David N Corbett has been appointed as the new permanent Deputy Minister of Labour succeeding Sophie Dennis who retired recently after a long and distinguished career with the Ministry.

Here’s what we have learned about Mr. Corbett from the internet:

  • Immediately prior to this appointment, Mr. Corbett was the chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) (The WSIAT is a provincial agency that hears appeals from final decisions made by the WSIB on entitlements to benefits, health care and vocational rehabilitation.)
  • Prior to becoming WSIAT chair, Mr. Corbett practised law in Toronto with the firm Fasken Martineau for 39 years where he specialized in labour and employment law; he had served as the Global Firm Managing Partner of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.
  • His community involvement includes establishing Fasken Martineau DuMoulin’s partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and leading fundraising efforts for the Haiti earthquake, African drought and Japan tsunami relief.
  • Mr. Corbett holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Windsor.
  • He has a reputation as a consensus builder and for getting things done; as WSIAT chair he oversaw a very significant reduction in the case backlog without much in the way of increased resources.

The questions that have been asked about Mr. Corbett are:

  • Will someone who has never worked in government be able to adjust to the way things are managed in government? We have seen outsiders fail before.
  • Why would someone at Mr. Corbett’s age and stage want a job like this?

We wish Mr. Corbett the very best of luck in his new position and we look forward to working constructively with him.

Article by
Ian Cunningham, COCA President.