We believe that our success is the product of the diverse ideas, experiences, and personalities that our employees bring to IO. Learn more about some of our employees, their roles, and the career paths that led them to IO.
Laura Gagnon, Senior Legal Counsel
What does your role entail? As Senior Legal Counsel in the Transaction Legal team, I work closely with the Project Delivery team, advising on legal and commercial matters on public-private partnership (P3) projects throughout the planning, procurement and implementation phases of projects. Since starting at IO in August 2021, I’ve been engaged primarily on the development of IO’s new progressive P3 and progressive design build project models.
What is your career background? Prior to joining IO I worked at a leading national law firm, advising on P3 and infrastructure projects, as well as mergers and acquisitions and a broad range of corporate and commercial matters.
What drew you to join IO? I was drawn to join IO because of what I saw to be the building blocks of a rewarding career. The work is both interesting and impactful: every day I work on large, complex infrastructure projects that directly impact the daily lives of millions of Ontarians. IO is an agency that values being sharp, skillful and solutions-oriented: to me, this has translated in working as part of a team that seeks to adapt to changing market realities and landscapes, and is continuously problem solving. Finally, IO is also a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion, providing a safe space to learn and grow.
What is it like to work on the Transaction Legal team? The Transaction Legal team is made up of so many intelligent and talented people. It’s a fairly large team, with over 20 lawyers and non-lawyers. This means that there are a lot of people to bounce ideas off of and to collaborate and problem-solve with when faced with novel and complex issues. The team has a great culture of sharing knowledge and encouraging professional and personal growth.
Can you share your biggest accomplishment at IO? I’m very proud to have played a part in the two first progressive P3 projects – the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority Redevelopment Project and the Trillium Health Partners Broader Redevelopment Project – The Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital – reaching the start of the development phase. These are important healthcare projects for Ontario which will impact so many people across the province. While advising on these projects, I was able to work with a cross-functional team within IO, our co-sponsors and external advisors in creating a model that could address the unique characteristics of each of the projects.
What’s one thing IO does to make you feel empowered/supported? IO provides a lot of resources and opportunities for continuous learning and personal development. I’ve particularly enjoyed the opportunity to take advantage of the training courses offered by “Learning@IO”, including courses on how to have difficult conversations and on mental health.