Christine Burton has lived in the Wood Buffalo region with her family for 24 years and is an active volunteer and community leader. Christine has a BA (Hons) from the University of Toronto, most of a Master degree from York University and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. She has used her education to build a wealth of experience in international issues, community development, policy, governance and legal issues.
She has worked with indigenous communities in the N.W.T and the Wood Buffalo region non-profit organizations across Canada, indigenous communities in Cambodia and South Africa, and all aspects of the political process both in Canada and abroad. She has worked as an Ontario Crown Prosecutor, political assistant to the Ontario Attorney General, international election expert for the United Nations and Commonwealth Secretariat, lawyer and manager for stakeholder relations, regulatory and aboriginal affairs with Suncor Energy.
Christine was elected as a Regional Councilor with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in 2012/13 and started a highly successful retail food business in Fort McMurray in 2012 and continues to operate the business.
After Law School, Christine worked for the United Nations in Cambodia and South Africa – teaching human and civic rights and setting up democratic elections. She moved to Fort McMurray in 1995 and was called to the Alberta bar in 1998. Christine practiced law for four years before taking on a position as Manager with regulatory and legal affairs with Suncor Energy. Christine worked for Suncor for almost 10 years and developed further expertise in consultation, issues management, risk communications, multi-stakeholder processes, First Nations and Metis issues and community investment and development. In this role, she worked on a wide range of regional issues and was a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops across North America. Christine left Suncor to set up a consulting legal practice and a food service business
Christine sits on many Non-profit Boards in the Wood Buffalo region. She is past Chair and founding director of the HUB Family Resource Centres, Chair and founding director of the Wood Buffalo Wellness Society (operating the Mark Amy Addictions Treatment Centre), Past Chair and founding director of the Arts Council Wood Buffalo, past director and founding member of the Wood Buffalo Artists Forum and past Deputy Chair and founding member of the RMWB Combative Sports Commission. She also heads up the Penhorwood Condo Association – a task she took on after 7 condo buildings were evacuated permanently in May 2011. In this capacity, she also chairs the Litigation Committee that settled a $60 million lawsuit against 28 defendants. Christine was the recipient of the 2010 and 2011 Heart of Wood Buffalo award for non-profit governance and social profit leadership and the 2013 Women of Influence award for Wood Buffalo.
Christine is also involved in issues affecting new immigrants, refugees and foreign workers. She has conducted free notary public clinics once a month with the YMCA Immigrant Settlement office since 2007 and now with the Multicultural Association since 2018.
As an artist, Christine is passionate about the arts and has worked to support visual artists and develop arts and culture in the Wood Buffalo region. She helped set up the first Community Art Gallery, established the regional Arts Council and successfully advocated for a public art program.
Christine is also an advocate for women’s health, particularly midwifery and breastfeeding, and has lobbied for midwifery regulation in Alberta since 1996. She and a dedicated group of community women set up the Wood Buffalo Woman and Baby Care Association that has successfully secured funding for midwifery for Wood Buffalo.
Christine’s practice focuses on Family, Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, and Employment. Following the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, Christine conducted hundreds of free consultations with residents who had fire damaged or destroyed properties and assisted residents with their insurance claims. She has also participated in public information forum on property insurance issues and condo issues and has conducted numerous free consultations on property foreclosures and construction issues.