Ontario Appoints New Expert Panel on Cyber Security

Published on October 15, 2020

Members will advise government on strengthening cyber security practices in the Broader Public Sector

October 15, 2020

Government and Consumer Services

TORONTO — As part of Ontario's Cyber Security Strategy, the government has appointed ten new members to an expert panel to help modernize cyber security across the Ontario Public Sector. Members of the panel will provide advice to Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, on addressing sector-specific issues and risks in the Broader Public Sector.

"Our government is committed to strengthening our cyber security infrastructure. As the threats of cyber-attacks and hacking become more frequent globally, it's imperative that we take action now to improve our defences within the broader public sector," said Minister Thompson. "Leveraging the skills and expertise of our panel members will allow us to strengthen the resiliency of our digital infrastructure as we collectively move more government programs and services online."

The new members of the panel are: Derek Bowers, Chief Information Technology Officer at the Town of Wasaga Beach; Marc Coyle, Manager of Information Technology at the City of Belleville; Scott Currie, Chief Information Officer at the Hospital for Sick Children; Adam Evans, Vice-President of Cyber Operations and Chief Information Security Officer at the Royal Bank of Canada; Helene Fournier, Executive Director of Valoris for Children and Adults of Prescott-Russell; Antoine Haroun, Chief Information Officer with the Peel District School Board; Andrew Kirsch, founder of Kirsch Consulting Group; Carolyn Glaser, Information Technology Services Manager for the Thames Valley District School Board; Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Toronto; and Robert Wong, Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer at Toronto Hydro.

The expert panel will submit a final report to Minister Thompson in the fall of 2022, with findings and recommendations to address common vulnerabilities. The report will not only help prevent future cyber-attacks, but will equip the government to better support broader public service agencies and service delivery partners. Minister Thompson intends to make the report available to the public.

Another component of the strategy is Ontario's Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, which will support government ministries in the Ontario Public Service and the Broader Public Sector with cutting-edge solutions and resources to tackle cyber threats.

"I am very excited and honoured to be appointed the Chair of the Broader Public Sector Cyber Security Expert Panel to lead and collaborate with a group of highly talented cyber security professionals to improve the cyber security posture of the Broader Public Sector (BPS) partners," said Robert Wong, Chair of the Expert Panel on Cyber Security. "I also look forward to working with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Government and Consumer Services to develop a comprehensive BPS Cyber Security Strategy to enhance cyber resilience against the ever- increasing volumes and sophistication of cyberattacks and threats to computer systems and networks of BPS agencies and service delivery partners in Ontario."

Earlier this month, the government announced an academic partnership with Ryerson University's Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. The partnership will provide ongoing cyber security support to Ontario's broader public sector through a new cyber security learning portal, www.cybersecurityontario.ca.

Quick Facts

  • Members of the expert panel will serve for a term of up to two years.
  • The 2018 Report of the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry identified cyber security threats as a significant risk to Ontario’s economy, revenues, and expenses.
  • Globally, cyber threats are fast-evolving and increasingly complex.
  • The broader public sector organizations across the province, such as Lakeridge Health, the Children’s Aid Society offices of Oxford County and Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Metrolinx, and the City of Stratford have faced cyber incidents over the past several years.
  • The broader public sector delivers more than 80 per cent of public services in Ontario.

Additional Resources