Annual Report 2013/2014

  • July 11, 2014

Labour Law
Submitted by Section Co-Chair, Robyn Trask

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 7

September 16, 2013
Guest Speakers: Judith Anderson, Harris & Co., Carmela Allevato, British Columbia Teachers' Federation, Jessica Burke, Black Gropper, and Geoffrey Litherland, Harris & Co.
Meeting Title/Topic: Freedom of Expression
Synopsis: The guest speakers addressed recent legal developments on employee freedom of expression, including a recent BC Court of Appeal decision on teachers' freedom of expression and cases addressing employee use of email signature lines.

November 12, 2013
Guest Speakers: Sebastien Anderson, Sebastien Anderson Professional Law Corp., Najeeb Hassan, Heenan Blaikie, Lorene Novakowski, Fasken Martineau, Matt Yun, Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Nathaniel Russel, Courthouse Library
Meeting Title/Topic: Practice Management: Tips and Tricks of the Trade
Synopsis: The guest speakers discussed issues related to practice management for labour lawyers, including the use of technology in client development, case management and as part of a busy practice. Nathaniel Russell also discussed the free resources available to labour lawyers at the Courthouse Library's Reading Room.

December 17, 2013
Guest Speakers: David Garner, Labour Relations Board, Greg Mullaly, Health Sciences Association of British Columbia, and Jennifer Devins, Roper Greyell
Meeting Title/Topic: Judicial Review and Appeals
Synopsis: The guest speakers discussed recent cases and issues in judicial review under section 99 and appeal under section 100 of the Labour Relations Code.

February 6, 2014
Guest Speakers: Alan Winter, Harris & Co., and Stefanie Quelch, Victory Square Law Office
Meeting Title/Topic: Occupational Health and Safety Update: Bill 14 and Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
Synopsis: The guest speakers discussed WorkSafeBC's new occupational health and safety policies regarding bullying and harassment and the recent changes brought by Bill 14

April 10, 2014
Guest Speakers: Nitya Iyer, Lovett Westmacott, and Lindsay Lyster, Moore Edgar Lyster
Meeting Title/Topic: The Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta v. UFCW - implications for labour disputes and privacy legislation in BC
Synopsis: This was a joint Section meeting held with the Freedom of Information & Privacy Law Section. The guest speakers discussed the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta v. UFCW and implications of the decision for labour disputes and privacy legislation in BC. Ms. Iyer and Ms. Lyster were both counsel for interveners in this case. Ms. Iyer was counsel for the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia. Ms. Lyster was counsel for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

May 5, 2014
Guest Speakers:  Brett Mullin, Chair Labour Relations Board, Ken Saunders, Registrar Labour Relations Board,; Bruce Wilkins, Associate Chair - Adjudication Labour Relations Board, and Grant McArthur, Director of Mediation
Meeting Title/Topic: The "Bearpit: - Annual Relations Board Update
Synopsis: Guest speakers from the Labour Relations Board discussed recent key decisions, issues and trends and were available for questions from attendees.

June 10, 2014
Guest Speaker: Kevin Banks, Faculty of Law, Queen's University
Meeting Title/Topic: Annual Dinner - The Future of Labour Laws in Canada: Is a Race to the Bottom Inevitable?
Synopsis: Guest speaker Kevin Banks addressed patterns of change in labour legislation during the last decade and whether globalization is likely to drive change in our labour and employment laws.

Comments and Observations of the Co-Chair

We sincerely thank all of the guest speakers for volunteering their time and expertise and making this year's events so engaging and helpful for our members.

We were sad to see that Co-Chair Rosalie Cress, McCarthy T├ętrault LLP, has completed her time on the Labour Law Section Executive and thank her for all of her hard work over the last three years. We are excited to welcome Jennifer Craig of Roper Greyell as the new member of the Executive, filling the position of Secretary. Jennifer joins the continuing members of the Executive, Co-Chair Robyn Trask of British Columbia Teachers' Federation, Co-Chair Mark Colavecchia of Harris & Co and Treasurer Brett Matthews of Hastings Labour Law Office.

We expect that the coming Section year will address new cases and emerging topics on labour law. We will announce forthcoming meeting dates soon. We also invite any members of the Labour Law Section with thoughts or ideas regarding potential meeting topics to come forward and contact any member of the Labour Law Section Executive.