Environment in Canada

Bennett Jones LLP

The full-service practice at Bennett Jones LLP typically advises clients within the energy, infrastructure and natural resources sectors. The team is particularly noted for its breadth of knowledge in the import and export of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. Clients also benefit from the practices’ national presence which enables the team to oversee far-reaching environmental-related matters such as project development, M&A, insolvencies and financing transactions. The team is also well-equipped to oversee environmental regulatory compliance, environmental impact assessments and environmental law enforcement under both federal and provincial laws and is led by Leonard Griffiths, Radha Curpen and Brad Gilmour. Griffiths often advises on environmental management systems, Curpen is noted for her vast expertise on the handling of hazardous materials, while Gilmour’s focus lies within litigation, having represented clients before the Provincial Court of Alberta. Sarah Gilbert is the practices’ go-to name for all environmental and health and safety matters.

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Gilbert 

Work highlights

    Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

    With environmental experts residing across its Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary offices, the team at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP provides clients a seamless coast-to-coast service; its vast environmental knowledge extends into risk assessments, audits and project approvals and the team is well-equipped to oversee complex business transactions, property acquisitions and financings. Aside from its non-contentious expertise, the practice is also well known for its litigation capabilities, having represented clients before all levels of Canadian courts and tribunals concerning varying environmental disputes. Toronto-based Jonathan Kahn heads the practice and his focus lies within environmental regulation and management, corporate compliance and due diligence. Charles Kazaz, who splits his time between the Toronto and Montreal office, is recognized for his mining, industrial and waste management knowledge. Tony Crossman oversees the Vancouver natural resources and environmental team which handles all regulatory, compliance and litigation matters. Calgary-based Terri-Lee Oleniuk is noted for her wealth of knowledge on project-related environmental matters while Lana Finney, a new name at the Toronto office, is a leading practitioner for a wealth of matters, including the environmental issues arising from transactions. 

    Practice head(s):

    Jonathan Kahn

    Other key lawyers:

    Charles Kazaz; Terri-Lee Oleniuk; Tony Crossman; Lana Finney

    Key clients

    Canadian Pacific Railway Company

    Capstone Infrastructure Corporation

    CRH Canada Group Inc.

    Enel Green Power North America, Inc.

    Imperial Oil Limited

    Nestlé Canada Inc.

    Nutrien Ltd.

    Suncor Energy Inc.

    TC Energy Corporation

    Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc.

    Work highlights

    • Represented CRH, the largest diversified building materials business in Europe and North America, in proceedings related to the proposed redevelopment of Toronto’s Port Lands.
    • Advised Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc. on multiple environmental, regulatory and land matters, notably involving pipeline relocations, replacements, integrity work and permitting.
    • Advised ABO on regulatory matters concerning applications to the Alberta Utilities Commission to construct and operate the 514.6 MW Buffalo Plains Wind Farm project located near Lomond, Alberta, the largest wind farm project in Canada.

    McCarthy Tétrault

    McCarthy Tétrault‘s team is entrusted by major public and private Canadian and international organizations, including both US and European based multinationals with a Canadian presence. In addition, the team is also sought by government bodies and leverages a breadth of knowledge across a range of sectors including manufacturing, transportation, clean technology, waste management, energy generation and transmission and mining. Further strengths include the team’s project capabilities whereby they advise on matters within the extractive and energy sectors including environmental assessments, advocacy work, project execution and commissioning. Calgary-based Kimberly Howard and Quebec-based Cindy Vaillancourt lead the practice. Howard’s expertise includes environmental, energy and regulatory law, while Vaillancourt is best known for her environment, energy mining and regulatory knowledge. Further mention is given to Selina Lee-Andersen for her in-depth knowledge of environmental and aboriginal law.

    Practice head(s):

    Kimberly Howard; Cindy Vaillancourt

    Other key lawyers:

    Selina Lee-Andersen 

    Key clients

    Instar Asset Management

    Champion Iron Limited

    Sayona Mining Limited and its subsidiary Sayona Québec Inc.

    Canadian National Railway Company and Canadian Pacific Railway Company

    Suncor Energy Inc.

