First Reference Talks invites subject matter experts, human resources and payroll professionals and lawyers to express their views on human resources, employment and Labour law (employment/labour standards, health and safety, human rights, pay equity, workers’ compensation etc.), accessibility standards and payroll in Canada. As a publisher of human resource compliance print and electronic publications and policies and procedures, First Reference strives to provide Canadian businesses with the most straightforward, authoritative and cost-effective resources.
Our audience is primarily small to medium size businesses and not-for-profits, human resources and health and safety professionals and consultants, legal professionals, human rights and accessibility advocates, and others working in HR, payroll, finance and accounting. As ever, our aim is to share knowledge, offer suggestions and recommendations, and provoke discussions and comments. But please note: we do not offer legal advice.
We have a list of regular contributors (see below) and we hope you enjoy our posts and find them useful. We love to hear from our readers, so please submit your comments to our blog entries.
If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become a regular guest blogger or occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Blog Authors
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., was called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practised business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 13 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. She regularly contributes content to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk, Human Resources Advisor and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro. She is also a regular contributor to Slaw and the Canadian Payroll Association online member newsletter eSource. She manages the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) of Ontario’s monthly member e-newsletter ELAW. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour law including health and safety and human rights, payroll and accessibility standards across the country.
Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a top-notch researcher, content provider and copy editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications, and oversees the Inside Internal Controls blog. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, government policies, information technology and labour market trends.
Christina Catenacci, B.A., LL. B., was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002. Since then, Christina has held associate positions in law firms in Hamilton and Barrie, Ontario, in the areas of business and employment law. She is a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Simcoe County Law Association. Since February 2005, Christina has been the content editor to The Human Resources Advisor Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions (print and electronic). She contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications on the topics of employment and labour law.
Regular Guest Bloggers
Stuart Rudner is a leading HR Lawyer and a founding partner of Rudner MacDonald LLP, a firm specializing in Canadian Employment Law. He provides clients with strategic advice regarding all aspects of the employment relationship, and represents them before courts, mediators and tribunals. In 2008, he appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario in Honda v. Keays, one of the most important employment law cases of the last decade. He speaks and writes frequently on HR Law issues, and provides updates on Twitter @CanadianHRLaw. He is the author of You’re Fired! Just Cause for Dismissal in Canada, a textbook and database of summary dismissal cases published by Carswell. Stuart also founded and moderates the Canadian HR Law Group on LinkedIn, where you can discuss issues with colleagues and experts. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks. He can be reached at email@example.com
Andrew Lawson is a human rights and health and safety trainer and advisor, currently consulting to both the federal and Ontario governments. Since 1996, he has conducted extensive legal research in the areas of human rights and occupational health and safety law. He has worked in the people management business for over 25 years. Drawing on his extensive research and experience, he teaches employers how to develop policies and practices that build on the experience of other professionals. His career has provided him with the opportunity to work in the health care sector, with disabled persons, in customer care and in legal services. He has conducted workshops for hundreds of groups in every province of Canada, throughout the United States and in Australia. His teaching takes the form of interesting, interactive and informative workshops. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk and the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario ELAW member newsletter in the area of management and employee workplace training.
Earl Altman is a partner at Garfinkle, Biderman . He obtained his undergraduate degree at Carleton University before earning his LL.B. at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Since he was called to the Ontario Bar in 1983, Earl has practised commercial and employment litigation. Earl’s litigation practice focuses on employment disputes, including acting for employees and employers in wrongful dismissal claims, and in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He also handles a variety of commercial disputes, including claims arising out of disputes within partnerships, and among shareholders, as well as disputes between commercial landlords and tenants. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk and the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario ELAW member newsletter on the topics of employment and labour law in Ontario.
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the business immigration group of Blaney McMurtry LLP. Henry obtained his Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1990 and was admitted to the practice of law in the state of California and the province of Ontario in 1992. Henry is also registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the Law Society of Upper Canada, which is a requirement for all lawyers who provide advice on the law of a foreign jurisdiction. A recognized authority in the field of United States and Canadian immigration law, Mr. Chang lectures extensively on the subject in both the United States and Canada. His written work has appeared in numerous nationally and internationally recognized legal publications, including Immigration Law and Procedure, which has been cited in over 300 federal court decisions. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, HRinfodesk and the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario ELAW member newsletter in the area of corporate immigration. You can learn more about Henry and his work on his website.
Suzanne Cohen Share holds a master’s degree in Health Policy and Critical Disabilities, including disability law. Suzanne is a well-known cross-disability accessibility expert and consultant, a popular lecturer, trainer, researcher and author. She has taught at York University and Brock University, and was on the Accessible Built Environment Standard Development Committee for the Province of Ontario. Suzanne is the proprietor of Access (SCS) Consulting Services. She has diverse skills, with over 25 years experience as a business consultant. She contributes regularly to First Reference Talks on accessibility standards and human rights.
