Labour Board - Members

The Chair, Vice-Chairs, and members of the Labour Board are appointed by the Governor in Council. The Chair is a full time position and the Vice-Chairs and members serve on a part-time basis. While members have generally gained their knowledge and experience from backgrounds in either labour or management, they swear to deal with the matters before them with utmost impartiality as part of their oath of office.

Chair/Vice-Chairs

Karen Hollett – Chair

Karen Hollett is the chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Board. Karen graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1991. She has a Master of Laws (2011) from Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to her appointment as Chair, Karen practised as a dispute resolution neutral with a practice including arbitration, mediations, workplace investigations and professional disciplinary matters. She also has extensive in-house labour relations experience on both the union and management sides. Karen is a member of the Canadian Bar Association's National Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) section executive. Ms. Hollett's present appointment runs until January 2021

Susan Ashley – Vice-Chair

Susan Ashley has practiced alternative dispute resolution, specializing in labour and employment arbitration and mediation, since 1993. Ms. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University. Her extensive arbitration experience has included acting as a Selector in the Final Offer Selection Process which ended the 2001 Nova Scotia healthcare professionals strike, and acting as a federal arbitrator imposing the final package for workers affected by the closure of the Cape Breton Development Corporation. Her extensive arbitration experience includes labour relations, occupational health and safety, human rights and employment matters.

Ms. Ashley has been a Vice-Chair (1993-1995) and Chair (1995-2003) of the former Labour Standards Tribunal, and a Vice-Chair (1996-1999 & 2006-2011) of the former Labour Relations Board/Construction Industry Panel. She was the Chair of the former Highway Workers Employee Relations Board and a former Associate Dean of the Dalhousie Law School. Ms. Ashley's present appointment runs until November 2020.

E.A. Nelson Blackburn, Q.C. – Vice-Chair

Nelson Blackburn is a senior partner at Blackburn English's Bedford office and has been practicing law since 1971. His areas of practice include corporate commercial, administrative law, litigation, real estate, family, wills and estates, labour, occupational health and safety and employment law. Mr. Blackburn holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University.

Mr. Blackburn has been a member of the former Labour Standards Tribunal since 2000 and served as its Chair since 2003. He serves as a labour arbitrator under the Nova Scotia Condominium Act and the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act and is a mediator in civil cases for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Mr. Blackburn has served on various provincial boards, as former Vice-Chair of the Labour Board, former Chair of the Insurance Review Board, former Chair of the Psychiatric Facility Review Board, former Vice-Chair of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, former Chair of the Nova Scotia Taxing Master Committee and former part-time member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. He currently sits as a Board of Inquiry under the Human Rights Act, as well as a member of the Pipeline Arbitration Committee which is a Federal Arbitration Board and is a Small Claims Court Adjudicator. Mr. Blackburn's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Frank E. DeMont, Q.C. – Vice Chair

Frank E. DeMont graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1989, was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in August of 1990, and is a sole practitioner living in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Operating under the business name DeMont Law, Mr. DeMont focuses on municipal law and corporate law. Operating under the business name of Resolve Arbitration and Mediation Services, his focus is arbitration and mediation of labour, employment and commercial law disputes.

Mr. DeMont holds the Qualified Mediator (Q. Med.) designation from the ADR Institute of Canada and is a Board Member of the ADR Atlantic Institute. He also holds an appointment to the Nova Scotia Minister of Labour's List of Arbitrators and is a Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and Chair of its Code of Professional Conduct Committee. Mr. DeMont's present appointment runs until May 2019.

Lorraine P. Lafferty, Q.C. – Vice-Chair

Lorraine Lafferty is an Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, where she has been teaching since 2006. She is also a former Associate Director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie. Prior to joining Dalhousie, she practiced law in Nova Scotia for 20 years with a notable concentration on labour law. Ms. Lafferty also carries on practice as a labour arbitrator and adjudicator. Ms. Lafferty's present appointment runs until July 2018.

Lynne J. Poirier: Vice-Chair

Fluently bilingual, Lynne J. Poirier graduated from L'Université de Moncton Law School in 1997. Living in Hammonds Plains, NS, she has been practising as a dispute resolution neutral since 2015, operating under the business name of Poirier ADR Inc. Her focus is the mediation and arbitration of labour and employment disputes, and the investigation of workplace misconduct. Before launching Poirier ADR Inc., Ms. Poirier practised law in-house in Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto. She also has extensive labour and employment law experience practising in national and boutique firms in Ottawa and Toronto.

