Our Lawyers

500 - 221 West Esplanade
North Vancouver BC V7M 3J3
Tel: (604) 988-5201
Fax: (604) 988-1452

Email: 
gmcdade [at] ratcliff [dot] com
Assistant: 
Linda Williams
lwilliams [at] ratcliff [dot] com

Gregory J. McDade Q.C.

Managing Partner

Greg is the Managing Partner at Ratcliff & Company LLP and as senior litigation partner, supervises major First Nations litigation. A large part of his practice is negotiation of impact benefits agreements, and aboriginal consultation and accommodation litigation in respect of major resource projects, in BC, the North and Ontario.

Greg has extensive experience before all levels of Court, including Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Courts, and BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He also serves as general counsel and provides business advice to a number of larger First Nations on business, mining, oil and gas and resource land use issues.

Greg grew up in Alberta, took his law degree at UBC, and was called to the Bar and has practiced in British Columbia since 1979. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (B.C.) in 1996. He has a background in criminal law, and environmental law (founding Exec-Director of Sierra Legal Defence Fund, now Ecojustice), but has served First Nations since 1997.

Education: 
  • LLB from University of British Columbia, 1978
  • Appointed Queens Counsel (B.C.) 1996 
Notable Cases: 

Leading First Nations Litigation

  • Kamloops v. BC and Canada, Pre-Colonial Reserve litigation (in settlement discussions)
  • Tzeacten v. CLC et al; Pre-Colonial Reserve litigation, ongoing (Chilliwack)
  • Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations v. Alcan (BCSC) ongoing, riparian rights and aboriginal title litigation
  • Rio Tinto Alcan v. Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council (2011), Supreme court of Canada, consultation in respect of damming of the Nechako River
  • Deh Cho v AG Canada (2011), supporting establishment of the  Edezhie Protected Area, 25,000 sq.km in NWT
  • Kwikwetlem v. BCUC (2010, BCCA), Interior to Lower Mainland Hydro transmission line
  • Huu-ay-aht v. Min. of Forests (2005, BCSC) Province's FRA policy declared invalid;
  • Squamish Nation v. MSRM,(2004, 2005, BCSC) inadequate consultation on Garibaldi ski hill;
  • Tsawwassen First Nation v. Port of Vancouver,(2004) civil action re Port, Ferry activities, (settled with Accommodation Agreement);
  • Deh Cho Dene v. Canada, (2004-5, Fed Court) Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, (settled with Accommodation Agreement);
  • Haida v. Minister of Forests,(2004), Supreme Court of Canada and BC Court of Appeal (2007), counsel for Intervenors (Squamish and Lax Kw'alaams), and (1996) counsel for Haida at trial on first Petition re TFL;
  • Esquimalt and Songhees Nations v. Canada and BC,(2006) Victoria Legislative Buildings site;{settled}
  • Gitxsan v. Min of Forests (2002, BCSC) consultation re TFL transfer;
  • Mathias v. Canada,(1997-9, Fed Court), Senior Co-Counsel (with John Rich); Squamish Nation action re former Kitsilano reserve; longest Federal Court trial in Canada

Environmental Litigation

  • Morton v. British Columbia, (2010), provincial regulation of aquaculture found unconstitutional
  • Counsel, Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon, (2010-2011) (for Dr. Alexandra Morton)
  • MiningWatch Canada v Min. of Fisheries, (2010), Supreme Court of Canada decision re federal environmental assessment for mining
  • Greenpeace Canada v. MacMillan Bloedel (1996); Supreme Court of Canada decision re Clayoquot protests in 1994;
  • Friends of Oldman River Society(1991) Supreme Court of Canada decision establishing enforceability of Canadian environmental assessment;
  • NEB v Hydro-Quebec(1994); Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming constitutionality of environmental assessment;
Community Involvement: 
  • Honorary Board member, Ecojustice Canada Society (formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund Society)
  • Honorary Board member, West Coast Environmental Law Association
  • Board of Directors, VanCity Credit Union (Canada’s largest credit union) (former Chair)
  • Former Board member, Smart Growth (B.C.), Citizen’s Bank of Canada, Labor Environmental Alliance Society and others

Public Policy Appointments:

  • Burns Bog Ecosystems Review (1999 - 2000) BC Government
  • Gulf Islands National Park Public Consultation (2000) Federal Government
  • Inquiry into the Draining of Downton Lake (1996) BC Min of Environment