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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Jacquelyn Stevens

Certified Environmental Law Specialist

T: 416-862-4828  E:


Jacquelyn Stevens is a partner and certified specialist in environmental law with significant expertise representing a wide range of clients in civil and regulatory litigation.  Jacquelyn is called to the bars of Ontario and Alberta.

Jacquelyn appears before the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, the Ontario Provincial Court, Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

  • Environmental civil litigation
  • Defence of environmental regulatory prosecutions
  • Administrative appeals and hearings

Jacquelyn prosecutes and defends environmental lawsuits. She advises on cross-boundary migration of contamination and remediation options during civil litigation. Jacquelyn also has significant expertise litigating contamination issues at dry cleaning operations and gas stations.

Jacquelyn acts for clients in the defence of quasi-criminal environmental prosecutions by regulatory authorities. She also appears before administrative tribunals on appeals of regulatory orders and approvals.

Environmental Law

Jacquelyn provides effective advice and solutions to clients about environmental due diligence and compliance, brownfields/contaminated site remediation, environmental approvals for air, odour, noise and waste.

Aboriginal Law

Jacquelyn advises both private sector and First Nations clients on Aboriginal environmental law issues.

Prior Environmental Experience

Jacquelyn has degrees and prior experience in earth sciences, geology and ecology:

  • Exploration field geologist for a resource exploration company
  • Research and exploration geologist for the Geological Survey of Canada
  • Remedial Action Plan Technician for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Environmental technician for an environmental consulting firm


  • Financial institutions
  • Land developers, property owners, landlords and tenants
  • Dry cleaning operators
  • Gas station operators
  • Municipalities
  • Insurers
  • Individuals
  • Aboriginal communities
  • Mining and exploration sector
  • Construction sector
  • Renewable energy sector

Representative Work

Environmental Civil Litigation

  • Settlement for Contamination—Represented plaintiff development corporation in lawsuit concerning contamination that migrated to the client’s property, resulting in a highly advantageous $700,000 settlement in the client’s favour and remediation obligations for the property.
  • Migration of Chlorinated Solvents Through Property—Achieved a multi-million dollar settlement after prolonged civil litigation and regulator engagement for a government agency that owns a flow-through contaminated property, with broad indemnification from the former owner of the upgradient source property.
  • Defence of Insured Environmental Consultant—Achieved settlement for an insurer defending its insured environmental consultant in a claim for breach of contract and for professional negligence connected with remediation work.
  • Motion to Add Manufacturer as Defendant—Representing steel manufacturer to prevent it from being added as a defendant to the plaintiff’s lawsuit about disposal of waste at the plaintiff’s property.

Defence of Environmental Regulatory Prosecutions

  • Charges Against Food Manufacturer—Assisted a food manufacturer to respond to environmental regulator charges for Environmental Compliance Approval non-compliance and unlawful discharge of wastewater into a watercourse. Successfully negotiated reduction in the charges and fine.

Administrative Appeals & Hearings

  • Recovery of Remediation Costs—Advising a municipality about options to recover remediation costs from a property owner and wastewater contractor for remediation costs for a site. Representing the client before the Environmental Review Tribunal concerning the property owner’s appeal of the municipal Cost Recovery Order.
  • Intervention in Pipeline Application—Assisted a conservation authority to intervene in an application by an energy provider to the National Energy Board about the flow of crude oil through a stretch of pipeline on land under the client’s jurisdiction. The NEB adopted into its decision and order much of the client’s evidence, written arguments and key issues raised.

Environmental Law

  • Drycleaner Sale of Contaminated Land—Assisting a drycleaning operation to assess environmental contamination at the client’s property and to engage with potential developers for the purchase of the property.
  • Transaction Options for Manufacturer with Historic Contamination at Property—Assisting manufacturer to review and assess indemnity agreement requiring former owners of the client’s property to conduct environmental remediation at the property. Also considering options for refinancing and sale of the property.
  • Remediation and Sale of Contaminated Land—Negotiating terms of sale and environmental remediation requirements for a contaminated property. The potential purchaser is also the plaintiff of the lawsuit against the client, in which we are also representing the client.


