Greg McDade, QC

Class of 1977-1978

When it comes to the environment, Gregory McDade pulls no punches. “I think the battle for climate change is largely lost. Our kids will inherit a very different world than the one we live in.” Spoken by one of Canada’s top environmental lawyers, these words must not be taken lightly.

For four decades, McDade has fought the good fight, working on some of the most important environmental law cases in Canadian legal history. Along the way, he gained the experience and wisdom to back up his grave prediction. He was the first executive director of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund (now Ecojustice) and handled seminal cases for clients like Greenpeace Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. He has witnessed the changing tides of the environmental movement and has relentlessly argued that to bring about meaningful change, the system itself must be transformed.

If the war on climate change is lost, and environmental movements of the past four decades have failed, what keeps McDade going? “There are choices we make about how we are going to spend our lives that define who we are as people. Environmental issues are the greatest risk to us and our way of life, and what has become the highest quality of living for humans in all of civilization. If we want to preserve that, we have to be environmentalists”...