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Montreal environmental lawyer honoured by Nature Canada

Monday, October 26, 2020 @ 2:52 PM | By John Chunn

Nature Canada announced it has presented the 2020 Douglas H. Pimlott Award to Montreal-based environmental lawyer Michel Bélanger.

“Michel Bélanger is one of Canada’s most outstanding environmentalists and well deserving of this recognition,” said Bob Peart, chair of Nature Canada. “I have continually admired his commitment and dedication to protecting nature.”

According to Nature Canada’s press release, Bélanger, an active board member of Nature Québec since 1989, co-founder of the Quebec Environmental Law Centre and the law firm of Lauzon Bélanger, has dedicated his career to protecting the environment from a legal point of view. He has been involved in numerous high-profile actions, including a historic Supreme Court of Canada case protecting the rights of citizens to launch class action lawsuits over environmental harm. He has a masters in public law from Université de Montréal and a diploma in specialized studies in environmental law and territorial management from Université Robert Schuman (Strasbourg, France).

“I’ve always felt the law was an essential tool to protect nature. I am most honoured to have my work recognized by Nature Canada,” said Bélanger.

“Michel’s work really shows the importance and strength citizens can have in improving nature protection,” said Nature Canada executive director Graham Saul. “He has served as prosecutor and legal adviser for a number of critical environmental cases that have led to real and lasting change in Canada.”

The Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Nature Canada’s pre-eminent award and is given to those individuals who have demonstrated a significant contribution throughout their lifetime to the conservation of Canada’s biodiversity, landscapes and wilderness.

Pimlott was a conservationist, wildlife biologist, ecologist and environmentalist. He was a founder of the modern environmental movement in Canada and previous president of the Canadian Nature Federation.