Prime Minister of Canada
On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate this year’s recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence.
The Public Service Award of Excellence is a prestigious honour and is presented to federal public servants who demonstrate a commitment to excellence, efficiency and a dedication to build a modern public service that meets the needs of Canadians and taxpayers.
The accomplishments of these exemplary individuals demonstrate that the Public Service of Canada is an adaptable institution ready to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.
I would like to thank all the recipients of this year’s Public Service Award of Excellence for their hard work and commitment to making a difference in the lives of Canadians. By celebrating their achievements, we continue to foster a dynamic and respected world-class public service.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service
Today I am pleased to recognize the 2014 recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence. All of these individuals have demonstrated creativity, commitment and passion in meeting the challenges and opportunities they encounter in performing their daily functions.
This year’s recipients have embraced and harnessed innovation by going above and beyond their duties to improve services within their organizations and for all Canadians. Their successes have translated into tangible results in a wide range of areas, from lending support to those affected by disasters by responding on the scene and facilitating aid and assistance, to improving access to data within and outside the Public Service, to solving part of the mystery of the lost Franklin Expedition, to engaging Canadians across the country from space. These individuals and teams exemplify the best of our public service.
In this complex and evolving environment, I am proud of the agility, responsiveness and collaborative approach displayed by our public service in meeting new challenges. We must stay on this path and continue to fulfil the vision of Blueprint 2020. These remarkable public servants demonstrate that excellence is more than a value. It is a philosophy that underpins everything we do, how we think and how we work.
As Clerk of the Privy Council, and on behalf of the entire Public Service of Canada, I am proud to pay tribute to these deserving recipients. Your hard work and dedication to excellence are deeply appreciated by your colleagues and all Canadians.
Wayne G. Wouters
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
Lynda Clairmont is recognized for her successes over the last 23 years in the areas of policing, law enforcement and national security. Ms. Clairmont’s hallmark achievement was establishing Canada’s modern national security framework, including the recently released Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy and Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy. By guiding federal action on cyber security, she has helped to thwart possible threats before they reach Canadian cyberspace. A role model for public servants, she personifies integrity and respect, and demonstrates compassion for others and a willingness to listen. Her contributions have made Canada safer, and her efforts have helped to transform her department into a deeply engaged and high-performing organization.
Jocelyn Dore is commended for his 35 years of work in the field of satellite communication and aerospace systems, both as an accomplished member of the Canadian Armed Forces and as a public servant with the Canadian Space Agency. Mr. Dore has been recognized time and again for his exceptional capacity as an instructor, and has won the award for best Aerospace Systems Instructor eight years in a row. He has also spoken to audiences around the world on various space-related topics. His positive attitude, keen sense of humour and work ethic make Mr. Dore the consummate professional and an exemplary public servant.
The Public Service of Canada salutes Michael Jenkin for his outstanding 36-year career protecting the rights of Canadian consumers. For the past 15 years, Mr. Jenkin has led the Office of Consumer Affairs with zeal and commitment, ensuring that Canadians have the information they need to make informed choices. Thanks to his efforts, Canada has become a world leader in consumer education, and in meeting the challenges of the digital and online marketplace. Mr. Jenkin has also been an exemplary leader and mentor to his staff. A model public service employee, Mr. Jenkin is dedicated, innovative, respectful and ethical.
Congratulations to Brian McCauley on his outstanding contributions to the public service over the past 32 years. Early in his career, at the Privy Council Office, he made important contributions to the negotiation of the Meech Lake Accord. In addition, through his work on the La Relève Initiative, he helped lay the groundwork for renewing the public service. In more recent years, at the Canada Revenue Agency, Mr. McCauley made substantial improvements to the tax system and to the broader tax policy. Throughout his career, he has been an inspiration to employees at all levels, and has demonstrated true leadership and exemplary commitment to management excellence.
The Public Service of Canada applauds Caroll Sukich for her outstanding leadership and dedication to public service values and ethics. Throughout her 37-year career with the Canada Revenue Agency, she has led numerous initiatives related to program enhancement, employment equity and wellness. In particular, Ms. Sukich played a major role in advancing the Agency’s Employment Equity Program by implementing initiatives that were adopted by other federal departments, levels of government and the private sector. She held a variety of progressively more challenging leadership positions yet always found the time to mentor aspiring leaders by sharing her vast experience, lessons learned and operational expertise.
Congratulations to Judy Gallant-MacIsaac for her work as a model executive in the Public Service of Canada. As a senior manager at Veterans Affairs Canada, she has demonstrated significant skills in strategic thinking and an adept ability to engage stakeholders in various high-profile projects, such as the Government of Canada’s modernization of human resources and financial systems. A strong and effective leader, Ms. Gallant-MacIsaac ensures that the contributions of others are recognized. She is lauded for her ability to bring people together from various backgrounds to create cohesive and high-performing teams.
