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Freedom of Association Award   |   Allen Ponak Best Student Paper Award   |   Gérard Dion Award   |  The H.D. Woods Lecture 

One of the highlights of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association is the ability to highlight outstanding students, scholars and practitioners in the field. To this end, CIRA has established three honors that it bestows upon individuals or organizations each year. These include the Allen Ponak Best Student Paper Award, the Gérard Dion Award, the Roy J Adams Freedom of Association Award, and the H.D. Woods Lecture.

The Canadian Freedom of Association Award

On June 2, 2016, the Canadian Industrial Relations Association announced the generous donation by Roy J. Adams of funds to support an annual award to a person or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to promoting understanding of and compliance with international standards regarding the right to organize and bargain collectively as those standards apply to Canada.  Consideration for the award shall include but not be limited to efforts or initiatives that establish or expand upon the right of all workers to form and join unions of their own choosing without prior authorization; that expand the guarantees for the free functioning of worker and employer organizations without interference by public authorities; and to respect, to promote and to realize in good faith the rights of workers and employers to collective bargaining in accord with internationally recognized human rights standards and, in particular, those principles and standards developed and promoted by the International Labour Organization.

  • 2017 Craig Bavis and Larry Kowalchuk

Allen Ponak Best Student Paper Award

The Allen Ponak Best Student Paper Award is CIRA’s distinction given to the best student paper presented at the annual conference. Graduate students are invited to submit papers that proceed through a blind review process to determine acceptance for presentation at the conference and the winner of the competition. The award is typically accompanied by a $500 prize. The recipient is invited to receive the award at the CIRA banquet held during the annual conference. 
Students interested in submitting a paper for this award should check the annual conference website for details. Papers must be sole authored by the student, begin with a cover page containing the title and an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the purpose of the paper, the methodology used, and main conclusions, be in 12 point font, double-spaced, in APA format and not exceed 10,000 words inclusive of references but excluding abstract and appendices.

Scott Walsworth and Sean O'Brady, 2017

Scott Walsworth and Sean O'Brady, 2017

  • 2017 Sean O'Brady Université de Montréal

  • 2016 Tingting Zhang, University of Toronto

  • 2015 Luba Yurchak, Osgoode Law School

  • 2014 Bruce Curran, University of Toronto

  • 2013 Rachel Aleks, University of Toronto and Bradley Weinberg, Cornell University

  • 2012 Kelly Pike, Cornell University

  • 2011 Ryan Edmonds, Osgoode Hall Law School

Gérard Dion Award 

Every year since 1980, CIRA has presented an award to an individual or organization in recognition of their outstanding contribution to our discipline. In 1990 this award was named the Gérard Dion Award in memory of Gérard Dion of the University of Laval who was a founding member of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association.

Lorenzo Frangi and Robert Hebdon, 2017

Lorenzo Frangi and Robert Hebdon, 2017

  • 2017 Robert Hebdon, McGill University
  • 2016 Beth Bilson, University of Saskatchewan
  • 2015 Gregor Murray, Université de Montréal
  • 2014 Anil Verma, University of Toronto
  • 2013 Bob White, Past President Canadian Labour Congress and Past President CAW
  • 2012 Heather Smith, United Nurses of Alberta
  • 2011 Suzanne Payette, formerly of the Labour Program, HRSDC
  • 2010 Joseph B. Rose, McMaster University
  • 2009 André Beaucage, Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • 2008 Michel Grant, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • 2007 Allen Ponak, University of Calgary 
  • 2006 Jean Sexton, Laval University
  • 2005 Jeffrey Sack, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell
  • 2004 Gene Swimmer, Carleton University 
  • 2003 Morley Gunderson, University of Toronto
  • 2002 Mark Thompson, University of British Columbia
  • 2001 Le Fonds de solidarité de la FTQ
  • 2000 Shirley Goldenberg, McGill University
  • 1999 Tony Smith, University of New Brunswick
  • 1998 Noah Meltz, University of Toronto 
  • 1997 Roy Adams, McMaster University
  • 1996 Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto
  • 1995 Gérard Hébert, University of Montreal
  • 1994 John Fryer, NUPGE
  • 1993 Alton Craig, University of Ottawa
  • 1992 A.W.R. Carrothers, University of Ottawa
  • 1991 W. Donald Wood, Queen’s University
  • 1990 Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations
  • 1989 Corporation professionnelles des conseillers en RI du Québec
  • 1988 Eugène Forsey, Canadian Senator
  • 1987 H. Carl Goldenberg, Canadian Senator
  • 1986 Jacob Finkelman, Public Services Labour Relations Commission
  • 1985 School of Industrial Relations, Université de Montréal et Gérard Hébert
  • 1984 No award
  • 1983 Stuart Jamieson, University of British Columbia
  • 1982 Gérard Dion, Laval University
  • 1981 Koval Bell, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
  • 1980 Harry Douglas Woods, McGill University

The H.D. Woods Lecture

Since 1984 the Canadian Industrial Relations Association has invited a prominent academic or practitioner in the field to deliver an honorary lecture on a topic of contemporary importance in industrial relations. This honorary lecture is named in honor of Harry Douglas Woods, a professor at McGill University who made significant contributions to the field of industrial relations in Canada, including founded the Industrial Relations Centre at McGill University.

