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"Environmental law" or "development law"? : deconstructing liberal guilt Leane, Geoffrey W.G.


The author uses a case study, arising out of his personal experience as a businessperson and later as a lawyer, to illustrate Canadian environmental law regimes and how they function in practice. The case study is based on events in the Kitimat region of northwestern British Columbia, the site of a massive private hydro-electric development and of the destruction of a traditional First Nations fishery by pulp mill pollution. The analysis points to a practice of deception wherein what purports to be 'environmental law' is in fact what the author calls 'development law'. An examination of the roots of that deception leads the author to critique the role of Liberalism in defining our environmental relations - there appears to be a fundamental contradiction between Liberalism 's essentially self-interested individualism, working from assumptions of efficiency and wealth-maximisation, and the communal, otheroriented values implicit in harmonious environmental relations.

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