Ms. Poirier is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (1999), the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society (2011), the Canadian Bar Association, as well as the ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) Institute of Canada. She is a Member of the Board of ADR Atlantic Institute, and holds the professional designations of Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) and Qualified Arbitrator (Q. Arb) from the ADR Institute of Canada. She also is a roster adjudicator for the Professional Institute of Public Service of Canada's disciplinary appeal panels under its Dispute Resolution and Discipline Policy. Ms. Poirier's appointment runs until April 2020.

Kathryn A. Raymond – Vice-Chair

Kathryn A. Raymond was appointed as a Vice-Chair of the Labour Board in 2013. In addition to the Labour Board, she holds appointments to the Nova Scotia Minister of Labour's List of Arbitrators, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry Roster, the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Arbitration Board (Chair), and the Nova Scotia Assessment Appeals Tribunal. She has extensive experience as neutral counsel to quasi-judicial and investigative tribunals responsible for professional regulation and discipline. She has also been consulted by government and stakeholders on the drafting of statutes.

Originally a member of the Ontario bar, Ms. Raymond was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1990. She maintains an active conflict resolution practice which includes arbitration, mediation, and med-arb. She also maintains an employment law practice, which includes representation of both employers and employees, and investigation of workplace-related disputes. She frequently speaks on topics related to her practice and experience. She is an active community volunteer, and has recently chaired committees for the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, and the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. Ms. Raymond's present appointment runs until May 2019.

Augustus Richardson, Q.C. – Vice-Chair

Gus Richardson was a Vice-Chair of the former Labour Relations Board since 2006. Mr. Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts from Essex University. He has conducted an active arbitration and mediation practice since 2003, and has served as an Adjudicator of the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court since 2001. His extensive arbitration experience includes labour relations, occupational health and safety and employment law matters. He is a member of both the Ontario (1984) and Nova Scotia bars (1990).

Mr. Richardson has taught business law at Saint Mary's University, and has been a guest lecturer on costs at the Dalhousie Law School. He is consulted frequently on motor vehicle, professional liability and product liability issues. He has published a number of papers on a variety of legal issues. Mr. Richardson's present appointment runs until November 2020.


Employee Members

John Franco Callegari

John Franco Callegari was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Callegari has significant knowledge and experience in matters pertaining to the Board. He has been involved in different aspects of the unionized construction industry in excess of 30 years, with the last 20 years in the capacity of a Labour Representative. Mr. Callegari has been a Business Manager with the Labourers' International Union of North America, Local 15 since 2000. Mr. Callegari has, and continues to make contributions to his community in both a professional and voluntary capacity. Mr. Callegari's present appointment runs until November 20, 2020.

Robin Clark

Robin D. Clark was appointed to the Labour Board in March 2014. Mr. Clark has over forty years of experience in public safety and occupational health and safety. He is trained in labour relations, negotiation and conflict resolution, and public and police sector management. He holds several occupational health and safety designations, and works as an occupational health and safety consultant. Mr. Clark's appointment runs until April 2020.

Cordell Cole

Cordell Cole was a member of the former Labour Relations Board (Construction Industry Panel) since November 2007. Mr. Cole is an interprovincial journeyman electrician with over 20 years' experience in the electrical industry. He is the President of the Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction Trades Council, and has been the Business Manager/Financial Secretary of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 625 since 2002. Mr. Cole's present appointment runs until September 2018

Kenneth Estabrooks

Kenneth Estabrooks was a member of the former Labour Relations Board (Construction Industry Panel) since April 2002. Mr. Estabrooks is the Director of the Operating Engineers Trade School and a former President/Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 721 from 1989 to 2011. He has significant knowledge and experience with labour law and collective agreements and is recognized for his labour relations experience. He has served on building trades and labour councils. Mr. Estabrooks' present appointment runs until September 2018.

Tom Griffiths

Tom Griffiths was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Griffiths is an Assistant Business Manager with IBEW, Local 625. Prior to this position, he was responsible for union recruitment and community relations as the Membership Development Officer. Mr. Griffiths has been a delegate of the Building Trades for over 10 years. Mr. Griffiths has significant knowledge and experience in Labour Relations. Mr. Griffith's present appointment runs until November 2019.

