Environmental Law Toolkit Workshop

Click here to download the Legal Toolkit Handout (3.7 MB)

Join us on Tuesday October 24th at the Sustainability Network office in Toronto for this one-day training session. The workshop will be hosted by John Swaigen of Ecojustice who has designed the session to educate nonprofits active in the environmental field about the legal tools available to protect our air, water, land, and human health.

The workshop will help you to understand what laws and policies exist to protect the environment and how to use them effectively as well as the opportunities provided by law to participate in government decision-making. It will also help you to understand where the legal framework for environmental protection is absent, incomplete or otherwise inadequate so that you can work to obtain stronger laws and policies.

Participants will receive a nuts and bolts overview of the laws that protect our environment. We’ll have legal experts covering a wide variety of key topics, and the schedule will be as follows:

9:10AM  – 10:00 AM “Soft law” remedies – Federal Auditor General petitions, submissions on enforcement matters (SEMs) to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Freedom of Information requests

Robert Moyer, Director, Submissions on Enforcement Matters, Commission for Environmental Cooperation Secretariat; and John Swaigen, Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice

10:00 AM – 10.40 AM Environmental Assessment: the [dead] letter of the law

Joseph Castrilli, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Environmental Law Association

10:40 AM – 10:50 AM Refreshment break
10:50 AM – 11:30 AM Where the Rubber Hits the Road: How tribunals, Cabinet Ministers and bureaucrats apply environmental law, and how the courts fit in

Charles Hatt, Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Private prosecutions: “Taking the law into your own hands”

Ramani Nadarajah, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Environmental Law Association

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 1:40 PM Using Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights

Richard Lindgren, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Environmental Law Association

1:40 PM – 2:00 PM  “Preserving Species and their Habitat”. Small group discussion of fact situation:  fish and birds are dying as a result of land development and construction activities.  What can you do?
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM Groups report back to the whole on their ideas
2:15 PM – 2.30 PM Refreshment break
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM Reporting Pollution Incidents – A citizen’s guide for effective action

Ian Miron, Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice

3:00 PM – 3:40 PM Land use planning laws, municipal law and protection of the environment

Harry Poch, Barrister and Solicitor, certified specialist in environmental law

3:40 PM – 4:20 PM Torts: What they are and how to protect the environment against them

Richard Lindgren, Staff Lawyer, Canadian Environmental Law Association

4:20 PM – 4:50 PM Class Actions

Aaron Ward, Staff Lawyer, Ecojustice

4:50 PM – 5:00 PM Closing comments

Paul Bubelis/John Swaigen

Participants will also have an opportunity to engage in small group discussions to apply the day’s learnings to a fact situation in consultation with some participating lawyers.