Government Relations

Government Relations

Our government relations professionals and public policy experts connect with key stakeholders and guide clients through complex legislative and regulatory environments.

With former elected officials as well as ministerial, parliamentary and municipal staff members on our team, we have direct experience in government.

We understand the when, whom and how of approaching decision makers to inform policies. We know how to construct the right message and we are experienced in driving policy change.

Municipal Public Affairs

Municipal Affairs

The municipal world of Canadian politics is unlike any other. Its generally non-partisan structure makes it unique from the provincial or federal orders of government – and it requires a unique approach.

Consensus building at the municipal level is a daunting task for most and few venture into this complex maze of competing agendas and complicated bureaucracies. Yet, it’s what Sutherland does best.

With direct oversight by founder and President Paul Sutherland, our team works in Toronto, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), and all major urban centres in Canada to offer our clients unique perspectives on City Hall.

Strategic Communications

Strategic Communications

Proactive communication has never been more important than in today’s world of multiple stakeholders and competing messages.

At Sutherland, we take a comprehensive approach to managing the issues most important to your reputation – and your success. We work with your organization to identify key audiences, focus your message, create earned media opportunities and develop engaging collateral.

Through issues management, public relations, social media, stakeholder engagement and grassroots advocacy experience, we develop comprehensive communications strategies that support municipal and government relations efforts and get your message across to the right audience.

Experience & Results

Creative Solutions

At Sutherland, our focus is on creating solutions that resolve public affairs challenges so that you can focus on maximizing opportunities in the Canadian marketplace.

In Western, Central and Atlantic Canada, labour organizations, not-for-profits, domestic enterprises and multi-national corporations rely on us to overcome communications hurdles as well as municipal, provincial or federal barriers.

We tailor solutions that meet each client’s unique needs, paving the way for effective project management and communications with government decision makers, internal audiences and key stakeholders.

Meet Our Team


Since its inception in 2008, Sutherland has prided itself on our client-focused approach. We have an enviable record of guiding clients through the complexities of government policy and bureaucracy, connecting the right people in the right way and developing communications strategies that deliver results.

Over the past decade Sutherland has grown, but our level of individual attention has never diminished. Whether on the West Coast, in Central or Atlantic Canada, former elected officials, government, parliamentary and municipal staff, public policy and communications professionals all contribute their expertise and insight to every file.

I am proud to introduce a team as diverse in its experience as our client base and as dedicated to individual client success today as the day Sutherland signed its first account.

Paul Sutherland
President & CEO

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Dan Bordonali

Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer

Dan is one of Sutherland’s founding members. He has been instrumental to the firm’s growth and now provides oversight to strategy development for municipal public affairs and government relations clients.

He has successfully consulted on municipal files dealing with the City of Toronto as well as major municipalities across Canada. Experienced in a variety of sectors, Dan’s scope of client work includes casinos and entertainment, transportation, municipal development, labour relations and infrastructure.

Prior to joining Sutherland in 2008, Dan served as senior staff at Toronto City Hall. He brings over 14 years of municipal government experience, including managing several municipal portfolios at the City of Toronto, such as development, infrastructure and transportation.

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Monika Bujalska

Vice-President, Public Affairs

An experienced cross discipline professional, Monika offers a broad perspective and innovative solutions to public affairs challenges.

Monika brings over 15 years of issues management, communications and stakeholder experience at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.

She served in senior communications and issues management roles for Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Ontario Power Authority, members of the official opposition in the finance and economic development portfolios, as well as at Toronto City Hall. Her expertise is in developing communications and issues management strategies in complex policy areas with diverse stakeholders.

Prior to joining Sutherland, Monika served as a consultant advising clients on a wide range of policy portfolios including finance, revenue, municipal affairs and housing, economic development, energy, labour, advanced training and skills development and tourism.

Monika graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Degree in Political Science and Economics.

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Mary Di Mambro Vice-President of Public Relations Through her government and public relations experience, Mary Di Mambro advances the goals of Sutherland’s clients through effective promotion and strategic communication. With more than 20 years of experience in the political realm, working in both the public and private sectors, Mary has acquired extensive knowledge of political systems and governance. This experience enables Mary to provide clients with strategic advice on how to best promote themselves to politicians, staff and other stakeholders, in order to compliment Sutherland’s traditional government relations tactics. Mary is a skilled communicator who uses written and verbal strategies to build consensus among stakeholders and advance client interests. She has experience in project management, professional facilitation, strategic communications, research, and grassroots engagement using both traditional and digital methods. Mary has successfully worked with clients to engage politicians, political staff and other stakeholders in municipalities across Canada.

Mary Di Mambro

Vice-President, Strategic Communications

Mary Di Mambro advances client objectives through strategic communications.

With more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, Mary has extensive knowledge of the political environment and governance structures. This experience enables Mary to provide clients with strategic advice on how to best present their issues to elected officials, political staff, the public service and other stakeholders.

A skilled communicator, Mary implements written and verbal strategies to build consensus among stakeholders and advance client interests. She has experience in project management, professional facilitation, strategic communications, research and grassroots engagement using both traditional and digital methods.

Mary has successfully worked with clients to engage politicians, political staff and other stakeholders in municipalities across Canada.

