John George Pappas

Associate Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2020

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  • Bio
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Selected Publications
  • Insights
  • Education

John’s passion for local government and his analytical approach to solving complex legal problems make him a valued team member and trusted advisor. Leveraging his past experience working in municipal government,  John draws on his knowledge of the unique challenges faced by the municipal sector to provide thoughtful and practical advice to clients.

John is an Associate in the firm’s Municipal & Land Use Planning Group. He practices in all areas of local government and municipal law, as well as development law. John appears regularly before municipal councils, committees and boards, various administrative tribunals and agencies, and the Ontario Courts. He provides counsel and representation to municipalities across Ontario on various matters, including municipal powers and jurisdictional issues, ethics and governance, building regulation, by-law drafting and enforcement, and complex commercial/contractual issues. John also has significant experience in municipal elections law, including advising municipal clerks and administrators on the operation of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, acting as independent legal counsel to several municipal compliance audit committees and assisting with prosecutions of election campaign finance offences.  

As a member of the firm’s Municipal Accountability Group, John acts on integrity commissioner matters and closed meeting investigations.

Outside of the office, John is an avid fly fisher and is a member of Trout Unlimited Canada.

Awards & Recognition

  • Queen’s Law – Dean’s Honours List
  • Queen’s Law Course Prize – Administrative Tribunal Advocacy
  • Queen’s Law Course Prize – Environmental Protection Law

Selected Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Independence of the Chief Building Official," Ontario Large Municipalities Chief Building Officials, Spring Conference 2024 (May 8, 2024).

Speaker, "Controlling (Mis)Conduct at Council Meetings," Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, Zone 5 Spring Meeting (April 26, 2024).

Speaker, "A Look into Recent Case Law," Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing 2023 Ontario West Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Forum (June 28, 2023).

Co-speaker, "A Look into Recent Case Law," Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Seminar, Northern CAO/Clerks' Forum (March 2, 2023).

Speaker, "After Voting Day: Case Law Update on Recounts, Contested Elections, Automatic Penalties and the Compliance Audit Process," Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, Zone 5 Fall Meeting (November 8, 2022).

Speaker, "Case Law Update Spring 2022," Municipal Integrity Commissioners of Ontario, Spring 2022 Conference (May 27, 2022).

Speaker, "2022 Municipal Election Legal Updates," Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, Zone 5 Spring Meeting (May 13, 2022).

Speaker, "Municipal Conflict of Interest Act Contraventions & Integrity Commissioner Decisions NOT to Apply to Court," Municipal Integrity Commissioners of Ontario, Fall 2021 Conference (November 4, 2021).

Selected Publications

"Walking in a Winter Wonderland of Risk: The Impact of Nelson (City) v. Marchi on Municipal Liability and Policy Versus Operational Decisions," co-Authored with Ajay Gajaria, The Digest of Municipal & Planning Law, February 2022.

“With Great Power Comes Reasonable Responsibility – Emergency Powers of the Chief Building Official” co-Authored with Christopher J. Williams, Ontario Building Officials Association Journal, Legal Corner, June 2021.

“A Rock and a Hard Place: Integrity Commissioner Decisions to Make an Application under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act” Digest of Municipal and Planning Law, June 2021.

Canada v. Vavilov: The Impact on Statutory Appeals (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4), co-Authored with Christopher J. Williams, 9 Digest of Municipal & Planning Law (2d), (March - June 2020).

“What’s My Limitation Period Again? Update on the Suspension of Limitation and Time Periods During the COVID-19 Crisis,” co-Authored with Dillon Collett, Aird & Berlis LLP Publication, June 8, 2020.

“The Division of Powers in Site Plan Control,” co-Authored with Leo Longo and Meaghan Barrett, OBOA Journal, Issue No. 119, September 2018.


  • JD, Queen’s University, 2019
  • BA (Honours), Brock University, 2016