Mandate and members

What is the mandate of the Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide non-binding, merit-based recommendations to the Prime Minister on Senate appointments. It was established on January 19, 2016 and consists of three permanent federal members and two members from each of the provinces or territories where a vacancy is to be filled‍. The Advisory Board is chaired by one of the federal members and is supported by the Privy Council Office. 

Terms of Reference for the Advisory Board

What is the role of the Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

An open application process has been established to allow Canadians to apply for appointment to the Senate.

The Advisory Board assesses applications based on public, merit-based criteria, in order to identify Canadians who would make a significant contribution to the work of the Senate. The criteria helps to ensure a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and non-partisanship in the Senate.

The Advisory Board provides a short-list of five names for each vacancy to the Prime Minister for his consideration, in accordance with their Terms of Reference.

How many members sit on the Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board has five members: a federal Chair, two other federal members and two ad hoc provincial or territorial members for the province or territory where a vacancy is being filled.

Who are the current federal members of the Advisory Board?

  • Huguette Labelle (Chair)

    Huguette Labelle holds a PhD (education) degree from the University of Ottawa, has honorary degrees from twelve Canadian universities, and from the University of Notre Dame, United States. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada. In addition, she is a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Vanier Medal of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada, the McGill University Management Achievement Award and the Francophonie’s Ordre de la Pléiade.

    Ms. Labelle is Emeritus Governor of the University of Ottawa, and was Chancellor of the University of Ottawa from 1994 to 2012. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation Board, Vice-Chair of the International Senior Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy, Chair of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, member of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism, Board member of Global Financial Integrity, Board member of the Aga Khan Museum, member of the Advisory Committee of the Order of Ontario and Chair of the Selection Committee for Master's Scholarships on Sustainable Energy Development. Ms. Labelle is also a member of the Advisory Group to the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Integrity and Anti-Corruption, the Natural Resources and Energy Leadership Council and the Advisory Board of RESOLVE, and the University of Ottawa Campaign Cabinet. She is also a former Chair of Transparency International, as well as a former Board member of UN Global Compact.

    Ms. Labelle also served for a period of nineteen years as Deputy Minister of different Canadian Government departments including Secretary of State, Transport Canada, the Public Service Commission and the Canadian International Development Agency.

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Who are the current provincial or territorial members of the Advisory Board?

Alberta

  • Both positions are currently vacant

British Columbia

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Manitoba

  • Both positions are currently vacant

New Brunswick

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Northwest Territories

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Nova Scotia

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Nunavut

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Ontario

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Prince Edward Island

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Quebec

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Saskatchewan

  • Riel Bellegarde

    Riel Bellegarde is a proud member of Treaty Four and the Peepeekisis First Nation. He is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire, Whittmore School of Business and Economics with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

    Riel is currently President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. He started his career with the Peepeekisis First Nation and subsequently with the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council. He joined the Federal Public Service in 1994 and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in 1997. He was then appointed to the Executive Group in 1999 and has held several executive positions across diverse portfolios. In March 2003 he was appointed to the senior executive position of Regional Director General, Saskatchewan Region.

    Riel is currently a director with Colleges and Institutes Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada Audit Committee, Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Licensing Commission, The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference National Executive, Canada West Foundation, and Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame.

  • One position is currently vacant

Yukon

  • Both positions are currently vacant

How are the members appointed to the Advisory Board?

The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, appoints the Advisory Board members. Consultations with provincial or territorial governments are undertaken in order to inform the appointment of provincial or territorial members.

How long is each Advisory Board member’s term?

Federal members of the Advisory Board each serve two-year terms and the provincial or territorial members each serve one-year terms.

May an Advisory Board member’s term be renewed?

Yes, a member’s term may be renewed.

Are members of the Advisory Board paid for their services?

Advisory Board members are entitled to a per diem rate which is consistent with the Remuneration Guidelines for Part-Time Governor in Council Appointees in Agencies, Boards and Commissions. This per diem range is $375-$450 for members and $550-$650 for the Chairperson.

Can I contact the Chair or other members of the Advisory Board?

Yes. The Secretariat for the Advisory Board is responsible for managing the Board’s correspondence. Click here to find out how to contact the Advisory Board.

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