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North Vancouver lawyer Bill Andrews recognized with environmental law award

Friday, November 8, 2019

West Coast Environmental Law event marks 30 years of environmental legal aid in BC

VANCOUVER, BC, Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Territories – West Coast Environmental Law is honoured to announce that William J. Andrews has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Dr. Andrew Thompson Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection and sustainability through law in BC.

The award was presented Thursday evening during a special event at the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrating the 30th anniversary of West Coast’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF). Since 1989, the EDRF has provided funding and legal support for individuals, First Nations and community groups in BC to take legal action on behalf of the environment.

“Lawyers contribute to legal aid as a professional responsibility. Many of us also feel a personal responsibility to contribute to society and the public interest, the public good. Looking back on my work with the EDRF, I am privileged to have worked with many others on cases and campaigns to stop pollution in waterways, protect public access to environmental information, defend the coast from risky proposals, and more,” said Andrews.

“I am honoured to be selected as the recipient of this year’s Andrew Thompson Award, and extend my thanks to the EDRF management committee, West Coast staff and the Law Foundation of BC for their ongoing support.”

Bill Andrews has been a public interest environmental lawyer in BC for 35 years. He was previously the Executive Director of West Coast Environmental Law, and founded the EDRF in 1989 to provide BC residents with legal and financial resources to tackle their environmental problems.

Bill currently represents clients in regulatory proceedings, judicial reviews and appeals concerning topics such as energy, climate, endangered species, and contaminated sites – taking on numerous cases through the EDRF at legal aid rates.

“For decades, Bill has worked to increase access to environmental justice for British Columbians, and has improved the state of the environment and environmental law in BC and Canada. As the EDRF's visionary founder, and one of its most dedicated volunteer lawyers, we could not think of a more deserving recipient for the Andrew Thompson Award,” said Jessica Clogg, West Coast’s Executive Director & Senior Counsel.

The Andrew Thompson Award was established in 2002 by West Coast Environmental Law and the Thompson family, as a legacy to Dr. Thompson. Dr. Thompson was a pioneer in the fields of environmental and natural resource law, whose work demonstrated how lawyers could work collaboratively with communities to build a more sustainable future for BC.

All of the 2019 nominees exemplify the spirit of the Andrew Thompson Award in their commitment to public interest environmental law. They were: Bill Andrews, Lisa Fong, Angela McCue, Krista Robertson, Tim Howard, Patrick Canning, Emma Hume, and Lilina Lysenko.

The EDRF is made possible by the ongoing financial support of the Law Foundation of British Columbia.

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For more information, please contact:

Alexis Stoymenoff | Sr. Communications & Engagement Specialist, West Coast Environmental Law
604-684-7378 ext. 228, astoymenoff@wcel.org