Mandate and members

What is the mandate of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments 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 Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments is chaired by one of the federal members and supported by the Privy Council Office. 

Terms of Reference for the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments

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

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

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments 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 Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments 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 Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments 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 Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

  • 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, member of the Advisory Group to the Asian Development Bank on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, member of the Executive Board of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, 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 University of Ottawa President’s International Advisory Board, 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.

  • Daniel Jutras

    Daniel Jutras joined the Faculty of Law, McGill University in 1985 after clerking with Chief Justice Antonio Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Law  from 2009 to 2016. Professor Jutras became as Associate Professor in 1991, and was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 2001. Since 2011, he has held the Arnold Wainwright Chair in Civil Law. He was awarded one of the Mérites du Barreau du Québec in 2016. He is a former Director of the Institute of Comparative Law and has served as Associate Dean (Admissions and Placement), and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Law.

    From 2002 to 2004, Professor Jutras was on leave from the Faculty of Law, and acted as personal secretary to the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, in the position of Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Professor Jutras' teaching and research interests are in civil law and comparative law, and he now conducts research in the law of obligations from a comparative and pluralist perspective. He is also pursuing research projects on judicial institutions and civil procedure. Professor Jutras is frequently invited to speak on these issues before judicial and academic audiences in Canada and in Europe.

    Professor Jutras is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and of Université de Montréal, where he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. In 2013, Professor Jutras was appointed by the Supreme Court of Canada to serve as amicus curiæ in the Reference re Senate Reform. The same year, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, the Barreau du Québec awarded Dean Jutras the Advocatus Emeritus (Ad. E.) distinction.

  • Indira Samarasekera

    Indira Samarasekera served as the 12th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta, from 2005 to 2015. She also served as Vice-President Research at the University of British Columbia from 2000 to 2005. She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennet Jones LLP and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, and Magna International. She serves on the boards of TransCanada Corporation, the Asia-Pacific Foundation, the Rideau Hall Foundation, the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics and the selection panel for Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year. She is also a former Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia.

    Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her groundbreaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. She held the Dofasco Chair in Advanced Steel Processing at the University of British Columbia. She has consulted widely for industry worldwide leading to the implementation of her research discoveries.

    Dr. Samarasekera has also devoted her career to advancing innovation in higher education and the private sector, providing national and international leadership through invited lectures and participation on national and international boards and councils.

    She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2002 for outstanding contributions to steel process engineering. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the United States, the profession’s highest honour. As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976. In 1980, she was granted a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Who are the current provincial or territorial members of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

British Columbia

  • Anne Giardini

    Anne Giardini, Q.C., is the 11th Chancellor of Simon Fraser University (SFU).  She served on SFU's Board of Governors for five years before being appointed Chancellor in 2014. A director, lawyer and writer, Ms. Giardini was president of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited from 2008 to 2014 after serving as Weyerhaeuser's General Counsel.  A long-time leader within Canada’s resource industry, she has served on many related boards including B.C.’s Council of Forest Industries, the Alberta Forest Products Association, the Forest Products Association of Canada, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.

    She holds a BA in Economics from SFU, LL.B. from UBC, and LL.M. from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall). She is the author of two novels and the editor of a collection of writing advice.

    Ms. Giardini is currently a member of the board of WWF-Canada, Senior Vice Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, board member of Thompson Creek Metals and an honorary patron of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.

    In 2011, Ms. Giardini received the Robert V.A. Jones Award recognizing leadership in corporate counsel practice, and was named one of Canada’s 25 most influential lawyers.  She was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a Lexpert Zenith Award in 2013. In 2015, she received the Western Canada General Counsel Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Vikram Vij

    Vikram Vij is a chef, entrepreneur, author and television personality. He was born in India and lived there until age 20, when he moved to Austria. Mr. Vij came to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta.

    Today, he owns three award-winning restaurants: Vij’s Restaurant, Vij’s Rangoli and My Shanti. He produces a line of gourmet take-home meals – Vij’s At Home – out of his Surrey-based factory, that is available across the country, and his creative Indian cuisine is also sold as take-out. Mr. Vij strives to create new, innovative dishes and has been recognized for his creativity. He has received the BC Food Processors Association Rising Star Award, an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, Drishti Magazine’s Innovation in Gastronomy Award, and a Chevrolet Ingenuity Award for exceptional creativity and skill. Vancouver Magazine named him Chef of the Year in 2015.

    Mr. Vij has appeared on Top Chef Canada for 3 seasons, Chopped Canada, Recipe to Riches, and in 2014, debuted as the first Indo-Canadian Dragon on the CBC’s Dragons’ Den. He is also a certified sommelier and recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Law from Simon Fraser University and an honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Vij is passionate about sustainability and is involved in several organizations that promote sustainable eating habits, including the Chef’s Table Society of BC, Farm Folk City Folk, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm and the Green Table Society. He is also an active contributor supporting the David Suzuki Foundation’s environmental initiatives.

