Suzanne Sabourin is associate counsel in the Food and Beverage Group of Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office.
After 20 years of experience in government and international affairs, public policy development in telecommunications, broadcasting and insurance, Suzanne returned to university as a mature candidate to study law in the French Common Law program of the University of Ottawa.
Before joining the firm, Suzanne was Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) — the industry association that represents the largest component of Canada’s food processing sector, namely, the federally registered meat processors and the suppliers of their equipment, services and technology.
During that time, she gained extensive experience in all aspects of food and agricultural law including labelling, recalls, food safety regulations, plant protection, and animal health. She also played a leadership role in negotiations of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, as well as international standards setting within the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
As counsel for the CMC, Suzanne was a core member of the government-industry working group that steered the WTO Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) dispute with the United States to a successful outcome for Canada.
While in the insurance industry, Suzanne established the General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO), the independent consumer complaint resolution body of property and casualty insurers to comply with the requirements of the Insurance Companies Act.
Suzanne is fluently bilingual and provides regulatory law and government relations services to a broad range of business clients and organizations in French and English.