Law & legal issues

A Dam Big Problem: Regulatory breakdown as fracking companies in BC’s northeast build dozens of unauthorized dams

May 3, 2017
A subsidiary of Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned petro giant courted by the BC government, has built at least 16 unauthorized dams in northern BC to trap hundreds of millions of gallons of water used in its controversial fracking operations. The 16 dams are among “dozens” that have been built by Petronas and other companies without… View Article

Distinguishing consent from veto in an era of reconciliation

Apr 10, 2017
An unfortunate legacy of the Harper era in Canada is that public officials and the media often conflate the right to consent for projects or policies that could affect Indigenous peoples with veto power. That error is not supported by Canadian or international law, and is at odds with the goal of reconciliation between Aboriginal… View Article

The crumbling case for two-tiered health care

Dec 15, 2016
Brian Day has put Canadian universal health care on trial in BC Supreme Court, seeking to swing the doors open to privatization by challenging foundational laws that underpin our public health system. Yet ironically, at the same time, the public policy case for privatized health care is increasingly in tatters. As I recently discussed, the… View Article

Shining an international light on women’s human rights in BC

Oct 24, 2016
The international spotlight is about to shine on Canada’s track record on women’s human rights and BC may get caught in the glare. Provincial and federal compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is set to be reviewed on October 25th by the expert UN Committee tasked with… View Article

CETA: A significant shift from democratic governance

Oct 13, 2016
Imagine a far-off dystopia when foreign corporations are given the same status as citizens in public hearings. When the overriding priority for government in issuing licenses for fracking, pipeline and other projects is to make the process simple for corporations. When, regardless of how much a project is opposed by the public, governments have to… View Article

Potential profits big enough to justify a massive lawsuit: 6 things you should know about the Cambie trial

Sep 8, 2016
The biggest constitutional trial “perhaps ever” in Canada is now in court. The future of our publicly funded health care system is at stake. Putting Canadian Medicare on trial is complex, and vulnerable to the blatantly false and simplistic messaging that increasing “private care” will take the pressure off public wait lists, increase patient choice,… View Article