Jessica is based in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and is called to the bar in Ontario. Since 2005, her career as a lawyer has focused on Aboriginal, environmental, land use planning, and natural resources law. Prior to joining Arbutus Law Group LLP, she worked as counsel at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry where she developed extensive experience drafting legislation, regulations and other legal documents. She also worked as special projects counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association, a public interest legal aid clinic which specializes in seeking environmental justice, and ran Ecolaw consulting, in which she provided environmental policy advice, organized educational workshops and offered research services. For several years, Jessica enjoyed teaching an undergraduate course at Ryerson University in Development and Environmental Law. She is close to completing her Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution through Osgoode Hall.
Jessica has particular expertise in the intersection of Aboriginal law and natural resource use, and is interested in working with communities to safeguard the exercise of their inherent Aboriginal and treaty rights, navigate consultation/accommodation/consent processes in relation to proposed natural resource developments, and draft laws, protocols and agreements. Jessica has knowledge of a range of natural resource regimes such as land use planning, protected areas, forestry, aggregates, and endangered species.
In the environmental law field, Jessica has developed a particular focus on the protection of safe drinking water and on the regulation of toxic substances in the Canadian marketplace. For many years, she also sat as an environmental representative on a Drinking Water Source Protection Committee under the Clean Water Act, 2006; this multi-stakeholder committee reviewed extensive scientific reports in order to draft plans for the protection of drinking water sources following the Walkerton E.coli outbreak.
Jessica has appeared before the Ontario Municipal Board and the Environmental Review Tribunal on land use planning matters, and assisted in preparing cases for both trial and appellate-level courts. On numerous occasions she has appeared as witness before standing committees at the provincial and federal level, where she testified on a range of legislative proposals related to the environment and land use planning. For seven weeks, she had the privilege of working with traditional owners and the Cape York Land Council in Cairns, Australia in developing a submission to the State of Queensland regarding its biodiscovery policy.
Contact Jessica | P: 250-940-1881