skip to main content

Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Charles Birchall

Partner
Certified Environmental Law Specialist

T: 613-761-2424  E: cbirchall@willmsshier.com

Bio

Charles (Chuck) Birchall has over 25 years’ experience devoted exclusively to environmental law and the intersection of environmental law with Aboriginal law, consultation and economic development. Chuck has particular expertise with environmental assessment and compliance, contaminated lands and energy law.  Chuck is called to the bar in Ontario, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.

Rankings and Awards

  • Certified Environmental Law Specialist, Law Society of Ontario, since 2015
  • Named Best Lawyers® 2013 “Lawyer of the Year”—Toronto Environmental Law
  • Peer selected annually to The Best Lawyers in Canada©—Environmental Law
  • Named annually to Who’s Who Legal—Canada© for Environment and the international Who’s Who Legal—Environment©

Environmental Assessment

Chuck advises clients across Canada including the northern territories about environmental assessment issues raised by mining, oil and gas and energy and infrastructure projects. He has acted and continues to act for Joint Review Panels conducting environmental assessments of oil sands projects in northern Alberta.

Environmental Compliance

Chuck has extensive experience advising clients about environmental compliance respecting contamination issues, remediation and approvals requirements. He also provides advice about environmental aspects of corporate/commercial negotiations and transactions.

Environmental Prosecutions and Orders

Chuck defends clients being investigated or prosecuted for breaches of environmental laws and Orders.

Northern and Aboriginal

Chuck advises a variety of clients including northern environmental boards and tribunals respecting natural resource development in Canada’s northern territories. Chuck also advises clients about Aboriginal law and consultation in the mining, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Environmental Legislation, Policies & Agreements

Chuck advises clients and has appeared before Parliamentary Committees in the Senate and House of Commons on proposed environmental legislation.

Clients

  • Industrial companies
  • Municipalities
  • Land developers, property owners, landlords, tenants
  • Construction companies
  • Mining, exploration and other resource companies
  • Environmental assessment panels
  • Northern boards and tribunals
  • Northern governments
  • Aboriginal communities and businesses
  • Inuit and Inuvialuit organizations

Representative Work

Environmental Assessment

  • Counsel to Joint Review Panels Conducting Oil Sands Environmental Assessments in Alberta—Acted for Joint Review Panels conducting environmental assessments (EA) of the Joslyn North Mine and the Jackpine Mine Expansion Project, and current counsel to the Joint Review Panel conducting an EA of the Pierre River Mine.

Environmental Compliance

  • Negotiations for Contaminated Site Clean-Up—Acted for the developer of an industrial site about a former tenant’s clean-up of contamination at the site. Negotiated with the tenant’s legal counsel to ensure that clean-up met all required environmental standards for industrial/commercial properties.
  • Environmental Aspects of Sale of Mining Business—Acted for a producer, processor and developer of rare earth metals in the successful sale of the business to a mining company for approximately $1 billion. Environmental law services included environmental due diligence, and reviewing environmental components of the Sale and Purchase agreement.

Environmental Prosecutions and Orders

  • Construction Company Defence for Discharge of Sediment into Water—Defended a major construction company against violations of the Ontario Water Resources Act respecting the discharge of sediment into a water body.
  • Regulatory Investigation of Hazardous Waste Removal Company—Acted for a hazardous waste removal company concerning an investigation of an alleged breach of its Certificate of Approval, resulting in charges not being laid against the client.

Northern

  • Water Law Advice to a Northern Board—Advised the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board about developing a Water/Effluent Quality Management Policy, including conducting a comparative analysis of water law regimes in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
  • Advice to Federal Government About Land Claims—Advised the federal government regarding Comprehensive Land Claims and Implementation Agreements.

Environmental Legislation, Policies & Agreements

  • Appeared before Parliamentary Committees on the Species at Risk Act, Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act, Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and other environmental legislation.

 

 

Recognition

  • Named Best Lawyers® 2013 “Lawyer of the Year”—Toronto Environmental Law
  • Peer selected annually to The Best Lawyers in Canada©—Environmental Law
  • Named annually to Who’s Who Legal—Canada© for Environment and the international Who’s Who Legal—Environment©

Organizations

  • Canadian Bar Association—National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section (Executive Committee member (2005-) and Chair (2012-2013)
  • Ontario Bar Association—Environmental Law Section member (1989-); Natural Resources & Energy Law Section member (2000-); Aboriginal Law Section member (2006-)
  • Mining Association of Canada—member
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada—member
  • Ontario Association for Impact Assessment—Director
  • Northwest Territories & Nunavut Chamber of Mines
  • Air and Waste Management Association—Ottawa Valley Chapter
  • Ottawa Construction Association
  • County of Carleton Law Association—member (2015-)
  • Canadian Arctic Resources Committee—past Chair (2001-2012)
  • Canadian Council on Social Development—past Chair (1996-1999); Board Member (1990-1999)
  • Ontario Red-Tape Review Commission—Advisory Committee member (1996-1997)
  • Conference Board of Canada—Business and Environmental Research Program, Advisory Committee member (1990-1994)

