Board of Directors

MediaSmarts is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors, which includes representatives of leading media companies and stakeholder sectors, including education, libraries, and community and youth-serving organizations.

Executive Committee 2018 - 2019

Suzanne Morin
VP and Associate General Counsel
Quebec and Enterprise Chief Privacy Officer
SunLife Financial

David Fowler
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Colin McKay
Head, Public Policy and Government Relations, Canada
Google Inc.

Mara Tramontin
Director, Program Business Management

Michael Hoechsmann
Associate Professor
Lakehead University

Board Members 2018 - 2019

Ruby Barber
Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
Bell Canada

Serge Carrier
Director, Business Development
Société de formation à distance des commissions scolaires du Québec (SOFAD)

Mary Cavanagh
Associate Professor, School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa

Kevin Chan
Head of Public Policy, Canada
Facebook and Instagram

Jérôme Dufour
Director General, Distribution, Communications and Marketing
National Film Board of Canada

Joelene Huber, M.D.
Developmental Pediatrician
Inner City Health program
St. Michael’s Hospital

Nimtaz Kanji
Director – TELUS Wise
Telus Communications Inc.

Normand Landry
TÉLUQ University

Jean La Rose
Chief Executive Director 
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)

H. Mark Ramsankar
Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF)

Official Observers 2018 - 2019

Christine Binne
Director, Policy and Issues Management
National Cyber Security
Public Safety Canada

Carmen Gervais
Director, Digital Programming
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Helen C. Kennedy
Director General
Broadcasting Act Review
Canadian Heritage

Past Board Members


Biographies of Board Members

Ruby Barber (first elected to the Board in June 2017)
Ruby is Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs, at Bell Canada and is based in Ottawa. She joined Bell in 1997 and has a broad range of legal and regulatory experience with telecom issues. She is currently responsible for privacy and compliance. Previously, she managed Bell Canada’s consumer legal team which on a day to day basis addresses legal issues impacting Bell’s customers, including the Wireless Code of Conduct. Prior to that, she supported the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Bell as Assistant General Counsel, M&A.

Before joining Bell, Ruby was an associate at Fasken Martineau in Toronto practising corporate and securities law. She is a graduate of Queen’s University (Honours Politics) and Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1991.

Christine Binne (first elected to the Board in June 2017)
Christine has been with the Federal Government since 2001. She is Director of the Policy and Issues Management Division in the National Cyber Security Directorate at Public Safety Canada. In this role, Christine guides policy development and leads the coordination of activities to support Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy. These activities include the development of policy solutions to cyber security threats to Canada’s national security and economic prosperity, as well as engagement activities with the private sector, academia, civil society and international partners. Prior to joining the National Cyber Security Directorate in 2012, Christine worked in various capacities to support federal government activities in international trade, investment and national security.

Serge Carrier (first elected to the Board in 1997)
Serge is SOFAD’s Director of business development. From 2005 to 2007, he was COO of FacePrint Global Solutions, a biometrics solution provider in California. Until 2005, he was the vice president, Strategic Development, at CogniScience, one of Canada’s foremost e- learning publishers. As CEO, from 1987 to 2002, Serge was responsible for developing Micro-Intel’s educational software, in collaboration with ministries of education across Canada. Before starting Micro- Intel, Serge developed educational software and taught science and computer science at the high school and college levels.

Mary Cavanagh (first elected to the Board in 2012)
Having completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto in 2009, Mary Cavanagh is now an Associate Professor with the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her teaching and research focus on the future of public libraries, knowledge management and organizational learning, information ethics in the public domain and open access. Mary worked as a librarian and manager in both Ontario and Saskatchewan for 18 years. Between 2003 and 2009, she was coordinator of the SmartLibrary consortium in the National Capital Region. A number of Canadian public library organizations have engaged Mary as a consultant and researcher on projects related to library services for aboriginal people, libraries and the digital divide and professional practice.

Kevin Chan (first elected to the Board in May 2015)
Kevin Chan is Head of Public Policy, Canada for Facebook and Instagram, engaging on a broad range of issues that impact the Internet sector.

Previously he was Deputy Secretary-General of McGill University and a Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. Earlier he served in executive roles in the federal public service.

Kevin sits on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the Dean’s Council at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management.

He graduated from Harvard Kennedy School, the Ivey Business School and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Jérôme Dufour (first elected to the Board in December 2015)
Jérôme Dufour has been Director General of Distribution, Marketing and Communications at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) since March 2014. He is recognized for his creative approach and, during a career spanning nearly 25 years, he has acquired extensive experience in advertising, brand management, product development and relationship marketing, which he is using to develop an innovative, strategic marketing plan that will ensure that the full potential of the NFB’s productions, brand, intellectual property and expertise is utilized. He is also responsible for all services related to distribution, marketing and communications, as well as partnerships, platform development, institutional sales and education, and collection management.

Mr. Dufour was previously Vice President of Marketing at the Old Port of Montreal Corporation. In that capacity, he managed marketing and communications activities and product and service operations, as well as sales and customer service for all commercial activities of the Old Port, Montréal Science Centre and IMAX Theatre for five years. He has also held management and directorship positions in marketing and communications at various companies, such as Air France, Microcell Telecommunications, Loyalty Management Group and Cossette Communications.

