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Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith Staff Counsel
Staff Lawyer

Gavin (he/him/his) decided to pursue environmental law while working on a small family farm, an experience which changed his perspective on the world and began connecting him to the land in new ways. Gavin’s journey from that point to West Coast Environmental Law included work on environmental law and policy issues from the varied perspectives of non-governmental organizations, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and academia. Before joining West Coast, Gavin practiced Aboriginal law at a private firm where he represented Indigenous Nations on issues related to land use and management, environmental assessments, provincial regulatory decision-making, implementation of modern treaties and Indigenous governance.

Gavin joined West Coast Environmental Law in 2013 to lead our work to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers proposal, spending several years supporting Indigenous Nations that had applied their own laws to prohibit Northern Gateway in their territories. This work included representing two First Nations in a successful legal challenge to the federal government’s approval of Northern Gateway, as well as advocating for a strong federal oil tanker ban law on BC’s north coast.

Gavin’s work at West Coast reflects his passion for changing the “big picture” of how we make decisions that impact the environment. He hopes to contribute to a future where our decision-making focuses on the long-term health of ecosystems and communities, and accounts for the integral role of Indigenous laws and governance in that process.
604-601-2512 ext. 212
1-800-330-9235 ext. 212