Pamela McCurry has led one of the most ambitious change agendas for the Public Service of Canada’s legal service providers. In an era of widespread budgetary restrictions, Ms. McCurry showed courage and vision in reviewing the cost structure of Justice Canada’s Aboriginal Affairs portfolio to ensure its long-term sustainability. She led her 800 employees through a comprehensive examination of the cost of their services based on solid business analysis. Because of Ms. McCurry’s commitment and intelligent risk taking, Justice Canada achieved major savings without reducing the quality of services provided. Ms. McCurry is a true leader, known for her insight, calm deliberation and compassion for all.
Since the launch of Blueprint 2020 in June 2013, Marc Morin has inspired Public Safety Canada employees to participate in more than 50 events related to this groundbreaking initiative. Throughout this consultative exercise, he engaged partners in developing new opportunities for innovation and encouraged staff to explore new perspectives. Remarkably, he carried out these responsibilities in addition to performing his daily tasks as an employee of the Policing Policy Directorate, Community Safety and Countering Crime Branch. Thanks to Mr. Morin’s outstanding work, employees from across the country were able to make their voices heard in the nationwide conversation about the future of the Public Service of Canada.
As the leader of a team of project directors and managers, Sonia Schindler has achieved outstanding results, thanks to her dedication to staff, partners and clients, as well as to departmental goals. A people-oriented person, Ms. Schindler has extraordinary listening and negotiating skills, as well as the ability to see complex, multi-year projects through to completion. Recently, she led two such high-visibility, award-winning initiatives: the Cyber Authentication Renewal program, and iGSCI, the Government of Canada’s Secure Infrastructure initiative. An inspiration to all her colleagues, Ms. Schindler is creative and constructive, and provides tremendous insight into workplace challenges—all the essential skills of an outstanding, seasoned manager.
The Blueprint 2020 team is recognized for its success in building a culture of engagement that is transforming the Public Service of Canada. Comprising members from a broad range of departments, the team has shown dedication and creativity in reaching employees countrywide as part of the largest-ever public service engagement exercise. Its innovative use of social media fostered a grassroots, two-way dialogue. Working with a network of engagement champions and horizontal communities, the team fostered discussions that inspired public servants, reaffirmed their pride in and commitment to serving Canadians, and fuelled a collective appetite for continuous renewal and engagement.
The Public Service of Canada is proud to honour this highly dedicated scientific team for developing the world’s first Wi-Fi-based cognitive radio for long-range rural applications. In partnership with the Government of India’s Centre for Development of Telematics, the team has advanced telecommunications to benefit the citizens of both countries, providing an effective, low-cost solution for poor wireless reception in remote areas. The team’s hard work has earned international recognition and has provided a platform for researchers around the world to develop new approaches to spectrum use in the public domain.
This team is being acknowledged for its role in eliminating Health Canada’s substantial backlog of generic drug submissions. The team developed an effective solution that included consulting with partners in the pharmaceutical industry, forging alliances with other countries, and making fundamental procedural changes to the review process. As a result, from one year to the next, the number of decisions made on generic drug reviews increased by 80 per cent. This concerted effort not only effectively solved a national problem, but set the stage for new international approaches. The team’s innovative work has improved Canadians’ access to generic drugs while ensuring the safety, quality and efficacy of the products.
This multi-dimensional team is being applauded for pioneering the “procure to pay” concept, a major initiative that has revolutionized accounting and procurement at both Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. By implementing a single, integrated platform known as P2P, the department consolidated 14 accounting offices and 12 procurement offices into two hubs, saving $2 million annually. The system also ensures fewer late-payment charges, better information management and more accurate data to support resource management decisions. The team’s initiative has generated a surge of interest in the Public Service of Canada and has been made available to other departments for adaptation.
The Rapid Agile Development Team created a digital environment based on cloud technologies, where applications and related services can be developed and tested quickly. This environment relies on collaboration between technical staff and developers from partner departments. The team excelled in providing a solely technical solution by streamlining and automating large parts of the development process to save both time and money. Thanks to the team’s hard work and co-operative focus, the Government of Canada is creating new applications that provide better services to Canadians and internal government users.
Thanks to Anne McCarthy’s relentless efforts, the coastal communities of British Columbia are now better informed about the risks of tsunamis and how to prepare for these natural disasters. Introducing tsunami alerts to the province’s Weather Radio Program and to Environment Canada’s weather network was a complicated initiative requiring the sustained engagement of various groups. Its success was rooted in the relationships that Ms. McCarthy built over the years and in her ability to see opportunity in diversity. She went above and beyond to ensure the safety of Canadians living in remote areas. The resulting public awareness program demonstrates how federal, provincial and local experts can work together to serve citizens.
