Larry Kowalchuk is the owner and senior counsel of Kowalchuk Law Office with the main office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has practiced law for over 25 years, serving as in- house counsel for the Saskatchewan Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union from 2005-2012. His areas of practice include labour and employment law, human rights, environment, aboriginal and constitutional law.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Regina, and a Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He has served as a sessional lecturer at both the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. Developed and facilitated courses for SFL/CLC Spring School in the areas of labour law, collective bargaining, sexual harassment and human rights.
Frequently a guest speaker on issues related to climate change and aboriginal justice, labour rights, human rights and social justice issues.
He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Equality Network for the Federal Court Challenges Program, and was founding member of the Canadian Charter Committee on Poverty Issues which represents people in poverty in Canada on constitutional issues.
Among his Supreme Court cases were the Reference Re Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask), a 1991 decision on behalf of the intervener Equal Justice For All; Battlefords and District Co-operatives Ltd v Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 544, a 1998 decision on behalf of the Union, Canada Safeway Ltd v Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 454, a 1998 decision on behalf of the Union, and Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Local 558 v Pepsi-Cola Canada Beverages (West) Ltd, a 2002 decision establishing secondary picketing as a constitutionally protected freedom of expression.
Among his Court of Appeal cases were Canada Safeway Ltd v Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission), a 1997 decision establishing equal pay for women , and Saskatchewan (Marriage Act, Marriage Commissioners) (Re), a 2011 decision requiring Marriage Commissioners to marry people regardless of gender.
He was lead counsel in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour et. al v. Government of Saskatchewan at Queen’s Bench which established the right to strike as a constitutionally protected freedom.
In recent years Larry has moved towards working with people to stop climate change under international and constitutional law. This work is premised upon stopping genocide of original peoples in Canada and ending destruction of our environment through fossil fuel resource extraction, by restoring traditional governance.