Jennifer Canas

Jennifer Canas

Jennifer was called to the bar in 1987 and gained private practice experience in Employment and Labour Law in a major Vancouver law firm. She assumed the role of Senior Legal Counsel for the Langley School Board in 1990 and became the first lawyer in the province to work as in-house counsel for a school board.


Employment as in-house counsel provided Jennifer opportunities to expand into the practice of school law and governance and policy development. Policies and regulations which she developed and implemented include: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Interagency Protocols; Student Harassment and Employee Harassment. Jennifer took over responsibility for the school board’s Human Resources department in 1996 until 2013. In the role of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources her duties also included leadership as a member of the senior management; development and implementation of strategic change initiatives; chief negotiator for local teacher and non-teacher bargaining; and serious employee misconduct investigations. One of Jennifer’s strategic change initiatives was the implementation of a wellness and attendance support program to address non-culpable absenteeism. This experience led to her participation with a Service Delivery Project, for the Ministry of Education, as a member of the Attendance Support and Wellness Occupational Health and Safety Group, which released its report in 2014.


  • President of the BC School Personnel Administrators Association (Lower Mainland branch);
  • President of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Burnaby branch; and
  • Director for the board of the Canadian Association of the Practical Study of Law in Education.

EDUCATION Jennifer attended Langara College as an adult student in order to complete her high school education and gain admission into the Commerce faculty at the University of British Columbia where she obtained a:

  • Bachelor degree with a focus on labour relations and personnel management; and
  • PDP qualification as secondary business teacher.

Jennifer pursued postgraduate studies by obtaining a:

  • Masters of Science degree in Personnel Management/Labour Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and
  • a Bachelor of Laws degree with a focus on Employment and Labour Law, from Queens University.

OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE Jennifer’s work experience also includes:

  • Human Resources Manager for the Surrey School Board;
  • Department Head of Business Education/Secondary school teacher Caledonia Secondary School, Terrace;
  • Recruitment officer and labour relations advisor, Vancouver General Hospital;
  • adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University; and
  • instructor at the St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario.

Jennifer’s background in employment and labour law, both as a lawyer and practitioner make her uniquely capable of providing legal advice focused on a practical approach to the resolution of employment and labour relations disputes.

There can be no catalogue laid down as to what is reasonable notice in particular classes of cases. The reasonableness of the notice must be decided with reference to each particular case, having regard to the character of the employment, the length of service of the servant, the age of the servant and the availability of similar employment, having regard to the experience, training and qualifications of the servant. (Bardal v. Globe & Mail Ltd. (1960), 24 D.L.R. (2d) 140 (Ont. H.C.))