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John Olynyk*

  • Tracy Roberts
  • Legal Assistant
  • P: 403.218.7520



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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. 

Recognition and Ranking

  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2017: consistently recommended as a Leading Practitioner in Aboriginal law
  • Chambers Canada: recognized in the Aboriginal law (Canada) category
  • Chambers Global: recognized in the Aboriginal law (Canada) category
  • 2017 Best Lawyers in Canada: recognized for Aboriginal law
  • Lexpert Special Edition 2016: Leading Canadian Lawyers in Energy

Professional Activities

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

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)

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

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.