Insight. Experience. Results.

  • Insight. Experience. Results. +
  • Government Relations +
  • Strategic Communications +

Our focus is on
creating 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. 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.

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.

As our world evolves at a rapid pace, Sutherland is committed to providing our clients with cutting edge services that drive results. That’s why we have launched The Hub @ Sutherland – a unique purpose-built partnership that combines creative marketing and strategic communications to help achieve your goals. Learn more about The Hub today.

Our focus is on creating tailored solutions

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.

Ontario Focus

Our government relations professionals and public policy experts connect with key stakeholders and guide clients through Ontario’s legislative and regulatory environments. With former elected officials as well as ministerial and parliamentary staff members on our team, we have direct experience in government.

Municipal Focus

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.

Managing the issues most important to your reputation and success.

Proactive communication has never been more important than in today’s world of multiple stakeholders and competing messages. We work with your organization to identify key audiences, focus your message and create earned media opportunities.

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.

We also offer creative solutions to achieve your goals through The Hub @ Sutherland, a unique purpose-built partnership that combines creative marketing and strategic communications. Don’t spin your wheels, go to The Hub.

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

  • Pat Perkins

    Executive Strategic Advisor

  • Melanie Sutherland

    Director of Public Affairs, Western Canada

  • Laurel Bury

    Public Relations Coordinator

  • Emmanuel Dion-Weiss

    Director, Government Relations, Quebec and Eastern Canada

  • Ben Smith

    Government Relations Strategist

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 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.

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.

Public Relations Coordinator

Laurel Bury

As Public Relations Coordinator with Sutherland, Laurel Bury specializes in media outreach, market research and content management to develop creative, results-driven communications campaigns. Laurel brings over seven years of experience in public relations, digital communications and strategic branding. She has worked with charitable organizations, local start-ups and corporations.With a strong industry background and a track record of success, Laurel is a strategic thinker focused on analyzing market trends and identifying opportunities for growth. Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Communication from Western University, and a postgraduate certificate in Public Relations at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Director, Government Relations, Quebec and Eastern Canada

Emmanuel Dion-Weiss

As Director of Government Relations for Québec and Eastern Canada, Emmanuel is responsible for developing and executing strategies that support clients' government relations initiatives.Emmanuel joined Sutherland in 2020 as a consultant. Since then he's become an integral member of the team, contributing his experience and knowledge of the inner workings of provincial governments as well as with federal files.He started his career as a successful business owner in the tech sector after which he started a fruitful political career as legislative assistant for various federal MPs, followed by two years as a press secretary.In 2020, Emmanuel was chosen as the Hon. Erin O'Toole's campaign manager for Québec during the 2020 Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, where he helped deliver a historic victory in Quebec for Mr. O'Toole who won the leadership race as a result. In 2022, Emmanuel was once again selected, this time by Pierre Poilievre, to be his Chief of Operations for Quebec in the 2022 Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, resulting in another historic victory.Natively bilingual, Emmanuel possesses a rare mastery of the written and oral French and English languages, enabling him to effectively communicate with all levels of government across Canada. He also has extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, economics and rural affairs.

Government Relations Strategist

Ben Smith

Ben Smith is a government relations strategist and communications expert with a track record of results. As a strategist, Ben has helped launch advocacy campaigns, execute ground-breaking brand activations, build influencer relations programs and advised start-ups on how to rollout their communications plans to drive results. He has trained prominent entrepreneurs and star athletes on how to refine their message and share their story in an authentic way. Ben specializes in building campaigns and strategies that move opinion and earn trust.Ben’s government relations experience has underscored his success as a public affairs consultant, guiding clients from all sectors through complex legislative and regulatory environments to resolve challenges, effectively communicate with key stakeholders and build consensus.Prior to entering the private sector, Ben served as a Director of Communications on Parliament Hill, worked in senior communications roles on political campaigns at all levels of government, and served as Communications Director to an Ontario Provincial Cabinet Minister. Ben was also proud to run as a candidate in his hometown of Stouffville during the 2021 Canadian federal election. His work has been published in Canada’s most-read news outlets and heard in the halls of Canadian power - from Parliament Hill, to Queen’s Park, to Bay Street.

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

Media Inquiries

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