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Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Regulatory Orders & Prosecutions


Government regulators have extraordinary powers to orders companies, municipalities and individuals to stop operations, do extensive studies, clean-up contamination, install new equipment and processes, pay costs of clean-up and pay penalties and compensation for spills.

Willms & Shier lawyers have an extraordinary record of success in challenging regulators' orders against our clients. We regularly represent clients in reviewing Provincial Officer Orders, despite the seven day deadline. We appeal Director's orders, obtain stays, and go to court on Judicial Review applications to contest government actions.  

Environmental enforcers are prosecuting more companies and municipalities for environmental / regulatory offences. Individuals, including corporate directors and officers, plant managers, supervisors, employees and environmental consultants are also being prosecuted. Bill C-45 exposes executives, managers and supervisors to criminal negligence charges when people are injured or killed.

We regularly represent and defend companies, municipalities and individuals charged with regulatory offences. Our defence activities begin before charges are laid. Sometimes we can successfully persuade enforcers not to lay charges. Sometimes we can negotiate to have charges withdrawn. However, when matters go to trial, our lawyers apply trial expertise, knowledge of the law, understanding of the technical issues and thorough preparation of experts and witnesses. Regulators respect our defenders, and think twice about challenging our lawyers in court.


Defence counsel for:

  • Companies, directors, officers and employees subjected to environmental and related criminal prosecutions for pollution offences and compliance offences under the Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Fisheries Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Pesticides Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act and municipal sewer use by-laws.

Regulatory Orders

Legal counsel for:

  • Companies subject to administrative orders including stop orders, control orders, prevention orders, clean-up orders, waste removal orders, cost orders, spill clean-up and compensation orders, orders to comply
  • Directors, officers, investors, landlords, employees sued or ordered to clean up contaminated property, pay clean up costs or take other actions
  • Plaintiffs and defendants in civil lawsuits
  • Proponents and intervenors in approval hearings and appeals
  • Appellants and respondents in appeals
  • Judicial review of court and tribunal rulings
  • Examples include appeal of industrial control orders for noise abatement, sewage treatment system abatement, effluent discharge limits.

Speaking Engagements

Saturday, 22 February 2014

CAELS 2014: Making Waves


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