There are 26 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the province of Ontario who work both individually and collectively to transformationally change the lives of families in the communities they serve through the power of safe, decent and affordable housing solutions. Collectively, all Habitat affiliates in Ontario are members of an informally constituted Ontario Caucus. A primary focus for the Habitat Caucus in Ontario is the establishment and advancement of a government relations presence and strategy that will enable Habitat for Humanity to significantly increase its profile provincially, and then more organically at the regional and municipal level. The Caucus is currently seeking highly qualified applicants for the position of Director of Government Relations.
The Director of Government Relations for the Ontario Caucus of Habitat for Humanity will be responsible for strategically engaging with Ontario government legislators, policy advisors and changemakers and other such stakeholders to advocate on behalf of Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Ontario in matters of relevant policy to significantly support and advance the Habitat for Humanity mission in this Province. This position has no direct staff management responsibilities or accountabilities.
There is flexibility for the incumbent to work partially from a home-based office. However, there is a requirement to attend the offices of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga at 1800 Appleby Line in Burlington a minimum of once each week, and more or less often as may be deemed necessary by the Chair of the Government Relations Committee.
In addition, frequent travel to Queen’s Park and to other such meetings, conferences or gatherings as may be necessary to complete the duties of the position will also be required as will participation, as appropriate, in designated meetings via phone or video conferencing.
Education & Experience
The incumbent to this position will have a minimum of five (5) years of progressive experience working in a Federal, Provincial, regional or municipal government relations context with preference given to candidates with experience gained in a not-for-profit or community service setting. They will have a broad working knowledge of the Ontario legislature, accepted practices for lobbying/interacting with legislators, government civil servants, policy developers and legislative stakeholders.
As a portion of the duties include acting in the role of ‘In-House Lobbyist (Organizations) the incumbent will be required to follow the Lobbyists Code of Conduct and to maintain detailed records of all communications had, or planned, with members of public office (i.e. MPPs and their respective staffs)
The incumbent will have the demonstrated ability to positively and proactively lead and manage change and will possess exceptional written and oral communication skills along with a strong track record as both a team leader and a team builder. At minimum, the incumbent will hold an undergraduate degree in political science, public policy, public administration or the equivalent.Scope of Communications
The nature of the position is such that the incumbent must have the ability to engage in and facilitate clear, consistent and timely communications with all levels of government and participating Habitat for Humanity stakeholder groups. As such, the incumbent will be a consensus builder and an active, empathetic listener, and a stellar communicator with demonstrated excellence in preparing and delivering all manner of presentations to a broad cross-section of audiences.
Duties and Responsibilities
Appreciating that a comprehensive government relations program includes well-formulated and strategic communications, an informed and engaged constituency, legislative and regulatory monitoring, lobbying, research and intelligence gathering, policy oversight and analysis, and issues management the Director of Government Relations for the Ontario Caucus of Habitat for Humanity will identify the current, medium and long-term objectives of the sitting Provincial Government relative to Housing inclusive of ministerial mandates, legislation, service plans, programs and services that may provide or present opportunities for the Ontario Caucus of Habitat for Humanity. By extension, they will then work with the Caucus to plan specific priority, results-oriented projects or initiatives within a defined timeframe which represent a high probability of success in advancing the mission of Habitat for Humanity in Ontario.
While the focus of work will be primarily with/within Ontario, the incumbent will be required to work closely with Habitat for Humanity Canada and other provincial Habitat for Humanity Caucuses to address policy matters and issues germane to the success and advancement of the Habitat mission at the Federal level.
For further clarity, with a tri-focus on engagement, advocacy and policy, the Director of Government Relations for the Ontario Caucus of Habitat for Humanity will:
- In partnership with affiliates as appropriate, build and maintain relationships with key Members of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament;
- Build and maintain relationships with parliamentary civil servants and, as applicable, with other relevant bodies of government;
- Attend provincial government Committee meetings relative to affordable housing and/or the nonprofit sector and/or other sectors with relevance to the Habitat mission, and will track relevant legislation;
- Build relationships with Infrastructure Ontario, the Ontario Not-for-Profit Housing Association, the Association of Municipalities in Ontario and other such bodies with an eye to advancing the Habitat mission and profile;
- Establish a strong, professional, singular voice and presence for Habitat for Humanity within the Ontario legislature;
- Through regular meetings and attendance at appropriate events/functions, seek, develop, build and steward strategic relationships with key stakeholders and decision-makers in the Ministry of Social Services and Housing and other such Ministries whose portfolios, programs or policy platforms could support the advancement of the Habitat mission in Ontario;
- Leveraging these relationships, will identify opportunities for partnerships, the leveraging of funds and access to other such resources or partnerships;
- Working with the Chair of the government Relations Committee of the Ontario Caucus and with input and direction from Committee members, will develop a framework for consistent communications with all Ontario Caucus members relative to government relations;
- In a timely manner, provide such reports, documents, advice, direction or the like to the Government Relations Committee of the Ontario Caucus for information and/or broader dissemination to participating affiliates;
- Provide a formal quarterly update on Ontario Government Relations activities to all participating Habitat affiliates;
- Facilitate supportive, collegial working relationships with all participating Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Ontario and, as appropriate, with relevant staff at Habitat for Humanity Canada;
- Attend such meetings of the Ontario Caucus and/or its sub-Committees as may be required, preparing such reports or documents as may be required to inform/update the progress of government relations in Ontario;
- Appropriately and professionally represent the Ontario Caucus of Habitat for Humanity within Queen’s Park, the social service and business community, to corporations, other such relevant organizations;
- Engage, liaise and confer regularly and as appropriate with the Government Relations team at Habitat for Humanity Canada and in other provinces/regions
- Secure opportunities for the participating Ontario Caucus members to be represented in government and other consultations, initiatives, working groups, panels and events; and
- Communicate those opportunities to the Caucus or to relevant affiliate members of the Caucus in a timely manner;
- Assist, if/as required, the Caucus or relevant members of the Caucus in the completion of such applications, reports or documents as may be required to secure/facilitate funding, partnership(s) or collaboration;
- Advocate for the above, as appropriate with key legislators, policy leaders or other stakeholders;
- More generally, with direction from the Ontario Caucus, advocate for legislative, regulatory and policy actions that could advance the Habitat for Humanity mission in Ontario;
- Arrange and/or attend meetings with key stakeholders on behalf of the Caucus;
Establish, then leverage, alliances with relevant stakeholders to inform, strengthen and support lobbying efforts;
- Develop and facilitate, as appropriate, grassroots advocacy campaigns inclusive of prescriptive directions/materials for individual Ontario affiliates to utilize in the communities they serve;
- As an extension of the above, and as appropriate, organize and execute Queen’s Park networking days; and will
- Monitor legislative affairs generally as they relate to the effective delivery of the Habitat for Humanity mission in Ontario;
- Provide comprehensive briefs, analysis and advice relative to current/prospective public policy and/or changes to same:
- Advise the Ontario Caucus regarding anticipated regulatory, legislative and other important emerging developments through the provision of reports, white papers, documents and the like that will direct and/or assist the Caucus in assessing and responding to the business impacts of these changes; and
- Offer general advice on policy matters involving the sitting provincial government relative to housing and other related ministries.