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

Oliver Brandes is an economist and lawyer by training and a trans-disciplinarian by design. He serves as Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, based at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies, where he leads the POLIS Water Sustainability Project. His work focuses on water sustainability, sound resource management, public policy development, and ecologically based legal and institutional reform.

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 1980s and early 1990s 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 1990s 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.

Devon Page is the Executive Director of Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity. Devon spent his first seven years at Ecojustice channeling his love of wilderness into protecting Canada’s endangered birds, wildlife and fish. Devon obtained the first injunction in Canada to stop logging in old-growth forests home to an endangered species — the northern spotted owl — and launched the first cases under federal species at risk legislation. Devon became Executive Director in 2008 and has focused on enhancing Ecojustice’s effectiveness by emphasizing litigation around key environmental and legal priorities, and expanding Ecojustice’s operations from British Columbia and Ontario to Alberta and the Maritimes.

Supriya Routh is a faculty member at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law. His research interests are labour and employment law, and the regulation of human development. His current scholarly engagement lies at the intersection of livelihoods and climate change, with particular reference to the conceptual framework of sustainable development. With a feisty three-and-a-half year-old at the helm, he barely has any spare time to do other things anymore.

Student Board Members 2019-20

Diana Borges is a third 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.

Christina Joynt is a second year student at the University of Victoria. Prior to entering law school, Christina received her MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management (WSPM) at the University of Oxford. Her master’s dissertation focused on the environmental assessment process in Ontario and how it can be improved from a multi-stakeholder perspective. Bringing her interest in water governance abroad, she has spent the last few summers working for The SAM Project as the Assistant Director of Water and Irrigation Programs in Zambia. Christina’s passion for the environment, and particularly water, extends beyond academics and she enjoys skiing, kayaking and hiking. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Christina is the External Communications Rep for the ELC Club.

Will Kendon is a third year law student at the University of Victoria and an avid admirer of nature. He has a background in environmental science and technology, and a keen interest in protecting sensitive ecosystems and finding ways for society to live more sustainably within them. Will grew up on the West Coast and has endeavoured to explore the rugged beauty of this place he calls home— one backpacking, camping or kayaking trip at a time. Despite pursuing a career in law and foregoing field work for a desk job, Will remains encouraged and motivated by the necessary environmental legal work to be done and by organizations like the ELC who are doing it. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Will is Treasurer for the ELC Club.

Maeve O’Neill Sanger is a third 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.

Shawna Smitha grew up in Aamjiwnaang territory (near Sarnia, Ontario) and now finds herself in her second year of law school. She has been living north of 60 for the past four 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 President of the ELC Club.

Holly Stewart is in her third 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.