Theresa McClenaghan

Theresa McClenaghan was appointed as Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in November 2007. She holds an LL.B. from Western University (1984) and an LL.M. in constitutional law from Osgoode Law School at York (1999), with a major paper focussed on section 35 of the Charter and indigenous environmental governance.

Theresa also earned a diploma in Environmental Health Science from McMaster University (1999). She was called to the Bars of Manitoba and Ontario. Focussing on environmental health and environmental safety, particularly in the areas of energy and water, Theresa has practised public interest environmental law for over 25 years both in private practice and then at CELA. In 2006-7, Theresa was senior water policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of the Environment where she was responsible for overseeing the passage of the Clean Water Act, and implementation of the remaining Walkerton Inquiry recommendations. She has represented clients at the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Trial Division and provincial courts and Courts of Appeal on a range of matters including pesticide by-laws, the Oncomouse patent, environmental assessment and constitutional matters. Theresa was co-counsel representing the Concerned Walkerton Citizens at the Walkerton Inquiry, and has appeared at a variety of environmental, land use and energy tribunals on behalf of her clients. Theresa has appeared before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on a number of nuclear power environmental assessment and licensing matters. Theresa frequently serves on government and NGO advisory panels on water protection.

She has authored various journal papers and book chapters, and is co-author of the three-volume annotated legal publication Ontario Water Law.  She was also a co-founder of the Low Income Energy Network, developing an energy poverty strategy for Ontario.  Among her frequent speaking engagements, Theresa was invited to speak at the Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017 on the topic of constitutional environmental rights.

She lives in Paris, Ontario where she and her husband raised their four children.