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Opportunity

General Counsel & Director, Legal Services – RHRA

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority is an independent, self-funded, not-for-profit corporation established by the Ontario government under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010. The guiding principle of the Act is that a retirement home should be a place where residents live with dignity, respect, privacy and autonomy, in security, safety and comfort and can make informed choices about their care options. The RHRA fulfills its mandate by;

  • Informing and educating the retirement home sector, residents, and the public about the Act, regulations and role of the RHRA.
  • Licensing retirement homes and maintaining a Public Register.
  • Inspecting retirement homes, overseeing compliance with the regulations and care standards and enforcing the Act for the protection of residents.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Reporting to the CEO/Registrar, the General Counsel will be responsible for providing timely legal services to the RHRA. Leading a small in-house team and guiding the services of external resources the GC will be a business executive who can balance the legal function with senior leadership responsibilities. The role also includes the responsibility of providing Corporate Secretarial support and therefore has routine dealings with the Board.

Specifically, the role of General Counsel has shifted to one where the incumbent is expected to be an active member of the senior leadership team. It is also expected that the incumbent will have the ability to conduct a thorough review of how the current legal function operates; the resources it requires both inside and outside the RHRA; the appropriate organization structure to support the mandate of the RHRA and its Board. The incumbent will also be responsible for implementing those changes to meet the evolving needs of the RHRA.

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP 

This role is a partner to the CEO/Registrar and senior management in the strategic planning and decision-making process of the business, providing legal expertise where appropriate to ensure that the RHRA’s reputation is elevated and preserved.

  • Provides leadership and advises the CEO/Registrar and senior management on legal and regulatory strategy, and to support management in achieving the RHRA’s mandate and objectives.
  • Provides leadership, direction and legal counsel to business units, by providing interpretation, legal advice and/or responses on legislation, policy and other documents, to specific situations and on general operational matters as required.
  • Prepares and presents the annual business plans for the Legal Affairs unit that reflect the RHRA’s strategic plan, the legal environment and the organization’s legal responsibilities.

REGULATORY & ENFORCEMENT LEADERSHIP 

This role establishes and maintains a process and program for enforcement activities that integrates with the overall regulatory strategy, and other regulatory functions. This includes oversight of legal staff in the execution of all enforcement matters arising from Registrar decision making.

  • Manages, supervises and monitors all enforcement-related litigation and dispute resolution under the Retirement Homes Act including all dealings with Licensing Appeals Tribunal, judicial reviews, and coroner inquests.
  • Acts in conjunction with the Registrar taking ownership and implementation of any enforcement related activities by supporting decision-making on any related negotiations and/or designate in representing the Registrar at any relevant proceedings (e.g. LAT).
  • Provides advice on inspection, investigation and enforcement actions under the RHA.
  • Oversees the conduct of prosecutions under the Provincial Offences Act relating to contraventions of the Retirement Homes Act, 2007, including oversight of investigations relating to potential prosecutions, determining how and whether to proceed with investigations or prosecutions, and anticipating challenges brought under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Manages, supervises and monitors any litigation and dispute resolution, including the retention and management of outside counsel and the communication of status reports to the Board.

REGULATORY & POLICY ADVICE

The GC leads, coordinates and monitors the provision of legal advice and services related to interpretation on legislation, policy, communications and other documents to specific situations and on regulatory operational matters as required.

  • Monitors legislative developments – including proposed legislation and court decisions, relating to RHRA’s activities and mandate, evaluates their impact on RHRA operations, makes recommendations and provides legal advice to RHRA management and Board about potential responses to these developments.
  • Develops background documents, speaking notes, legislative submissions, policy papers, reports, briefing material, correspondence, educational materials and memoranda, aligned with the interpretation of the Act and its regulations or other legislation.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 

This role fulfills the Corporate Secretary requirements for the RHRA. In this role, the GC also acts as the key liaison between the CEO/Registrar, Board of Directors, Board Committees, Statutory Officers, and the senior management team in planning and setting board agendas to meet all expectations and requirements related to good governance.

