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Jean Piette


Jean Piette, Ad. E.



Complexe Jules-Dallaire, T1
2828 Laurier Blvd., 12th Floor
Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0B9
418 266-4500 418 266-4515

As a renowned lawyer in the field of environmental law in Canada and even abroad, Jean Piette has developed outstanding professional experience, having worked for close to 20 years in the public sector and 28 years in the private sector.

When it comes to environmental law in Quebec, Jean is considered a dean of sorts. More specifically, he has been involved at every step of the development of environmental law, having designed and drafted the first wave of environmental laws and regulations in Quebec. He was also one of the main authors of Quebec’s environmental policies and was in charge of intergovernmental relations regarding the environment up until 1991, when he joined an important Quebec firm that would eventually become a major international firm.

In his capacity as environmental law counsel at BCF, Mr. Piette will advise the firm’s lawyers and clients who are dealing with environmental issues and cases, including issues related to climate change such as the management of carbon credits on the regulated and voluntary markets.

Over the course of his career in the private sector, Mr. Piette was called upon to provide legal and strategic advice regarding environmental law in Quebec, as well as on the federal and international level, namely in the context of business transactions, real estate transactions, legal proceedings, and issues regarding environmental conformity. He has also acted on environmental mediation files, in negotiations with environmental authorities and in cases before the criminal, civil and administrative courts and tribunals, reaching all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has published several articles and helped draft publications on the topic of environmental law, and lectured widely on environmental law in Quebec, Canada, the United States, Mexico, France, and even in Africa. He has had numerous opportunities to teach environmental law at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Université Laval and Université de Sherbrooke.

  • Called to the Barreau du Québec (1973)
  • Master of Comparative Law, George Washington University (1972)
  • Licentiate of Laws, Université de Montréal (1970)
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert (2021-2022) - Environmental Law
  • Best Lawyers (2006-2022) - Environmental Law; Administrative and Public Law; Energy Regulatory Law
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert: Special Edition (2021-2022) - Infrastructure; Energy
  • Who’s Who Legal (2010-2021) -Environmental Law 
  • Chambers Canada (2018-2022) - Senior Statespeople in Environmental Law 
  • International Advisory Experts Award (2020) - Environmental Law award winner in Canada
  • Barreau du Québec (2013) - Advocatus Emeritus
  • “La sanction du droit de l’environnement par des pénalités administratives”

    Développements récents en droit de l’environnement, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2012, pp. 325-357;

  • “The Enforcement of Environmental Law through the use of administrative penalties”

    Environnment in the Courtroom, Allan Ingelson, University of Calgary Press, 2019, pp. 338-363.

  • “Certain Defences in Criminal Law of the Environment”

    Environment in the Courtroom, Allan Ingelson, University of Calgary Press, 2019, pp. 272-284

  • “La protection juridique de l’environnement au Québec”

    co-authored with professors Yvon Duplessis and Jean Hétu, Éditions Thémis, 1982, 707 p.

  • “Critères pour la détermination de la sanction des infractions aux lois de protection de l’environnement”

    Environmental Legislation in North America, Experiences and best practices for its implementation and adjudication, Cesar Nava Escudero, Université national autonome de Mexico, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Mexico, 2011, pp. 467-469.

  • Represented and advised an international paper company in connection with a rehabilitation plan, administrative monetary penalty, and dispute with the land owner;
  • Represented and advised an international chemical company in contesting an administrative monetary penalty and arranging for registration on the carbon market;
  • Advised a rail company regarding the environmental assessment of a rail project;
  • Represented and advised a rail company in contesting an administrative monetary penalty and Ministerial order;
  • Represented and advised an oil company in a dispute with the port authority concerning soil contamination;
  • Represented and advised an international mining company regarding criminal prosecutions in connection with contraventions of the Fisheries Act;
  • Represented and advised an oil company regarding federal criminal prosecutions against the company’s senior executives;
  • Represented and advised a company in the asphalt concrete industry in a civil case questioning the compliance with and validity of environmental regulations in Quebec;
  • Represented an oil company in connection with negotiations regarding the settlement of criminal proceedings under federal environmental legislation;
  • Represented a real estate company in connection with negotiations to settle a claim involving the hydrocarbon contamination of a property.
  • March 19, 2013

