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?

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 12 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 La 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, Chair of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, and board member of the Global Centre for Pluralism, Global Financial Integrity, and the Aga Khan Museum. Ms. Labelle is also a member of RESOLVE’s Natural Resources and Energy Leadership Council and 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 19 years as deputy minister in various Canadian government departments, including Secretary of State, Transport Canada, the Public Service Commission, and the Canadian International Development Agency.

  • Melissa Blake

    Melissa Blake was elected to six consecutive terms, beginning in 1998, for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She was first elected as mayor in October 2004 and concluded her final term in 2017.

    Being the top elected official for one of Canada's largest municipalities brought with it tremendous challenges and opportunities. Wood Buffalo is the heart of Canada's energy industry and is often subject to global scrutiny. When the 2016 Horse River Wildfire forced the evacuation of 88,000 people, Mayor Blake’s strength and dedication earned the hearts and minds of Albertans, Canadians and the world. In Wood Buffalo, she worked hard to get her citizens "home".

    Ms. Blake has served on numerous committees in addition to her regular council duties, including those related to development, protective services, community services and affordable housing. She has also served on two provincial associations.

    Ms. Blake brought a range of experience including public affairs, materials & services and human resources to elected service from her corporate career. She holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from Athabasca University and has received numerous awards for her work.

    She resides permanently in Fort McMurray, Alberta with her husband and two sons.

  • François Rolland

    The Honourable François Rolland was appointed a Superior Court of Quebec justice in 1996 and Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec in 2004, a position he held until he retired in 2015.

    Following his retirement, the Quebec government appointed Mr. Rolland as Director of the Voluntary Reimbursement Program, where he served until the program ended in November 2017. He also presides over private mediation and arbitration mandates, involving mostly commercial matters, including large multi-jurisdictional class actions.

    Mr. Rolland, Advocatus Emeritus, is an Officer of the Order of Canada, member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), a founding member and former chair of the Judges’ Forum of the CBA, and a past president of the CBA’s Quebec Branch and of the Young Bar of Montréal. Mr. Rolland was awarded the Louis St-Laurent award for his exceptional contribution to the CBA and the CBA’s Centennial Medal.

    A board member of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Mr. Rolland is also a member of the International Insolvency Institute, Chair of the Board of Directors of Éducaloi, and a Commissioner of Ethics for the Barreau du Québec. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique from 2015 to 2021 including Vice President from 2017 to 2019. He also taught ethics at the National Judicial Institute for 10 years.

    The Honourable François Rolland graduated from University of Montreal in 1974 and was called to the Barreau du Québec in 1975. Before his appointment as a judge, he was a partner at the law firm Fasken Martineau, practising mainly in the field of commercial and civil litigation.

    In 2019, he joined Langlois lawyers as Senior Counsel, Mediator and Arbitrator.

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


  • Both positions are currently vacant

British Columbia

  • Both positions are currently vacant


  • Both positions are currently vacant

New Brunswick

  • Ann McCain Evans

    Ann McCain Evans is a recipient of the Order of Canada in recognition of her philanthropic commitment. She has supported many innovative projects dedicated to arts and culture, health, education and the environment, at the regional, provincial and national levels. Her enduring commitment has benefited many boards, including those of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and Ovarian Cancer Canada. Through her leadership roles with The McCain Foundation and the Harrison McCain Foundation, she has ensured literacy and education initiatives have a lasting impact across Atlantic Canada, particularly in New Brunswick.

    Ms. McCain Evans has also served on the Montreal Board of Trade, the Montreal SPCA, the Steering Committee of the Westmount Environment Action Committee, and the Huntsman Marine Science Centre. She was a director of the St. John Ambulance Foundation, Quebec Council and served on the Board of Governors at Acadia University.

    She graduated with a Certificat, Langues, Littérature et Civilisation from L’Université de Grenoble in France as well as a BA in Politics and History from Trent University.

  • Donald Joseph 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, 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.

    A Companion of the Order of Canada and the recipient of the Order of New Brunswick and the Order of Moncton, 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 doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in literature from Oxford University and has been awarded eight 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 2001-02.

    A prolific author, Dr. Savoie has published more than 50 books and over 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 U.K., 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.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Gerald Glavine

    Mr. Glavine is a retired educator with experience in the provincial public service and in business. He graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree.

    Since 2017, he has been vice-president of business development for Exploits Valley Air Services, a company based in Gander. Previously, he served a four year term as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation and served as Chief of Staff to Premier Brian Tobin from 1996 to 2000. He also taught junior and senior high school students for 28 years.

    Mr. Glavine is a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus organization, having served as provincial membership director, state advocate and treasurer and in an international position on the Supreme Board of Directors. He also coached youth hockey and soccer for 26 years.

  • Joy Buckle

    Joy Buckle currently occupies the Vice President of Policy and Planning position at Sequence Bio, a biotechnology company whose mission is to discover the true signals of disease that accelerate the development of new therapeutics for unmet medical need around the globe. She offers strategic direction to help drive stakeholder engagement and policy to return benefits to communities and participants in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has more than 20 years of experience in stakeholder engagement, policy development, and leadership.

    Prior to joining Sequence Bio, Ms. Buckle worked to advance the interests of the people of the province in various leadership roles; most recently as Senior Advisor of Social Policy for the Office of the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to this, she spent almost seven years as Manager of Operations at Professional Development and Conferencing Solutions at Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine that helped connect healthcare professionals as well as allow for the integration of videoconferencing into the legal system throughout the province.

    Ms. Buckle holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science (Medicine) focusing on cancer research and a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University.

