Profiles of CELA's Casework

CELA counsel provide representation in the courts and before tribunals on matters of environmental law to Ontario residents and community groups who qualify for legal aid. Illustrative examples of some (but not all) of our cases are profiled on our website via the links below.

As one of several specialty legal aid clinics in Ontario, CELA counsel provide additional service to the public through advice and guidance to other clinics, private bar lawyers, MPPs, and community agencies in our specialized areas of law.

All of CELA’s legal services are capacity-dependent and guided by case selection criteria. Watch this space for links to more casework profiles in coming months.

Selected Current Cases

The Federal Role in Carbon Pricing CELA is intervening in this case to protect the rights of vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change  by ensuring the courts confirm federal jurisdiction to act in order to protect the environment. 

Upholding the Federal Impact Assessment Act CELA is intervening in this important national environmental law test case to ensure that the federal Impact Assessment Act and regulations are considered constitutionally valid from a division-of-powers perspective.

Land use planning – proposed waste facility in Simcoe Forest  CELA is representing the Friends of Simcoe Forest in a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal appeal of a decision to allow a waste processing facility in the middle of a significant woodland and habitat of several species at risk.

Citizens Against Melrose Quarry (CAMQ) – CELA represents this citizens group in legal proceedings regarding an existing quarry and proposed new quarry in southeastern Ontario to address public safety considerations and nuisance impacts that may adversely affect the quantity and quality of local groundwater, the sole source of drinking water for nearby residents.

Kebaowek First Nation – Pipeline Assessment and Indigenous Jurisdiction – This case concerns an upcoming federal impact assessment of a proposed 780 km natural gas pipeline stretching from northeastern Ontario to southern Quebec.

Recently Concluded Cases

Citizens successfully challenge aggregate pit proposal near Trout Lake 

CELA represented the Trout Lake Campers’ Association in challenging a proposed aggregate pit, the approval for which had not considered social and environmental impacts.

Selected Cases from CELA's History

The Walkerton Inquiry CELA represented the Concerned Walkerton Citizens in the two-year Public Inquiry that investigated Walkerton’s tainted water tragedy that occurred in May of 2000.

Citizen Opposition to Tire-Burning Plans CELA worked with other environmental lawyers, groups, and residents to successfully stop a controversial proposal to burn scrap tires, plastics and other wastes at the Lafarge Cement plant in Ontario resulting in a strong legal precedent supporting public participation.

Castonguay Blasting Ltd. v. Ontario (Environment) Canada’s highest court upholds broad interpretation of environmental laws in protecting public and affirms for first time application of precautionary principle to Ontario environmental legislation

Hudson, Quebec Pesticide Bylaw Canada’s highest court unanimously confirms legitimacy of municipal power to enact pesticide bylaws under general health and welfare provisions to enact bylaws in response to local concerns.