  • Attends meetings of the Board and Board committees, provides input on assigned projects to ensure compliance with RHRA bylaws, rules of order, and Board governance policies and procedures, and keeps the Board informed of relevant issues.
  • Provides advice to the CEO, the Board of Directors and senior management on corporate governance and conflicts of interest matters.

PRIVACY – CHIEF PRIVACY OFFICER 

The GC is the Chief Privacy Officer for the RHRA, this includes developing and ensuring implementation of privacy policies and procedures at the RHRA to ensure compliance with the Act and applicable privacy legislation. In addition, the GC presents the annual Privacy report to the Board, and reports to the Board upon request or as circumstances require on Privacy matters.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 

The GC leads the development, implementation and administration of goals, objectives, policies, budget and priorities for the Legal Services & Enforcement unit. He/She will Identify resource needs including staffing, training, coaching, motivating and evaluating unit personnel, and directs, coordinates and reviews the work plan for the unit, meets with staff and outside counsel to identify and resolve problems; assigns work activities and projects; monitors work flow; and reviews/evaluates work output, methods and procedures.

The GC Identifies opportunities for improving service delivery methods and procedures, reviewing with appropriate management/staff and implementing improvements. He/She determines what matters are referred to outside counsel and manages external counsel on a variety of matters such as intellectual property, corporate/commercial matters, litigation and other particular matters requiring specialized expertise.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada.
  • Bachelor or Law from an accredited law school and 10 years of broad corporate/commercial and administrative/regulatory law experience gained at a top-tier law firm or in-house environment.
  • Practical knowledge of and experience in:
    • Pertinent Federal, Provincial and local laws, codes and regulations.
    • Operational characteristics, services and activities of a legal services program.
    • Principles and applications of business law, contracts, and administrative law.
    • Methods of legal research and established precedents applicable to activities.
    • Litigation and judicial procedures and rules of evidence.
    • Principles of people management.
    • Experience working in a multi-stakeholder environment, where interests may not be aligned.

Required Competencies:

  • Strong business acumen and the ability to provide advice that balances risks (to residents, the RHRA, legislation, etc.) and can be translated into advice that provides guidance to the CEO and senior management team in decision making and organizational planning.
  • Executive level interpersonal and relationship-building skills (tact, judgment, diplomacy) to establish and maintain effective working relationships at all levels within the organization and with stakeholders, to garner and give support when needed.
  • Highly developed research, analytical and problem solving skills, and the ability to focus on results and think strategically when studying information from a variety of sources to provide practical legal advice in connection with business strategies and initiatives.
  • Executive level oral and written communication skills. Working both independently and in a group context can communicate well-examined legal issues and solutions, policies and procedures, clearly, logically and concisely to a broad cross section of stakeholders.
  • Ability to quickly learn the Act and its regulations, in order to effectively interpret requirements and be a credible resource in the area.
  • Capacity to identify risk and compliance issues and to raise them with the appropriate decision-maker if the proposed course of action raises issues of compliance with the law.
  • Proven human relations skills to select, supervise, coordinate and evaluate the work of unit and external personnel.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES 

  • Developing a balanced approach to managing risk while reaching out to consumers and licensees.
  • Working closely with key stakeholders including the government to guide policy initiatives as they evolve.  

FIRST YEAR DELIVERABLES / MEASURES OF SUCCESS

  • Implementation of a new program “ICE” – Inspection, Compliance, Enforcement.
  • Capacity building of legal team, including internal and external resources.
  • Advise on upcoming legislative review.
  • Revision of current policies and processes including compliance standards.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: NJohnson@conroyross.com. Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
ATAG-636306 General Counsel & Director, Legal Services – RHRA, ON – Toronto and GTA (CRPAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at www.conroyross.com as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.

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