Director, Government Relations and Public Policy

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
Addictions & Mental Health Ontario
  • Government Relations
  • Healthcare: Mental Health, Psychiatry, Psychology, Clinical Therapy
  • Marketing / Communications / PR
  • Policy Development
Contract - Full Time
  • Ontario - Metro Toronto Area - Toronto
Manager (Supervisor of Staff)N/A2020-01-142020-01-27

Position title: Director, Government Relations and Public Policy

Department: Government Relations and Public Policy

Reports to: CEO

Type of position: Full-time, one-year contract position

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the CEO, this brand new role will have the direct responsibility for the implementation of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario’s (AMHO) government relations and public policy functions, providing leadership for government relations advocacy and public policy to advance the priorities of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario members and support the development and implementation of government and health and social system policy that has a positive impact on the lives of people living with mental health and/or addiction challenges.

You and your team will monitor and respond to relevant government activity, analyze government legislation and regulation that impacts Addictions and Mental Health Ontario members and clients, develop and implement advocacy strategies to advance Addictions and Mental Health Ontario’s strategic plan, and ensure the high quality delivery of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario’s public policy agenda. In this role you will provide leadership and guidance to two team members, and from time to time to consultants who are supporting our work. You will operate as an integrated part of our overall team, providing strategic advice to the staff, CEO, the Addictions and Mental Health Ontario Board and members.

Who You Are:

You are a strategic and critical thinker with strong consensus building and communication skills who can effectively support our system in a fast-paced environment. You have the ability to build strong relationships and work collaboratively in a team environment with both internal and external parties. You are able to identify and advance opportunities to speak proactively about the membership and their clients and the work that we do, collectively, as a system. You have experience managing people in a positive, transparent and supportive way. You have a belief that a collaborative, evidence-based and respectful approach to advocacy and government relations is the most effective and you know how to chart a path and take action to get an organization’s priorities heard and acted on.

Job Responsibilities:


  • Lead the development and implementation of advocacy initiatives aimed at increasing knowledge of the addictions and mental health sector in Ontario and the importance of making strategic, evidence-based investment and policy changes to support improvements in the well-being of people living with mental health and/or addiction challenges in Ontario.
  • Develop and implement appropriate and efficient mechanisms for seeking Member input and feedback into AMHO strategic positions.
  • Lead the Association’s annual Ontario Budget advocacy efforts, Queen’s Park Day, provincial pre-election strategies, and advocacy related to the development and implementation of the government’s provincial mental health and addiction strategy.
  • Identify opportunities to increase the government’s and public’s awareness of AMHO, the issues impacting its members and the services and programs it provides.

Government and Stakeholder Relations:

  • Develop and implement government relations and stakeholder relations strategies to respond to emerging issues or to advance issues of priority to AMHO and its membership and their clients.
  • Advocate on critical issues, both independently and as part of coalition and association efforts, to influence government policy to AMHO’s strategic objectives.
  • Develop and maintains key relationship within the government, both at the political and officials level, to raise the profile of the Association with elected and appointed government decision-makers through outreach, education, and engagement.
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of existing and emerging policy and legislative initiatives/developments at the provincial, federal and municipal legislative levels with a goal of evaluating impacts on AMHO members and their clients and identifying opportunities to further the agenda and interests of AMHO and its members.
  • Establish a network of contacts and build relationships with sector colleagues, industry and health care associations, government decision-makers, influencers, and external subject matter experts.

Public Policy:

  • Deliver a robust, evidence-based annual policy agenda that supports government policy direction and provides a direct link to membership front line experience and knowledge.
  • Prepare position papers and submissions to government and public agencies outlining AMHO and/or the sector’s position on key issues.
  • Conceptualize and execute four annual “snapshots” that highlight important areas of interest for AMHO and its membership.
  • Oversees the delivery of policy and research work to support various government grants.
  • Lead the development and execution of AMHO’s key policy positions, member and government communications.
  • Develop and implement appropriate and efficient mechanisms for seeking Member input and feedback into AMHO policy positions.

Communications and Issues Management:

  • Develop and implement an annual communications plan to advance issues of priority to AMHO and its membership and their clients.
  • Oversee the execution of excellent member communications, including newsletter, bulleting, webinars, social media and website.
  • Develop and implement a plan to raise the profile of AMHO and its CEO with local and provincial media, including social media channels. Act as media relations liaison.
  • Ensure and oversee appropriate issues identification and management systems are in place to protect and strengthen AMHO’s reputation and that of its membership and clients.


  • Supervise and provide leadership and guidance to two full-time employees.
  • Serve as a key senior leadership team member that provides excellent member service and acts as an ambassador for the value of AMHO membership with current and potential members.
  • Manage a wide range of critical issues and initiatives concurrently, including development and implementation of strategies and tactics, management of timeframes and critical paths, and preparation of related tools and support materials.
  • Provide regular reporting on the Government Relations and Public Policy division for the board and membership as required.
  • Contribute to the development, implementation and alignment of the Association’s vision, mission, strategic directions, work plans and annual budget.
  • Monitor plans and budgets on an ongoing basis providing updates, variance reports and contingency plans.


  • A university degree of equivalent education and experience in the areas of politics, health policy, policy development and government relations or relationship management (e.g., Masters of Public Policy, Master of Public Health)
  • 6-8 years’ work experience in a government relations capacity or related field.
  • Knowledge of the mental health and addictions sectors or a related field, and current mental health and addictions issues and trends, relevant legislation, regulations, and policies.
  • Understanding of policy/legislative processes and political dynamics across the country at all levels of government.
  • Experience supervising and directing members of a team.
  • Strong research, analytical, and critical thinking capabilities.
  • Excellent planning, execution, and time management abilities.
  • High standard of verbal and written communication skills (English).
  • French would be considered a significant asset.
  • Ability to engage with a broad range of industry and third party stakeholders to generate consensus, influence outcomes, and build relationships.
  • Ability to work in and adapt to a fast-paced environment with quickly changing priorities and tight deadlines.
  • Team leader with proven ability to build relationships and foster collaboration across functional areas.
  • Ability to exercise discretion, good judgment and diplomacy.
  • Some travel within Canada will be required.

Who We Are:

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario represents nearly 200 addiction and mental health organizations in Ontario. Our members provide services and supports that help Ontarians across the province with their recovery, including community-based counselling and case management, peer support and consumer run businesses, residential treatment, withdrawal management, supportive housing and hospital based programs.

As the collective voice of our members, we provide leadership and engage partners to build a comprehensive and accessible system of addiction and mental health care, and improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities in Ontario. We do this through policy work, advocacy initiatives, service development, knowledge exchange, education offerings and quality improvement work.

The Addictions and Mental Health Ontario Team is a small, but mighty, determined and fun group of individuals who are passionate about delivering public advocacy, excellent member services, and advice to government and other stakeholders, all with the goal of improving the services and support that people in Ontario living with mental health and addiction challenges experience.

Application Deadline: January 24, 2020 at 5:00 pm (EST)

Please submit your cover letter and resume, referencing “AMHO-Director Government Relations and Public Policy-2020”.

We thank all applicants in advance however, only those under consideration will be contacted. Addictions and Mental Health Ontario is an equal opportunity employer.

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