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Privacy Commissioner of Canada establishes Toronto office

Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada with Robin Gould-Soil, Director, PIPEDA, TorontoIt has long been a priority for me to ensure the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada builds stronger connections with Canadians, wherever they happen to live and work. I want to ensure that our Office is not perceived as either too Ottawa-centric or unaware of issues outside of the National Capital Region. 

Perhaps partly because I joined the Office from one of the provincial offices and had that unique perspective, I believe increasing our regional presence was needed in order to build stronger ties with our provincial colleagues and other stakeholders across the country.

A couple of years ago, Parliament agreed with us that we needed a stronger regional presence, and funded our Office accordingly. We began this initiative by, for example, increasing our work in Western Canada, then establishing a presence in Atlantic Canada and enhancing our activities in Quebec, and we continue to develop an outreach program for businesses in Saskatchewan.

One of the areas where a gap has been identified is in the Toronto region, where a significant number of Canadian businesses have established their headquarters. Over the past two years, almost half of respondent organizations for PIPEDA complaints have had addresses in the GTA. I believe our Office could be doing more to conduct outreach and some PIPEDA investigation work on the ground in the Toronto area. And so, not too many months ago, we began looking at how to develop a more effective presence in the Toronto region, where much of Canada’s business takes place.

Recently, in conjunction with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Canadian Symposium, I was pleased to officially announce that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is opening a Toronto office. I also announced that our new Director, PIPEDA, would be Robin Gould-Soil, CIPP/C, who joins our Office as part of the Government of Canada’s Executive Interchange Program from TD Bank Financial Group, where she was Chief Privacy Officer.

As TD Bank’s CPO, Ms Gould-Soil has been responsible for overseeing the development and execution of its global privacy strategy. We believe she is an ideal and unique fit for this role. She is based in Toronto, and knows the market well. She has a significant amount of experience dealing directly with our Office and with PIPEDA education and compliance, particularly in relation to the financial services sector, where we typically have the largest number of complaints. Ms Gould-Soil will be responsible for leading our Toronto Office, which will be up and running by this September.

The Toronto office is a very exciting development in the history of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. We think it will lead to stronger, more effective relationships with our stakeholders here – and that will ultimately mean better privacy protection for Canadians.

Jennifer Stoddart
Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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