David Heurtel is counsel in the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Group. Before joining the firm, David pursued a career with the government of Québec, where he held office as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change from 2014 to 2017 and as Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness from 2017 to 2018.
As Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David spearheaded actions on various fronts to promote environmental protection and sustainable land revitalization. He took the lead in modernizing the Environment Quality Act (EQA) and adopting the Water Withdrawal and Protection Regulation (WWPR), and instituted the first wetlands protection legislative scheme in Québec. He was the driving force behind the Politique de protection des sols et de réhabilitation des terrains contaminés and the 2017-2021 action plan under that policy, which was the first policy adopted for protecting soil and rehabilitating contaminated land in over 20 years. He was very active on the Canadian stage as chair of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) in 2015 and 2016 and led the way on linking the Québec-California and Ontario carbon markets in 2017. On the international stage, David represented Québec in processes that included the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Lima (COP20), Paris (COP21), and Marrakech (COP22). He also led a mission to the western United States and Mexico in connection with the implementation of the Québec-California carbon market. The measures put in place under his leadership as Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness included the new Québec Immigration Regulation that came into force in August 2018.
Through this wide-ranging experience, David has acquired significant expertise in relation to the environment and immigration law. He brings his know-how and his knowledge of the market to his work in his clients’ interests in relation to the consequences of the modernization of the EQA for their business, the development of industrial projects subject to the environmental impact assessment and examination procedure and the associated social acceptability issues, the application of the Québec Cap and Trade System for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (SPEDE), transactions on the joint Québec-California carbon market, and related matters. He also advises clients on the implementation of immigration programs in Quebec, in particular skilled labour programs.
David began his career with a Québec firm as a lawyer focusing on administrative and environmental law. He has held various executive positions, including the position of President and CEO of the Montréal Olympic Park. He also teaches courses on the environment, climate change, immigration, and communications as the Public Administration Scholar in Residence at Concordia University.
David is very involved in his community. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and has also been chair of the board of directors of Québec Cinéma, vice-chair for socio-economic affairs of the Chambre de commerce de l’Est de Montréal, a member of the board of directors of the Organizational Body for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, and a member of the Comité de développement de l’Est de Montréal, as well as holding numerous other public interest positions.