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: 604-630-1069


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


Telephone: 250-893-4374


Nicole Johnson is a Consultant in Global’s Victoria office. 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 promoting commerce, trade and investment in the energy, mining and tourism sectors. She also worked as an Analyst with the Department of National Defence at the Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters in Esquimalt, BC. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the University of Victoria and a certificate from Cornell’s Project Leadership program.

Michael Mactaggart">Mactaggart

Vice President

Telephone: 416-597-3473


Michael Mactaggart leads Global’s Agri-Food, Consumer and Trade practice groups in servicing clients with their federal and provincial government relations mandates. He provides sector-specific regulatory, legislative and communication 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.

Brookes Merritt">Merritt

Senior Consultant

Phone: 780-868-1013


Based in Edmonton, Brookes Merritt is a Senior Consultant and member of Global’s Western Canada government relations and communications practices. He draws on more than 15 years of experience in the political, public and private sector spheres, to support western and national clients across the prairies. Brookes serves a broad range of clients in the education, energy, municipal and cannabis portfolios, and is a member of Global’s Cannabis Connect Team. Prior to consulting, Brookes worked with the provincial government, in the Alberta legislature, and in major metropolitan newsrooms. As a Strategic Communications Advisor with the Government of Alberta, he served members of Executive Council and Cabinet, Deputy Ministers and their teams in various ministries. He has extensive crisis communications experience, having served in the Provincial Operation Centre during the Slave Lake Wildfires and the southern Alberta floods. Brookes also pioneered the provincial government’s use of social media.  Before joining government, he served as Director of Communications in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, and as a print reporter with major dailies in Toronto and Edmonton. Brookes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English Literature from the University of Alberta, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.

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.

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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