    Groupe LOU-TEC Inc.

    Univar Solutions Canada

    MUFG Union Bank, Ltd., Canada Branch (MUFG), and Associated Bank, N.A.

    Work highlights

    • Advised Suncor Energy Inc. in connection to an environmental protection order including an appeal before the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), which relates to historical contamination at a former gas station.
    • Advised Canadian National Railway Company and Canadian Pacific Railway Company in a successful appeal to the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board of a decision of the Director under the provincial Environmental Management Act.
    • Advised Univar Solutions Canada in relation to regulatory charges laid under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.

    Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

    The team at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP often oversees environmental issues that arise from both domestic and international project developments, M&A transactions, corporate finance and real estate investments. Also known for its breadth of renewable energy knowledge, the team is sought by clients for regulatory and permitting expertise; the team handled the preparation of evidence in a NAFTA arbitration relating to offshore wind energy, which concerned issues of environmental assessment and Indigenous engagement in a Northern Ontario distribution line. The group is headed by Sarah Powell, Alexandria Pike and Marie-Claude Bellemare. Both Powell and Pike split their time between Toronto and Ontario, whilst Bellemare is between Montréal and Quebec.


    ‘The team has wide experience and is very responsive to needs.’

    ‘ Alexandria Pike: her knowledge of environmental matters is very strong. I value particularly how she is able to apply commercial reasoning into her advice.’

    ‘Marie-Claude Bellemare is one of the most competent lawyers I know.’

    Key clients

    Amcor plc

    Axium Infrastructure Inc.

    Barrick Gold Corporation

    Cominar REIT

    Canadian Mass Media Inc./Great Pacific Enterprises Inc.

    Northleaf Capital Partners

    Pattern Energy

    RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

    The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

    Leaseweb Global B.V.

    Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation

    The Public Sector Pension Investment Board

    Enbridge Inc.

    MONTONI Group


    Therme Group

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Cominar REIT, one of Canada’s largest diversified real estate investment trusts and the largest commercial property owner in Québec, in its $5.7bn sale to Iris Acquisition II LP.  
    • Acted for Interfor Corporation in its agreement to acquire 100% of EACOM Timber Corp. for $490m.
    • Acted as Canadian counsel to Blackstone Infrastructure Partners L.P. in its acquisition of the majority interest of Carrix, Inc., one of the world’s largest marine-terminal operators.


    Fasken has a reputable environmental law practice which excels at handling the environmental risks associated with M&A transactions and permitting. Additional strength lie within the handling of environmental assessments and defence of environmental offences. Utilizing its multidisciplinary approach, the team takes advantage of its regulatory and Indigenous practice to provide clients with seamless advice. Clients also benefit from its climate change and carbon markets expertise. Environmental law and compliance expert Pierre-Olivier Charlebois; he co-leads the team alongside Rosalind Cooper who specializes in the defence of environmental disputes and prosecutions at all judicial levels. Ron Ezekiel is noted for his environmental assessment and permitting expertise.


    ‘Very knowledgeable on environmental matters. Strong firm presence in the environmental space.’

    ‘Rosalind Cooper is exceptional. A first-rate environmental lawyer who is extremely knowledgeable, engaged, strategic, and practical in handling files. She is sought after and is my first call for anything related to environmental litigation.’

    ‘I really appreciated the service and strategic advice from Fasken.’

    ‘Ron Ezekiel – Fantastic lawyer and strategic advisor. I appreciated his practical legal and business advice which were crucial to advancing our business objectives.’

    ‘Rosalind Cooper gives good solid environmental advice on reasonable terms.’

    ‘Rosalind Cooper is very accessible; she has great experience in handling environmental charges, and is knowledgeable and practical in her solutions to problems.’


    Key clients

    Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

    Investissement Québec

    Work highlights

    • Acted for Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in connection with the environmental assessment and permitting of its proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, a new $3bn marine container terminal on Canada’s west coast.

