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

Burning our way to a new climate?

Apr 7, 2021
As UK’s Drax makes play for BC’s wood pellet mills, questions grow about wood-fired electricity With its six massive 660-megawatt power units, the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is the United Kingdom’s largest thermal electricity plant. When it opened in the mid 1970s, the giant facility burned coal. Today, however, Drax burns something else:… View Article

A pile of wood pellets is shown in front of a cross-section view of a stack of logs.

Trees to pellets? Scarred by two previous resource industry boom and busts, pivotal decisions lie ahead for community of Fort Nelson

Feb 17, 2021
The residents of Fort Nelson know better than most rural British Columbians about the harsh economic realities of resource dependency. It is now 13 years since the forest industry ditched the community in dramatic fashion when Canfor Corp. ceased all its local operations in the region and closed its plywood and oriented strand board (OSB)… View Article

Healthy forests for a cooler future

Dec 14, 2020
There was every reason to believe in the early spring of this year that the most ambitious tree-planting program in British Columbia’s history would be scuttled by COVID-19. A record 310 million seedlings were slated to be planted. But with the unfolding pandemic, all bets were off. Only after tree-planting companies, First Nations, provincial health… View Article

Who’s minding the shop at Site C?

Dec 1, 2020
Appointment of engineer with long-term ties to BC Hydro to be government’s “independent” advisor on dam’s construction raises vexing questions In 2011, his last year as a salaried employee at BC Hydro, Tim Little earned just under $210,000 as the Crown corporation’s chief engineer. The next year, after decades of service for the publicly owned… View Article

Losing sight at Site C

Oct 8, 2020
Court documents and FOI materials show BC Hydro knew shale would move at troubled construction project, yet Hydro proceeded with river diversion BC Hydro approved the pouring of massive amounts of concrete to build a buttress at its problem-plagued Site C dam project months before a critical drainage tunnel was completed to draw water away… View Article

Site C’s radical makeover: What the ‘L’ is going on at problem-plagued dam construction project where costs keep piling up and completion remains years away?

Sep 11, 2020
BC Hydro knew 30 years before it started building the Site C dam that its chosen location for the most expensive publicly funded infrastructure project in British Columbia’s history had big problems.  In fact, by the 1980s, BC Hydro had done tests showing that the ground at Site C had serious flaws “due to the… View Article

A Big Fracking Mess: As Site C dam construction bogs down in geotechnical problems, thousands of earthquakes triggered by fracking operations occur nearby

Aug 12, 2020
Earthquakes triggered by natural gas industry fracking operations near BC Hydro’s troubled Site C dam construction project are far greater in number than previously thought, raising troubling questions about whether they are adding to the already formidable geotechnical challenges at the site. Not only are more earthquakes occurring in proximity to the costliest public infrastructure… View Article

British Columbia’s largest raw log exporters make pitch to deregulate

Jun 25, 2020
Federal government would do well to resist call by Mosaic Forest Management, before opportunities to process wood in province are further compromised British Columbia’s forest industry was in trouble long before anyone had heard the name of the virus now seared into our brains.  Months before COVID-19 appeared, forest companies had curtailed operations in response… View Article