Exploring public service in the North - Canadian Government Executive
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September 21, 2018

Exploring public service in the North

Usually, the summer period is a relatively slow time for public servants across the county. Parliaments and legislatures are in recess, politicians are spending much deserved time in their ridings, and family vacations become a priority for hard working staff.

However, this year seems to be an exception. Issues with the Phoenix Pay system, dramatic policy shifts on the Ontario political scene, federal-provincial wrangling over Carbon Tax, and heated debates over refugee housing and settlement have dominated the news media; and I’m sure, the minds of government executives as well.

In this edition of CGE, we touch on some of these issues and explore public service in Northern Canada.

At the end of my public service career, after over three decades of work in Ontario, I had the privilege of fulfilling a lifelong dream and working in the North for the Yukon Territorial Government as Deputy Minister of Energy Mines and Resources. This experience opened my eyes to the richness of life in the North, the significant impact that public servants have on communities and the unique challenges of working in northern Canada.

Having spent this time in the Yukon, it also became apparent to me how poor the understanding is of the North is amongst most Canadians. Most Canadians have vague, romantic notions of the North, but few understand the unique attributes of territorial life that emanate from a more fundamental relationship with Indigenous communities; some of which have modern treaties, the reliance on industries for economic security, consensus government models of governing in the NWT and Nunavut, different relationships with the Federal government, and the top-of-mind concerns about the impacts of climate change on the northern way of life.

All of this makes for a vibrant environment for public servants working in the North. We have several contributions that profile public service work in the North. In this edition, I sat down with Dr. Joe Dragon, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for the government of the NWT and Janet King, President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Both Joe and Janet have fascinating public service stories, share a passion for the North and have unique and refreshing perspectives on leadership.

Also, we have some thought-provoking articles on the importance of innovation in government. A new contributor to CGE, Ed Bernacki, outlines the necessary ingredients for a new culture of innovation within the Canadian public service based on his international work. We also have articles on innovation in social services, the importance of cities in immigration policy, the necessary ingredients for success in public service reform and the lessons learned from a series of public service management reforms. All our regular contributors are with us again, offering opinions on the public service issues of the day and pointing busy executives toward helpful tools and reading materials.

I’m excited to announce that a new member was added to the CGE team. Lori Turnbull was recently appointed as Deputy Editor of CGE. She brings a dynamic skill set to CGE from her work as a professor at Dalhousie University teaching political science, as well as being the Interim Director of the School of Public Administration and a fellow at the Public Forum Policy. I will continue to serve as Editor-in-Chief overseeing the advisory board as well as the content strategy for CGE, and I look forward to working with Lori.

Stay tuned for more news and, as always, comments, contributions, and advice are still welcome.

Click on the image below to view this issue.

 

Canadian Government Executive – Volume 24 – Issue 04

 

About this author

George Ross

George Ross was the Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Resources, Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Deputy Minister of Consumer Services, Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation, and also held a number of ADM positions within the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Research and Innovation. He also served in the role of National President of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and currently as the CEO and principal consultant of George Arthur Ross and Associates Inc. George is also an active volunteer who serves on several boards. George is the editor-in-chief of Canadian Government Executive.

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The bootleg fentanyl overdose crisis that is sweeping across Western provinces and American states bordering Ontario have reached the province, according to health and crime prevention organizations involved in drug abuse issues. Related posts: Ontario makes court information available online Health Canada gives Vancouver safe injection site four more years UOW heart research gets $1.1-M boost from defence offset...
 
Terrorism operates with deadly regularity. In June 2016, a gunman who may have been inspired by extremist ideals, killed 49 and injured 53 in an Orlando night club. The same month, suicide bombers targeted Istanbul’s international airport and killed 45. In July, 85 were killed in Nice by an attacker in a truck. Now, the...
 
It’s a common notion that young workers born in the mid-1990s to the early 200s are going to be stuck with the healthcare cost racked up by the aging post-World War II demographic. But it’s probably useless trying to figure out how the millennials will be paying for the healthcare of baby boomers. That’s because...
 
