Ecojustice Blog – Climate change, Nature, Special Update Posted on February 5, 2019 (updated: February 5, 2019)

A week of wins for the environment

Devon PageLawyer
Sockeye salmon spawning in Adams River, British Columbia
Sockeye salmon by Emily Chan

In the span of a few days, Ecojustice scored three consecutive wins for the environment — including victories for the health of wild salmon, for Albertans plagued by abandoned oil and gas wells, and for the climate and human health.

Given the nature of Ecojustice’s work, it can take months or years from the time we launch a case to when we end up in court — and even longer before we see a victory.

That makes it even more exciting when, unexpectedly, we end up with multiple wins in the span of just a few days.

That’s what happened this past week. And I invite you to celebrate with us, because your support is what made these victories possible.

A critical win for the health of wild salmon

Yesterday, the Federal Court struck down the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans’ policy on piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), a highly-contagious virus prevalent in fish farms off the B.C. coast, for its failure to take into account potential impacts on wild salmon.

The Minister’s policy — which resulted in farmed Atlantic salmon being transferred into open-net pens in the ocean without first being tested for PRV — was at the center of our lawsuit, which we brought on behalf of independent biologist Alexandra Morton.

With its ruling, the court has sent a clear message that the Minister must take a precautionary, science-based approach to wild salmon protection.

Wild salmon are the lifeblood of the economy, cultures, and ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. At a time when wild salmon in serious decline, the court’s decision marks a critical step towards protecting this iconic species for generations to come.

Victory at the Supreme Court of Canada

On Thursday, Ecojustice scored a victory when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that bankruptcy creditors must put the environment first when a company goes belly-up and leaves abandoned oil and gas wells behind.

More good news for the climate and local communities

We celebrated even more good news on Friday.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority axed a permit for the Fraser Surrey Docks coal facility, in what Ecojustice lawyer Fraser Thomson called “a win for the climate and for local communities who spent years tirelessly fighting against this project.”

I’ve been the executive director at Ecojustice for more than a decade now, and, to me, this past week represents the best of what this organization does.

It takes incredible dedication and excellence to go to court — and win — as Ecojustice lawyers have done in our PRV salmon case. It takes courage to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure inactive oil and gas wells are cleaned up. And it takes collaboration and integrity to score victories that make a positive impact for the climate and for communities, as Ecojustice lawyers demonstrated in their fight to stop the coal project.

All these traits represent core Ecojustice values. And I see them reflected not only in our lawyers, scientists and staff, but in the supporters — people like you — who make Ecojustice’s work and every one of our victories possible.

If you’d like to support Ecojustice’s bold litigation for a brighter environmental future, please consider giving a gift today.

 

Build the case for a better earth

Thanks to the support of people like you, Ecojustice goes to court to protect what we value most — the air, land and water that sustains all life. Make your gift today and support bold litigation for a brighter environmental future.

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