Chair

Donald Lidstone, Q.C., Partner, Lidstone & Company, Vancouver, BC. Mr. Lidstone is a partner at Lidstone & Company. 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 Aboriginal law. 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 municipal statutes in other provinces and territories. He was designated Queen’s Counsel in 2008.

   

Faculty

Sara Dubinsky, Associate, Lidstone & Company, Vancouver, BC. Sara is a litigation lawyer who provides legal opinions on a wide variety of issues, with a particular emphasis on marijuana, bylaw enforcement, conflicts of interest and freedom of information. She is counsel of record in more than a dozen marijuana cases for the cities of Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Delta, Richmond, and the District of Kent, and she regularly advises numerous additional municipalities and liaises with counsel from various jurisdictions on marijuana issues.

   

Kathleen T. Higgins, Partner, Young Anderson Barristers & Solicitors, Vancouver, BC. Kathleen is one of British Columbia’s leading municipal and planning lawyers. She began her local government law career as in-house legal counsel at a large lower mainland municipality, before moving to private practice. Kathleen advises local governments on all aspects of municipal law including development, engineering, subdivision, environmental, planning, expropriation law, conflicts of interest and council governance issues.  She also regularly advises local governments on their authority and jurisdiction to pass bylaws in a variety of areas covered by both provincial and federal legislation. Kathleen’s practice has included extensive real estate transactions, including the creation of a number of regional parks in the Lower Mainland and the development of an alpine ski resort.  She has also conducted bylaw prosecutions, injunctions and defences to bylaw challenges in British Columbia’s Provincial, Supreme and Appeal Courts. Kathleen is actively involved in her community, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Fraser River Discovery Centre.

   

Pam Jefcoat, Managing Partner, Civic Legal LLP, Vancouver, BC. Pam Jefcoat has over 16 years of experience in local government and commercial real estate law. Pam also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and provides advice on a wide variety of local government matters, with a focus on land use planning, subdivision and the rezoning and redevelopment of residential, mixed-use and industrial properties. Pam also regularly advises her local government clients on issues related to constitutional jurisdiction, regulatory authority, municipal liability and access to information. Pam is also on the CLEBC’s Editorial Board for the British Columbia Real Estate Development Practice Manual and is the co-author of the chapter in that manual entitled Real Estate Development on First Nations Lands.

   

Una Radoja, Partner, Harper Grey LLP, Vancouver, BC. Una is a Partner in Harper Grey’s Commercial Litigation and Environmental Regulation & Disputes practice groups. She is the co-author of BC Environmental Management Legislation and Commentary and the recipient of the 2017 Lexpert® Leading Lawyers Under 40 award. In her commercial practice, Una handles a wide variety of commercial matters including contractual and real property disputes, mining expropriation claims, shareholder disputes, commercial fraud claims, and claims against directors and officers. Una’s contaminated sites practice involves litigating cost recovery claims and claims against environmental consultants and contractors, handling appeals before the Environmental Appeal Board, advising clients on strategies to minimize environmental liability risk and representing them in their dealings with the regulator. Una’s clients range from small businesses and property owners, to developers, strata corporations, insurers, and multi-national, large corporations and REITs.

   

James G. Yardley, Partner, Murdy & McAllister, Vancouver, BC. James has spent his career practising law involving local governments. James has a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from UBC. While he provides general advice on a broad variety of local government matters, James’ 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. James 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, 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.