New Alberta Labour Relations Board Chair Appointed

William (Bill) Johnson, Q.C., has been appointed Chair of Alberta’s Labour Relations Board effective Nov. 1.

Johnson is currently a vice-chair of the board. He has more than 30 years of labour law experience in Alberta. He will be replacing Mark Asbell, Q.C., who served on the board for more than 20 years, including 17 as Chair.

“I am pleased to welcome Bill to this important role as the new Chair of the Labour Relations Board. He brings a wealth of labour relations experience with him, which will serve the board well into the future. I also thank Mark for over two decades of dedicated service and wish him all the best in his private practice.”

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour


“Bill is very knowledgeable in labour relations law and highly respected within the labour relations community, both of which are crucial criteria for a Chair. With his wealth of experience and credibility, coupled with his ability to fairly but decisively make difficult decisions, I believe he is the perfect person to be leading the board moving forward.”

Mark Asbell, Q.C., current Chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board


“I am looking forward to serving the board and the labour relations community as Chair. The board is an important institution in the province of Alberta and I am committed to maintaining its independence and impartiality in the administration of Alberta’s labour laws.”

William (Bill) Johnson, Q.C., incoming Chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board
William (Bill) Johnson biography
  • wjohnsonBachelor of Arts and Commerce degrees, University of Saskatchewan
  • Law degree, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Partner in Calgary law firm McGown Johnson since 1982
  • Experience in municipal, provincial and federal public sectors, plus retail, manufacturing, entertainment, public and post-secondary education, health care, transportation, utilities, telecommunications, mining and construction sectors
  • Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002
  • Inducted as a fellow into the College of Labour and Employment Lawyers in 2011
  • Member of Alberta Human Rights Commission, 2013 to 2016
  • Vice-chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board since January 2016


The Alberta Labour Relations Board is responsible for providing fair, equitable, timely and consistent decisions regarding labour relations issues in the province. Board members are selected to represent both management and union perspectives. Members of the board are either currently working or recently retired and represent all areas of the province.