Charles Harnick, Q.C is a founding Principal of Counsel Public Affairs Inc., having merged his previous successful consulting business, Suasion Public Affairs Management Inc., with Excelsior to form Counsel Public Affairs.
Charles has extensive experience in providing strategic communications counsel to clients on a variety of complex business, legal, public policy, and political issues.
Charles served Ontario as Attorney General and Minister of Native Affairs from 1995-1999, and as MPP for the riding of Willowdale from 1990-1999. As one of the most senior ministers in the government, Charles participated in the decision-making processes of Cabinet (including serving as Vice-Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and Regulations, and serving as a member of the Policy and Priorities Board Sub-Committee on Federal-Provincial Issues) and gave direction on a variety of legal issues that required a coordinated crisis communications response.
Charles served as facilitator in discussions between the Law Society of Upper Canada (the regulatory authority for the legal profession in Ontario), volunteer lawyer associations and paralegal organizations, which resulted in the development of a report on paralegal regulation.
As facilitator, Charles also provided strategic communications counsel to the Law Society during the course of the negotiation process, which involved communicating with a variety of professional legal and paralegal stakeholder groups.
Currently, Charles is the Chief Federal Negotiator for the Government of Canada in negotiations with the Chippewa Tri-Council regarding the Coldwater Narrows Land Claim, a significant claim in Central Ontario and the Lac Seul land claim in Northern Ontario. He has also facilitated discussions with Ontario's police services and communities on behalf of the Ministry of Public Safety and Security.
Called to the bar in 1977, Charles has been and continues to be an active and successful civil litigator. He received the distinction of Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1991, the designation of the Queen's Counsel by the Government of Canada in 1992, and was awarded the Law Society Medal in 2005. Charles sits as a Bencher (governor) of The Law Society of Upper Canada.