The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal governments, representing the interests of cities and communities with the federal government. FCM’s Strategic Plan calls upon FCM to work collaboratively to: a) expand national understanding and support of the role local governments play in meeting national objectives; b) shape the national agenda by influencing decision-makers and opinion-leaders to ensure that the interests of municipalities are met or exceeded; c) build capacity and knowledge, thereby encouraging initiative and innovation, which in turn helps local governments rise to the challenges they face; and d) share its knowledge and experience on the world’s stage, so that others may improve the quality of life in their communities.
The Policy and Public Affairs department integrates three key functions that are central to the fulfillment of FCM’s mandate: Outreach & Engagement, Policy & Research and Communications & Events. The team operates in real-time, responding to fast moving political events and policy opportunities. Our influence and relevancy is built on the quality and depth of our work, but also how deeply it is informed by our members who represent over 90% of the Canadian population. The department provides policy, advocacy and communications support to FCM’s National Board of Directors, Standing Committees and Forums, including the Big City Mayors’ Caucus, and develops national advocacy and engagement strategies with internal and external partners including FCM member municipalities.
The Government Relations (GR) Advisor will work within a small, skilled team of government relations professionals to represent and advance the interests of cities and communities to the federal government. The Government Relations team is situated within the Outreach and Engagement unit which works to develop national advocacy and engagement strategies.
Reporting to the Manager of Government Relations, the Government Relations Advisor is responsible for the development of government relations plans and advocacy strategies to advance the priorities of FCM’s Board of Directors, building and maintaining strategic relationships with federal elected officials and their staff, and monitoring and assessing the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal political environments.
Central to the position’s effectiveness will be building and leveraging a network of relationships with the federal government, Members of Parliament, stakeholders and FCM member municipalities.
- Develop and manage issue-specific and member-focused advocacy plans within FCM’s overall advocacy strategy.
- Consistently monitor and assess federal, provincial/territorial and municipal political environments related to FCM’s strategic priorities.
- Build and maintain relationships with the federal government, Members of Parliament, stakeholders and FCM’s member municipalities.
- Provide timely, well-supported and expert advice and recommendations to the Manager, Directors, CEO and National Board of Directors on emerging political issues or opportunities for municipal governments.
- Provide leadership on work related to national campaigns, media opportunities, meetings of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus, and political events including FCM’s Annual Conference and Advocacy Days.
- Develop and continually leverage strong networks of individuals or groups working on specific issues in municipal, provincial and federal governments, as well as within other interest groups, think tanks and academia; political staff, Cabinet Ministers, Opposition critics, Members of Parliament, government relations counterparts, FCM Board Committees and Board members.
- Contribute political guidance for deliverables such as memos, strategic updates, member briefings, key messages on specific files, and other communications products.
- Support other key projects as identified by the Manager.
Knowledge and Experience
- University degree in politics, public administration, marketing, public relations, communications or a related discipline.
- Requires 3-5 years’ experience designing and leading extensive advocacy activities on a national scale.
- Proven understanding of federal politics and preferably provincial/territorial and municipal politics. Experience working directly with elected officials, the media and/or a membership organization would be an asset.
- Excellent knowledge of FCM and current national-municipal priorities, including infrastructure, housing, transit, etc.
- Requires a well-developed network of contacts in government, lobbying, and interest groups.
- Proactive, with the ability to prioritize workload, anticipate needs, adapt to changing priorities, manage multiple tasks, demonstrate attention to detail and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
- Excellent writing, oral presentation, and organizational ability.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and judgment, and a high degree of initiative and versatility.
- Strong ability to think critically and strategize within a political environment.
- Capacity to work in a self-directed manner and demonstrated ability to work well within a team setting.
- Requires infrequent domestic travel.
- Often requires work beyond regular work hours, and to be “on-call” in response to quickly developing political events.
- Preference will be given to bilingual (English and French) candidates.
- As this position requires immediate registration with the federal Lobbying Registry, candidates must not be prohibited from carrying out federal lobbying activities at the time of their application.
We thank all candidates for their interest; however we will only contact those selected for an interview. All the applications will be kept on file for six months following the hiring.