ELCS Board

The ELC’s Board of Directors is comprised of diverse and experienced members, including law students, lawyers, law professors, and members of the community. The Board supervises and directs the Society’s activities and is led by an elected student executive. All branches work collectively to create a collaborative and productive environment.

Community Board Members

Kathy Chan is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, where she teaches Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Non-profit Sector Law and Law and Religion. She previously practiced law at a boutique charity law firm in Vancouver, and is a former executive member of both the national and BC branches of the CBA Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Subsection. In her spare time Kathy can often be found on a neighbourhood soccer pitch, trying to keep up with her three children.

Lisa Fong, QC is a lawyer at Ng Ariss Fong. Her practice is a blend of administrative, aboriginal and environmental litigation, and advising governmental bodies. She is honoured to be able to assist Aboriginal peoples with their legal representation and governance needs. Her work with Aboriginal groups extends to litigation, providing strategic advice, consulting or negotiating with government and third parties, and assisting her clients to build and maintain governance infrastructures. She and her firm have a special interest in environmental regulatory reviews. She represented Heiltsuk First Nation and Kitasoo Xai’Xais First Nation in challenging the Governor in Council’s decision to proceed with the Northern Gateway Enbridge Pipeline before the Federal Court of Appeal.

Clare Frater

Clare Frater (ELC Community Co-Chair) is the Director of Trust Area Services for the Islands Trust. In that role, she supports a team working on a variety of environmental advocacy campaigns focused on protecting the islands and waters of the Salish Sea, as well as communications, policy development and land protection. Previously, Clare has worked for the BC Ministry of Environment, the Islands Trust Conservancy and Habitat Acquisition Trust.

Tim Leadem, QC is a retired member of the Bar of British Columbia. He has a Masters degree in zoology and studied environmental physiology prior to becoming a lawyer. During the 1980s and early 1990s he acted for environmental groups and people who were involved in land disputes over logging in BC. He joined the government of British Columbia as a litigator in the mid 1990s and was involved in a wide range of cases at every level of court, establishing a respected track record that resulted in his being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2000. He was the head of Civil Litigation and later Aboriginal Litigation for the Province. He left government in 2010 and joined Ecojustice in Vancouver where he was the Western Program Director. He was counsel for environmental coalitions before the Cohen Commission and the Northern Gateway Enbridge hearings. A graduate of the University of Victoria law school, he has authored papers on legal topics and is a frequent speaker on litigation matters.

Tara Marsden is a member of Gitanyow First Nation and holds the traditional name Naxginkw. Tara has a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Northern BC. Tara currently holds the position of Wilp Sustainability Director for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs and has previously worked for a number of First Nations, ENGOs, philanthropic organizations, post-secondary institutions, the provincial government and the BC Forest Practices Board. Her areas of interest are: traditional governance, sustainability assessment, recognition and reconciliation, community-driven research, Aboriginal case law, policy development, environmental monitoring and adaptive management, and land use planning. She lives in Hazelton with her two children.

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 own— 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.

Supriya Routh is a faculty member at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law. His research interests are labour and employment law, and the regulation of human development. His current scholarly engagement lies at the intersection of livelihoods and climate change, with particular reference to the conceptual framework of sustainable development. With a feisty four-year-old at the helm, he barely has any spare time to do other things anymore.

Nikki Skuce is the Director of the Northern Confluence Initiative, a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform. Northern Confluence is an initiative based out of Smithers that focuses on land-use decisions in northern BC and strives for the greater conservation and protection of wild salmon watersheds. Nikki has over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector working toward environmental and social justice on local, national and international levels. She worked with ForestEthics (now Stand) on stopping the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tanker project and on protecting the Sacred Headwaters. For several years Nikki worked with One Sky on policy and practical programs in Canada, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Peru. She began to focus on energy issues after coordinating Canadian NGOs around the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and spent years advocating for renewable solutions at all levels of government. Nikki has volunteer board experience, including with Langara College, Wet’zinkwa Community Forest and currently on the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council. She holds a degree in Canadian Studies and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. She lives with her Argentine partner, daughter Lucia and son Felix on Wit’suwit’en territory. 

Student Board Members 2020-21

Medina Abdelkader is a JD Candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She holds a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation and a Bachelor of Social Sciences. Prior to entering the legal sector, she worked as a foresight strategist for various corporate clients, developing medium- and long-term strategy that considers systems design, human factors, environmental sustainability and the neurobiology of change. Her legal focus is at the intersection of civil rights, access to justice and bioethics. She is an avid rower and outdoor enthusiast, a voracious reader, and a true crime documentary addict.

Lisa Harris is a JD candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She has a Masters of Science in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Guelph and has worked on many different ecological studies, including work with bumble bees, freshwater mussels, aquatic plants and song birds. Lisa has spent the last few years doing volunteer work in public interest environmental law and working in program design and management in the rock climbing industry. Her legal interests include access to justice, environmental law and legal framework reform. Lisa loves to get outside and can often be found hiking, camping and climbing. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Lisa is Vice President of the ELC Club.

Jack Jones is a JD candidate at the University of Victoria. Prior to law school, he worked in outdoor education and adaptive adventure for local non-profits as a guide and program facilitator. As an undergraduate, Jack researched the impacts of conflicting ontologies of land and notions of wilderness upon outdoor education participants. He is interested in the intersections between environmental law and social justice. When Jack is not pouring over a legal text, he will probably be found trail-running, eating tacos or thinking about finishing the books he started reading before law school.

Victoria Kacer is a second-year student from London, Ontario. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental science and Studies at Trent University where she discovered her passion for ecological restoration and environmental justice. Her work in decolonizing land use planning and consultation processes in Peterborough inspired her to come to law school to develop the skills to continue fighting for communities and the land. In her spare time, you can usually find her reading, hiking or talking about whales. She is so excited to have the chance to support the ELC’s important work this year.

Frances Miltimore is a JD student at the UVic Faculty of Law. She has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from McGill University. Her work focused on environmental management and sustainable development. She continues to explore the intersection of economic development and environmental policy. She previously worked in real estate appraisals and accounting. She spends her free time hiking and tending to her garden.

Alexandra Powell is a third-year student at UVic. Born and raised in Vancouver, she developed a love for the natural world and spending time outdoors. This led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Political Science at UVic. Her coursework inspired her to pursue a career dedicated to social and environmental justice. Alexandra likes to volunteer with ecological restoration projects and spend time hiking and camping with family and friends. She is President of the ELC Club.

Shawna Smith grew up in Aamjiwnaang territory (near Sarnia, Ontario) and now finds herself in her third year of law school. She has been living north of 60 for the past four years, dedicated to issues where environmental justice and indigenous rights intersect. Before moving to Victoria she was President of the Yukon Conservation Society (YCS), supporting the Protect the Peel campaign surrounding the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun v. Yukon SCC case. After working with Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Aitlin, British Columbia, to write down traditional laws on how to build and maintain healthy relationships with the land, she was inspired to apply for the new Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders to continue to build her tools to better support indigenous law revitalization. Shawna loves to learn about and build relationships with the land by getting out climbing, hiking, trail running and canoeing with her furry friend Jules.