Geoff Plant provides public law and policy advice and representation, and also works as a mediator and arbitrator in public and private law disputes. He was the Attorney General of British Columbia and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations from 2001 to 2005. In 2012 Mr. Plant was named one of Canada’s most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Mr. Plant was first elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1996 and from 1996 to 2001 was Opposition Justice Critic, as well as serving on a number of legislative and caucus committees. As Attorney General, Mr. Plant was the Chair of the Legislative Review Committee, the Minister responsible for the creation and oversight of the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, and the Minister responsible for the negotiation of the New Relationship, the first-ever political accord between the Government of British Columbia and the province’s three aboriginal political organizations.
Prior to his election to the Legislature, Mr. Plant practised as a litigation lawyer with particular emphasis on aboriginal and public law. He was counsel in a number of leading aboriginal rights and title cases, including the landmark case of Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. He has lectured and written extensively on aboriginal law, public law and law reform.
Since re-entering law practice in 2005, Mr. Plant has been appointed senior advisor to the Government of British Columbia in land and resource negotiations with the Council of Haida Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council, he has undertaken more than two dozen successful mediations in a dispute between investors and a major Canadian mutual fund company, and has provided strategic advice to a number of BC businesses on establishing effective relations with First Nations.
In 2006, Mr. Plant was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Advanced Education to lead a project called “Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead”, the first comprehensive review of post-secondary education in British Columbia in over 40 years. His report, entitled Access and Excellence: The Campus 2020 Plan for British Columbia’s Post-Secondary Education System, was released in April 2007.
From May 2007 until February 2009, Mr. Plant served as Vancouver’s Civil City Commissioner. In 2010, he was appointed board chair of Providence Health Care, one of the largest faith-based health care organizations in Canada, operating 14 sites in Vancouver, including St. Paul’s Hospital.
In 2012 Mr. Plant was appointed chief legal strategist for the BC Government in the proceedings of the Joint Review Panel considering the Northern Gateway Pipeline. He is also board chair of the Land Title & Survey Authority of British Columbia, the Canada West Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. In May 2015 he was appointed Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Mr. Plant has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the area of aboriginal law in the 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and in the 2013 and 2014 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White).