Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will there be exceptions (to the new process)?

Yes. In some cases, legislation prescribes specific processes for an appointment, e.g., the requirement to be a sitting judge, or to be recommended by a third party such as a provincial government or a First Nation government. These will not be subject to the same requirements for advertising and open applications.

2. While the new process for open, transparent and merit-based Governor in Council appointments is being put into place, what will the interim process be like?

Under the interim process, appointments/re-appointments will only be made to positions that are essential for the continuity of government business and to ensure that services continue to be delivered to Canadians without interruption. The duration of these appointments/re-appointments will be for up to one year, subject to any legislative provisions.

3. Are there any circumstances where interim appointments/re-appointments could be for more than one year, ahead of the implementation of the new approach?

Yes. There may be circumstances where legislation imposes certain restrictions, e.g., a term longer than one year. Otherwise, the duration of Governor in Council appointments/re-appointments will be for up to one year.

4. Does the new appointments approach apply to judicial appointments, Heads of Mission (Ambassadors, etc.) and Deputy Ministers?

No. Judges, heads of mission and deputy ministers are appointed under processes that are separate and distinct from the new process.

5. What about the appointment of advisors to Ministers – will these appointments be subject to the new approach?

In general, the new approach will not apply to the appointment of advisors to Ministers. In most cases an advisory committee or panel is struck for a specific purpose and advisors are chosen with a view to ensuring the Minister has a group of individuals who, together, comprise the appropriate mix of experience, skills and knowledge and perspectives to support the Minister’s decision-making.

6. How are members of selection committees chosen?

Members of selection committees will be chosen to represent the interests of those who are responsible for decision-making on appointments (the Minister, the Prime Minister), as well as individuals who bring a perspective on the specific interests and needs of the organization.

7. How can individuals apply for GIC positions?

Individuals can apply online for all GIC positions through the Governor in Council Appointments website. Current and ongoing opportunities are posted here as they become available.

1. What is a Governor in Council appointment?

A Governor in Council (GIC) appointment is one made by the Governor General, on the advice of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada (i.e., the Cabinet). The appointments are made through an Order in Council (OIC) and range from heads of agencies and chief executive officers of Crown corporations to members of quasi-judicial tribunals.

2. How do I find out about and apply for a GIC position?

Governor in Council (GIC) opportunities may be advertised in a number of ways, including:

The notice of vacancy will specify where to forward an application, which includes the option of applying on-line to many of the GIC opportunities advertised via the GIC Appointments website. Interested candidates should ensure that their applications clearly outline how their education, experience, knowledge and abilities meet the requirements of the position advertised. The letter of introduction and curriculum vitae should also contain current coordinates. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

3. How long does the application process take? Will I receive a reply?

The length of time will vary according to the nature and responsibility of the position advertised and the particular selection process being used. For example, the recruitment of a new head of agency requires a more comprehensive process than that for a part-time member of a Crown corporation Board of Directors. Generally, only those applicants proceeding to the next stage of a selection process will receive a reply.

4. Will my privacy be protected during the application process?

Confidentiality is a high priority in the GIC application and selection process. Personal information will be safeguarded at every stage of the process.

1. What are the roles and responsibilities of Boards of Directors of Crown corporations?

The Board of Directors has overall stewardship of the Crown corporation and is expected to provide strategic direction to management and oversee the activities of the organization. It has the duty to act in the best interests of the corporation and to exercise care and due diligence.

2. What ethical and conflict of interest guidelines are applicable to GIC appointees?

Specific statutes and guidelines govern the conduct and actions of GIC appointees while in office. Each of the following links to a more detailed description:

The Conflict of Interest Act establishes conflict of interest and post-employment compliance measures for public office-holders. The Act is administered by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.

The “Ethical Guidelines and Statutory Standards of Conduct” outline four ethical principles that must be adhered to by all public office holders.

The “Guidelines for the Political Activities of Public Office Holders” are based on the general principle that public office holders should not participate in any political activity which might impair, or be seen to impair, their ability to discharge their duties in a politically impartial manner or cast doubt on the integrity or impartiality of the office.