Through its support for work in public interest law, legal research and law reform, the Law Foundation funds three programs that deal with environmental law issues.
Ecojustice Canada is a national non-profit society established in 1990 to use public interest environmental law to protect and restore the environment in Canada. Ecojustice uses test case litigation, policy and law reform, public education and communications to set legal precedents and strengthen Canadian legislation on environmental issues. Ecojustice’s legal services are provided free of charge. Over its 25-year history, Ecojustice has helped hundreds of clients protect wilderness and wildlife, challenge industrial projects that harm the environment and human health, and kept harmful chemicals out of the air, water and soil.
The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) is a non-profit society that operates Canada’s first public interest environmental law clinical program at the University of Victoria in partnership with the Faculty of Law. Through the clinic, the ELC provides a range of pro bono legal services to its clients, including legal advice, advocacy and representation before courts and tribunals. In addition to providing hands-on clinical opportunities for law students, the ELC also supports public interest work done by practitioners throughout the province through the ELC Associates program.
Since 1974, the West Coast Environmental Law Association has advocated for a just and sustainable society where people are empowered to protect the environment. West Coast is a non-profit society that works on several fronts to improve laws through law reform advocacy, public legal education, community and coalition development, and environmental law research. The Law Foundation funds environmental law summary advice services, legal research, law reform and legal education as well as the West Coast Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, which provides support to community groups to hire lawyers at a partially pro-bono rate with a view to resolving environmental disputes.
The combined forces of these three groups, funded by the Law Foundation of BC, contribute significantly to work on environmental law in the province.