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The Narwhal

Our team of investigative journalists dives deep to tell stories about Canada’s natural environment you can’t find anywhere else.

The Narwhal is an independent, non-profit source of news and analysis. Our team of investigative journalists dives deep to tell stories about Canada’s natural environment you can’t find anywhere else. We have just two rules: 1) Follow the facts. 2) Tell it like it is. We’re tired of false dichotomies and business-as-usual perspectives. We’re not shy about the fact we think Canada’s greatest assets are our people, our lakes, our rivers, our forests. We tell stories Canada’s big news outlets miss and hustle to help our readers make sense of complex (sometimes downright messy) issues. As a non-profit organization, our goal isn’t to sell advertising or to please corporate bigwigs — it’s to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians.
North Coast Oil Tanker 'Ban' Would Stay Course On Risky

North Coast Oil Tanker 'Ban' Would Stay Course On Risky Shipping

Reviewing the tanker ban proposal, which has yet to be passed as legislation, West Coast identified numerous loopholes and exclusions that allow for the continued transport of oil on B.C.'s north coast via foreign fuel barges and even, potentially, in supertankers full of refined oil products like jet fuel.
02/08/2017 01:57 EST
4 Things Will And Kate Need To Know About

4 Things Will And Kate Need To Know About B.C.

Don't get me wrong: B.C. truly is a glorious place -- the type of place you can fly over in a seaplane and easily think the wilderness will never end. But it's also one of the world's last frontiers and the race is on to cut down our old-growth forests, to send more oil tankers into our ports, to build natural gas plants in our salmon estuaries and to flood our rivers for megadams.
09/29/2016 01:59 EDT
What B.C. Hydro is Hiding In Its Misleading Site C

What B.C. Hydro is Hiding In Its Misleading Site C Poll

B.C. Hydro must have been counting on nobody taking a close look at the questions they asked respondents in a recent public survey about the site C dam, because not only are they misleading, they also tell another story entirely.
06/16/2016 04:29 EDT
Big Oil Distorts Discourse To Fuel Its Bottom

Big Oil Distorts Discourse To Fuel Its Bottom Line

We've all seen a chart like it: logos of corporations connected by thin lines to other logos, linking dozens of subsidiaries to spin-offs of even larger companies. But such diagrams rarely involve Canada or the fossil fuel companies that dominate lobbying and other political efforts.
05/17/2016 04:52 EDT
How Did Climate Advocates Get The Fort Mac Conversation So

How Did Climate Advocates Get The Fort Mac Conversation So Wrong?

Connecting extreme weather events with climate change isn't exactly a new thing; from Hurricane Sandy to the California droughts, it's a conversation that goes hand in hand with every natural disaster, and it's usually handled in a reasonable fashion. So how did the climate conversation around the still-raging Fort McMurray wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes become so befuddling-ly messed up?
05/12/2016 11:51 EDT
Pipelines Or Indigenous Rights? Premier Notley Can't Have

Pipelines Or Indigenous Rights? Premier Notley Can't Have Both

The Alberta government clearly has a reason for wanting to facilitate the export of more oil and gas via the proposed TransCanada Energy East and Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipelines. But the NDP committed in its election platform to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to "work with Alberta Indigenous Peoples to build a relationship of trust and ensure respectful consultation."
04/14/2016 10:58 EDT
Does National Unity Have To Be A Casualty Of Canada's Energy

Does National Unity Have To Be A Casualty Of Canada's Energy Debate?

In a recent panel discussion, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna assured Albertans that the Liberal government would not risk damaging "national unity" by acting quickly on climate change. For some, her comment begs the question: when exactly will the Liberals be ready to start acting on their emissions reductions targets?
04/12/2016 08:58 EDT
Site C Dam Permits Were Quietly Issued During The Federal

Site C Dam Permits Were Quietly Issued During The Federal Election

Former prime minister Stephen Harper's government issued 14 permits for work on the $9-billion Site C dam during the writ period of the last election -- a move that was offside according to people familiar with the project and the workings of the federal government.
02/23/2016 01:36 EST
Logging In Ancient Walbran Valley Forest Spells Doom For Treetop

Logging In Ancient Walbran Valley Forest Spells Doom For Treetop Species

High in the trees that have been growing in the Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island for up to 1,000 years, unique colonies of insects and invertebrates are thriving. However, new plans to log Central Walbran, outside of borders of Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, are once again threatening a unique and vital ecosystem.
02/02/2016 04:44 EST
Inaction Scores Harper a Failing Grade on Climate

Inaction Scores Harper a Failing Grade on Climate Change

For more than two decades, Mark Jaccard has been penning "report cards" about Canada's environmental track record. The results haven't been pretty. His annual evaluations were harnessed in the mid-2000s by Stephen Harper as arguments for why the Conservatives deserved a shot at governing the country. Jaccard's latest report card, released on October 6, concludes the Conservative Party has since "implemented virtually no policies that would materially reduce emissions" despite making significant emissions pledges for 2020 and 2050. Jaccard concludes the absence of such actions shows "they must have had no intention" of dealing with climate change.
10/15/2015 05:05 EDT
B.C.-Alaska Mining File Is A Tale of Two

B.C.-Alaska Mining File Is A Tale of Two Countries

Alaskans emphasize they are not against resource extraction, provided there are adequate environmental and financial safeguards, but believe Canada's record -- most recently illustrated by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapse -- shows that B.C.'s regulations are not strong enough to protect downstream communities.
10/06/2015 07:59 EDT
What Is the Environmental Impact of Celebrities Visiting the

What Is the Environmental Impact of Celebrities Visiting the Oilsands?

By now, it's an almost entirely predictable routine: a celebrity takes a tour of the Alberta oilsands for a day or two and quickly harnesses apocalyptic rhetoric in press conferences to detail the experience. Chagrined industry spokespeople lash out. News coverage dissipates after a few days. Rinse and repeat.
09/25/2015 12:11 EDT
This Alaskan Fishing Community Is Worried About B.C.

This Alaskan Fishing Community Is Worried About B.C. Mines

Commercial and sports fishing fill the freezers and wallets of Wrangell residents but, out of mind for many of them, behind the shield of the Coast Mountains, lurks a threat that could annihilate the area's fishing and tourism-based economy.
08/12/2015 04:20 EDT
Alaskans Leery Of Bad Neighbours Amid B.C. Gold

Alaskans Leery Of Bad Neighbours Amid B.C. Gold Rush

Long-held perceptions of Canada as a country with strict environmental standards and B.C. as a province that values natural beauty are taking a near-fatal beating in Southeast Alaska, where many now regard Canadians as bad neighbours who are unilaterally making decisions that could threaten the region's two major economic drivers.
07/15/2015 01:22 EDT