Rupa Banerjee and Judy Fudge, 2017

Rupa Banerjee and Judy Fudge, 2017

Judge Fudge
University of Kent
"The Future of the Standard Employment Relationship: Labour Law, New Institutional
Economics and Old Power Resource Theory

Michael Lynk
Western University
"Recent Developments in Canadian Constitutional Law in Freedom of Association"

Dr. Gerhard Bosch
Duisberg Universtät and Director of the Arbeit und Qualifikation Insititute in Germany

Charlotte Yates
McMaster University
“The Role of the State in the Auto Industry: Co-Investor or Bystander?

Anthony Giles
Director General, Strategic Policy, Analysis and Information on workplaces, Labour Program, Human Resources Development Canada 

Beth Bilson
University of Saskatchewan
“Reassessment and Renewal: An Opportunity for Labour Arbitration”

Ray Larkin
Pink Larkin
“Labour Law in Eastern Canada: Some Reminiscences”

Guylaine Vallée
Université de Montréal
“Emerging Models, Actors and Strategies for Representation at Work”
« Nouveau modèles, acteurs et strategies pour la representation au travail »

Peter Fairbrother
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Daphne Taras
University of Calgary

Yvon Bellemare
“The Labour Movement’s Past and Future: Perspectives from a UFCW Local President”

Bruce Kaufman
Georgia State University
“Rescuing and Revitalizing Industrial Relations”

Elaine Bernard
Harvard Trade Union Program

Gregor Murray
Université de Montréal
“Like a Phoenix? Sources of Renewal in the Organized Study of Work and Employment”

Nancy Riche
Canadian Labour Congress

Luis Aparicio Valdez
Tadashi Hanami
Thomas Kochan
Russel Lansbury
Bertha Lujan
Tiziano Treu
“Woods Memorial Panel”

Judith Maxwell
Canadian Policy Research Networks
“Rethinking Institutions for Work and Employment in the New Economy and Society”
« Repenser les institutions pour le travail à l’ère de la nouvelle économie »

Buzz Hargrove
National President of the Canadian Auto Workers

Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré
Windsor University
“Employment Equity in Canada: Legal and Social Objectives”
« L’équité en matière d’emploi au Canada: point de rencontre entre le juridique et le social »

John Godard
University of Manitoba
“Industrial Relations after the Transformation Thesis – A Return to Institutionalism”
« Les RI doivent-elle revenir à l’institutionnalisme après la thèse de la transformation? »

Mark Thompson
University of British Columbia
“Industrial Relations: The Mother of All Disciplines”
« Les relations industrielles : mère de toutes les disciplines »

Bernard Adell
Queen’s University
“Labour Law’s Perennial Identity Crisis: So What Else is New?”
« La crise d’identité sans cesse renouvelée du droit de travail : quoi de neuf sous le soleil? »

Jean Sexton
Université Laval
« L’évolution de la revue RI de Laval »

Andrew C.L. Sims
Alberta Labour Relations Board and Public Service Employee Relations Board
“Wagnerism in Canada: A fifty-year check-up”
« Le wagnérism au Canada : bilan de santé de ses 50 ans d’existence »

Me Marc Lapointe
Commission Canadienne des relations de travail / Canadian Labour Relations Board
« Et si Bus Woods se réincarnait, qu’est-ce qu’il en penserait aujourd’hui ? »
“If Bus Woods was here today, what would he say?”

Thomas A. Kochan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Industrial Relations Research and Labour Policy: Canada and the United States at a Crossroads”

Loraine Pagé
Présidente CEQ
« Les femmes et l’emploi : à la recherche de l’égalité »
“Women in the Workplace: In Search of Equality”

J.F.W Weatherill
Candian Labour Relations Board
« Pour enfinir avec la propaganda »

Rosalie S. Abella
Ontario Law Reform Commission
“Of Royal Commissions and Labour Boards”

No lecture
David M. Beatty
University of Toronto
“The Academy and the Courts”

Jacob Finkelman
“Public Sector Collective Bargaining”

Daniel Benedict
Concordia University, CAW/TCA

Shirley Goldenberg
“A Tribute to H.D. Woods”
H.W. Arthurs
York University
“Understanding IR Research and Policy in Canada from 1969 to 1984 and beyond”