 

Speaking Engagements

May 11, 2018

CCLA - 24th Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
November 14, 2017 to November 16, 2017

45th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
November 02, 2017 to November 03, 2017

CBA NEERLS & Department of Justice - 28th Annual Meeting

More
November 22, 2017 to November 23, 2017

Canadian Aboriginal Law 2017 Conference

More
June 06, 2017

6 Minute Environmental Lawyer CLE: Environmental Liabilities & Reform

More
June 06, 2017

Infonex: Indigenous Communities Land Use & Resource Development

More
May 27, 2017

CCLA - 23rd Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
April 27, 2017 to April 28, 2017

CBA Environmental, Energy & Resources Law Summit

More
November 23, 2016

Infonex Conference: Recent Developments in Environmental Law with Land Use Planning Implications

More
November 03, 2016 to November 04, 2016

Canadian Bar Association: 27th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
October 20, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2016

More
October 12, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
June 10, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
June 02, 2016 to June 03, 2016

CBA National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
May 04, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
April 05, 2016

2016 Nunavut Mining Symposium: Double Bonding - A Continuing Barrier to Development?

More
February 26, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 24, 2015 to November 26, 2015

The 43rd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 27, 2015

Air & Waste Management Association-OVC: Legal Viewpoint of Air Quality and Climate Change Issues in the North

More
September 29, 2015

The Willms & Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law

More
May 07, 2015

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
November 25, 2014 to November 27, 2014

The 42nd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
November 03, 2014 to November 04, 2014

Aboriginal Law Forum

More
November 06, 2014 to November 07, 2014

CBA: 26th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
November 14, 2014

OBA: Advancing Aboriginal Rights and Interests: Choosing the Right Forum

More
October 22, 2014

LSUC: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2014

More
September 30, 2014

41st Aquatic Toxicity Workshop, Ottawa

More
September 23, 2014

CBA Seminar: Conflicts Between Insolvency Law and Environmental Law and Resulting Directors' Liability Fallout

More
June 10, 2014

OWMA: Maneuvering Through Troubling Times for Directors and Officers

More
March 11, 2014

OWMA: Soils Management in Ontario – the ‘new’ MOE Excess Soils Guidelines

More
February 22, 2014

CAELS 2014: Making Waves

More
February 12, 2014

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

More
January 17, 2014

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 07, 2013 to November 08, 2013

Canadian Bar Association and Justice Canada: National Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section

More
November 07, 2013

Impact of New Federal Environmental Legislation on Aboriginal Relations

More
June 20, 2013 to June 21, 2013

Canadian Bar Association’s 2013 Annual National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
May 29, 2013 to May 31, 2013

Aboriginal Lands and Natural Resources Forum, Insight

More
April 23, 2013

Federal Aspects of Environmental and Energy Regulation in Canada: A Practical Webinar Series Presentation

More
February 23, 2013

Arctic Perspectives on Environmental Law, Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies (CAELS)

More

Articles

April 05, 2018

CCLA - 24th Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
November 07, 2017

45th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 27, 2017

CBA NEERLS & Department of Justice - 28th Annual Meeting

More
October 20, 2017

Canadian Aboriginal Law 2017 Conference

More
June 12, 2017

6 Minute Environmental Lawyer CLE: Environmental Liabilities & Reform

More
June 12, 2017

Infonex: Indigenous Communities Land Use & Resource Development

More
May 11, 2017

CCLA - 23rd Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
March 16, 2017

CBA Environmental, Energy & Resources Law Summit

More
November 18, 2016

Infonex Conference: Recent Developments in Environmental Law with Land Use Planning Implications

More
November 02, 2016

Canadian Bar Association: 27th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
September 15, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2016

More
August 23, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
June 06, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
May 11, 2016

CBA National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
April 21, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
March 23, 2016

2016 Nunavut Mining Symposium: Double Bonding - A Continuing Barrier to Development?

More
February 04, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 20, 2015

The 43rd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 20, 2015

Air & Waste Management Association-OVC: Legal Viewpoint of Air Quality and Climate Change Issues in the North