Gloria Ley-Spencer

Gloria Ley-Spencer has been an employee of the Workers' Compensation Board for 17 years. She has been a Case Manager since 2007 with responsibility for workplace injury/labour issues. She has in-depth knowledge of workplace safety issues, working closely with employers, workers, unions, and health service providers. Ms. Ley-Spencer's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Joseph M. MacLellan

Joseph MacLellan was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. MacLellan has been the President and Business Manager with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 721 & 721B since 2007. He represents over 1600 people within the province and has effectively negotiated a variety of collective agreements for construction and non-construction companies. He is Trustee for the International Union of Operating Engineers Pension and Benefits Plan; and is a Committee member of the Canadian Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship. Mr. MacLellan's present appointment runs until November 2010.

Edward MacNeil

Eddie MacNeil was a member of the former Labour Relations Board (Construction Industry Panel) since October 1972. Mr. MacNeil gained significant experience in union/management relations through his involvement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He has over 40 years' experience in the construction industry where he gained significant knowledge and experience in occupational health and safety. He has also served on a variety of boards and review committees. Mr. MacNeil's present appointment runs until November 2020.

A. Ross Mitchell

A. Ross Mitchell was a member of the former Labour Standards Tribunal since February 2010. Mr. Mitchell is a former Director of Labour Standards in Nova Scotia from 1976 to his retirement in 2003. After retirement, Mr. Mitchell was employed with the office of the Nova Scotia Ombudsman as an Ombudsman Representative, which included work with the Wrongdoing Section of this office. He has significant knowledge and experience in Labour Standards, and occupational health and safety, and has experience with labour relations matters. Mr. Mitchell's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Thomas Patterson

Tom Patterson was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since August 2004. Mr. Patterson's labour relations career spans over 30 years. For much of his career, he served as the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union. Mr. Patterson has significant knowledge and experience in occupational health and safety, employment and labour relations matters, including administering and negotiating collective agreements and conducting labour relations educational programs. Mr. Patterson's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Linda Power

Linda Power was appointed as a member of the Board in 2010. From 1989 until 2009, Ms. Power worked in progressively more senior positions in the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU). She was Executive Director of the NSGEU from 2003 until her retirement in 2009. Ms. Power is experienced in all aspects of labour relations including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and collective agreement administration. Ms. Power's present appointment runs until April 2020.

Deborah Ryan

Deborah Ryan was a member of the former Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel since February 1997. Ms. Ryan is a director on the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and a former Employee Relations Officer for Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union. She has extensive knowledge of labour relations including contract interpretation and negotiation, and has experience with labour standards matters. She is a member of the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council and was an Occupational Health and Safety instructor for provincial employees. Ms. Ryan's present appointment runs until October 2019.

Betty Jean Sutherland

Betty Jean Sutherland was a member of the former Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel since February 1997. She completed several terms on the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council. Ms. Sutherland now serves the Workers' Compensation Board of Directors. She has 25 years' experience as a personal care worker. She is a former President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (“CUPE”) and Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. She is presently employed as a National Servicing Representative for CUPE. Ms. Sutherland's present appointment runs until October 2019.

Wayne Thomas

Wayne Thomas was appointed to the Labour Board in March 2014. Mr. Thomas has worked as a National Servicing Representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees since 1993, and presently is CUPE's Nova Scotia Acute Care Co-Ordinator. He has been a Trustee of the Nova Scotia Health Employees' Pension Plan (“NSHEPP”) since 2005, acted as chair from June 2013 to May 2014, served as a member of the Joint Steering Committee which developed and implemented the NSHEPP Joint Trust Agreement, and sits on the Plan Investment Committee. Mr. Thomas' appointment runs until April 2020.

Larry Wark

Larry Wark was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since November 2010. Mr. Wark is a former Area Director of the Canadian Auto Workers' Union (CAW Canada). He has over 40 years representing unionized employees where he gained experience and knowledge in occupational health and safety matters. Mr. Wark has extensive labour relations experience including union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, and representation at arbitration proceedings. Mr. Wark is on the Advisory Committee to the Non-Binding Arbitration Program (formerly known as the Labour Management Forum), and is a member of the Arbitration Advisory Committee. Mr. Wark's present appointment runs until September 2018.

John Wilson

John Wilson was appointed to the Board in November 2017. Mr. Wilson is a retired Business Manager (2011 – 2016) with the Ironworkers, Local 752. He was also the President, Training Coordinator and Business Agent (1996 – 2011). Mr. Wilson has extensive knowledge, skills and experience in labour relations. He has been involved in the unionized construction industry in a variety of roles for over 40 years. Mr. Wilson has served a delegate on the Ironworkers District Council of Eastern Canada, the Mainland Building Trade Council, and the Cape Breton Island Building Trades Council. Mr. Wilson's present appointment runs until November 2019.


