Message from Janice Charette, Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

March 9, 2021 - Defence Stories


As of today, I have the privilege of serving as Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet while Ian Shugart takes leave to undergo medical treatment. I have had the chance to work with Ian over the course of my career and have no doubt that he will approach his diagnosis as he tackles all challenges—with dignity, strength and humour. I know you join me in sending Ian and his family your thoughts and prayers for a full recovery.

I am saddened by the circumstances that have brought me here from London where I proudly served as High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However, I am very glad to be home. I am honoured that the Prime Minister has entrusted me with this important role, especially during these difficult times. I will be working with the dedicated team of deputy ministers and other leaders across the public service to continue our important work to make a difference in the lives of Canadians.

This week will mark the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic and public servants’ transition to working from home. We have all had to adjust to major changes in how we work while also facing many of the same personal challenges—such as caregiving, isolation and maintaining mental health—as our fellow Canadians during the pandemic. And still, under Ian’s exceptional leadership, you have shown remarkable resolve and continued to support the government and deliver essential services to Canadians in innovative and creative ways.

I will be continuing with the important work launched by Ian to advance public service priorities such as mental health and well-being in the workplace, implementing the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion in the Federal Public Service, and supporting the public service in responding to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication, and I ask you to keep it up as vaccinations are rolling out across Canada and we can look forward to being able to be together again with family, friends and colleagues.

Janice Charette

Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

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