BC Hydro said it is pushing through with it $9-billion, hydroelectric megaproject on British Columbia’s Peace River despite mounting demands to halt it because the project will destroy ancestral burial grounds as well as traditional hunting of fishing sites of indigenous people. Related posts: Defence policy review prompts Irving to propose $300 million ship leasing idea Strategic Procurement in the Age of Deliverology Game Changers: Lisa Witter and Robyn Scott, Co-Founders of Apolitical...
 
Canadian doctors were told that climate change impacts human health and that physicians should act to mitigate the effects of global warming. Related posts: UOW heart research gets $1.1-M boost from defence offset ‘Silver tsunami’ to propel demand for cloud-based healthcare products Megatrends for Ontario infrastructure...
 
Even as talks between the government and federal workers affected problems with the Phoenix payroll system continue, the government said the cost of repairing the trouble-plagued payroll system could reach as high as $25 million. Related posts: Payroll blunder costs DOJ $50 million Phoenix payroll system fails DND workers Phoenix pay problems could stretch to end of October...
 
At last the the nostalgic fun of the CNE decends upon Toronto once more.  Weired food like maple bacon and vanilla ice cream sandwiched in a croissant and flour tortilla tacos with chipotle fried beef sirloin and toasted crickets, family-friendly rides, and of course Pokemon hunting. Pokemon hunting? Related posts: Uber Canada boss suggests cities allow taxis to update biz model Uber gets go signal to operate in Edmonton...
 
Just as the federal government has begun consultations on cyber security, the country’s chiefs of police have opened up the lawful access debate once more. This time, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) has passed a resolution which calls for legislation that would allow police, in the course of their investigation, to compel individuals to provide authorities the passwords to their mobile...
 
The association representing more than 42,000 physicians and medical students in Ontario has voted against a doctor’s fee deal proposed by the province. Following weeks of debate over the proposal, 63.1 per cent of the Ontario Medical Association’s members voted against the tentative Physician Services Agreement (PSA). Related posts: A data-based approach to health care Good for business: Investing in Aboriginal prosperity Toronto moves closer towards opening safe injection sites...
 
Contrary to the stereotype of eagerness and politesse, the second Bold Thinking Report from NATIONAL Public Relations has found Canadians to be scornful and cynical towards businesses and governments. Along with this cynicism comes mistrust, and this mistrust blocks relationships. “Cynicism is a cancer that eats at relationships and is not sustainable,” says Kim West, Chief...
 
Yesterday, Federal and Atlantic Provincial Ministers of the environment met to discuss the future of clean electricity in the Maritimes. Among those in attendance were Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, as well as the four Atlantic Provincial Ministers of the Environment: Minister Margaret Miller, Nova Scotia Minister Serge Rousselle, New Brunswick Minister...
 
Following three months of little change in the employment numbers, Statistics Canada today reported that full-time employment in the country fell by 71,000 from June to July, while part-time work went up by 40,000. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked rose by 0.4 per cent. This was the biggest loss of...
 
Regardless of whether you are an elected official, a public servant, consultant or service-provider, I’m sure you regularly cup your head in your hands and wonder “how could they have made so many mistakes?” Government does countless things every ticking second. Most things go right but, inevitably, some things go wrong. People are mistreated and...
 
Ottawa has overhauled the process by which justices are picked for Supreme Court openings. Prime Minister Justine Trudeau is also announcing today, the appointment of former prime minister Kim Campbell as the chair of a seven-member advisory body that will be in charge of recommending candidates to take over the position to be vacated by...
 
July 27 was pay day some federal public workers that finally received their pay cheques after the release of their salaries were bungled by faulty automated payroll systems. However, it was learned yesterday that many of the 80,000 public servants affected by the troublesome Phoenix payroll system may have to wait until the end of...
 
A recent report suggests several strategies how governments and the private sector can work together to reduce a global cybersecurity skills shortage that is putting various industries at risk. Related posts: Phoenix payroll system fails DND workers Phoenix pay problems could stretch to end of October AI and emerging technology for government...
 
After writing the book “Megatrends: The Impact of Infrastructure on Ontario’s and Canada’s Future”, Fenn continues to update independent reports focusing on six megatrends. Related posts: Capturing investment capital: A social enterprise strategy Climate change, TTC cuts and Job growth Global warming called greatest threat to health...
 
