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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.

NGO comments to Changes to the National Pollutant Release Inventory substance list for 2022

CELA and several other NGOs have provided comments and recommendations to the consultation document released for public comments: New requirements for reporting releases of criteria air contaminants and speciated volatile organic compounds to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, Consultation document, March 2021. Our comments and recommendations build upon initial comments provided as early engagement.

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Media Release: New Blue Box program put business interests ahead of protecting the environment

Today, Minister Yurek announced changes to Ontario’s Blue Box recycling program. Unfortunately, this long-awaited shift of responsibility for Blue Box recycling from municipalities to the businesses who make, use and sell packaging will do little to reduce plastic pollution. Known as “extended producer responsibility,” the announcement signals that the new rules are light on measures to reduce plastics that end up in landfills, incinerators and the natural environment.

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CELA is hiring a 2022-2023 Articling Student!

Are you interested in an articling opportunity in environmental, administrative law, and social justice? CELA is hiring now for a 2022 – 2023 Articling Student.  Please visit our Articling at CELA page here for details. The deadline for applications is July

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May 2021 Bulletin

Energy Justice Energy Justice & Poverty – A Case Study for Ontario CELA lawyers Jacqueline Wilson and Theresa McClenaghan recently teamed up with Zee Bhanji and former staffer Mary Todorow of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, to write a case study of the

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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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