As a Principal, and lead of the Municipal Affairs practice at Sussex, Jamie Besner advocates, lobbies and provides strategic direction to the firm’s clients on municipal government issues across Canada. He specializes in licensing and regulatory issues, public works and infrastructure projects, transit and transportation procurement, environmental issues, land development and zoning approvals as well as economic development matters.
Over the last 20 years, he has successfully advocated for legislative policy changes, implemented procurement strategies and promoted new economic development projects on behalf of numerous Canadian and international Fortune 500 companies, industry associations and professional unions. Under Jamie Besner’s lead, the Sussex Municipal Affairs practice, referred to by The Toronto Star as “the most prominent, powerful and sought after lobbyist firm working at City Hall” , has strongly represented a client in virtually every major economic development initiative or policy debate that the City of Toronto has engaged in since its amalgamation.
While at the City of Toronto, Jamie served as Executive Assistant to Councillor David Shiner where he gained an in-depth knowledge of the legislative and inner political workings of Toronto Council. His areas of focus included works, transportation, budget and economic development matters.
Jamie’s political involvement encompasses all three levels of government. He served as Executive Assistant to Mayor Mel Lastman and Director of Operations during 1997 Mayoralty Campaign. As a political organizer, campaign manager, and fundraiser he has organized and worked on many successful campaigns in both Ontario and Quebec over the last 25 years. These experiences have provided him with a extensive network of business and political contacts that he engages on behalf of his clients.
Jamie is a native of Montreal and is fluently bilingual. He attended York University’s Glendon College specializing in International Relations and Political Science. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Just for Laughs/ JFL42 Comedy Festival in Toronto.