    Gowling WLG

    Regulatory appeals, civil actions and prosecution defence are often overseen by the team at Gowling WLG with its coast-to-coast expertise enabling it to represent clients in all environmental litigation cases. Toronto-based environmental and Indigenous law specialist, Adam Chamberlain, leads the practice while Wally Braul is noted for his presence in Western Canada, splitting his time between Vancouver and Calgary, where he oversees the full spectrum of environmental issues. Harry Dahme is the key contact for handling environmental risks arising from corporate transactions, whereas Jennifer Danahy‘s expertise includes the design and implementation of environmental management systems and Rodney Northey‘s focus lies within regulatory approvals and strategies; all are based in Toronto. Jessica Boily, Alexandra Sadvari and Mark Youden were promoted to partner in January 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Adam Chamberlain


    ‘Very knowledgeable about both the substantive elements of the law and the rules for enforcing the rights of litigants.’

    ‘Highly organized with a vision to building the necessary steps for success.’


    Key clients

    Groupe Somavrac Inc.


    Tsilhqot’in National Government

    Responsible Plastic Use Coalition (RPUC), Dow Canada, Imperial Oil, NOVA Chemicals

    Wei Guang Real Estates Development

    Government of Alberta

    University of British Columbia

    Kirby Offshore Marine LLC

    Regional Municipality of Halton

    Corporation of the City of Burlington

    Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills

    Corporation of the Town of Milton

    Corporation of the Town of Oakville

    Romandale Farms Limited

    Kivalliq Inuit Association

    Canadian Public Health Association

    Wheatland County

    Work highlights

      Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

      The environmental team at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP forms part of the wider real estate, environmental, Indigenous and land group. The group has extensive environmental litigation expertise, having represented clients before municipal, provincial and federal environmental regulating bodies, tribunals and regulators. Particular expertise also lies within environmental matters arising from natural resource projects. Martin Ignasiak and Richard King co-lead the group from Calgary and Toronto respectively. Shawn Denstedt is noted for his energy-related expertise, while Jennifer Fairfax ‘s vast knowledge encompasses environmental assessments and permits. Patrick Welsh is another key contact.

      Practice head(s):

      Martin Ignasiak; Richard King

      Other key lawyers:

      Shawn Denstedt; Jennifer Fairfax; Patrick Welsh


      The team at Torys plays a prominent role in the coverage of both ESG and climate change issues. Clients such as Enbridge Gas and CIBC Pembina Pipeline benefit from the team’s governance model and ESG policy expertise. In addition to non-contentious expertise, the team is also well-equipped to oversee high-profile and complex litigation, having acted as lead counsel in over 50 major environmental disputes before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Dennis Mahony is best known for overseeing major infrastructure projects through obtaining appropriate approvals and leading advocacy on cases, meanwhile Michael Fortier‘s specialisms include advising international companies on environmental issues arising from their projects, deals and disputes. Tyson Dyck is noted for his advice to major financial institutions facing sensitive ESG issues.

      Practice head(s):

      Dennis Mahony

      Other key lawyers:

      Tyson Dyck; Michael Fortier


      ‘Torys environmental team are some of the most professional and strategic business minded people I have worked with.’

      ‘They have a broad range of strengths in different area of environmental liability.’

      ‘Michael Fortier is professional, thorough and provides clear and concise communications related to options, probable outcomes and items to consider.’

      ‘Torys has great people on their environmental team that understand the needs of their client and work collaboratively to provide solutions.’

      ‘There is no one I would want in my corner – or my clients’ corner – more than Dennis Mahony and his colleagues at Torys. They have proven to be far superior in bringing a pragmatic and strategic lens to complex challenges (not limited to legal ones).’

      ‘The team’s focus was always on the client’s needs and goals, and how best to fulfil them.’

      ‘The Torys team appears to support each other and to be genuinely interested in each other’s and their clients’ success.

      ‘Dennis Mahony is a master strategist in a field where strategy must be looked upon as a team sport.’

      Key clients

      Canadian National Railway

      George Weston Limited

      EDP Renewables

      Dowa Metals & Mining

      Enbridge Inc. and Enbridge Gas Inc. (Enbridge)

      Resolute Forest Products Inc.

