August 2018 Bulletin

Photo: Intuition by Guy Mayer/Flickr

News & Activities

Calling for better nuclear waste disposal in Canada

CELA was part of 40 organizations including First Nations, NGOs, and citizen groups that called for Canada to stop producing nuclear energy until the federal government replaces its dismal waste disposal policy. We requested that Canada’s Auditor General hold an inquiry into spending by Natural Resources Canada, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on nuclear reactor decommissioning. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) wants to turn reactor sites in Pinawa, Manitoba and Rolphton, Ontario into permanent nuclear disposal facilities that don’t meet international guidelines and we are concerned that this will set a precedent for other federal reactor sites. A press conference was held at Ottawa’s National Press Theatre featuring CELA Executive Director Theresa McClenaghan and others that received media coverage in the Toronto StariPolitics, and The Huffington Post.


Photo: The old McIntyre mine in Timmins by Alexandra Robertson/CELA

CELA’s public presentations in Timmins and Thunder Bay

CELA counsel Jacqueline Wilson and summer student Alexandra Robertson gave public legal education presentations in Thunder Bay and Timmins about current environmental issues and ways to get involved in environmental decision-making. CELA partnered with EcoSuperior in Thunder Bay and Friends of the Porcupine River Watershed in Timmins and the presentations received local media coverage.

On the CELA Blog


Photo: Lake Ontario, Kingston, Canada by B M/Flickr

Taking back Lake Ontario

CELA counsel Rick Lindgren recently attended the official unveiling of the Gord Edgar Downie Pier at the newly restored Breakwater Park in Kingston. He looks at Kingston’s new landmark in light of the city’s past water pollution issues.

Protecting the Great Lakes

Learn about some of the initiatives taking place to address pollution in the Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for millions.

Upcoming events

REGISTRATION OPEN: Environmental Law Workshop 2018


If you work at a nonprofit involved in environmental sustainability, join host Elaine MacDonald of Ecojustice to learn about the legal tools available to protect air, water, land, and human health. Among the confirmed presenters are CELA counsel Joseph Castrilli, Richard Lindgren, and Ramani Nadarajah.

Faces of CELA


Photo: Alexandra Robertson is a JD student at the University of Toronto, and CELA’s summer student.

CELA summer student Alexandra Robertson

We recently caught up with CELA summer student Alexandra Robertson. Alexandra is a Donner Civic Leadership Fellow and a JD student with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. This summer she is working on public legal education in Northern Ontario for CELA.

What have you been doing for CELA?

I’ve spent the past few months reaching out to community organizations in Thunder Bay and Timmins to hear about local environmental issues, planning public legal education presentations for these two cities, and working with local groups to get the word out. After months of preparation, we went to Thunder Bay on August 2 and Timmins on August 9. We were very pleased by the turn out, as well as all the great questions attendees had about the environmental issues that matter most to them.

What’s the path that brought you to CELA?

I applied to law school because I wanted to practice public interest environmental law. Applying to spend the summer as a Donner Fellow at CELA was appealing to me because of its mandate to protect human health and the environment, and because it offered a great opportunity to learn more about environmental law.

What inspired you to get involved in environmental law?

As I learned more about environmental issues in my undergrad, I became increasingly concerned about the inequitable burdens faced by vulnerable groups as a result of pollution, resource depletion, and climate change. While researching municipal climate change adaptation for my Master’s degree, I realized how complicated the laws governing areas like flood management and emergency preparation are and decided that to help come up with creative solutions to environmental problems I needed to better understand the law — especially environmental law.

What do you think is Canada’s biggest environmental challenge?

Definitely climate change. We have a lot of work to do on both the mitigation and adaptation fronts.

When you’re not at CELA, what do you like to do?

In the summer I spend a lot of time biking around the city, going to shows and street festivals, and hanging out with friends at various parks. As an avid cook and baker, I’m constantly trying out new vegan recipes in the kitchen. I also enjoy sewing, knitting, painting and other crafty/DIY activities.