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==A. Edward Aust==

===Life and Career===
A. Edward Aust (born: Arthur Edward Aust, Montreal, 1947) is a Canadian lawyer, consultant and legal author specializing in executive employment law, governance, strategy and organizational development. He has worked in the private and public sectors in Canada and internationally including the USA, China, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Mexico, Tunisia and Jamaica.[1]

He has been described by Stanley Hartt, one of his former legal partners and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada, as “a man of broad vision and even handedness ” and “a consummate professional who not only is an expert in the legal technicalities of an employment situation, but who can see the human factors involved.” [2]

At McGill University, Aust studied constitutional law under Professor Frank R. Scott (1899-1985), a lawyer, poet and a founder the CCF which developed into the New Democratic Party (NDP). Scott was considered one of the preeminent Canadians of his time and one of Canada’s great intellectual adventurers.[3] Scott had significant influence on Aust, and a close friendship developed and endured.[4]

Called to the Quebec Bar in 1977, Aust continued his legal practice at the international law firm Stikeman Elliott in Montreal until 1997. At that time he resigned as a senior partner, chair of the Employment Law Group, and member of the executive committee.

In 1998, he was appointed the Senior Advisor to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Philip Murray. Over the ensuing two years, Aust supported Murray and his team in pursuit of aligning the organization's culture and systems with the evolving external realities facing policing. According to one Deputy Commissioner at the time: “Edward Aust forced us to re-evaluate our beliefs in a way we hadn’t done before. He held our behaviors up to us in a mirror and asked questions that led to many a sleepless night! Everything was on the table for him. He made us confront some very important questions. It wasn’t always easy to be with him because he was constantly asking when we were going to do to change things.”[5] For his contribution to the alignment initiative, he was awarded the Commissioner's Certificate of Appreciation.

Aust has also carried out several inquiries and authored reports into organizational issues. Among them:

  • In 1978, as Vice Chairman of the Review into the Canadian Grain Handling Industry’s problems with explosions, he encouraged a process of developing a multi-disciplinary knowledge to investigate the issues than would normally have been the case.[6] His approach led him to be named to other inquiries and international invitations.[7]

  • In 1992, he was retained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to examine the processes by which compensation for the organization’s 20,000 members was determined. The RCMP had been experiencing compensation-related unrest within its ranks across Canada. Staff relations representatives and management were at loggerheads trying to come up with a solution.[8] On the basis of his review, Aust recommended a novel, yet untried alternative through which the parties would co-develop recommendations for enhancements to pay, benefits and working conditions. It was unique in Canada’s federal public service. The majority of the recommendations were agreed to and implemented.[9] As the RCMP representative for the membership on the Pay Council wrote in 1996, “You have, for the past four years, been directing the transformation of our culture, and as a direct result of your expertise and intimate knowledge of the Force, we are well on our way to becoming a more progressive organization. …you were the genesis of this movement. Your vision, patience and systematic approach have guided us through some very difficult years and I now believe that we’ve 'rounded the corner' and the worst is behind us. I am convinced that because of your efforts there is no turning back and we will continue to progress as an organization. You have become a friend of the force and mentor to many and for that, we are truly grateful.”[10]

  • In 1994 he was retained by the Board of Governors of Concordia University, Montreal, as lead counsel for the Board of Governors' inquiry into certain behaviours prevalent within the institution’s administration. The inquiry led to major changes at the University.

  • In 1996, he led a review on behalf of Transport Canada, examining the stability, employment relations and competitiveness of Canada’s main shipping ports when compared to United States ports.

  • In 1997, he was an invited expert of the Chinese Ministry of Labour and other regional government institutions to assist them in field of employment relations. He was awarded the Dunhuang Award, the highest distinction offered to foreign experts by the Province of Gansu, for his contributions to social and economic development in the region.[11]

  • In 2012, he was invited by the RCMP Commissioner and Staff Relations Representatives to conduct another independent review of the mandate, structure and operations of the RCMP Pay Council, which was created based on the recommendations in Aust’s 1992 report.

Mr. Aust is married to Claire Laporte, a Quebec artist. Together, they have two adult children - Thomas Laporte Aust, residing in Montreal and Charles Laporte Aust, residing in Shanghai, and two grandsons.


