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B.C. auditor general slams mining sector in report

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, May 4 2016

BC Auditor-General Carol BellringerB.C.’s auditor general delivered a damning report Tuesday that concluded the province’s compliance and enforcement actions in the mining sector are not adequate to protect the environment.

The report’s chief recommendation is the creation of an independent and integrated compliance and enforcement unit outside the ministry of mines.

B.C. doing poor job monitoring mining industry, audit finds

Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, May 03, 2016

Auditor-General report on mining sectorVICTORIA — The B.C. government’s management of the mining industry is failing to protect the environment against significant risk, Auditor-General Carol Bellringer has concluded after a two-year investigation that found a regulatory regime defined by too few resources, infrequent inspections and a lack of enforcement.

Raven Coal demise should spark a better direction

Torrance Coste, Times Colonist, April 10 2016

Late on Wednesday, B.C’s Environmental Assessment Office pulled the plug on its review of the Raven Coal project. The decision to terminate the review is the final nail in the coffin for Raven Coal and a victory for the communities that fought this proposal for more than six years.

Coffee with ... John Snyder

Scott Stanfield, Comox Valley Record, January 20 2016

As the winner of the Wilderness Committee’s 2015 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award, John Snyder is sharing a place with the likes of local conservationist Ruth Masters and biologist Alexandra Morton.

He is also $1,000 richer, but the money didn’t land in his bank account. Instead, Snyder is putting it into the account of the CoalWatch Comox Valley Society, which he has served as president for several years.

Coal investments are increasingly risky, say Bank of America

Karl Mathiesen, Guardian, May 7 2015

Bank will continue to cut its exposure to troubled coal sector and increase lending to renewables, but remains one of world’s biggest backers of coal mining

Mining promoters in city 'far back from frontlines'

Stacey Gaiga, Alberni Valley Times, March 30 2015

Port Alberni - If it's the same Pamela Gardner I think it is, then her letter advocating mineral exploration in BC is precarious [Times, March 25]. She's known for writing letters with questionable motives.

Raven Coal proposal May Not Be Gone For Good, But We’re Winning the Social Licence Battle

Torrance Coste, DeSmog Canada, March 16 2015

This is a guest post by Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, an organization working with local groups and individuals to stop the Raven Coal Mine.

Monday, March 2nd was a tense day for those of us monitoring the Raven Coal Mine proposal. After a 30-day screening period, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) was set to announce whether or not the application to mine close to 30 million tonnes of coal and rock in the Comox Valley would advance to final environmental review.

Compliance Energy damaged credibility

David Stern, Alberni Valley Times, March 10, 2015

Port Alberni - Your editorial regarding the Raven Coal's collapsed assessment process [Alberni Valley Times Friday, March 6, Page 4], did not properly explain the problems that their proposal faces, and Mr. Stephen Ellis's letter was mainly a red herring.

Coal mine benefits lost amid opposition

Editorial, Alberni Valley Times, March 6 2015

Sighs of relief from a countless number of locals were drawn this week as Compliance Energy pulled its proposed coal mine out of the province's regulatory process.

Professional Reliance and Environmental Regulation in British Columbia

Report, Environmental Law Centre, UVic, February 9 2015

Victoria, BC - Over the last decade the BC government embarked on a major law reform initiative to reduce the “regulatory burden” on industry. They reduced the size of the civil service and its role in resource management governance, which increased our dependence upon professionals employed by industry proponents to meet the public interest in natural resource management and environmental protection. This new report, prepared by Mark Haddock and supported with funding from the Law Foundation of BC, evaluates this regulatory approach, identifies issues and makes recommendations for improvement.

Click here to read the report.

Increase in shellfish deaths causes 'full-scale panic' for B.C. industry

Glenda Luymes, The Province, February 17 2015

Despite insatiable demand, many are concerned B.C.’s once-thriving shellfish industry could be sinking.

