Six Canadians to Lead Canada-wide Digital and Data Consultations

Navdeep Bains, Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), announced last week that the Government has selected six innovation experts to serve as roundtable discussion leaders for its national consultation on digital and data transformation. The consultation was launched on June 19th, and will be exploring how Canada can simultaneously drive innovation in a data economy, prepare Canadians for the future of work, and protect the privacy and safety of Canadians’ valuable electronic and personal data.

The roundtable leaders are: Janie Béïque, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Fonds de solidarité FTQ; Dr Arvind Gupta, professor of computer science at the Univ of Toronto and former president and vice-chancellor of the Univ of British Columbia; Dr Sarah Lubik, Director of Entrepreneurship for Simon Fraser Univ; Carole Piovesan, lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault; Mark Podlasly, founder of Brookmere Management Group; and Dr Ilse Treurnicht, former CEO of MaRS Discovery District. ISED noted that “many of these leaders were part of the Innovation Agenda consultations in 2016”, indicating that the Government is being careful to use known and trusted figures as part of the consultation process.

The leaders will be hosting roundtable discussions with regular Canadians – with a particular focus on women, Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups – in cities cross-country. ISED stated that their “target cities” include Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John’s, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit. Those interested in attending in person can contact For Canadians who wish to participate online, they can go to the National Digital and Data Consultation website at