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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.

CELA Submission on Eliminating Lead from Ontario’s Drinking Water

Lead in Ontario’s drinking water is an ongoing and serious public health threat and a “drinking water health hazard” pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). There is no safe level of exposure to lead, specially for young children. The time has come to eliminate lead in drinking water as a public health harm once and for all, and to ensure that human health is protected. CELA strongly supports the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ commitment outlined in its two-year assessment of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to update its current lead policies and to consult on further actions to reduce levels of lead in drinking water.

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September 2021 Bulletin

What does Truth and Reconciliation Mean to You? You may have noticed you’re receiving our monthly newsletter a couple of days early.  While we usually send it out on the last day of the month, we chose to send it

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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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