Minister’s Message : Portfolio for National Public Service Week

June 15, 2020

I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy National Public Service Week and thank you for all that you do for Canadians.

We’re living through extraordinary times. Many have suffered significant personal losses, and all of us have had to make enormous changes in our day-to-day lives. The annual barbecue and other festivities associated with National Public Service Week that we all look forward to, have been replaced with virtual events.

Despite the challenges of our current circumstances, we press on, continuing to provide services on which Canadians depend. I have been very much impressed by the agility, adaptability, and commitment of those who work at Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, and Parks Canada during these uncertain times.

Make no mistake, whether you are going into the office and respecting physical distancing restrictions to forecast the weather or working from your kitchen table on climate change policy or impact assessments, the work you do every day protects and enhances our quality of life in Canada.

COVID-19 has been and continues to be a crisis—one that has created significant costs for Canadians. But Canadians know thought that we are collectively facing two additional slower-moving crises on the horizon: climate change and the global decline in biodiversity. If we do not act decisively now, we all know that the costs of these crises will be enormous.

As current restrictions begin to be relaxed and we move into a new normal, the work that we do will become increasingly important. Your energy, ideas, problem-solving skills, and creativity will be in high demand as we work to fulfill our international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to protect species and biodiversity, ensure resource projects are undertaken sustainably, and to ensure that our national parks and historic sites connect Canadians with nature.

Canadians are very clear that—despite COVID-19—their commitment to environmental protection and environmental sustainability remains as strong as ever. I have been encouraged by recent public-opinion polling that has shown the public strongly supports an economic recovery that includes measures that will enhance environmental protection, such as green infrastructure and the deployment of green technologies. I believe we are at a point in time when we can and must move forward boldly, with conviction. I know you are up for it.

National Public Service Week is a time for us to pause and reflect on the accomplishments of you and your colleagues over this past year. It is also a time when we should all begin to look forward to the important challenges and opportunities in front of us.

Thank you again for all that you do. Happy National Public Service Week!

Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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