In House Counsel

General Counsel, Legal Services

September 28, 2020

This is an opportunity for an innovative, collaborative lawyer with demonstrated strategic skills to contribute to the leadership of a large, complex school board    whose work is guided by the values of equity, service excellence, and sustainability. If you are interested in supporting the continuous growth and development of an equitable and empowering education system at PDSB which is committed to inclusion and anti-oppression, read on!

The Peel District School Board is dedicated to the achievement and well-being of each student. Every day, staff members are privileged to serve approximately 157, 000 students in 250 schools throughout Peel District School Board and their families in communities as richly diverse and inspiring as any in the world. The new General Counsel, Legal Services will play a vital role in supporting Peel DSB’s policies and operations by ensuring that Senior Management and the Board have access to the legislative and legal knowledge they need to make sound, informed decisions aligned with the Board’s strategic goals and commitment to human rights and equity.

As General Counsel for the Director and Executive Team of the Board in all legal matters, you will demonstrate your keen political acumen, strong analytical skills, capacity for strategic thinking and creative problem-solving. While you will also interact with Trustees on many occasions, your role does not include providing legal advice to Trustees individually; rather, you will arrange for them to receive such advice through appropriate external legal counsel. You will also liaise with external legal counsel and oversee their work for the Board.

Reporting to the Director of Education, you will work with the Human Resources Department regarding collective bargaining as needed, oversee access to external legal services, involvement in litigation, grievance and arbitration management, and liaise with legal departments at all levels of government. You will also provide a legal perspective on various matters supporting members of the Executive Team, regarding civil and criminal litigation, labour arbitrations, expulsions, due diligence actions, and human rights and provide leadership on Board policies. Candidates will be expected to practise using an anti-oppressive perspective that recognizes human rights, anti-Black racism, Islamaphobia anti-Indigenous racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and discrimination.

You are an outstanding communicator with senior-level administrative experience in a large educational or comparable unionized public-sector institution, or a similarly complex organization, able to motivate others and implement difficult decisions in an ambiguous, politicized environment. Persuasive, confident and engaging, you will liaise with federal, provincial and municipal authorities in all contractual and legal matters, establish productive working relationships with all other Board departments, and facilitate professional development for the Executive Team and all management employees on current legislation and regulations.

Peel DSB is seeking an innovative, collaborative lawyer with the demonstrated strategic skills to lead high-performance teams in a large, complex organization. The right candidate is someone who is accustomed to working in an environment of high accountability and public visibility and has a strong track record of working successfully to support the decision-making roles of elected officials. The General Counsel must be prepared to support the Board’s focussed response to the mandate set out in the Ministry of Education’s Report on the Peel District School Board released March 13, 2020  to rebuild confidence in the community in the decisions made by the Board. The candidate must be able to work with staff and the community in ways that demonstrate a commitment to equity and establishing faith in the Board’s ability to address the needs of those students and staff who have been the most historically underserved. An active network in racialized and underserved communities and provincial government contexts will ensure that you can be a strong advocate for the interests of the PDSB and the evolving communities it serves.

As the successful candidate, you will have a Law degree with additional training/experience in equity, human rights, human resources, appropriate leadership experience, and a track record as a practising lawyer in one or more of the following areas: Human Rights, Education Law; General and Corporate Law; Labour Relations and Employment Law.

You have demonstrated success in providing leadership in controversial and complex organizational issues and possess detailed knowledge of dispute resolution processes. Above all, you must be extremely familiar with the Education Act and capable of interpreting it in a variety of circumstances, and be conversant with legislation relevant to a school board and its application in a large, complex unionized environment.

To be considered for this position, please send a cover letter and resume by October 22, 2020 to:

Frank Markel, JMG/LBCG Consulting for Impact

Please specify “PDSB General Counsel Application” in the subject line of your email.

The Peel District School Board

The Peel District School Board is committed to equity in employment. The Board is committed to equitable hiring practices that allow it to hire qualified staff who reflect the full diversity of the Region of Peel.  We will make any reasonable accommodation, based on any of the human rights protected grounds, to support candidates to participate in the hiring process.

​Land acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that the Peel District School Board’s HJA Brown Education Centre is located on Treaty 13A of The Mississaugas of The Credit First Nation. We are grateful to The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as the caretakers of this land and recognize the benefits we receive from this land. We also acknowledge and give thanks to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples who have walked before us. This land continues to be home for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, many who are students in Peel schools.

We are all Treaty People. Treaties are promises to protect and share the land. As we all mutually benefit from this land, we must remember that we borrow

Joan M. Green & Associates/LBCG

We are mindful of the importance of championing diversity amongst candidates. The project team is fluent in current diversity, inclusion, and anti-oppression practices. We are committed to ensuring a respectful and inclusive recruitment process.

Accommodation Statement:

Joan M. Green & Associates/LBCG fosters a culture of inclusion. We will make any appropriate accommodation based on any of the protected grounds in the Human Rights Code to support candidate participation in the recruitment and selection process. All candidates will be provided with an understanding of the expectations and requirements of the process, in order to ensure full participation of all qualified candidates.

Together with LBCG, Joan M Green and Associates make the following acknowledgement with respect to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples:

With humility and in the continuing spirit of being active participants in the reconciliation of Canada and the Indigenous Peoples of the land, we acknowledge that we are working and living on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit River, the Anishnabeg, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, which today is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. As a firm and individually, we are educating ourselves to know and understand the Truth and participating with Indigenous colleagues to play our part in advancing Reconciliation.

Peel District School Board

At the Peel District School Board, we are committed to inspire the smile within each child. Everything we do is designed to help each child achieve to the best of his or her ability. Our collective, daily efforts make a positive difference in the lives of our students, their families and the world.?

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Peel District School Board