The Ontario minister of transportation has appointed Rod Northey, a partner at Gowling WLG and one of Canada's leading environmental lawyers, to serve on a three-person advisory panel tasked with reviewing the Ontario environmental assessment of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) West highway corridor, it was announced Friday.
For the past several months, the panel has been exploring how new policy mandates and emerging technologies will shape the transportation and highway infrastructure needs of the western GTA region in the coming years. As part of their formal report to the minister of transportation, the panel will advise on the extent to which the Ministry of Transportation's environmental assessment - which was suspended in December 2015 - can address these new duties and uncertainties.
"This panel is a great opportunity to identify innovative solutions to our current transportation challenges," said Northey. "I'm very pleased to be part of this panel and its broad review of how an Ontario environmental assessment should address future traffic demands."
Over the course of his career, Northey has lent his expertise to several major Ontario environmental initiatives. Between 2004 and 2006, he served on an Ontario Ministry of the Environment panel responsible for improving provincial environmental assessment for green projects in the energy, transportation and waste sectors. He was also a member of the task force that resulted in the development of Ontario's two-million-acre Greenbelt.
With more than 26 years of experience in private practice, Northey is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in environmental law. His practice focuses on regulatory approvals, hearings and appeals in the environmental, land use, energy, and natural resources sectors, including advice on environmental assessment strategies for all major stakeholders - such as companies, municipalities, indigenous peoples, and provincial and federal governments.
In August 2016, the federal minister of environment and climate change appointed Northey to an expert panel established to review Canada's federal environmental assessment processes.
Gowling WLG's Environmental Law Group combines the strength and flexibility of a global, full-service law firm with the expertise and quality of service of a boutique environmental practice. Our top-ranked lawyers help clients anticipate new developments in environmental law, address complex regulatory approvals, and meet evolving standards across different jurisdictions.