Staff


Clinic Lawyer

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Patrick Canning (he/him) grew up in Nova Scotia, was previously a forest technician, and graduated from Dalhousie law school with certificates in environmental and international law. He has practiced public interest and environmental justice law in British Columbia for the past ten years and has successfully litigated a number of high-profile cases. He is currently working on an LLM in environmental and natural resource law at Lewis & Clark Law School, lives with his young family on Gabriola Island and loves doing kid stuff outside with his little girls.

Contact: patrickccanning [at] uvic.ca

Administrative Assistant

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Gracie Chiu (she/her) was born and raised as a settler on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ nations, also known as Victoria, BC. Following high school, Gracie worked at a local law firm before starting her education in Environmental Studies here at the University of Victoria. However, she was so eager to get hands-on involvement with environmental issues that she was welcomed aboard the ELC team in April 2021, before she could complete her degree. In the winter, she can be found snowboarding across BC, and enjoys spending her summers road-tripping and camping across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Contact: elc.adminassistant [at] uvic.ca

Executive Director

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Deborah Curran is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and the School of Environmental Studies. Focusing primarily on land use law, Deborah has significant experience in analyzing and making recommendations on how local governments approach regulation and planning for environmental protection, particularly in the context of smart growth and ecosystem integrity. For real estate, land use and sustainability law news, follow Deborah on Twitter @DeborahLCurran. (See Deborah’s UVic Law Biography.)

Contact: dlc [at] uvic.ca

Articling Student

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Jack Jones (he/him) was born and raised as a settler on the unceded territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ people, in Victoria, BC. Jack has worked in outdoor education for a number of local non-profits, teaching a range of adventure sports and facilitating connections with natural spaces. This work inspired his interdisciplinary bachelor’s thesis on the impacts of colonial ideas about “wilderness”, and eventually led him to work in public interest environmental law. Jack loves vintage bicycles, music, and baking.

Contact: elc.articledstudent [at] uvic.ca

Clinic Lawyer

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Charis Kamphuis (she/her) is honoured to join the ELC and continue to pursue her passion for legal activism, teaching and research in the areas of social and environmental justice. In 2011, Charis co-founded the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP), a law clinic that works with civil society groups and communities concerned with industrial resource extraction in the Global South. In 2014, she began to integrate this work into her teaching and research as a law professor in Secwepemc territory at Thompson Rivers University. In these roles, Charis has collaborated with lawyers, professors and students across Canada and abroad, in legal advocacy involving a wide range of regulators, courts, government and inter-governmental bodies.  Outside of work, Charis tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors with her partner and two sons, learning about the amazing ecologies, geographies and histories of BC.

Contact: chariskamphuis [at] uvic.ca

Director of Operations and Communications

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Holly Pattison joined the ELC in 2006 after years of working in law firms and working as a freelance writer and photographer. As the hub of the ELC wheel, she teaches file management in the clinic, manages day-to-day operations and communications, maintains the Society’s records, organizes events, and edits and desktops various reports, publications and applications. Part of her role is to share information about public interest environmental law issues with the general public, which she especially likes to do through writing, photography and film.

Contact: elc [at] uvic.ca

Senior Counsel

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Calvin Sandborn, Q.C. is one of BC’s most experienced public interest environmental lawyers. Former counsel to West Coast Environmental Law Association and the Forest Practices Board, Calvin was Associate to the historic Commission on Resources and Environment. He has successfully litigated many high profile cases (particularly in the areas of forestry and endangered species) and instigated broad law reform. In 2011, Calvin was named an Honourary Citizen of the City of Victoria and received the Andrew Thompson Award, BC’s top prize for Environmental Advocacy. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2017. (See Calvin’s UVic Law Biography )

Contact: csandbor [at] uvic.ca