Don Shanks

Featured Articles

Isolate Boards Amalgamation - In what is said to be an effort to provide students and teachers from the District School Area Boards ("DSABs") with the same resources and supports of their District School Board ("DSB") counterparts, as well as to improve support for Aboriginal students and increase student achievement, the McGuinty government is merging virtually all DSABs with the DSBs. One of the options for the provincial government was... more...

Trustee Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest - This paper deals with conduct of elected officials, particularly Trustees of Boards of Education. Conduct, or rather misconduct, often arises from the tension between the public duty of officials (reflected in the Trustees’ oath when they take office) and Trustees abusing their authority for personal gain or self-aggrandizement. The expectations of the courts of Trustees is found... more ...

Human Rights Alert - Before Bill 107, when giving advice to Boards of Education about a complaint received from the Human Rights Commission, it has been: relax. Ten years from now we may get to a hearing, but it is pretty unlikely! Although in most Labour Relations, matters move along quickly as “labour relations delayed is labour relations denied”. Within the Human Rights field this is a statement honoured in its breach. At the present time... more ...

Areas of Practice

Don devotes a substantial portion of his practice to labour relations matters. He regularly appears before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and at grievance arbitrations. Don further negotiates on behalf of management for first contract situations and renewals of collective agreements.

In addition to labour law a significant portion of his practice involves education law and transportation law.  Thunder Bay lawyers

Educational Background

In addition, for the 1980 - 1981 academic year Don was an associate professor at Osaka Gakuin University in Japan, instructing in the fields of Comparative Law and Anglo Canadian-Japanese Legal Systems.

Don has been engaged in the academic community as both a clinical instructor and a lecturer at Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.  As a clinical instructor, Don lead sessions on Professional Responsibility dealing with the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the developing jurisprudence in the area of legal ethics.  Don was also a sessional instructor for the Faculty’s Labour and Employment Law Course, dedicating half of the course to the field of Labour Law and the other half to Employment Law and Litigation.    


Don is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association of Ontario Education Law Section, CAPSLE (Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education), the Law Society of Upper Canada, the North American-Japanese Friendship Foundation, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the Thunder Bay Law Association.  Thunder Bay lawyers

Community Involvement

Don is a Past President of the Fort William Gyro Club.

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