Jim Stanton

Jim Stanton, President
A former journalist with CTV and Access Alberta, President Jim Stanton was the Director of Communications and Director of Government Relations for Canada Post before setting up Stanton Associates in 1990, a Vancouver based communications and training company with offices in Canada and the USA.

Jim’s credentials are well known in the communications and emergency preparedness community. Jim and his team have taught crisis communications and media relations to fire information officers in BC, Alberta and Ontario. The firm also offers media spokesperson training, effective presentations and the use of social media for  organizations.

Wabash Mayor Ron Barron said: “Jim’s calm cool demeanour and his excellent emergency planning skills got us through the largest fire in the history of Western Labrador without a hitch. He’s the ‘go-to guy’ for emergency planning and crisis communications.”

Dr. Sheela Basrur, the late Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, asked Jim to sit on the blue ribbon SARS Panel to examine strategic communications considerations for Ontario’s new health programs. Dr. Basrur said:

“I asked Jim Stanton to join our SARS Experts Panel because he is one of the leading minds in crisis communications & media relations in Canada.”

Cam Cathcart, Senior Associate

Photo - Cam Cathcart, Senior Associate
A Senior Associate with Stanton Associates for the past 12 years, Cam is a former broadcast journalist and television producer.

His broadcasting career spanned 40 years; 30 with the CBC where he was a foreign correspondent, parliamentary reporter, executive producer, writer and on-air host for radio and television throughout Canada.

Upon retirement Cam volunteered in numerous capacities, serving as Chair of the Vancouver Remembrance Day Committee for 15 years, MC at Victory Square on November 11, and Chair of the Vimy Day Committee.

In July 2015, in acknowledgement of his numerous volunteer contributions, Cam was awarded the coveted Vancouver Civic Merit Award, which he received from Mayor Gregor Robertson on behalf of Vancouver City Council.

For this work on behalf of Canada he was awarded the 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2009 he received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for promoting Veteran’s issues in BC.

Cam is President of the Royal United Services Institute-Vancouver and an Honorary Major in The B.C. Regiment (DCO). He served five years on the Vancouver Heritage Commission. Cam is a frequent commentator on the media about issues relating to corporate reputation as portrayed by the media.

Paula Walsh, Senior Associate

Paula Walsh - Senior Associate
A Senior Associate with Stanton Associates for over 20 years, Paula has taught the full range of Stanton courses across Canada from Newfoundland to Victoria, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

She is a graduate of the Atlantic Police Academy and has completed undergraduate studies at Memorial University.

Participants consistently mention her energy and connection to the class, and speak highly about how she relates her media relations experience and her service as a police officer with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for more than 33 years.

In September, 2016, Paula moved on to a wonderful new challenge. She was appointed by the Executive Council of Newfoundland Labrador Provincial Government to the position of Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Safety and Enforcement, Government of Newfoundland Labrador.

Paula has received numerous awards including: the Canada 125 Medal, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Newfoundland Volunteers Medal, the 30 year police Exemplary Service Medal, Community Service Award from the Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement as well as the prestigious Order of the Red Cross.

Rod Stafford, Senior Associate

Rod Stafford Photo
Rod is a senior public safety and emergency response professional with management expertise in municipal, provincial and private sectors plus expertise in media relations and crisis communications.

He has 25 plus years’ experience in the fire protection and emergency response industries, including 7 years as a chief fire officer, with extensive experience in emergency response plan and incident command system training.

During the Kananaskis G8 Summit, Rod was the incident commander responsible for wildland interface fires.

He has been a Senior Associate with Stanton Associates since 2000.


Jim Cowan

Jim Cowan
Jim is a veteran communications practitioner. Before joining the Ontario government, Jim ran his own public relations consulting firm for 10 years.
Prior to that, he worked for one of Canada’s largest public relations agencies as well as federal and municipal government organizations. Jim developed and taught a “Writing for Public Relations” course at Ryerson University.

He spent 15 years as Director of Communications for Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, where he was responsible for planning and implementing the province’s emergency information response to natural or human-caused disasters. Jim was directly involved in Ontario’s response to potential terrorist attacks, the SARS outbreak, and the Great Northeast Blackout.

As an Advisor from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services he assisted Emergency Management Ontario and conducted annual exercises to hone the province’s ability to respond in the event of a disaster at one of its nuclear generating stations and he was instrumental in establishing the province-wide “Red Alert” system to provide citizens with advance warning of impending danger.

A strong advocate of emergency information preparedness, Jim helped create a cadre of provincial government communications professionals who could be called on during emergencies.

Mr. Cowan recently joined Stanton Associates, as a Senior Associate.

Annette Bidniak

“Talk less, say more.” That’s the philosophy of award-winning communicator Annette Bidniak. Annette has made numerous appearances as a guest speaker and media relations trainer across Canada and the United States.

During her years as a public information officer with the Edmonton Police Service, Annette gained extensive experience in media relations and crisis communications.

She was honoured for Outstanding Public Service by the Edmonton Police Service, and received the Mark of Excellence in Media Relations from the Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada and the President’s Award from the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators’ Association.

Early in her career, while working with Alberta Correctional Services as a staff trainer, Annette was trained as a hostage negotiator and learned the value of clear, concise communications in high-risk situations.

In 2005, the Solicitor General recruited Annette to the Alberta government where she served as the Communications Director, which included external and internal communication planning.

With more than 20 years of experience as a communications specialist, Annette will help you feel comfortable and confident in high-pressure media situations.

She has been a Senior Associate with Stanton Associates since 2013.

Drew Snider

With over 25 years’ in radio and TV news and another eight in corporate media relations, Drew has a wealth of experience on both sides of the microphone or camera. For seven years, he was the trusted “public face” of TransLink; the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority explaining complex operational and policy situations to customers.

He understand the needs of clients while respecting the media’s deadline pressures and also has a sense for how an issue will “play” in the public mind; Drew can identify pitfalls and advise on ways of avoiding them.

With his knowledge of social as well as mainstream media, Drew can communicate a client’s message to a wide range of people in a wide range of ways. He is also bilingual, and has often given live and pre-taped interviews on Radio-Canada.

He recently worked as the stadium announcer for the FIFA Women’s Soccer Championships in Vancouver.

Drew really knows the Vancouver and Victoria area media markets and has been a Stanton Associate since 2013.

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    Bill Pasel