Celebrating Public Service

Civilservants

Notes for talk at Public Policy Forum Dinner, April 11, 2013 I am delighted to be here with family, friends and colleagues this evening – an evening that can only be understood as a celebration of Canada’s public service. Such celebrations are pretty rare these days though the public service is an institution that deserves … Continue reading

Oh no! Not the Census Again!

Not-again-picard_2

In his testimony before the Industry Committee today, Ivan Fellegi, the former and universally respected head of Statistics Canada, expressed pleasant surprise at how strongly people in almost every sector of Canadian society have come out in support of the census and the importance of the information produced through the mandatory long form.  For many, … Continue reading

The End of Progress?

jobsdespair

Margaret Wente, always of value and never boring, has written an important and disquieting column about, among other things, the capacity of government. Wente inventories the string of crises – the financial meltdown, the Gulf oil spill, the European meltdown playing out in Greece, for starters – that not only continue to cause untold harm, … Continue reading

The Cult of Accountability

bureaucrats

Accountability is a big word with many meanings but for simplicity sake I will define it as:  1) the obligation to render accounts of how well one is doing in delivering on promises and meeting agreed expectations; 2) the responsibility to take the necessary measures to improve performance and to correct error and to report … Continue reading

Scandal

integrity

Day after day, we are fed more House of Commons questions and more media headlines and more speculation  about Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer.  Maybe it’s good politics to keep this issue hot and in the public eye.  Ekos polling seems to show that it is, to some extent.  But Guergis is out of Cabinet … Continue reading

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