Harnessing the Law to Secure a Sustainable Future

From the Spring 2000 issue of Nexus.

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation has created a chair at the Faculty that will have far-reaching consequences. A timely and thoughtful gift by the foundation of $1.5 million will be matched by U of T to establish the Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law.

George Cedric Metcalf was the president and managing director of George Weston Ltd. and president of Loblaws Companies Ltd. He began his career in business in 1908 at the age of five as a newspaper boy at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Yonge Street in Toronto. Later hired on in the William Neilson Ltd. stockroom, Metcalf worked his way up through the company ranks to the position of president. His original ideas and management ability eventually propelled him to the top of the Canadian and international business communities. A committed philanthropist, Metcalf founded the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation in 1967 to support the causes of education, social services, and the arts.

The creative thinking and active friendship of the Hon. Mr. Justice James D. Carnwath brought the Metcalf Foundation and the Faculty together to make possible the creation of the Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law. Jim, who graduated in 1960, has been extremely supportive of the Faculty's priorities. Recently, on a six-month leave from the Superior Court of Justice, he provided invaluable guidance as mooting judge for the many run-throughs that are a feature of U of T's student-run mooting programme. His assistance has earned Jim the students' and the law school's lasting gratitude.

The endowed chair will provide the forum of a permanent faculty position from which to investigate the implications of environmental policy and regulation on zoning and real-estate matters; business development; industrial permits; agricultural policy; health and safety standards; international trade; construction; and waste management and disposal.

By serving as a home for the Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law, the law school will be able to play a leading role in shaping environmental thinking and adjudicating future environmental disputes within Canada and beyond. In addition, with the critical mass of scholarship and potential that will coalesce around this chair, the Faculty will be better able to prepare students for the profession and beyond.