Chief of Staff, Independent Senators Group (ISG)

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Job ID: J0122-0511
Job Type: Determinate, Full-Time
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Minimum Salary: 132100/Year
Maximum Salary: 165700/Year
Closing Date: January 30, 2022

About the Senate

The Senate plays a unique role in shaping our country's democracy. As members of the upper house of Parliament, senators examine legislation, study public policy, champion causes and conduct interparliamentary diplomacy.

As a workplace, the Senate is composed of dynamic people representing our nation's diverse talents, backgrounds and perspectives. Build and advance your career by joining a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to excellence in support of senators and the institution.

The Independent Senators Group (ISG) is the largest recognized parliamentary group in the Senate and is considered the first new parliamentary group since the beginning of the Senate reform in 2015. The ISG counts over forty members, the majority of which have been appointed through the independent nomination process introduced in 2016. The ISG created a Charter that highlights the group’s purpose and lists conditions required to remain a member, namely to not have direct involvement in the activities of a recognized political party currently registered under the Canada Elections Act, and to not be a member of a caucus of the House of Commons.

How will you contribute?

The Chief of Staff (CoS) for the Independent Senators Group is responsible for the overall management of the ISG Secretariat. The CoS will lead a team of professionals at the Secretariat and is responsible for the smooth functioning of the Secretariat, including fostering a positive work environment for all staff. Working closely with the Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator, the CoS is the principal channel for communication of key information between the Secretariat, ISG senators and members of the other groups and caucuses. Under the direction of the Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator, the CoS will provide advice and assistance to ISG members on the full range of their Senatorial responsibilities, as needed. As leader of the ISG Secretariat, the CoS is responsible for building a strong and productive relationship with Senate administration, and with government agencies that work closely with the Senate. The CoS will ensure that services and support for ISG members are aligned with best practices and delivered in a timely and efficient manner. This position requires a keen political instinct, agility, and an excellent knowledge of the Parliament’s agenda and latest news.

Primary Responsibilities:

- Advise and Offer Priority Support to the Facilitation Team and all Members of the ISG
• Advise the Facilitator, the Deputy Facilitator and the members of the ISG on their responsibilities, especially on strategy and tactics in the Chamber, on Committees, and more broadly on the modernization of the Senate as a more independent chamber of sober second thought.
• Provide specialized advice on legislative matters and procedures, drawing on professional resources within the ISG secretariat, the Senate Administration, and external experts.
• Develop communication strategies to actively advance the collective interests of the ISG, as well as to respond promptly and effectively to issues which affect the ISG or the Senate as a whole.
• Act as secretary general for regular ISG meetings and special meetings of ISG members as needed, and ensure timely follow-up on decisions taken by ISG. Ensure that there is appropriate support from the ISG secretariat working groups that are established from time to time.
• Ensure that the ISG Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator are properly briefed and advised on all issues that relate to the ISG’s mandate, mission and objectives.
• Maintain frequent and regular communication with the ISG Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator to ensure that they are apprised of pertinent matters that arise within the ISG, the Senate generally, and on the broader Canadian political landscape. Prepare the ISG Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator for key meetings and events. Seek relevant information by liaising with internal and external stakeholders to prepare succinct briefings for the Facilitators’ consideration.
• Coordinate ISG issues management by defining the issues, assessing outcomes and risks, and advising the Facilitator and Deputy Facilitator on options.

- Managing of the ISG Secretariat
• Guide, supervise, and evaluate the work of the ISG Secretariat. Ensure that work plans are aligned with ISG objectives and properly resourced. Promote the effective and efficient functioning of the Secretariat by applying best practices in administration and closely monitoring workflow. Devise and implement a human capital strategy for the ISG to ensure that the collective needs of ISG members are met and ISG objectives are advanced.
• Ensure that the ISG Secretariat adheres to the highest ethical standards and that swift measures are taken to address any improvements required.
• Develop annual budgets and manage expenditures in accordance with Senate financial rules. Provide advice to the ISG Facilitator on the preparation of annual budgets and all other financial matters pertaining to the ISG and the Senate as a whole.
Building Strong Relations with Senate Administration and External Partners
• Build strong relations with the Clerk of the Senate and all Senate administration directorates to ensure that ISG members, the ISG Secretariat, and ISG Senators’ offices receive the best advice and support that they need with respect to legal matters, procedures, information technology, finance, human resources, security, and communications.
• Establish a solid partnership with the Director of the Library of Parliament to obtain research services and analysis tailored to the needs of the ISG members, their staff and the Secretariat.

- Contribute to the Group’s Efficiency in Parliamentary Work and in Committee
• Establish and maintain a productive relationship with the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate to contribute to the legislative agenda’s progress and the proper functioning of the work of the Senate.
• Establish and maintain strong relationships with Chiefs of Staff from other groups and caucuses in the Senate to facilitate communication and the legislative agenda’s progress.

Open to

The general public to fill a one (1) year determinate position that has the possibility of renewal and/or extension. This selection process may be used to staff other similar positions.


• University degree (an advanced degree at the Master’s level is considered an asset) in a relevant field (e.g. law, political science, public policy, business administration, other social sciences).
• Fluently bilingual (English & French), with excellent written and spoken communication skills.
• At least 8 years of relevant experience in a comparable role, either within a government institution, in parliamentary affairs or in Parliamentary and Government business.
• Demonstrated experience in providing advice on public policy and legislative rule interpretation to senior leaders.
• Solid knowledge of the Canadian Federal legislative process, the Rules and Procedures of the Senate and other key laws, policies and guidelines on parliamentary procedure and practice.
• Knowledge of and interest in Canadian politics, public policy, and parliamentary reform.
• Demonstrated experience in successfully leading and managing a team of professionals.
• Ability to work independently and in a collaborative setting with multiple stakeholders. Proven ability to deal with organizational complexity and a diverse set of interests within an organization, while staying focused on longer-term goals and objectives.
• Proven aptitudes in negotiation and conciliation.


Ethical Leader
Engaging Team Builder
Effective Communicator
Sound Decision Maker
People Management
Financial Management
Action Management

Organizational Needs

The Senate of Canada is committed to building and maintaining an inclusive workplace where all employees are provided full and equal access to employment, development, and advancement opportunities.

Conditions of Employment

Candidates must consent to supply personal information and obtain a security accreditation in order to be eligible for appointment.

As per the Senate Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination, Senate employees must provide proof of their vaccination status. The requirement for employees to be fully vaccinated applies whether they are teleworking, working remotely or working on-site. This is a condition of employment and it applies to indeterminate (permanent), determinate (term), casual, and student hiring. Should you reach the point in the selection process where it is necessary to verify terms and conditions of employment then the hiring manager or a human resources representative will contact you in order to verify your vaccination status.

The successful candidate will be required to work irregular and/or extended hours when the Senate is sitting.

How to apply

Alternative selection tool methods and/or reasonable accommodation for special needs are available upon request.

The use of masculine gender in the text includes feminine and is used without discrimination.

Communication for this process will be sent via email. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure accurate contact information is provided and updated as required. You must consent to receiving e-mails from our system in your online profile.

The Senate of Canada reserves the right to retain a determined number of candidates who best meet the essential requirements of the position.

The Senate of Canada is a separate and distinct employer from the federal public service and is not subject to the Public Service Employment Act.

We thank all those who apply to this selection process.

The posting closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on the closing date stated above.