Access to Justice for Northern Communities

Environmental gains have not benefited all Ontarians equally. Northern Ontario communities, including and especially Indigenous peoples, face unique environmental challenges and have fewer protections than many southern Ontario communities. 

CELA, recognizing a lack of representation and resources for northern communities, has a special program dedicated to ensuring access to justice north of the French River. 

Today, the Northern Services program operates with the support of Legal Aid Ontario. The part-time program provides legal and education services to communities in Ontario’s north. It responds to some of the most pressing environmental issues of the day, including mining development and Indigenous Rights issues in the Ring of Fire region. 

“CELA is by our side as we try to protect the northern environment.” — Graham Saunders, Environment North

“Without CELA, many First Nations including ours would lose the opportunity to have legal advice provided to our community.”— Keith Sayers, Mississauga First Nation

Our goal is to provide services on a full-time basis and to offer greater stability and continuity to the community.

Your donation will help to:

  • Make available every day an environmental law expert to help northern communities understand and engage in environmental law
  • Narrow the gap between environmental protection for the north and environmental protection for the south
Photo Credit – Ghislain Tillard