Tribute to Professor Paul C. Weiler

The Tribunal was saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Paul Cronin Weiler on July 7, 2021 at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Professor Weiler was one of North America’s foremost labour law scholars. As chair of British Columbia’s Labour Relations Board, he crafted the province’s labour code, innovative legislation known for its progressive character and emulated in many other jurisdictions. Later, as a long-time professor at Harvard Law School, he became a leader in his discipline and shaped a generation of legal minds, authoring publications on arbitration, workers’ compensation systems, gender pay equity, comparative constitutional law, sports law, entertainment law, and medical malpractice.

From the Tribunal’s perspective, one of his most significant achievements was his appointment on January 30, 1980 by the Honourable Robert G. Elgie of the Ontario Ministry of Labour to conduct a review of the workers’ compensation system in Ontario. In carrying out his mandate, Professor Weiler prepared a number of reports. His first report, “Reshaping Workers’ Compensation for Ontario” was submitted in November 1980. In this report, Professor Weiler recommended the establishment of a separate and independent tribunal to hear appeals from board decisions. This recommendation led to the creation of what was then known as the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal in 1985 and is now the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

Professor Weiler received the Ron Ellis Award in 2007 from the Ontario Bar Association for his contributions to the field of workers’ compensation law and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2016.