David Yazbeck

YEAR OF CALL: 1993

1991 LL.B., Queen’s University

1988 B.A. Honours, Philosophy and Political Science, McMaster University

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
  • County of Carleton Law Association
  • Honorary Patron, Workers’ History Museum
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Workers’ History Museum
  • Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors, Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC)
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Folkrum – Ottawa Community Music Venue
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Copyright Visual Arts/Droits d’auteur Arts visuels (COVA-DAAV)
  • Member – Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace Advisory Committee

David Yazbeck practices as an advocate for unions, employees, and human rights complainants in the areas of labour relations, human rights, judicial review and appeals, and Charter litigation, with an emphasis on the federal public sector.

He has particular expertise in employee free speech, whistleblowing, and anti-reprisal complaints. He has argued many of the leading cases in these areas particularly concerning the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. In 2014, David was invited to participate in a working group created by the CSA Group which ultimately established an off-the-shelf Whistleblower Guideline for organizations to use, which was published in 2015. In 2017, David was invited to appear as a witness before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) when it conducted its Parliamentary review of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Also in 2017, David was retained as a Canadian expert panelist for the European Commission as part of a study- examining whistleblower protection laws and empirical evidence of such protections.

David regularly appears before arbitrators, labour boards, human rights tribunals, and Courts at all levels. He has substantial experience arguing judicial review applications and appeals in the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, and often acts as counsel in the Supreme Court of Canada.

David has taught Public Sector Law to union activists at the Labour College of Canada, at the Residential Program, and the Canadian Labour Congress Ontario Region Winter School. He speaks at conferences on a variety of labour, human rights, and whistleblower issues, particularly for disability rights organization Reach Canada.

David channels a passion for music into producing and hosting the Thursday Morning Special Blend radio program, airing every Thursday at 8:00 am on CKCU 93.1 FM. He has hosted this program since 2004 and has interviewed hundreds of artists and musicians from across the world. He is a Juror for the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Record (FACTOR) which provides loans and grants to up-and-coming Canadian artists. David was recognized a few years ago as an “Ottawa mover and shaker” by Ottawa Magazine.

Finally, David’s commitment and advocacy for the arts is not limited to musicians. After succeeding in a major case involving the Status of the Artist Act, David has continued to provide advice and advocacy on behalf of visual artists through his involvement with CARFAC and COVA-DAAV. In late 2018, David presented, on behalf of COVA-DAAV, recommendations concerning amendments to the Copyright Act, which was being reviewed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.