Though many of Canada’s immigrants have above-average education, they often find it difficult to secure jobs that reflect their experience and expertise. An agreement signed today between Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Hon. Gerry Byrne, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills will help recognize foreign credentials and make...
 
Fred Vettese, Morneau Shepell’s Chief Actuary, has released a report titled “The Canada Pension Plan: Part – Past and Present”. The report examines the history behind the CPP and the drivers of its evolution. “There are evident parallels between the resistance that greeted the original CPP implementation and present-day arguments against expansion,” said Fred Vettese, Chief...
 
The Phoenix payroll systems long-running technical glitches which have plagued public service employees are now giving Department of National Defence staffers headaches. Related posts: New Canadian institute for minerals and development How government, private sector can close cybersecurity skills gap Phoenix pay problems could stretch to end of October...
 
The local electric vehicle industry just got a boost from Ontario as the provincial government today unveiled plans to build nearly 500 electric vehicle charging stations in over 250 locations across the province. Related posts: Grande Prairie recognized for online innovation Alberta, feds to invest $40 million in clean tech Canadian CEOs want governments to focus on clean tech...
 
Signaling a realignment of Canada’s involvement with NATO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a three-year cash infusion to the military alliance’s programs in war-torn Afghanistan which provide more funds to developmental rather than military operations. Related posts: Hacker’s paradise Pentagon enhances network security with a little help from Canada's BlackBerry Candid about interviews and Apple's security...
 
The fact that Shared Services Canada (SSC) has struggled mightily under the weight of its immense agenda is hardly news: press reports and a recent Auditor General report weigh heavily in this regard. In this outlet, Patrice Dutil’s recent and insightful interview with the President of SSC, Ron Parker underscored the breadth of the challenges...
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced the deployment of Canadian troops, fighter jets and military equipment in Eastern Europe as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) step up efforts to deter Russia aggression in the region. In what the government calls its “largest sustained military presence” in Europe for more than a decade, Canada will...
 
The union representing Canadian postal workers has rejected a proposal from the Labour minister go to a binding arbitration in order to avert work disruption which was expected occur as early as this Friday. Related posts: Why a Canada Post strike would be bad trip for the medical marijuana business Making Channel Shift Happen Three surefire ways to sink your IT project...
 
A small but rapidly growing number of businesses have started hiring a CDO or chief digital officer. The main responsibility of this recent addition to the C-suite is to reshape an organization to enable it to thrive in the digital age. Related posts: Colour Me Naive Canada 150: Disjointed Federalism and Digital Dysfunction Putting Public Servants in the Driver’s Seat...
 
The possibility of mail delivery disruption on Friday this week loomed large after Canada Post issued a 72-hour lockout notice union workers. Related posts: Why a Canada Post strike would be bad trip for the medical marijuana business Postal workers reject arbitration Making Channel Shift Happen...
 
The Senate committee looking into Canada’s Syrian refugee program wants the government to immediately tackle pressing issues such financial burdens posed by travel expenses, the need for language training, and treatment of mental health problems. Related posts: Canadian donations for Syrian refugees fail to meet $100 million target Liberal’s immigration plan focuses on family reunification, eliminating backlog...
 
United States President Barack Obama, speaking before Parliament last night, urged Canada to take a greater role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Related posts: No Arctic Tension (in this) Ocean NATO mission: Developmental projects get bulk of funding $4.2-B in NATO procurement programs tackled in NITEC17...
 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said making it easier for goods and people to travel across borders as well as coming up with environmental and energy policies will be the top items on the agenda when he meets his Mexican and American counterparts at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa today. Related posts: New Canadian institute for minerals and development Canada commits troops, jets to NATO deterrence actions in Eastern Europe...
 
Canada Post today warned the public about the potential for a work disruption even as labour negotiations with its workers continue. The possibility of mail carriers going on strike is a concern for many Canadian businesses and one industry that may be hard hit is the country’s medical marijuana sector. Related posts: Service, identity and the future of Canada Post Postal workers reject arbitration Making Channel Shift Happen...
 
Even as British stocks took a plunge and the pound sterling took its deepest dive since 1985, the Canadian head of the Bank of England said the country’s banks are in a far better position to weather the challenges posed by the historic referendum in which a narrow majority of British voters elected to leave the European Union ....
 
