Posts by Ben Parfitt

Ben Parfitt

About Ben Parfitt

Ben joined the CCPA staff team as a resource policy analyst in 2005 after years working as an investigative journalist with numerous magazines, and previous to that as a reporter with The Vancouver Sun. He is author and co-author of two books on forestry issues and currently devotes much of his policy research to natural resources, with special attention paid to energy, water, and forest resources and climate change.

Ben values being part of a great team at the CCPA as well as the opportunities provided to meet regularly with First Nations, community leaders, environmental advocates and the many people who work in the province’s resource industries and who are committed to progressive change.

Ben is an avid cyclist and budding day hiker who likes to take advantage of the many outdoor recreation options open to him and others living in Victoria and south Vancouver Island. He is the proud father of a super-talented daughter, Charlotte Priest, who is wise beyond her years and has taught him much. He also loves to listen to music—the good old fashion way—on vinyl. Follow Ben on Twitter

BC’s Oil and Gas Commission: A captured regulator

Aug 14, 2019
In June 2015 “in an effort to expedite” the building of a pipeline by Alliance Pipeline Ltd., a company called Synergy Land Services submitted falsified documents to British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission. The documents were deliberately altered to suggest that archaeological work was done at two sites when in fact it had only been… View Article

The time to act is now: Fracking risks do not require further study

Jul 22, 2019
When British Columbia’s new government took office in July 2017, one thing was notably absent in the mandate letter delivered by Premier John Horgan to the province’s new energy minister. Hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—was mentioned not once. Nor did the letter acknowledge that months earlier the New Democratic Party had committed to appoint a scientific panel… View Article

How much is BC giving to natural gas companies?

Jun 24, 2019
All British Columbians have a stake in the pricing of natural resources. When trees are logged, when minerals are mined, when fossil fuels are drilled, the companies doing the extracting pay fees to the Province in recognition that the resources are publicly owned. It is therefore in everybody’s interest to know how the government prices… View Article

Memo to northeast BC: More fracking earthquakes ahead

Apr 30, 2019
Of the many “unknowns” flagged in a recent science panel report, few are as disturbing as the finding that no one can say how destructive an earthquake may one day be triggered during brute-force oil and gas industry fracking operations. The panel’s report—commissioned by Michelle Mungall, BC’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources—has landed… View Article

Deferred prosecution agreements or avoid jail and pay a fine

Apr 1, 2019
Deferred prosecution agreements—or DPAs—are much in the news these days thanks to now former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould’s momentous resignation from the federal cabinet. DPAs are a corporate get-out-of-jail-free card or, more precisely, an avoid-jail-and-pay-a-fine-instead card. They became a reality in Canada last year after being slipped into a 500-page federal omnibus budget bill and… View Article

A burning issue: As greenhouse gas emissions from forest fires grow, Ottawa has role to play in restoration

Mar 27, 2019
As one of the largest and the most extensively forested countries in the world, Canada faces unique challenges in tackling climate change. Wildfires are burning more forests than ever as temperature and precipitation patterns change. In the process, millions of tonnes of carbon are released, pushing global greenhouse gas emissions higher. As a signatory to… View Article

How clean is a BC that subsidizes accelerated fossil fuel extraction?

Feb 25, 2019
When the provincial government unveiled its new climate plan late last year, Environment Minister George Heyman, Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and Premier John Horgan presented a happy, united front as ceremonies got underway at Vancouver’s main library. But the biggest smiles of the day may have been on the faces of senior executives at… View Article

Through the front door, then the back: How government methodically killed environmental oversight of major gas industry projects

Jan 23, 2019
Few regulations in British Columbia have died as quick and ignoble a death as a 2014 Order in Council exempting proposed natural gas plants from having to undergo environmental assessments. It was a change that fossil fuel companies drilling and fracking for natural gas in the northeast of the province had demanded for some time…. View Article

Review and reform natural resource revenues

Jan 18, 2019
This post is part of our BC Budget 2019 series, which highlights key findings from the CCPA’s research and outlines our recommendations for the 2019 provincial budget. Find more from the series at: policynote.ca/budget2019 Natural resource revenues account for $2.7 billion or 5.2 per cent of provincial revenues. Resource revenues are generally not taxes, but… View Article