Employer Members

Rick Anderson

Rick Anderson was appointed to the Labour Board in September 2015. Mr. Anderson has over 40 years of broad Human Resources and Labour Relations experience gained in the Municipal and Provincial sectors. During his career, he has worked as a negotiator, mediator, Senior Administrator, presented at Interest arbitration and on occasion sat as an arbitration board member. Immediately prior to retirement in 2013 he served 12 years as Senior Director, Health Sector Labour Relations for the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. His present appointment runs until September 2018.

Sylvester Atkinson

Sylvester Atkinson was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since September 1995. Mr. Atkinson is a former Mayor and Councilor of Middleton, Nova Scotia. He has served on a variety of boards, and been recognized for his outstanding service with numerous volunteer organizations, and has experience and knowledge in occupational health and safety matters. Mr. Atkinson's present appointment runs until April 2020.

Clayton Bartlett

Clayton Bartlett was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Bartlett is Manager Special Projects with ROCLAN Construction (a div. of DORA Construction). As one of the co-founders of ROCLAN, he has built up a wealth of construction knowledge and experience. Mr. Bartlett has been a member of the NSCLRA negotiations committee for the past 30 years. He is a member of the Board of Directors with the Horizon Achievement Centre, providing gainful employment and education for adults with physical and learning disabilities. He sits on the Board of Trustees for the Cape Breton Island Building Trades Stabilization Fund. Mr. Bartlett's present appointment funs until 2019.

Kenneth Chisholm

Kenneth Chisholm was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Chisholm is an Atlantic Regional Rep with the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction. He represents over 100 members in the Atlantic Canada Steel Industry, focusing on the promotion of steel in the construction industry. Mr. Chisholm has served as Project Manager and Labour Relations Advisor for several major contractors across Canada since 2008. Prior to this, he was a Business Representative with the Carpenters Union for 9 years. Mr. Chisholm was a member of the Board of Directors with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (2015 – 2010); and Past Chairman, Executive, Board of Directors with the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council (1998 – 2015). Mr. Chisholm's present appointment runs until 2020.

Gary Dean

Gary Dean was a member of the former Labour Relations Board (Construction Industry Panel) since October 1991. Mr. Dean is currently employed as a construction and labour relations consultant, and also resolves jurisdictional disputes as an arbitrator of the Canadian Building Trades Association. His past experience includes acting as a Labour Relations Umpire for the Voisey's Bay Project, where he resolved jurisdictional disputes among building trades unions; past Chair of the construction management Bureau; and past Chair of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia. He has significant knowledge and experience in occupational health and safety matters. Mr. Dean's present appointment runs until September 2020.

George Fox

George Fox has been an Employer Member of the former Labour Relations Board and current Labour Board since October 2006, with his present appointment running until September 2018.

He has held a variety of senior executive positions within the Nova Scotia Provincial Government, including Deputy Minister of the Departments of Labour and Environment; Chair of the Skills NS Task Force and Deputy Ministers Steering Committee on Restructuring; as well as Director of Corporate Services and Staff Relations with the NS Department of Human Resources (now the NS Public Service Commission), including 10 years as the Province's Chief Negotiator in collective bargaining; Chief Executive Officer, NS Public Sector Compensation Restraint Board; and Chair, Board of Trustees, NS Public Service Long Term Disability Plan Trust Fund.

As Deputy Minister of the Department of Labour, he was accountable for ensuring employment and labour relations policy and practice within the Province of Nova Scotia were administered in a fair and consistent manner within the broad legislative framework of Labour Standards Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Trade Union Act, and oversaw the department's provision of neutral third party conciliation, mediation and dispute resolution between labour and management in unionized private and public sector collective bargaining. During 10 years as the Province's Chief Negotiator, he led collective bargaining with the NS Government and General Employees Union under the legislative umbrella of the Civil Service Collective Bargaining Act, as well advising during labour negotiations under the Corrections Act, the Highway Workers' Collective Bargaining Act, and the Teachers' Collective Bargaining Act.

George L. Hall

George Hall was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since August 2004. Mr. Hall was involved in the development of the Nova Scotia Civil Services Collective Bargaining Act. Mr. Hall held several senior positions in the Nova Scotia Civil Service during a career that spanned more than 30 years where he gained significant experience in labour relations, employment and occupational health and safety matters. He then spent 7 years in the private sector in a consulting role where he dealt with a wide range of human resources issues. He is a former Board Member of the Institute of Public Affairs of Canada, and served as a member of the Dalhousie School of Public Administration Advisory Board. Mr. Hall's present appointment runs until October 2018.

