Chair

Donald Lidstone,Q.C., Lidstone & Company, Vancouver, BC. Mr. Lidstone has practised generally in the area of municipal law since 1980, and worked at several esteemed law firms before moving to Lidstone & Company in 2009. His municipal law focus is in the areas of constitutional, administrative, and environmental law, particularly in respect of governance, land use/sustainable development, bylaws and resolutions, Aboriginal law, bylaw enforcement and bylaw attacks. Invited to speak regularly at conferences, symposia and universities, he has chaired the Sustainable Region Initiative (Governance and Finance), Liquid Waste Expert Review Panel, Fire Services Review Panel, Whistler Waste Blue Ribbon Panel, and the Municipal Law Section of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. Mr. Lidstone has published numerous papers and manuals and consulted on the development of the British Columbia Community Charter and other municipal statutes. He was designated Queen’s Counsel in 2008.

Faculty

Sandra Carter, Partner, Valkyrie Law Group LLP, North Vancouver, BC. Ms. Carter is an experienced municipal solicitor and frequent speaker on both municipal and Aboriginal law issues. She articled and practised for 15 years with a major Vancouver law firm, providing advice to local governments on issues across the spectrum of municipal law. She has advised on many new local government initiatives, including economic development incentives, tax revitalization programs, the creation and operation of municipal business corporations, post-treaty relationships and agreements with First Nations, and other innovative uses of local government authority. Ms. Carter has authored numerous articles and papers, and has frequently been invited to speak to various local government organizations on relevant topics.

 

Sara Dubinsky, Associate, Lidstone & Company, Vancouver, BC. Ms. Dubinsky has practiced local government law at Lidstone & Company since being called to the bar. She is a litigation lawyer and also provides legal opinions on a wide variety of issues, with a particular emphasis on bylaw enforcement, medical marihuana, conflicts of interest and freedom of information. Ms. Dubinsky is a graduate of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She summered with Arvay Finlay and appeared at the Braidwood Commissions of Inquiry on behalf of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, where she articled.

   

Gregory J. McDade, Q.C., Managing Partner, Ratcliff & Company, North Vancouver, BC. As senior litigation partner, Mr. McDade conducts major First Nations litigation. A large part of his practice is negotiation of impact benefit agreements, and Aboriginal consultation and accommodation litigation in respect of major resource projects in BC, the North and Ontario. He has extensive experience before all levels of court, including the Federal Courts and Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. McDade was counsel in the recent Court of Appeal decision in Thomas et al v. Rio Tinto Alcan, and counsel for one of the Intervenor groups before the SCC in Tsilhqot’in. Greg was called to the Bar and has practised in BC since 1979. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1996.

 

Thomas White, Manager, Climate Risk Management, Climate Action Secretariat, B.C. Ministry of the Environment, Victoria, BC. Mr. White and his team research, analyze, develop, coordinate and implement programs, policies and legislation relating to climate change adaptation in theme areas that include coastal zones, agriculture and natural resources, infrastructure and communities, and public health. They work collaboratively across government and the wider public sector, and with research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and professional and industry associations, with the goal of ensuring that British Columbia is prepared for and resilient to the impacts of climate change. Thomas holds a Masters in Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill.

 

James G. Yardley, Partner, Murdy & McAllister, Vancouver, BC. Mr. Yardley has since spent his career practising law involving local governments. He has a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from UBC. While Mr. Yardley provides general advice on a broad variety of local government matters, his practice is largely devoted to litigation and conflict resolution. He has appeared in numerous trials, appeals, petitions, mediations and arbitrations on matters that include construction disputes, administrative law matters, expropriation and injurious affection claims, bylaw challenges, bylaw enforcement proceedings, claims alleging misfeasance in public office and bad faith, environmental law disputes and prosecutions, contract claims, election challenges, property taxation disputes, and claims involving police forces. Mr. Yardley has appeared before tribunals that include the B.C. Utilities Commission, the National Energy Board, the Expropriation Compensation Board, the Environmental Appeal Board of British Columbia, and the Comptroller of Water Rights.

 

Tom Zworski, City Solicitor, City of Victoria, Victoria, BC. Mr. Zworski provides advice on all aspects of municipal law and legal issues involving the City of Victoria, including administrative, constitutional, construction, general litigation, and zoning and development law matters. He has appeared before all levels of BC courts and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as various administrative boards and tribunals. Mr. Zworski has taught municipal law at University of Victoria law school and has spoken at local and national legal conferences and continuing legal education programs in BC and Ontario.