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We’re proud to announce that Dianne has been awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, for her many years of service to the OBA and to environmental law.

And thank you to Canadian Lawyer for listing us as one of Canada’s top 5 environmental law boutiques.

What has Dianne done to deserve this award?

Contributions to the Ontario Bar Association

I have been a member of the Ontario Bar Association Environmental Law executive for approximately 20 years. Throughout that time, I have actively participated in the section. I have been its public affairs representative for as long as I can remember. In that capacity, I have authored or coordinated numerous submissions to the Ontario government on a broad range of issues, from contaminated sites and approvals to the green energy act. For this purpose, I have worked with numerous lawyers within our section and in the Ministry of the Environment, as well as with the executives of other sections (especially real property, municipal, construction, and business). We understand from Ministry sources that these submissions have been influential in the development of government policy. Since I began my tenure as public affairs representative, no environmental law section submission has been rejected by the OBA executive, or has been the subject of complaints by any other section.

I am presently leading a committee negotiating with the professional engineers of Ontario, in the hope of developing mutually acceptable retainer terms that could be adopted by our mutual clients.

I have represented the Ontario Bar Association in front of the general government committee of the Ontario Legislature, to make representations concerning the Green Energy Act. I have also attended many fundraisers and political events on behalf of the OBA. In addition, I am a member of the OBA investment committee, managing the Association portfolio.

Throughout my involvement with the OBA, I have been heavily committed to its continuing education function. I have taught various aspects of environmental law at Bar Association events approximately once a year, and have also contributed every year to the environmental law section newsletter. I contribute some items to the “what’s new” portion of almost every OBA ELS section meeting.

For approximately 10 years, I participated on behalf of the Ontario section in the national environmental law section of the Canadian Bar Association, now known as NEERLS. I have also represented the Canadian Bar Association since 1996 on a series of multi-stakeholder committees developing national and international voluntary environmental standards, such as the ISO 14000 series, under the umbrella of the Standards Council of Canada and the International Organization for Standardization.

Other contributions

I make many other efforts to contribute to the development of environmental law and to the excellence of our profession. I helped to develop the program for recognition of environmental law specialists by the Law Society of Upper Canada. I write and speak frequently on environmental topics, in Canada and abroad, and write a standard reference in the field. I write a blog on environmental developments that many members of our section refer to, and have often mentored young lawyers eager to enter the profession. I also participate in related groups such as the Ontario Environmental Industry Association, and have helped to coordinate their submissions with those of the OBA. My staff and I have provided pro bono environmental law services to several ENGOs, including Greenpeace, the Toronto atmospheric fund, Evergreen, pollution probe, and Algonquin Ecowatch.

I am very grateful for the honour of this award, and thank you for your attention.

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