ELCS Board

The ELC’s Board of Directors is comprised of diverse and experienced members, including law students, lawyers, law professors, and members of the community. The Board supervises and directs the Society’s activities and is led by an elected student executive. All branches work collectively to create a collaborative and productive environment.

Community Board Members


Gillian Calder is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law where she teaches Constitutional Law and Family Law. She joined the faculty in 2004 from the practice of Aboriginal law in Vancouver. Her areas of research interest include the relationship between women, work and family; constitutional and equality theories; and performativity and law. Currently she is fascinated by the role of political theatre in legal and social movements, including the potential for sustained environmental change.


Kathy Chan is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, where she teaches Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Non-profit Sector Law and Law and Religion.  She previously practiced law at a boutique charity law firm in Vancouver, and is a former executive member of both the national and BC branches of the CBA Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Subsection.  In her spare time Kathy can often be found on a neighbourhood soccer pitch, trying to keep up with her three children.


Clare Frater

Clare Frater is a Policy Analyst for the Islands Trust. In that role, she works on a variety of environmental advocacy campaigns focused on protecting the islands and waters of the Salish Sea. Previously, Clare has worked for the BC Ministry of Environment, the Islands Trust Fund and Habitat Acquisition Trust. In her spare time, Clare can be found digging in her garden or taking her two young boys for adventures in the forest.




Tim Leadem, QC (ELC Community Co-Chair) is a retired member of the Bar of British Columbia. He has a Masters degree in zoology and studied environmental physiology prior to becoming a lawyer. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s he acted for environmental groups and people who were involved in land disputes over logging in BC. He joined the government of British Columbia as a litigator in the mid 1990’s and was involved in a wide range of cases at every level of court, establishing a respected track record that resulted in his being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2000. He was the head of Civil Litigation and later Aboriginal Litigation for the Province. He left government in 2010 and joined Ecojustice in Vancouver where he was the Western Program Director. He was counsel for environmental coalitions before the Cohen Commission and the Northern Gateway Enbridge hearings. A graduate of the University of Victoria law school, he has authored papers on legal topics and is a frequent speaker on litigation matters.

Alyne Mochan is a proud ELC grad and worked for the ELC one summer. She is a lawyer with Cedar Law in Victoria, practising in the area of Aboriginal law. Alyne is the Legal Officer at the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner of BC.



rush-stuartStuart Rush, QC is a a retired member of the BC Law Society and former associate with Rush, Crane, Guenther, Stuart consults with the Haida and Pic River First Nation. He has written extensively on Aboriginal title and rights and the use of oral history as evidence. Practicing in the areas of criminal, civil, labour and Aboriginal law since being called to the BC bar in 1971, Stuart has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, BC Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of BC, Queens Bench of Alberta, Federal Court of Appeal, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the BC Labour Relations Board and arbitration boards in BC and throughout Canada. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1992 and has represented indigenous organizations in aboriginal litigation throughout Canada, and worked on such leading cases as Delgamuukw (on which he acted as lead counsel), Guerin, Van der Peet, NTC Smokehouse, Gladstone and Haida Nation. Stuart has also acted as counsel on behalf of several unions, including the Canadian Auto Workers (Unifor) and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, before many administrative tribunals and boards. He has worked with several environmental organizations, including Ecojustice, West Coast Environmental Law, and the Environmental Law Centre Associates Program of the University of Victoria Law School. He is presently Chair of the YVR Art Foundation and past President of Ecojustice.

Thomas-David_HPP0354David Thomas is an oceanographer and environmental chemist active in the fields of chemical oceanography, marine geochemistry and environmental chemistry since 1972. Prominent activities within these areas have been a variety of studies related to the long-range transport of persistent organic pollutants into the Arctic, the incorporation of these contaminants into arctic marine and arctic terrestrial food chains, and the effects of global climate change on contaminant cycling and fate and effects in the environment. His research studies have emphasized heavy metal geochemistry, organic geochemistry, sediment-sea water interactions and contaminant fluxes in temperate and polar coastal/estuarine systems.


