Happy National Public Service Week!

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June 15, 2020

Hello everyone,

Welcome to National Public Service Week, an opportunity for all of us to take a moment and reflect on all that we do to serve Canadians.

This year’s theme is “Let’s Stay Connected,” an essential action to take every day, especially in our current COVID-19 reality. We’ve made a point of connecting with employees regularly throughout this period. At our recent all-staff town hall with Minister Wilkinson, on June 1, we were pleased to see that more than 4,000 employees joined the conversation. You posed some great questions on our mandate and plans for easing access to the work site. For information on this topic, we invite you to read today’s message from the Clerk. Stay tuned for further updates on ECCC planning efforts. Connecting, responding to your comments and concerns, and getting a sense of what’s on your mind will continue to be priorities.

This week, you’ll have opportunities to connect with one another through numerous interesting and entertaining activities to celebrate National Public Service Week and honour the commitment we make to citizens as public servants. We encourage you to set aside some time to take part in events that interest you and fit in your schedules. Engage, be informed, and have fun!

Another fun virtual way to connect is to take the time to say thank you. Think about the colleagues you admire. Maybe they delivered under difficult circumstances or helped you out in a time of need. Or perhaps they said or did something that inspired you and others. Send these special people one of our post cards to recognize them for their contributions. This gesture of gratitude will certainly put a smile on their faces.

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: The work you are doing under difficult circumstances is extraordinary. We know you are balancing competing priorities, as family and community members and as public servants.

We think of staff at the Meteorological Service of Canada, working in the office, in the field, or from home every day; producing timely and accurate weather forecasts and alerts; seeing the country through flood season; and preparing the East Coast for the upcoming hurricane season.

We think of the National Environmental Emergencies Centre team, who quickly adjusted to accommodate public health rules while ensuring their operations—including rapid response to incidents such as oil spills—continue efficiently 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We think of the policy analysts, the regulators, the IT specialists, the scientists, the enforcement officers, the administrators, and the communicators, working from home across the country, balancing work and child care and support for elderly relatives all while delivering on their mandates: protecting wildlife, regulating chemicals, enforcing the law, and ensuring that our systems are running smoothly and that key information is shared with staff in a timely fashion.

We see the creativity and ingenuity of employees seeking new ways to connect and share during this time, through the stories in ECCC News, the Innovation and Youth Engagement Division holding online meet-ups with fun themes like high tea and funny hats, and the Women in Science and Technology Committee sharing their “silver linings” through an email thread expressing gratitude for the unexpected blessings given our current realities.

Employees are also reaching out and giving back to their local community. They’re connecting with isolated seniors and making masks for community organizations. How encouraging it is to see members of our #ECCCFamily turning a bad situation into an opportunity to do something positive for others.

And let’s not forget the impressive achievements of ECCC teams throughout the past year: the Canada Nature Fund’s Target 1 Challenge, the Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution, The State of Canada’s Birds 2019 report, and the implementation of the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System, to name only a few.

What we see is a capable, agile, resilient, and compassionate group of people making a difference—a real source of pride for us.

So this week, we encourage you all to take a step back. Think about how, by working together and staying connected as an ECCC family, we can build a stronger, more inclusive, and diverse workplace. Reflect on the role that you play to support the Department’s priorities and objectives. Feel good about the work you are doing to improve the quality of Canada’s environment and the quality of life for Canadians. Your contributions are important, and they matter.

Let’s start off the week with this video, featuring your executive management team and our National Public Service Week co-champions, Jesse Fleming and Marie-Eve Neron, thanking you for everything you do. Please note that to access this video, you must be disconnected from the department’s network.

Happy National Public Service Week! Enjoy!

T. Christine Hogan
Deputy Minister

Martine Dubuc
Associate Deputy Minister

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