David Hyde, M.Sc, CPC is a security and business risk consultant, author and educator with 26 years of broad-based leadership experience. He is Principal Consultant with David Hyde and Associates and in this role is a trusted advisor to a number of Canada’s top corporations on operational and reputational due diligence matters. David was formerly Director of National Security for Cadillac Fairview, a $17 billion global commercial real estate corporation. Since 2005 he has taught crime risk management courses within the Faculty of Continuing Education at the University of Calgary. David holds a M.Sc in Security and Risk Management from the University of Leicester and is a graduate of the Security Executives Development Program at The Wharton School. He is certified to perform Threat Risk Assessments by the International Security Management and Crime Prevention Institute (ISMCPI) and holds advance level certification in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). You can learn more about David’s work and writings on his firm’s website or business Facebook page.
Matt Lalande – Matt is a lawyer at the Oakville location of Will Davidson. Although Matt is specialized in representing those who have suffered harm by the wrongs of others, Matt has particular emphasis on wrongful death, personal injury and employment law. For nearly a decade Matt has been helping accident victims and the families of wrongful death victims recover the compensation that they deserve. Along with this, Matt has representing employers and employees within all facets of employment law and human rights law. You can reach Matt by visiting Will Davidson website, or by writing him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Scheffler, M.A., CHRP Candidate – Marcia is a Human Resources Generalist with M.A. working full-time as a Senior HR Officer. Interested in the intersection of human resources theory and current best practices in HR. Strong organizational development focus with an eye for business strategy and change management. Enthusiastic promoter of people and teams. Passionate about driving human resources to support sustainable corporate social responsibility in business practices and about using the CSR model to promote principled human resources management. Enjoyment of hiking, volleyball and family balance out her work and research pursuits.
Alison Bird – Alison is a lawyer practising in Halifax with the Atlantic regional law firm, Cox & Palmer. Alison is growing her pratice in the areas of labour & employment and litigation. She earned her law degree at the University of New Brunswick in 2010 and was subsequently called to the Nova Scotia bar the following year. She was the recipient of the Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship in Law (2007 – 2010) as well as many other academic awards. Alison is a frequent presenter on employment law topics and recently presented on the challenges being faced by employers dealing with changing demographics in the workplace.
Amery Boyer, CHRP, MBA is a Human Resources professional with extensive experience in human resources, staffing and employee relations for both the private and public sectors and various levels of governments. She graduated from the University of Ottawa and obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University in 1993. From 1996 to 1998, she was a member of the faculty of the Department of Management at Saint Mary’s University where she taught staffing, staff development, organizational behaviour and wage and salary administration to third and fourth year Commerce students under the Human Resources Certificate Program. Amery was also the founder and owner of The Human Element, a bilingual organizational design and human asset management business from April 1996 to 2010. She is also a contributing editor of The Human Resources Advisor, Atlantic edition published by First Reference.
Anna Aceto-Guerin, is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP). She is President and owner of Clear Path Employer Services, a full service HR consulting firm she founded in 2003. Anna has a particular specialty in WSIB clams management and NEER cost containment, focusing on return-to-work programs and acquiring SIEF cost relief for our customers. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an HR professional, including tenure at a national retail chain with over 20,000 unionized and non-unionized employees as well as a manufacturing firm in Guelph. Anna holds a professional designation through the HRPA of Ontario as well as a Diploma in Accounting and Finance from Ryerson University. She has an extensive understanding of relevant legislation, including the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the Ontario Labour Relations Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA). Anna currently serves as President Elect of the Grand Valley Human Resources Professionals Association (GVHRPA) and sits on the Employer Advisory Council’s WSIB Service Delivery Model Working Committee. She is actively involved in various charities and volunteers as an HR resource for a local non-profit organization. Clear Path may have other employees blog on their behalf from time to time.
Simon Heath, BA, MIR, LLB, is the Principal of Heath Law, Employment Lawyers, in Mississauga, Ontario. Simon was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2002 after obtaining his law degree at Queen’s University. Subsequently, he was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2003. Prior to law school, Simon obtained a BA at the University of Toronto in 1998, and his MIR at Queen’s University in 1999. Simon represents both public and private-sector employers and employees (unionized and non-unionized) at all stages of the employment relationship with a focus in the areas of employment law, labour law and human rights law; these representations are made at all levels of courts and all administrative tribunals. Specifically, Simon’s employment law practice involves all aspects of wrongful dismissal, assisting in the management of workplace disputes, preparing employment contracts and independent contractor agreements and ensuring his clients are in compliance with the every growing statutory regime governing employment in Ontario and in the federal jurisdiction.
