Mark Youden

Mark Youden is a partner at Gowling WLG with a practice focused on environmental, regulatory, construction and Indigenous law matters in both an advocacy and advisory capacity. Mark is called to the bar in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, and services clients from industry, government and Indigenous groups.

As an advocate, Mark regularly appears in courts in British Columbia and Alberta, as well as the Federal Court. Mark also frequently advocates on behalf of his clients at administrative tribunals, such as the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board and the Environmental Protection Tribunal of Canada. Mark also has experience in arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution forums.

From an advisory perspective, Mark assists clients on a wide array of environmental, regulatory, construction and Indigenous law issues, such as spills management and reporting, waste diversion (including extended producer responsibility and product stewardship matters), environmental assessment, permitting, brownfield development, impact benefit agreements, the transportation of dangerous goods, packaging and labelling, and energy efficiency matters.

Mark is the co-editor of Gowling WLG's Environmental Law Newsletter, and he frequently prepares articles and presents at conferences on topics related to environmental, regulatory, construction and Indigenous law.

Mark is also active in the legal community at large. He is coaching the 2021-2022 UBC Allard Law Willms & Shier Environmental Moot team, and acts as a mentor for students and junior associates through the Law Society of Alberta Mentor Express Program and the CBABC/UBC Allard Law Mentorship Program.

Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Mark earned a Master of Environmental Science and worked as an environmental consultant for an international engineering firm.

Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Board of Directors Member – British Columbia Environmental Industry Association
  • Member-at-Large of the Canadian Bar Association's Environmental, Energy & Resource Law Section

Presentations:

  • "A Guide for Environmental Experts in Legal Proceedings", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST Conference, Whistler, BC, May 26, 2022

  • "Update on Ontario Product Stewardship Requirements (Blue Box Program)", Direct Sellers Association (Virtual), September 30, 2021

  • "The New Reliance on Criminal Prosecutions to Enforce Environmental Compliance", Smart Remediation Conference, Calgary, AB, March 12, 2020

  • "The New Reliance on Criminal Prosecutions to Enforce Environmental Compliance", Smart Remediation Conference, Edmonton, AB, March 11, 2020

  • "Managing Risks During Environmental Prosecutions", Canadian Environmental and Engineering Executives Conference, Vancouver, BC, October 3, 2019

  • "Latest Trends and Key Issues Before Environmental Tribunals", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST Conference, Whistler, BC, May 9, 2019

  • "The Latest Trends and Key Issues Before Environmental Tribunals" and "The Ever-Changing Environmental Assessment", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST 2019 Conference, Whistler, BC, May 8-10, 2019 

  • "Corporate Risk Management Challenges Related to Finance, Litigation and Leadership", Canadian Environmental and Engineering Executives Conference, Vancouver, BC, September 20, 2018

  • "A Primer on Environmental Prosecutions: The Latest from the Courts", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST Conference, Whistler, BC, May 11, 2018

  • "Water Issues for Mining in BC", BC Mining Investment Forum, Vancouver, BC, March 9, 2018

  • "A Legal Primer on Marine Oil Spills", Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC 2017, Vancouver, BC, October 19, 2017

  • "Latest Developments on How Remediation Affects Environmental Sentencing", Remtech 2017 Symposium, Calgary, BC, October 11-13, 2017

  • "A Lawyer's Guide to Marine Emergency Spill Response", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST Conference, Whistler, BC, April 8, 2017

  • "Changing the Power – Recent Shifts in Canadian Energy Regulatory Regimes", British Columbia Environment Industry Association's BEST Conference, Whistler, BC, May 27, 2016

Representative Work

Advocacy Matters

  • Tribunals

    • Counsel to a government department with regards to a complex appeals hearing before the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board arising from multiple appeals of enforcement orders by former and current owners of a contaminated site

    • Counsel to an Indigenous group regarding an appeal of a discharge permit related to mining activities before the BC Environmental Appeal Board

    • Counsel to a property management company regarding appeals of various remedial orders and administrative monetary penalties before the federal Environmental Protection Tribunal of Canada

    • Counsel to power and energy project proponents, including independent power producers and public utilities at tribunal proceedings, including before the British Columbia Utilities Commission and Alberta Utilities Commission

  • Defence to Prosecutions

    • Counsel to a shipping logistics company with regards to a defence of environmental prosecutions and settlement following a marine oil spill before the Provincial Court of BC pursuant to various federal statutes, including the Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Canada Shipping Act, Marine Liability Act, and the Pilotage Act

    • Counsel to a charitable organization with regards to a defence of prosecution pursuant to the Fisheries Act before the Provincial Court of BC, which included a precedent-setting Charter decision regarding the Supreme Court of Canada's new analytical framework for determining whether an accused was tried within a reasonable time (in R v Jordan) and its application to quasi-criminal regulatory proceedings

    • Counsel to an international manufacturing company in the nuclear power industry with regards to an international investigation with respect to allegations of improper supply chain dealings

  • Civil Litigation

    • Counsel to a shipping logistics company regarding a successful Federal Court limitations action limiting liability for damages resulting from an oil spill pursuant to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992

    • Counsel to a government agency and statutory decision maker with regards to a complex civil action, including claims and counterclaims relating to remediation clean up criteria and regulatory management of a contaminated site before the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

    • Counsel to a wide array of companies and Indigenous groups with regards to environmental civil actions, including remediation cost recovery claims and environmental tort claims, such as nuisance, trespass, negligence and strict liability before the Supreme Court of BC and Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

  • Judicial Review

    • Counsel to an electronics retailer with regards to a judicial review of a government decision pertaining to an energy efficiency rebate program before the Federal Court

    • Counsel to a government department with regards to judicial reviews dealing with tribunal jurisdiction and ministerial orders regarding remediation of a former industrial site (located outside of Edmonton) at the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

  • Arbitrations

    • Counsel to hydroelectric power producers regarding power purchase contracts at arbitrations

  • Appeals

    • Counsel to a charitable organization regarding an appeal of Charter issues and circumstantial evidence issues to the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal resulting from an environmental prosecution under the Fisheries Act

Advisory Matters

  • Extended producer responsibility programs and product stewardship programs

    • Advising US electronics manufacturers, various Canadian food manufacturers and international retailers on applicable Canadian federal, provincial and territorial programs

    • Advising an international retailer and food manufacturer regarding provincial enforcement measures following alleged non-compliance with product stewardship programs

  • Packaging and Labelling

    • Advising energy and manufacturing companies with regards to regulatory licensing, manufacturing, packaging and labelling

  • Energy Efficiency Regulation

    • Advising international retailers regarding the application of provincial and federal energy efficiency legislation to its electronic products

  • Spills Management and Reporting

    • Advising a wide variety of companies and Indigenous groups regarding spills management, reporting and environmental regulatory liability

  • Environmental Assessment

    • Advising energy and natural resource companies and Indigenous groups with regards to environmental assessment, consultation protocols and impact benefit agreements for energy and natural resource projects

  • Waste Management

    • Advising manufacturing and retail companies with regards to waste management, including the storage and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous waste

  • Brownfield Development

    • Advising a real estate development company with regards to brownfield redevelopment, including regulatory approvals and certificates needed to develop brownfields into residential and commercial lands

  • Permitting (Air and Water)

    • Advising energy and manufacturing companies and Indigenous groups with regards to water and wastewater authorizations for energy projects and industrial facilities

  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods

    • Advising manufacturing companies with regards to regulatory control of chemical substances and the transportation of dangerous goods

  • Transactions

    • Advising a wide variety of companies for transactions, including environmental provisions in share and asset agreements

Client work