Liane Langstaff is an environmental lawyer in Gowling WLG's Toronto office, practicing in the areas of environmental litigation, environmental assessments, land-use planning, and climate change. She draws upon her technical background in environmental sciences and her joint JD/MBA to advise her clients. As a result of her former role as a law clerk at the Ontario Court of Appeal, Liane leverages an intimate knowledge of the courts to represent her clients in complex litigation proceedings before the courts and tribunals.
Climate change law and ESG
Liane frequently acts on cutting-edge environmental issues surrounding climate change, ESG, and constitutional law. She represented the Canadian Public Health Association in its intervention in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act constitutional cases before the Courts of Appeal of Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. She regularly advises clients in the energy, manufacturing, and agri-food sectors on how to comply with federal and provincial climate change regulations, maximize carbon credits, and establish carbon reporting and disclosure requirements. As a climate governance expert with the Canada Climate Law Initiative, she presents to corporate boards and corporate audiences on their duties to address the risks and opportunities of climate change.
Liane has appeared before the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Justice, and Divisional Court on contaminated lands cases, judicial review applications, and tribunal appeals. She also helps her clients navigate tribunals, including the Environmental Review Tribunal, Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, and federal panels convened under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. She has assisted her clients in mediations, settlement conferences, and international investor-state arbitrations.
Liane understands her clients’ practical concerns
Liane has a BSc in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. She has received several prominent awards, including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Hennick Medal for Academic Excellence, and University of Guelph College of Management & Economics Distinguished Scholar Medal. Building on her interdisciplinary education, Liane uses her scientific background, legal skills and business acumen to advise her clients.
Liane also understands her clients' practical concerns, bringing to bear experience in the environmental, energy and municipal sectors with prior roles at Ontario Power Generation, municipalities, a sustainability consultancy, and environmental NGOs.
Thought leadership in environmental law
Liane has appeared as a guest lecturer at law schools, as well as a school of planning, and was a co-instructor of the 2019 JD environmental law course at Osgoode Hall Law School. She writes extensively about developments in environmental law, and co-authored A Guide to Canada's Impact Assessment Act, 2020 Edition. Liane also volunteers her time with Pro Bono Law Ontario, and previously sat as a board member for an environmental not-for-profit organization.
- Reference re: Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2019 SKCA 40; 2019 ONCA 544; 2020 ABCA 74 (Courts of Appeal of Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta)
- Milton Logistics Hub Project Environmental Assessment Review Panel, Decision Statement issued under Section 54 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 to Canadian National Railway Company, 2021
- Oakville (Town) (Re), 2021 CanLII 1129 (Ont Information and Privacy Commissioner)
- CAMPP Windsor Essex Residents Association v Windsor (City), 2020 ONSC 4612 (Ont Divisional Court)
- Tre Memovia Developments Ltd. v 1491316 Ontario Inc., 2019 ONSC 4, upheld on appeal 2020 ONSC 1568 (Ont Superior Court of Justice)
- Bilcon of Delaware et al v. Government of Canada, PCA Case No. 2009-04, Award on Damages, dated 10 January 2019 (NAFTA Arbitral Tribunal)
- Wiggins v Ontario (Environment and Climate Change), 2016 CanLII 67372 (Ont Environmental Review Tribunal)