Student Board Members 2018-19


Diana Borges is a second year student from Toronto. Before coming to UVic, Diana completed a BA in political science and a Master of Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto. She has worked for the Ontario government and non-governmental organizations on projects related to indigenous relations, forestry, and bioenergy. Since moving to Victoria, Diana has been spending her free time with local organizations, removing invasive species from parks, tending community gardens, and monitoring bat populations. She also enjoys reading novels and poetry, listening to podcasts, and swimming.

Lola Churchman is a third year law student from the Prairies. Born and raised in Saskatoon, she fell in love with canoeing and camping in the wilderness. Taking a sharp turn from microbiology and immunology in undergrad, she packed up her incredibly fluffy cat in her car and headed for the coast. Finding herself at UVic Law, she’s come to join the struggle to defend the environment at all costs and contribute to the environmental law community in any way she can. She dreams of living an environmentally sustainable life in a like-minded community. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Lola is President of the ELC Club.

Will Kendon is a second year Law student at UVic, and has been an appreciator and admirer of nature since first going camping with his high school outdoor education class. From then on, he’s been interested in protecting sensitive ecosystems and finding ways for society to live more sustainably within them. This inspired him to complete a Diploma in Environmental Protection Technology and a BSc in Environmental Science. His environmental law course and subsequent volunteer work with West Coast Environmental Law changed his approach on how to try and tackle the most pressing environmental problems that we face, convincing him to study law – and to team up with the ELC! Will is beyond excited to be in here Victoria, and looks forward to exploring and protecting this wonderful place. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Will is Upper Year Rep and Summer Rep for the ELC Club.

Maeve O’Neill Sanger is a second year student at the University of Victoria and External Communications Officer of the Environmental Law Club. She is from Ottawa and trained as a visual artist. Summers paddling the Great Lakes and planting trees in the clear cuts of northern Ontario and interior British Columbia have fostered Maeve’s concern for the health of our waterways, ecosystems, and communities. She is thrilled to join in the important work of the ELC Board of Directors. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Maeve is External Communications Rep for the ELC Club.

Shawna Smith grew up in Aamjiwnaang territory (near Sarnia, Ontario) and now finds herself in her first year of law school. She has been living north of 60 for the past three years, dedicated to issues where environmental justice and indigenous rights intersect. Before moving to Victoria she was President of the Yukon Conservation Society (YCS), supporting the Protect the Peel campaign surrounding the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun v. Yukon SCC case. After working with Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Aitlin, British Columbia, to write down traditional laws on how to build and maintain healthy relationships with the land, she was inspired to apply for the new Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders to continue to build her tools to better support indigenous law revitalization. Shawna loves to learn about and build relationships with the land by getting out climbing, hiking, trail running, and canoeing with her furry friend Jules. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Shawna is First Year Rep for the ELC Club.

Holly Stewart is in her second year of law school at the University of Victoria. She completed her bachelor’s degree in environmental science at McGill University and spent a lot of time looking at sediment from alpine lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Prior to entering law school she spent several years working as a forest firefighter in the summers and as a ski patroller in the winters. She enjoys running, biking, rock climbing, and generally any activity that does not involve being stationary. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Holly is Internal Communications Rep for the ELC Club.

Conner Wear has been an active member of the Environmental Law Center’s Board of Directors for three years and has held positions on the Club’s Executive throughout his tenure in the Faculty of Law and as a student in the Environmental Law Clinic. Conner has a Bachelors of Science from the Faculty of Land and Foods Systems at the University of British Columbia. Prior to law school, he operated a hop farm on the Sunshine Coast for two seasons and worked in Rwanda for three years for Gardens for Health International where he engaged in program design and government partnerships as the Agricultural Technical Manager. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Conner is Treasurer for the ELC Club.