2015 W. D. Wood Lecture to be Delivered by Peter Edwards

Peter Edwards

The W. D. Wood Visiting Lectureship was designed to bring to Queen’s University distinguished individuals who have made an important contribution to industrial relations in Canada or other countries.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s W. D. Wood lecturer will be Mr. Peter Edwards, Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific. Peter holds an undergraduate degree and Master of Industrial Relations (MIR) degree from Queen’s University. He is also a speaker at the Queen’s IRC Labour Relations Foundations program.

The W. Donald Wood Lecture in Industrial Relations was established by friends of Dr. W. Donald Wood to honour his outstanding contribution to Canadian industrial relations. Dr. Wood was the director of Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre (Queen’s IRC) from 1960 to 1985, and the first director of the School of Industrial Relations, established in 1983.

This lecture is sponsored by Queen’s IRC and the MIR program at Queen’s University.

W. D. Wood Lecture Details

When: Friday, November 6th, 2015

Time: 2:00 pm

Where: Wallace Hall, Queen’s University

Topic: A Futurist’s Look at IR/HR – Why it’s Time to Start Over

Delivered by: Peter Edwards

About Peter Edwards

Peter EdwardsPeter Edwards was appointed Vice-President Human Resources and Labour Relations at Canadian Pacific in August 2010, and is responsible for the integrated function across North America.

Prior to joining Canadian Pacific in 2009 as Vice-President Human Resources, Peter held senior positions at Labatt Breweries / Interbrew, and Canadian National Railway. During this time, culture change and the high performance organization were part of Peter’s mandate. From working on critically praised books on managing a changing railway (How We Work and Why, and Change, Leadership, Mud, and Why) to establishing individual employee performance scorecards for every one of the 18,500 unionized employees, Peter uses the gamut of OD, HR and LR to continuously reinvent the organizations.

In 2008, Wiley Publishing released a book co-authored by Peter, called Switchpoints: Culture Change on the Fast Track. The book was a Canadian bestseller, reaching the top ten business books in Canada in the Globe and Mail.

Peter holds an undergraduate degree and Master of Industrial Relations degree from Queen’s University.  Peter is the first Don Wood lecturer to be a graduate of the MIR program that Dr. Wood established. This fall marks the 30th anniversary of Peter’s graduation from this program.

Previous W. D. Wood Lecturers

The list of previous recipients of the W. D. Wood Visiting Lectureship in Industrial Relations can be found at: https://irc.queensu.ca/don-wood-lecture-series

About Dr. W. Donald Wood

Dr. W. Donald WoodKnown as “Canada’s Dean of Industrial Relations,” Dr. Wood was well-known and much appreciated for his work in bringing together academics and practitioners and closing the gap between the academic world and the professional practice of industrial relations (IR). This reflects the dual focus of his own experience. After serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, Dr. Wood studied economics at McMaster and Queen’s Universities and then at Princeton University, where he was awarded a scholarship and completed a Ph.D. thesis on white-collar unionism. He subsequently gained practical experience as Director of Employee Relations Research at Imperial Oil for five years.

Dr. Wood came to Queen’s University as a professor of economics and served as Director of the Queen’s IRC from 1960 to 1985. During this period, Dr. Wood built a world-renowned research and training institution, one that thrived while other industrial relations centres in Canada folded. He pioneered his continuing education program for human resources managers on employee-employer relationships. He helped shape public policy through his research and publications program, informing debate on key issues such as wage price controls in 1975 and surveying developments and trends in the IR field, and his participation on many federal and provincial task forces. He also assembled a remarkable IR library.

As Founding Director of the School of Industrial Relations at Queen’s University from 1983 to 1985, he created and guided the early development of the new multi-disciplinary Master of Industrial Relations program, which continues as one of Canada’s most respected programs in this field. Following his retirement in 1985, Dr. Wood ran the IRC’s Continuing Education Program for five years, and led training seminars well into the 1990s. His talent for bringing together leading authorities from industry, unions, government, universities and consulting firms for programs enriched the education of IR students across Canada, and internationally. It continues to inspire those involved in IR education and research today.



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