of people.

Unsurprisingly, wildlife management in British Columbia is marked by an outdated mindset that primarily views wild animals as a “resource” to be exploited by recreational hunting or as troublesome creatures that need to be killed because their existence conflicts with human endeavours. Saddled by a myopic adherence to the debunked and inaptly named North American model of wildlife conservation, wildlife policy in B.C. is mired in a philosophically and structurally faulty approach.

Simply, wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation.

As ethicist Michael Nelson and wildlife ecologists John Vucetich, Paul C. Paquet and Joseph Bump note in their critique, North American Model: What’s Flawed, What’s Missing, What’s Needed, the model’s primary tenet, i.e. recreational hunting being central to wildlife conservation, is based upon an inadequate account of history and an inadequate ethic.

Largely ignoring the biology and intrinsic value of all species, the model reinforces the narrow idea that nature is a commodity — a “resource” — owned and used by humans in pursuit of personal interests. This “management” perspective draws its support from — and sustains — the view that humans exist outside of nature, and that other species, apart from their utility for humans, are of little importance in the larger scheme of things. Human dominion and domination over nature are deemed to be the natural order.

Predominantly driven by a recreational hunting agenda, the North American model is informed largely by values, attitudes and atavistic beliefs entrenched in the self-serving fallacy that killing wild animals for sport and control is essential to wildlife conservation.

As explained in the critique, the model relies on a misinterpretation of history in which recreational hunting is disproportionately, and inaccurately, seen as the driver of North American wildlife conservation, while downplaying the contributions of monumental figures such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold, who pioneered broad-based approaches to conservation without focusing on hunting as its primary tool.

The province’s recent proposal to privatize wildlife management illustrates the pernicious effect of the North American model on the mindset of government bureaucrats and politicians. In the run-up to the election, the B.C. Liberals announced plans to implement an extra-governmental agency that would be controlled by recreational hunting groups.

This perverse scheme is the culmination of decades of undue influence by the recreational hunting lobby on the B.C. government; it was also inevitable under the model, where science and ethics are ignored in favour of self-perpetuating myth and anecdote.

With its philosophical roots in the model, the grizzly-bear hunt is an egregious and persistent example of how B.C. wildlife management fails to address ecological, economic and ethical considerations. Using the province’s kill data to determine if B.C.’s grizzly management meets its own objectives, Raincoast Conservation Foundation scientists have found that total kills commonly exceed limits determined by provincial policy. Financial analyses have shown that grizzlies are worth far more alive than dead, and poll after poll indicates a clear majority of British Columbians have judged the recreational hunting of these large carnivores an abhorrent activity.

Considering centuries of human privilege over the needs of the environment, what we need to manage is not wildlife but ourselves. Recognizing that many human activities have damaging effects on biodiversity and ecological communities, what should wildlife management in B.C. look like?

Briefly, Raincoast envisions a compassionate conservation policy based on management for wildlife, as opposed to management of wildlife — a policy that takes into account the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Furthermore, we envision substantially more consideration given to maintaining the integrity of ecological systems upon which species depend.

Although species might continue to exist and suffer long after natural ecological relationships have been altered or destroyed, such impoverished conditions are not sustainable and do not typify healthy environments. Finally, wildlife management needs to emerge from the shadows and adopt practices in keeping with modern science, as well as principles regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Without a significant shift in how we relate to and interact with wildlife, future generations will look back with stunned dismay at how our society could be so divorced from reality and morality. The hopeful news in B.C. is that with a new government there is the opportunity for positive change and a much more ecologically and ethically informed approach to wildlife management.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:26
 
Heroes Rising by alexandra Morton PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 07 August 2017 10:13

Heroes Rising

As I continued to document the viruses spreading from salmon farms like an oil spill, fighting the Minister of Fisheries, Marine Harvest and Cermaq in court for mandatory farm salmon testing for the highly-contagious piscine orthoreovirus, as well defending myself against Marine Harvest’s lawsuit against me for touching their farm with a teaspoon to collect a sample, I got welcome news.

Paul Watson contacted me to say, he was sending research vessel Martin Sheen and crew to work with me again this summer.

Last year we documented the sad state of health of farm salmon and supported the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw who served the industry with eviction notices.

I feel my fight to protect wild salmon would be hopeless without the strong First Nation leadership I serve and the incredible help of the crew of the RV Martin Sheen. In my darkest moments I despair at how incredibly hard it is to keep anything alive on this planet and in particular creatures we claim to love.

David Suzuki and Martin Sheen himself turned out to support Traditional Leader Willie Moon and help launch Virus Hunter II the 2017 voyage of the Martin Sheen. On July 30, we set forth.

I believe the only reason salmon farms are still allowed to pollute the waters of BC is because no one can see what is going on in them. Salmon farms operate in remote areas of the coast and they openly resistant to anyone getting close enough see the fish in the pens.

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 4.01.01 PM

We have now passed through the Discovery Islands, a region that Justice Bruce Cohen earmarked as particular sensitive habitat for the beleaguered Fraser River sockeye salmon. In 2016 the Fraser sockeye collapsed to the lowest levels since non-indigenous record keeping began. Fisheries and Oceans’ management of these fish is not working. Justice Cohen recommended that the industry cease to operate in the Discovery Islands in 2010 years unless they can prove they are not having greater than minimal impact on the sockeye.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:51
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Last-minute Charges Laid Against Mount Polley in Private Prosecution Against Mount Polley in Private Prosecution PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 05 August 2017 12:20

Last-minute Charges Laid Against 
Mount Polley in Private Prosecution Carol Linnitt - August 4, 2017


In a surprise eleventh-hour move, indigenous activist and former Chief of the Xat’sull First Nation, Bev Sellars, has filed charges against the Mount Polley Mining Corporation, owned by Imperial Metals, for the mine disaster that saw 24 million cubic metres of mine waste released into Quesnel Lake on this day, three years ago.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 00:18
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NDP to probe lack of B.C. charges in Mount Polley dam failure PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 05 August 2017 12:14

August 4, 2017 5:56 pm By Gordon Hoekstra

The B.C. NDP government says it will determine why a deadline to lay provincial regulatory charges was missed in an investigation over Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley tailings dam failure.

The three-year time limit to lay charges under B.C.’s Environmental Management Act ended .

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service-led investigation continues in conjunction with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but officials have not been able to say when it will be complete.

Federal charges are still possible under the Fisheries Act.

On Friday, Premier John Horgan said he was shocked to learn that no provincial charges will be laid in the 2014 dam collapse.

One of the largest dam failures in the world in the past 50 years, the Mount Polley collapse released millions of cubic metres of effluent and finely-ground rock containing potentially toxic metals into waterways, including Quesnel Lake, the migratory pathway for more than one million sockeye salmon.

Others also weighed in  citing disappointment over the lack of charges, including the federal NDP and Amnesty International.

With the support of several environmental groups — including Mining Watch Canada and West Coast Environmental Law — former Xat’sull First Nation chief Bev Sellars announced  she had filed private charges in provincial court under B.C.’s Environmental Management Act and the Mining Act over the Mount Polley dam failure. In a statement, she said she hoped the private charges could act as a “doorstopper,” buying time for the investigation to be completed and the potential for the province to carry on with charges.

Contents from a tailings pond are pictured going down the Hazeltine Creek into Quesnel Lake near the town of Likely on Aug. 5, 2014. JONATHAN HAYWARD /THE CANADIAN PRESS

In an interview , Environment Minister George Heyman said he would review how the Conservation Officer Service undertakes investigations to ensure they are expeditious.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 00:32
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