Consumer Protection Advisory Committee: member biographies

Millie Acuna

Manager of Asset Building Programs, SEED Winnipeg

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Millie comes from a unique blend of industry and non-profit experience in providing financial access to low-income Canadians through 15 years of employment with a local credit union and in the current role as Manager of Asset Building Programs at SEED Winnipeg.

As part of the credit union system, Millie worked in various management roles for seven retail branches. She worked in process improvement and in community financial access programs, and supported the credit union through audit and risk procedures, a four-way credit union merge, and banking system conversion. Mille also established a student-run credit union for a Winnipeg inner-city high school.

At present, Millie coordinates the delivery of financial empowerment programs through over 100 community agencies by providing on-site services, service-provider training, and mentorship. Program interventions include financial literacy and access to banking.

Millie is passionate about serving unbanked/underbanked individuals, strengthening relationships within the community, and supporting financial empowerment for all to build a sustainable future.

Matthew Brady

Vice President, Office of the Investor, Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO)

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Matt is Vice President of the Office of the Investor at the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO). Matt leads the team at CIRO responsible for investor research, investor education and for bringing the investor perspective to CIRO’s regulatory activities. 

Matt has worked in regulation, compliance and consumer protection at multiple regulators for more than 20 years including his current role at CIRO and past roles at the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission. During his career, Matt has participated in numerous initiatives to enhance investor protection including leading projects on topics such as investor risk profiling and identifying and protecting vulnerable investors.

Matt holds the professional designation of CPA, CA.

Gail Henderson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at Queen’s University 

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Dr. Gail Henderson is Associate Professor at Queen’s University Faculty of Law, where she teaches Contracts, Business Associations, Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance. She graduated as a gold medalist from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2005 and clerked for the Honourable Louise Charron of the Supreme Court of Canada. She completed her SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) at the University of Toronto in 2014. Since a research trip to Dublin, Ireland in May 2014 to study the Irish government’s response to the 2008 banking crisis, her research has focused on the regulation of banks and financial services. More recently, as part of an interdisciplinary SSHRC-funded research project, she has turned her attention to the problems of financial consumer protection. She was the principal investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant focused on financial literacy education at the elementary school level. She is a non-practicing member of the Law Society of Ontario.

Fern Karsh

Senior Policy and Technical Lead, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, Consumer Office

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Fern Karsh is a lawyer serving as Senior Policy and Technical Lead for FSRA’s Consumer Office. Her career spans the private, public and non-profit sectors. At FSRA Fern leads behavioral insights, consumer research and cross-sectoral public policy projects, chairs internal and national working groups, designed FSRA’s Disclosure Framework and other thought leadership products, presents to government and national associations, and manages external stakeholders.

Prior to joining FSRA Fern had over a decade of experience in law, regulation and financial services, with expertise in wealth management, securities and compliance. She worked in industry as a General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and in public policy at a prominent charity. Interested in emerging industries, she has also focused on digital assets, spoke on panels at various conferences on crypto assets regulation, and serves on committees on Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence at George Brown College.

Fern obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto and a degree in economics and finance from Western.

Julie Kuzmic

Senior Compliance Officer, Consumer Advocacy, Equifax Canada

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Julie Kuzmic is Senior Compliance Officer, Consumer Advocacy at Equifax Canada and an established authority on consumer credit. Julie joined Equifax in 2016 and is focused on the fair treatment of Canadian consumers in compliance with applicable legislation. Julie represents the consumer perspective both inside Equifax as well as in discussion with clients, consumers, government, regulators and media. Prior to joining Equifax, Julie worked at Accenture and Symcor, leading complex IT, sales and product launch initiatives across the banking, insurance and wealth management industries. Julie participates in a number of panels and committees including the National Taskforce for Women’s Economic Justice through the Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment and the Consumer Advisory Panel of Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

Marc Lacoursière

Professor of law, Université Laval 

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Marc Lacoursière has been a professor of economic law in the Faculty of Law at Université Laval since 2000. He was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1993. He is a founding member of the Centre d’études en droit économique (CÉDÉ) of the Faculty of Law at Université Laval. He obtained his Ph.D. in banking law at York University in Toronto in 2001. In 1998, he was awarded the Prix Minerve for his master’s thesis. Professor Lacoursière is involved in numerous grant-funded research projects on banks, consumer protection and new technologies. He is the co-author, with Professor Nicole L’Heureux, of the sixth edition of Droit de la consommation (Éditions Yvon Blais, 2011) and the fifth edition of Droit bancaire (Éditions Yvon Blais, 2017). Professor Lacoursière has been a member of Université Laval’s human research ethics committee since 2011.

