Alec Farquhar

Co-lead, Engagement, IDEA

Activity Area - Engagement and Communication

Alec Farquhar is a lawyer with a long career in workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety law. He is co-lead of IDEA’s Engagement Activity Area. He is also the Coordinator of Asbestos Free Canada.

Before retiring from public service in 2018, Farquhar was Director of the Office of the Worker Adviser at the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) for six years, Managing Director at Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers for five years, and Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Branch at the MLITSD for two years. In those roles, he worked extensively with vulnerable worker communities such as immigrant workers, women and young workers, and also partnered with the employer community around dispute resolution, health and safety, and employment and retention of workers with disabilities.

Farquhar has valued the role of research throughout his career and remains involved in research to this day. Before IDEA, he was Chair of Engagement for another multi-stakeholder research partnership called the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (2013-2021). In that role, he was (and remains) a member of the Disability and Work in Canada Steering Committee that published the Pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability and Work in 2019.

Farquhar is a member of the CSA Group’s Strategic Steering Committee for Occupational Health and Safety, which includes the CSA’s Disability Management Standard. He is also a member of the Executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section.

Farquhar has an LLB from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and a BA in history from Princeton University.