John Lawford, PIAC's new Executive Director and General Counsel

New Public Interest Advocacy
Centre boss John Lawford is
a lawyer with expertise in
in financial services, privacy and
OTTAWA - The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is pleased to announce that, effective September 1st, John Lawford will become PIAC's new Executive Director and General Counsel.  Mr. Lawford is a lawyer and advocate for consumer rights, particularly in the areas of financial services, privacy and telecommunications.  Mr. Lawford has been a research analyst and lawyer with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre since 2003.

Prior to joining PIAC, Mr. Lawford was research counsel at a major national law firm, specializing in medical-legal research and previously Research Director at a major Ottawa-based litigation firm.  John was Special Projects Director and Webmaster for QUICKLAW Inc., a legal database company and now part of LexisNexis Canada, from 1992 to 1999.  He has an undergraduate degree in English and a Law degree from Queen's University in Kingston (1990).

Michael Janigan to head up Toronto operations

Michael Janigan, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC since 1992, will continue to play a vital role in the organization.  He will replace outgoing Toronto counsel, Michael Buonaguro as the lead counsel representing PIAC’s clients before the Ontario Energy Board.  In addition, he will continue to oversee PIAC’s ongoing work in the fields of airline transportation, competition law and general consumer protection.  Mr. Janigan’s new title will be Special Counsel, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.  Mr. Janigan also continues in the capacity of chair of the Ontario government agency, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), serving as an appointee of the Ontario Government.

Rounding out the changes at PIAC, we are pleased also to announce that Jonathan Bishop has joined PIAC as Research and Parliamentary Analyst. Jonathan was a Parliamentary Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Officer at the Competition Bureau. As well, he spent 8 years working in the Senate and the House of Commons as a Policy Advisor and Legislative Assistant.

“We are pleased that John Lawford will be leading our team and ensuring continuity with our vision,” said Michael Mac Neil, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. “We are equally thrilled that Michael Janigan will continue to play a key role representing PIAC at the Ontario Energy Board and liaising with the Ontario government in Toronto.  Finally, we are certain that Jonathan Bishop will use his insight into federal legislation, policy and Parliamentary process to help achieve results for consumers at the federal level.”

Together with PIAC regulatory counsel Janet Lo, they will comprise our new senior legal staff and management team, working closely with Donna Brady, PIAC Administrator and with the Board of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as we strive to continue pursuing PIAC's goal of consumer protection, especially for vulnerable consumers, in important public services including telecommunications, broadcasting, financial services, energy, transportation and privacy.

Founded in 1976, PIAC is a registered Canadian charity that advocates for the public interest and consumer rights. We have a proven record in achieving results, including improving online privacy, ensuring fair rates and quality of service in telecommunications and energy, diversity of voices and Canadian content in broadcasting at fair prices to consumers, and ensuring that the consumer voice is heard by decision-makers.

If you would like to know more about what PIAC is doing to ensure better services and rates for consumers while protecting the public interest, or if you would like to help us to continue our work, visit or email us at

For more information, please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
613-562-4002 ×25