Tollefson Law is a law firm based in Victoria, British Columbia
15 Canadian Youth Launch Federal Climate Lawsuit to Protect Their Charter and Public Trust Rights
VANCOUVER, B.C. (25 October 2019) — Today, 15 young Canadians from across the country filed a lawsuit against the federal government of Canada for contributing to dangerous climate change.
The case argues the youth are already being harmed by climate change and the federal government is violating their rights to life, liberty and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and for failing to protect essential public trust resources. The youth also allege that their government’s conduct violates their right to equality under section 15 of the Charter, since youth are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change.
The youth, from seven Canadian provinces and the Northwest Territories, are represented by the law firms of Arvay Finlay LLP and Tollefson Law Corporation, and are supported by the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL), David Suzuki Foundation, and Our Children’s Trust.
The lawsuit calls on Canada to cease violating the youth’s Charter and public trust rights and prepare and implement a plan that reduces Canada’s GHG emissions in a manner consistent with what best available science indicates is needed for the federal government to protect young Canadians, do its fair share to stabilize the climate system, and avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change.
You can read the claim here.
CHRIS TOLLEFSON, Principal
Chris is the founding principal of Tollefson Law and a Professor of Law at the University of Victoria. Since 2016, he is also the founding Executive Director of Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL), Canada’s first charity dedicated to educating and training aspiring environmental litigators.
He has degrees from Queen’s, University of Victoria and Osgoode Hall Law School, and clerked at the BC Court of Appeal for Justices Lambert and Macdonald.
Chris combines teaching and research on environmental issues with counsel work for various public interest environmental clients. This counsel work has included appearances before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and various environmental regulatory boards and tribunals. He was counsel to BC Nature and Nature Canada during both the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline hearing processes.
His publications cover a range of environmental and natural resource topics including environmental assessment, eco-certification, and access to justice. He is co-author (with Meinhard Doelle) of a leading environmental law textbook.
Chris is a former President of Ecojustice and founding executive director of the UVic Environmental Law Centre.
He has won various awards for his teaching and research, and in 2014 was the recipient of Nature Canada’s Conservation Partner Award for his work leading their legal team during the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings.
ANTHONY HO, Associate
Anthony received his J.D. from the University of Victoria in 2014, and was called to the British Columbia bar in May 2015. His areas of practice in public interest environmental law has included environmental assessments, regulatory hearings, and judicial reviews. He has appeared before the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel, the NEB in its hearing into the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the BC Environmental Appeal Board, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the BC Supreme Court. He also holds a Master of Public Administration (UVic ’14), a B.Sc. in environmental sciences (UBC ’10), and a B.A. in political science (UBC ’10).