Born and raised in Montreal, Stephen attended the University of Toronto, where he achieved both his bachelor of arts and his law degree in five years. He was called to the bar in 1981.
Stephen’s legal career protecting the rights of workers began during the summer following his second year of law school, when he attended the picket line in the famous 1978 Fleck Manufacturing strike and laid criminal charges against members of the OPP for brutalizing strikers. His commitment to fight for the rights of working people on both the political front and the legal front was demonstrated by his activism in the New Democratic Party, from leading the campus NDP at the University of Toronto to eventually running as an NDP candidate for Parliament in the Federal riding of York South – Weston in both the 1984 and 1988 elections.
Stephen’s arbitration and labour board successes are too numerous to mention, but he is responsible for the leading case in preventing employers from using surreptitious video surveillance to fire workers (LIUNA, Local 625 v. Prestressed Systems Inc.). He has been repeatedly selected by his peers to be named in Best Lawyers and in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner in labour law.
Stephen teaches the labour arbitration course at the Centre For Industrial Relations at the University of Toronto.