  • Specific Claim by First Nation—Representing a First Nation in a Specific Claim against the Crown for improper abandonment of natural resource sites on reserve.





  • Law Society of Ontario—member
  • Law Society of Alberta—member
  • The Advocates’ Society—member
  • Canadian Bar Association—member
  • Ontario Bar Association—member of Environmental Law, Administrative Law and Civil Litigation Sections
  • Ontario Fabricare Association—member
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada—member
  • Geological Association of Canada—member
  • Skate Canada—member
  • Girl Guides of Canada—member, leader, Trefoil Guild member (1978-)


Speaking Engagements

April 30, 2018 to May 01, 2018

ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference 2018: Breakfast Roundtables


April 03, 2018 to April 05, 2018

EnviroTech 2018


March 22, 2018

Eco-Canada Webinar - Mitigating Environmental Risks and Liabilities


November 17, 2017

AESAC - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Certification Training Course


November 13, 2017

The Paths To Career Satisfaction: (Re)Defining It All?


October 15, 2017

Seneca College Symposium - Solvents and Best Environmental Practices


October 14, 2017

Ontario Fabricare Association Conference - Alternative Future


October 11, 2017 to October 13, 2017

RemTech 2017 - The Dirt on Excess Soil


May 02, 2017

CANECT 2017 - Air, NOD & GHGs: Emissions Regulations & Compliance


April 28, 2017

ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables


February 15, 2017

OSSGA Conference and Annual General Meeting


June 17, 2016 to June 18, 2016

Ontario Fabricare Association Conference - Environmental Update


April 26, 2016

CANECT 2016 - Air, NOD & GHGs: Emissions Regulations & Compliance


April 21, 2016 to April 22, 2016

ICSC 2016 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables


January 28, 2016

SMART Remediation Toronto Conference: Managing Environmental Liabilities: Case Law Update and Case Studies


January 07, 2016

Improving Your Subrogation Recovery


November 26, 2015

The Commons Institute: Contemporary Legal Challenges: Ethics, Professionalism and the Model Code


June 06, 2015

The Ontario Fabricare Association Conference


April 28, 2015

CANECT 2015 - Complying with New Rules for Air, Noise, Odour and GHG Emissions


November 25, 2014

Envirogate 2014: Dealing with Air, Noise, Odour and GHG Emissions


June 07, 2014

Ontario Fabricare Association and ECLDA Conference


April 29, 2014

CANECT 2014: Air Emissions


April 28, 2014

CANECT 2014: What is Waste? What Should be Waste?


March 27, 2014

ICSC 2014 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables


December 02, 2013

Practice Workshops for the Female Lawyer, The Commons Institute


April 29, 2013 to May 01, 2013

21st Annual CANECT 2013


January 28, 2013 to January 30, 2013

Understanding Environmental Regulations, Educational Program Innovations (EPIC)


December 05, 2012

Envirogate – Dealing with Air, Noise, Odour and GHG Emissions


November 08, 2012

Source Water Protection: Implications for Aggregate Operations, Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA)


September 15, 2012

What You Need to Know" Reporting Obligations and Governmental Action, Ontario Fabricare Association