Déjà vu – again? Another omnibus budget bill, more federal environmental law rollbacks

Andrew Gage and Anna Johnston, West Coast Environmental Law, December 10, 2014

John Snyder talks with Gregor Craigie of CBC's On the Island

CBC, On the Island, November 14, 2014

Host Gregor Craigie speaks with John Snyder, President of CoalWatch about the resubmitted application for the Raven Underground Coal Project.

Click here to listen to the discussion.

Comox Valley activist Gwyn Frayne passes away

Council of Canadians, October 17, 2014

The Council of Canadians is mourning the passing of Comox Valley chapter activist Gwyn Frayne.

BC Conference of the United Church asks Port Metro Vancouver to reject US coal exports

News Release, BC Conference of the United Church of Canada, June 2 2014

British Columbia Conference of the United Church of Canada asks Port Metro Vancouver to reject US coal exports

--- province wide motion calls on Port Authority to reject application from Fraser Surrey Docks to export US thermal coal

Historic new water legislation introduced

Media Release, Government of BC, March 11 2014

VICTORIA - Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced legislation today that will update and replace B.C.'s century-old Water Act with the new Water Sustainability Act.

Click here to read the new Water Sustainability Act

Environmental Coalition closes its office doors after losing grant funds

Lise Broadley, Alberni Valley Times, December 23, 2013

As of Jan. 31 the Alberni Environmental Coalition will be closing its office doors.

The decision was made after it was denied funding though the Community Gaming Grants program.

Water Sustainability Act and Groundwater

Andrew Gage, West Coast Environmental Law, 8 November, 2013

About one out of every four British Columbians relies on wells for drinking water.  Groundwater is also essential to BC’s agricultural sector and is critical for habitat for salmon and other fish species.  And British Columbians have been incensed that large companies can take our groundwater free of charge.  And so it’s welcome news that BC is planning to finally regulate groundwater use under the proposed Water Sustainability Act (which the government is consulting British Columbians on until November 15th).  But we need to be sure that these new rules on groundwater use don’t lock in unsustainable water use, and allow us to get a handle on how groundwater should be licensed is BC.

2nd Annual Denman Island Croquet Not Coal Tournament - Aug 30

Croquet not Coal Fun Tournament – Please join us!
Time: Friday, August 30, from 1 to 4pm
Place: Denman Community School playing fields
To Register: call 250-335-1765 or email

The State of the Water Movement in BC

Susi Porter-Bopp, BC Freshwater Alliance, Aug 13 2013

Did you know that British Columbia is home to nearly 450 environmental groups and organizations, over half of which are working on fresh water protection?

But who is BC’s freshwater community? We’re more than 230 groups and organizations working to protect the waters of BC, and include everyone from watershed groups that focus on restoration, education, and/or children’s programs, to First Nations organizations, fishing and recreation clubs, groups that are seeking to influence decision-making, and groups and organizations that already play some sort of decision-making role in their local watershed.

The Coal Export Bubble

Coal's price collapse spells trouble for terminals' investors.

There’s been so much news on the coal export front of late—the massive scope of the proposed Gateway-Pacific terminal’s Environmental Impact Statement; the Lummi Nation’s unequivocal opposition to a coal terminal at Cherry Point; and recent revelations about the ongoing financial woes of coal terminal developer Ambre Energy—that it’s hard not to sense that Northwest coal export projects are on the ropes.

Dundee Base Metals & Coal Commodity Price Forecast: Chinese Credit Crunch reduces Growth Expectations Again

Base Metals & Coal, Dundee Capital Markets, July 8 2013

In this report, analysts forecast coal and base metal prices assuming that a credit crisis does not develop in China, and "stress testing" the effect on commodity prices if a credit crisis does develop in China.

CoalWatch note: Dundee's "Bear Case" scenario envisions a slide in metallurgical coal (hard coking coal or HCC) through 2013 to $123 per tonne, and a slide in thermal coal to $66/tonne. At these prices, the proposed Raven Underground Coal Project is not likely to attract any investor interest, if indeed it is even viable.

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