Northwest Territories

  • Both positions are currently vacant

Nova Scotia

  • Corrine Sparks

    A descendant of early Black settlers in Nova Scotia, Corrine “Connie” Sparks grew up in rural Nova Scotia and graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with an ecomonics degree. She went on to earn a Bachelor and a Master of Laws degree from Dalhousie University. After graduation with her LL.B, she practiced in a small law firm , specializing in family, real estate and civil litigation law; at this time she also served on the board of several organizations ranging from the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

    In 1987, Ms. Sparks was appointed to the Nova Scotia Family Court, becoming the first African Nova Scotian to be appointed to the Bench, and the first African Canadian female to serve on the judiciary in Canada. For several years, as part of the new judges training program offered by the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, she lectured in the area of gender and racial discrimination and the courts. She also served as chair of the Nova Scotia Provincial Judges’ Association.

    Internationally, Ms. Sparks has been honoured to work with the International Association of Women Judges(IAWJ), along with other international organizations. Throughout her career as a Family Court judge, for nearly thirty-five years, she has helped to promote judicial education, both at the provincial and national level. Her work with the IAWJ, Canadian Chapter, in particular, in keeping with its mandate, has helped to advance equality and human rights for women. Ms. Sparks has served on the board of directors; and was one of the founding members of the IAWJ, Canadian Chapter.

    Her work has earned her numerous awards and recognition including the prestigious Weldon Award for Unselfish Public Service from the Schulich School of Law, the Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award from the Canadian Bar Association, the Harry Jerome African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Law, and the Elizabeth Fry Society “Rebel with a Cause” Award. She was also inducted by the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association to the Bertha Wilson Honour Society, and is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, from Mount Saint Vincent University.

  • Heidi Jamieson-Mills

    Heidi Jamieson Mills is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has been employed by Sobeys Inc. since 2004, where she currently holds the position of Senior Vice President, Finance Reporting and Treasury. Prior to this, she worked for Grant Thornton LLP as an Accountant and Tax Manager.

    Ms. Jamieson-Mills has served her community as Treasurer and Director of the Aberdeen Health Foundation Society since 2017. She has also been the Treasurer and Vice Chair of the Tearmann Society for Abused Women, and Director for the Highland Community Residential Services Foundation and the Race on the River, Dragonboat Society. Prior to this, she also served on several boards and groups such as the Finance Committee for the Atlantic Film Festival, the Plaid Marquee Film Society, the Pictou County Historical Society and Toastmasters Truro.

    Ms. Jamieson-Mills was recognized as one of the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Most Powerful Women (Professional Category) in 2020, as well as one of Atlantic Canada’s top 50 leaders under 35 in 2010.

    She attended Dalhousie University and graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Commerce Co-op, concentration in Accounting.


  • Both positions are currently vacant


  • Both positions are currently vacant

Prince Edward Island

  • Scott Annear

    Scott Annear is the General Manager of Morley Annear Ltd., one of Prince Edward Island’s largest and most diversified trucking companies offering freight and cargo services throughout central and eastern Canada and the United States eastern seaboard. Founded in 1964, the company is recognized across the region for its steadfast commitment to giving back to the community and embracing new technologies to support efficient and sustainable operations.

    A driving force within the province’s trucking industry for more than 30 years, Mr. Annear is recognized as an engaged and supportive leader who promotes an inclusive workforce and offers learning and employment opportunities in collaboration with Inclusions East’s Kingswood Training Centre, which provides essential training and support to persons with disabilities. His longstanding support of Inclusions East has encouraged other local businesses to take advantage of the many programs and services offered, including the popular Kingswood Centre Bakery.

    Mr. Annear is an active member and contributor to a number of community organizations and initiatives. He is a recipient of the Holland College distinguished alumni award and the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce volunteer of the year award. He has served as Chair of the Lower Montague Community Council and past president of the Montague Curling Club, and currently serves on the board of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association. Mr. Annear is recognized for his substantial contributions to fundraising efforts that have brought millions of dollars back into local communities.

  • Sue Fraser

    Sue Fraser is the General Manager of the Bell Aliant Centre in Charlottetown until September 2022 at which time she will move to a Senior Director position with the City of Charlottetown leading on sustainability and strategic planning files. She also operates a private consulting business, SJF Collaborative, where she provides support to other jurisdictions focusing on governance and partnership development. Prior to this, she served the citizens of Charlottetown as Manager of Parks and Recreation from 1995 to 2015. Earlier in her career, she was instrumental in the development of the Special Olympics movement on Prince Edward Island, as the province’s first Executive Director for the provincial chapter of Special Olympics in the early 80s.

    She has been actively involved at the national level with a number of organizations, including the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). In 2018, she was awarded the CPRA National Award of Merit for her long-standing leadership in the Parks and Recreation sector. She has also served in volunteer leadership roles for national sport events hosted locally, including the 1991 Canada Winter Games and the 2009 Canada Summer Games. She is currently active at the senior management level with the planning and execution of the 2023 Canada Winter Games. Her community work also includes 17 years of service In Rotary where she served as President, Secretary, District Secretary and Committee member of the club’s Annual Gala Royale and was awarded the True Rotarian Award in 2013 for service above self and is a Paul Harris Fellow. Ms. Fraser also served on the board of PEI Heart and Stroke and has chaired its provincial Children’s Nutrition Committee since 2018.

    Ms. Fraser is graduate of Acadia University where she completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration. She also holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the York University Schulich School of Business.


  • Both positions are currently vacant


  • Both positions are currently vacant


  • 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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