Department of Justice Canada Minister's Transition Book

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

Deputy Minister’s Office

Chief of Staff

Catherine Rudick, 948-8981

Senior Counsel

Marie-Claude Filion, 952-0627

Julie Adair, 946-3868

Chelsea Clogg, 946-3869

Guillaume Bousquet, 957-1524

Toby Hoffman, 992-4621 

Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister

Julie Legros, 957-4998.

Executive Assistant to the Associate Deputy Minister

Shawn Béchamp, 941-4072

Office Manager

Suzanne Désormeaux, 946-7027 

Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff


Briefing Note and Correspondence Coordinator

Charlene Hymers, 957-4993

Key Weekly Meetings

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 and advice on the strategic management of files. Second, it facilitates the decision-making process. Justice officials participate by invitation to provide in-depth briefings on files or issues.

Weekly Meetings: 

Two-Week Look Ahead
The Two-Week Look Ahead is a weekly meeting between the Minister’s staff, the Deputy Minister, and the DM’s direct reports to plan the upcoming two weeks. This meeting is held Friday afternoons and is chaired by the Deputy Minister. It provides an opportunity to identify and discuss Cabinet and parliamentary activities and files, as well as briefing requirements and communications-related events. It also provides an opportunity to discuss strategic initiatives, share timely information and confirm horizontal linkages.
DM Week Ahead
The DM Week Ahead is a weekly meeting chaired by the Deputy Minister and Associate Deputy Minister where senior departmental officials meet to discuss and plan the week ahead, share strategic information and identify possible legal risks. It facilitates a continuous and effective flow of information allowing the Department to meet its objectives.
DMO Weekly Meeting
The DMO Weekly meeting is a weekly meeting chaired by the Deputy Minister and the Associate Deputy Minister with key members of the DMO team, including the Chief of Staff, Counsel, the Office Manager, and the Executive Assistant to the DM. It also includes the Director General of Communications, Director of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs, and the Departmental Advisor. The meeting looks at the issues for the week prior to DM Week Ahead and provides a means for key status updates on various current issues.

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 Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit, the Ministerial Correspondence Unit and the Ministerial Liaison Unit.

Senior Director, Ministerial Secretariat

Yanike Legault, 952-8354

Cabinet & Parliamentary Responsibilities

The Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit (CPAU) supports the Minister in the Cabinet decision-making process and in her 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:

Director, Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Unit

Michael Assad, 957-4994

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

Julie Gauthier, 948-2205

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, briefings prior to a parliamentary committee appearance); and responding to invitations addressed to the Minister.

Manager, Ministerial Liaison Unit

Julie Gauthier, 948-2205

Communications Branch


The Communications Branch provides strategic advice and planning services in media relations, Ministerial event support, internal and external communications, digital and social media, speech strategy and writing, as well as media monitoring and analysis. The Branch also manages a calendar of upcoming Ministerial events and opportunities, working to assure alignment with priorities and coordination of communications products and activities. The Branch works with various parts of the department (Litigation, ATIP, Evaluation, Research and Statistics) and other federal organizations to coordinate issues management. The Branch is also responsible for advertising, consultation and engagement reporting, and publishing.

The Branch’s work is primarily governed by the Government of Canada Communications Policy and informed by Annex J of the Government’s Open and Accountable Government: Use of Social Media

Director General, Communications Branch

Shirley Anne Off
Office: 613-957-9596; Cell:      [Redacted]

Deputy Director General, Strategic Communications

Kirstan Gagnon
Office: 613-954-6327; Cell:      [Redacted]

Director, Corporate and Digital Communications

Charles Stanfield
Office: 613-948-1334; Cell:      [Redacted]

Media Relations

The Media Relations and Litigation Communications 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, media technical briefings, and provide operational and organizational support for press conferences, announcements and media events. This unit also provides support on the coordination of judicial appointments news releases.

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 the Policy Sector, as required.

Manager, Media Relations and Litigation Communications

Christian Girouard

Daily Press Clippings—Media Monitoring

The Media Relations unit also provides a daily electronic clippings package 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.

Senior Communications Advisor (Media Relations)

Ian McLeod

Angela Savard

Policy Communications

The Policy Communications unit of the Communications Branch provides strategic communications advice on policy, program, and legislative initiatives. It plays a lead role in coordinating communications on departmental and Ministerial priorities. Advisors in the unit develop communication plans, media lines, Qs and As, news releases/statements, social media and web content, and play a coordinating role for announcements. The unit liaises closely with various departmental policy sections, as well as the Minister’s Office.   

Deputy Director General, Strategic Communications

Kirstan Gagnon
Office: 613-954-6327; Cell:      [Redacted]

Manager, Policy Communications (Reconciliation and Human Rights)

Pierre Collin

A/Manager, Policy Communications (Criminal Law Policy)

Christian Girouard

Digital Communications

The Digital Communications unit manages and coordinates the Department’s website content, as well Justice’s official social media accounts. These include Justice Twitter, Justice Facebook and Official Ministerial Twitter. The division works with branch colleagues as well as the Minister’s Office to ensure effective coordination of social and digital media, as well as compliance with official languages, accessibility and TB guidelines. The team also includes in-house designers, photographers and videographers for content development and support at Ministerial events.

Director, Digital and Corporate Communications

Charles Stanfield
Office: 613-948-1334; Cell:      [Redacted]

Manager Digital Communications

Toban Morrison 


The Speechwriting team, part of the Corporate Communications 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 for the Minister or his official delegate.

Director, Digital and Corporate Communications

Charles Stanfield
Office: 613-948-1334; Cell:      [Redacted]