A lifetime’s work: Why Cindy works at the Environmental Law Centre

A lifetime’s work: Why Cindy works at the Environmental Law Centre

A lifetime’s work: Why Cindy Chiasson works at the Environmental Law Centre


Cindy Chiasson: I guess I qualify as the old-timer on the ELC’s legal team. When the ELC started up in 1982, I was making the shift from political science studies to law school. There were no environmental law courses offered then; the closest I got was a class on natural resources law. I’ve always been interested in how government works, how decisions are made and who gets to have a say in those decisions. Combine this with growing up in a family that camped all over Alberta and the other western provinces, and it seems a natural consequence that I made my way to work with the ELC 15 years ago. My passion here has always been for public engagement in environmental decision-making.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to be recognized for contributions to Alberta, receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Premier Redford and Lieutenant-Governor Ethell. I could use any number of adjectives to describe the experience, but as much as anything, I’m gratified to see that work to protect Alberta’s environment is being noticed. Much of what I’ve done is inseparable from the ELC; I wouldn’t have been able to do the work I do without the ELC as my launching pad and without the amazing people who I come into contact with every day.

As Adam mentioned a few days ago in his post, protecting the environment through law and policy is a lifetime’s work. It’s also one that requires the involvement and support of many, many people. The environment is a public good that affects us all, and it’ll take far more than four ELC lawyers to make sure that it’s protected for generations to come. I’ve donated to the ELC throughout my time here, and am making a gift in addition to my usual contribution, to celebrate the medal, the great years that I’ve spent here, and the gains that the ELC has achieved over 30 years. I hope that you’ll join me in donating and in protecting Alberta’s amazing environment.

Donate to the ELC now.

Cindy Chiasson, Executive Director




The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.

As a charity, the Environmental Law Centre depends on your financial support. Help us to continue to educate and champion for strong environmental laws, through tools such as our blog and all of our other resources, so that all Albertans can enjoy a healthy environment. Your support makes a difference.
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  • gayaneatoyan
    Posted at 05:16h, 16 November Reply

    Congratulations on your good work and award!!! I was reading your story and marked it as my own, because I have got very similar story to yours although I am from compeletly different country and I am doing my phd in environmenrtal law; 30 years later my story has the same details 🙂 thank you for sharing this with me and keep on the good work you do! best wishes, Gayane

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