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Vol 20, 2020 Oct

We are honoured to announce the Janet Person Environmental Law Centre Endowment Fund. We are deeply moved that Janet’s family chose to create this wonderful legacy that creates an ongoing endowment in support of the Clinic program. Read more...
Indigenous Guardians monitor and protect the lands and waters on their territory. They are the “eyes and ears” of a First Nation on the ground. Developed with the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council, The Case for a Guardian Network Initiative called on governments to provide major funding and law reform to support Indigenous Guardian groups, which monitor and enforce environmental laws on their territory. Read more...
Only 9% of total plastic is actually recycled, and 95% of plastic’s value is lost to the economy after only a single use. This habit of using plastic once and throwing it away leads to a massive waste of resources and energy.  Our latest report on dealing with plastic pollution calls for the introduction of plastic recycling standards in Canada. This is the fourth report in the series of our work on plastics issues. Read more...
It’s been a busy fall! Since our last newsletter, we’ve completed and made submissions with at least seven new public resources (and more work is in the hopper). See below for the additional resources, some of which will be featured more fully in future newsletters:
  1. Legal Measures to Protect the Gulf Islands Coastal Douglas-fir Zone : Protecting threatened Coastal Douglas-fir Biogeoclimatic Zone on the Gulf Islands.
  2. Commute Trip Reduction Initiatives: Implementing Efficiencies in Transportation for a Green Future : How BC’s laws could address the transportation demand management strategy of commute trip reduction to support decreasing GHG emissions.
  3. Improving Catch-and-Release Regulations in BC : Making the case for prohibiting the removal of fish from water during catch-and-release fishing.
  4. Incorporating Indigenous Interests into, or Operating in Parallel with, Decision Making under the Water Sustainability Act : Suggesting a framework for incorporating Indigenous laws and information into different types of collaborative decision-making processes under the Water Sustainability Act.
  5. Recommendations for Optimal Implementation of the Elk/Beaver Lake Watershed Management Plan : Identifying opportunities to strengthen and supplement the Capital Regional District’s draft management plan to address deteriorating water quality and other ecological conditions at Elk/Beaver Lake.

Thanks to funding from the Law Foundation of British Columbia, we were able to hire coop student Alexa Powell this past spring. Despite the challenges of suddenly shifting to online work partway into her term, Alexa adjusted quickly and was a great asset to the ELC.
ELC coop students work as part of a team with our staff, Articled Student and Clinic Students. We’re grateful to the Law Foundation for allowing us to offer paid work to students who want the practical experience of assisting real clients while they are still in law school. This extra support also gives us greater capacity to provide capacity to clients who need our services.

See Alexa's full quote here...
REMEMBERING: We were very sorry to hear that former ELC Board member David Thomas passed recently. David served on our Board for six years and provided much needed leadership and guidance at a time of transition in our organization. We will miss him greatly, and our thoughts and hearts go out to his friends and family. 
UPDATE ON PLASTICS: In October, the federal government announced a plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. The public has the opportunity to provide feedback on their discussion paper until Dec 9. (For more on plastics, see story above.)
UPDATE ON MINING LAW REFORM: Last year, the ELC joined with organizations throughout the province to launch the BC Mining Law Reform platform, which is intended to guide mining law reform in BC for the next decade. For a concise information on what changes are necessary and why, see the BC Mining Law Network’s new Fact Sheet. For more information, see also this webinar on mine waste storage and the laws and best practices that help reduce risks to communities and watershed, which was attended by almost 300 people.
UPDATE ON SAVING ELK/BEAVER LAKE: In mid-October, the provincial government announced $750,000 in funding to clean up Elk and Beaver Lakes, protect the health of fish and wildlife habitats both in the lakes and downstream, and fund the use of oxidation technology. The ELC brought attention to this issue back in 2015 when we co-hosted How to Save a Lake, a public forum and information exhibition with the Victoria Golden Rods & Reels Society to raise awareness about the deteriorating quality of Elk and Beaver Lakes.
UPDATE ON PROTECTING COASTAL DOUGLAS-FIR ZONES: Our new report on protecting Coastal Douglas-fir zones is already making traction! Our client, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, recently presented a series of recommendations from the report to the Islands Trusts. The ideas were met with support and resulted in the Trustees passing motions to review and consider policy recommendations to protect endangered forests and habitats and to request that the Province enhance the Island Trust’s jurisdiction over tree cutting bylaws. We look forward to hearing and sharing more as this progresses. (See: Islands Trust pursuing greater ability to protect trees (2020 Oct 15) The Star)
WARM WELCOME to our new Articled Student Fran Ankenman, who started her term with us in August. When Fran was in the ELC Clinic, her fellow classmates awarded her with the Rocky Racoon Award for her work.
CONGRATS to Alumna Andhra Azevedo for starting a new position as Staff Lawyer at Ecojustice Canada (and thanks to her for being a guest speaker recently in the ELC Clinic). 
THANKS to ELC Associates and guests for their enthusiastic participation our two most recent webinars on the topics of Empowering First Nations Guardians and Public Interest Litigation: Issues of Standing, Practice and Ethics.
CONGRATS to Alumna Adele Lay and her partner Sam Rousselle on the birth of Zoya Isabelle born this summer.
CONGRATS to Alumna Caroline Price and her partner on the birth of their son Samuel in July.
STILL MORE HAPPY NEWS: Congratulations to Alumnus Tim Thielmann and Beth Collins on the October arrival of Winnie (seen here with her big sister Marjorie).
STAY TUNED: Next year is the ELC’s 25th anniversary, and we’re already getting our thinking caps on to starting to planning events. We’re going to need help, though. Watch for the call coming next newsletter!
INYMI: Did you know that the ELC is now on Instagram? Check out our behind-the-scenes action at UVicELC
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Environmental Law Centre Society · Faculty of Law · University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 · Victoria, BC V8W 3P4 · Canada

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