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, Chief Legislative Services Officer, and Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration
Staff: Jodi Turner (Chief of Staff)
On July 10, 2017, Nicole Proulx was appointed by Order in Council as the 14th Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments on an interim basis. Ms. Proulx is the first woman to occupy this role and will serve during pleasure until a new appointment to the position is made. She also currently serves as Chief Legislative Services Officer, which oversees the legislative sector of the Senate Administration. The legislative sector is 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.
Ms. Proulx has provided exemplary service and leadership since joining the Senate in 1998. She was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2007 and served on numerous senior management committees, further broadening her extensive knowledge of corporate governance. She has noteworthy experience working with federal departments, central agencies, legislative assemblies, and private sector firms.
Since 2015, Mrs. Proulx has held the position of Clerk of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration and Chief Corporate Services Officer. In this position, Ms. Proulx was responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction to the Corporate Services sector of the Senate. She also supported the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration (CIBA) as its most senior corporate and procedural advisor. The Committee oversees and directs the internal management and affairs of the Senate. During the interim period, Ms. Proulx will continue to serve as Clerk of CIBA while a selection process is initiated to staff the position permanently.
Ms. Proulx holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Ottawa. She is also an active member of the Canadian Association of Parliamentary Administration (CAPA) as well as the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX).
Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
Jacqueline J. Kuehl
Staff: Sonia Makhlouf (Senior Advisor)
Jacqueline J. Kuehl was named the 9th Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel of the Senate on September 27, 2017.
Ms. Kuehl is the chief legal adviser to the Senate. She heads the Senate’s in-house legal department responsible for providing non-partisan legal services in relation to the legislative process to the Senate, the Speaker of the Senate, standing and special Senate committees, and individual Senators, on the many areas of the law engaged in the course of parliamentary business, including the law on the privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and its members. Her office also provides expert legislative drafting services to Senators to assist them in their constitutional mandate to deliberate and legislate on all matters that fall within the legislative authority of the federal Parliament.
As part of her Law Clerk functions, Ms. Kuehl arranges for the preparation of parchments of Senate bills, the engrossing of Senate amendments to House of Commons bills, and the publication of all Senate government bills and senator’s public and private bills.
Furthermore, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel is responsible for providing corporate counsel functions on a solicitor-client basis to the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration, in diverse areas such as labour law, contracting and policy development.
Ms. Kuehl is a senior executive of the Senate Administration who is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the Legal Sector of the Senate, which includes: the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, the Human Resources Directorate, and the Corporate Officer for Values and Ethics for the Senate Administration.
She also 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. Kuehl holds over 20 years of experience working in the legal profession. She has a Bachelor of Social Science (Political Science and Psychology), 1993 and Juris Doctor, 1996 from the University of Ottawa. She has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1998 and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice and Association of Parliamentary Counsel in Canada.
Interim Chief Corporate Services Officer
Staff: Joseph Law (Executive Advisor)
On July 10, 2017, Hélène Bouchard was appointed Interim Chief Corporate Services Officer and a member of the Executive Committee. She will serve in this position during an interim period until completion of a selection process for a permanent appointment. Ms. Bouchard previously served as the Director of Information Services for the Senate.
The Chief Corporate Services Officer is a senior executive of the Senate Administration who is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the Corporate Services sector. The sector includes four directorates including Finance and Procurement, Information Services, Property and Services, and Policy and Planning. As a member of the Executive Committee, Ms. Bouchard also 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. Bouchard holds over 35 years of experience working in the Senate Administration. She has served in a variety of positions within the corporate and legislative sectors, and was among the early pioneers of computerization in the Senate. Since the implementation of computer networks and systems on Parliament Hill, Ms. Bouchard has been responsible for all information technology and information management within the Senate. She held numerous senior positions as the directorate expanded and evolved over time, and was appointed Director of Information Services in April 2005. In her 12 years as Director, Ms. Bouchard was responsible for overseeing and directing the development of all information technologies, telecommunications, multimedia and broadcasting services, records management and archives for the Senate.
Ms. Bouchard has significant experience working with federal departments and agencies, provincial and territorial legislative assemblies, and IM/IT industry leaders. Until her appointment as Chief Corporate Services Officer, Ms. Bouchard represented the Senate on the Information Technology Steering Committee to manage the technological requirements of the Building Components and Connectivity Program of the Long term Vision and Planning Framework for the Parliamentary Precinct.
Ms. Bouchard is a graduate of the CSPS Executive Leadership Program. Since 2014, she is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Parliamentary Administration (CAPA), which is a network for senior officers responsible for parliamentary administration in the Parliament of Canada and provincial and territorial legislatures.
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. Mr. Peters is the seventeenth 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.