Appendix B - Model Accountability Profile

  • Job title: Chairperson
  • Organization: Economic Council of Canada
  • Location: National Capital Region
  • Profile date: January 1, 1988

Primary Focus

Ensures the provision of professional advice and recommendations on how Canada can achieve the highest possible levels of employment, efficient production and a high and consistent rate of economic growth from which all Canadians can benefit.

Specific Accountabilities

  1. Provides effective leadership to the Council in focussing the research agenda, in managing and conducting research, in scrutinizing and refining findings and in building a consensus across regional, political and economic lines on key issues, in order to develop conclusions and recommendations for policy.
  2. Builds and maintains constructive consultative relationships with public and private sector groups and representatives in order to identify emerging economic issues and areas meriting Council study or examination, advances the Council's interests and improves the understanding of its role.
  3. Ensures that the Council's annual reviews of medium- and long-term economic prospects address issues important to the growth and strengthening of the Canadian economy, are timely and are of appropriate scope, quality and completeness.
  4. Ensures that the conclusions and recommendations of the Council on economic problems and issues are effectively communicated to the Minister, to the Cabinet and to Parliament, as appropriate.
  5. Represents the Council in various public forums (e.g. press conferences) in the interest of furthering public understanding of, and support for, the Council's role.
  6. Assures the adequacy and continuity of the managerial and professional functioning of the Council by effective management of available resources and by anticipating future requirements.

Reporting Relationships

Reports to: Parliament through Minister of Industry, Science and Technology.

Direct Reports:

  • Council Executive Committee
  • Council Members
  • Deputy Chair, Research Operations
  • Corporate Secretary
  • Performance and Outlook Group
  • Senior Policy Advisor


  • Full Time Equivalents: 124
  • Operating Budget: $10.5 million
  • GDP: $551,291 million
  • Operating Budget (Cdn Gov't): $125,335 million

Challenges, Issues and Initiatives

The Canadian economy is dynamic, reacting to a multitude of both domestic events and decisions made abroad. The challenge for the position is to provide the intellectual leadership that will enable the Council to select the appropriate indicators, perform the acute analysis and inform the direction of the government in shaping macro economic policy for the country.

Working Environment and Conditions

  1. Pressures - This job involves significant pressure with respect to providing analysis and advice to the government that might indicate that it is doing a less than adequate job in developing and strengthening the Canadian economy. As the Council's primary spokesperson, the incumbent must deal with significant pressure with respect to the ability to convince the Council's clients and to withstand public scrutiny of the Council's output. Study findings are often controversial and may be seen as threatening by certain interest groups.
  2. Sensory Attention - This job involves a significant degree of sensory attention in approving materials for release to the government and the public. The data and analysis must be flawless, and provide the basis for stimulating and decisive debate on the economic direction of the country.
  3. Demands - This job involves a considerable degree of travel in meeting with different economic sectors and client groups (senior federal and provincial officials, representatives of business, labour, international organizations and other research groups) across the country.

Core Competencies

  1. Conceptual / Innovative Thinking - The incumbent must find innovative and factual solutions based on analysis, interpretation and evolution of data and other information provided in order to address real or potential situations requiring action and advice. The incumbent must develop economic models that accurately reflect the current state of the Canadian economy and develop conceptual models that project possible scenarios and impacts of changes in the myriad of variables that make up the Canadian economy.
  2. Leadership - The incumbent must display intellectual and strategic leadership in establishing the direction of macro-economic studies and in focussing the research agenda, in managing and conducting research, in scrutinizing and refining findings and in building a consensus across regional, political and economic interests on key issues in order to develop conclusions and recommendations for economic policy. The incumbent must also display managerial leadership in ensuring that the organization has the professional capacity to carry out sound analyses and studies.
  3. Flexibility - The incumbent faces the challenge of bringing together a number of opposing views, including those of the Council's members, with respect to the viability and health of and prospects for the Canadian economy. The incumbent must demonstrate flexibility in bridging regional differences, differing political perspectives and economic intents among Council members in developing public advice. The skill of the Chair in bringing these views together to develop a consensual Council position is critical to the success of the Council's work.
  4. Impact and Influence - This competency is demonstrated by the strategies that the position must develop and contacts that the position must make to focus the attention of the government, opinion leaders and Canadians on critical issues facing the Canadian economy.
  5. Listening, Understanding and Responding - The incumbent must be able to identify both verbal and non-verbal cues provided by Council members during Council deliberations to obtain a true reading of the temper of the Council and be able to navigate, with the aid of these signs, towards positions of the Council that can be agreed to by all parties. The incumbent consults regularly with senior federal and provincial officials, representatives of business, labour, international organizations and other research groups across the country, and must be able to absorb and address the many opposing views presented by these groups in order to ensure that research activities are marked by balance and thoroughness.