Articled Student

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Edith Barabash grew up and studied in Dish With One Spoon Territory, born to immigrant parents who instilled in her deep Jewish values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). While completing her Environmental Studies degree, she spent three years as a farmhand learning about sustainable agriculture and combatting food insecurity, after which she co-founded a non-profit animal rescue and education centre. She spends her free time learning carpentry, hiking, painting, and singing along to showtunes.

Contact: elc.articledstudent [at]

Clinic Lawyer and Instructor

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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]

Administrative Assistant

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Gracie Chiu 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 for two years 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. She feels most at home when surrounded by forest and ocean, and enjoys spending her summers road-tripping and camping across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Contact: elc.adminassistant [at]

Executive Director


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]

Co-op Student

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Adele DesBrisay (she/her) grew up in Victoria and did her Bachelor of Arts and Science at McGill in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. She is now in her second year of the JD program at the University of Victoria and hopes to practice Environmental Law. She is a sailor and a part-time sailing coach and, as such, spends much of her free time on (or sometimes in) the water. She loves being outdoors in general (even if it isn’t on the water), her plants, mashed potatoes, and re-watching the Princess Bride.

Contact: dlc [at]

Director of Operations and Communications


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]

Legal Director


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]