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  • FREE WORKSHOPS in May 2017! Covering WCB and OH&S in Nova Scotia. Check out our Facebook page for details. ,
  • On April 28 is the Day of Mourning, remembering workers who were killed or injured on the job. For events, see ,
  • Rick Clarke appointed to WCB Board of Directors (June 9, 2016) ,

About us

The Office of the Worker Counsellor began in 2008 as a pilot program under the direction of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.

It had been identified that in Nova Scotia there was no resource for injured workers and their families, to assist them in understanding the compensation system and in navigating their way through it.

The funding for the program comes from the Workers’ Compensation Accident Fund- the same fund from which claims are paid. The pilot phase ended in 2011 with two evaluations of the program recommending that it become a permanent Office, as the service provided was essential to workers. In 2012 a contract was entered into with the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Board which provided for base funding for a period of 5 years.

We offer advice and assistance to injured workers, their representatives in the workplace and their family members, on all aspects of workers’ compensation in the province. In addition, the Office provides workshops, training and seminars on all aspects of compensation and is in the process of developing a workshop on Occupational Health and Safety-a Guide to Understanding Legislation and Regulations.

We offer one-to-one assistance on claims management issues, attend Return to Work meetings, assist workers in understanding their rights and responsibilities, help in interpreting decisions, assist in preparing and filing a Notice of Appeal and accessing assistance through the Workers’ Advisers Program. We also assist workers in obtaining Canada Pension Disability awards. Our services are available to all workers in the Province.

Dean Tupper has worked and been involved in the public sector for most of his adult life. He has held the position of President of the Local CAW 2216 for the last 7 years and served as President of the Annapolis Valley Labour Council for 11 years. In this capacity he has developed and demonstrated significant leadership and understanding of the labour movement.

Dean has also been active in the community and is the Coordinator for the Lighting Your Way Adult Literacy Program for the Province of Nova Scotia and is an active member of the Board of Referees for Employment Insurance in Nova Scotia.

In October 2012, Dean was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, as a Worker Representative. Dean has recently left that position to fulfill one of the roles of the Office of the Worker Counsellor, for the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.

Rachel Barbour is an expert on workers compensation law and policy, having spent 10 years working within the Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia.

Rachel became an activist with the Compensation Employees Union (CEU), as soon as she was hired by the WCB. She took on a leadership role in the organization, focusing on Occupational Health and Safety, Harassment, Diversity, and Mental Health initiatives. Rachel sat on the BC Federation of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee, and participated in lobbies, events, education, and planning for the labour movement in BC.

In 2015, Rachel returned to Nova Scotia from British Columbia to accept a position at the Office of the Worker Counsellor, where she can use both her knowledge of the system and her passion for workers’ rights to fight for change.


The Office of the Worker Counsellor and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Linda Wentzell and Jessie Parkinson for their years of dedication and service to the Office of the Worker Counsellor.

Linda, an Adult Educator, joined the Office of the Worker Counsellor in 2011. Linda assumed the responsibility for developing and providing the workshops and seminars the Office conducted. Linda developed high quality workshops during her time with the program which will be resources for the program for many years. Linda retired in December 2014.

Jessie, a lawyer, has been with the Office of the Worker Counsellor since its inception in 2008. She has become regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of Workers Compensation in Nova Scotia. She is in a large part responsible for the strong reputation the program enjoys throughout Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Both Jessie and Linda will be greatly missed. The foundation they built will allow the Office of the Worker Counsellor to grow for many years to come.

Jessie Parkinson, the current Counsellor, has been with the program since its inception. Jessie is considered one of the leading experts in Nova Scotia in the field of Workers’ Compensation.

Linda Wentzel, an Adult Educator, joined in 2011. Linda has assumed responsibility for workshops and seminars the Office conducts. The Office also employs an administrative assistant and all staff are members of CAW local 4005.