Blog: CELA Goes North! Public Legal Education Presentations in Thunder Bay and Timmins



Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Thunder Bay

This summer the Canadian Environmental Law Association has been working on public legal education initiatives in Northern Ontario. After months of planning, we were very excited to finally travel to Thunder Bay and Timmins in early August to present on environmental issues and environmental rights with our community partners, EcoSuperior and the Friends of the Porcupine River Watershed.

The presentations were focused on environmental issues in Thunder Bay and Timmins, and how local residents can get informed about and involved in environmental decisions that are being made in their communities. We discussed how to:

• Find out about pollutants being released in your community with the National Pollutant Release Inventory

• Search for environmental permits issued in your neighbourhood with Access Environment

• Use the Environmental Bill of Rights to learn about environmentally significant proposals and provide feedback on them

• Request a review or an investigation under the Environmental Bill of Rights if you believe that a permit is not sufficient to protect the environment, or that an environmental law is not being followed

• Appeal a land use planning decision in your community

Travelling to Thunder Bay and Timmins was a great way for CELA staff to meet residents and local community groups, and to hear about the environmental issues that impact them most.

Thunder Bay


Looking out at the harbour from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in Thunder Bay

We were thrilled to be joined in Thunder Bay by Ellen Mortfield of EcoSuperior, who spoke about the great work her organization in doing in the city and different ways residents can get involved.

Here is a link to CELA’s PowerPoint presentation in Thunder Bay:




The old McIntyre mine in Timmins

We were delighted to co-present in Timmins with the Friends of the Porcupine River Watershed, who shared their concerns about sewage bypasses into Porcupine Lake, as well as their ideas for better environmental stewardship moving forward.

Here is a link to CELA’s PowerPoint presentation in Timmins:

Northern Services Pilot Project

We’re very excited to build on these connections as CELA prepares to launch its Northern Services Pilot Project this September. The pilot project will allow CELA to expand its client services in Northern Ontario, and collaborate with Northern communities, residents, and non-profits to work on existing and emerging environmental issues related to water, land, environmental and human health. CELA counsel Kerrie Blaise is delighted to be taking the lead on this project and you can expect to hear more from her about it in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!