Martha A. Healey
Founder/Principal Healey Law Office & Regulatory Consulting
& Contract Instructor in Food Science & Health Sciences
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry (Food Science)
Bachelor of Arts (Hons.), Wilfrid Laurier University (1986)
Master of Arts (Comparative Literature), Carleton (1987)
Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Ontario (1990)
Called to the Ontario Bar (1992)
Bio: I am a contract instructor at Carleton University (since 2015) and a regulatory/litigation lawyer with over 25 years of experience in federal and provincial regulatory/administrative law matters. I have advised clients in the food, drug (human and veterinarian), medical device, natural health product, transportation, pesticide, fertilizer, animal feed, communications and other commercial sectors. My practice currently includes food and life sciences regulation, competition law (marketing practices and advertising), recall and crisis management as well as information and e-commerce regulation, privacy and anti-spam regulation.
- What does your career path look like?
My educational background was somewhat eclectic: I hold an honours Bachelor of Arts degree (French, German and a minor in History) from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Master of Arts (Comparative Literature) from Carleton and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario. These three degrees, each in its own way, have combined to lead to a career in the legal profession that has been ongoing for over 25 years. From starting out as a law student, to becoming a partner in an international law firm to now running my own law practice, I have been privileged to have been able to meet and to work with many wonderful people in many different countries over the course of my career to date
- What course(s) do you teach here at Carleton?
I teach three courses over an academic year – two in the Chemistry Department (FOOD2003- Regulation of the Canadian Food Industry and FOOD4102 – Current Issues in Canadian Food Governance, Regulation and Policy) and one course in the Health Sciences Department (HLTH3104 – Regulatory Issues and Human Health).
- What do you want your students to take away from your course(s)/why is it important to learn?
There are two key components of my courses that I hope students take away with them: the first component is a honed curiosity about how Canada regulates key aspects of everyday life – foods, drugs, medical devices, etc. – as well as an interest/awareness of how policy issues inform and change the face of Canadian regulatory requirements. The second component is an understanding of how to find the answers to regulatory questions – in other words, where/what to look at in order to solve questions/problems when regulatory questions arise. These two aspects are important not only for career purposes but also to understand how regulation has an impact on nearly every aspect of our everyday lives.
- What is your favourite part about working in the Food Science Program?
Without question – working with colleagues I respect and admire and with students who inspire me has been incredibly rewarding. When I first started as a contract instructor in 2015, I did not have a full appreciation for just how supportive and how cohesive a group the faculty, staff and students in the Food Science Program would be. There is a shared common vision of the importance of the program, of the need to maintain standards of excellence in program delivery and of the need to expand/evolve the program to ensure that it continues to maintain high standards.
- Do you have any challenges teaching law/ethics courses to science-major students?
There is always an adjustment period as science students start to learn about laws/regulations/policies – what they mean, how they apply, the effect that they have, etc. A discussion of policy, for example, is a debate not necessarily about what the “correct” answer is but rather about what the best approach might be in a given situation. I find students can be challenged by the newness and fluidity of regulatory analysis. However, as much as this type of analysis might initially be a challenge for students, I also find that each year science students invest the time and energy to learn to adjust their approach to problem solving. And, it is incredibly rewarding to see students learn to combine their science background with a new knowledge of law and regulation to better understand how evidence-based decision making in the food sector is informed by both science and regulation/policy.
- Why does the regulation/policies/laws of food interest you? Why is it important?
To me, understanding regulation/laws and policies in the food sector equates to understanding how a key component of the world around me is structured. Laws/regulations and policy are constantly under review and are constantly evolving. I am particularly excited to share this knowledge with science students – they have an enormous potential to combine their science background with a knowledge of regulation to make a significant impact on the food industry and on food regulation. Very simply, today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders – the more they are able to learn now, the greater their impact could be.
- What is a fun fact about you that we would be surprised to know?
I’m pretty sure this is not a secret, but I am a huge wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve fan of Canadian football and of the Canadian Football League. Every year, in every class, I ask my students whether there are any other CFL fans in the room. In a perfect world, every single student would answer “YES!” to that question. GO OTTAWA REDBLACKS!