Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


Ben Parfitt

Freelance writer and researcher Ben Parfitt lives in Victoria. He is a frequent writer and commentator on natural resource, business, environmental and social justice issues for a variety of publications and author of Forest Follies: Adventures and Misadventures in the Great Canadian Forest.

Stories by Ben Parfitt


A Dam(n) Big Fracking Problem

Regulators left behind as industry built dozens of unauthorized dams — many at risk of failure.

By Ben Parfitt, 18 Dec 2017


Why BC Needs a Public Inquiry into Fracking

From earthquakes to emissions, technology’s impacts need independent review.

By Ben Parfitt, 7 Nov 2017


Raw Logs and Lost Jobs: How a Company’s ‘Value-Added’ Plans Mean More Log Exports

Government policies help companies export logs and jobs to other countries. Last of two.

By Ben Parfitt, 28 Feb 2017


Raw Logs and Lost Jobs: How the BC Government Has Sacrificed Forest Communities

Growing raw log exports mean almost 5,000 lost employment opportunities. First of two.

By Ben Parfitt, 27 Feb 2017


Alberta Offers Lessons in Keeping Dams Safe From Fracking

BC Hydro feared effects of fracking-induced earthquakes, relies on ‘understandings’ to reduce risk.

By Ben Parfitt, 17 Aug 2016


Hydro Officials Quietly Feared Fracking Threat to Peace River Dams

FOI reveals Crown corp’s behind-the-scenes negotations for a buffer zone around projects.

By Ben Parfitt, 16 Aug 2016


Toxic Landslides Raise Alarms about Fracking, Site C

Almost two years after slides began carrying heavy metals into creeks, few answers.

By Ben Parfitt, 8 Jun 2016


Three Ways to Protect BC's Water

Measure, report and charge what it's worth. Will government lead on regulation?

By Ben Parfitt, 2 Aug 2013


Why BC Needs an LNG Plan B

Seismic shifts in global gas market threaten Premier Clark's vision.

By Ben Parfitt, 25 Jun 2013


Why Such Secrecy About Great Bear Carbon Offsets?

Project uses Crown lands and so far taxpayers are main customers. Public deserves more transparency.

By Ben Parfitt, 18 Jan 2013


BC Must Get Serious About Its Water Supply

Four steps to take right away to protect our province's life giving resource.

By Ben Parfitt and Jesse Baltutis, 20 Nov 2012


Power Grab Eyed by Clark Gov't to Set Logging Levels

Internal leaks signal alarm over proposed assault on Chief Forester's independent authority.

By Ben Parfitt, 19 Apr 2012


A Shocking Glimpse of BC's New Forest Plan

Pulled off the web after just a few hours, it puts forest 'reserves' on chopping block.

By Ben Parfitt, 18 Apr 2012


Kept in Dark by BC's Oil and Gas Commission

Can public count on being put first? Consider the mystery of a small spill last summer.

By Ben Parfitt, 7 Mar 2012


Down the Drain Goes Public's Right to Know about Fracking

BC gov't ignores own pledge to consult citizens, grants Talisman's request for big water use.

By Ben Parfitt, 22 Aug 2011


How to Create Green Jobs in BC's Forests

Sure, China's a hot market for our raw logs. But the world wants wood products we could make.

By Ben Parfitt, 15 Aug 2011


BC's Strange Business of Carbon Offsets

Hospitals and schools must pay the Pacific Carbon Trust, but what are they really buying?

By Ben Parfitt, 22 Jul 2011


The Wild West and Dysfunctional BC Politics

Fracking and sour gas deserve debate, but get cartoon treatment from the Clark government.

By Ben Parfitt, 15 Jun 2011


About Fracking Time for an Investigation

Independent MLAs call on premier to probe dangers of hydraulic fracturing in gas fields.

By Ben Parfitt, 1 Jun 2011


Health Act inquiry into threats posed by sour gas may be step closer

By Ben Parfitt, 30 Mar 2011


Our Water Secretly Sucked Away by Shale Gas Industry

Beyond public scrutiny, vast amounts of BC's water are being dealt to 'fracking' operations.

By Ben Parfitt, 15 Mar 2011


Buzz Sawed: BC's Forest Service

Deep staffing cuts have severed the agency's link to 21 communities. Time for an independent commission.

By Ben Parfitt, 15 Dec 2010


Time for a Forest Land Reserve

And more ways to make right the Western Forest Products land flip.

By Ben Parfitt, 18 Aug 2008


How to Revive BC's Timber Jobs

Shift policies to encourage making goods with wood

By Ben Parfitt, 5 Dec 2006


Cutting Back on Adding Value

Quesnel mill that creates jobs with marginal timber is squeezed by softwood reform.

By Ben Parfitt, 30 Nov 2006


Forestry Firms Burning Jobs

Why they'd rather torch timber than feed mills.

By Ben Parfitt, 29 Nov 2006


Sowing More Devastation

BC created a doomed monoculture of pine. We're re-growing a lot of the same.

By Ben Parfitt, 5 Oct 2005


What Price the Beetle?

The Cariboo-Chilcotin region alone wants $489 million. Victoria commits to far less.

By Ben Parfitt, 4 Oct 2005


The Bug in BC's Economy

How the pine beetle is propelling a 'race to the bottom' for timber towns.

By Ben Parfitt, 3 Oct 2005


Let's Grow a Pine Beetle Fund

BC must invest now to stave off beetle crises in the future.

By Ben Parfitt, 17 Aug 2005


Up In Smoke?

Gold rush hype can overestimate reserves in B.C.. Worse, drilling fast and furiously can harm output in the long run. Witness the incredible shrinking Ladyfern find.

By Ben Parfitt, 1 Jun 2004


Demanding a Say in the Boom

TYEE SPECIAL REPORT Who controls the flow of B.C.'s energy wealth? An historic law suit pits B.C.'s only Metis community against Canada's largest oil and gas producer.

By Ben Parfitt, 31 May 2004


Who's Saving for after the Boom?

As B.C piles up oil and gas revenues, we aren't yet following Alberta's and Alaska's lead by saving billions of dollars for tomorrow.

By Ben Parfitt, 24 May 2004


No Way Out

Women in poverty fleeing abusive mates used to get free legal help in B.C. Now their escape is blocked, after the government slashed Legal Services and closed 65 offices. A Tyee investigative report.

By Ben Parfitt, 3 Dec 2003