TORONTO, NOVEMBER 19, 2018 — With recent elections changing the makeup of Toronto’s municipal council and Ontario’s provincial government, Counsel is growing and strengthening its all-star roster of professionals to further help our clients succeed, with two promotions and two new additions to our office in Toronto.

Stephanie Gawur is promoted to Associate Vice President.

It’s no surprise that Stephanie quickly rose through the ranks at Counsel over the past year, given her keen political acumen and strong network of conservative-minded politicians and organizers across Canada.

Growing up around politics naturally led to taking on campaign roles for a wide range of Conservative politicians and candidates at all levels of government, including Mayor John Tory’s past two election victories, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s victory, as well as Christine Elliott’s leadership bid for the Ontario PC Party in 2018 and Vic Fedeli’s 2015 leadership bid.

Stephanie focuses on both municipal and provincial client files, spanning agriculture, environment, residential development, community services, professional associations and more.

Devan Sommerville is promoted to Associate Vice President.

Devan has demonstrated masterful policy knowledge across a wide range of subjects in his tenure with Counsel, giving his clients an edge in achieving government relations success. Devan breaks down the complexity of the municipal and provincial policy landscape with ease, and is always ready with razor-sharp insights.

His political experience includes serving as Senior Policy Advisor for two Ontario Ministers for Municipal Affairs and Housing, and as an advisor to the Minister of Labour and the Premier of Ontario.

Devan advocates on behalf of a diverse range of clients across many sectors, including residential development, housing, infrastructure & construction, real estate, environment, entertainment, and the sharing economy.

In addition to their extensive work at the provincial government level, Stephanie and Devan will have an important leadership role in Counsel’s growing municipal practice focused on the City of Toronto and the GTA.


Counsel is excited to welcome some new faces to its Toronto-based team, bringing fresh perspectives and frontline experience.

Brooklyn DeForest joins Counsel as Research and Campaign Manager. 

Brooklyn previously served in Ottawa as a communications and legislative advisor to three Conservative Members of Parliament, and has worked on numerous campaigns including Doug Ford’s successful leadership bid. She has a broad skill set that includes legislative monitoring and research, event planning, campaign management, communications, digital marketing and content creation.

Brooklyn has served as the Director of Communications for the Ontario PC Campus Association, where she was the key spokesperson for twenty university chapters across the province. She presently sits on the board of the Conservative Party of Canada electoral district association for Simcoe-Grey.

Brooklyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in public administration and political science from the University of Ottawa.

Jaskiran Shoker joins Counsel as Research Assistant and Campaign Coordinator.

Jaskiran combines her political acuity with a strong understanding of public policy and experience in legislative and media monitoring, and conducting high-quality research.

After working with McMaster University’s public affairs team, Jaskiran was selected to be part of the prestigious Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP) at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the 2017/2018 cohort. Through OLIP, Jaskiran gained first-hand experience with government, legislative and political processes via placements in the offices of government and opposition MPPs. Jaskiran was also the lead for planning and hosting the programme’s Queen’s Park receptions for MPPs, Ministers, alumni and sponsors.

Jaskiran holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a Masters of Arts Degree in Political Science from McMaster University, where she graduated as Valedictorian. Jaskiran is passionate about giving back to her community and volunteering with her local South Asian community, and was nominated for Hamilton’s YWCA Women of Distinction awards in 2016.

About Counsel Public Affairs

Counsel is one of Canada’s most respected and successful independent government relations and strategic communications companies. Established in 2004, Counsel’s team includes some of the most sought-after consultants in their fields.

With offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton, Counsel’s team includes seasoned practitioners who have quarterbacked national political campaigns, run provincial war rooms, served as Ministers of the Crown, led Indigenous organizations and, most importantly, helped hundreds of clients succeed.

Our experience is broad, providing us with expertise across a wide range of sectors including Indigenous affairs, energy, transportation, agriculture, public consultations, construction and development, housing, infrastructure, legal, financial services, healthcare, labour, the sharing economy, and much more.

For media enquiries:

Alissa Von Bargen

VP, Public Relations and Campaigns