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2023 Government Relations Forum Recording January 11, 2024

On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, OACETT hosted the 2023 Government Relations Forum to provide an update on our engagement with the Government of Ontario and discuss our ongoing work to advocate on behalf of Ontario’s certified engineering technology professionals and the important work you do. Our government relations consultants, Counsel Public Affairs, will provide insight into the people and policies that shape our profession.

The session covered:

  • An assessment of the current political and government context;
  • Successes over the past year in raising OACETT members’ profile among elected officials and their staff;
  • OACETT’s continued advocacy on behalf of the professions and your collective impact on several of the government’s key economic priorities; and
  • How you can leverage your expertise as an engineering technology professional to support OACETT’s government engagement.

Click the button below to view the recording. 

GR Forum Recording

Speaker Bios

Michael Ras, Senior Vice-President: Michael Ras has worked at the intersection of business, politics and public policy in Ontario for nearly twenty-five years. Before joining Counsel in early 2022, led the government relations effort for Meridian Credit Union, one of Canada’s leading co-operative financial institutions. He has extensive experience as a government relations advisor and consultant, serving clients touching nearly every sector of the economy, in nearly every corner of the country. 

His experience in and around politics and policy runs deep. Michael held senior staff roles during the Ontario governments of Premier Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, and recently contested the 2021 Federal election as the Conservative candidate in the closely contested election for the riding of Mississauga—Lakeshore. 

In his community, Michael serves on the Board of Radius Child & Youth Services, a children’s mental health agency, and for Career Edge, a social enterprise that provides recent graduates and new Canadians with employment opportunities through internship work placements. He is also chair of the Ontario Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee, which recruits and qualifies candidates to become Justices of the Peace in Ontario.

Devan Sommerville, Vice-President: Devan Sommerville brings an impactful balance of practical public policy experience and forward-thinking insight. An experienced government relations practitioner, Devan has advocated for a diverse range of clients across many sectors, including the housing & residential development, infrastructure & construction, health care and the environment. 

Prior to joining Counsel in 2014, Devan served as the Senior Policy Advisor to two of Ontario’s Ministers for Municipal Affairs and Housing, and served in similar roles for the Premier of Ontario and Ontario’s Minister of Labour. Devan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Toronto.