Insight. Experience. Results.

  • Government Relations +
  • Public Affairs +
  • Strategic Communications +

Our focus is on
creating solutions

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.

We understand the when, whom and how of approaching decision makers.

Consensus building at the municipal level is a particularly daunting task for most and few venture into this complex maze of competing agendas and complicated bureaucracies. Sutherland’s expertise will guide you through this unique environment.

Our team includes former Mayors, municipal Councillors and senior staff who work in Toronto, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Vancouver and all major centres in Canada. Our approach offers our clients unique perspectives on City Hall.

Providing a unique approach to
consensus-building.

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.

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 across Canada.

- Paul Sutherland

Our Team

  • Paul Sutherland

    President & CEO

  • Dan Bordonali

    Managing Partner

  • Monika Bujalska

    Vice-President, Public Affairs

  • John Campbell

    Executive Strategic Advisor

  • Melissa DaCunha

    Social Media & Digital Communications Coordinator

  • Emma Hunt

    Director, Strategic & Business Communications

  • Tina Li

    Manager of Finance

  • Sehar Malik

    Executive Assistant

  • Pat Perkins

    Executive Strategic Advisor

  • John Sinclair

    Vice-President of Government Relations

  • Melanie Sutherland

    Director of Public Affairs, Western Canada

  • Paula Tessier

    Vice-President of Public Affairs, Atlantic Canada

  • Emma Williamson

    Bid Administrator & Office Manager

Profiles

President & CEO

Paul Sutherland

As President and CEO, Paul provides strategic leadership to a team of experienced government relations, communications and project management professionals located across Canada, serving a wide range of domestic and international clients.Paul specializes in advising corporate and not-for-profit clients on complex government relations issues and developing strategies that effectively navigate increasingly regulated municipal, provincial and federal environments.Paul’s background is in business development and municipal government.He was first elected as a North York City Councillor in 1985 and then re-elected for four consecutive terms. He served as Deputy Mayor, budget lead, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Chair of Public Works Committee and Chair of the Executive Committee of Council.Appointed to the Toronto Transition Team by the Premier of Ontario in 1997, Paul led the strategy development to amalgamate seven municipal budgets, governance frameworks and parking authorities, to fulfill the province’s mandate and merge seven municipal government into what is now the City of Toronto.After leaving municipal government, Paul launched his consulting career and in 2008 founded Sutherland, quickly establishing the company as a premier municipal public affairs and government relations practice.

Managing Partner

Dan Bordonali

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 transit, transportation, municipal development, labour relations and infrastructure.Prior to joining Sutherland in 2008, Dan served as a senior policy advisor 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.

Vice-President, Public Affairs

Monika Bujalska

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.

Executive Strategic Advisor

John Campbell

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.John earned his MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto and an Honors Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Toronto at Victoria College.

Social Media & Digital Communications Coordinator

Melissa DaCunha

As Social Media & Digital Communications Coordinator, Melissa supports the Strategic Communications team through social media content, digital communications, research and strategic planning. As an ambitious communications professional, Melissa is focused on contributing to company success while learning from established professionals. She has demonstrated success in delivering and seamlessly executing plans in fast-paced organizations. Melissa holds a Bachelor Degree from University of Toronto and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations from Humber College.

Director, Strategic & Business Communications

Emma Hunt

As Director of Strategic & Business Communications, 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.

Manager of Finance

Tina Li

As Manager of Finance, 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.

Executive Assistant

Sehar Malik

As the Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operations Officer, Sehar is responsible for daily administration and provides support to the Sutherland team. Sehar has a background in communications and government relations that includes community outreach and federal and provincial election campaign support. Sehar holds an Honours Degree in Political Science from York University, as well as a Government Relations Certificate from Seneca College.

Executive Strategic Advisor

Pat Perkins

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.

Vice-President of Government Relations

John Sinclair

John is an experienced inter-governmental political strategist from both the provincial and municipal levels of government.Provincially, John has worked at the most senior levels of government in Ontario, having held the positions of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition and later Executive Director of the Progressive Conservative Caucus, reporting to Premier Doug Ford. In this role he was tasked with providing research, marketing and communications tools to the Progressive Conservative caucus and was a key advisor to the premier.Municipally, John has served as Chief of Staff to the Chair of Infrastructure and Environment Committee at the City of Toronto. While in this position he also supported the Councillor’s work on the City’s Budget Committee, TTC and the Executive Committee.John is a seasoned political organizer having served as campaign manager at the municipal, provincial and federal level. John was also a director in the provincial war room that successfully delivered Premier Ford’s victory in 2018.

Director of Public Affairs, Western Canada

Melanie Sutherland

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.

Vice-President of Public Affairs, Atlantic Canada

Paula Tessier

As Vice-President of Public Affairs, Atlantic Canada, Paula oversees Sutherland’s government relations and strategic communications projects in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.Based in her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Paula brings 12 years of experience as a municipal councillor in the City of Mount Pearl. As an elected official, Paula gained meaningful insight into public policy development and municipal decision making.Additionally, Paula is a 15-year published columnist and has a decade of experience in the not-for-profit sector. She is currently a board member of the Canadian Cancer Society in Newfoundland and Labrador.Paula contributes her expertise in developing and executing financial plans and implementing communications strategies focused on the corporate sector, government stakeholders and the grassroots to lead diverse public affairs strategies in the east coast and Quebec.

Bid Administrator & Office Manager

Emma Williamson

As Bid Administrator and Office Manager, Emma supports Sutherland’s leadership team in client management, research and project development, and is responsible for office administration. Emma also provides critical support to Sutherland’s Strategic Communications and Creative Marketing division, The Hub @ Sutherland, in the development and submission of large scale RFPs. Before joining Sutherland, Emma aided two Toronto City Councillors including the Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, as both a Constituency Assistant and an Executive Assistant from 2015 to 2018. Emma has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Western University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Government Relations from Seneca College.

Locations

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 across Canada.

Contact

Head Office

100 Allstate Pkwy
Suite 502,
Markham, ON
L3R 6H3 (647) 725-3014

Vancouver

375 Water Street
Suite 450
Vancouver, BC
V6B 5C6 (604) 360 2152

Atlantic

(709) 728 4818

Media Inquiries

Monika Bujalska
Vice-President, Public Affairs (647) 625-8401