Ministry of Natural Resources
- Location: Toronto
- Lawyers: 22
- Articling Students: 1
- Summer Law Students: 0
- Types of Law: Aboriginal, Administrative, Commercial, Environmental, Natural Resource, Provincial Offences
Who we are
The Ministry of Natural Resources Legal Services Branch (MNR LSB) provides legal services to the Ministry of Natural Resources, whose mandate is to manage Crown lands and resources for the Province of Ontario. Our practice areas include matters involving fish and wildlife, forestry, Crown lands and Provincial Parks, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, aggregates, aboriginal law, prosecutions/litigation, commercial and environmental law.
MNR administers more than 50 statutes pertaining to natural resource management and protection.
What we do
The legal work at the MNR LSB is wide-ranging and varied. Our lawyers:
- Prosecute violations of Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs statutes
- Conduct appeals before the Ontario Court of Justice
- Appear before administrative tribunals, including the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office and the Ontario Municipal Board
- Draft agreements
- Provide legal advice and opinions to the Ministry
- Draft Orders-In-Council and assist with the drafting of legislation
- Provide legal input into policy development
- Deal with legal issues involving Crown land and real property
- Provide legal advice and opinions on Aboriginal law matters.
Our major cases
MNR-LSB has been involved in the development of legislation that impacts natural resource management and conservation across Ontario. Recent examples include the Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006.
In addition, MNR-LSB has been involved in the negotiation of the Great Lakes - St Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, which is a multi-lateral agreement between two provinces and eight U.S. states pertaining to the co-operative management of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin.
MNR has also been involved in notable cases in the areas of natural resource and Aboriginal law, such as R. v. Powley.
What students do
The litigation practice provides students with hands-on experience in quasi-criminal prosecutions and other litigation matters. Students:
- Have complete responsibility for some litigation files, including court appearances, witness preparation, examination of witnesses and argument
- Assist with facta, drafting draft letters, opinions and agreements
- Develop their negotiation skills, both by participating alongside counsel in negotiations and eventually conducting their own negotiations under the supervision of counsel.
In working with solicitors, students participate with counsel in client meetings, develop their interviewing, problem analysis and fact-gathering skills as well as learn how to provide advice to clients in a fast-paced environment. In addition, students research legal issues and draft legal memoranda.
Experience in aboriginal law is a component of the articling position, as is an opportunity to travel in Ontario.
Why choose us
Students at MNR-LSB enjoy a rich and varied work experience involving matters that range from prosecutions/litigation, to drafting, to policy development and program implementation. We provide excellent legal training and allow students to develop a broad skill-set and knowledge-base. The work environment is collegial, with lawyers that are happy to assist and provide guidance, as needed.