The mission of the Legacy Fund for the Environment is to identify and finance lawsuits undertaken by citizens’ group in defence of Canada’s environment, to promote public knowledge and awareness of environmental laws and the legal recourses available to citizens, and to raise funds to support these activities. The Fund was incorporated in June 2015 and obtained charitable status in July 2018.
Principle Ten of the Rio Declaration adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in November 1992 states that citizens have the responsibility and the right to care for their environment.
When this involves legal action, private citizens are usually at a severe disadvantage. By raising funds for citizen-initiated court actions, the Legacy Fund will be leveling the playing field.
04/25/2021 - The Green Coalition has lost a four year court battle to protect Technoparc’s unique wetland ecosystem in the St. Laurent borough. Read the full release HERE.
04/11/2020 - 6 Admissions by the Minister of the Environment in the Technoparc injunction. Available HERE.
07/21/2020 - Article in the Montreal Gazette: "Montreal group applies 'act locally' credo to legal defence of the environment." Full article HERE.
THE LEGACY FUND
HOW WE OPERATE - PROPOSE A CASE
The Legacy Fund for the Environment partners with the public in identifying and prosecuting legal action in defence of the environment. We invite activists and their non-profit organizations (NPOs) to discuss proposals for legal action with us.
We select our cases based on criteria such as the importance of the case to society, importance of the case as a legal precedent, chances of success, cost and available funding and quality of the legal team selected. If the Legacy Fund adopts a proposal, we will enter into an agreement with the NPO and, because we do not have lawyers on staff, with the legal team selected to prosecute the case. This agreement will cover such details as funding, reporting and oversight of the case.
If you have a proposal to discuss, please contact us at the address below.
The Legacy Fund for the Environment
2075 boul. Robert-Bourassa, Suite 600
Montréal, QC H3A 2L1
Attention: Campbell Stuart
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The mission of the Legacy Fund for the Environment is to find and fund legal action in defence of the environment. We believe that there is plenty of legal talent out there, and many fine organizations ready and able to fight these legal battles – what is missing is the financial resources needed to deploy them.
The Legacy Fund does not have its own lawyers, and does not argue cases itself. Our focus is on raising the funds necessary to hire good lawyers to fight for the public. Our goal is to level the playing field with the deep-pocketed destroyers of the environment.
We call ourselves the Legacy Fund for the Environment because we believe a healthy environment is the greatest legacy we can leave to our children.
If you would like to discuss how you may leave an environmental legacy in your will, please contact:
We are always looking for help with fundraising, promoting our mission, public relations, case selection and management, and administration.
To volunteer, please contact:
The Legacy Fund is a registered Canadian Charity and you will be issued a tax receipt for your donation. To give online, please click HERE or send a cheque payable to:
Legacy Fund for the Environment
2075 boul. Robert-Bourassa, Suite 600, Montréal, QC H3A 2L1
Attention: Campbell Stuart
If you have a proposal to discuss, please click HERE.
BE A PART OF THE LEGACY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.
The Legacy Fund is currently supporting three legal actions:
1. St-Laurent Technoparc (in conjunction with the citizens’ groups TechnoparcOiseaux and the Green Coalition):
An injunction has been filed to prevent the development of the wetlands of the Technoparc, and to force Montreal and the developers to vacate and renaturalize the portion which they have already destroyed without proper authorization. Technoparc is one of Quebec’s best birding spots and provides habitat for endangered species. The Legacy Fund has also commissioned environmental and ornithological reports by leading scientists. The case went to court in early February of this year and we await the judgement.
2. Pierrefonds West – Agricultural Rezoning (in conjunction with the citizens group Sauvons L’Anse-à-L’Orme):
The City of Montréal purported to rezone as residential a parcel of agricultural land located in the L’Anse-à-l’Orme Corridor in Pierrefonds West. We asked the court to declare the zoning inoperative and that the zoning remain agricultural. The judge disagreed and ruled that the area was, indeed, zoned residential. However, by the time it was finally settled, a new municipal party was elected. Two years later, they announced the creation of the largest urban park in Canada, including the contested portion.
3. Réseau Express Métropolitain (in conjunction with the citizens’ groups TechnoparcOiseaux, the Green Coalition and Trainsparence): In an original case taken by Coalition Climat Montreal and individual applicants, the plaintiffs asked the court to order the promoters of the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) to resubmit their project to environmental hearings under the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE). The law requires a recommendation from the BAPE before this project can proceed and the BAPE, after the initial hearings, refused to do so because the promoters refused to provide the necessary information. The plaintiffs’ case was dismissed at first instance (in Superior Court) and their appeal was also unsuccessful. Between the hearings before the Superior and the Appeals Court, the promoter of the REM began cutting hundreds of trees next to Technoparc, in preparation for construction of a train station adjacent to the wetlands. The Legacy Fund immediately supported an application to the Court of Appeal for a safeguard order, arguing that such destruction should not be permitted until that court heard the original injunction. The Court of Appeal refused the request and the destruction proceeded.