Industry Leaders Gather for Launch of GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum Industry Leaders Gather for Launch of GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum
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Industry Leaders Gather for Launch of GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum
-- Speakers, Including Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Address Attendees About Policy Implications of EPC/RFID --

Toronto, ON - September 29 , 2006 - Industry leaders gathered in Toronto on September 25, 2006, for the launch of the GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum, undertaken to manage critical public policy issues in Canada arising from the increasingly widespread adoption of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). GS1 Canada, Canada’s voice in collaborative commerce, including global supply chain standards, established the Forum to facilitate collaboration among industry representatives in order to expedite the unimpeded implementation of this global technology across Canada. EPC/RFID is an emerging system that involves a combination of the Electronic Product Code (EPC), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the EPCglobal Network, and helps enterprises efficiently manage supply chains through the identification and location of tagged items.

Launch attendees heard from Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario Dr. Ann Cavoukian on Canadian privacy guidelines, as well as the potential privacy implications of RFID.  GS1 Canada CEO N. Arthur Smith also addressed the group, speaking about the role of EPCglobal Canada in the dissemination of EPC/RFID systems.  Forum Chairperson Eileen Mac Donald, Senior Vice President of GS1 Canada, commented on the importance of the Forum for enhancing public and stakeholder awareness of EPC/RFID in this environment, driving support for its adoption.  “It will enable coordination among industry sectors to ensure a unified response to policy issues around EPC/RFID,” she stated.  “This is a borderless technology.  EPC/RFID is being implemented world-wide, and the Forum will help ensure that Canada is participating at the global level; securing Canada’s productivity and competitive position.”

The Forum will encompass seven Working Groups to address the myriad policy implications associated with EPC/RFID, including Privacy; Education and Communications; Data Security; Labour Impact; Environment; Health and Life Sciences; and Other Work Plans Working Groups.  Its broad responsibilities will include maintaining and updating EPC/RFID usage guidelines to ensure ongoing accountability in addressing consumer concerns, as well as informing and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with key policy decision-makers and consumers.

“The formation of the GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum is reflective of Canadian industry’s commitment to the deployment of EPC/RFID systems consistent with the Canadian policy environment,” noted GS1 Canada CEO N. Arthur Smith.  “The Forum will bring together communities of interest to consolidate relevant policy discussions to a single arena.  By capitalizing on the broad expertise of the many industry representatives involved, we can issue focused and timely responses to pertinent policy issues associated with this technology.”

The following individuals attended the launch of the GS1 Canada Public Policy Forum:

  • N. Arthur Smith, CEO, GS1 Canada;
  • Eileen Mac Donald, Senior Vice President, GS1 Canada;
  • Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario;
  • Fred Carter, Senior Policy and Technology Advisor, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario;
  • Janet Geisberger, Director – Corporate Services, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario;
  • Debra Grant, Senior Health Privacy Specialist, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario;
  • Elizabeth Board, Executive Director – Public Policy Steering Committee, EPCglobal Inc.;
  • Josie Brocca, Policy Analyst, Industry Canada;
  • Trish Casey, Director – Business Solutions, Wal-Mart Canada;
  • Jude DeSouza, Director – Business Services, Shoppers Drug Mart;
  • John Keogh, Director – RFID & Supply Chain Solutions, Hewlett-Packard;
  • Bill Munson, Vice-President – Policy, Information Technology Association of Canada;
  • Derek Nighbor, Vice President – National Affairs, Retail Council of Canada;
  • Elaine Smith, Senior Vice President – Industry Affairs, Food and Consumer Products of Canada;
  • Zoe Strickland, Vice President – Chief Privacy Officer, Wal-Mart Inc.;
  • Carolyn Walton, Vice President – Information Systems Division, Wal-Mart Inc.;  
  • Lori Turik, Vice President  -   Public Policy, Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores; and
  • David Wilkes, Senior Vice President – Trade & Business Development, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors

“We look forward to working with this exceptional group to communicate the benefits of EPC/RFID to key stakeholders and to help facilitate national adoption of this innovative technology,” stated Mr. Smith.

About GS1 Canada
GS1 Canada is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and maintains global standards for the identification of goods, locations and related e-commerce communication, such as bar code issuance and maintenance. GS1 Canada is the only authorized source for globally unique company prefixes in Canada, a standard term and condition of trade globally.  It provides a range of educational opportunities, maintains Canada’s national product registry, and offers one-stop access to product images and dimensions.  As technologies like Electronic Product Code™/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) continue to drive the e-commerce revolution, GS1 Canada will provide the leadership to help ensure that Canadian companies can participate competitively. For more information, visit

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For more information, contact:
Kathleen McManus
GS1 Canada
416-510-8039 ext. 2263