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Emma Hunt

Director, Public Relations

As Director of Public Relations, Emma is responsible for developing and implementing social media and communications strategies that support municipal affairs and government relations initiatives.

Emma joined Sutherland in 2015. Since then she’s been an integral member of the team, contributing her experience in traditional and digital communications to clients in a variety of sectors including entertainment, technology, infrastructure and public administration. She is directly involved in strategic communications planning and implementation, social media strategy development and oversight, stakeholder outreach and media relations.

Emma holds a Bachelor Degree in Political Studies from Queen’s University and a Postgraduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Seneca College.

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Tina Li

Manager, Finance

As Financial Manager, Tina is responsible for analyzing every day financial activities while providing advice and guidance to upper management on future financial plans.

Prior to joining Sutherland, Tina was an accounting manager at a construction company. She also worked for a software company where she acquired extensive experience in system migration and acquisition integration. Tina uses this experience to provide financial reports and interpret financial information to management staff.

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Zeinab Saidoun

Zeinab Saidoun

Social & Digital Media Specialist

As part of the Strategic Communications team, Zeinab drives social and digital media strategies. With a background in broadcast media, Zeinab also contributes to the development of communications plans, stakeholder relations, media outreach and research.

Zeinab joins Sutherland from CTV News Channel, where she worked as as a Chase Producer. Her experience also includes CP24 Breakfast Television and the CBC, as well as content development and media relations at Ryerson’s DMZ.

Zeinab holds a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Ryerson University.

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Manny Sousa

Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations

Manny brings over 20 years of experience in municipal public affairs and stakeholder relations.

In his previous role as Manager of Community & Municipal Relations at Enbridge Gas Distribution, Manny managed relationships with key stakeholders including municipalities and elected officials, first responders, community organizations and sector associations. He oversaw the development of municipal and community relations strategies and developed province-wide programs such as the Low Income Energy Assistance program (LEAP), Project Zero and Project Assist.

At Sutherland, Manny has successfully consulted on a variety of files in a wide range of policy areas, including include energy, transportation, infrastructure, casino & entertainment and development & public safety.

Manny lives in Scarborough Ontario, where he is involved with the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization and sits on the Economic Development Committee. He also sits on the Board of Directors for ACSA, a community services organization based in Scarborough.

Manny is the past Chair of the Scarborough Chamber of Commerce where he Chaired its Government Relations Committee. He was also the past Chair of the Business Community Partners Advisory Council for Providence Healthcare.

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Melanie Sutherland

Director, Public Affairs, Western Canada

Melanie contributes to Sutherland’s operations on the West Coast. She has a breadth of experience as a media spokesperson, in municipal and provincial elections campaigns and in developing legislative proposals for social and environmental initiatives.

As Director of Public Affairs, Melanie is responsible for legislative strategy, stakeholder relations and event management on the West Coast. Through strong government and stakeholder relationships and a background in Legal Studies, Melanie provides policy and legislative analysis to Sutherland clients and uses this expertise to drive legislative change.

Melanie graduated from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a degree in Legal Studies. She is originally from Cobourg, Ontario and now resides and works in the City of Vancouver.

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Kevin Whyte

Director, Government Relations

Kevin’s background in government and stakeholder relations, project management, business development and communications in the not-for-profit sector yields a unique approach to serving clients and forging relationships with decision-makers.

Prior to joining Sutherland, Kevin worked for Habitat for Humanity in progressive roles that included leading international builds, developing communications programs, expanding business opportunities as well as fostering communications and collaboration with governments and other key stakeholders.

A student of political science at home and abroad through international academic exchanges, Kevin offers a global political perspective to clients seeking to leverage economic opportunities and remains actively involved in the domestic democratic process through regularly supporting municipal, provincial and federal political campaigns.

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Pat Perkins

Executive Strategic Advisor

Pat is a proven leader in government and public relations, strategic planning, public policy and labour relations.

Pat brings over 30 years of political and government experience. For eight years she served as the Mayor of the Town of Whitby – the first woman elected for that office. Following her municipal career, Pat was then elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for the riding of Whitby/Oshawa.

Pat has also been a member of the Board of directors of the Whitby Hydro Corporation, Durham Region Non Profit Housing Corporation, Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, Durham Children’s Aid Society and the Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre for Children and Youth.

Pat’s extensive experience in governance includes labour relations experience at the (then) City of Scarborough, where she served as President of CUPE local 545 and was elected chairperson of the Central Advisory Committee (CAC), formulating strategy and conducting central bargaining for all of the CUPE locals in Metropolitan Toronto.

Residing in Whitby, Pat is an active Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Whitby and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

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John Campbell

Executive Strategic Advisor

John provides Sutherland with a strong background in the municipal sector.

As a Toronto City Councillor for Etobicoke Centre (2014-2018), John was selected by Mayor John Tory to serve on the Budget Committee, the Planning and Growth Committee and the TTC.

Prior to being on City Council, John served two terms as a Trustee and as Chair of the Toronto District School Board in 2008 and 2009, representing Canada’s largest school board (sixth largest in North America) with over 250,000 students, 550 schools and 30,000 unionised staff.

Prior to entering public service, John spent over 20 years in the private sector, including in the consumer packaged goods industry and as managing director of his own sales agency.

John currently serves on the board of Toronto Community Housing Corporation, a post he was appointed to by City Council in May 2019.

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