The Public Service of Canada commends this multidisciplinary team for its compassion in developing and implementing a client-focused process to deliver ex gratia payments to the families of victims who perished in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. In a spirit of cross-government collaboration, and in close consultation with the bereaved families, the team found fair and effective solutions that fully met the Government’s commitment to those affected by this terrible tragedy. The team’s sensitive and responsive approach represents Canada’s public service at its very best, and offers a concrete example of what it means to serve Canadians.
The Public Service of Canada commends this joint team for its excellent work in developing the second-generation Government of Canada Open Data Portal, data.gc.ca. Team members implemented innovative solutions to meet the needs of open data users by creating a more interactive experience and improved search capabilities. The Open Data Portal is a component of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government, and enables Canada to meet international commitments as set out in the G8 Open Data Charter. This initiative places Canada at the forefront of the global information revolution.
The Public Service of Canada recognizes the 10-Year ePassport Team for its commitment to providing Canadians with secure, state-of-the-art travel documents. The new passport’s chip-enabled technology saves time and money for travellers, and improves the efficiency of border crossings, all while meeting international best-practice safety standards. The dedicated members of this team collaborated with numerous internal and external stakeholders, consistently exceeded expectations during the course of the project, and found innovative solutions to ensure national security and the safety of Canadians. Thanks to the team’s hard work and perseverance, the ePassport is the most secure travel document ever issued in Canada.
The dedicated members of this committee have advanced employment equity and diversity in the workplace by breaking down barriers for employees living with Down syndrome. Thanks to their efforts, four employees are currently able to perform meaningful work and to socialize with their colleagues in a stable, fulfilling and accepting environment. The committee has also fostered a climate of understanding and respect that extends well beyond the Commission and into the broader Public Service of Canada.
The Public Service of Canada salutes Guillaume Castonguay and Aspa Kotsopoulos for setting a new standard in the use of both official languages during licence renewal proceedings. Working hand in hand, these two employees led the renewal process for CBC/Radio-Canada, ensuring that both official languages were respected. Their primary focus reflected the idea that CBC/Radio-Canada is a pan-Canadian service with a mandate to provide programming to Canadians in the official language of their choice, no matter where they live in the country. Members of both official language groups felt respected and heard throughout this important public process.
The Public Service of Canada salutes the team behind the Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Policy Initiative, which has been instrumental in creating safer communities for Aboriginal people. The team partnered with several federal departments, different levels of government and Aboriginal communities to help develop and implement community-specific plans to reduce violence. The team’s sustained commitment and respectful approach have helped to rebuild trust in government and facilitated community mobilization, which has created conditions for lasting and positive changes. The success of this initiative attracted funding from various levels of government, including Aboriginal governments, and continues to draw acclaim from other departments.
The Public Service of Canada recognizes this team for developing an effective consultation process with a First Nation community. The pilot project sought to apply the principles of genuine participation in the context of treaty negotiations with Regroupement Petapan Inc. The team members developed and maintained privileged links with the Nutashkuan First Nation, ensuring its full involvement in revising the management plan for the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. This consultation process was successfully completed and now serves as a model for other land-management planning projects with First Nations across the country.
The Public Service of Canada applauds this team for its innovative approach to public consultation in creating the Wireless Code. The team looked beyond traditional methods of engagement and held consultations and a discussion forum online during the hearing. They also provided an option for Canadians to participate in the public hearing using Skype, and followed Twitter to go where the conversations were happening. Its efforts allowed Canadians to be directly involved in developing and implementing the Wireless Code, while it kept the realities of the wireless service industry in mind. The success of this innovative policy approach has made it a benchmark for future initiatives.
As national chair of the Federal Youth Network, Nicolino Frate is being recognized as a leader and motivator of young professionals in the Public Service of Canada. He has demonstrated exceptional innovation by transforming the Network on an extremely modest budget. Mr. Frate uses technology and social media to promote the Network’s initiatives and its involvement in such activities as Blueprint 2020 and the ADM Forum. His efforts, passion and dedication have led to increased engagement and professional development opportunities for young and new public servants, and have showcased both his and the Network’s important contributions to the public service.
In the summer of 2012, Statistics Canada’s Young Professionals Network was asked to organize the Big Ideas Conference, an event that promotes innovation. In response, the team developed a unique online communications campaign featuring a “Great Wall of Ideas” and “idea jams” that encouraged free-form discussion. In all, some 700 employees participated and 148 ideas were generated—10 of which were accepted by the chief statistician for future implementation. The work of this team of young professionals exemplifies how collaboration and innovation can act as catalysts to improve program effectiveness. It also illustrates how an organization’s staff can be its most valuable asset.
