Our Story

The Story of the Environmental Law Centre


On March 15th, 1982, in the middle of Edmonton’s worst blizzard of the year, the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) opened its doors to the world. This came at a critical time in Canadian history, when there was a rapid increase in resource exploitation with little regard for any social or environmental costs. It was at this pivotal moment that the ELC jumped into the conversation and we’ve been doing so ever since.


The ELC’s driving concern for the past three decades is the realization that if the law was fully exercised with citizen awareness, environmental degradation would be a thing of the past and there would be a balance between people, planet and profits.


Sadly, this isn’t the case. Companies that exploit the environment for economic resources often have armies of lawyers and PR professionals to keep the law at bay while continuing to profit at the expense of the environment and society at large.


The ELC is working passionately to counter these developments. Through education and awareness drives, legal research services and other programs, we are empowering Albertans to speak boldly and decisively for the protection of our environment and society.


As Alberta’s leading environmental public policy and law reform charity, the Environmental Law Centre has spent more than thirty years offering valued services to the environmental community, corporations, everyday citizens, the legal community and policy-makers.


  • We provide objective information and respected advice on changing environmental legislation and regulations; we are one of the only charities in Alberta that provide this to Albertans.


  • We have provided advice and education to people who have questions about a broad range of topics including pesticide use and conserving greenspace in cities, impacts of gravel pits, saving agricultural land or addressing the impacts of the oilsands.


  • We help community groups understand and use legal tools to advance their concerns.


  • We work with policy-makers at all levels of government to create better processes for making environmental decisions.


  • We promote cutting-edge legislation and support the right of all Albertans to have a say in their future.


In order to make the law and legal processes protect the environment, Albertans need accurate environmental law information and an understanding of the effects of policy and development. Your support makes this possible.


We are here to help you understand how laws and legal tools can be used to protect the environment.


To find out how you can be a part of our story and the story of those fighting for more accountability in our environmental legislation, support the ELC now.