Yes, according to the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The government should seriously consider providing the military the means to put down potential cyber-attack before they occur, said Richard Fadden the former director of CSIS and former national security adviser to prime ministers Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau.   Related posts: Circumventing Parliament TechGov: Showcasing technological advancements...
 
Early this morning, Philippine police confirmed that the severed head found on the southern Philippine island of Jolo on June 13, was that of Canadian, Robert Hall. Related posts: Circumventing Parliament Canada does not pay ransom to terrorists - Trudeau Should Canada’s military develop offensive cyber warfare capabilities?...
 
Computer software company Adobe, has migrated more than 11 million pages of government documents to a new online service platform that consolidates 1,500 Canadian government Web sites from 91 institutions into a single Web site. Related posts: How to keep your talent Why government needs the future of two-factor authentication Does “deliverology” deliver the goods?...
 
The recent retirement of seven federal deputy ministers (DMs) reminds us of the pivotal and crucial role that the deputy minister community plays in the success of governments—particularly a newly elected one. Looking beyond the retirement numbers reveals a concerted effort by the current Prime Minister to renew the DM community by making an unprecedented...
 
The Public Health Agency of Canada has long been aware of the threat inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle choices present to the well-being of Canadians. It is now scientifically established that childhood obesity left unchecked will lead to serious chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular ailments. The policy problem is that prevention programs, as...
 
On June 7, over 40 senior executives from within the public sector in Ontario gathered for another event in the CGE Leadership Series at the BLG office in downtown Toronto. Deliverology and Implementation was the theme for the breakfast event which was sponsored by Softchoice and organized under the Canadian Government Executive media banner of providing...
 
All’s fair in love and war JOHN LILY (1578): EUPHUES: THE ANATOMY OF WIT The surreal paradox of government is that nothing is what it seems and perception is reality. Change, risk, and ambiguity are constant companions. When the stakes are steep, the rules of fair play are suspended. No prisoners are taken. Much is...
 
Whether it is convincing companies to build R&D centres, factories, or corporate headquarters, Canadian governments have had a ton of success in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). The numbers speak for themselves: Canada’s inward FDI stock reached $732 billion in 2014, an almost two-fold increase from $379 billion in 2004. Investment incentives have been on...
 
The fact that Shared Services Canada (SSC) has struggled mightily under the weight of its immense agenda is hardly news: press reports and a recent Auditor General report weigh heavily in this regard. In this outlet, Patrice Dutil’s recent and insightful interview with the President of SSC, Ron Parker underscored the breadth of the challenges...
 
The government has to move quickly in replacing its fleet of aging CF-18 jets because it is rapidly losing the opportunity to modernize its fighter aircraft fleet, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said. “Our fleet of CF-18s needs to be replaced now,” Sajjan said is his speech during the recently concluded the Cansec 2016 defence industry conference in...
 
As much a 20 per cent of grade seven students in Tanzania are unable to read in Kiswahili, and 50 per cent can’t read English. A recent report indicates that learning outcomes in India a declining and in rural Senegal, quack doctors appear to provide better clinical care than registered physicians. Can deliverology solve these problems, asks a recent contributor to the World Bank blog ? Deliverology is based on “the notion...
 
The Liberal government is taking steps to rein in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) which has gone over budget. As part of its new game plan, the government will not release estimates of the costs associated with what is possibly the military’s largest looming maritime purchase to date until it has the government has...
 
Canada is severely in need of a maritime vessel that can effectively deliver emergency personnel and relief goods to disaster areas overseas, and Irving Shipping says it has the ship that will fit the bill. Irving’s bill is just under $300 million for a five-year lease on such a vessel and its crew which will...
 
The actions and decisions of public servants have consequences for the reputation of their department, and the confidence of Canadians in the government’s ability to deliver on its commitments. Not surprisingly, they are cautious and often take precautions to ensure that many risks are mitigated to a point as close as possible to zero. Related...
 
A Quebec superior court judge facing allegations that he helped commit election fraud 15 years ago will not be removed from office. A statement from the office of the Minister of Justice today said that Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has accepted the recommendation of the Canadian Judicial Council that Justice Michel Déziel not be removed...
 
