Being Canadian: Québec’s dialogue with the rest of Canada

The Québec government has initiated a historic engagement process. The 2017 Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations, invites a dialogue with the other governments and civil society organizations in Canada on recognizing Québec’s place in the federation in a mutually satisfactory way and ending the constitutional stalemate of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The dialogue...

Top 4 ways the government can help Canada excel

A healthy Canadian economy and opportunities outside of North America are keeping Canadian chief executive officers (CEOs) positive about the future. According to PwC Canada’s 21st CEO Survey , 72 per cent of Canadian CEOs are confident the global economy will improve over the next year, while 88 per cent are confident in the growth prospects of their businesses. This...

Engaging Citizens: May/June 2018 issue

We are excited to share with you the May/June issue of Canadian Government Executive. In this issue, we have an interview with Patrick Borbey, President of the Public Service Commission of Canada. Other stories in this issue: Innovations in Public Engagement Being Canadian: Quebec’s Dialogue with the Rest of Canada Engaging on Engagement From Policy...

Five ways governments can keep their staff — without a pay rise

The UK Department for Education (DfE) doesn’t have an easy mandate: it’s responsible for children’s services, education and child protection at a time when resources are stretched thin. But the department has another problem to grapple with — it can’t seem to retain staff. “Churn is a really big challenge,” said Rebecca Johnson, People Leader...

Five touchstones for Canadian governments making infrastructure decisions

With the launch of the Canada Infrastructure Bank and US Congressional interest in Trump’s “trillion dollar” infrastructure promise, coupled with a widespread political appetite for infrastructure spending, it would be easy to be swept away in all the enthusiasm.  But policymakers across North America need to think hard and clearly about infrastructure choices. Contemporary research suggests five “touchstones”:...

Does “deliverology” deliver the goods?

Ask a public servant if they know about “ deliverology ” and what it stands for, and most will acknowledge at least a passing acquaintance with it. Further comments can usually be sorted into two groups: the enthusiasts and the disaffected. The enthusiast will gush about how deliverology focuses on delivering results for citizens, in an...

Engaging for new relationships with Indigenous peoples

In this era of truth and reconciliation, what are the principles of engagement when working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments and communities? Engagement in this context must be more than outreach; more even than a superb one-off collaboration. It is about systemically learning to work together differently in all things. It requires investing...

Public sector innovation buzzwords: translating jargon into plain English

Innovation labs and units have become so fashionable in the public sector that the question “Have we reached peak lab?” has become a cliché. From MindLab’s ideation pod to Louisville’s digital badges , the culture of innovation is spreading. But despite their popularity, innovators have to admit one failing: they are simply not good at defining what it is...

Is government doomed to repeat mistakes, or can it stop losing its mind?

Can government remember? Is it condemned to repeat mistakes? Or does it remember too much and so sees too many reasons why anything new is bound to fail? The case for a permanent civil service is that it organises its memory well, and it is certainly better than governing systems which periodically purge their top...

Ethics Rules

Over the past two decades, codes of ethical conduct have become virtually mandatory in both public and private sector organizations. Codes of ethics check a number of boxes: they establish the values and principles that define the organization; they draw parameters around what constitutes ethical behaviour; and, they identify the consequences for noncompliance. Codes usually...