      TD Bank

      Pembina Pipeline

      Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) and its subsidiary, Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC)

      Work highlights

      • Represented Canadian National Railway on a variety of complex mandates across the country.
      • Represented EDP in the high-profile and contentious development of the 100 MW Nation Rise Wind Project near the township of North Stormont in eastern Ontario, one of the largest wind projects operating in North America. .
      • Represented Dowa Metals & Mining Co. in the establishment of its joint venture with Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. to develop and operate the Palmer copper mine in Alaska, which has an estimated life of mine capital cost of approximately $418m.

      BCF Business Law

      A specialist firm, BCF Business Law handles a range of corporate- and litigation-based matters within the environmental field; examples include development project assessments, regulatory compliance, risk management, permitting affairs, penal defence and civil liability class actions. The practice is home to a number of lawyers with backgrounds in engineering and science and is jointly led by Eric Ouimet, Simon Pelletier and Stéphan Charles-Grenon.

      Practice head(s):

      Eric Ouimet, Simon Pelletier and Stéphan Charles-Grenon

      Other key lawyers:

      Jean Piette; Anne-Frédérique Bourret

      Key clients

      Suncor Energy Products LLP

      Alliance Magnesium Inc.,

      Gaspé Énergies Inc. and Ressources Utica

      Roxboro BauVal Group Inc

      Oriens Technologies Inc.

      Specialized Packaging Group LP

      Epsilyte Holdings LLC

      Société en commandite le Terroir de Boucherville and Société en Commandite le Montbrun

      Work highlights

      • Advising Alliance Magnesium on various important legal issues regarding the environmental aspects associated with the $145M financing financing of its commercial demonstration facility for magnesium production from serpentine mine tailings.      
      • Acted on behalf of Consolidated Uranium Inc. which acquired a 100% undivided interest in the high-grade Matoush Uranium Project (“Matoush”) located in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
      • Acting on behalf of Oriens Technologie Inc. (“Oriens”), a Quebec-based company specializing in the recovery and processing of fluorinated residues generated by the aluminum industry.

      Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

      Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has offices across Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. Its national presence attracts clients from a range of sectors including oil and gas, shipping, real estate development, pipelines and energy. The team advises on all provincial, territorial and international environmental laws. Areas of expertise consist of environmental permits and compliance, contaminated sites litigation, spill reporting and incident response as well as environmental assessments. Rick Williams leads the practice from the Vancouver office and is best-known for his commercial, regulatory and litigation expertise.

      Practice head(s):

      Rick Williams

      Key clients

      Kirby Corporation

      Ministry of the Attorney General/Province of British Columbia

      British Columbia Railway Company

      BELPacific Excavating and Shoring Limited Partnership

      Richardson Terminals Ltd.

      Crew Energy Inc.

      Weyerhaeuser Company Limited

      Foodservice Packaging Institute

      Matter Global Solutions

      Husky Oil Operations Limited

      City of Markham

      Triple M Metal

      Renfrew View Homes

      Work highlights


        The team at Dentons is recognized for having extensive knowledge on climate change and sustainability. As part of the firm’s global environment and natural resources group, the practices utilizes its multidisciplinary abilities to advise on environmental assessments, ESG compliance, renewable energy projects, site remediation and environmental transportation issues. The team has a particular focus on developing areas such as renewables, clean fuel standards and extended producer responsibility for manufactured products. The practice is led by Alex G MacWilliam who is based in Calgary.

        Practice head(s):

        Alex G MacWilliam

        Key clients

        Alberta Conservation Association

        Ducks Unlimited Canada

        Enbridge Inc.

        Great West Life Realty Advisors

        Orkin Canada

        PETRONAS Canada

        Syncrude Canada Inc.

        World Fuel Services

        Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

        Rocky Mountain Equipment

        Work highlights

        • Advised Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on environmental and health and safety matters relating to all aspects of the Municipality’s operations, including potable water system, wastewater treatment system, solid waste landfills and engineering operations.
        • Advised Capital Power Corporation on its inaugural $1bn Sustainability-Linked Credit Facilities.
        • Advised Air Products Canada Ltd. on existing contamination issues concerning the investigation and acquisition of a property, for the purposes of construction and operation of a multi-billion dollar hydrogen plant just outside of Edmonton, Alberta.

