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John Brewin

Counsel to the firm, John has earned a strong reputation as a persuasive and effective advocate. He has also consistently secured excellent results for employees and unions in mediation proceedings. In 2012 John was selected by his peers for inclusion in a list of the Best Lawyers in Canada in employment and labour law.

Over the past 13 years with RWBH, after his return to Ontario from British Columbia, John has achieved successful results, through both litigation and mediation, for clients in a wide range of cases: accommodation and human rights, job competitions, discharge and discipline cases, harassment and bullying violations, occupational health and safety matters, classification grievances, and on collective agreement interpretation issues. John has also provided internal constitutional and public policy advice to unions and other organizations.

John appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 as co-counsel for the B.C. Government Employees' Union in the ground-breaking Meiorin accommodation/human rights case.

John co-authored with Derek Fudge of the National Union of Public and General Employees an insightful analysis of the erosion of public sector bargaining rights in Canada, Free Collective Bargaining: Human Right or Canadian Illusion.

John brings to the firm and to the service of union and individual clients a lifetime of experience in Canada. He served in Parliament as NDP M.P. for Victoria 1988 to 1993. As an M.P. he chaired a parliamentary legislative committee -- a rare appointment for an opposition M.P. -- and was an outstanding critic for the NDP in defence, sport and the solicitor-general. He represented the Canadian Parliament and Canadian organizations at international and national conferences.

In British Columbia, John worked in the first NDP government as the equivalent of associate deputy attorney general and initiated innovative legal service programs, overseeing the opening of the Rentaisman's office and was the first chair of the B.C. Rent Review Commission.


University of Toronto (B.A.) - 1958

University of Toronto (L.L.B.) - 1964

University of British Columbia - Vancouver School of Theology (Master of Theological Studies) — 1999

Admitted to the Ontario Bar - 1966 & 2000

Admitted to the British Columbia Bar - 1979


John has served on a variety of Boards and governing bodies including Canada World Youth (1983 - 1985) the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa (1984 - 1988), Toronto Community Housing Corporation (2002 - 2008), and the Anglican Church of Canada nationally in 2007 and 2013 (and in the Dioceses of British Columbia, New Westminster and Toronto during the period 1988 to the present). He has also served at all levels of the New Democratic Party for four decades. He attended the founding convention of the NDP in 1961 and worked with Stephen Lewis in Saskatchewan during the introduction of Medicare in 1962.


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