  • “What You Need to Know” Civil Claims and Governmental Action, Ontario Fabricare Association Conference, September 24, 2011
  • The Legal Defence: Due Diligence as Interpreted in the Courts, 19th Annual Canadian Environmental Compliance Conference + Tradeshow (CANECT 2011), Environmental Due Diligence, May 18, 2011
  • Challenging Orders and Approvals, Envirogate 2010, Industrial Air Emissions: New Approvals and Reporting Requirements, November 23, 2010
  • Water - Federal and Provincial, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, Understanding Environmental Regulations, October 13 14, 2010
  • Consultation and Aboriginal Issues, EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center, Understanding Environmental Regulations, October 13 14, 2010
  • Delegated Authority: Proactive Strategies to Engage Aboriginal Communities, The Canadian Institute, Engaging and Negotiating with Aboriginal Communities, September 28-29, 2010
  • Mining Amendment Act – Exploration Plans & Permitting, OBA Institute 2010, Natural Resources and Energy Law, February 16, 2010
  • Meeting the Duty to Consult in Provincial and Municipal Matters, The Canadian Institute, 16th Annual Provincial/Municipal Government Liability, Toronto, February 9 10, 2010
  • The Regulatory Regime Governing Air Emissions, Envirogate, Industrial Air and GHG Emissions, November 26, 2009
  • Ontario’s New Mining Act: Issues Affecting First Nations and Métis, Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association (CAMA), 17th Annual Conference Communities, Commodities, Certainty: Aboriginal Community and Resource Development in a Changing Economy, November 1-3, 2009
  • Intensification through Brownfield Redevelopment While Retaining Employment Lands, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers, Municipal Breakfast, May 2009
  • Nuisance Claims and Best Management Practices, 17th Annual Canadian Environmental Compliance Conference + Tradeshow (CANECT) – Proactive Air Emissions Compliance, April 20-21, 2009
  • Managing Civil Liability and Avoiding Risks, McMaster University, Engineering and Law, April 2009
  • Scugog: When a Duty to Consult is Not Triggered, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers, Aboriginal/Municipal Breakfast, January 2009
  • Law and Contract Negotiations, Fanshawe College, 2006
  • Teaching Assistant for Sedimentology, Mineralogy and Field School, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia –, 1997 – 1998
  • Teaching English and Geology, Canadian Crossroads International, Danané, Côte d’Ivoire, 1993 – 1994


January 31, 2018

The Lawyer's Daily - When is the right to sue for damages from historic contamination lost?

Check out Jacquelyn Stevens article titled: When is the right to sue for damages from historic contamination lost? This article original...


December 22, 2017

Alberta Update: When Does a Plaintiff Lose the Right to Sue for Historic Contamination?

In Alberta, there is an ultimate limitation period of 10 years from the date the claim arose regardless of when a plaintiff knew or ought to have k...


November 30, 2017

Tenant Dry Cleaner Wins at Court: Landlords Must Give Tenants Reasonable Period of Time to Comply with Regulatory Requirements in their Leases

In Jay-Pee Drycleaners Inc v 2321324 Ontario Inc the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that when commercial landlords require tenant dry clean...


June 29, 2017

Don’t be Hung Out to Dry – Know Your Dry Cleaner Reporting Requirements!

Dry cleaners should be aware of new reporting requirements under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”). On April 1st, 2017...


May 03, 2017

Tips for Homeowners – What to do if you Find an Underground Fuel Oil Tank in Your Backyard

Fuel oil leaks from underground storage tanks (“USTs”) into the soil and groundwater can result in environmental damage and significant...


December 09, 2016

New Real Property Register May Have Environmental Implications

On December 10, 2016, the Ontario Business Corporations Act ("OBCA") will be amended by the Forfeited Corporate Property Act, 2015 ("FCPA") to incl...


June 17, 2016

Fabricare Canada Magazine Highlights Article by Jacquelyn Stevens titled Jail Time and Hefty Fines

The May/June 2016 issue of Fabricare Canada magazine highlights an article written by Willms & Shier partner Jacquelyn Stevens. ...


March 14, 2016

Jail Time For Repeated Non-Compliance: Dry Cleaner Hit Hard By The Environmental Enforcement Act

An owner of a dry cleaner has been sentenced to four months of jail time for repeated failure to follow Environment and Climate Change Canada&rsquo...


January 26, 2016

Claims against Historic Gas Station Owner/Operator Fails to Stay A"Floate" on Summary Dismissal Application

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Floate v. Gas Plus reminds plaintiffs that they must prove that each defendant is responsible for the a...


December 23, 2014

2014 Environmental Case Law Year in Review

Canadian environmental case law during the past 18 months gave environmental lawyers much to talk about. Personal liability of directors and office...


October 23, 2014

"Greenwashing" Environmental Claims Give Rise to Legal Liability

"Green" products and services are becoming popular in many industries as people become more concerned with environmental protection and climate cha...


