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Federal Minister presses pause on Terminal 2

Misty MacDuffee in the Fraser Estuary

In a six page letter (PDF) to the CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Canada’s minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, requested more information from the Port to assess the effectiveness of mitigation efforts in the proposed expansion of Terminal 2 on Roberts Bank. Wikinson’s letter conveyed the panel’s conclusion about likely adverse effects to fish, fish habitat and other at-risk species if Terminal 2 proceeds.

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Terminal 2 expansion threatens the Fraser estuary

Terminal 2 at the end of a long causeway, with Vancouver Island in the distance.

The Port of Vancouver is proposing to double the size of its shipping terminal beside the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, putting further stress on an estuary that has already lost more than 70% of its natural habitat…

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Saving endangered whales: Strategies from above and below the 49th parallel

Southern Resident killer whales in the Salish Sea.

On May 10, the Canadian federal government announced its first wide-ranging measures to reduce the primary threats compromising survival of the salmon-eating Southern Resident killer whales reliant on the transboundary waters of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Although federally listed as endangered in 2003 in Canada and 2005 in the US, little has happened […]

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We’re headed back to court for killer whales

A killer whale in the foreground, with a container ship behind it in the mouth of the Fraser River.

Today we are returning to court with partners Ecojustice and Living Oceans Society to challenge the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Our lawyers at Ecojustice submitted a motion to the Federal Court of Appeal this morning, asking for leave to launch a judicial review of Cabinet’s decision. We contend that Cabinet […]

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Misty MacDuffee on CFAX 1070 talking about the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Two killer whales come to the surface of the Salish Sea.

The day after the federal government approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline yet again, Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program Director, Misty MacDuffee spoke with Mark Brennae on CFAX 1070 to talk pipelines, whales, and how humans are implicated in the disappearance of species. There is, of course, the risk of an oil spill or a vessel strike, but the noise and disturbance on both inbound and outbound tankers is always a certainty. And that noise can reduce the whales ability to echolocate and communicate…

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Canada’s recovery measures for endangered killer whales a positive step

J16 spy hops: Southern Resident killer whale.

A coalition of six conservation groups commend the federal government’s new measures to support Southern Resident killer whale recovery. The measures are the boldest yet; greater whale-watching restrictions, expanded voluntary slow downs for international shipping and the creation of no-vessel zones in feeding areas.  However, important feeding areas protected from fishing are smaller than last year’s areas, allowing less protection for whales and more areas for fishing…

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No half measures for Southern Resident killer whales

A single Southern Resident killer whale surfaces in the Salish Sea.

Right now, as we anticipate the return of these endangered whales to the Salish Sea, the federal government is considering exactly what measures they will take to aid recovery in 2019. They are asking you for your input, and it is critical that you encourage them to make the right choice. Many voices are advocating for less ambitious recovery actions…

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NEB recommends Trans Mountain proceed despite “significant adverse effects” to Southern Residents

L121 and calf in the Salish Sea.

The National Energy Board (NEB) has recommended that the Trans Mountain expansion project should proceed despite the “significant adverse effects” of oil tankers on the critically endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales. Although we disagree with the NEB’s conclusion, their review of the project effects on killer whales is forthright and portrays the severity of the current situation…

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