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Parliament Section
Officers and Officials of Parliament Procedural Officers and Senior Officials - Senate

The senior procedural officers and other officials of the Senate exist to serve Parliament. They are responsible for the administration of the Senate as one of the constituent chambers of Parliament.

The officials of the Senate are:

^ Clerks of the Senate and Clerks of the Parliaments

As the Senate’s chief administrative officer, the Clerk of the Senate manages the Senate’s day-to-day operation. The Clerk also supports all aspects of the legislative process, from the swearing-in of new Senators to advising the Speaker on parliamentary procedure and interpretation of the rules. As Clerk of the Parliaments, the Clerk is custodian of all original Acts and is responsible for certifying true copies of these Acts.

NameTerm (year)
Robert, Charles 2015 -
O'Brien, Gary W. 2009 - 2015
Bélisle, Paul C. 1994 - 2009
Barnhart, Gordon 1989 - 1994
Lussier, Charles A. 1981 - 1989
Fortier, Robert 1968 - 1981
MacNeill, John Forbes 1955 - 1968
Moyer, L. Clare 1938 - 1955
Blount, Austen Ernest 1917 - 1938
Chapleau, Samuel-Edmour St-Onge 1900 - 1917
Langevin, Edouard-Joseph 1883 - 1900
Le Moine, Robert 1871 - 1883
Taylor Sr., John Fennings 1867 - 1871
^ Law Clerks and Parliamentary Counsels
NameTerm (year)
Patrice, Michel 2014 -
Audcent, Mark 1996 - 2014
du Plessis, Raymond L. 1976 - 1996
Hopkins, Edward Russell 1956 - 1976
MacNeill, John Forbes 1942 - 1955
O'Connor, William F. 1935 - 1942
Creighton, J.G. Aylwin 1882 - 1930
Montizambert, Edward Louis 1868 - 1882
^ Ushers of the Black Rod

Originally a member of the royal household and then a parliamentary messenger, the Usher of the Black Rod continues to act as a messenger. It is the Black Rod who informs Members of the House of Commons that they are summoned to the Senate to hear the Speech from the Throne that opens every session of Parliament or to witness the Royal Assent that enacts bills adopted by Parliament into law. The title of the position comes from the ebony stick carried by the Black Rod, which is used to knock on the doors of the House of Commons Chamber to gain admission into that Chamber.

Upon the appointment of the first woman to the position of "Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod" on October 20, 1997, the Senate proposed that the title be changed to "Usher of the Black Rod" (Senate Journals, November 6, 1997).

NameTerm (year)
Peters, John Gregory 2013 -
Armitage, Blair (Acting) 2013 - 2013
MacLeod, Kevin 2008 - 2013
Christopher, Terrance J. 2002 - 2008
Armitage, Blair (Acting) 2001 - 2002
McLaren, Mary C. 1997 - 2001
Doré, Jean 1990 - 1997
Gutknecht, Rene 1989 - 1990
Jalbert, René M. 1985 - 1989
Lajoie, Claude G. 1984 - 1985
Askwith, Charles (Acting) 1983 - 1984
Bowie, Thomas Guy 1979 - 1983
Vandelac, A. Guy 1970 - 1979
Lamoureux, Charles Rock 1947 - 1970
Thompson, Andrew Ruthven 1925 - 1946
Chambers, Ernest John 1904 - 1925
St. John, Molyneux 1902 - 1904
Kimber, René Edouard Replaced his father upon his retirement 1875 - 1901
Kimber, René 1867 - 1875
^ Senate Ethics Officer (SEO)

The office of the Senate Ethics Officer (SEO) was created in 2004 by amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act.

The Senate Ethics Officer is appointed by the Governor in Council, after consultation with the leaders of the recognized parties in the Senate and a confirming vote in the chamber. The Officer holds the position for a term of seven years and may be removed only by the Governor in Council following an address of the Senate, and only for cause. He or she may be reappointed for subsequent terms of up to seven years.

The statute provides that the SEO is to perform the duties and functions assigned by the Senate for governing the conduct of members of the Senate. Thus, the SEO is responsible for administering the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, in collaboration with the Standing Senate Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators.

NameTerm (year)
Ricard, Lyse 2012 -
Ricard, Lyse (Acting) 2012 - 2012
Fournier, Jean T. 2005 - 2012

Updated on: 2017.05.02

Revised on: 2017.05.02

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