Items filtered by date: May 2018

ECELAW invites applications for a 12-week Summer Student position to be held between June 11th and August 31st, 2018. The successful applicant will undertake two distinct projects, as described below.

ECELAW is an environmental law charity. From our offices in Halifax, we work throughout Atlantic Canada to secure a clean, healthy environment through public legal education, community collaboration, and legal action. ECELAW’s Summer Student will work to enhance the organization’s public education programming by helping to develop a community legal clinic and an interactive session designed to teach high school students about environmental law.

Project I: Prince Edward Island Water Clinic (8 weeks)

ECELAW aims to deliver a community legal clinic in Prince Edward Island, focusing on the province’s Water Act and corresponding regulations. To support the development of this clinic, the Summer Student will:

  • complete research on the subject area;
  • develop resource materials to be used in clinic sessions;
  • assist in implementing the clinic; and
  • prepare and administer follow-up evaluations.

Student work on the Prince Edward Island Water Clinic project is funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Project II: Youth to Youth – Law and Environment (4 weeks)

ECELAW aims to deliver a 1-day interactive session on environmental law directed at high school students and facilitated by law students. The dual purpose of the session is to expose high school students to the role of law and policy in environmental matters and create mentorship opportunities between law school students and other youth. To support the development of this session, the Summer Student will:

  • gather information on similar projects in Canada through online research and telephone consultations;
  • develop a draft framework for the session, including interactive presentations, discussion groups, brainstorming exercises, and an outdoor experiential component;
  • identify law student facilitators and candidate schools;
  • arrange with the administration of a selected school to pilot the project.

Student work on the Youth to Youth – Law and Environment Project is funded by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Summer students funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program must: be between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of employment; have been registered as full-time students during the 2017-2018 academic year; intend to return to school on a full-time basis during the 2018-2019 academic year; be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and be legally entitled to work in Nova Scotia.

The ECELAW Summer Student position is open to all law students who meet these requirements.

Applications should include a cover letter and CV, and should be sent electronically as a single .pdf file to [email protected] Cover letters may be addressed to:

Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director

East Coast Environmental Law Association

6061 University Ave., PO Box 15000

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

The deadline for applications is Monday, June 4th, 2018.


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May 11, 2018

HALIFAX — A public meeting that will include federal, provincial and municipal politicians will take place
to discuss the ongoing water crisis in Harrietsfield. The meeting has been organized by long-time
Harrietsfield resident Marlene Brown and will be chaired by environmental lawyer Jamie Simpson.
Environment Minister Iain Rankin has agreed to attend the meeting to listen to residents’ concerns.
The following speakers will address a range of topics, including the history of contaminated water in the
community, the status of the provincial prosecution, the community water monitoring pilot project, and
municipal drinking water infrastructure.


Marlene Brown, Harrietsfield Resident for 45 years
Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director, ECELAW
Judith Guernsey, Professor of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie
Stephen Adams, HRM Councillor District 11
Andy Fillmore, MP Halifax
Michele Raymond, Former MLA Halifax Atlantic
Brendan Maquire, MLA Halifax Atlantic

Date: Monday, May 14 2018

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: Harrietsfield Williamswood Community Center (1138 Old Sambro Rd)



Marlene Brown, Harrietsfield Resident
[email protected]

Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director | East Coast Environmental Law
902-670-1113 (mobile)
[email protected]

Jamie Simpson, Lawyer | Juniper Law
902-817-1737 (mobile)
[email protected]

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The East Coast Environmental Law Association (ECELAW) wants to expand its photo library, and we need the expertise and keen eyes of photographers who have a knack for capturing the essences of Atlantic Canadian environments.

Whether you prefer exploring manufactured landscapes or elements of the natural world, we would be grateful to receive donated images that speak to the diverse areas in which we conduct our work, including areas such as forestry, endangered species, aquaculture, coastal and ocean protection, and sustainable livelihoods.

As an environmental law charity, ECELAW is sustained by the generosity of its supporters and volunteers. By donating photographs for ECELAW to use freely, you will help to foster the work we do throughout Atlantic Canada to safeguard clean and healthy environments and strong environmental laws.

