Department of Justice Canada Minister's Transition Book

Front-line Support to the Minister of Justice and the Minister’s Office


Chief of Staff

Stéphanie Poliquin


     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     


Senior Counsels

Sarah Geh, 952-0627

Scott Nesbitt, 957-1524

Eric Lafleur, 992-6519

Personal Assistant to the Deputy Minister

Suzanne Désormeaux, 957-4998


Chief of Staff & Senior Counsel

Alexia Taschereau, 957-3270


Adam Garskey, 957-4918

Executive Assistant

Sonia Rousselle, 941-4072

Administrative Assistant and Briefings and Correspondence Coordinator

Michelle Diotte, 954-1200

Front-line Services


Meetings with the Minister


The MIN/DM is a weekly opportunity for the Deputy Minister and the Associate Deputy Minister to meet with the Minister. This essential meeting serves two purposes. First, it provides a forum for the constructive exchange of information and in-depth discussions on sensitive and emerging issues; as well as providing advice on the strategic management of files. Second, it facilitates the decision- making process. The meeting ends with a discussion on policy development and possible strategies to ensure that relevant information is brought to the Minister’s attention in a timely manner in order to advance the legislative forward agenda; which involves the presence of key Justice officials to provide in-depth briefings on files or issues.

Weekly Meetings

MO Week Ahead

The MO Week Ahead is a weekly meeting between the Minister’s staff and identified key members of the Deputy Minister’s Office to plan the week ahead. This meeting is held early Monday morning and is chaired by the Director of the Ministerial Secretariat. It provides an opportunity to identify and discuss Cabinet and parliamentary activities and files, as well as briefing requirements, correspondence and communications-related events. It also provides an opportunity to provide strategic advice, share timely information and confirm horizontal linkages.

DMO Week Ahead

The DMO Week Ahead is a weekly meeting chaired by the Deputy Minister where senior departmental officials meet to discuss and plan the week ahead, share strategic information and identify possible legal risks. This meeting is held on Monday morning after the MO Week Ahead meeting in order to be in a position to confirm the Minister’s briefing needs for the upcoming week and to facilitate a continuous and effective flow of information allowing the Department to meet its objectives.

Ministerial Secretariat

Ministerial Support

The Ministerial Secretariat plays a key role in supporting the Minister, Deputy Minister and senior departmental officials by providing strategic advice and operational services in support of their Cabinet and Parliamentary responsibilities as well as correspondence and briefing needs. The Ministerial Secretariat enhances coordination and horizontal information sharing across the Department and also establishes and manages horizontal linkages between the executive offices, the Department and external parties.

The Ministerial Secretariat consists of three units: the Ministerial Liaison Unit, the Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit and the Ministerial Correspondence Unit

Director, Ministerial Secretariat

Yanike Legault, 952-8354

Ministerial Liaison

The Ministerial Liaison Unit (MLU) serves as the primary link for information going to and coming from the Minister’s Office and the Department by:

The MLU is also responsible for coordinating, reviewing and editing all briefing material for the Minister; organizing oral briefings with or for the Minister and the Minister’s staff (e.g., technical briefings for members of Parliament, briefing prior to a parliamentary committee appearance); and responding to invitations addressed to the Minister.

Manager, Ministerial Liaison Unit

Julie Gauthier, 948-2998

Cabinet & Parliamentary Responsibilities

The Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit (CPAU) supports the Minister in the Cabinet decision-making process and in his legislative and parliamentary responsibilities by providing timely comprehensive briefing materials and strategic advice and expertise to the Minister’s Office, the Deputy Minister’s Office and senior departmental officials. CPAU also establishes and maintains a network of contacts with Central Agencies and other government departments to monitor and advise on Cabinet, parliamentary and legislative business of a horizontal nature.

The support provided by the CPAU is achieved by:

Acting/Chief, Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit

Michael Assad, 954-3232

Ministerial Correspondence

The Ministerial Correspondence Unit (MCU) manages the process and protocol for all correspondence addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Ministerial Correspondence staff prepare replies to approximately 95 percent of the incoming mail. The remaining 5 percent is sent to various departmental sectors for specific input from a policy or legal perspective.

Manager, Ministerial Correspondence Unit

Louise Bisson, 957-2950

Communications Branch


The Communications Branch provides strategic advice and planning services in media relations, internal and external communications, digital and social media, speech strategy and writing, as well as media monitoring and analysis.

Director General, Communications Branch

Tracie Noftle, 957-9596

Director, Creative Services, New Media and Electronic Communications

Jennifer Buffam, 957-4216

Media Relations

The Media Relations Issues Management and Litigation unit of the Communications Branch liaises closely with the Minister’s Office to respond to media requests, provide journalists with necessary background information, prepare press lines for the Minister, coordinate media interviews, and provide operational and organizational support for press conferences, announcements and media events.

In addition, the Media Relations group works with media to explain departmental positions on justice issues, provide a detect-and-correct function, and to promote the activities and policies of the Department and the Minister. The unit also organizes technical briefings for media, in coordination with Policy Sector, as required.

Manager, Media Relations, Issues Management and Litigation Communications

Christian Girouard, 613-858-0182

Daily Press Clippings—Media Monitoring

The Media Relations unit provides an electronic clippings package daily for the Minister, the Minister’s Office, and departmental officials. The press clippings are sent by email daily by 6:30 a.m.  The unit monitors media in real time throughout the day and circulates relevant news stories as they become available.

Communications Officer (Media Monitoring)

Angela Savard, 613-617-4334


The Speech Unit provides strategic advice, planning, and guidance in ministerial speech strategy and delivery.  It manages the preparation and coordination of speeches and researches, writes, edits, translates, and evaluates the presentation of speeches.

Contact for Speech Requests Manager, Creative Services and Social Media

Susan Fisher-Clement, 957-4620

Department of Justice Floor Plan