Michael Wernick's farewell message to public servants


Today, as I retire from the Public Service, I want to express my gratitude to colleagues, past and present. For almost 38 years, I have had the very good fortune to work in jobs that have been stimulating and rewarding alongside wonderful people.

You have heard a lot from me over the past three years, so I will be brief today. You can look up dozens of speeches, interviews and parliamentary committee appearances, as well as the four annual reports I have sent Canadians about their Public Service. I am proud to have served as the 23rd Clerk, and I have loved to tell your stories—to remind Canadians how their world-class Public Service supports the governments they elect and works to enhance our security, prosperity and inclusiveness.

What we do matters—a lot. A non-partisan public service, guided by values, fuelled by evidence and science, and driven by a never-ending quest to learn, adapt and renew is essential to the success of this amazing country.

I am grateful for a career that took me to every province and territory more than once, and allowed me to see us as others around the world see us. I have had opportunities to engage on just about every facet of public policy and public administration and had a chance to work closely with ministers and prime ministers. None of this journey was alone. Through it all I have benefited from the support and collegiality of public servants with the same passion for making Canada and the world just a bit better. I am grateful to all of them, and to those in other governments and other walks of life who have also contributed to shaping our country.

I have great confidence that the Public Service is in good hands and that you will rise to the many challenges and even greater opportunities of the months and years ahead. Stand up for your values and look after each other. The world needs more Canada, and Canada needs you. I wish you well.

Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

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