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William J. Pristanski

Mr. Pristanski left the government of Canada in 1991 to form a government relations consulting firm.

Over the past two decades, he has become one of Canada’s most experienced and respected public affairs strategists. He advises many North American companies on building positive relationships with governments in Canada, both at the federal and provincial levels.

Over the period of 1983 to 1991, Mr. Pristanski held several senior positions in the Government of Canada. The first four years he served as executive assistant to Prime Minister Mulroney. From 1987 to 1991 he served as Chief of Staff to the Solicitor General, the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister of the Environment. In 1990 and 1991, he chaired the weekly meeting of chiefs of staff to ministers.

His government experience spans central agencies (PMO and Treasury Board) and major line departments (Solicitor General and Environment).

As Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Environment, he spearheaded the policy development and Cabinet approval process for Canada’s Green Plan and the Environmental Assessment Act.

In 2003, he was the chair of the successful Peter MacKay Leadership Campaign. Later that year he was a senior advisor to Mr. MacKay during the merger negotiations and the subsequent ratification process that formed the new Conservative Party.

During the previous three federal elections, Mr. Pristanski appeared nightly on Prime Time Politics with Peter Van Dusen on CPAC representing the Conservative Party on the party strategists panel. He was also a regular guest on Mike Duffy’s CountDown program on CTV NewsNet.

Mr. Pristanski, a Sir James Dunn Scholar and DesCartes Fellow, holds an Honours Co-operative degree in Mathematics (Computer Science and Statistics) from the University of Waterloo.

Mr. Pristanski’s community involvement includes:

  • founding president of the National Youth Parliament Association,
  • former member of the University of Waterloo Senate,
  • former director of the Tukulik Foundation,
  • member of the board of directors of AmCham Canada,
  • chair of the capital fundraising project for St. Paul’s University College,
  • past-chair of the Black and White Soirée to raise funds for the National Arts Centre and Opera Lyra,
  • fundraising chair and general manager for the undefeated EMC Howe Stars U-17 hockey team that travelled to Europe in April 2011,
  • Head Coach of the League Champion Ottawa West Golden Knights Major Midget 2011-2012 Hockey Team

Mr. Pristanski currently serves on the board of the Terry Fox Foundation as its chair.  He has run in all 33 Terry Fox Runs. In 2010, he personally raised over $30,000 for the 30th anniversary run.  He was awarded one of twelve 2010 iRun Awards by iRun magazine for his 30 consecutive Terry Fox runs.

In 1987 he was awarded the Canada 125 Medal.  Last year, he was the proud recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Medal created in 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.

He is a member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club and the Rideau Club.