    “De certains moyens de défense en droit pénal de l’environnement,” presented at the Environmental Law Symposium organised by the Canadian Institute of Resources Law, University of Calgary

  • February 23, 2013

    “Quebec’s approach to the control of greenhouse gases,” presented at a conference organised by the Canadian Environmental Law Association

  • November 20, 2012

    Presentation at the Q.M.E.A. (Quebec Mineral Exploration Association) Conference

  • June 15, 2012

    “Développements récents en droit de l’environnement qui sont pertinents pour les parajuristes,” presentation at the Canadian Association of Paralegals

  • June 11, 2012

    “Sustainable Mining in Quebec” presentation at the Resource Exploration Development Summit in Toronto (Ontario)

  • June 4, 2012

    “Plan Nord: Exploiter le Grand Nord québécoise selon les règles du développement durable” presentation given at the Barreau du Québec conference on Bill no. 89

  • May 25, 2012

    “La sanction du droit de l’environnement par pénalités administratives,” presentation at a conference about recent developments in environmental law

  • January 11, February 28, and October 4, 2012

    “La responsabilité environnementale des administrateurs et dirigeants d’entreprises,” presentation at the Conseil patronal de l’environnement

  • June 6, 2011

    “Le régime de réglementation de la contamination des terrains au Québec,” presentation given at an Insight conference

  • November 9, 2011

    “La responsabilité des administrateurs et dirigeants d’entreprises,” training given at the Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec

  • October 20, 2011

    “Les recours de l’État pour les dommages causés à la ressource Eau,” presentation at a CCH conference about water law

  • September 30, 2011

    “Le développement durable,” presentation at the annual conference of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec

  • September 29, 2011

    “Participation citoyenne et expertise scientifique,” presentation at an international legal conference about environmental law in Belgium and Quebec organised by Université de Montréal

  • April 20, 2010

    “Les entreprises québécoises et les changements climatiques,” Canadian Energy Forum, Montreal

  • April 28, 2010

    “Régime juridique de la contamination et de la réhabilitation des sols”

  • May 31, 2010

    “Le régime législatif québécois relatif aux terrains contaminés,” Insight conference on contaminated lands

  • June 8, 2010

    “Bonnes pratiques pour la prise en compte du principe de précaution,” presentation at the International Economic Forum of the Americas

  • February 24, 2009

    “Des clauses pour gérer les risques environnementaux d’une transaction,” Canadian Institute, Business Agreements Bootcamp

  • June 1, 2009

    “L’impact de l’ALENA sur les Politiques Environnementales des Parties à ce Traité de Libre-Échange,” Environmental symposium organised by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

  • April 16 and 29, 2009

    “Les grands arrêts issus de la Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement (introduction et conclusion),” CCH conference

  • March 17, 2009

    “L’harmonisation des marchés du carbone au Canada et aux États-Unis,” presentation at the Americana conference, Montreal

  • May 14, 2008

    “Responsabilité environnementale des administrateurs,” Institute of Corporate Directors

  • October 28, 2008

    “L’avenir de la Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement,” international conference on corporate social responsibility and the environment, Université de Montréal

  • November 18, 2008

    “Les pénalités pour infraction aux lois de protection de l’environnement,” Legal seminar on the protection of the environment in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.A.

  • April 27, 2007

    “Le régime de permis et autorisation pour l’industrie pétrolière et pétrochimique”

  • November 6 and 7, 2006

    Conferences presented at the Canadian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation, Ottawa and Montréal

  • September 29, 2005

    “L’accès à l’information en matière d’environnement au Québec et au Canada”

  • February 13, 2004

    “Environmental Concerns in International Mergers and Acquisitions,” Center for International Legal Studies, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

  • November 5, 2003

    “La nouvelle législation et la nouvelle réglementation sur la contamination du sol et des eaux souterraines,” Canadian Bar Association

  • May 30, 2001

    “La responsabilité du propriétaire et du locataire de sols contaminés,” presentation at the Canadian Institute;

  • May 2003

    “Défis juridiques liés à la mise en œuvre du protocole de Kyoto au Canada”

  • January 23, 2003

    “Contamination du sol et des eaux souterraines: portée et mise en œuvre de la nouvelle législation”

