Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising FAQ
Log In
News

Senators laud performance of public service amidst pandemic, and Harder calls for greater ‘risk taking and innovation’ by bureaucrats

By Mike Lapointe      

In the final minutes of a Senate meeting on Saturday, April 11, Senator Peter Harder made the case for having a higher tolerance for risk in the public sector.

Senator Peter Harder says the public service is now implementing an extraordinary set of programs over a short period of time, with very large economic costs and huge consequences to their being efficiently and effectively and quickly delivered. 'I made the allusion once that if the public service was a hockey team, it would be a team of goalies because it was better not to be scored on than to score,” said Sen. Peter Harder. “We won’t get through this if we don’t have a full-fledged hockey team, with forwards and risk takers, people who are prepared to see a goal being scored because the game needs to be won. And that requires public institutions like the Senate, the House of Commons, the auditor general, and others who are charged with ensuring proper oversight, are also aware that we need a culture of risk taking and innovation in the public service.” The Hill Times file photograph

As Canadians now enter the second month of self-isolation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal public service is winning accolades for its efforts to help citizens while the fast-changing crisis has strained the civil service’s front-line capacity.

Mike Lapointe

Mike Lapointe joined the The Hill Times in June 2019 and covers the federal public service, deputy ministers, the Privy Council Office, public service unions, the Phoenix pay system, the machinery of government, and the Parliament Hill media.
- mlapointe@hilltimes.com


‘Six systemic crises’ confronting Canada, and politicians, policy-makers, health-care professionals need ‘systems thinking’ to tackle them, says public policy expert

News|By Mike Lapointe
Global Brief magazine editor Irvin Studin says politicians and policy-makers' thinking is 'too small, it’s too linear, it’s too path dependent, and it looks increasingly absurd as these systemic crises.'

Canada needs a new ‘fiscal anchor’ and Freeland needs to share financial plans, says PBO Giroux

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says he's found it 'much more difficult to get information out of the minister’s officer' since Parliament returned with Chrystia Freeland in charge of the nation's finances.

House emergency debate on Nova Scotia lobster conflict underway, as feds say Indigenous people ‘let down,’ more police deployed to ‘keep peace’ amid rising tensions

News|By Palak Mangat
'Because these criminal actions and violence have escalated, the response from the police in Nova Scotia has by necessity also escalated,' says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

Demolition work well underway in the Centre Block

Workers are currently removing the painted canvas that lined the ceiling of the House of Commons Chamber and stained glass from the Memorial Chamber for restoration.

Senators zip lips on Meredith deal that includes gag order for harassed former staffers

Senators on the Internal Economy Committee have little to say about approving a deal to bind Don Meredith's harassment victims to silence in order to receive compensation for their treatment.

MPs, Taiwanese envoy highlight opportunities to strengthen relations between Taiwan, Canada amid COVID-19 fallout, China tensions

News|By Mike Lapointe
Liberal MP John McKay says closer cooperation with Taiwan in the current environment represents a ‘massive opportunity with little or no downside’

NDP open to Tory special committee on WE scandal, says MP Julian, as Liberals slam the proposal

News|By Palak Mangat
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez would not rule out turning next week's possible vote into one of confidence, which the NDP called ‘very bizarre.’

A parliamentary recognition of Uyghur genocide will be met with a ‘strong reaction,’ says Chinese ambassador

News|By Neil Moss
'We will take resolute measures to safeguard our sovereignty, national security, and the development interests,' Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu says.

Senate art group turns focus to restoration, finding gaps in Indigenous representation

‘We can do it in small steps and make big impacts,’ says Senator Patricia Bovey of a plan to broaden the Indigenous works the Chamber highlights, and help with reconciliation.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.