    Mr. Vij is the co-author of Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine and Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey. He is also featured in Goodness: Recipes & Stories, and The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker by the Sea, which is a tribute to innovators and culinary leaders.

New Brunswick

  • Donald Savoie

    Dr. Donald J. Savoie is a leading Canadian expert on public policy, public administration and federalism. Born in New Brunswick, Dr. Savoie is a proud Acadian who has served as an advisor to several federal, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, private-sector entities, independent associations, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and the United Nations. He currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the Université de Moncton. He previously held senior positions with the federal government, including Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board and Deputy Principal of the Canadian Centre for Management Development. Dr. Savoie has also served as a member on several boards of directors for both private and public sector organizations.

    A recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick, Dr. Savoie is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has received several awards and prizes for his work internationally, notably the Vanier Gold Medal (1999), the Trudeau Fellowships Prize (2004), the Sun Life Public Service Citation Award (2004), the prestigious 2015 Killam Prize in recognition of his exceptional career achievements in social sciences, and the 2016 Donner Prize for best Canadian book on public policy.

    He obtained a D.Phil. in 1979 and a D.Litt. in 2000 from Oxford University and has been awarded seven honorary doctorates by Canadian universities. Dr. Savoie was elected a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in 2006 and named Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics in 2007. He was also a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University in 2001-2002.

    A prolific author, Dr. Savoie has published forty-five books and has written another 200 articles in leading journals of political science, public administration and public policy and in some of the world’s leading newspapers in Canada, the United Kingdom, India and the United States. Averse to cynicism in politics, his extensive knowledge and his experience of great institutions have convinced him of the real possibility that they can be instrumental in furthering the welfare of individuals.

  • Roxanne Tarjan

    Roxanne Tarjan received a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1977. Her career in nursing began in Campbellton, NB, and continued over the next two decades in a variety of positions including: Staff Nurse, Nurse Manager, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Director of Nursing in Bathurst, NB. 

    Ms. Tarjan joined the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, the professional regulatory organization for registered nurses in that province, in 1998 as a Nursing Practice Consultant, a position she held until being named its Executive Director in 2001. She retired in 2015 after 14 years as Executive Director.

    She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nurses Protective Society and the Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators, as well as an Advisor to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nurses Association and a member of the NB2026 Roundtable.

    Additionally, Ms. Tarjan recently sat as a Director of Dialogue NB, an organization that promotes and celebrates understanding, respect, appreciation and inclusion among the Francophone and Anglophone cultures of New Brunswick. She is actively involved in and is a contributor to the Giving Society of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works with individuals living with an intellectual disability and their families. She recently completed a term as a Director of the organization.

Nova Scotia

  • Jennifer Gillivan

    Jennifer Gillivan, ICD.D is President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation, which raises funds to help the IWK Health Centre provide critical and specialized care to women, children, youth and families throughout the Maritime Provinces.

    Ms. Gillivan has an extensive background in philanthropy, partnerships, strategy, marketing and leadership. Born and educated in Dublin, Ireland, she immigrated to Canada in 1982. Prior to joining the IWK Foundation, Ms. Gillivan worked with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for 14 years, most recently as Director of Partnerships, Communications, Marketing and Brand for the CBC across Canada. She is an active member of her community, serving on the boards of The Halifax Partnership, the Canadian Children’s Pediatric Hospital Foundations, Children’s Miracle Network CDO Advisory Board and The Sobey School of Business Advisory Board. She is also a past board member of the Nova Scotia Community College Foundation, Churchill Academy, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Atlantic Film Festival, to name a few.

    Ms. Gillivan has received two CBC English Television Awards for her pioneer work with the partnership practice, and has also received the Halifax Ambassador Award and a Progress Halifax Women of Excellence Award. She was listed as one of the top 50 CEO’s of Atlantic Canada for 2014, 2015 and 2017. In 2017 she was awarded the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. Ms. Gillivan was awarded the RBC Women of Excellence Entrepreneur Award and the BMO Women’s Leadership Award. Ms. Gillivan is an active member of the Rotman School of Business “Judy Project” Advisory Board and enjoys motivational speaking. She also completed the Ivey School of Business KPMG Community Shift program.

  • Ramona Lumpkin

    Dr. Ramona Lumpkin was the President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University from 2010 to 2017. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Kentucky and is a former Fulbright Scholar to England. She has held important academic and administrative leadership positions at several universities in Canada and the United States, including Principal of Huron University College and Vice-President Academic and Provost of Royal Roads University in Victoria. In July 2014, she was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her leadership in post-secondary education and her promotion of community-based learning initiatives.

