In August 2013 I was selected to participate in the Ontario Ministry of Labour Arbitrator Development Program for 2013 – 2014 and was also appointed to serve as a Vice-Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board on a part-time basis.
I was employed during the summers of 1965 -1974 by Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited. For the first two summers, I worked in plant bargaining unit positions. Then I spent the following seven summers in the Industrial Relations Department where I was involved in the investigation of grievances and workplace incidents, preparations to assist counsel in connection with grievance arbitrations, and attending at the negotiations of renewal collective agreements.
I articled at Blake, Cassels & Graydon, with particular emphasis on labour and employment litigation, and joined the firm as an associate in 1976. I was a partner at Blakes from 1981 to 2012, and the head of the Toronto Labour & Employment Law practice from its establishment as a practice group separate from the Litigation Department in 1988 until my retirement effective January 31, 2012.
I was responsible for all of the labour and employment-related affairs of numerous clients in a wide range of industries and undertakings. In addition to providing on-going advice regarding law, policies, and practices, I represented employers in proceedings before provincial and federal labour relations boards, in human rights investigations and complaints, in labour negotiations as lead spokesperson or as counsel advising the employer’s committee, in the arbitration of grievances and interest arbitrations to settle terms of collective agreements in the public sector, in the investigation and trial of occupational health and safety matters, and in judicial review and appellate proceedings. Also, I advised and represented both employers and employees in contract negotiations, employment terminations, employment standards matters, and “wrongful dismissal” litigation.
While in practice I served from time to time as an employer nominee to boards of arbitration dealing with grievances in both the public and private sectors.
During the period 1991-2012 I served as the General Editor of the Employment and Labour Law Reporter, a monthly publication of Butterworths/LexisNexis. Long before that, I contributed to the second edition of Canadian Labour Arbitration by Donald J.M. Brown and David Beatty.
- Bachelor of Laws | University of Toronto, Faculty of Law | 1974
- Master of Industrial & Labor Relations | Cornell University, New York State School of Industrial & Labor Relations | 1971
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) | University of Toronto | 1969
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- Labor Relations Research Association
- I served on the board of directors of “SPRINT” – Senior Peoples’ Resources in North Toronto – from 1997 – 2006, and in the roles of Chair/President and Past-President during the last three years.
- In addition to my service as a part-time Vice-Chair at the OLRB, I am keenly interested in applying my experience with and aptitude for the resolution of workplace and other litigious issues to assist in the disposition of complaints, grievances and other employment-related matters.
- My other principal area of current interest is the arbitration of labour matters – both rights cases and interest arbitrations – and the arbitration other employment-related issues where the parties are amenable to a more efficient process for the principled resolution of their dispute. Having had the benefit of observing and working with arbitrators since my student employment days, I have developed very clear insights into the processes that produce efficient hearings and then dispositions that are useful to the parties.
- I participated in mediation processes in virtually all aspects of my practice at Blakes. Mediation, however named, is effective in labour board and labour arbitration proceedings, in the disposition of “wrongful dismissal” cases, in employment standards matters, and, of course, in the resolution of human rights complaints. Indeed, in the appropriate contexts, mediation can be used to great advantage to address workplace issues before the initiation of formal procedures.
- I am available to assist in all of these areas – as mediator or arbitrator - and would be pleased to discuss any issue to determine the role in which I might be involved to address matters of concern.