266 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
In 2000 David successfully applied for a two-year contract position as a
staff lawyer with the BC Labour Relations Board. The chemistry between
David and the Board was instantaneous and enduring. Giving internal legal
advice and representing the Board and the Employment Standards Tribunal
in court perfectly suited David’s blend of intelligence, erudition, social
skills and collegiality. The two-year contract position was extended and
became a permanent position he filled for almost 18 years.
During his time at the Board, David not only supported adjudicators,
mediators and other staff by giving timely, practical and knowledgeable
legal advice, but he also worked with his two co-counsel, Elena Miller and
Jennifer O’Rourke, to advocate for deference to Board and Tribunal decisions
on judicial review. Over the years David argued many important
issues of administrative law, including jurisdiction to review labour arbitrators’
awards, whether deference was owed on natural justice appeals, and
constitutional matters including Charter issues. His agile mind and natural
eloquence were more than up to the task of advancing these issues before
the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
David was not only a brilliant legal advisor and representative, but also a
warm, empathetic and hilarious member of staff. He was unfazed when a
receptionist told him he looked like someone from the movies: “Like Forrest
Gump!” she exclaimed. “Oh,” David responded, “you mean I look like Tom
Hanks?” “No!” she replied emphatically. “Not like Tom Hanks! Like Forrest
Gump!” David loved this story and many others; his laughter was loud and
frequent in the halls of the Board’s office. He entertained the Board every
year as a mainstay of the Christmas lunch skit; brought in boxes of Cookies
by George for everyone on rainy days; and had a sympathetic, non-judgmental
ear for all who wandered into his office with a question or just for a chat.
While David was friendly with everyone, he also formed deeper friendships
with several people who worked with him, including his close friend
Ritu Mahil. He considered his friend Colin Taylor a mentor and role model.
Despite being a tall man with a loud voice and ready conversation and
laughter, he was a superb and empathetic listener. He had a diverse social
circle and was that rare combination of utterly charming and completely
trustworthy—someone who was both interesting to talk to and interested in
what others had to say.
David was thrilled when Jacquie de Aguayo was appointed chair of the
Board this spring and had been looking forward to working with her and her
executive team, Jennifer Glougie and Koml Kandola. He had close bonds
with Jacquie, Koml and Jennifer not only professionally, but also personally.
There were many others who worked with him at the Board and Tribu-