The Head of the Public Service Award Ceremony
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Speaking Notes for
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
December 11, 2000
Check Against Delivery
- Distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I am especially
pleased to join with you today to honour some extraordinary men and women.
Through this Award, they are being recognized by their peers for their
outstanding contributions to government and to Canadians.
- The Head of the Public Service Award pays tribute to individuals and teams
who have demonstrated a high standard of excellence in the following categories:
Service Delivery, Valuing and Supporting People, and Policy.
- Also, for the first time this year, we are presenting a fourth category at
this awards ceremony: the John Tait Memorial Award for Values and Ethics. John
Tait was a 'true public servant,' and was the person people sought out for
counsel on difficult issues of integrity, values and ethics.
- This afternoon, we will honour two individuals from Citizenship and
Immigration Canada who have mainfested excellence in values and ethics. They
have exemplified the very highest standard of public service values in the
course of their work - democratic, professional, ethical and people values. These are the values that John Tait lived by throughout his career.
- All of today's recipients confirm that service to one's nation remains an
honourable career option for innovative, hard-working, and dedicated men and
- Each one of you is a model not only to those of us whose fortune it is to
know and work alongside you, but also to the next generation that is considering
committing their time and energy to public service.
- You have contributed significantly to meeting the challenges facing us in the
Public Service today. Some of you have applied leading-edge technologies to
overcome the barriers of geography or to preserve our environment for future
generations. Others have created new ways to manage processes and motivate
people in order to set organizations on a bold new course.
- Still others have developed ways to instil new regard for other values we
hold in common - equity, integrity, and respect for those who protect our
- The combined efforts of so many people have a profound impact on the Public
Service of Canada. It is through the excellent work of individuals and teams
that the Public Service gets its strength and becomes the best it can be.
- To give you a sense of how far we have come in improving the way we do
business, consider these words written in 1992 in the "First Annual Report
to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada":
- ".. Many recognize the need for change but are perhaps uncertain or
apprehensive about how to bring it about. They have a strong commitment to their
vocation as public servants and to their clients in the public. Yet they are
also doubtful about whether those changes will really benefit the Public
- Now, nearly nine years later, we can look back with pride on a wide range of
reforms and efforts at renewal. It is clear to me that the work of those we
honour here today, and thousands more like them across Canada, has clearly shown
the benefits of these changes.
- There is often a temptation to label innovators as ahead of their time. Not
so with the recipients of The Head of the Public Service Award. They are
precisely the people the Public Service of Canada needs now.and into the
future. They are champions of change within an institution so vital to our
democracy and our quality of life. All Canadians will share in the benefits of
the accomplishments we will hear about today. Furthermore, employees of the
Public Service will enjoy a work environment that is more flexible, adaptive and
- Some of this year's recipients have longstanding records of achievement in
the Public Service of Canada. Others are relative newcomers to the service of
Canadians and we are happy that they came aboard.
- As you review the notes in your program and listen to the citations read here
this afternoon, I want you to listen to the words about innovation, commitment,
duty and service.
- When you talk to the proud recipients after the ceremony, I want you to
listen to the passion in their voices as they tell you what it is they do for
Canadians. Most of all, I want you to listen for the pride they share in service
to their nation.
- What you likely won't hear is just how very demanding they are of
- To me, that speaks volumes of the selfless dedication and commitment to
purpose of the people of the Public Service of Canada. Each of us has willingly
embraced a duty to Canadians and it is for this reason we are so very proud to
see these values reflected in this year's honourees.
- I would ask all of the recipients to stand now to receive our
- At this time, I would like Peter Harrison, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, and Janice Cochrane, the Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to come forward and read the citations for this year's recipients of the Head of the Public Service Award.
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