Saskatchewan, Ontario and the constitutionality of a national carbon price

Professor Nathalie Chalifour has published a new op-ed in The Globe and Mail examining Saskatchewan and Ontario’s positions in relation to the federal carbon tax.

She points out that in general, the arguments presented by both provinces are weak, especially since many legal experts agree that Parliament is within its constitutional authority to implement a national carbon price under one or more subject matters. She also highlights some interesting aspects raised by both provincial governments.

She concludes that: “In the end, it looks as if Saskatchewan and Ontario’s complaints are not really about the Constitution, but reflect a politically motivated, foot-stomping show of their unwillingness to do their part in the national and global effort to reduce GHG emissions. The fact that Ontario Premier Doug Ford is turning to the courts for help, when he recently stated he would override a court decision with the notwithstanding clause because he did not agree with the outcome, speaks volumes. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that the federal government opted to use a carbon price because it is the policy favoured by economists and conservatives because of its efficiency. Yet it is the conservative-led provinces that are making the most noise about it. Meanwhile, these outlier provinces have left Canadian climate policy fragmented and bogged down in costly lawsuits.”

The UN Global Pact for the Environment: Implications for Canada?

The Centre for Ecological Law and Global Sustainability is pleased to feature Yann Aguila for its first edition of the Environmental Law Speaker Series for the 2018-2019 academic year. The topic of the lecture is “The UN Global Pact for the Environment: Implications for Canada?”, and it will take place on September 24, 2018 from 11:30am-1:00pm in room 4101 of the Desmarais Building at the University of Ottawa.

RSVP for this free event HERE.


Nathalie Chalifour Inducted into Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Professor Nathalie Chalifour has been selected as a member of the 2018 cohort of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.


Professor Chalifour is widely recognized for her expertise in environmental law and policy, and known internationally for her pioneering work at the intersections of environmental issues, economics and social justice. Her rich record of scholarship is acclaimed for its policy relevance, consistently modeling innovative interdisciplinary approaches to timely environmental problems. As an emerging leader in her field, Professor Chalifour is helping to shape Canada’s developing legal framework for climate change and environmental justice, while contributing to our understanding of how markets and fiscal policy can be harnessed to fairly and effectively safeguard the environment.

The RSC College aims to address issues of particular concern to new scholars, artists and scientists, fostering an environment of interdisciplinary collaboration with the ultimate goal of advancing society. The criteria for election to the College is excellence, and each membership lasts for seven years. Up to 100 members may be elected each year.

Congratulations to Professor Chalifour for this latest achievement!

IUCN AEL Colloquium 2018

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and doctoral candidate Angela Lee are in Glasgow to participate in the 16th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. The colloquium's theme this year is The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience. Hundreds of scholars from around the world have gathered for this important yearly event, which features numerous panels either dedicated to or touching on issues related to environmental justice (including climate justice and food justice). 

Professor McLeod-Kilmurray's presentation, "Transforming Trade Law for Sustainable Food Systems", forms part of a panel called Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: From Law-Making to Implementation.

Angela's presentation, "Food-tures: Examining the role of technology and law in shaping sustainable food futures", forms part of a panel called What futures? Techno-Fixes and the Role of Law and Governance in Land, Food and Agriculture.

Professor McLeod-Kilmurray is also chairing a panel on Technology and Environmental Law and Governance, while Angela is chairing a panel on Civil Society and Community Participation in Environmental Law and Governance.

Book Review Available - Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries

A book review for Marjorie Griffin Cohen's edited volume on Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries is now available. The book, which includes a contribution by Professor Nathalie Chalifour titled "How a Gendered Understanding of Climate Change Can Help Shape Canadian Climate Policy" is a crucial contribution to understanding the gendered dimensions of climate change in the context of wealthy countries. 

The review, by Heidi Walker in The Canadian Geographer, concludes by noting:

"Overall, this book expertly captures the complexity of the gendered dimensions of climate change and leaves the reader feeling both daunted and urgently motivated to participate in the creation of change. While it will certainly attract anyone interested in environmental issues viewed through a feminist lens, its relevance extends much further. It is an important read for anyone in policy development, academia, and non-governmental or labour organizations working towards the dual aspirations of ecological integrity and social justice."

"Amparos Filed by Indigenous Communities Against Mining Concessions in Mexico: Implications for a Shift in Ecological Law"

Dcotoral student Carla Sbert recently published an article titled "Amparos Filed by Indigenous Communities Against Mining Concessions in Mexico: Implications for a Shift in Ecological Law" in the Mexican Law Review.

The article has since prompted a blog post by Juan Diego Dimaté, available to read HERE (in Spanish only). As Carla notes, "it is so encouraging to see young students interested in this and commenting with such quality!"

CLSA/LSA Annual Meeting 2018: Law at the Crossroads

Professor Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and doctoral student Angela Lee recently presented at the 2018 CLSA/LSA Annual Meeting held in Toronto. Their panel, on the topic of "Animals, Law and Subjectivity", was chaired by Angela Harris of UC Davis and included Charlotte Blattner, Jessica Eisen, and Maneesha Deckha as panelists. 

Their presentation explored intersecting issues relating to feminism, veganism, and questions of justice, especially in the context of new and emerging technological developments in relation to flesh and other animal products. 

Environmental Justice Research Fellowship 2018-2019

Pursuant to a five year SSHRC Insight Grant and the Faculty of Law’s own internal bursary program, Professors Nathalie Chalifour, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and Sophie Thériault are recruiting a Research Fellow to complete graduate research on environmental justice in Canadian Law and Policy. The Research Fellow will be a full-time student enrolled in the University of Ottawa LLM (thesis) or Doctoral program.  She or he will participate in research projects and pursue graduate research in one or more of these areas under the supervision of one of the project leaders, in partial completion of an LLM or a Doctorate at the University of Ottawa. 

The candidate will conduct research on one of the project’s case studies. The case studies examine the way in which legal structures contribute to environmental injustices and the role of law in remedying these injustices. Specifically, candidates who are interested in conducting research on Climate Justice and Biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples in the North are sought. More information is available HERE