David Fowler (first elected to the Board in 2012)
David Fowler is Vice-president, Marketing and Communications at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization that manages .CA, Canada’s Internet domain. Reporting to the President, he is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s marketing and communications strategies. This includes providing executive leadership for all corporate communications/advertising programs, managing the .CA product and channel relationships.

Carmen Gervais (first appointed to the Board in 2018)
Carmen Gervais joined the Digital Government and Digital Programming Branch at ISED early in January 2018 bringing with her almost two decades of experience in program development and delivery in a variety of positions with Canadian and international granting agencies. Before joining ISED, she was the Deputy Director at the Networks of Centres of Excellence and oversaw a portfolio of large-scale multi-sectoral innovation networks. She has held senior roles in both the government and the not-for-profit sector. She was the Director of Fellowships and Early Career Awards with the International Human Frontier Science Program in France, a Senior Strategic Advisor with the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program, and she also managed the Canada Research Chairs program. Through these diverse roles Carmen has gained experience and insight on governance and administration of not-for-profit organizations, the translation of research results into commercial goods and services, program design, science policy, career development, risk management and evaluation. She has a Ph.D. in biology from Queen’s University and a B.Sc. in biology from Carleton University.

Dr. Michael Hoechsmann (first elected to the Board in 2012)
Dr. Michael Hoechsmann is an Associate Professor at the Orillia campus of Lakehead University. He is the coauthor of Media Literacies: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and Reading Youth Writing: “New” Literacies, Cultural Studies and Education (Peter Lang, 2008). From 1998-2002, Michael was the Director of Education of Young People’s Press, a national news service for youth, 14-24. His research and teaching is situated in media education, new and digital literacies, and cultural studies.

Joelene Huber (first elected to the Board in June 2017)
Dr. Joelene Huber is a developmental pediatrician (MD/PhD), assistant professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto and a broadcast medical journalist. She completed a fellowship in journalism for subject matter experts at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and broadcast/multi-platform journalism at Seneca College School of Media. She is a regular medical contributor for CBC national television news network. Dr. Huber works as an academic staff physician with a clinical practice out of St. Michael’s Hospital with a focus on school and inner city developmental pediatric outreach clinic programs. She has a research program through the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute focussing on Smartphone app development for intervention strategies for children with autism spectrum disorder. She recently obtained Telus funding for a pilot for a web series to help educate parents of children with autism spectrum disorder about intervention strategies. Dr. Huber is affiliated with the Hospital for Sick Children (associate member, Division of Neurology) and has also been part of SickKids Hospital International, helping to develop medical programs in the Middle East.

Nimtaz Kanji (first elected to the Board in 2018)
Nimmi Kanji is the Director for the TELUS Wise, a free educational program offered by TELUS that seeks to empower Canadians to stay safe in our digital world.  She started her career at TELUS nineteen years ago, while she was a student at the University of Calgary.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and prior to leading TELUS Wise, she spent several years in TELUS Business Marketing. Nimmi is passionate about smartphone and online safety and is eager to help curb cyberbullying.

Normand Landry (first elected to the Board in 2018)
Normand Landry is Canada Research Chair in Media Education and Human Rights and Professor at TÉLUQ (Université du Québec). He holds a Ph.D. from McGill University and conducted postdoctoral research projects at Concordia University. Normand’s work focuses on communication rights, media education, social movement theory, law and democratic communications.

Nanao Kachi (first appointed to the Board in 2012)
Nanao Kachi is the Director of Social and Consumer Policy at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a position he has held since 2012. The mandate of Mr. Kachi’s team encompasses both telecommunications and broadcasting elements. His team is responsible for a diverse array of files, from the Wireless Code to cultural diversity, closed captioning, video relay service (VRS), Described Video, the establishment of the Broadcasting Participation Fund and the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund. Mr. Kachi began his career at the CRTC in 2003 as a senior analyst working on television related issues, including closed captioning and described video.

Helen C. Kennedy (first appointed to the Board in 2016)
Helen C. Kennedy joined the federal public service in 1989. She began her career in the Telecommunications Policy Branch of the Department of Communications. Since then she has occupied a number of positions in the government, including Senior Analyst of Strategic Policy in the Intergovernmental Affairs/Privy Council Office, Director of Programming Services in Broadcasting Policy and Deputy Director-General, Cultural Industries. In 2013, she was appointed Director General, Broadcasting and Digital Communications. Ms. Kennedy is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (B.A. Honours), Queen’s University (M.A. Political Studies) and University of Ottawa (Public Sector Leadership and Governance).

Jean La Rose (first elected to the Board in May 2011)
Jean La Rose is a First Nations citizen from the Abenakis First Nation of Odanak. He was raised in Ottawa where he studied Journalism at Algonquin College and obtained his B.A. in Social Communication at the University of Ottawa. He later began study for his Masters in Public Administration at L’Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique (ENAP). He was named Chief Executive Officer of APTN in November 2002. Since his appointment, he has brought the network from a deficit position of more than $5.5 million dollars to a surplus position. The network has moved to a digital, high-definition platform and now employs over 130 people. APTN was one of the host broadcasters for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and carried over 10 hours per day of Olympic events in English, French and in eight (8) Aboriginal languages.

