John Olynyk

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Lawson Lundell LLP

Alberta, Canada
    Local Time: Thursday 19:36

Practice Expertise

  • Aboriginal Law
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Native Peoples

Areas of Practice

  • Aboriginal Law
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Native Peoples
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil & Gas
  • Project Law
  • View More


John is a member of the firm's Aboriginal, Environmental, and Project Development practice groups. His practice includes advising private sector and government clients throughout Canada on Aboriginal, environmental, regulatory and natural resources matters. John advises oil sands developers, conventional oil and gas companies, railways, mining companies, utilities and other resource developers on environmental regulatory matters and on Aboriginal law matters, including Aboriginal consultation issues and negotiation of cooperation protocols and impact benefit agreements related to natural resource project development.

Bar Admissions
Alberta (2001)
Northwest Territories (2013)

University of Alberta (B.Sc. (Zoology), 1979)
University of British Columbia (M.Sc. (Planning), 1984)
McGill University (LL.B., 1995)

Areas of Practice

  • Aboriginal Law
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Native Peoples
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil & Gas
  • Project Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments
John’s representative experience includes:

Advising clients on strategies for working with the Government of Alberta in the development and application of consultation and accommodation guidelines by the Province

Advising clients on negotiations with aboriginal groups on a range of natural resource, utility and transportation matters

Advising clients on permitting, regulatory and aboriginal issues for proposed developments in western and northern Canada

Advising clients on matters related to negotiation and implementation of self government agreements, land claims agreements and treaties

Representing a group of oil sands developers, power and gas utilities and other companies in the negotiation of a consultation and accommodation agreement with the provincial and federal governments and five First Nations in northeastern Alberta

Helping a major Canadian oil and gas company successfully resolve aboriginal issues arising in the course of regulatory applications for an expansion to a heavy oil project in Alberta

Advising a major Canadian oil and gas company on negotiation of access agreements and benefits plans for exploration activity in the Northwest Territories

Advising major conventional oil and gas companies on aboriginal matters in Alberta and British Columbia, including issues arising on Indian reserves and on Métis settlements

Advising a national railway company on aboriginal matters across Canada, including the negotiation and implementation of ground-breaking agreements on aboriginal property taxation jurisdiction, resolution of historic grievances and local issues, and acquisition of Indian reserve lands for right of way expansions

Advising natural resource developers on the negotiation of a joint venture business arrangements with an Alberta First Nation

Assisting a major public utility in negotiating and drafting impact benefits agreements with aboriginal groups affected by a proposed gas pipeline to Vancouver Island, with the result that aboriginal concerns were not an issue before the National Energy Board

Acting as negotiator, facilitator and legislative drafter for a government client in the development of legislation implementing provisions of land claims agreements

Professional Associations
Project Law Blog, Contributor
B.C. Continuing Legal Education B.C. Real Property Assessment Manual, aboriginal property taxation chapter, Editor

John is a regular speaker at conferences on aboriginal and natural resources issues, and provides seminars for clients and industry associations on aboriginal law matters.

"Changes to the energy regulatory framework in Alberta and what it means for Aboriginal consultation", 7th Annual Aboriginal Energy Forum, Insight Information, Toronto, ON (December 5-6, 2013), Speaker

"Legal Perspective - Aboriginal Issues & Project Development: Assessing the Effect of Regulatory Reform on First Nation and Métis Consultation in Alberta", Environmental Law & Regulation in Alberta, Complying With The New Regulatory Framework, The Canadian Institute, Calgary, AB (November 21, 2013), Co-Chair and Speaker

"Project Development: Assessing the Effect of Regulatory Reform on First Nation and Métis Consultation in Alberta", Environmental Law and Regulation in Alberta Conference, Complying with the New Regulatory Framework,The Canadian Institute, Calgary, AB (June 5-6, 2013), Co-chair and Speaker

"Considerations for Resource Companies: Who Do You Consult With?", The Daniels Case: Recognition of Métis and Non-Status Aboriginal Peoples Conference, Pacific Business & Law Institute, Ottawa, ON (April 11-12, 2013), Speaker

"Dealing wtih Aboriginal Communities - Law and Best Practices", The Osgoode Certificate in Mining Law Program, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, ON (February 21, 2012), Speaker

"Recent Court Cases and Impact on Consultation: Getting Clarification on the Duty to Consult and Accommodate", Aboriginal Consultation and Negotiation - Western Canada Conference, The Canadian Institute, Calgary, AB (October 26-27, 2011), Speaker

"Land Access and Sustainable Development - Strategies for Addressing Aboriginal Concerns", 2nd Annual Aboriginal Energy Forum, Insight Information, Calgary, AB (December 9, 2008)

"The Changing Legal Landscape: An Update of Recent BC and Canada Supreme Court Decisions and What they Mean for Industry", BC Aboriginal Consultation for Industry, The Canadian Institute, Vancouver, BC (December 1-2, 2005), Speaker

"Building Local Stakeholder Trust and Community Buy-Ins: Best Practices", National Summit on Natural Resource Finance, The Canadian Institute, Toronto, ON (October 27-28, 2005), Speaker


Additional ArticlesFederal Government Passes Disclosure Law for Oil, Gas and Mining Companies, The Negotiator (March 2015), Co-Author

"The Peel watershed decision's broader implications,", The Northern Miner (January 22, 2015), Co-author

Energy Law Bulletin: Alberta’s New Energy Regulator: What Does it Mean for Project Development? (November 16, 2012), Author

Energy Law Bulletin: Cumulative Impacts on Treaty Rights: Update on the Beaver Lake Cree Nation Litigation (May 14, 2012), Co-Author

"Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies (some of) the Limits of the Duty to Consult" (October 29, 2010), Author

"BC Oil and Gas Activities Act in Force" (October 4, 2010), Co-Author

Aboriginal Issues Related to Heavy Oil Refining (May 30, 2008)

"Forestry Law: Recent Developments of Importance" (July 30, 2007)

The Haida Nation and Taku River Tlingit Decisions: Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities for Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation (February 21, 2005)

"Update on Land Claims and Devolution in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories" (October 1, 2002), Co-Author

Update on Land Claims and Devolution in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (September 22, 2001)

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