Katherine Macklem

Treasurer and board member, Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network

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Katherine Macklem is a communications professional with a background in corporate communications and financial journalism. Throughout her career, Katherine has focused on communicating clearly about financial and economic issues to non-experts. Most recently, she led the development of communications and stakeholder relations strategies at the Bank of Canada in support of Bank policies, including monetary policy and central bank digital currency. As a journalist earlier in her career, Katherine worked as National Business Correspondent for Maclean’s, financial reporter with the National Post, and business beat producer at CBC Radio.

Katherine currently serves as volunteer treasurer and board member with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network, one of Canada’s 19 UNESCO-designated biospheres, and chair of the Thousand Islands Parkway Trail Advisory Committee, which provides advice to an Ontario government parks agency. She holds a B.A. from McGill University in Canadian History and an M.A. from American University (Washington, D.C.) in Communications – Journalism and Public Affairs.

Sophie Roussin

Personal finance policy and regulations analyst, Union des consommateurs (UC)

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Sophie Roussin has been a personal finance policy and regulations analyst with Union des consommateurs (UC) since 2006. She is also a project and research officer with UC.

A political scientist by training (Université de Montréal / Institut d’études politiques d’Aix-en-Provence), she also has a master’s degree in International Studies (Université de Montréal).

Ms. Roussin has been involved with various non-profit organizations in Canada and abroad in the fields of housing, social exclusion, development assistance, democratization, youth and volunteer work.

She has conducted several studies on the finance sector in recent years, including The reverse mortgage: for an optimum control; Obstacles to financial institution switching; Small Consumer Loans: What to Do?; Personal loans via Internet platforms: a financial service of the future?; Complaint Processing in the Financial Sector: Consumer Accessibility; and Spotlight on the provision of financial literacy content on the Internet.

Brenda Spotton Visano

Professor of economics and public policy, York University

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Brenda Spotton Visano is a distinguished University Professor of economics and public policy at York University. Brenda has over 2 decades of experience with community-engaged research advancing access to financial services and policy-based research analyzing funding frameworks. Community capacity building efforts include advising First Nations on options for funding social and education programs, development and assessment of financial literacy education programs for networks of community agencies, and analyses of policy issues associated with alternative high-cost lending options (e.g., payday loans). In addition to publishing numerous scholarly books and articles in academic journals, she has contributed to several reports for various Canadian government agencies, First Nations organizations, UNESCO, and NGOs.  She has been a member of the national Financial Literacy Research Committee of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and President of the Canadian Women Economists Network. Her research, teaching, and university community service have been honoured with national, provincial and university level awards recognizing her contributions.

John Stapleton

Principal, Open Policy Ontario

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John Stapleton is a writer, instructor and former Innovation Fellow with the Metcalf Foundation.

He worked for the Ontario Government for 28 years in the areas of social assistance policy and operations and was Research Director for the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults in Toronto. John teaches public policy for community advocates and is extensively published in local and national media.

John is a senior research associate with the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership at the University of Toronto. He is a former Chair of the Ontario Soldiers’ Aid. He is a member of the Board of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He sat on federal Minister Duclos’ advisory committee on poverty reduction, the Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services advisory group on social assistance reform and Toronto’s advisory group on poverty reduction.

John conducts popular seminars on low-income retirement planning and has delivered his presentation to libraries, community organizations and schools over 110 times since 2012.

Anne Wettlaufer

President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP)

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Anne Wettlaufer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP), a national association representing close to 1400 members and associates. CAIRP provides education programs, including the CIRP qualification program which is the education pathway to become a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. CAIRP ensures adherence to standards of professional practice, undertakes financial literacy and consumer protection initiatives for the public and advocates for a fair, transparent and effective insolvency and restructuring system throughout Canada.

Anne joined CAIRP in 2020, after a 30-year public affairs, communications and professional education career in the private and non-profit sectors, including a decade in the innovation space as Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs at Ontario Centres of Innovation and 9 years at the Canadian Bankers Association where she was brought in to develop and deliver a national, multi-faceted financial literacy and consumer protection program. Anne is a graduate of Queen’s University and received her Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB).

Tayt Winnitoy

Chief Operating Officer, Consumer Protection BC

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Tayt Winnitoy is the Chief Operating Officer for Consumer Protection BC, a provincial regulator that is responsible for the licensing and oversight over seven business sectors as well as the overall enforcement of BC’s trade practice laws and consumer transactions. Tayt has been with the organization since its inception in 2004.

Tayt is the senior leadership team member responsible for supporting and advising on all aspects of Consumer Protection BC’s mandate. He currently leads the Compliance, Enforcement, Licensing, Consumer Information Services, Motion Picture Classification, Data Analytics and Business Systems and Solutions teams. 

Tayt holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria, completed the Leadership Development Program at the Niagara Institute in Banff, Alberta, a Certificate in Advanced Strategy from the UBC Sauder School of Business and the Mini MBA Program with McGill University in Montreal. 

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