The members of the Transportation Safety Board’s Lac-Mégantic Investigation Team demonstrated extraordinary commitment and perseverance in responding to the devastating July 2013 train derailment. In the face of horrific tragedy—the subsequent fire killed 47 people and destroyed Lac-Mégantic’s downtown core—the team members worked tirelessly for four weeks in very difficult and dangerous conditions. They collaborated with the community, with local and provincial governments and with numerous partners to provide answers to the grieving community and to the Canadian public. The team’s findings and recommendations will provide indispensable guidelines for improving rail safety across the country and throughout North America.
Congratulations to Monique Lebel-Ducharme, who has been a leader, teacher, innovator and trusted advisor throughout her 31-year career in the public service. She has delivered on countless initiatives, including providing communications support for the implementation of the Federal Accountability Act, and coordinating government-wide communications for the Strategic Review process and the Deficit Reduction Action Plan. Ms. Lebel-Ducharme provides fearless and frank advice to both colleagues and superiors, and is respected as a brilliant manager who demonstrates compassion for employees while providing firm leadership. She is a friend to many, and has been authentic, engaged and a true role model throughout her career.
C. André Lévesque is being recognized for developing cutting-edge diagnostic protocols used in the early detection of fungal diseases that threaten Canada’s agricultural crops, forests and fisheries. He leads an interdepartmental team on biosecurity research, which stands as a model of scientific integrity across international borders. His expertise was integral in thwarting the Prince Edward Island Potato Wart crisis and the invasive Asian Soybean Root Rust epidemic in Ontario and Quebec. Using next-generation DNA sequencing and macroarray diagnostics, Mr. Lévesque pioneered the way in which plant pathogens are identified and greatly reduced their impact on producers across the country, as well as on the Government of Canada’s regulatory environment.
Tim McAllister is being applauded for advancing the production, profitability and safety of the Canadian livestock sector. At the Lethbridge Research Centre, he leads a highly motivated team of scientists who focus on ruminant nutrition, microbiology and molecular biology, and who develop many innovative, environmentally sustainable agricultural practices for Canada and beyond. In particular, the team’s research on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was invaluable to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and had a profound and positive impact on farmers and processors. Mr. McAllister has been widely published and internationally recognized, and was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Congratulations to the Canadian Space Agency’s communications team for leading an unprecedented outreach campaign during Chris Hadfield’s five-month mission as the commander of the International Space Station. The team members organized countless events with Canadian students, produced videos and other content, and worked with partners across Canada. Their tireless efforts helped inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers, and Canadians in general, to view science and technology in a new light. The team’s performance, combined with Colonel Hadfield’s engagement and enthusiasm, united our nation in pride and focused international attention on Canada’s achievements in space.
Greg Erickson’s devotion to his country is immeasurable. A dedicated and hard-working individual, Mr. Erickson began his 60-year career when he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1954. For 32 years he worked as a civilian employee in the field of information management and technology at the Ottawa headquarters of the Department of National Defence. His expertise and innovative efforts in the area of enterprise architecture have brought the Department national and international recognition. Mr. Erickson is a leader, a mentor and a role model to all, and his work has benefited many people and organizations in the fields of military communications and cyberspace defence.
In 1954, at the age of 17, Benedict Kachmar began his service to Canada by enlisting in the military. In 1976, he joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a civilian member, and transferred to Public Safety Canada in 1984. Mr. Kachmar’s expertise and hard work in the area of information technology have had a significant impact on Canada’s security. Three generations of IT specialists have benefited from his expertise in physical security and infrastructure design. Still working to this day, Mr. Kachmar will retire during the 2014–15 fiscal year, after completing 60 years of dedicated public service—a testament to his unfaltering commitment to duty.
The recent discovery of one of Franklin's ships is truly an amazing and inspiring example of the federal public service at its best. Close to 200 individuals from 7 federal departments worked as one team, with one vision and one voice, sharing the passion and leadership with numerous external partners, including the Government of Nunavut. British Franklin expert William Battersby called the finding on the bed of the Victoria Strait "the biggest archeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb almost 100 years ago." Through individual and group contributions, the members of this outstanding team of public servants have solved the greatest mystery of the Canadian Arctic and have helped unleash the Arctic's potential for current and future generations.
Government partners for the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition include Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDCŚan agency of the Department of National Defence), Environment Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as the governments of Nunavut and Great Britain.
A special thank you to the following organizations that participated in this program by submitting nominations:
All photos by:
Sgt Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall
©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (2014)