August 27, 2014

Fabricare Canada Magazine Highlights Presentation by Jacquelyn Stevens on Drycleaner Risks and Liabilities

The July/August 2014 issue of Fabricare Canada magazine highlights a presentation given by Willms & Shier lawyer Jacquelyn Stevens at the ...


April 11, 2014

Environmental Management Best Practices for Dry Cleaners – Minimizing Legal Liability and Establishing a Defence

A discharge, leak or spill of even a small quantity of PERC will eventually have significant legal implications for drycleaners. Lawsuits from land...


December 02, 2013

Feds Imposing New Environmental Enforcement Act Fines Against Dry Cleaners

Environment Canada wasted no time in using its new regulatory powers under the Environmental Enforcement Act.  Dry cleaners across Canada were...


October 01, 2013

Who You Gonna Call? Dry Cleaners Facing Civil Claims

The ‘For Sale’ signs on the shopping plaza went up a month ago and your landlord has already received a solid offer. You’ve been ...


November 29, 2012

Jacquelyn Stevens Quoted in Article - Q&A = Success for OFA, Fabricare Canada

Jacquelyn Stevens presented at the Ontario Fabricare Associaton's Annual Convention on September 15, 2012 "What You Need to Know" Reporting Obligations and Governmental Action.


October 02, 2009

Source water protection - Ontario Clean Water Act

The Ontario Clean Water Act (CWA) is intended to protect existing and future sources of drinking water. It is a response to Justice Dennis O’Connor’s recommendation in his report on the Walkerton tragedy to develop source protection plans at the local level for every watershed in Ontario.


  • Who You Gonna Call?” – Dry Cleaners Facing Civil Claims, Fabricare Canada, upcoming issue, 2012
  • City of Toronto Dry Cleaners, ChemTrac Reporting Deadline is June 30, 2012, Farbricare Canada website, June 2012
  • A Cross-Country Review: Exploration and Mining Issues Affecting First Nations & Métis - 16th Annual Provincial/Municipal Government Liability, Canadian Institute February 9-10, 2009
  • Aboriginal Consultation During Class Environmental Assessments, INFLUENTS (Water Environment Association of Ontario), Fall 2008
  • Aboriginal Consultation: Tips for Corporate Counsel, Ultimate Corporate Counsel Guide, September 2008, Number 21
  • The first and second magnetic layers of oceanic crust as seen in ODP drillholes and the Troodos Ophiolite. Technical Report No. 15, Centre for Marine Geology, 2000, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Geochemistry of the Namurian Lismore Formation, northern mainland Nova Scotia: sedimentation and tectonic activity along the southern flank of the Maritimes Basin. Canadian Journal of Earth Science, 1999, volume 35, 1655-1669



April 23, 2014

Jacquelyn Stevens Speaking at the Ontario Fabricare Association and ECLDA Conference June 6-7, 2014

Jacquelyn Stevens will be speaking at the OFA and ECLDA's Conference on June 7, 2014 about "Best Practices for Environmental Management"....


April 03, 2014

Conference: All-Energy Canada Exhibition & Conference

Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP will be an exhibitor at the All-Energy Canada Exhibition & Conference, April 9-10, 2014 at the Exh...


February 26, 2014

Conference: CANECT 2014 - Waste Management, Air Emissions and Water & Wastewater Programs

Willms & Shier partners and associates are Chairs and speakers at CANECT’s 22nd Annual Conference on Environmental Compliance Essentials....


November 29, 2012

Jacquelyn Stevens Quoted in Article - Q&A = Success for OFA, Fabricare Canada

Jacquelyn Stevens presented at the Ontario Fabricare Associaton's Annual Convention on September 15, 2012 "What You Need to Know" Reporting Obligations and Governmental Action.



  • Called to the bars of Ontario (2004), Alberta (2015)
  • Certified as a Specialist in Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario (2015)
  • LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2003
  • Master of Studies in Environmental Law, Vermont Law School, 1999
  • M.Sc., Geology, St. Francis Xavier University, 1998
  • B.Sc. (Hons.), Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, 1996



"Willms & Shier is a bluechip environmental law firm."

Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice