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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.

Working Paper:  Energy justice & poverty – A Case Study for Ontario

CELA lawyers Jacqueline Wilson and Theresa McClenaghan recently teamed up with Zee Bhanji and Mary Todorow, to write a case study of the work undertaken over the past 20 years in Ontario to achieve a comprehensive energy poverty strategy.  A working draft of the paper is now available on our website pending its publication by UBC Press:  Gaede, Hill and Winfield: Sustainable Energy Transitions for Canada: Challenges and Opportunities, in development for UBC Press. 

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NGO letter to House Leader on CEPA Bill

CELA and other environmental NGOs have sent a letter calling for Bill C-28 (An Act to Amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act) to be prioritized for debate and a vote in the House so the environment committee can begin consideration of amendments by World Environment Day, June 5, 2021.

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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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