Director, Public Guardian & Trustee – Government of Nunavut

This uniquely rewarding, high-impact mandate within Nunavut’s Department of Justice will be of interest to a lawyer who can think, act and lead strategically while keeping goals clearly in sight, understand client needs, and ensure the delivery of timely, high-quality legal and case management services to vulnerable persons – adults and children alike – who are incapable of managing their personal affairs.

Officially founded in 1999, Nunavut exists where tradition meets progress. Much of the Territory has inherited millennia of history and culture of Inuit. Rooted in this rich tradition, the Government of Nunavut (GN) prepares for a prosperous future by investing in high-quality education, health care, culture, environmental protection, and industry growth.

As Director of the Public Guardian and Trustee, you will support such a future by assuming delegated duties respecting the Nunavut Territory’s responsibility to protect the legal, financial, personal and health care interests of adults who require assistance in decision-making, protect the legal and financial interests of minors, and administer the estates of deceased and missing persons.

Reporting to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Courts and Justice Services, you will ensure the timely provision of legal services and oversight to the independent Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT), an arm’s-length agency of the GN. As head of the OPGT, you will provide the operational oversight that is integral to ensure effective compliance with the Division’s mandate and to properly administer Justice services on behalf of the OPGT. Along with providing strategic advice to the ADM on issues management, you will participate, as a member of the Senior Management Team, in the formulation of policy, programs, and strategic planning for the Division.

Both strategically minded and tactically skilled, you will not only manage the day-to-day operations of the OPGT, including the supervision of Legal Counsel, contract services and support staff providing operational and legal services in respect of OPGT clients, but also be responsible for the development of policies, guidelines, and expenditure management in the administration of OPGT and client trusts.

Ultimately, you will be accountable for ensuring that OPGT clients are properly represented in all legal proceedings and that their best interests are maintained and administered, while working within the Government of Nunavut’s Legislative and Policy framework(s) to ensure that operations and directives are aligned and in compliance with applicable legislation.

This key mandate, with a $3-million O&M budget, calls for a legal professional with experience in providing legal advice to clients and making legal presentations before the courts, tribunals, or other forums together with the ability to provide senior management oversight to subordinate staff in a complex, fast-paced and highly sensitive environment. As this accomplished leader, you will be knowledgeable about all aspects of the laws of Canada, the N.W.T. and Nunavut, as well as Indigenous and Northern issues, and the legal and practical processes that guide OPGT operations, including a sound understanding of OPGT functions and governing legislation.

More specifically, you will bring experience in interpreting legislation and procedures, applying and/or developing legislative framework and policies, preparing legal opinions, as well as editing and approving complex legal documents. Your vast knowledge base also includes government processes, policies and operations; public administration, government and legislative processes; human resource and financial administration principles and practices; project management principles and practices; conflict management, ADR and problem-solving techniques; and risk management.

Typically, your expertise will have been acquired through completion of a Common Law LL.B. from an accredited Canadian university and at least five (5) years’ post-qualification experience as a Barrister and Solicitor, including at least three (3) years of progressive managerial experience supervising legal staff and management of legal contracts. You must also be a member of the Law Society of Nunavut, or be immediately eligible to become a member.

While legal knowledge and managerial skills are vital in this role, your success as Director will also be driven by your strengths as a negotiator, your sound judgment and your ability to interpret and evaluate complex matters and situations, and recommend an appropriate course of action within tight timelines. As a leader, you are equally recognized for nurturing a positive work environment of continuous learning, encouraging innovation and improvement in operational effectiveness, facilitating and promoting employee development, as well as motivating and mentoring staff.

The Official Languages of Nunavut are Inuktitut (Inuinnaqtun), English and French. The ability to communicate in English is required, with the ability to communicate in Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun being desirable, as you may be mentoring Nunavut Inuit lawyers. The ability to communicate in French is an asset, as you may be in direct contact with outside groups and agencies whose first language may not be English. Knowledge of the Inuit language, communities, culture, and land, and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit is also an asset.

This senior position is based in Iqaluit, NU, and offers the opportunity to support the success and vitality of a vast and growing territory and the quality of life of its communities, while enjoying a very attractive compensation and benefits package. This is a Position of Trust and requires a criminal record check.

To apply to this highly rewarding senior leadership role in public justice administration, submit your application to Phelps by clicking:

Application deadline: March 27, 2023

The Government of Nunavut is committed to creating a more representative workforce so it can better understand and serve the needs of Nunavummiut. Priority will be given to Nunavut Inuit. Candidates must clearly identify their eligibility in order to receive priority consideration under the Nunavut Priority Hiring Policy. While all responses will be appreciated and handled in the strictest confidence, only those being considered for interviews will be acknowledged.

Link to Job Posting:

Job Deadline/Expiry Date: 03/27/2023