He is often referred to as the federal government’s first “chief delivery man.” In January this year, Matthew Mendelsohn, a public policy expert and founding director of Canadian think tank Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, joined the Liberal government’s Privy Council Office –sometimes described as the bureaucratic nerve centre . Related posts: Defence policy review prompts Irving to propose $300 million ship leasing idea Deliverology: The “Science of Delivery” Or A Pernicious Disease? Does “deliverology” deliver the goods?...
 
We often read news articles about rampant drug addiction and suicide among young people living in reserves, watch TV coverage of Indigenous communities living under “boil water” warning for decades, and learn about how native children growing up with less funding for social services and education. A new study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) brings all this...
 
Upon receiving numerous complaints regarding add-on fees that turn making economy cable TV packages into pricy bundles, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said it is demanding that cable companies produce a detailed report on their basic TV offerings. Related posts: Mel Cappe and the Changing Face of Policy Creation Out of the shadows Human-centred design: the challenge of putting people back into policy...
 
Public sector design thinking has evolved from obscurity to something of a global trend over the last decade, building up in roughly three waves. A first was launched by the Transformation Design movement in 2006, inspired by the regretted but innovative RED group sponsored by the UK Design Council. A second wave started quickly, sans...
 
The procurement group within the Government of Canada is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. Effectively managing these changes will require a shift in mindset: a move away from working in “silos,” focusing on the challenges in only our own organizations, and toward adopting a broader vision of community. The procurement community across the public...
 
Government agencies, international businesses, as well as, European organizations that comply with the General Data Protection Regulation could benefit from recently released products from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) which are National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-standardized. Released yesterday were, HPE SecureData with Hyper Format-Preserving Encryption (FPE), and Hyper-Secure Stateless Tokenization (SST). Related posts: Cultivating talent: How data can help governments build the economy When data meets regulatory uncertainty...
 
Canada, today, became a full supporter of the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples reaffirming the countries commitment to adopt and implement the declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution. The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a document that describes both individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples around...
 
People caught a glimpse of the work of partisan advisers in ministerial offices in 2013 when an email sent from the PMO to ministers’ offices was leaked. The email requested that political staff prepare a transition binder in advance of an impending cabinet shuffle. This was hardly a new practice—it is a common instrument to...
 
Officials and first responders battling the raging wildfires in Fort McMurray are getting much-needed help from the Canadian Armed Forces. Described by officials as “a beast,” and a “multi-headed monster,” the wildfires are spread over more than 10,000 hectares. It is reported to have destroyed more than 1,600 structures and has forced thousands of people to...
 
Veterans Affairs Canada is not adequately managing the drug component of the Health Care Benefits of former Canadian soldiers under its care, according to the most recent review conducted by the Auditor General’s Office. The department did not have the proper process for making evidence-based decisions related to its drug benefits list nor did it have...
 
Whether responding to emergencies back home or assisting regular troops abroad, army reservists may have to rely on other Canadian Armed Forces units for equipment, but these are often not available, a recent report by the auditor general found. Army reservists are also leaving their units at a rapid rate, even before they have been...
 
The Trudeau government is now six months into its mandate and has looked very decisive and competent in dealing with many election promises such as refugee resettlement, climate change, Senate reform and doctor-assisted suicide. One major reason the government has so successfully moved its policy agenda forward is the result of good working relations that...
 
Some public servants will have to request their departments for emergency cheques if they find that their payroll is delayed or if they are not being paid the proper amount. The head of Public Services and Procurement Canada said government employees will have to resort to this procedure because of a faulty payroll system. Related...
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is poised to launch an investigation into the murder of Canadian tourist John Ridsdel, who was beheaded by terrorists in the Philippines this week. The Islamist militant group called Abu Sayaff, was earlier demanding US$21 million each for the release of Ridsdel, another Canadian and two other people who...
 
The murder of a Canadian citizen abroad and the uncertainty of another still being held hostage by Islamist militants in the Philippines is putting to test the resolve of Canada’s new prime minister and his cabinet. Prime Minister Justine Trudeau on Tuesday, expressed outrage over the beheading of a Canadian citizen held hostage by terrorists...
 
Canada’s largest organization advocating for retirees from federal, police and military services has appointed a former top official of the Immigration and Refugee Board as its new chief executive officer. Related posts: Appointment by merit or connections? Supreme Court selection process overhauled...
 
The government is spending $3.5 million to improve an existing immunization mobile app so that services for new immigrants and refugees can be added to the tool. ImmunizeCA was launched back in 2014 to help people store and manage the vaccination records, and now a collaborative project led by researchers from the Ottawa Hospital with the...
 
It almost goes without saying that good governance requires fair and reliable performance reporting by public sector entities. Several OECD nations have developed performance reporting principles, while the Canadian government has called for concise, credible, reliable and balanced information. However, as Colin Talbot, a noted expert on performance has pointed out, these principles tend to...
 
The adoption last year by the Canada Border Services Agency of a data sharing program with the police has helped CBSA identify more than a thousand with outstanding warrants of arrest....
 
A research project at that explores the design and feasibility of a mobile system that would reduce the work required by the heart and cardiac system for people engaging in a sustained period of exercise, received some $1.1 million in funding through offset investments tied to the Canadian government’s purchase of  a fleet of military...
 
One of the most important powers at the disposal of Canadian prime ministers is their ability to appoint individuals to public organizations or advisory committees. While most people know about the role prime ministers play in appointing their cabinet or senators, it is not generally known that prime ministers, often in concert with the relevant...
 
Two years ago, Bixi, a not-for-profit, para-municipal bicycle-share firm of the City of Montreal was in deep financial trouble it had to file for bankruptcy. It was $50 million in debt, facing a number of lawsuits and to top it all its system was plagued with software bugs. But the system, which sought to “reinvent”...
 
A landmark Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for some 600,000 Metis and non-status aboriginal people with no affiliations to specific reserves to get out a jurisdictional limbo that has prevented them from accessing government services and pursuing land claims. Canada’s top court yesterday issued a unanimous decision that tens of thousands of Metis...
 
One of Canada’s largest integrated oil companies said it is not engaged in oil and gas exploration activities in ecologically protected areas of the Canadian Arctic.   Shell Canada said it is actually reaching out to government agencies and non-government environmental groups to discussed conservation plans. Shell’s statement came after the  World Wildlife Fund-Canada filled a lawsuit against the company asking...
 
Following the various mandate letters from the Trudeau Administration, the Minister for Science has been asked by the prime minister to establish a Chief Science Officer (CSO) position to guide and inform government decision-making. The Minister, Kirsty Duncan, has launched a consultation exercise and is asking for input on what the role and responsibilities of...
 
Conservation efforts in the Canadian Arctic will be obstructed and sensitive marine ecosystems will be endangered if oil and gas exploration is allowed to continue in the area, according to a lawsuit filed by the World Wildlife Fund-Canada which seeks block the renewal of the permit of Shell Canada to operate in Lancaster Sound. Related posts: No Arctic Tension (in this) Ocean Alberta, feds to invest $40 million in clean tech...
 
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today begins a public hearing which will tackle whether or not high-speed Internet should be considered a basic communication service. Dozens of broadband issues will be considered in the regulators  Lets #TalkBroadband  hearing but the main focus is expected to be four key questions: How should broadband access be extended throughout Canada...
 
Local job figures blew away expectations as records indicated that 41,000 new jobs were created in March. Alberta led the pack, adding almost 19,000 jobs last month, pulling down the jobless rate down to eight points to the national average, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.  While Alberta still has fewer people employed than it did...
 
In dealing with the impact on the sharing economy on transportation, Toronto officials want traditional cabbies and limousine drivers to share the city streets with Uber drivers under one bylaw but operate under different sets of rules. The last 18 months have been tumultuous for taxi drivers and operators as they saw their monopoly encroached...
 
In this episode, Richard talks with Alex Willner, Assistant Professor from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs on the Nuclear Summit that PM Justin Trudeau just attended, also in this show he talks with Jeffrey Roy, Professor from the School of Public Administration, Dalhousie University on how to create a new dialogue between elected...
 
The melting Arctic ice caused by climate change is opening up vast areas is Canada’s north to commercial and tourist shipping, A new report recommends that Inuit leaderships and communities be consulted in crafting a cohesive Arctic shipping policy that would ensure the safety of complex marine environments, critical habitat areas and humans. An analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts of...
 
At least one prime minister has resigned, another in under fire, and Canada’s tax chief and has ordered Revenue Canada officials to get their hands on the information contained in the so-called “Panama Papers.” These were some of the developments yesterday following the leak of some 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack...
 
Associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the king of Saudi Arabia, and possibly some wealthy clients of the Royal Bank of Canada are among those whose offshore banking transactions were exposed in a massive data leak now known as “the Panama Papers.” Some 11 million documents held by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to...
 
Now more than ever, organizations in both the public and private sector hold a vast amounts of data on their personnel as well as customers. Technology has allowed many businesses and offices to monitor the whereabouts and behaviours of their staff and clients. However, just because a workplace owns the devices used by employees, this...
 
Things just get curiouser and curiouser. Lewis Carroll (1865): ’s Adventures in Wonderland David Thompson was a British-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and mapmaker, known to indigenous peoples as Koo-Koo-Sint or ‘the Stargazer’. He travelled 90,000 kilometres and mapped nearly five million square kilometres of . He has been described as the “greatest land geographer who...
 
Laid off workers in Canada will soon get some relief with the new improvements to the employment insurance (EI) system made by the Liberal government. Those changes made in Budget 2016, will help more Canadians access EI when they need it, improve service delivery, and ensure the program adapts to the labour market realities across...
 
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it has managed to retrieve data from the iPhone of the San Bernardino, Calif. gunman without help of Apple. The current row between iPhone and the FBI may be over, but are we seeing the beginning of a more heated battle against government investigation agencies and tech companies...
 
The Prime Minister is now well into the consolidation phase of his transition from electioneering to governing. In practical terms, it means that he is confronting the enormous challenges of delivering on his more than 300 election promises. Related posts: Deliverology as Routine Open and Transparent Government From Silos to Synergies: Collaboration and Cabinet in a Networked Era...
 
It is no secret that evaluation reports in the federal public service are not being utilized to the extent that they should to support decision-making. This can be explained in part by the requirements of the 2009 Policy on Evaluation, which stipulates that all direct program spending must be evaluated every five years. The very...
 
  The pressure is always on to make government services to the public and to the business community faster, more efficient, better and as inexpensive as possible. Patrice Dutil, the editor of CGE, connected with Nancy MacLellan, the President of the Institute for Citizen Centred Service (ICCS) to discuss what is on the innovation horizon....
 
The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Lab is one of the few Government of Canada innovation labs with a dedicated space for collaborative work. The layout of space and furnishings reinforce the collaborative approach, with expansive writable wall surfaces, open meeting space, a variety of tools and templates reflecting design thinking techniques,...
 
The Liberal government’s first federal budget laid out $11.9 billion over five years for new infrastructure spending and the move was met with approval from some mayors of the country’s largest cities. Ottawa plans to spend $29.4 billion this year, $29 billion in 2017, $22.8 billion the following year and $17.7 billion in 2019-2020. The...
 
Eight years ago, the always prolific University of Chicago Law School professor Cass Sunstein (he is now at Harvard) teamed up with a colleague, Richard Thaler, a University of Chicago economist, to publish Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. It was a sensational success, and of particular relevance to anyone working on policy...
 
Canadians expect their public services to be delivered in a way that demonstrates cost-savings and efficiency. To date, the ability of the public sector to achieve great results this has been hindered by a risk-averse culture. One symptom of this aversion to risk is an environment of excessive controls over business processes with multiple layers...
 
The Liberal government is expected to announce on Tuesday a new federal budget with a deficit in the area of about $30 billion. There’s been a lot of concern about that huge deficit but a number of economists calculate that Canada could actually absorb a much larger deficit and that it may not be even...
 
The Trudeau Liberal platform of instituting “delivery” capabilities has garnered considerable interest in the national media. Suddenly the spotlight focused on Michael Barber, creator of the UK’s Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU) in Blair’s second government. The PMDU was established because Blair had come to believe that too many ministers and departments failed to follow...
 
The ambitious immigration plan of the Liberal government promises to zero in on family reunification, an issue that is very important to many new entrants to Canada. “Canada will welcome a greater number of immigrants in 2016 with a special emphasis on family reunification,” Minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship John McCallum said when he...
 
Nearly half of Canadian organizations are falling behind on implementation of datacentre upgrades, according to a recent report from analyst firm IDC Canada . “Daily tasks, such a troubleshooting, and maintenance work are taking up the time of IT staff and taking the focus away from innovation,” said David Senf, program vice-president for the infrastructure solutions group...
 
If the purpose of the Government of Canada’s performance measurement system is to keep people busy, then it works beautifully. If it’s supposed to show how programs make life better for Canadians, it’s a dud. More than 2,500 measures are just too many, period! Related posts: Opportunity Lost? Assessing the Performance Information of the CRA, CFIA and Parks Canada The Performance and Planning Exchange (PPX) 2016 Symposium Learning from the Past – Preparing for th... EP 53: The practice and challenges of Enterprise Performance Management...
 
The Ontario government and telecom gear maker Huawei Canada yesterday announced plans to pour some $316 million dollars into a research and development project focused on 5th generation wireless technology and positioning the province as a global tech hub. The project, called 5G Ontario, will see Huawei Canada invest a total of $300 million, over...
 
The facility of a top-secret military communications group in Borden, Ontario will be relocated to make way for a $400 million datacentre project by Shared Services Canada . Plans by the SSC to build a datacentre at the Canada Force Base in Borden, hit a snag, according to recent media reports, due to miscommunication regarding security requirements around...
 
Q: Where is Comptrollership going? Comptrollership in the Government of Canada is evolving to reflect a changing environment, one that entails the need for increased transparency and enhanced accountability. Going forward, the vision for comptrollership will need to include: strengthening the culture of measurement and innovation in program and policy design and delivery; providing evidence...
 
Following days of stalled negotiations and with the clock ticking on potential workers’ strike during the mRach break, Toronto’s union of inside workers announced they have reached a four-year tentative deal with the city just before 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. Related posts: Toronto moves closer towards opening safe injection sites Health Canada gives Vancouver safe injection site four more years Toronto proposes rules for taxis, limos and Uber...
 
Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency rolled out a pilot program that allowed chartered accountants and professional tax preparers to automatically enter clients’ data onto a digital personal tax form using most certain types of certified tax software. This tax season, the CRA program called Auto-fill will be available to all taxpayers making electronic tax filing much easier for...
 
Monday was the final day for Canadians to donate money to overseas relief efforts for Syrian refugees in order for the funds to be matched by the federal government. But the money donated by Canadians fell short of the maximum $100 million which the government promised to match. Related posts: Liberal’s immigration plan focuses on family reunification, eliminating backlog Salvaging Shared Services Canada Senators urge government action on issues faced by Syrian refugees...
 
A controversial investment protection clause in the Canada-European Union trade deal has been amended, according to the country’s minister of international trade. “Canada and the European Commission are very pleased to announce that the legal review of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement [CETA] English text has been completed,” a joint statement by...
 
When the Liberals announce their first ever budget on March 22 it’s going to be far larger than party promised when they campaigning to be elected. However, while the new government has been slammed by the Conservatives and the NDP for this, some Canadian economists are saying the Liberals actually still has ample room to...
 
Prime Minister Trudeau is off on one of the most intense first 100 days of any Canadian prime minister. Appointing his Cabinet and senior staff, leading four international government delegations abroad, meeting Parliament for the first time, chairing his first Cabinet meeting, responding to the refugee crisis, and hosting press conferences were just some of...
 
With the inexorable expansion of internet, and the advent of highly efficient computers and software, the private sector has successfully exploited “crowdsourcing,” a concept coined to describe a new approach to find talent and put it to work. Typically, the label has been given to a strategy where a firm seeks services from anonymous members...
George Ross, editor in chief of Canadian Government Executive spoke with Dr. Janet King, president of Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency about public service in Canada’s North. Here is the full interview. Janet, when I looked over your bio, I think its fair to say you have a remarkable background and set of experiences. You are a trained geologist, and...