Tom is a nationally recognized authority in the area of Aboriginal law and leads Osler’s Aboriginal Law Group. He advises clients across Canada on Aboriginal legal matters, environmental assessment, regulatory, negotiations and constitutional issues affecting major projects.
Tom has extensive national experience advising energy, oil, gas, pipeline, mining and forestry companies, lenders and investors, and federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments and agencies on Aboriginal and project-related regulatory and environmental matters. He regularly negotiates on behalf of industry and governments in respect of impact, benefit and access agreements with Aboriginal groups, and he advises on Aboriginal consultation and accommodation processes and agreements.
Tom has represented industry and government clients before the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court, Ontario Court of Appeal, British Columbia Court of Appeal, British Columbia Supreme Court, Ontario Divisional Court, Northwest Territories Supreme Court, Yukon Supreme Court, National Energy Board, Ontario Energy Board and British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board. His published works on Aboriginal law have been cited with approval by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.
He is a former Chief Treaty Negotiator for the Government of British Columbia and prior to that, he was an Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for establishing Nunavut for the Government of the Northwest Territories. He also served in a senior capacity with the Government of Saskatchewan dealing with Aboriginal issues.
Tom works out of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
- Representing energy, mining and other industry clients in Aboriginal-related litigation before courts and tribunals across Canada.
- Negotiating on behalf of industry and government in negotiations with Aboriginal groups regarding impact and benefit, economic development, access, replacement tenures and other agreements.
- Advising industry and governments on Canadian, provincial and territorial environmental assessment, and the processes of the National Energy Board, Ontario Energy Board and regulatory processes involving Aboriginal issues.
- Extensive experience working on major energy, mining, transportation, infrastructure and other projects, including negotiating agreements with Aboriginal groups and representing proponents in dealing with governments.
- Advising financial institutions and investors on security, mortgage, tax and loan agreement issues involving Indian reserve and other First Nations lands.
- Negotiating and advising on the federal Indian Act, First Nations Land Management Act and easements, rights of way and surrender/designation issues on Indian reserve lands in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
- Negotiating, and advising in respect of, treaties and comprehensive land claims agreements across Canada.