  • 2003

    “Fond régional & Géocom: Un vrai geste de solidarité”

  • June 20, 2002

    “Droit relatif à la contamination du sol et des eaux souterraines”

  • June 20, 2002

    “The law respecting soil and ground-water contamination”

  • January 28, 2002

    “La nouvelle proposition législative concernant la protection des sols et la réhabilitation des terrains contaminés,” paper presented at a seminar about environmental law organised by Insight Information, Montreal

  • Member of the Barreau du Québec
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association
  • Member of the Canadian Bar Association (1991-2019)
  • Founding member of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Arbitration and Mediation (2003-present)
  • Member of the board of directors (and chairman of the audit committee) of the Learning for a Sustainable Future organisation (1995-present)
  • Delegate, Chairman of the board of directors and of the Executive Committee of the Quebec Business Council on the Environment (1994-present)
  • Member of the International Council of Environmental Law (1992-present)
  • Chairman of the Barreau du Québec Standing Committee on Environmental Law, (1992–present)
  • Member of the Barreau du Québec Ad Hoc Committee on the Rule of Law, (2011-2012)
  • Université Laval Faculty of Law lecturer at the undergraduate and master’s level in the field of Environmental Law (2010, 2013;2015)
  • Member of the Barreau du Québec Ad Hoc Committee on international relations (2011)
  • Honorary member of the “Association of Fellows and Legal Scholars” of the Center for International Legal Studies of Salzburg (Austria) (1997)
  • Member of the International Economic Law Society (1993 to 1999)
  • Chairman of the board of directors of the Institut international de stratégies et de sécurité de l’environnement (1996–2003)
  • Lecturer in international environmental law at the Université de Limoges tele-university, Doctorate of Environmental Law program (1996)
  • Lecturer in the framework of Sessions d’excellence in the field of environmental law in Chamarande (France) under the auspices of the Association des Universités partiellement ou entièrement de langue française and the Université des réseaux d’expression française (1995)
  • Researcher with the Groupe d’études et de recherches sur les politiques environnementales, Université Laval (1993-2002)
  • Chairman of the steering committee aiming to establish an international Secretariat for the management of Major Rivers (1993-1994)
  • Founding member and Quebec representative of the Environmental Law Network for the Association des Universités partiellement ou entièrement de langue française and the Université des réseaux d’expression française (1992-2003)
  • Member of the Association québécoise pour l’évaluation des impacts (1992-2000)
  • Member of the Comité international d’orientation de l’Observatoire coopératif sur les politiques environnementales des pays francophones (OCPEF) (1992-1995)
  • Member of the Quebec Association of Environmental Auditing (1992-1994)
  • Founding member of the Observatoire canadien des politiques environnementales (OCPEN) (1992)
  • Lecturer, Masters of international relations course on international environmental law, Université Laval (1992)
  • Member of the editorial board for the “Écodécision” publication (1991-1998)
  • Member of the board of directors of the Quebec section of the International Environmental Institute (1991-1995)
  • Member of the consulting committee of the cross-border workshop on the state of the environment in the Great Lakes region, Scientists’ Institute for Public Information (1991-1992)
  • Member of the Barreau du Québec collective emergency intervention committee (1991-1992)
  • Quebec representative of the Comité international d’Experts en Environnement de la Francophonie (1989-1991)
  • Member of the board of directors of the Société québécoise de droit international (1988-1990)
  • Lecturer and guest speaker in the field of Environmental Law for the Canadian Institute, the Institut international de recherche, and the Quebec Department of Industry, Trade and Technology (1987-1992)
  • Foreign personality partnered with the editorial committee of the Revue juridique de l’Environnement (1985-2005)
  • Member of the jury, Masters and Doctorate in Environmental Law, Université de Sherbrooke and Université Laval (1985-1990)
  • Member of the national advisory council of the Center for Environmental Information (1984-1991)
  • Quebec representative on the Environmental Committee of the Annual Conference of the New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers (1984-1991)
  • Co-chair of the Quebec-New York joint committee on acid precipitation (1984-1990)
  • President of the Kativik Environmental Advisory Committee (1980-1981)
  • Chair of the James Bay Advisory Committee on the Environment (1978-1980)
  • President of the Environmental Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association – Quebec Branch (1975-1981)