    Throughout her career, Dr. Lumpkin has been actively engaged in women’s studies, in advocacy on behalf of women’s issues and in promoting the role of women in higher education. At the University of Kentucky, she served on the founding committee of the annual Women Writers Conference. At Wayne State University, Dr. Lumpkin belonged to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. In her role at Mount Saint Vincent University, Dr. Lumpkin coordinated the development of the Mount’s new five-year strategic plan, Mount 2017: Making a Difference, and the execution of the university’s most ambitious capital campaign to date, Project TWENTY12, which funded the construction of the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research, a building that celebrates the role women have played in shaping our society.

    As past Chair of the Association of Atlantic Universities, Dr. Lumpkin has made significant contributions to the Atlantic region and has become a valued contributor to many organizations and initiatives shaping the future of Nova Scotia. She is currently Chair of Engage Nova Scotia.

Ontario

  • Dawn Lavell Harvard

    Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, PhD, is the Director, First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University.  Prior to taking on this role in 2016, she served as President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), having previously been Vice-President of NWAC for almost three years.

    She is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women's Association for 11 years.

    Dr. Lavell Harvard is a full-time mother of three girls. She has followed in the footsteps of her mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights. Since joining the Board of the Ontario Native Women’s Association as a youth director in 1994, Dr. Lavell Harvard has been working toward the empowerment of Aboriginal women and their families.

    She was co-editor of the original volume on Indigenous Mothering entitled “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth” and has since released “Mothers of the Nations,” which she co-edited with Kim Anderson, and “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada,” which she co-edited with Jennifer Brant.

  • Murray Segal

    Following a distinguished career with the Ontario government, including eight years as Deputy Attorney General of Ontario and former Deputy Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Murray Segal now practices as independent legal counsel and consultant in Toronto. He is also counsel to Henein Hutchinson LLP. His practice includes assisting the public and broader public service in improving the delivery of services.

    Mr. Segal was the chief legal advisor to the Government of Ontario and advisor to Cabinet, the Attorney General, other Ministers, and Deputy Ministers. He oversaw all government litigation and is experienced in developing legislation.

    Prior to his time as the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Segal was the Chief Prosecutor for the Province of Ontario, leading the largest prosecution service in Canada.

    Mr. Segal is certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada and is the author of numerous legal publications including in the areas of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, disclosure, and procedure. He is also a frequent participant in continuing education programs.

    Mr. Segal is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Toronto and on the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In 2013, he was appointed as a member of the Ontario Review Board. In October, 2015 Mr. Segal released a Report to the Province of Nova Scotia on the justice system’s handling of the Rehtaeh Parsons matter.

Prince Edward Island

  • Jeannette Arsenault

    Jeannette Arsenault is co-owner of Cavendish Figurines Ltd., in Prince Edward Island. The company started in 1989 in the Summerside Business Park and in 1998 they re-located to Gateway Village and built their own building. They employ 18 people in the busy tourist season. Prior to starting this business Ms. Arsenault worked with Statistics Canada for 15 years.

    Cavendish Figurines has won many awards over the years, and in 2003 Ms. Arsenault was chosen as “one of the 100 most Powerful Women in Canada” by the Women’s Executive Network. In 2002 she received the “Summerside Good Neighbour Award”.

    Ms. Arsenault serves on many committees including the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, both on the local and the Atlantic Committee, University of Prince Edward Island and the RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc., to name a few. She was also the President of the Summerside Chamber of Commerce in 2001.

    Born in Prince Edward Island, Ms. Arsenault grew up in Abram Village. She is bilingual English/French, married, has had two children and now has two grand-daughters.

  • Chief Brian Francis

    Chief Brian Francis was first elected Chief of the Abegweit First Nation in August 2007. He was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.

    Chief Francis was born in Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island.  After receiving his early education in Lennox Island and Summerside, he completed four years of apprenticeship training and became a journeyman carpenter.  He was the first Aboriginal person in PEI to receive his inter-provincial red seal trade certificate.  He also studied at the Maritime School of Social Work.

    As Education Coordinator with the Abegweit First Nation, he provided advice and guidance to Aboriginal students before joining the federal public service.  He worked in several departments, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Human Resources Development Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, prior to his election as Chief and Band Administrator for Abegweit First Nation.

    Among his proudest accomplishments is the signing of the Canada-PEI-Mi’kmaq Partnership Agreement.

    Chief Francis and his wife Georgina have three children, Kateri, Shawn and John Ryan. The couple resides in Rocky Point, Prince Edward Island.

How are the members appointed to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

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

How long is each Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments member’s term?

Federal members of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments each serve two-year terms and the provincial or territorial members each serve one-year terms.  However, the initial terms of the first federal members appointed vary to avoid turnover of all members at the same time in the future.  The initial terms are 30 months, 24 months, and 18 months, respectively.

May an Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments’ member’s term be renewed?

Yes, a member’s term may be renewed.

Are members of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments paid for their services?

Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments 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 Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments?

The Secretariat for the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments is responsible for managing the Board’s correspondence.  You can share any questions or comments using the form in the “Contact Us” section of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments’ website or by calling 1-888-854-1806 (toll-free in North America; TTY 1-800-465-7735).

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