Demetri Kachafanas

Demetri Kachafanas was a member of the former Labour Standards Tribunal since December 2006. Mr. Kachafanas is the Assistant Regional Solicitor for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality with a concentration in the areas of Labour and Employment Law, Administrative Law and Civil Litigation. Mr. Kachafanas also has experience and knowledge of occupational health and safety matters. Mr. Kachafanas' present appointment runs until September 2018.

Gordon MacLean

Gordon MacLean has more than 40 years' experience in human resources management and labour relations. He held various senior positions in the Cape Breton coal industry with Devco including Vice President of Human Resources. He was Director of Human Resources at Cape Breton University for 5 years and was subsequently employed by the Province of Nova Scotia for 13 years where he held the position of Executive Director, Employee Relations & Compensation. He has negotiated many collective agreements and is very familiar with all forms of labour relations activities. Currently retired, he serves on the Board for the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and the Nova Scotia Teachers' Pension Plan, as well as the Labour Board. Mr. MacLean's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Robert McArel

Robert McArel was a member of the former Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel since April 2000. Mr. McArel has held increasingly senior positions in occupational health and safety, human resources and labour relations in the chemical, heavy steel fabrication, public utility and health care sectors. He has significant knowledge and experience with occupational health and safety and labour relations. He has served on various associations including the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Council. Mr. McArel's present appointment runs until October 2019.

J. Harris McNamara

J. Harris McNamara was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. McNamara is the Health and Safety and Security Director on the Maritime Link project for Emera. His responsibilities include liaising with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for health and safety issues, and working with unions to improve health and safety standards on construction sites both provincially and nationally. Mr. McNamara held various positions of increasing health, safety and security responsibilities with Emera over his 32-year career, including Director – Emera Safety, and NSP Safety Manager and Safety Specialist. He has significant knowledge and experience in the construction industry. Mr. McNamara is Co-Chair of the OHS Advisory Council; is member of the Board of Directors for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia; and, Chairperson for the Canadian Electricity Association. Mr. McNamara's present appointment runs until November 2020.

Adrian Morrison

Adrian Morrison was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Morrison is a Regional Vice President of Black & McDonald Limited, responsible for Atlantic Canada and Bermuda. Mr. Morrison has significant knowledge and experience in the construction industry. Mr. Morrison chaired the CANS-IWK Capital Campaign in 2014 – 15 which raised over $1.5M to help renovate and modernize the NICU. He is a champion of Techsploration, an organization providing young women with opportunities to explore science, trades and technology occupations. He served for many years as a Director of the Millwrights Trade Classification with CLRA. Mr. Morrison's present appointment runs until November 2019.

Robert Shepherd

Robert Shepherd was appointed to the Labour Board in November 2017. Mr. Shepherd is the President/Owner of a Consulting Services Company providing operational and business management services to companies in the Construction, Marine and Offshore Business Sectors. He was the President and CEO/Owner of the Guildfords Group of Company (2005 – 2017). Mr. Shepherd has 40 years of experience working in the construction sector, and 34 years in the management/ownership positions throughout Atlantic Canada. He has knowledge and experience in collective bargaining, labour relations, the Labour Standards Code, the Trade Union Act and the OHS Act. Mr. Shepherd is a member of the Board of Directors of the NS Construct6ion Labour Relations Association and a Trustee of Local 116 Insulators Skill Fund. Mr. Shepherd's present appointment runs until November 2019.

Allan Stapleton

Allan Stapleton was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since 2009. Mr. Stapleton is the President of the Nova Scotia Construction Labour Relations Association Limited. He serves as a board member on a number of construction-related committees and has over 35 years of experience in the unionized construction sector. Mr. Stapleton's present appointment runs until September 2018.

Donna VanBuskirk

Donna VanBuskirk was a member of the former Labour Relations Board since September 1995. Ms. VanBuskirk is the Manager of Human Resources, Purolator Inc. She has 30 years' experience in the field of Human Resources and has significant knowledge and experience in labour relations, collective bargaining, occupational health and safety, and employment matters. She is a member of the Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia and a former Chair of their Professional Accreditation Committee. Ms. VanBuskirk's present appointment runs until September 2018.