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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.





  • Women's Law Association of Ontario (WLAO)—President (2018-)
  • 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

May 14, 2020

CANECT 2020 - Air Quality and Climate Change

April 20, 2020 to April 21, 2020

ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference 2020: Roundtable Discussions

June 05, 2020

Contaminated and Hazardous Waste Site Management Course 2020

May 28, 2020

AESAC - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Certification Training Spring Course

April 29, 2020

EnviroTech 2020

March 12, 2020

SMART Remediation Seminar Series 2020 - Calgary Conference

April 02, 2020

Innovation in an Era of Challenging Sites (IECS) 2020 Conference

March 09, 2020

OsgoodePD Administrative Law's New Landscape Course - What Vavilov/Bell Means for the Law and for Your Practice

March 19, 2020

SustainTech 2020 - Environmental Prosecutions: Defence Strategies & Latest Cases

March 11, 2020

SMART Remediation Seminar Series 2020 - Edmonton Conference

February 12, 2020

Canadian Lawyer - Women in Law Summit

November 07, 2019

AESAC - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Certification Fall Training Course

October 29, 2019

A&WMA Ontario Section Workshop - Consultant Liability and Expert Witness Testimony

October 16, 2019

RemTech 2019

October 05, 2019

Canadian Fabricare Association (CFA) Conference - Profitability Through Innovation & New Technology

September 17, 2019

5th Annual Environmental Liability and Insurance Conference - Environmental Liabilities

June 14, 2019

APGO 2019 Annual General Meeting & Conference

June 07, 2019

Contaminated and Hazardous Waste Site Management Course 2019

April 23, 2019

EnviroTech 2019 (Workshop) - Decommissioning – Legal Perspectives

April 24, 2019

EnviroTech 2019

May 08, 2019

CANECT 2019 - Managing Industrial Air Emissions: Air, GHGs, Odour and Noise

March 09, 2019

Science Atlantic Environmental Conference

March 27, 2019 to March 28, 2019

ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference 2019: Roundtable Discussions

March 21, 2019

SustainTech 2019

March 19, 2019

SMART Remediation Seminar Series 2019 - Calgary Conference

February 28, 2019

Innovation in an Era of Challenging Sites (IECS) Conference

January 24, 2019

SMART Remediation Seminar Series 2019 - Toronto Conference

November 08, 2018

Exploring Careers as a Geoscience Grad

October 24, 2018

Middlesex Law Association - Semi-Annual Real Estate Luncheon

November 13, 2018

AESAC - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Certification Training Course (Vaughan)

November 07, 2018

2018 Annual ECO Impact Awards

October 13, 2018

Canadian Fabricare Association (CFA) Conference - Diversify & Grow

October 10, 2018

RemTech 2018

June 08, 2018

Contaminated and Hazardous Waste Site Management Course

April 30, 2018 to May 01, 2018

ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference 2018: Roundtable Discussions

May 03, 2018

AESAC - Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Certification Training Course - Presentation

May 09, 2018

CANECT 2018 - Managing Industrial Air Emissions

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 14, 2017

Ontario Fabricare Association Conference - Alternative Future

October 11, 2017 to October 13, 2017

RemTech 2017 - The Dirt on Excess Soil

October 15, 2017

Seneca College Symposium - Solvents and Best Environmental Practices

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 19, 2016

Ontario Fabricare Association Conference - Environmental Update

April 21, 2016 to April 22, 2016

ICSC 2016 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables

April 26, 2016

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

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 28, 2014

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

April 29, 2014

CANECT 2014: Air Emissions

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)

November 08, 2012

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

December 05, 2012

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

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


March 26, 2020

Fabricare Canada Magazine Highlights Article by Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers

November 29, 2019

A Changing Climate around Reporting: Canadian Securities Regulator Provides Guidance on Reporting Climate Change-Related Risks

September 18, 2019

Ontario Court of Appeal finds that worsening GHG emissions tip the scales in favour of section 91 POGG powers

March 29, 2019

Case Law Update: Alberta Court of Appeal Confirms that a Plaintiff May Lose the Right to Sue for Historic Contamination Because of the Passage of Time and Procedural Requirements

June 04, 2018

Significant Fines Upheld in Sunrise Propane Explosion

April 12, 2018

Jacquelyn Stevens Article in the March/April 2018 issue of Fabricare Canada Magazine

April 12, 2018

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

January 31, 2018

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

December 22, 2017

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

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

June 29, 2017

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

May 03, 2017

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

December 09, 2016

New Real Property Register May Have Environmental Implications

June 17, 2016

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

March 14, 2016

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

January 26, 2016

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

December 23, 2014

2014 Environmental Case Law Year in Review

October 23, 2014

Greenwashing Environmental Claims Give Rise to Legal Liability

August 27, 2014

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

April 11, 2014

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

December 02, 2013

Feds Imposing New Environmental Enforcement Act Fines Against Dry Cleaners

October 01, 2013

Who You Gonna Call? Dry Cleaners Facing Civil Claims

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


  • 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