Barry W. Bussey, was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and raised in Conception Bay South. His family has a long history on the island. His paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Bussey, was among the 173 men lost at sea aboard the S.S. Southern Cross in 1914 during the March seal hunt. That tragedy along with 78 men frozen to death on the ice during the same storm has become known as the Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster. His maternal grandfather, William Gordon Dawe, was among the 800 hundred Newfoundland soldiers who fought on July 1, 1916, in the opening day of The Battle of The Somme, in Beaumont Hamel, France. Within 30 minutes the entire Royal Newfoundland Regiment was decimated. His grandfather, though wounded, survived.

He studied Theology at Canadian University College in Lacombe, Alberta graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. After pastoring the two church district of Bay Roberts and Conception Bay South in Newfoundland – Barry went to law school at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada and graduated with the Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1992. He was called to the Newfoundland Bar in April 1993 and continued a general law practice in St. John’s with Ron Cole Law Office. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newfoundland retained Barry to represent it in various meetings with the Provincial Government including the Premier on the issue of government funding of church schools. He appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on
Legal and Constitutional Affairs
representing the Adventist Church.

In 1996 Barry moved his family to Ontario where he took up duties as General Counsel, Trust Services and Religious Liberty Director for the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In 1998 he was elected Secretary of the Ontario Conference. He developed a growing knowledge of the law on religious freedom in Canada – representing a number of church members who struggled for religious accommodation in the workplace. His legal practice also included all areas of church life – employment law, property, estates and civil litigation.

In preparation for the world meeting of the Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference in Toronto in June 2000 – Barry organized a successful campaign to persuade Canada Post to issue a postage stamp commemorating the event. It was the first time that a Western country so honoured the Adventist Church.

During the fall of 2000 Barry was nominated as the Canadian Alliance candidate for the federal electoral district of Oshawa. After the 2000 federal election he returned to the Ontario Conference continuing his church law practice. It was in May 2002 he received a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s. His dissertation drew heavily on his experience representing the Adventist Church in the Newfoundland education debate.

In 2003 he began work with The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada as General Counsel. During that time he represented the Church in a number of matters of religious freedom.

At Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto he studied graduate courses in Constitutional Law and in June 2006 was awarded the Master of Laws Degree.

From January 2009 until May 2011 Barry has been working as Associate Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

In July 2011 Barry began work with the Canadian Council of Christian Charities as V-P Legal Affairs.


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