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CELA is a non-profit specialty legal aid clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. We work to protect human health and our environment by seeking justice for those harmed by pollution and by working to change policies to prevent such problems in the first place. We provide free legal services to people and groups across Ontario that qualify for legal aid.

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The CELA Foundation supports CELA’s research and educational work on environmental law and justice issues through extensive resources available to the public and in support of the environmental law and policy community. The Foundation also helps CELA mentor and train the next generation of environmental lawyers.

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CELA counsel represent Ontario residents and community groups who qualify for legal aid. Representation occurs in the courts and before tribunals on matters of environmental law. CELA’s lawyers have achieved some of the most important environmental law victories and precedent-setting cases in Canada.

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CELA's Latest Activities

Discover staff blog posts, publications, reports, alerts, and media releases.

Meeting – 2020 Canada-Ontario Agreement

CELA and Environmental Defence are hosting an online meeting to discuss the 9th Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health. We’ll talk about what we asked for in our submissions in 2019, what recommendations were included in

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CELA Brief on Federal Study of Fresh Water

CELA provides these general and specific comments in response to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s study on fresh water. The House of Commons ordered the Standing Committee to undertake a comprehensive study of federal policies and legislation relating to fresh water.

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Canada’s new Greener Homes Grant Program: A missed opportunity to address preventable radon exposure

Despite many benefits, Canada’s new Greener Homes Grant Program misses a critical opportunity to address the preventable lung cancer risk from the well-established fact that tightening a building envelope during energy retrofits can increase radon indoors. Multiple environment- and health-focused groups have sent an open letter to Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan seeking change.

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Casework: Judicial Review of Bill 197 - COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020​

On behalf of several environmental organizations and individuals, CELA sought a judicial review in Divisional Court of the statutory decision by two Ontario Cabinet Ministers that denied our clients and other members of the public their legal right to be notified and consulted on environmentally significant legislative amendments contained in Bill 197 (COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020) before they were enacted by the Ontario Legislature on July 21, 2020. These amendments include changes to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA), the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) and the Planning Act.

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