Digging up a legislative history

Thanks to the ELC Club, there is a new tool to assist in our work on mining law reform.

Earlier this year, members of the ELC Club gathered students from three law schools, law professors, law librarians and legal practitioners together to participate in a Research-a-thon event intended to dig up research about BC’s mining law history and events that led to legal changes.

With support from the UVic Law Library staff, the student organizers put together a web page to guide research throughout the day, and they crafted a research guide.

Working in partnership, over 50 students contributed over 200 hundreds of hours of research to compile a history of mining law reform in BC. The fact that they did so with great enthusiasm was not lost on participants.

“The experience was like walking into a war room, packed with the palpable energy of common purpose, immense warmth and hospitality, and the acumen of great minds working at the forges of change,” says Glenn Grande of Fair Mining Canada.

Over the following months, lead organizers in the Environmental Law Club contributed another 200+ hours to compile all the research from the event and developed a comprehensive report, which includes a timeline (see infographic) that spans 160 years of mining legislative history in BC.

Starting with the mid-19th century gold rush, the timeline is an introductory tool for understanding the many twists and turns in BC’s legislative history related to mining.

The detailed report – with over 300 footnotes backing up the research – examines themes that arose from the research and provides an historical overview of BC’s mining law in addition to a timeline of mining legislation and contamination events.

The Research-a-thon event was such a success, students are already considering a plan for the next one.