In over 30 years of practice, Donnaree has developed expertise in constitutional, administrative and national security matters, as well as in commercial matters including insolvency and class proceedings. She has argued cases at all levels of the British Columbia and Federal Courts, and in the Supreme Court of Canada. She was co-lead counsel for Canada at the Public Order Emergency Commission.


British Columbia (1994)


BSc (UBC), LLB (Dalhousie)





Donnaree practised litigation for 28 years at the federal Department of Justice and two years at Nygard Legal before joining Olthuis van Ert. She has formidable experience representing and advising clients in public law matters including Charter claims, federalism cases, judicial reviews, and cases involving national security concerns.

Selected cases

Co-lead for Canada before the Public Order Emergency Commission; see Report of the Public Inquiry into the 2022 Public Order Emergency (5 volumes, February 2023)

Teal Cedar Products Ltd. v. Rainforest Flying Squad, 2021 BCSC 1554; 2021 BCSC 1903

R v. Boule, 2020 BCSC 1846

Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina, 2019 SCC 29

Deegan v. Canada, 2019 FC 411

Office of the Children’s Lawyer v. Balev, 2018 SCC 16

Carter v. Canada, 2012 BCSC 886; 2013 BCCA 435; 2015 SCC 5

Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada, 2015 SCC 1

Meredith v. Canada, 2015 SCC 2

Canada (A.G.) v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence, 2012 SCC 45

Canada (Public Works and Government Services) v. Musqueam, 2008 FCA 214

Christie v. British Columbia, 2005 BCCA 631 and 2006 BCCA 59

Donnaree has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in class action proceedings involving  governments. In addition she was appointed as an amicus for the Federal Court in relation to the approval of class counsel fees.

Selected cases

Smith v. Canada (AG), 2006 BCCA 237 and 2006 BCCA 407 

Tiller v. Canada, 2019 FC 749; 2019 FC 895; 2022 FC 11

For over eight years, Donnaree acted for the Canada Revenue Agency, the Superintendent of Bankruptcy and other federal government departments in proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Donnaree was also a member of the BC Model Insolvency Order Committee for a number of years.

Selected cases

Re De Stefanis, 2005 BCCA 156

Re Bankruptcy Dav-Jor Contracting, 2006 BCCA 330

Re Ted Leroy Trucking, 2012 BCCA 511


Donnaree regularly contributes to CLE programs, and acts as a guest lecturer at Allard School of Law in the Charter Litigation seminar. She authors a chapter in the British Columbia Administrative Law Practice Manual and co-authors a chapter in Injunctions: British Columbia Law and Practice. Donnaree is also an advocacy advisor for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute.

  • Member, Supreme Court Advocacy Institute