Global’s Consumer Goods and Services team covers the full spectrum of consumer product issues, ranging from product safety and recalls to consumer privacy and advertising regulations. We work with raw material suppliers, manufacturers, importers, exporters, retailers and leading industry trade associations on an array of public policy issues. Emerging policy trends and new regulatory initiatives can present both challenges and opportunities for companies. Managing this regulatory environment and the related public and political optics can help companies manage risk and succeed in their market.

Lead Contact:

Michael Mactaggart
Telephone: 416-597-3473


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Team Lead

Gil Barrows">Barrows

Senior Associate

Telephone: 613-783-3444


Gil Barrows is a Senior Associate in Global’s Agri-food, Consumer Issues and International Trade practice groups. In his more than 30 years of experience in public affairs, he has provided policy analysis and strategic advice to clients ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs to marketers, technical experts and others who need to communicate effectively to achieve their objectives with governments and media. His experience crosses issues such as environmental policy, heavy industry regulation, children’s health, advertising, privacy policy, consumer safety and retail. He has experience in issues management for coalitions on matters of public controversy, international trade policy and negotiations, and specific product approvals.
In addition to his consulting experience, Gil has worked as a trade association executive and has participated in federal government interchange programs as a senior advisor in Global Affairs Canada and the former Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada. Gil holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Hon) from Carleton University.

Kim Haakstad">Haakstad

Vice President

Telephone: 778-242-8664


Kim Haakstad is a master communicator with two decades of experience as a senior political aide and advisor for public, private and business organizations. She has built a reputation of maintaining integrity through adversity and brings a first-hand understanding of the inner workings of government to Global’s clients. Kim was a political advisor as a constituency assistant for then MLA Christy Clark in the mid-’90’s. She was Ministerial Assistant in the Ministries of Education and Family and Children before being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations for the Premier’s Office in 2011—one of a handful of senior political advisors to the government. Most recently, she worked as Manager of Local and Aboriginal Content Strategy for Spectra Energy’s Western Canadian business, where her work ensured Aboriginal communities could more fully participate in projects occurring in their Traditional Territory.

Nicole Johnson">Johnson

Senior Consultant

Telephone: 250-893-4374


Nicole Johnson is a Senior Consultant in Global’s Victoria office, where she provides government relations and stakeholder engagement support to clients in the natural resource and environment, transportation, health and arts sectors. Prior to joining Global, Nicole worked as a Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service in Calgary, AB and an Analyst with the Department of National Defence. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Victoria and is currently a MBA Candidate at the University of British Columbia.

Michael Mactaggart">Mactaggart

Senior Associate

Telephone: 416-726-4072


Michael Mactaggart is a Senior Associate with Global’s Agri-Food, Consumer and Trade practice groups. He provides sector-specific regulatory, legislative and communications advice and has extensive knowledge of Canada’s consumer product safety regime and chemicals management plan. Michael’s policy focus has involved: managing international regulatory alignment initiatives for product sectors; chemical and risk-based hazard assessments; managing new product safety regulatory standards; privacy and online behavioural advertising practices; and, international trading relations and tariff controls. Prior to joining Global, Michael was with a multinational law firm where he worked as a political and communications consultant in the firm’s global government relations and regulatory practices in Edinburgh, Scotland. Michael holds an LLB from the University of Edinburgh and BA (Hon) in Communications from Queen’s University.

Rick Roth">Roth

Vice President, Ontario

Phone: 416-597-3473


Rick Roth is the Vice President, Ontario, at Global Public Affairs, helping clients navigate the new Government in Ontario under Premier Doug Ford.  Rick works with clients seeking opportunities to collaborate with the public sector to achieve their business objectives.

Rick has more than a decade of experience in government, crisis communications and public affairs, holding senior positions in Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.  Most recently he served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks helping shape Ontario’s Environment Plan; a detailed vision ranging from the protection of air, land and water, addressing litter and waste as well as Ontario’s new approach to Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Previously Rick spent more than two years as the Senior Manager for Issues and Reputation Management at Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest and most international banks.  There he crafted crisis communications plans for the Bank and their senior executives ranging from issues around cyber security, international trade and commerce as well as in retail and digital banking.  Rick also led the Bank’s external communications strategy during their quarterly earnings as well as numerous mergers and acquisitions.

