Administration and Support
The Senate relies on administrative and procedural support to function efficiently and serve Canadians. The Senate Administration provides the services that allow senators to accomplish their work, for example, support in procedure, security, financial administration, human resources, communications and building maintenance.
Three senior officers of the administration lead the Senate’s commitment to the modern, effective management of its internal affairs: the Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, and the Chief Corporate Services Officer.
Another key position is the Usher of the Black Rod, a senior parliamentary officer who serves as personal attendant and messenger to the Queen in Parliament and as a senior protocol official.
Senators are also supported by staff in their respective offices.
Members of the Executive Committee
Interim Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments, and Chief Legislative Services Officer
Staff: Jessica J. Richardson (Chief of Staff)
On January 31, 2018, Richard Denis was appointed by Order in Council as the 15th Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments on an interim basis and will serve during pleasure until a new appointment to the position is made. He also serves as Chief Legislative Services Officer, which oversees the legislative sector of the Senate Administration, composed of the Office of the Usher of the Black Rod, the Chamber Operations and Procedure Office, Committees Directorate, Communications Directorate, Corporate Security Directorate, and the Parliamentary Exchanges and Protocol division of the International and Interparliamentary Affairs Directorate.
The position of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments is a Governor in Council appointment made pursuant to paragraph 130(b) of the Public Service Employment Act and reports to the Speaker of the Senate. The position supports all aspects of the legislative process and oversees the legislative services provided by the Senate. The role of Clerk of the Parliaments is custodian of all original Acts and is responsible for certifying true copies of these Acts.
The Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments and Chief Legislative Services Officer is one of three senior executive positions responsible for the overall management of the Senate Administration, and shares this responsibility with the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel as well as the Chief Corporate Services Officer. Together, they are accountable to the Senate through the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
Mr. Denis has provided exemplary service and leadership since joining the Public Service in 1992 and the House of Commons in 2000 as a Legislative Counsel. Since 2004, he has held the position of Deputy Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel in the House of Commons. He has also been a Table Officer since 2002 and a vote caller since 2004. In his position, Mr. Denis provided legal, legislative and procedural advice to the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Clerk, the Board of Internal Economy, standing committees, as well as Members of Parliament. He was also legal advisor to the House Administration and a member of various steering committees, such as corporate planning, policy task force, long-term vision and planning, elections readiness and Centre Block rehabilitation.
Mr. Denis has a background in both civil and common law and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce. He is an active member of the Barreau du Québec and the Law Society of Alberta, and a past member of the Law Society of the Northwest Territories. Moreover, he is a member of the Association of Legislative Counsel in Canada, a member and past president of the Association of Parliamentary Counsel in Canada, a council member for the Americas of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) and a member of the Canadian Bar Association.
Chief Corporate Services Officer and Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration
Staff: Kim Grandmaison (Executive Advisor)
On November 20, 2017, Pascale Legault was appointed Chief Corporate Services Officer and Clerk of the Standing Committee of Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration as well as a member of the Executive Committee.
The Chief Corporate Services Officer and Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration is a senior executive of the Senate Administration who is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the corporate services sector as well as the Internal Economy Secretariat. The sector includes four directorates including Finance and Procurement, Information Services, Property and Services, and Policy and Planning. In addition, she supports the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration as its most senior corporate and procedural advisor. The Committee oversees and directs the internal management and affairs of the Senate.
As a member of the Executive Committee, Ms. Legault has shared responsibility in the overall governance, accountability and management of the Senate Administration. The Executive Committee ensures that the Administration provides the support and services required to enable the Senate and all senators to efficiently fulfill their parliamentary duties and constitutional responsibilities.
Ms. Legault joined the Senate as Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Finance and Procurement Directorate in 2015. She has over 20 years of experience in management both with the private and public sector. Having held senior management positions, including Chief Financial Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts, Director General in Financial Management at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Principal Director with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
Ms. Legault is an accredited Chartered Professional Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Quebec.
The Usher of the Black Rod
John Gregory Peters, M.V.O.
The Usher of the Black Rod is a senior parliamentary officer appointed by the Governor in Council. The Black Rod, as the Usher is known to senators, is a senior protocol officer in Parliament and a floor officer of the Senate. J. Greg Peters is the 17th Usher of the Black Rod since Confederation.
The name Usher of the Black Rod comes from the ebony cane that Black Rod carries as a symbol of authority. Under a 600-year-old parliamentary tradition, the Black Rod is the personal attendant and messenger of the Sovereign or the Sovereign’s representative when either is in Parliament.