Peter A Allard School of Law

Mapping the Future of Canadian Labour Law

SFU Labour Studies Program
Event Description 

Canada’s labour law model was designed in the 1940s in response to economic, social, and political pressures of that period. The ‘Canadian Wagner model’ worked well enough as a vehicle for facilitating and controlling collective bargaining in those sectors for which it was designed, mainly large scale manufacturing and mining. However, the influence and reach of the Wagner model in the North American private sector has been in decline for decades. Every century reinvents labour law and at nearly the quarter-mark of the 21st century, we are still using a crumbling model designed 80 years ago. Change is coming, that much seems clear. However, there is little agreement on what comes next, ‘after the Wagner model’. In this lecture, Professor Doorey will argue that the future of labour law is unlikely to come in the form of a sudden tsunami that sweeps away the Wagner model and replaces it with something entirely different. Change will come in more subtle forms that ascend and descend from the Wagner model while leaving the basic infrastructure of 20th century labour law mostly in tact.

This event qualifies for 1.5 hours of CPD credit.

David Doorey
David Doorey

David Doorey is a Professor of Work Law at York University and a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. He served as Academic Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s specialist LLM program in Labour and Employment Law from 2010-2022 and he was the Canadian representative on Harvard Law School’s Clean Slate for Worker Power project studying the future of U.S. labour law. His research on labour and employment law, legal theory, global labour supply chains, and the intersection of labour and climate change law has been published in leading Canadian and International academic journals. His leading text The Law of Work is used in universities and colleges across Canada, and his Law of Work blog is a multiple recipient of Canadian Law Blog Award as the top law blog in Canada. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B, Ph.D), the London School of Economics (LLM Labour Law), and the University of Toronto (B.A., M.I.R.). Professor Doorey was called to the Bars of Ontario and British Columbia where he practiced labour law before returning to academia.


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Remote participants will receive the Zoom link on March 20.

  • Allard School of Law
  • General Public
  • Continuing Professional Development
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