736 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 80 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2022
became the Board’s first chair and worked with a number of union and management
colleagues to develop balanced Board decisions. Some of these
were not without controversy, but as a whole they were accepted as being
made by knowledgeable people acting in the best interests of the province.
The columnist Vaughn Palmer described Stan as “one of the most influential
figures on the labour relations scene” in British Columbia and said that
Stan had “earned much praise for his even-handed administration”.
After he left the Board, Stan became an arbitrator and mediator, primarily
in labour law. He quickly became a leading arbitrator/mediator and continued
this work for the rest of his life. By definition arbitrators and mediators are
appointed by the parties to a dispute (unlike judges in the court system). As a
result, there is a limited role for judicial independence for arbitrators, and
their next appointment and success are literally as good as their last decision.
Stan’s busy arbitration practice was a testament to the parties’ knowledge
that Stan would provide a reasoned and informed decision that was guided
by common sense and the objective of resolving problems instead of creating
new ones. He was considered one of the leading arbitrators in British
Columbia, working in federal and provincial disputes, and a number of his
awards remain leading ones. He similarly was regarded as a fine mediator
with a deft hand in getting parties to resolve their differences. His calm
demeanour perhaps led people to think things were going their way, but
Stan’s primary obligation was always to a system of fair and progressive
Despite his busy arbitration practice, Stan was an avid reader and, more
than that, a thinker. His thinking was often aimed at trying to understand
the policy underlying the law. Sometimes this included reading and thinking
about not just the law but also philosophy, religion and ethics. For example,
when the idea of accommodation was developing in arbitrations that
involved human rights issues, Stan led discussions in his awards and during
his conversations in the arbitration and continuing legal education communities
about the different policy approaches to that issue. His rigorous
analysis and adept insights provided a valuable contribution to the area.
Over the years, Stan was involved in a number of community issues.
Most recently he was very active in the redevelopment of the First United
Church at Hastings and Gore in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The
project continues the work of the church, including the construction of a
significant number of much-needed housing units. This was of course volunteer
work for Stan.
Stan is survived by his wife Susan, his son Paul, his daughter Sara and his
mother Doreen. Susan organized a celebration of Stan’s life on June 16,