APEX is a very valuable partner. In fact, I believe, this year’s symposium is the largest in its history, and the 30th event. Congratulations! This is an important accomplishment. Thank you to the organizing team and all of the APEX community for this great event. APEX is far more than an annual conference that surfaces every year. It is an ongoing voice for the approximately 5,000 people who are the executive community in the public service.
I often describe the Public Service as a chameleon. We help shape the country and I have experienced very cool moments when you can sit in the Cabinet room and watch your advice and analysis supporting and influencing the way democratically elected governments steer the country. But we are also caught up with this societal shift. Canada has changed its attitudes to same sex marriage, mental health, greening of the economy, carbon footprint, mental health, and #MeToo. This means that we also have to change our attitude.
There are many opportunities. It is an exciting time to be in Canada when you look at what is going on around the world. It is also an exceptional time to be a member of the best public service in the world. I hope you feel it is a great time to be part of this Human Resources community that serves the rest of the public service as well as Canadians.
There are lots of conversations about what we should do, what kinds of programs, policies, regulations are needed to deal with any particular challenge or responsibility. What is less talked about is how to go about it, how to go about the processes of policy development, engagement, formulation, decision-making and implementation. It is a challenge for all fields of public policy.