Joseph Ragusa


A founding partner of Sussex, Joseph has been a Principal at the firm since its inception in 1998. With over 30 years of experience in government, consulting, and politics, Joseph has particular strength in policy development and government process, with an acute talent for assessing political dynamics. Joseph employs his experience, his relationships with stakeholders and government officials, and his reputation in pursuit of his clients’ government relations objectives.

Joseph is an expert at identifying and working toward the right solutions, be they legislative, regulatory, policy, or fiscal, to accomplish win-win scenarios for clients and government. This expertise-based, results-driven approach has enabled him to develop and execute effective strategies and tactics in order to properly position and advance the needs of clients, while continuously evaluating risks and rewards. This approach, together with Joseph’s strong negotiation abilities, have achieved significant success and ROI for Sussex clients.

Joseph has served on the political staffs of several legislators, including Joe Cordiano and Elinor Caplan. He has consulted to corporations, industry and professional associations, labour organizations and non-profit groups at the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels in many sectors. Recent and past successes on behalf of clients have included assignments in healthcare, economic development, new and emerging technologies, infrastructure, real estate development, housing, transportation, energy, environment, information technology, procurement, export development, tax policy, financial services, forestry, and tourism.

Joseph’s strategic communication skills have been sought out by both the media and political leaders. He has appeared on CBC Newsworld, Michael Coren Live, Cable Pulse 24 and 1010 CFRB. Joseph has also been a keynote speaker at a variety of industry and professional association conferences and has had a number of papers published in various trade publications. Joseph has held management and advisory roles in numerous political campaigns, including membership on the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Ontario Liberal Party Campaign Committees.

Ontario Election Year Insights
Happy new election year! The legislative session is paused, set to resume in February (following the Family Day holiday) and leading to an election set for June 7, 2018. So, like we did in October, Sussex thought it was opportune to provide our clients with some insights into what is on the horizon for Ontario public affairs in the first part of 2018.
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Ontario Fall Economic Statement: Fair is Fair
Today, Ontario Minister of Finance, Hon. Charles Sousa rose to deliver an election-ready fiscal update, tabling the 166-page fiscal update with the campaign-ready titled “A Strong and Fair Ontario,” and announcing in Question Period that the Liberals are balancing the budget this year and for the next two years.
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Ontario’s Approach to Recreational Cannabis: It Finally Gets A Little Less Hazy
Yes, the headline puns will be going into overdrive over the next few days (as always, Sussex looks to be ahead of the curve). Today, the Ontario Government announced the general framework for the legalization of recreational cannabis in the province, when it takes place next summer.
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Health Policy Expert Abid Malik Joins Sussex Strategy Group To Strengthen Ontario Government Relations Practice
Abid Malik joins the firm as a Senior Associate, Ontario Government Relations. Prior to joining Sussex, Abid consulted to health care clients at a public affairs and health care consulting firm for two years.
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Government of Ontario 2017 Budget
Today Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the Wynne Government’s 2017 budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year, which began on April 1st and will conclude on March 31st.
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The Cannabis Act: What you need to know
As a premiere Canadian public affairs firm, and one with particular sector expertise in medical marijuana and the opening of the new legalized market in Canada, we are pleased to provide you with our summary and analysis of today's tabling of the Cannabis Act and the materials provided by government in support of the new legislation.
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Ontario Pharmacists Receive New Regulatory Approval
Sussex congratulates our longstanding client, the Ontario Pharmacists Association, on receiving regulatory approval to administer 13 new vaccines, including travel vaccines, from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
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2016 Ontario Government Fall Economic Statement
This afternoon Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the Wynne government’s Fall Economic Statement (FES). Its formal name is “Building Ontario Up for Everyone: the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review”. With the Liberals trailing badly in public opinion polling, and with two by-elections looming in just three days, the content and delivery of this year’s Statement was expected to take on additional strategic importance.
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Update: Ontario Government’s Changing Workplaces Review.
Special Advisors have been tasked by the Ministry of Labour to review and make recommendations on what changes, if any, should be made to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 in light of the changing nature of the workforce, the workplace, and the economy.
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Ontario Government Summer Re-Cap and Looking Forward to the Fall Session
With the Legislative Assembly due to resume sitting next Monday September 12th, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the events of the summer of 2016, as well as look ahead to what we might expect in the fall session.
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Agreement in Principle to a CPP enhancement
On June 20th, Canada’s Finance Ministers agreed in principle to work on a CPP enhancement starting January 1, 2019. Carly Martin breaks down the agreement.
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Ontario's Cabinet Shuffle Update
Premier Kathleen Wynne announces new cabinet in lead up to the 2018 provincial election. Here are our takeaways.
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Sussex produces video for MEDEC
When MEDEC, the national association that represents Canada’s medical technology industry, decided to produce a video that demonstrates the benefits of health technologies to patients, the healthcare system, and the economy, they called upon the expertise at Sussex to make the idea a reality.
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Ontario Government 2016 Budget
Today, Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the Wynne Government’s third budget since being re-elected in 2014. Readers will recall that the 2014 Budget – which was defeated in the previous minority parliament and whose defeat triggered the 2014 election – was reintroduced and passed by the majority government in the summer of 2014.
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