Report shows B.C. government is failing to protect environment

July 29, 2011

Large industrial or commercial projects, like this independent power project constructed on the Ashlu River, must pass through the Environmental Assessment Office for approval.

A damning Auditor General’s report shows that the government has failed to properly monitor the environmental impact of major industrial and commercial projects in the province.

The report concluded that the province’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), which reviews large-scale projects to determine if they meet environmental standards, provides insufficient oversight “to ensure that potential significant adverse effects are avoided or mitigated,” and pointed out that the assessment office is “not significantly active” in inspections of projects and enforcement actions.

Instead of having qualified staff on the ground ensuring that companies are living up to their environmental commitments, the report found that the government is relying on industry self-reporting, without inspections. In many cases, the environmental assessment certificates issued to companies don’t even have enforceable terms. British Columbia’s environmental standards are utterly meaningless without monitoring and enforcement.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the EAO does not formally track or pursue complaints about the impact that projects are having on the environment; in other words, they are failing to listen when residents, communities, and First Nations raise concerns about industrial projects in their communities.

Of 219 projects submitted to the EAO since 2005, only one was refused certification.

By failing to monitor and protect the clean air, fresh water, and land base that we all rely on, the government is neglecting the best interests of B.C. families. We must be able to ensure that companies are living up to their commitment to provide benefits to families and communities in return for access to our natural resources.

McGill cell phone tower update

We have received an update from the City of Vancouver regarding the freestanding cell phone tower at McGill and Nanaimo, which caused distress to many residents after being erected without notice to the community or the city.

Rogers radio frequency engineers are working with a design firm and a firm of structural engineers to reach a solution that will minimize the tower’s impact on the community. The alternatives currently being explored are the roof of the apartment building, possibly in combination with a streetlight.

Although progress remains slow due to the engineering issues, I have been assured by city staff that work on a solution is ongoing, and that there is a tentative time line in place that anticipates seeing an option from Rogers in the next few weeks.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected] .

Nanaimo truck traffic increase

I have had many calls and emails regarding increased container truck traffic on Nanaimo St. While this issue is largely municipal, I fully support residents who want it addressed.
The port’s recent announcement of a 90 day truck traffic pilot program, which will ask container trucks to use only designated major road network routes, may resolve the situation, and I encourage you to monitor traffic patterns over the next few weeks and share your input with both the city and the port.

Reach the port at 604-665-9179 or [email protected] . Reach the mayor’s office at 604-873-7621 or by email at [email protected] .

Read more about the 90 day truck traffic trial at

Read my letter to the mayor at

125 Stories seeks local voices

In celebration of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary, the Under One Umbrella Society has launched a new project called 125 Stories. Under One umbrella will be collecting stories about life in Grandview Woodlands from residents past and present for publication. A book launch and public celebration will take place in October at Britannia Community Centre. The story must be about a memorable event or experience from your time as a Grandview Woodland’s resident. Prose, poetry, and photographs (with captions) will be accepted. Deadline for story submissions is September 5th. Submissions from all decades welcome. Visit for more details.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Saturday, September 3, 2011 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 10:00am - 1:00pm