Mr. La Rose sits on the Board of Directors of the National Screen Institute, the Board of Directors of On-Screen Manitoba and the Nisga’a Commercial Group. He also served on the National Capital Commission Advisory Committee on its mandate review to provide Aboriginal perspective as it pertains to the future plans of the National Capital Commission (NCC), and the Advisory Committee on Indigenous Property and Authenticity Rights that was established by Heritage Canada. He has been a panelist and public speaker on a variety of forums, speaking to the issues and matters that pertain to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.

Colin McKay (first elected to the Board in 2012)
Colin is on Google’s global public policy team, where he tries to keep the internet brimming with discovery and delight.

In addition to privacy and data protection, Colin worked on innovation agendas, launched science and technology strategies, planned for copyright reform and encouraged the development of intelligent transportation systems over a 15 year career in the Canadian public service.

In recent years with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, his team researched the impact of the digital economy on personal privacy, and then built tools to help individuals understand their privacy rights.

Colin is also a member of the Government of Canada Advisory Panel on Open Government.

Always fascinated by information networks and new technology, he blogs and tweets more than he probably should. As a pre-teen, he preferred his Star Wars digital watch to the Casio calculator watch.

Colin has an M.A in international relations from the University of Toronto, although his understanding of politics was largely shaped by Monty Python.

Suzanne Morin (first elected to the Board in 2008)
In September 2015, after more than 20 years in the communications industry, spanning Stentor, the Bell Canada family including a brief stint as BlackBerry’s first global privacy officer, Suzanne shifted industries and joined Sun Life Financial Canada. She is now responsible to lead the team providing legal support to the business in Québec combined with overall leadership for privacy at Sun Life and its subsidiaries worldwide.

Since her call to the Bar, Suzanne has been working in the areas of privacy, copyright, communications and electronic commerce generally, including areas such as network neutrality, lawful access, unsolicited bulk email or spam, jurisdiction, consumer protection and online child exploitation. 

A big believer in giving back to the community, she continues to be involved with many organizations including the Canadian Bar Association’s National Privacy and Access Law Section, the Canadian Center for Child Protection and MediaSmarts, a leader in media and digital literacy. Suzanne was an appointed member of the board of the Standards Council of Canada for over a decade and was a member of the Canadian Spam Task Force. 

She speaks frequently at Canadian and international conferences and is an Advisory Board Member and occasional contributor to the Internet and E-commerce Law in Canada and the Canadian Privacy Law Review.

H. Mark Ramsankar (first elected to the Board in June 2017)
Mark Ramsankar was first elected president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association in 2013 following two terms of service as vice-president. He served as president of the Edmonton Public Teachers Local for four years immediately prior to his election. Since 1986, he has served the teachers of Edmonton and Alberta in various capacities through the local executive various committees and Alberta’s provincial executive council.

Having teaching experience at all grade levels, Mark was an assistant principal at Hardisty School, in Edmonton, prior to his election as president of the ATA. His subject areas include Science and Physical Education with an emphasis on special education. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Alberta Government in 1992. He has central office experience as a consultant with Edmonton Public School District in student assessment. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1986 (with a major in science and physical education) and received his Masters of Education from the University of Alberta in 2004. His assignments as president include chairing the CTF Committee, the Membership Eligibility Board, the Teacher Salary Qualifications Board and the School Administrator Issues and Concerns Committee; serving as a member of the Strategic Planning Group, Finance and representing the Association on the Alberta Education Teacher Development and Practice Advisory Committee. Mark also acts as Provincial Executive Council liaison to the Council for School Leadership. Mark was elected as CTF president-designate in July 2016 after serving five terms. While representing teachers in Alberta and across Canada, his focus has been on developing meaningful relationships among teachers, education leaders, education partners and colleagues from the international education community. Mark is also keenly interested in the development of teacher identity, autonomy and professionalism, a topic that was the focus of his master’s degree in education.

Mara Tramontin (first elected to the Board in June 2017)
Having worked in or supported almost all areas of TVO, has a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience at the level of senior management. Her career at TVO has spanned production, operations management, finance, administration and human resources. Mara played an integral part in transforming TVO from an over the air broadcaster to the multi-platform digital organization that it is today, focused on Digital Education and Current Affairs & Documentaries. Mara is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University. Mara was instrumental in two projects that recently won innovation awards.

Celebrating Exceptional Learning and Development Professionals (Canadian Society for Training and Development Professionals): TVO in partnership with OCAD University developed an innovative program that empowered employees to embrace continual change and created a digital mindset to “future proof” TVO.

Innovatio Award Celebrating In-House Innovation (Canadian Lawyer Magazine): TVO developed a content and program rights system to track media content deals from development to distribution. This innovation successfully moved beyond a simple rights database to a customizable reporting tool that facilitated reiterations of existing products as part of a more sustainable business model.