        Lawson Lundell LLP

        With ample project approval and regulatory defence expertise, the team at Lawson Lundell LLP has overseen matters in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Yukon, NWT and Nunavut. The team often integrates its regulatory, environmental and Indigenous law practices to advise clients seamlessly. Expertise also lies within the negotiation of environmental management and monitoring agreements, whereby they assist government agencies and Indigenous and Inuit organizations. Brad Armstrong and John Olynyk co-lead the practice. Armstrong operates from the Vancouver office, while Olynyk oversees the team from Calgary.

        Practice head(s):

        Brad Armstrong; John Olynyk

        Key clients

        Pure Environmental Waste Management Ltd.

        TMAC Resources Inc. (TMAC)

        Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

        Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

        Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

        Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

        New Gold Inc.

        Cheetah Resources Corp

        Work highlights

          McLennan Ross LLP

          Combining its strengths across its occupational health and safety, Aboriginal law, corporate commercial securities and litigation disciplines, McLennan Ross LLP is able to advise clients across a range of environmental matters. Particular focus lies within environmental assessments, waste management, land management, contamination, pipeline, mining and power generation plant approvals, climate change issues and Indigenous law issues. Edmonton-based Sean Parker and Calgary-based Michael Barbero leads the practice. Parker’s expertise includes contaminated sites and regulatory enforcement, while Barbero focuses on the regulatory and litigation demands of Alberta’s resource companied. Ronald Kruhlak specializes in energy, environmental and constructed related matters.

          Practice head(s):

          Sean Parker; Michael Barbero

          Other key lawyers:

          Ronald Kruhlak


          ‘Significant experience in environmental and regulatory matters.’

          ‘They have a strong technical ability to organize, label, file and retrieve thousands of pages of key documents.’

          ‘The depth of specialized knowledge and experience in environmental and regulatory matters is more extensive than other Alberta firms.’

          Key clients

          Cherokee Canada Inc.

          City of Calgary

          Northwest Territories Power Corporation

          EQUS REA Ltd.

          Government of Alberta (Transportation)

          Total E&P Canada Ltd.

          Capital Power

          Link Global Technologies Inc.

          KGL Constructors, A Partnership

          Work highlights

          • Represented Cherokee Canada Inc, a significant brownfield developer in resolving regulatory and civil issues for a major brownfield redevelopment project valued at $70m.
          • Represented Alberta Transportation in relation to the regulatory approvals required to construct the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir, valued at $450m.  
          • Acted for Capital Power in relation to the regulatory and municipal approvals required for the construction and operation of a 150 MW wind project in eastern Alberta, valued at $190m.

          Norton Rose Fulbright

          The team at Norton Rose Fulbright has extensive decarbonization and contamination expertise and is well-equipped to oversee wind power projects. Both Alan Harvie and Max Collett lead the practice from Calgary and Vancouver respectively. Joshua Sprague was promoted to partner in January 2022.

          Practice head(s):

          Alan Harvie; Max Collett

          Other key lawyers:

          Michael Manhas

          Key clients

          Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

          Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

          SNC Lavalin

          GreenFirst Forest Products Inc.

          Work highlights

          • Represented Quebec Port Authority in two environmental class actions filed on behalf of roughly 50,000 homeowners and residents of five Quebec City districts, who allege to have suffered nuisance resulting from dust emissions.
          • Advised National Bank of Canada, as agent, in the financing of Power Sustainable Capital Inc.’s $1bn Power Sustainable Energy Infrastructure Partnership.
          • Advised Lithion Recycling Inc. on a Series A equity financing for an amount of up to $125m.

          Stikeman Elliott LLP

          Stikeman Elliott LLP‘s team specializes in the handling of risk management and environmental compliance that arise from corporate and real estate transactions. The team also oversees issues arising from climate change, carbon trading and noise limits. Larry Cobb and Myriam Fortin co-lead the practice. Cobb’s expertise includes the handling of hazardous waste matters, while Fortin’s expertise includes regulatory issues.

          Practice head(s):

          Larry Cobb; Myriam Fortin

          Other key lawyers:

          Patrick Duffy 

          Work highlights