Jennifer Danahy is a partner in Gowlings' Toronto office, practising exclusively in the area of environmental law.
As a solicitor, Jennifer works proactively with clients to provide timely and practical legal advice on environmental matters. This includes providing advice to lenders, borrowers, vendors and purchasers in relation to the environmental aspects of corporate transactions, assisting clients with the design and implementation of Environmental Management Systems and Best Management Practices, and the conduct and review of compliance audits. Jennifer works closely with General Counsel and Environmental Health and Safety managers to provide guidance on compliance options, and advice to boards of directors, following the conduct of audits. She also helps clients anticipate and respond to new developments in environmental law, and provides regular training on environmental due diligence.
Jennifer is also an experienced litigator, appearing regularly before the Environmental Review Tribunal, the Ontario Municipal Board, the Ontario Court of Justice, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Divisional Court. Her tribunal practice includes arguing successful appeals of Ministry of the Environment (MOE) orders and instruments and responding to challenges brought by neighbours or citizens' groups under the Environmental Bill of Rights, the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). Jennifer's court practice includes the defence of environmental prosecutions at the municipal, provincial or federal level, handling civil law litigation involving contaminated sites, and administrative law proceedings. Environmental defence work can involve municipal by-law violations, charges under the federal Fisheries Act or Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, or provincial legislation such as the EPA or OWRA. Civil law litigation involves bringing or defending claims involving contaminated sites, while administrative law proceedings typically seek to have a government decision declared invalid, or to enforce or to restrain a specific government action. In all litigation matters, Jennifer's goal is to obtain a successful outcome for her clients in a cost-effective manner, whether in the courts or through mediation, while minimizing the stress and disruption that court proceedings can cause.
Within the planning context, Jennifer has worked extensively on environmental assessment issues at both the federal level under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and provincially under the Environmental Assessment Act, addressing both individual and class EA concerns for clients. She has provided EA advice to public and private sector clients, and acts regularly for municipal councils on EA issues related to infrastructure projects including proposed new highways, international border crossings, and utility projects. She has also provided advice on related matters such as compliance with endangered species legislation and protection of wetlands.
For clients with contaminated sites, Jennifer provides referrals to trusted technical experts, negotiates Site Access Agreements with neighbouring landowners and reviews environmental reports, including Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, Designated Substances Surveys, RAPs and Risk Assessments. She helps clients understand the implications of environmental reports, assess and select the strategic options that make most sense for their organization or business, and manage costs and outcomes successfully. For clients with off-site contamination, an integral part of the process is working with clients to address the concerns of neighbours, municipalities and MOE regulators.
Before entering law school, Jennifer was an environmental consultant and policy analyst with a variety of federal departments, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.