Here’s your chance to get the inside scoop on Ecojustice’s legal challenge of Premier Jason Kenney’s biased public inquiry into “Anti-Albertan” activities. On Feb. 11 and 12, Ecojustice lawyers will appear in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and argue that the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns is unlawful, biased, and unfair.
You’ll hear about this upcoming, high-profile legal battle directly from executive director Devon Page and Alberta-based lawyers David Khan and Melissa Gorrie. Public faith in the Kenney government’s inquiry has long been on thin ice.
From the start, the inquiry has been criticised as a shallow attempt to silence those who speak out about climate change and drain civil society groups of their time and resources. Most recently, media outlets such as Global reported that inquiry commissioner Steve Allan paid for reports by climate deniers — to the tune of more than $80K — while working on this public process.
Get ready to deepen your understanding of the public inquiry, the political landscape in which it took root, and Ecojustice’s efforts to quash it.
Melissa joined our Alberta legal team in 2010. Her litigation work at Ecojustice has included seeking protections for woodland caribou from oil sands development and successfully advocating for the federal government to secure emergency protection for endangered sage-grouse populations in Alberta and Saskatchewan. More recently, her efforts have focused on developing and implementing law reform campaigns in partnership with other organizations, including advocating for federal climate accountability legislation. She currently oversees Ecojustice’s law reform efforts to advocate for transformative shifts in law to support a just and sustainable society. Melissa has volunteered with numerous environmental and social justice not-for-profits organizations over the years, including co-founding Waste Free Edmonton. Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family (preferably in nature) and is attempting to complete her Master of Laws degree.
Devon Page is the Executive Director of Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity. Devon spent his first seven years at Ecojustice channeling his love of wilderness into protecting Canada’s endangered birds, wildlife and fish. Devon obtained the first injunction in Canada to stop logging in old-growth forests home to an endangered species — the northern spotted owl — and launched the first cases under federal species at risk legislation. Devon became Executive Director in 2008 and has focused on enhancing Ecojustice’s effectiveness by emphasizing litigation around key environmental and legal priorities, and expanding Ecojustice’s operations from British Columbia and Ontario to Alberta and the Maritimes.
David joined Ecojustice in late 2020. He grew up in Calgary and has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto. Over the course of his career practising Indigenous rights, Constitutional and environmental litigation, he has become passionate about advancing First Nations interests and protecting of the environment. David is the former Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, and his journey in politics has clarified for him the existential threat to our society of climate change and environmental degradation, and how difficult these challenges can be to meet by governments alone, or in spite of them.
David has represented clients at all levels of courts in numerous Canadian jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court & Court of Appeal, appellate courts in BC, Alberta & the NWT, and superior courts in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, BC & the NWT, as well as before regulatory and administrative tribunals and in private arbitrations.