When Simon is not practicing law he can be found on the ski slopes in the Winter and training for his next marathon on a year round basis (to date he has completed 12 marathons and over 40 half marathons). He’s also an avid music fan. . He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks in the area of employment and labour law. You can reach Simon by visiting his website at http://www.heathlaw.ca/ or by email at email@example.com.
Stringer LLPis a leader in Canadian HR law. For over 45 years, they have taken a client-centered approach to responsive service, representing employers with labour relations and employment problems. They regularly advise and represent clients on a wide variety of matters, from day-to-day issues to corporate transactions and major pieces of litigation. Their firm’s practice covers a broad spectrum of HR law, including employment law, occupational health & safety, labour relations and arbitration, human rights, workers’ compensation and pay equity, as well as issues under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. They also provide training, seminars and conferences on the above topics. Several exceptional lawyers will be blogging regularly on First Reference Talks on behalf of Stringer LLP.
Michele Glassford, is a lawyer, researcher and policy analyst with a background in labour law. Michele graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and York University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994. In addition to a part-time law practice in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Michele has worked in the field of labour adjustment for the Health Sector Training and Adjustment Program and has been a Researcher for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Michele also holds the position of Vice President and Managing Editor with D.R. Hancocks & Associates Inc., author of the Human Resources PolicyPros’. Michele is the Editor of Human Resources PolicyPro, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, and Atlantic editions, published by First Reference Inc. She will be blogging on First Reference Talks about best practices in relations to workplace policies and procedures.
Doug MacLeod has been practicing employment and labour law for almost 25 years. He represents employers and employees on all aspects of the employment relationship. Among other things, Doug advises on the implications of new labour and employment laws. He also mediates workplace disputes; primarily wrongful dismissal actions. He speaks and writes frequently on employment law issues. You can follow him on twitter @dougmacleodCAN or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Past Blog Authors
John Proctor is one of the leading experts in human risk and travel risk management in Canada and is recognized internationally in this capacity. He has been responsible for the development of all of the federal captivity survival programs currently in use in Canada today and has helped several other countries with their own systems. He regularly provides advice internationally in this field to both government and corporate organizations. He initiated and designed the only captivity survival instructor’s course in Canada and has also actively supported and advised a number of Government departments on recent Canadian captivity incidents. John has 22 years experience in the British and Canadian forces.
Alan R. McEwen‘s involvement in payroll spans over 20 years. As a practitioner, he has implemented and managed outsourced payroll operations for both large and small employers. This includes founding Outsourcing Canadian Payroll Inc. in Canada, the US and the UK in 2001. As a consultant, he has worked with many organizations, public and private, on HR/payroll process re-engineering, strategic systems decisions and forensic payroll audits. As a noted public speaker, Alan has provided payroll training in a variety of formats, from short sessions at conferences and trade shows, to one-day training sessions and college-based professional certification courses. As a writer, Alan’s writings have appeared in all of the major publications read by Canadian payroll professionals. He has also held volunteer and staff positions with the Canadian Payroll Association, on its Federal and Provincial Government Relations Committees, its Board of Governors and at its National Office in Toronto. Since 2004, Alan has sat on the Board of Referees in the Niagara region, an administrative panel that hears appeals from decisions of the EI Commission.
Andrew Taillon is a lawyer in Cox & Palmer‘s Halifax office. He practises mainly in labour, employment and litigation. He completed a B.A. at Mount Allison University and an M.A. at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom before working as a rural economic development consultant in Newfoundland. He then attended Dalhousie Law School where he was the recipient of the J. Gerald Godsoe Scholarship. He was also a member of the Dalhousie team for the Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark Labour Arbitration Moot and the winner of the Robert A. Samek Memorial Prize in jurisprudence and legal philosophy. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks on the topics of employment and labour law in the Atlantic provinces.
Lauren Bride, B.A. (English Literature / Philosophy) is a writer, copywriter, and editor, working in both fiction and nonfiction. She has done extensive writing and editing for commercial, private, and government clients, as well as storyediting and fiction publication. Lauren also volunteers with the not for profit group NABORS (Toronto). Lauren will be blogging for the Inside Internal Controls and First Reference Talks blog on disability awareness and peer support around inclusion for people with disabilities, among other business related topics with a focus on not for profits.
Ian J. Cook MA, MBA, CHRP, continues to pursue a fascination for people and business. His quest to understand what it takes for organizations, and the people in them, to thrive has led to many fantastic career stages. Ian has been an entrepreneur, an operational manager and spent 10 years, consulting to some of the World’s leading companies. He currently heads up BC HRMA’s research and learning services. The corner stone of this work is the HR Metrics Service which has fast become Canada’s leading source of HR data and analysis. Our mission is to make HR measurement common practice and unequivocally prove the value of great people practices. He has an MA from Edinburgh University, an MBA from Lancaster University and is a Certified Human Resources Professional. In his spare time he can be found exploring BC’s amazing outdoors, with his wife and young family.