Headshot of Mel Myers.


Throughout a long and distinguished legal career with the law firm of Myers Weinberg, Mel Myers has been Manitoba’s pre-eminent advocate for labour, and a vigorous defender of fundamental human rights. As a labour lawyer, among numerous notable cases he successfully defended the constitutionality of the Rand formula under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the prohibition against mandatory retirement as age-based discrimination under the Manitoba Human Rights Act.  As a human rights advocate, he served as the first chairperson of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission from 1974 to 1978. He has appeared before numerous commissions, including the Monnin Inquiry into violations of Manitoba’s election laws.  However, Myers’ contribution has gone beyond litigation before labour boards, arbitrators and the courts. Besides teaching administrative law at the University of Manitoba, he has mentored countless union lawyers and advocates in the presentation of cases, and has tirelessly advanced the education of union members. Indeed, an annual conference on labour law has been established in his honour by his former law firm, the Mel Myers Labour Law Conference. Proceeds are donated to a charitable cause espousing economic and social justice. Mr. Myers is a co-founder and past president of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers, an association of 500 lawyers representing trade unions and professional organizations across Canada. Since his retirement from active practice in 2001, he has served as Chair of the Automobile Injury Compensation Appeal Commission, where an advisor’s office to assist citizens dealing with Manitoba’s public auto insurance plan has now been established with his input He continues to frequently act as a labour nominee on arbitration boards. Nominations of Mr. Myers for this award have referred to “his willingness to work himself to the point of exhaustion, his fierce commitment to fairness and due process, and his conviction that protecting the rights of labour is fundamental to the preservation and strength of Canadian democracy.” In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Myers has maintained a broad range of interests in arts and the theatre, history, jazz, and sports of all kinds. He is known for his immense and varied collection of trade union memorabilia and his readiness to discuss or debate any topic with passion and energy.

Recipient of the 2006 Bora Laskin Award.