All donated photographs that we use in our print or online materials will be fully credited. If you are a photographer looking for more exposure, we would also be happy to mention a preferred social media account where more of your work can be viewed.

To donate photographs, please send them as individual attachments to [email protected]

By donating a photograph to ECELAW, you agree that ECELAW can use the photograph in any of its print or online materials and that ECELAW is free to alter the photograph by cropping.

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This workshop will be hosted by Canadian Coastal Resiliance Forum. Experts and professionals from across a multitude of sectors and disciplines will come together to discuss measures for flood risk management and reduction in a changing climate. The focus of this workshop will be on issues that are relevant to Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. The topics discussed in the workshop will inform a policy brief directed at the provincial and federal governments, and convey which type of actions should be taken to improve flood risk management in Nova Scotia. 


DATE: Wednesday June 13, 2018

TIME: 8:30am - 3:15pm

ADDRESS: Halifax Convention Centre (Room TBD) 1650 Argyle Street HalifaxNS B3J0E6

ADMISSION: Attendance is free. Please register as space is limited.

Registration and the full workshop agenda can be found here.  

Workshop participants will be served coffee, lunch, and light refreshments.

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ECELAW is seeking a motivated individual with strong legal research skills and an interest in environmental law to join our team as an Articled Clerk from June 2018 – June 2019.

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STATEMENT: Federal Court dismisses NAFTA tribunal case, environmental groups react

May 3, 2018

OTTAWA – East Coast Environmental Law, Sierra Club Canada and Ecojustice issued the following statement in response to the Federal Court’s dismissal of Canada’s case challenging a landmark arbitral award brought under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 11 provision by an American corporation:

Lisa Mitchell, East Coast Environmental Law’s Executive Director said:

“While we are disappointed that the Federal Court dismissed Canada’s case, we’re more alarmed by the chilling message it sends: That even when the Canadian government makes good decisions to protect our environment, there’s a chance a NAFTA tribunal could swoop in, decide our environmental laws are ’unfair’, and force Canada to pay hundreds of millions of dollars — leaving Canadian taxpayers on the hook and the environment at risk.”

Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club Canada’s National Program Director said:

“We have been there since the beginning, fighting to protect our communities and to ensure international trade agreements do not supersede the health of Canadians or interfere with our environmental assessment laws and protections.

As canada is renegotiating NAFTA and parliament is evaluating a Bill designed to make environmental assessments credible again, this decision comes at a critical moment. Canada must now look to fix NAFTA to protect the environment and the right of Canadians to reject damaging projects by getting rid of the Chapter 11.

We remain committed to continuing to push government to strengthen our environmental laws, and to close the trade loophole in ongoing NAFTA negotiations to prevent issues like this in the future.” 

Amir Attaran, Ecojustice lawyer said:

“As environmentalists our worst fears have been confirmed that NAFTA can override Canada’s right to protect its own environment. This decision points to the extreme urgency of killing Chapter 11 investor-state dispute resolution in the NAFTA renegotiation.

“We stand by the fact that NAFTA tribunals are only supposed to decide questions of NAFTA law. The NAFTA tribunal in this case went outside its realm of expertise to rule on a matter of Canadian law, and now Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for half a billion dollars to a single company. That’s enough money to pay the salaries of at least 7,000 nurses or teachers for one year. There is clearly a problem with NAFTA and its investment protection chapter.”

Represented by lawyers from Ecojustice, East Coast Environmental Law and the Sierra Club Canada appeared as interveners in the legal proceedings. The groups argued that the NAFTA tribunal exceeded its jurisdiction when it made a determination on what a Canadian environmental assessment panel can decide and found Canada liable for damages — which Bilcon claims is upwards of $500 million.


Lisa Mitchell, executive director | East Coast Environmental Law
1-902-670-1113 (mobile)
[email protected]

Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director | Sierra Club Canada Foundation
1-902-444-7096 (mobile)
[email protected]

Amir Attaran, lawyer | Ecojustice law clinic at the University of Ottawa
[email protected]


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