2016 Report on Public Service Renewal Results: other actions

Other actions to renew the public service

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is playing its part in creating a public service that is innovative, collaborative, and open. Internal initiatives such as the IdeAction Fund demonstrated that ECCC is seeking to encourage employees to take  steps to improve the workplace and service to Canadians. Through partnerships with those internal to government, ECCC is seeking to collaborate to conserve, improve and protect the environment, and support open data initiatives like the Federal Geospatial Platform. ECCC also seeks to partner with all Canadians to address climate change by through multiple engagement initiatives. By empowering employees, leveraging partnerships, and engaging with Canadians, ECCC aims to achieve its mandate of fostering a safe, clean, and sustainable environment for the present and into the future.

IdeAction Fund

ECCC’s innovation fund aims to provide employees with resources such as expert advice, support from senior management, and funding to start innovative projects that will improve the department or service to Canadians. Collaboration cafés were held across the department to help create the conditions for employees’ ideas to succeed, to connect employees with experts and their peers to hone their proposal ideas. Employees across the department submitted proposals which were evaluated by a council made up of employees from around the department.   These project proposals have the potential to increase ECCC engagement with Canadians, improve how we use and collect scientific data, and green the department.

Improving Enforcement through data sharing

The Enforcement Branch partnered with the Marine Security Operations Center (MSOC) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) to track and analyze vessel traffic in the Arctic, and overlay this information on maps of Arctic protected areas. The combination of mapping and data allows for probability forecasts on when and where vessels will move through northern waters, meaning ECCC can better protect National Wildlife Areas through enforcement or compliance promotion. 

Federal Geospatial Platform: contributing to open maps

The Federal Geospatial Platform (FGP) is a collaborative effort across 21 departments and agencies - including ECCC.   Federal employees can now easily access maps to view geospatial (location-based) data, to support evidence-based decision-making. FGP aims to make geospatial information available in a coherent way to the public, academic institutions, the private sector and others to conduct research or produce products and applications, driving innovation and stimulating economic development. ECCC is a leader and key partner in this initiative by delivering an easy to use map viewer and data catalogue for geospatial data, supplying over 80 important geo-enabled datasets,, and helping to support the growing user community. The data is available to the public through the Open Maps section of the Government of Canada Open Data portal. 

Engaging Canadians in Climate Change

A key aspect of ECCC’s mandate is to take strong action on climate change. However, addressing climate change is a significant undertaking that requires partnering with many stakeholders, including Canadians and international players. ECCC has been working to engage Canadians in a conversation about climate change through multiple channels, including town halls, videos, and social media.

The #CanClimateAction/ActionClimatCan hashtag was created to launch the engagement process and to focus climate change engagement discussions on social media. From April until October 3 there have been 27 111 mentions of the hashtags!  In addition, Canadians were invited to submit their ideas and let others comment on them, enabling dialogue and sharing of ideas among citizens. Over 4,000 participants submitted ideas, almost 3,500 ideas were received and over 10,000 comments were posted. ECCC’s first Facebook Live was launched, and connected participants to an event at Algonquin College with Minister McKenna with climate innovators.   This engagement exercise is helping Canadians connect to the work of ECCC, and ensuring that the department’s work is informed by the ideas and knowledge of Canadians.

Integrating behavioural insights

Groups in the department are considering how behavioural insights could be applied to help achieve program objectives and offer better service to Canadians.  One example is a small test for increasing stakeholder engagement by applying nudges to information distributed to stakeholders about a Regulation.  The initial results suggested that changing the way information was communicated resulted in greater responses.  This example shows that there is potential for further application of this new way of thinking at ECCC.


George Enei: Environment and Climate Change Canada is continuing to change how we work to better deliver on our mandate, and improve the services we provide to Canadians. Employees have become more engaged, collaborative, and respectful; Blueprint 2020 employees are truly living, owning, and sharing the vision of a more nimble and agile public service. Through the IdeAction Fund, ECCC is helping move the innovative ideas of employees to action. The Fund is providing employees resources to implement new ideas, practices, and tools with the potential to strengthen or transform the workplace and how we best serve Canadians.

Jennifer De Bruyn: The IdeAction Fund aims to fund and support innovative ideas, pitched by employees in the department, to improve the workplace and service to Canadians. This initiative aims to empower employees to address problems and find solutions in their workplace. The Fund provides a way to take smart risks, share lessons learned from failure, and move toward solutions. Employees submitted many great proposals, and we are excited to watch these innovative ideas take root. Great things happen when we support the creativity of our employees.

Christian Marcoux: Monitoring vessel and human activities in Arctic Protected areas is a real challenge for Wildlife Enforcement Officers, With the changes in sea ice and the rise in shipping traffic in or near the Northwest Passage, Officers initiated an Intelligence project involving several other federal agencies. The intent of the project is to protect the pristine and sensitive environment and to respond to environmental threats. Since 2013 Wildlife Officers are now using real time satellite data, and surveillance platforms to monitor and enforce shipping activities in the arctic in relation to the department mandate. This is all possible because of the contribution and partnership with the Marine Security Operational Center, the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Daphne Leclerc-Ritchie: The Federal Geospatial Platform is a collaborative effort across 21 departments and agencies including Environment and Climate Change Canada. Through Canada’s Open Government portal, Canadians and Federal employees can now easily access maps to view the most relevant geospatial data to support collaboration, evidence-based decision-making and foster innovation. Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to be a leader and key partner to the Federal Geospatial Platform.

Tina Grznar: Canadians were invited to submit their “canclimateaction” ideas on our interactive website. They were able to comment and share ideas amongst each other. Over 4,000 Canadians participated. There were also a series of town halls that were organized across the country and Canadians were able to utilize some of the materials we developed and everything was able to be shared and showcased on social media using it in different and innovative ways.

Karen Muttersbach: Hello, I’m Karen. I am exploring the use of behavioural insights for increasing stakeholder engagement. Often referred to as ‘Nudging’. I ran a small trial, where we applied nudges to information being sent out on a Regulation. We had 18% of companies respond to us, which was great. But when we added further nudges, over 50% responded to us voluntarily. These initial results show the potential it has for my program and for the Department.

George Enei: This year, Environment and Climate Change Canada has achieved a great deal for both employees and for Canadians, yet we still face many challenges. We are proud to have launched great initiatives, such as e-Signatures and micro-missions that help us serve Canadians better and more efficiently, but it will take time for these initiatives to take root at ECCC. Employees are helping to change our culture and to embrace new ways of delivering the best information and services possible. We look forward to overcoming the obstacles and finding new opportunities for improvement in the year ahead.

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