Opportunities at the OPC

Notice of Vacancy

Office of the Privacy Commissioner Of Canada
Privacy Commissioner (full-time position)




Ottawa, Ontario
(until relocated to Gatineau, Quebec in February 2014)

The mission of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is to protect and promote the privacy rights of individuals.  The Office oversees compliance with both the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s private sector privacy law, along with some aspects of Canada’s anti-spam law. 

As an Agent of Parliament, the Privacy Commissioner reports directly to the House of Commons and the Senate.  The Commissioner’s powers to further the privacy rights of Canadians include:  investigating complaints; conducting audits and pursuing court action under the Privacy Act and PIPEDA; publicly reporting on the personal information-handling practices of public- and private- sector organizations; undertaking and publishing research related to the protection of personal information; and promoting public awareness and understanding of privacy issues.  The Commissioner works independently of the government to investigate complaints from individuals with respect to the federal public sector and the private sector.

The ideal candidate should possess a degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study, or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training and/or experience. A degree in law would be considered an asset.

The ideal candidate would have management experience at the senior executive level in a private or public sector organization, including managing human and financial resources.  Experience working with and rendering decisions on complex sensitive issues, preferably in areas related to privacy (data protection, security, cyberspace, technology, etc.) is desired. He or she would also have experience in the interpretation and application of legislation, regulations and policies.  Experience dealing with government, preferably with senior government officials, as well as stakeholders and the media, is sought.

The ideal candidate would have knowledge of the principles of the Privacy Act and PIPEDA as well as the mandate, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the Privacy Commissioner. Knowledge of the role of an Agent of Parliament and its relationship with Parliament and the Government, as well as knowledge of the Canadian government, including its policies, practices and decision-making frameworks, are desired.  The candidate would have knowledge of the global nature of privacy and data protection. Knowledge of privacy regimes in other jurisdictions – provincial, territorial, national and international – would be considered an asset.

The ideal candidate would possess superior leadership skills in managing a team of people and championing privacy interests in an ever-changing environment and the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with a broad range of stakeholders that include the private sector, policy makers at all levels of government nationally and internationally, the media and civil society.  The ability to interpret relevant statutes, regulations and policies, and analyse complex situations in order to make equitable and timely decisions and recommendations, while anticipating their short- and long-term consequences is desired.  The candidate would also have the ability to think strategically, anticipate trends and act to influence the policy development process. He or she would have superior communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to act as a spokesperson on privacy issues in dealing with Parliament, the Government, the media, the general public and other organizations on both a national and international level.

To achieve the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s objectives and carry out its mandate, the Privacy Commissioner would possess strong professional ethics, sound judgement, objectivity and diplomacy.  A person of integrity, he or she would possess superior interpersonal skills, tact and discretion.

Proficiency in both official languages is required.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s head office is currently located in Ottawa, Ontario, but will be relocating to Gatineau, Quebec in February 2014; therefore, the successful candidate must reside in or be willing to relocate to the Ottawa/Gatineau area or to a location that is within reasonable commuting distance. 

The Government is committed to ensuring that its appointments are representative of Canada’s regions and official languages, as well as of women, Aboriginal peoples, disabled persons and visible minorities.

The selected candidate must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website, under "Reference Material".  

The selected candidate will be subject to the Conflict of Interest Act.  Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, 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.

This notice has been placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates for this position. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

Further details about the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and its activities can be found on the website.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Richard or Paul Marshall at (613) 742-3217 or paul.marshall@odgersberndtson.ca.

Selection Criteria