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Vol 23, 2021 Summer

2020-21 Annual Report
Before taking some summer recharge time, we wanted to share our 2021 Annual Report so you can see what we’ve been up to over the past year. We’re particularly amazed at the resilience that our clients, students, and supporters demonstrated through a very challenging online year. In delivering our core program and training the next generation of public interest environmental lawyers this past year, we delivered over 6,000 hours of pro bono legal services to community and Indigenous organizations across BC. Our deep thanks to everyone who supports us in our work.

We’ll have more news, good stories and celebration plans to share in the near future. Until then, have a safe summer!
Conservation Officers: The Need for Independent Public Oversight. Submission on behalf of Raincoast Conservation Foundation to BC’s Special Legislative Committee on Reforming the Police Act 
WARM WELCOME to new ELC Administrative Assistant Gracie Chiu. Gracie started with us in April and is a great addition to the ELC team!
MANY THANKS from all of us at the ELC to Ellen Campbell, who finished their articling term with us at the end of May. After PLTC, Ellen will complete the second half of their articles at Ng Arris Fong.
THANK YOU to ELC Spring Co-op Student Russell Chiong. Although the entire term was virtual, we enjoyed Russell’s enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and good work. We look forward to continue working with Russell in the coming year in his capacity as an ELC Student Board Member.
THANK YOU to retiring Student Board Members Alexa Powell and Medina Abdelkader for all their contributions during their time on the ELC Board. We look forward to following your careers!
THANK YOU to Cohort 7 ELC Associates for their participation in our June webinar – their last as a Cohort (although once an Associate always an Associate!) We especially appreciated the interactive discussion and sharing of pressing legal issues.

Although we won’t start actively recruiting until the fall, we already have a handful of lawyers interested in Cohort 8. See our webpage for more information about the Associates Program

THANK YOU to the students in our condensed Summer ELC Clinic for enduring the heat dome and being the first in-person class since March 2020.
UPDATE ON MINING LAW REFORM: The ELC joined with organizations throughout the province in 2019 to launch the BC Mining Law Reform platform, which is intended to guide mining law reform in BC for the next decade. The BC Mining Law Network launched a petition this spring to reform BC’s Mineral Tenure. The campaign includes a video animation that explains some of the issues related to mineral staking.

For a concise information on what changes are necessary and why, see the BC Mining Law Network’s Fact Sheet.
UPDATE ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT: Thanks to the good work of the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation and ELC Associate Angela McCue, CN was charged $100,000 for failing to get authorization to spray pesticide along 150KM of the CN Skeena rail corridor adjacent to key salmon habitat. Federal charges are still a possibility.
The ELC worked on this case back in 2018, and we thank T. Buck Suzuki for the nice shout out!
UPDATE ON STORMWATER: Victoria’s 2021 budget includes $4.1 million in storm drain rehabilitation. In 2019, the ELC attended local government meetings and presented a series of recommendations to improve stormwater management in the region, which was a follow-up to our original 2010 report on stormwater.
CONGRATULATIONS to Blueberry River First Nations and their team of lawyers at Ratcliff LLP (including ELC Associates Maegen Giltrow and Jamie Arbeau) on the recent Supreme Court decision in their favour. Not only did the Court decided that the Blueberry First Nations Treaty rights were infringed, they criticized the government management of environmental resources. A team of ELC Intensive students worked on this case, researching whether the weakening of federal and provincial environmental laws could constitute a breach of treaty.
CONGRATULATIONS to ELC Alum Erin Gray for her new role as a staff lawyer on West Coast Environmental Law’s Marine team.
CONGRATULATIONS to ELC Alum Rachel Forbes and her family for the addition of baby Rynn.
INYMI: INYMI: Did you know that the ELC is now on Instagram? Check out our behind-the-scenes action at UVicELC.
Want to share your news with ELC alumni and friends?
Send us the details, and we’ll include them in our next newsletter.

Since our last newsletter:
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We hope you get to enjoy the fruits of summer!
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