British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office bills itself as a “neutral” provincial agency. But there is evidence that this is not the case, and that BC Environment Minister George Heyman — who is tasked with “revitalizing” the province’s environmental assessment law — needs to make serious reforms. When a public regulator makes major decisions behind closed …
In a decision without precedent in its 25 years of existence, British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has told Progress Energy that two massive unauthorized dams that it built will not have to undergo environmental assessments. The decision comes after the company made an audacious request to the EAO to have the two dams declared …
LNG Canada’s final investment decision to build a natural gas liquefaction facility in Kitimat is a triumph of short-term politics over long-term responsibility to act on climate change. Exaggerated numbers have been used to sell the project to the public, while risks have been downplayed. The politics of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have a certain logic …
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, an economics professor of mine used to say back in the late 1980s. Concerned about the federal government’s inability to reign in fiscal deficits, hell back then was hitting a “financial wall” where the markets would no longer lend or would only do so at catastrophically …
“If you asked me two weeks ago if this could have happened, I would have said it couldn’t.” Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch, spoke these words at a news conference on August 5, 2014, the day after the devastating collapse of a tailings dam at one of Imperial’s operations, the Mount Polley copper and gold …
In the past year, an energy dispute for the ages has played out in Canada, culminating in the federal government announcing that it will buy an aging oil pipeline for $4.5 billion and then twin it with a new high-capacity pipeline that would move massive amounts of diluted bitumen from Alberta to tidewater in British …
The BC government recently released three “intentions papers” on climate policy—transportation, buildings and industry—all wrapped in the term “clean growth.” In fact, the term “clean” appears more than 70 times in just the introduction to the exercise, Towards a Clean Growth Future in BC. Clean growth is not a commonly used term, nor is it …
Now that we are in a sunny lull between the end of flooding season and the start of fire season, it’s time we had a talk about fossil fuels and climate change in BC. The BC government deserves praise for standing up to Alberta and the federal government over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX), …
At the height of LNG-mania in 2013/14, high prices in Asia fueled a gold rush mentality in BC—based on shipping cheap BC gas to Asia for mega-profits. But those high prices proved only temporary, and by 2015 the economic case for LNG (liquified natural gas) turned on its head. The subsequent Asian price for gas …
If you have a public pension in BC, your retirement savings are likely fuelling the climate change crisis. The pensions of over half a million British Columbians are administered by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), formerly known as the bcIMC. It’s the fourth largest pension fund manager in Canada and controls one of …
Everyone is talking about the high price of gas in Metro Vancouver, which hit a new record in May, topping $1.60 per litre. The story making the rounds is that taxes are to blame—in particular the April 1 increase in BC’s carbon tax. Some have seized on this moment to call for tax cuts to …
Earlier this year, Premier John Horgan announced that the British Columbia government was prepared to offer billions of dollars in tax breaks to Royal Dutch Shell should the global fossil fuel giant build a massive liquefied natural gas plant on our province’s north coast. Absent from the news then, however, was any mention of how …