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
Log In
Hill Life & People

‘Quietly competent’ public service during COVID-19 notable, says union president, as stakeholders take stock of bureaucracy’s future role

By Mike Lapointe      

‘What’s impressed me, is the dog that didn’t bark,’ says former clerk Wernick. ‘We haven’t had any major IT failures, bottlenecks or collapses—not everything has been perfect, but generally things have gone quite well.'

Liberal MP Greg Fergus, left, PIPSC president Debi Daviau, centre, and former clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, right. 'I’m incredibly amazed at the level of front line work that our members are engaged in as part of this pandemic, from developing CERB and other benefits, to making sure that public servants could work from home [which] was key to keeping operations going, to developing tests for COVID-19 to converting labs for disinfectant,' said Ms. Daviau. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade, Sam Garcia, and Jake Wright

It’s been an “important year for the public service” and “interesting to see” how Canadians have instinctively turned to the public sector for help, says former top federal bureaucrat Michael Wernick, with the president of Canada’s second largest public sector union saying there are “silver linings” that can come out of how the federal bureaucracy has contended with the onslaught of COVID-19.

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


MPs back more modest option for Parliament visitors’ centre as Centre Block renos roll on

'I appreciate we’re not going for the Cadillac option. …  The larger option was much more expensive,' says NDP House Leader Peter Julian. 'We’re talking about over $110-million in savings.'

Canada ‘ill-prepared’ for potential coronavirus second wave, says Senate committee

News|By Beatrice Paez
The committee noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada has yet to revise or finalize its guidance for long-term care homes in light of concerns about its current relevance.

Cultural assessments needed for sentencing reform, say advocates, amid calls to address high Black incarceration rates

Justice advocates agree with the Black Parliamentary Caucus’ recent call for pre-sentencing reports, similar to the Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders, to be used for racialized Canadians.

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum

Argentina, Chile, DRC, Hungary, and Madagascar say they backed Canada’s UN Security Council bid, but closest allies are silent

News|By Neil Moss
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were among 17 countries that wouldn't comment on whether they backed Canada's recent bid for a Security Council seat.

Feds’ fiscal snapshot puts deficit at more than $340-billion, with promise of an update in fall

News|By Beatrice Paez
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a decision on whether the government intends to release a full budget in the fall will be dependent on efforts at managing the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Feds should more clearly verify who is allowed to repay student loans at reduced rates, says auditor general

News|By Palak Mangat
According to an auditor general report, ESDC 'did not properly check the accuracy of applications.'

Poor data, deficiencies in case management to blame for slow pace in enforcing deportation orders, says auditor general

News|By Beatrice Paez
According to CBSA, most of the cases in its 'wanted' inventory involve individuals 'considered a low risk to public safety and are not an agency priority.'

Canada needs to protect Arctic sovereignty to confront emboldened Putin, say MP and expert

News|By Neil Moss
Liberal MP John McKay says there will be 'incursions and intrusions and aggressive actions taken increasingly in the Arctic' by Russia.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.
DON'T MISS OUT.
We are offering a free subscription during the pandemic