Who We Are

We invite you to learn more about the individuals who bring their expertise and experience to CCTS. Please click on one of the following links to learn more: Commissioner and CCTS Staff Board of Directors

Commissioner and CCTS Staff

Howard Maker was appointed Canada’s first Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) in August 2008. Howard is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1985. In addition to many years of legal and regulatory experience, Howard brings to the role his specialized expertise in investigations and complaint-handling. He conducted investigations and managed investigators at the Law Society of Upper Canada, and thereafter was appointed the Director of Investigations at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Howard subsequently joined the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, where as Senior Deputy Ombudsman he conducted investigations and led the division of the organization responsible for investigating investment complaints. At CCTS, Howard’s early focus has been on process redesign and improvement, public and stakeholder awareness, and otherwise building and entrenching the infrastructure of a new and growing organization. CCTS employees bring diverse backgrounds and experience to their work. They have worked with consumer associations and regulators, and in the telecommunications industry and as lawyers. OrgChart-EN

Board of Directors

Our Board is structured to provide for the participation of all stakeholders while remaining independent from the telecommunications industry. It consists of seven directors:

  • Four Independent Directors, two of whom are nominees of consumer groups; and,
  • Three Industry Directors, one each to represent the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), the Cable Companies, and the Other Participating Service Providers.

Director biographies

Independent Directors

The Independent Directors are intended to represent a diversity of experience and interests, being individuals known and respected on a regional and national basis and representative of the Canadian population, including gender, linguistic, minority and geographic representation.

Catherine Aczel Boivie (Board Chair)

A senior executive and CEO, Catherine has led the advancement of the strategic value of information technology as a business enabler at Vancity Credit Union, Pacific Blue Cross, and CAA British Columbia. She currently serves on several Boards, including those of Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), the Burnaby Board of Trade, MedicAlert Canada, Artsclub theatre, and is also the Executive in Residence at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. She holds a BMath degree from University of Waterloo, a MEd and PhD from University of Toronto, and is a well-known speaker at conferences in North America, Europe, and China as well as an active blogger and author.

Darlene Halwas

Darlene currently serves on the boards of Aquatera Utilities Inc, CKUA Radio Foundation, and Watt Consulting Group. She has almost 30 years work experience, with 15 years focused on leading risk management functions for companies. In the past, she has served on a number of boards, including the Safety Codes Council, the Management Employees Pension Board, and the Calgary Police Commission. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Manitoba, and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) designations, as well as certification in tribunal administrative justice. Since 1995, she is an active volunteer with the CFA Institute, and recently completed her term on the global Disciplinary Review Committee. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.

Consumer Group Appointees

Marina Pavlović

Marina is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, where she is a member of the Center for Law, Technology, and Society. Marina has research and teaching experience in consumer protection, telecommunications, law & technology policy, and dispute resolution. She holds a law degree from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and a LLM in Law & Technology from the University of Ottawa.

Jacques C. P. Bellemare

Jacques graduated in Engineering Physics at École Polytechnique in Montreal (1961) and later obtained an MBA from Laval University in Quebec (1973). In the private sector, he has worked in telephony with Bell Canada, in Cable TV with Cablevision Nationale (acquired by Videotron), in consulting with Raymond, Chabot, Martin, Paré, and in regulation with Teleglobe Canada after its privatization. Since 1994, with his own firm STEM Consultants Inc., he offers independent expertise in economic regulation of public utility companies, mostly in the energy sector. In the public sector, from 1982 to 1988, Jacques served as a Member of the Quebec Public Service Board then assuming regulatory jurisdiction over certain telephone companies located in Quebec, including Quebec-Telephone and Telebec.

Industry Directors

The Industry Directors represent each of the ILEC, Cableco and Other Participating Service Provider categories. The current appointed Industry Directors are Ruby Barber (ILEC), Dennis Béland (Cableco) and Bram Abramson (Other).

Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs)

Ruby Barber

Ruby is Assistant General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs, at Bell Canada and is based in Ottawa. She joined Bell in 1997 and has a broad range of legal and regulatory experience with telecom issues. Most recently she was responsible for Bell Canada’s consumer legal team which on a day-to-day basis addresses legal issues impacting Bell’s customers, including the Wireless Code of Conduct. Previously, she supported the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Bell as Assistant General Counsel, M&A. Prior to joining Bell, Ruby was an associate at Fasken Martineau in Toronto practising corporate and securities law. She is a graduate of Queen’s University (Honours Politics) and Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1991.

Cable Companies

Dennis Béland

Dennis is Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Telecommunications, Quebecor Media Inc. Dennis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian LNP Consortium Inc., the Canadian Numbering Administration Consortium Inc. and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

Other Participating Service Providers

Bram Abramson

Bram is Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at TekSavvy Solutions Inc., where he has carriage of chief privacy officer responsibilities as well as communications regulatory, copyright, and commercial and consumer law matters. Before joining TekSavvy, Bram practiced communications law at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and, before shifting to a legal career, held senior industry research roles with the CRTC and with Washington, DC-based network mappers TeleGeography. Bram is a graduate of Concordia (BA, Communications) and McGill (BCL/LLB, Law) universities and, alongside his Ontario bar membership, holds the CIPP/C and CIPM privacy designations.