John Craig’s practice is focused on providing strategic advice to employers, and representing them before arbitrators, labour relations boards, human rights tribunals and the courts. He is a leading federal sector labour lawyer, and many of his clients operate nationally and internationally. Over the past 15 years, John has acted as counsel in the leading constitutional cases impacting labour law.
In order to represent the interests of his clients and Canadian employers generally, John regularly attends meetings of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour (IACML). John serves as a member of the Executive Committee of CEATAL, the hemispheric organization that represents employers within the OAS. He is an official spokesperson of CEATAL.
John began his career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer and Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1994. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in comparative and international labour law from the University of Oxford, has been an Assistant Professor with the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law since 1999, and is the Co-Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional LLM in Labour and Employment Law. His many publications include Privacy and Employment Law, Globalization and the Future of Labour Law, and Federal Labour Law and Practice.
A recognized expert in labour, employment and human rights law, John has been ranked in leading legal directories including the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Best Lawyers in Canada, Who’s Who Legal and Chambers Canada.
UFCW v. MedReleaf (now Aurora)
Labour relations on Ontario farms is governed by the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA). In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a constitutional challenge to the AEPA and found that the statute satisfied the freedom of association requirements of section 2(d) of the Charter (Ontario v. Fraser, 2011 SCC 20). The trade union that brought the Fraser case commenced a new constitutional challenge to the AEPA, which was heard by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (AFRAAT). The hearing began in October 2019 and a decision was issued in August 2020 upholding the constitutionality of the AEPA. The case is now before Ontario’s Divisional Court on judicial review, with a hearing scheduled for June 2021.
John Craig served as lead counsel to the Labour Issues Coordinating Committee (“LICC”), the organization representing Ontario’s agricultural employers, in both the Fraser and MedReleaf cases. He is continuing to act for the LICC in the current judicial review proceeding.
Canada Post Binding Arbitration with Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
In November 2018 Parliament enacted the Postal Services Resumption and Continuation Act (Bill C-89) bringing an end to a strike at Canada Post and requiring the employer and its largest union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), to engage in a binding interest arbitration process to settle the terms of collective agreements for two separate bargaining units. Fasken is representing Canada Post in the binding arbitration. The process, which formally began in January 2019, came to an end with an arbitration award issued in June 2020. John Craig served as lead counsel to Canada Post throughout the binding arbitration process
Rouge River Farms Inc. v. Director of Employment Standards and Ontario Labour Relations Board
Rouge River Farms succeeded in overturning an Ontario Labour Relations Board decision at the Divisional Court, thereby confirming that an Ontario farm is not required to provide overtime pay to its farm workers. John Craig was lead counsel to Rouge River Farms.
Telecommunications Workers Union v. TELUS
The Telecommunications Workers Union (Union) brought a policy grievance against TELUS seeking rights of notice, information and consultation in respect of all requests made by a bargaining unit member for an accommodation (disability, family status, religion, etc.). After an initial arbitration decision favouring the Union’s position, TELUS succeed on judicial review in both the BC Supreme Court and the BC Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada ultimately refused the Union’s application for leave to appeal. John Craig acted as lead counsel to TELUS before all levels of court.
Best Lawyers® in Canada
Labour and Employment Law
Canadian Legal Lexpert®
Employment Law – Employer
Canadian Legal Lexpert®
Labour Law – Management
Chambers and Partners Canada
Employment and Labour – Ontario
Who's Who Legal
Labour and Employment – Canada
Who's Who Legal 100
Labour and Employment
Legal 500 Canada
Labour and Employment
International Who's Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers