The Phoenix pay system debacle

In the spring of 2018, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson, released a hard-hitting report on the Phoenix pay system. The overarching question was whether Public Services and Procurement Canada “effectively and efficiently managed and oversaw” the implementation of the new pay system. The report confirms that tens of thousands of public servants have...

Government can send immigrants to rural areas. But can it make them stay?

In the three years to 2020, Canada will welcome almost a million new immigrants. Hundreds of thousands will settle in cosmopolitan cities like Toronto and Vancouver, where nearly half the population is foreign-born. But other parts of the country want a slice of the action — and federal immigration policy is trying to help them get...

Human-centred design: the challenge of putting people back into policy

Most people go into public service because they want to improve things for the people they serve. But often they simply don’t know how — there’s still this myth that innovation means a crazy scientist in the lab. Teaching ordinary public servants new methodologies can show them that they too can really change things, and...

The effects of global population shifts and how it may be a good news story for Canada

Studies have shown that the global population will begin to decline, reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape of the world. Author and journalist, John Ibbitson, talks about how this shift will promote innovation and why it is a good news story for Canada. Ibbitson will be a keynote speaker at the 2018 Public Sector Conference....

From Policy Maker to Change Maker

From research to policy implementation, Canadian public servants possess the knowledge and expertise that have shaped and strengthened the country’s socioeconomic landscape. In this article, we look at the tremendous impact of former high-level government officials who decided to share their expertise and knowledge as volunteers. With over 50 years of experience of working in...

West spends billions on research, but Asian innovators beat them to market

The US and other Western governments are sinking more money into research but are producing less than half as many patents as South Korea for the same investment, according to a report. This is due to the US, UK and EU countries’ inability to take new ideas to market, said the 2018 Innovation Arms Race report . As a result,...

Mapped: the childcare deserts where nearly half of Canada’s young kids live

Almost one in two preschool children in Canada live in a “childcare desert,” where they have to compete with at least two others for childcare, a new report has said. This amounts to 776,000 kids without sufficient support. The findings come from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), a think tank, which mapped out every licensed childcare centre in Canada for the...

Engaging on Engagement – Developing the City of Edmonton’s New Public Engagement Policy

In April 2017, the City of Edmonton approved a new Public Engagement Policy (C593), developed using a collaborative process involving City Council, City Administration and members of the public. The Council Initiative on Public Engagement was the vehicle used to review the City’s practice of public engagement and develop a new policy. In Edmonton, Council...

Game Changers: Lisa Witter and Robyn Scott, Co-Founders of Apolitical

We would like to introduce a new section on Canadian Government Executive – Game Changers. In this section, we will profile executives who are contributing to making a difference to the public sector community both in Canada and overseas, as a game changer. In this inaugural Game Changers piece, we are excited to announce Game...

How to scale up social impact — the challenge of the 21st century

“Nearly every problem has been solved by someone, somewhere. The challenge of the 21st century is to find out what works and scale it up.” Boiled down, Bill Clinton’s famous dictum has three parts: innovate, learn and scale. He was half right about the innovation, and only half, because that problem solving hasn’t stopped. Every...