Hons BA, International Studies (Royal Military College), LLB (Calgary), LLM (Intellectual Property) (Osgoode), PhD (Law) (Labelling of GM Crops & Foods) (Osgoode).
Mr. Benda was called originally to the Alberta Bar in 1982, and subsequently to the B.C., Yukon and Ontario bars. He was a senior Counsel, Department of Justice, Canada based in Toronto. As Senior Counsel he had been assigned since 1998 to Multilateral Science Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) with particular responsibility for the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Convention on Biodiversity and the related issues of GURTs, Traditional Knowledge, Access and Benefit Sharing and Material Transfer Agreements. Since 1992 he had also been assigned to AAFC’s Research / Intellectual Property Branch, namely technology transfer / intellectual property contracting with particular emphasis on licensing. Previously he had been assigned to Transport Canada (airport / aviation services / ferry privatizations), Public Works (industrial, commercial construction and leases), Parks Canada (Banff / Jasper Leases) and Northern Affairs (mining, riparian, and regulatory law). He publishes in the area of agricultural biotechnology, food and attendant regulations. Since May 2010 he has also been an adjunct professor at Ryerson (Ted Rogers School of Law and Business). He also practices in the area of IP licensing with particular reference to genetics, field crops, tender fruits, ornamentals, plant breeding,food and labeling.