Procedural Officers and Senior Officials

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.

Name Term
O'Brien, Gary W. 2009-09-16 - 2015-03-08
Le Moine, Robert 1871-01-21 - 1883-01-24
Bélisle, Paul C. 1994-03-14 - 2009-09-15
Barnhart, Gordon 1989-05-01 - 1994-03-13
Langevin, Edouard-Joseph 1883-01-25 - 1900-01-26
Fortier, Robert 1968-02-01 - 1981-12-30
Robert, Charles 2015-03-09 - 2017-07-09(interim)
Taylor Sr., John Fennings 1867-11-02 - 1871-01-27
Blount, Austen Ernest 1917-03-15 - 1938-12-19
Lussier, Charles A. 1981-12-31 - 1989-05
Chapleau, Samuel-Edmour St-Onge 1900-01-27 - 1917-03-14
Moyer, L. Clare 1938-12-20 - 1955-10-21
Proulx, Nicole 2017-07-10 - 2018-01-30(interim)
MacNeill, John Forbes 1955-10-22 - 1968-01-31
Denis, Richard 2018-01-31 -  (interim)

Law Clerks and Parliamentary Counsels

Name Term
Patrice, Michel 2014-06-12 - 2017
Kuehl, Jacqueline J. 2017-09-27 -  
du Plessis, Raymond L. 1976-01-01 - 1996
Hopkins, Edward Russell 1956-01-10 - 1976-12-31
MacNeill, John Forbes 1942-01-29 - 1955
Audcent, Mark 1996 - 2014
Kuehl, Jacqueline J.
Interim
2017-08-21 - 2017-09-26
Creighton, J.G. Aylwin 1882-03-03 - 1930
Montizambert, Edward Louis 1868-03-26 - 1882-01-17
O'Connor, William F. 1935 - 1942

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).

Name Term
Kimber, René 1867-11-02 - 1875-06
Lamoureux, Charles Rock 1947-01-15 - 1970-10
Jalbert, René M. 1985-07-10 - 1989-03
Thompson, Andrew Ruthven 1925-06 - 1946
Askwith, Charles 1983 - 1984-07-08 (acting)
Kimber, René Edouard
Replaced his father upon his retirement
1875-06-04 - 1901
Christopher, Terrance J. 2002-12-09 - 2008-03-07
Peters, John Gregory 2013-10-01 -  
McLaren, Mary C. 1997-11-10 - 2001-09-14
St. John, Molyneux 1902 - 1904-02
Vandelac, A. Guy 1970-11-01 - 1979-09
Lajoie, Claude G. 1984-07-09 - 1985-07
Bowie, Thomas Guy 1979-09-26 - 1983
Chambers, Ernest John 1904-03-01 - 1925-06
Armitage, Blair 2001-09-15 - 2002-12-08 (acting)
Gutknecht, Rene 1989-03-06 - 1990-10
Armitage, Blair 2013-01-07 - 2013-09-30 (acting)
Doré, Jean 1990-10 - 1997-06-28
MacLeod, Kevin 2008-05-26 - 2013-01-06

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.

Name Term
Fournier, Jean T. 2005-04-01 - 2012-04-01
Ricard, Lyse 2012-10-04 - 2017-06-30
Ricard, Lyse 2012-04-05 - 2012-10-03 (acting)
Legault, Pierre 2017-07-10 - 2018-01-09 (acting)
Legault, Pierre 2018-01-10 -