Transparency & accountability

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

False advertising by the Alberta government and oil lobby

Feb 20, 2019
As an Alberta-born and -raised earth scientist who has made a career studying fossil fuels and energy issues, I am dismayed at the bombardment of ‘fake news’ in print, online and TV ads from the Alberta government on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX). These ads are repeated hourly on several TV stations. One ad… 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

Pro rep leads to better public policy

Nov 8, 2018
Debunking the claims of proportional representation naysayers This post is part of a series explaining the benefits of proportional representation and debunking myths from the ‘No’ side of BC’s 2018 electoral reform referendum. More from the series is available at policynote.ca/pr4bc. Over the last few months, I’ve spent quite a lot of time debating and… View Article
Image: The massive Sunrise Plant, the largest gas plant built in Western Canada in 30 years, sits on farmland near Dawson Creek. It was one of three gas plants in a row exempted from provincial environmental assessments. © Garth Lenz

Shielding fossil fuel corporations from public scrutiny: The new “neutral”?

Oct 31, 2018
British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office bills itself as a “neutral” provincial agency. But there is evidence that this is not the case, and that BC Environment Minister George Heyman — who is tasked with “revitalizing” the province’s environmental assessment law — needs to make serious reforms. When a public regulator makes major decisions behind closed… View Article