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Brian Smeenk has over 40 years of experience in employment and labour law, across both the private sector and the broader public sector, which included both provincially regulated and federally regulated clients. He is known for his problem-solving skills in complex labour & employment cases.
Having retired as a partner of a leading Canadian law firm in 2020, Brian is now Chair of Ontario's Public Service Grievance Board and part-time Vice-Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  Brian is now available to conduct private mediation and arbitration.



Brian began his career as a neutral Fact Finder appointed by Ontario’s Education Relations Commission in the late 1970s to report on several school board-teacher bargaining impasses.  Brian subsequently entered private practice where he shared his knowledge, expertise, and skill with companies and organizations of all sizes, across many parts of both the private and public sectors.  


Brian has a demonstrated ability to work with parties in identifying their interests, clarifying issues, developing options and establishing objective criteria to 'cut to the chase' and reach an agreement through mediation process.  If arbitration is required, Brian is known for conducting fair and efficient hearings. 

Brian is a Past President of the former, tripartite Toronto Area Industrial Relations Association, as well as the Toronto Human Resources Professionals Association. He has been a member of the Ontario Labour Management Arbitrators' Association since 2021. 

Brian has been ranked for many years as a leading lawyer in the area of labour relations and employment law in various legal publications and listed in Best Lawyers in Canada since 2010.


Brian is also the founder and President of the Merit Award Bursary Program, which helps provide deserving students in Toronto and Peel with assistance to pursue a post-secondary education.

Halftone Image of Crowd


Halftone Image of Crowd

Brian provides parties with the following services in English:

  • Mediation

  • Med-Arb

  • Arbitration

Brian can provide all services by videoconference, in-person, or hybrid. 


Professional Experience & Education

2021 -



Member, Ontario Labour Management Arbitrators' Association



Appointed as the Chair of the Public Service Grievance Board and Vice-Chair of Ontario Labour Relations Board


Inducted as a Fellow of the tripartite College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

 2008 -


Fasken Martineau DeMoulin - Partner,  Labour Employment Human Rights Group 

1992 -


McCarthy Tetrault - Partner, Labour & Employment Group

1987 -


Winkler, Filion & Wakely -


1981 -


 Winkler, Filion & Wakely -



Call to the bar

of Ontario


University of Michigan

Business School, MBA,

Diploma in Labour Relations


University of Ottawa,

Common Law Section - L.L.B.

1979 -


Articled with Cassels, Mitchell, Somers,

Dutton & Winkler

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