The OLIP interns had the privilege of meeting Dr. Dianne Saxe, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner. We learned through our conversation with Dr. Saxe that her Office was created in 1993 with the introduction of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). The bill was created to allow for more accountability around the province’s environmental policies – a new concept at the time. Her position here in Ontario is unique. In fact, New Zealand is the only other place where a similar position exists! The role of Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner is to ensure that Ontario’s ministries are complying with the Environmental Bill of Rights. Her Office also publishes several annual reports on topics related to the environment.
Dr. Saxe spoke to us about the career path which led to her current position as Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner. We were surprised to learn that she spent time as a tax lawyer and even opened up her own environmental law boutique! She described several of the fascinating cases that she worked on during her extensive legal career. This was a treat, especially as there are a number of budding lawyers in our cohort!
The OLIP Interns want to thank Dr. Saxe for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with us!