Dayna Nadine Scott

Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

Dr.Dayna Scott works in the areas of environmental law and policy; critical risk theory; environmental justice; and trade and globalization.


City Talk : Ecological Citizenship: Aspiring to a Good Green Life in the City

Dayna Nadine Scott is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director at Osgoode Hall Law School, and is cross-appointed to the Faculty of Environmental Studies, at York University. She is also the Director of the National Network on Environments and Women's Health. Professor Scott's research brings a critical, interdisciplinary lens to the equity dimensions of environmental law and regulation.

Beyond BPA: We need to get tough on toxics

Globe and Mail, January 4, 2012Print


Did you breathe a sigh of relief when Canada became the first jurisdiction in the world to declare bisphenol A (commonly known as BPA) toxic in 2010? OR when it banned the chemical in baby bottles, prompting many manufacturers to remove it from their products? We inhale, ingest and absorb a litany of synthetic chemicals into our bodies every day, and improving scientific detection methods are making our toxic “body burdens” increasingly obvious.

Why B.C. must reject the Northern Gateway review

The Globe and Mail, June 12, 2014Online


Back in the summer of 2012, Premier Christy Clark boldly laid down five conditions that would need to be met for British Columbia to give its support to an oil sands pipeline. The first condition is the successful completion of the formal environmental review process. The second and third conditions relate to practices for spills in water and on land. The fourth involves respecting the rights of First Nations, and the fifth requires that British Columbians receive economic benefits commensurate with the risks involved...

Canada needs a national energy strategy

The Hill Times, June 25, 2012Online


It may seem like a measure of economic desperation that while municipal politicians across the country are fighting to keep their citizens protected from toxic emissions, Mike Bradley, the long-time mayor of Sarnia, has raised his hand to say, “Bring it on.” As pundits, national unions, and the NDP bemoan the fact that our emerging national energy strategy does not seem to contemplate actually refining the crude here in Canada, but simply “exporting jobs,” Bradley has publicly put his city forward as a key destination. His message is that Sarnia’s refineries, and highly-connected system of infrastructure, provides an easier alternative for getting oil sands crude to market than the proposed Northern Gateway or even Keystone XL. We need to thank Bradley for bringing Sarnia rightfully into the middle of this brouhaha because what has been happening in Sarnia, and to its close neighbour the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, demonstrates perfectly that the pipeline decisions we are currently contemplating have real distributive consequences.

Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health
by Dayna Nadine Scott
University of British Columbia Press

Women Talking About Water: Feminist Subjectivities and Intersectional Understandings

Published by Canadian Woman Studies

Investment Treaties and the Internal Vetting of Regulatory Proposals: A Case Study from Canada

Published by Journal of International Dispute Settlement

2016 In this article, we report findings on whether trade and investment agreements that allow for investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) contribute to regulatory chill. The study focused on whether ISDS contributed to changes in internal vetting of government ...


Fossil Capitalism & the Implications of the New Pipeline Proposals for Environmental Justice in Canada

Published by Osgoode Hall Law School

2013 Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Dayna Scott employs the concept of "networked infrastructures" drawn from the literature in critical geography to reveal the environmental justice implications of the coast-to-coast crude oil network that is currently being contemplated in Canada. Her talk was delivered on January 30, 2013 as part of the Osgoode Faculty Research Seminar Series...


Commentary: The forces that conspire to keep us “Idle”

Published by Canadian Journal of Law and Society

2013 Last winter, Canada witnessed a series of spontaneous and coordinated actions by Indigenous activists seeking to demonstrate solidarity with the hunger strike of Chief Teresa Spence of Attawapiskat. The actions, initially prompted by the Twitter meme# IdleNoMore, ...


'We Are the Monitors Now' Experiential Knowledge, Transcorporeality and Environmental Justice

Published by Social & Legal Studies

2015 Residents of pollution hotspots often take on projects in 'citizen science', or popularepidemiology, in an effort to marshal the data that can prove their experience of the pollution to the relevant authorities. Sometimes these tactics, such as pollution logs or ...



Professor Dayna Nadine Scott joined Osgoode’s faculty in 2006 after completing a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McGill’s Faculty of Law and a Hauser Global Research Fellowship at NYU. She is cross-appointed with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Scott’s teaching is in administrative law, environmental law and justice, risk regulation, and international environmental governance. She recently completed a SSHRC-funded research project in partnership with environmental justice activists from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia`s Chemical Valley, which tackled the issue of chronic pollution on an Ontario reserve. The project applied a critical, feminist perspective to the examination of law’s treatment of the risks of long-term, low-dose exposures to pollutants. A current SSHRC-funded project with Professor Gus Van Harten (“Investigating Regulatory Chill”) examines the contemporary constraints on regulation to protect the environment, with a focus on investor rights in the resource extraction context. Scott’s publications cover topics from environmental justice activism and experiential knowledge, contested resource extraction, to the challenges posed for law and environmental health by the emerging endocrine disruption thesis. She is interested in questions of environmental regulation and governance from an interdisciplinary perspective, especially work that interrogates the interaction between local and global modes of governing and ways of knowing. Scott is the editor of Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics and Environmental Health (UBC Press, 2015) and the past Director of the National Network on Environments and Women`s Health. Among other awards, Scott has been a recipient of Fulbright and SSHRC Fellowships, and the Law Commission of Canada’s “Audacity of Imagination” Prize. Recent publications explore the tactics of activists resisting tar sands extraction in Peace River Alberta (“‘We are the Monitors Now’: Experiential Knowledge, Transcorporeality and Environmental Justice” (2015) in Social & Legal Studies), and a Comment on the Idle No More movement published in the Canadian Journal of Law & Society, The Forces that Conspire to Keep us ‘Idle’.

Additional Titles and Affiliations

York University Faculty of Environmental Studies : Associate Professor

Past Talks

Expert Testimony to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

Ottawa, June 9, 2016

Research Grants

Reconciling Soveriegnties: New Techniques for 'Authoring' Extraction on Indigenous Territories

Organization: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant
Date: May 1, 2016
Grant amount: $175,710


The aim of this collaboration is to advance understandings of the ways in which complex new economic and financial techniques are shaping contemporary politics of resource extraction and the expression of sovereignties in Canada. There is a widespread sense across the country that heightened uncertainties around Aboriginal title, (re)assertions of Indigenous laws, and claims of inherent jurisdiction are presenting a major concern for business and investors in the resource sectors. Parties are mired in costly litigation, and disruptions occur as Indigenous communities seek meaningful consultation, better environmental protection, and more control over decisions. As attaining project approvals through established channels becomes increasingly complicated and bogged down in protracted regulatory proceedings, new techniques for maintaining access and gaining consent for resource development projects are emerging by necessity. We are a collection of scholars and organizations that seek to test new partnership approaches for the study of these emerging economic and financial techniques for maintaining access to lands and resources, conceptualized as forms of 'sovereignty management'. Specifically, we are interested in exploring whether cross-disciplinary approaches combining insights from, primarily, socio-legal studies and critical geographies, are productive for uncovering the significance of a variety of new economic and financialization measures. We have observed that new tools are emerging, in various places and sectors, and in various forms, and we wish to collaborate to better understand the effects of these techniques and measures on expressions of Indigenous sovereignty in relation to decision-making about contested plans for resource extraction and energy generation.


  • Toxic Substances Regulation
  • Pollution
  • Gender and Environmental Health
  • Feminist Theory of the Body
  • Environmental Law and Justice


  • York University
    Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Osgoode Hall Law School

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