Usher of the Black Rod, Senate

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Position title:
Usher of the Black Rod
Salary range:
$103,200.00 - $121,300.00/Year
Application Review Date:
August 27, 2018
Opportunity number:

The Usher of the Black Rod is the most senior protocol officer in the Parliament of Canada. From a ceremonial point of view, he or she leads the daily Speaker’s Parade to and from the Chamber and directs all logistical, protocol and administrative details relating to official Parliament of Canada ceremonies (e.g. opening of Parliament, Speech from the Throne, Royal Assent). In this regard, the Usher of the Black Rod provides leadership in other areas such as security, communications, protocol and logistics, and works with other officials from both chambers.

The Usher of the Black Rod is also responsible for Senate ceremonies (e.g. swearing-in ceremonies for newly-appointed Senators) as well as the organization and delivery of a number of other ceremonies that are held on an annual basis in the Senate Chamber (e.g. Memorial Service for Former Parliamentarians, Launch of Veterans’ Week). The Usher of the Black Rod also plays a prominent role in other events held in the Senate Chamber such as the installation of Governors General and lyings-in-state. He or she is, therefore, ultimately responsible for the effective execution of the ceremonial functions of the Senate of Canada.

The Usher of the Black Rod is responsible for security in the Senate Chamber. Under the direction of the Speaker, he or she is called upon to find resolution to issues that may arise and works closely with the Parliamentary Protective Service. The Usher of the Black Rod carries responsibility for all facets of the Senate Page Program – from recruitment to selection to daily operations. The Usher of the Black Rod is a member of the Senate Senior Management Committee.

Diversity and Official Languages

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study or an acceptable combination of relevant education, job-related training and/or experience;

  • Corporate leadership experience at the senior executive level;

  • Demonstrated success coordinating protocol, logistics and administration for ceremonial events and programs;

  • Experience in the development and implementation of strategies, objectives and plans;

  • Experience in managing complex partnerships and stakeholder relationships;

  • Experience in financial and human resources management and in implementing modern corporate governance principles and best practices; and

  • Experience dealing with parliamentarians would be considered an asset.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Good understanding of the legal, historical and cultural conditions of parliamentary institutions in Canada and abroad;

  • Knowledge of ceremonies that are part of Canada’s parliamentary heritage;

  • Knowledge of the Canadian parliamentary system, the legislative process and the constitutional mandate of the Senate;

  • Knowledge of the current political agenda, current legislative initiatives and current domestic issues would be considered an asset; and

  • Knowledge of current security issues, both domestic and international, as well as remedial approaches and applications for resolution, would be considered an asset;

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective relations with parliamentarians, Senate Administration staff as well as government executives and foreign representatives and dignitaries;

  • Ability to focus the energies and talents of the organization’s employees and motivate them to achieve corporate objectives;

  • Capacity to listen to various stakeholders’ needs, to identify and analyze sensitive issues, give sound advice and propose effective recommendations;

  • Ability to mentor the employees and motivate them to active corporate objectives; and

  • Superior communication skills both written and oral.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred

If you move on the the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Engaging team builder

  • Objective, impartial and fair

  • Sound judgment

  • Flexibility

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • If you are appointed to this position, you must reside in or be willing to relocate to the National Capital Region, or to a location within a reasonable commuting distance.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates for this positions. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment. A roster of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on August 27, 2018. Candidates must apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the online application.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website

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