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The CIRA Saskatoon Chapter is Seeking Nominations for the 2020

Labour Relations Person of the Year Award

The award is presented once a year to a labour relations practitioner who has been recognized by the professional community to exemplify the qualities of leadership, knowledge, integrity, and effectiveness.  The recipient will be a Saskatchewan based Chapter member and may be a management or union representative, counsel, a government employee or a neutral. 


The 2020 call for nomination is now open.   The award will be presented at the final event of the 2019/2020 program (February 2020). 



To make a nomination for the 2020 award, please send an email to  When making a nomination, please provide a brief justification for your support, and where possible, describe accomplishments and behaviours that exemplify the qualities of a labour relations professional (leadership, knowledge, integrity and effectiveness).  Nominations that attract support from both management and union are especially welcome.  The CIRA/SK Chapter Advisory Committee will serve as the adjudication body.  Nominations are considered confidential.

2019 Award: Congratulations to Kristin Anderson and Maria Fortugno. 

award 2019.jpg

For their work outside of the traditional mediation services, Maria Fortugno (Senior Labour Relations Officer) and Kristin Anderson (Manager and Senior Labour Relations Officer) from the Saskatoon office of the Labour Relations & Mediation Division, Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, have been selected as the recipients of the 2019 award.  Several years ago, the group started going into troubled workplaces and training for better conflict management.  Many workplaces have reported a measurable reduction in conflict.  Their clients are largely in the public sector and hence, their efforts have saved the Government of Saskatchewan money by avoiding future grievances, reducing turn-over, absenteeism and leaves, and work stoppages.  The award was presented by Pete Suderman, Executive Director, Labour Relations and Mediation, Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.

2018 Award: Congratulations to Dan Ish.

Daniel Ish had been a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan for 32

years. He was Dean of the College of Law from 1982-1988, as well as acting

Dean in 1996-1997 and again from 2002-2004.  He was previously Assistant

Professor at McGill University, Visiting Professor in Auckland, NZ.  He has taught law in Australia and New Zealand as a visiting professor and n 1995-1996 he was a visiting professor at Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1991 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. In 2013 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2017 was appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Governor General for appointments to the Order of Canada.


He is an active mediator and arbitrator.  He has arbitrated or mediated more than 400 cases in labour, commercial and contractual matters.  His public service positions include chairperson of Sask Treaty Land Entitlement Arbitration Board (1994-ongoing), Joint Committee of Labour and Management to review the Trade Union Act of Sask. (1992-1993), Chairperson and Federal Government Advisory Committee on the Evaluation of the Saskatchewan Legal Aid System (1998) and numerous other past and ongoing boards. He currently is Chair of the Board of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Saskatchewan and a member of the Advisory Committee to the Governor General for appointments to the Order of Canada.


Mr. Ish first was involved with Indian Residential Schools claims in a pilot project in 2001.  In 2003 he became a Senior Adjudicator with Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat in the Alternative Dispute resolution project. In 2007 Mr. Ish was appointed Chief Adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process for Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat. In July 2013 he completed his term as Chief Adjudicator.


Mr. Ish has also worked as a consultant to co-operatives, law firms and governments in numerous countries including Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, Taiwan, Nepal, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sierra Leone and, most recently, Ukraine. The work with third world co-operatives was primarily through the auspices of the Canadian Co-operative Association; it involved advising co-operatives and co-operative federations on policy, legislation and government relations. He was also the Director of the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan from 1989 to 1995.


Dan Ish has published more than 60 articles, books and reports, including Canada’s leading textbook titled, “The Law of Canadian Co-operatives”. In 2013 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his “commitment to social justice” based primarily on his work with reparation and compensation flowing from Canada’s unfortunate Indian Residential Schools legacy.

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