Rick served within the Government of Canada as the Director of Communications to Canada’s Foreign Minister as well as with Canada’s International Trade Minister; leading the communications team in promoting Canada’s foreign policy and trade priorities around the world, responding to the fluid and unpredictable nature of international relations.  Rick’s term with the federal government concluded with the Minister of International Trade during the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), where Rick led the communications roll-out and stakeholder strategy.

Rick is passionate about international relations, crisis communications and politics, and has built a positive reputation among his colleagues in the media, both in Canada and around the world.

Rick is a graduate of Brock University with a B.A. in Political Science with a Concentration in Public Law.

David Skinner">Skinner

Senior Associate

Telephone: 613-851-5981


David Skinner is a Senior Associate with Global’s Life Sciences practice. He provides strategic, tactical and regulatory advice on matters dealing with foods, drugs (including natural health products), devices and cosmetics. Prior to joining Global, David led Consumer Health Products Canada for 34 years as President and was a Board Director for the World Self-Medication Industry for over three decades. He also served as Chairman of the Management Advisory Committee to the Health Product and Food Branch and was a member of a number of Health Canada expert committees including the Food Expert Advisory Committee. David also was a delegate to the United States Pharmacopeial Convention for 20 years. David has a BSc (Hon) in biochemistry from Carleton University with post-graduate studies in business and pharmacology. He is a certified Sommelier and wine writer, a level 3 Certified golf official and avid fly fisher.

Justin Smith">Smith

Director – Energy, Environment & Resources

Phone: 403-476-6921


Justin Smith join global as a Director in the Energy, Environment & Resources practice at Global Public Affairs.

Prior to joining Global, Justin served as Director of Clean Energy Financing at Energy Efficiency Alberta, a provincial Crown agency dedicated to helping Alberta capture its energy efficiency potential. In this role, Justin was responsible for the identification, development, implementation, and execution of financing opportunities in the clean energy space, supporting access to capital for qualifying energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean technology projects in Alberta. Justin led the internal financing and program design team, as well as engagement with external stakeholders in the energy and financial services industry.

Justin also previously served as the Director of Policy, Research & Government Relations at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, responsible for developing and executing the organization’s public and government affairs strategy and advocating on behalf of Calgary’s business community.

Before returning to Calgary, Justin got his start in government and politics in New York, first with the Office of the Governor, and later with the New York State Senate. During that time, he was responsible for policy development and strategic communications planning in a variety of issue areas, notably energy policy, infrastructure development, and the regulation of the financial services industry.

Lauren Stone">Stone

Senior Advisor



Lauren Stone is an experienced government relations and regulatory affairs professional with expertise in the manufacturing and agri-food sectors. With a decade of experience in both the public and private sectors, Lauren manages a broad range of public affairs issues and provides leadership and technical expertise to business and industry leaders globally. Her current and past clients include working for not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, and large multinational corporations.

Prior to starting her own consulting business, Lauren managed Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for Cargill Limited, where she was responsible for government relations and business development for Cargill’s 16 diverse businesses across Western Canada. In addition, she managed Cargill’s sustainability efforts, working with its grower and end-use customers to expand market opportunities in the agri-food supply chain.

Lauren has government and political experience at both the municipal, provincial, and federal levels. She served as Policy Analyst to Premier Brian Pallister during his time in Opposition and advised elected officials of the Manitoba Legislature in the Agriculture, Economic, and Conservation portfolios.

Lauren holds an honours degree from Queen’s University in Political Science.

Elizabeth Wagdin">Wagdin

Vice President and General Manager

Telephone: 416-597-3476


Elizabeth Wagdin is Vice President and General Manager of the Global Public Affairs office in Toronto. With over 10 years of experience working in public affairs, she provides counsel and strategies to a diverse range of clients. Elizabeth works with clients to advise and execute meeting programs, lobby days and receptions at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill. Her expertise spans sectors such as natural resources, energy, infrastructure, transportation, retail and consumer goods including both private and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining Global in 2006, Elizabeth worked with the Toronto District School Board as Constituency Assistant for the Trustee of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Currently, she sits on the board for the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada. Elizabeth completed the International Association for Public Participation’s Certificate Program in Public Participation and holds both a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (Hons) and a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Guelph-Humber.


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