Peter A Allard School of Law

The Youth Climate Litigation Wave: Part 1 – Mathur

The Centre for Law and the Environment’s four-part series, The Youth Climate Litigation Wave, will cover four leading cases from Canada and the US in which youth are demanding climate accountability and action from their government. Each session in the series will delve into a particular case and attendees will get to learn about the case from both a lawyer and plaintiff involved in the case. Attendees can join the session in person at Allard Hall or join the webinar virtually.


About Mathur et. Al. v. His Majesty in Right of Ontario

In November 2019, seven young climate leaders launched a legal challenge against the Ontario government’s decision to significantly weaken the province’s 2030 climate target, arguing that Ontario’s decision violates youth and future generations’ rights to life, security of the person, and equality protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The case is currently on appeal after the Ontario Superior Court dismissed the application in April 2023. On appeal, the applicants intend to show that Ontario is not just failing to act on climate change but actively causing the increased risk of harm and death to Ontarians.

The history of this case is not without its wins so far. In November 2020, a court recognized for the first time in Canadian history that climate change has the potential to violate Charter rights, giving the youth the green-light to move forward to a full hearing. In March 2021, Mathur became the first case of its kind to clear key procedural hurdles and proceed to a full hearing before the Ontario Superior Court.


About the Speaker

Danielle Gallant

Danielle is a member of the Quebec Bar as well as the Law Society of Ontario and is fluently bilingual. She holds a Licentiate in Civil Law (LL.L.) and an Honours Bachelor in International Development and Globalization (B.Soc.Sc.) from the University of Ottawa, where she graduated summa cum laude. She also completed her Master’s in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law (LL.M.) at the same university, during which she focused her research on the human rights impacts of environmental issues and on climate change litigation.

As a member of Ecojustice’s Climate Change team, Danielle has worked on several prominent constitutional files. She is part of the legal team representing seven youth against the Government of Ontario for weakening its climate target for 2030, which threatens the youngest generations’ fundamental rights under the Charter. She was also involved in the reference cases surrounding the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and is working on a judicial review of a project approval relating to the Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia. She is also counsel on a legal challenge to Quebec’s mining regime, which allows for the registration of mining claims on Indigenous territory without consultation.

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