===Selected publications===

  • Aust A. Edward et Aust, Thomas Laporte. Le contrat d’emploi, troisième édition, Les Éditions Yvon Blais Thomson Reuters, 2013.
  • Aust, A.E., Jenner, C., Girard, A. & Bussières, H. The Executive Employment Contract, Lexis Nexis, 2012.
  • Aust, A.E., Jenner, C., Girard, A. & Bussières, H. Executives & Managers, Contracts, Accountability and Termination, Butterworths, 2002.
  • Aust, A.E. Contributions of Women in Policing, Paper presented to Change, Challenge and Celebration, RCMP conference, Cornwall, Ontario, October 28th, 1999, an unpublished paper.
  • Stikeman Elliott (A. Edward Aust, Editor in Chief and co-author), Executives and Managers, Their Rights and Duties, Butterworths, 1997.
  • Aust A.E., Charette, L. & Wang, N., Chinese version edition of The Employment Contract, published by China Publishing Inc., 1996, Beijing, China;
  • Stikeman Elliott (A. Edward Aust, rédacteur-en-chef et co-auteur). Les Dirigeants, Leurs Droits et leurs Obligations, publié par Les Éditions Yvon Blais, Cowansville, 1995.
  • Stikeman Elliott (A. Edward Aust, Editor in Chief and co-author). Executive Employment Law, Butterworths, 1993.[12]
  • Aust, A. Edward, avec la collaboration de S. Alexandra Girard. L'obligation de Loyauté de Diligence et de Coopération des Dirigeants, dans Les développements récents en droit du travail, publié par Les Éditions Yvon Blais, 1993.
  • Aust A. Edward & Charrette, Lyse. The Employment Contract, 2nd Edition, Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc., 1993.
  • Aust A. Edward, & Charrette Lyse. Le contrat d’emploi, deuxième édition, Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc., 1993.
  • Aust, A.E., Jenner, C., Girard, A. & Bussières, H. Executive Employment Law, loose-leaf edition, Lexis Nexis 1993 to current, ISBN 978-0-409-90848-0.
  • Aust, A. Edward (with the assistance of Lyse Charette), The Employment Contract, Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc., 1988.[13]
  • A. Edward Aust (avec la collaboration de Lyse Charrette), Le contrat d’emploi, Les Éditions Yvon Blais Inc., 1988.

===Academic contributions===

  • Aust taught Employment Law and Strategy in the department of Management at Concordia University from 1980 to 1986.
  • He was a guest lecturer at the Annual Conference on Employment at Queens University’s School of Industrial Relations from 1982 to 1993.
  • He was a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Law of The University of Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1997, at the Faculty of Law in the International MBA Program, Tsinghua- MIT School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China, in 2007 and 2012.
  • He was guest speaker at the China Executive Leadership Academy, Pudong, for the central and provincial government vice-ministers of China in Shanghai in 2012.
  • In 2012, he addressed the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs on the importance of the independence of policing and the Rule of Law.
  • In 2013, he spoke at the Canadian Association of Police Governance on the topic of Board Governance.
  • From 2008 to 2013, he was a member of the adjunct faculty of the Canadian Police College’s Leadership Development Centre.
  • In 2013, Aust was a visiting professor at Tsinghua University’s Global MBA program in Beijing. He both developed and taught a full course on Organizational Innovation and Analysis.


  1. Canadian Who's Who, University of Toronto Press, 1995 to present.
  2. Queen's University SIR-IRC News, No 7, September 1992.
  4. Brick 30, a journal of reviews, a special issue on F. R. Scott, Summer 1987, p. 62.
  5. Les Echoes, Quebec RCMP Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 1, Sep-Oct. 2000, p. 7.
  6. Canadian Grain Handling Association, Report 1, January 1979.
  8. Thompson, Laura, The Frontline Perspective: The ins and outs of the Pay Council, 2009, Vol. 3, No.1.
  9. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pay Council, 1997 Annual Report, June,1997.
  10. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, D-Division document, March 25, 1996.
  12. In 1991, Aust brought together a group of authors from different fields of law to co-author a loose-leaf manual, Executive Employment Law, first issued in 1993 and which continues today. Under Aust’s leadership, they pioneered a novel approach to explaining rights and obligations of executives across jurisdictional lines by explaining both the civil (Quebec) and common law (all other Canadian provinces) aspects of the multiple laws governing executive behavior in Canada.
  13. The Employment Contrat/ Le contrat d’emploi 1988, 1994, and 2013 was the first book to elaborate on the specific obligations under the Quebec Civil Code both during and at termination of employment. It has been cited by all levels of the Courts in the Province of Quebec. In one landmark case (Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. vs Stewart, 1994 (QC C.A.), the Quebec Court of Appeal cited this book on three different issues.

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