Protecting the environment through law

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This post was provided by West Coast Environmental Law as part of our environment series.


As Canadians, we’re blessed to live in a part of the world with stunning natural landscapes and abundant wildlife. It’s no wonder Canadians are so committed to protecting our natural heritage. We’re proud of our wild places and deeply concerned that climate change, rampant resource extraction and the risk of oil spills threaten the places we cherish and the livelihoods of the people who rely on them.

At West Coast Environmental Law, we believe the best way to safeguard the environment is to have laws protecting it. Through law, species and ecosystems will be protected, communities will have a democratic voice in decisions that affect their well-being, and we will make the essential shift to greater sustainability.

West Coast has had a hand in shaping many of BC and Canada’s most significant environmental laws – laws which have led to improved protection of the wild places Canadians value. We have provided legal assistance to environmental groups, citizens, First Nations, and communities on practically every environmental issue imaginable, helping them to have a democratic voice on decisions that affect them. Last year we celebrated 40 years of accomplishments, and today we continue to work towards balanced solutions to environmental problems.

Focused on Solutions, Empowering Citizens and Communities

The most definitive and enduring way to protect our environment is through law. Legally binding measures to protect the environment are essential to ensure the health, safety and economic well-being of Canadians. West Coast’s team of public interest environmental lawyers are dedicated to protecting the environment through law, including:

  • Keeping our lands and waters free from the threat of oil spills
  • Hastening the transition from fossil fuels to green renewable energy
  • Using legal and professional risks related to a changing global climate to promote climate action
  • Ensuring the needs of our land, water and communities and the realities of climate change are fully taken into account when decisions about resource development are being made
  • Strengthening federal environmental laws that protect fish, water and the integrity of Canada’s environment
  • Working for inclusive, democratic environmental decision-making processes
  • Supporting the development of green, healthy, sustainable communities that are resilient in a changing climate

“With West Coast Environmental Law’s vast expertise in virtually all areas of municipal, provincial, and federal environmental law, no other organization is better positioned to safeguard our environment through law.”
– Thomas Berger, QC, Honourary Board Member

We hear a lot of good things about what we do. People like the way we balance strong advocacy with good judgement. They like the way we find solutions to environmental problems; solutions that people can live with. We are not funded by government, which means our supporters know that their generosity really does make a fundamental difference in allowing West Coast to provide Canadians with environmental legal aid, law research, improved laws, representation and education services to promote protection of the environment and democracy in environmental decision-making.

“Thank you for advocating for people, animals and nature – we are all interconnected Using the law is a powerful approach to bring lasting change in a socially recognizable way. Thank you for doing what you do!”
– West Coast Supporter

How Canada approaches the environmental problems we face today will affect us, our land and our children for generations to come. So many decisions being made today focus on short-term economic gain while ignoring the long-term economic, environmental and social impacts. That’s why we’re working with citizens and communities for legal solutions with lasting impact.


Get Involved!

Want to stay informed and take part in environmental decision-making? Visit the West Coast Environmental Law charity profile >>>

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