In Memoriam - Paul C. Weiler (1939-2021)
It is with great sadness that we advise you that Paul C. Weiler passed away on July 7, 2021.
From his beginnings in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Paul forged an indelible path in labour relations that has guided many of those that followed.
In 1972, the Minister of Labour in the Dave Barrett NDP government, John King, forged a new approach to labour relations in BC. The new Labour Relations Code marked a daring and new way to address labour relations, creating the first independent board in Canada with the exclusive authority to resolve labour relations matters.
Paul was appointed the first Chair of this new Labour Relations Board in 1973, a time when BC was facing an unprecedented degree of labour relations upheaval. Though he only served one term, his pragmatism, intelligence, and deep understanding of workplaces and labour relations resulted in a body of Board jurisprudence that still resonates with the same force it did almost 50 years ago.
Paul continued to contribute to labour relations in so many important ways throughout his long and illustrious career.
He authored seminal texts, including Reconcilable Differences: New Directions in Canadian Labour Law, Entertainment, Media and the Law, Sports and the Law, Leveling the Playing Field: How the Law Can Make Sports Better for Fans, and Governing the Workplace: The Future of Labor and Employment Law.
He was a highly respected teacher and influenced innumerable law students over the years He was the MacKenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies and later the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he remained a Professor Emeritus until his death. Paul also helped to expand the Harvard Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School – ensuring a continuing interest in and understanding of the importance of labour relations. His scholarship and contributions reached beyond labour relations into health law and policy, torts, the environment, and discrimination.
In 2016, Paul C. Weiler was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Paul’s achievements and contributions are many. The insightful scholarship and jurisprudence he leaves behind continue to guide and influence labour relations policy, and will continue to do so in the years to come.
We extend our deepest condolences to Paul’s family and loved ones at this very sad time. And we share, with the entire labour relations family, a deep sense of loss.
Jacquie de Aguayo (she/her)
Chair, BC Labour Relations Board