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.

  • 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 young 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 his retirement in 2015.

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

    He is a 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 Montreal. Mr. Rolland was awarded the Louis St-Laurent award for his exceptional contribution to the CBA and the CBA’s Centennial Medal.

    A member of the Board of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Mr. Rolland is also a member of the International Insolvency institute, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique, Chair of the Board of Directors of Éducaloi and a Commissioner of Ethics for the Barreau du Québec and the Chambre des notaires. 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 Quebec Bar 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?

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

  • Maria R. Battaglia

    Maria R. Battaglia graduated with honors from McGill University in 1989 with both a Civil Law and a Common Law degree. She has been a member of the Bar since 1990 and is an accredited family mediator.

    Her law office deals with all aspects relating to family matters including family mediation. The firm has expertise in areas of separation and divorce, child protection, child and spousal support, custody rights, division of assets and succession.

    Additionally, she is a broadcaster, having been formerly the host of “Family Law with Maria Battaglia” news talk radio CJAD am and a regular contributor on both CTV and Global Television.

    She is a regular speaker at various legal and community events and sits on various boards including the Family Lawyer Association.

  • Bruno Marchand

    Mr. Marchand previously held the title of Director General at the Association Québecoise de prevention du Suicide until 2014. Since then, he has been the Chief Executive Officer with Centraide Quebec, Chaudiere Appalaches et Bas Saint-Laurent, a philanthropic organization focused on fighting poverty and exclusion, that raises donations from the public and businesses in its territory to support an extensive network of community organizations.

    Under his leadership, this organization was the recipient of the 2017 United Way of Canada President's Award. Mr. Marchand also received the 2014 Homage award from the Quebec Association for Suicide Prevention.

    He holds a Philosophy degree from Laval University and is the father of two children.

Saskatchewan

  • Both positions are 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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