More
September 21, 2015

The Willms & Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law

More
May 05, 2015

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
November 19, 2014

The 42nd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 29, 2014

Aboriginal Law Forum

More
October 29, 2014

CBA: 26th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
October 29, 2014

OBA: Advancing Aboriginal Rights and Interests: Choosing the Right Forum

More
October 14, 2014

LSUC: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2014

More
September 09, 2014

41st Aquatic Toxicity Workshop, Ottawa

More
August 27, 2014

CBA Seminar: Conflicts Between Insolvency Law and Environmental Law and Resulting Directors' Liability Fallout

More
May 14, 2014

OWMA: Maneuvering Through Troubling Times for Directors and Officers

More
March 04, 2014

OWMA: Soils Management in Ontario – the ‘new’ MOE Excess Soils Guidelines

More
February 06, 2014

CAELS 2014: Making Waves

More
February 03, 2014

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

More
January 17, 2014

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 01, 2013

Canadian Bar Association and Justice Canada: National Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section

More
October 23, 2013

Impact of New Federal Environmental Legislation on Aboriginal Relations

More
May 30, 2013

Canadian Bar Association’s 2013 Annual National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
May 16, 2013

Aboriginal Lands and Natural Resources Forum, Insight

More
April 17, 2013

Federal Aspects of Environmental and Energy Regulation in Canada: A Practical Webinar Series Presentation

More
February 22, 2013

Arctic Perspectives on Environmental Law, Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies (CAELS)

More

News

April 05, 2018

CCLA - 24th Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
November 07, 2017

45th Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 27, 2017

CBA NEERLS & Department of Justice - 28th Annual Meeting

More
October 20, 2017

Canadian Aboriginal Law 2017 Conference

More
June 12, 2017

6 Minute Environmental Lawyer CLE: Environmental Liabilities & Reform

More
June 12, 2017

Infonex: Indigenous Communities Land Use & Resource Development

More
May 11, 2017

CCLA - 23rd Annual East Region Solicitors Conference

More
March 16, 2017

CBA Environmental, Energy & Resources Law Summit

More
November 18, 2016

Infonex Conference: Recent Developments in Environmental Law with Land Use Planning Implications

More
November 02, 2016

Canadian Bar Association: 27th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
September 15, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2016

More
August 23, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
June 06, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
May 11, 2016

CBA National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
April 21, 2016

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
March 23, 2016

2016 Nunavut Mining Symposium: Double Bonding - A Continuing Barrier to Development?

More
February 04, 2016

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 20, 2015

The 43rd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 20, 2015

Air & Waste Management Association-OVC: Legal Viewpoint of Air Quality and Climate Change Issues in the North

More
September 21, 2015

The Willms & Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law

More
May 05, 2015

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Sector

More
November 19, 2014

The 42nd Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum

More
October 29, 2014

Aboriginal Law Forum

More
October 29, 2014

CBA: 26th Annual NEERLS & Department of Justice Meeting

More
October 29, 2014

OBA: Advancing Aboriginal Rights and Interests: Choosing the Right Forum

More
October 14, 2014

LSUC: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2014

More
September 09, 2014

41st Aquatic Toxicity Workshop, Ottawa

More
August 27, 2014

CBA Seminar: Conflicts Between Insolvency Law and Environmental Law and Resulting Directors' Liability Fallout

More
May 14, 2014

OWMA: Maneuvering Through Troubling Times for Directors and Officers

More
March 04, 2014

OWMA: Soils Management in Ontario – the ‘new’ MOE Excess Soils Guidelines

More
February 06, 2014

CAELS 2014: Making Waves

More
February 03, 2014

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

More
January 17, 2014

Ottawa Construction Association: Environmental Law for the Construction Industry

More
November 01, 2013

Canadian Bar Association and Justice Canada: National Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section

More
October 23, 2013

Impact of New Federal Environmental Legislation on Aboriginal Relations

More
May 30, 2013

Canadian Bar Association’s 2013 Annual National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit

More
May 16, 2013

Aboriginal Lands and Natural Resources Forum, Insight

More
April 17, 2013

Federal Aspects of Environmental and Energy Regulation in Canada: A Practical Webinar Series Presentation

More
February 22, 2013

Arctic Perspectives on Environmental Law, Canadian Association of Environmental Law Societies (CAELS)

More

Education

  • Called to the bars of Ontario (1981), Nunavut (2014), Northwest Territories (2014)
  • Certified as a Specialist in Environmental Law by the Law Society of Ontario (2015)
  • LL.M., Common Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa (2006)
  • LL.B., Faculty of Law, Queen’s University (1979)
  • B.A. (Hons.), Political Science, University of Toronto (1976)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop, University of Windsor Law School (2000)

Expertise

"The firm is one of, if not the best enviro law firm in the country ..."

Senior Litigation Counsel