News release: Ontario announces appointment of Information and Privacy Commissioner

TORONTO, April 14, 2020 - The Hon. Ted Arnott, MPP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, today announced the appointment of Patricia Kosseim as the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2020. Ms. Kosseim will replace Brian Beamish when he retires later this year, after 21 years with the Information and Privacy Commission, including the last 6 as Commissioner.

Ms. Kosseim was appointed by Order of the Legislative Assembly after being unanimously recommended by an all-party panel of MPPs chaired by Speaker Arnott and composed of the Hon. Paul Calandra (PC), Peggy Sattler (NDP), and Mike Schreiner (Green).

“We are very excited to have a person of Ms. Kosseim’s calibre to step into this vital role. Accountability has never been more important for public institutions and Ms. Kosseim’s career has perfectly prepared her to take on this job”, said Arnott. “I want to express my sincere thanks to the MPPs and Legislative Assembly staff who participated in this process,” Arnott said.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner was established in 1987 to provide oversight of Ontario’s access and privacy laws. The Commissioner is an officer of the Legislature who is appointed by, and reports to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and is independent of the government of the day.

“The Legislative Assembly is also extremely grateful for the many years of public service outgoing Commissioner Brian Beamish has given to the people of Ontario. He fulfilled the role as Commissioner with great professionalism and all members of the Assembly wish him the very best and thank him for his effective leadership”, Arnott said.

Biographical notes follow.
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Patricia Kosseim

Most recently, Ms. Kosseim has been based in Ottawa with the law firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, serving as Counsel in Osler's Privacy and Data Management Group and National Co-leader of Osler’s AccessPrivacy knowledge platform.

Ms. Kosseim served over a decade as Senior General Counsel and Director General at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). During that period, she was responsible for overseeing a broad range of regulatory functions including, Legal Services, Litigation, Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Federal-Provincial-Territorial and International Relations, Research, Technology Analysis and ATIP. Prior to that, Ms. Kosseim held executive positions at Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She began her career in Montreal practicing law in the areas of health law, civil litigation, human rights, privacy and labor & employment.