The role that communications professionals play, as part of a non-partisan professional Public Service, in helping the government communicate in two directions with Canadians and, indeed, with the rest of the world, is incredibly important to the rest of the country.
We have to apply the lessons that we learned from the past ten years and face the challenges ahead in pieces, whether it is about recruitment, staffing, learning and development, meeting culture or changing the way we think, and who is brought into conversations. A lot of it is about mindsets, cultures and expectations and those require engagement and dialogue.
I do not think the workload is ever going to go down. The important thing is that we have to learn the tools of personal and organizational resilience and make sure that fatigue does not turn into bad behaviours, harassment, or interpersonal conflicts. We do have to learn to work at a high tempo and with a heavy workload. That is the Public Service that we are headed towards.
2018 was a truly historic year with some real milestones, one of which was, of course, Bill C81, the Accessible Canada Act. It is one of those moments when a law passes through both Houses, gets Royal Assent, and bends the curve of this country’s history. Other such milestones that come to mind are the Official Languages Act, and the Charter of Rights. Canada will never be the same after that legislation is passed. It is a huge accomplishment and I know that many people in this room have helped shape it.
If you only followed the media, including social media, you would think this was the pipeline department...but the range of things that you deal with is really impressive—lands, minerals, forestry, innovation, energy, clean tech, and more.