Mélanie is a business advisor focused on solutions. Her years of experience as in-house counsel and knowledge of environmental and Aboriginal law make her a key collaborator in managing issues in these fields.
Mélanie is currently Director of our Client and Market Services in Quebec leading the business development for the Region of Québec and a lawyer specializing in Environmental and Aboriginal Law. She has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer, mainly within two important industries. Prior to joining McCarthy Tétrault in April 2020, she worked for CN for nine years as an Aboriginal Relations Leader and Senior Counsel, Environmental and Aboriginal Affairs. Prior to that, she worked for 10 years at Resolute Forest Products as senior counsel, after starting her career in private practice with an important law firm. Her holistic approach, including the legal, business and cultural aspects of Indigenous issues, makes Mélanie an asset to successfully carry out the most complex issues and projects on the subject.
It is important to note that Mélanie lead the successful implementation of CN’s Aboriginal Vision and Strategy, enabling the company to be the first in the transportation industry to obtain the Progressive Aboriginal Relations bronze certification from the CCAB in 2018. She has also provided valuable advice and developed winning strategies in the course of economic development projects, consultation files and litigation matters related to issues with Indigenous communities or having environmental impacts.
Mélanie’s past experience includes:
- Advised in various development projects at CN, involving Indigenous claims, archeological work; as for example the Ridley Island expansion in British-Columbia and the Milton Logistic Hub in Ontario.
- Strategy around the engagement of more than 110 Indigenous communities along the CN tracks with respect to the annual vegetation management program.
- Indigenous ancestral claims with respect to title issues involving the federal government.
- Land return to Indigenous communities involving the federal government.
- Legal Environmental and Aboriginal consultation component of the CN Logistics Hub project in Milton, Ontario to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, from project inception to the panel report to the Minister of the Environment with respect to environmental considerations and Aboriginal consultation. The Mississauga’s of the Credit community indicated at the hearing that CN was the model to follow in Indigenous engagement and consultations.
- Development of several tools to help employees understand and apply environmental laws and regulations.
- Development of the cultural awareness training for employees to demystify how to develop and maintain respectful relationships with Indigenous communities.
- Corporate restructuring with an innovative approach to environmental liabilities.
Mélanie has been, since 2018, a member of the Board of Directors of Chez Doris, a women shelter in Montréal, and since 2021 she is the vice-president on the board.
Melanie holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal, obtained in 1998. She was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1999. She also holds a certificate in relation to the foundations of Aboriginal law at York University.
She speaks French and English.
Thomson Reuters “Innovatio” Award
Diversity Category - For the employee cultural training on Aboriginal relations she implemented at CN
CN President's Award
CN Values - For the Cultural Awareness Training on Aboriginal Relations
Alberta Chamber of Commerce Award
For CN best practices in Aboriginal relations
ZSA Québec Legal Counsel Award