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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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Say you believe - that better laws make a difference, that our children deserve safe futures. Help build momentum for change by telling us what you believe!

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CELA's Latest Activities

Discover staff blog posts, publications, reports, alerts, and media releases.

Healthy Waters and Sustainable Planning

Given cumulative assaults on regional forests and wetlands as well as the deterioration in local water quality and aquatic and amphibian species, a valid question arises: Is Ontario’s current system of land use planning protecting our waters?

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Blog: Canada Playing Regulatory Whack-a-Mole with Some of the Most Dangerous Chemicals on the Planet

The international situation on industrial chemicals is mirrored in Canada where the federal government is playing regulatory whack-a-mole with some of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet and proposed government amendments to the country’s primary law for controlling the risks these substances pose to human health and the environment may perpetuate, not stop the problem. That is the overall conclusion of CELA’s analysis of national pollution data when compared to proposed government amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) found in Bill S-5 now being considered in the Senate of Canada.

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Corporate Rules: The Real World of Business Regulation in Canada

Canada has put serious effort into protecting the public through regulation of corporate behaviour in key sectors of our economy such as transportation, energy, health, finance, construction. But have our public regulators been captured by the corporations they regulate? Join a panel of experts whose new book (being launched at this event) explores this question and suggests how to ensure the public interest is protected.

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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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