Public Service Award of Excellence 2016 recipients

Message from the Prime Minister

Picture of Justin Trudeau

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada

I would like to sincerely congratulate the 238 recipients of the 2016 Public Service Award of Excellence for their exceptional service to Canadians.

Canada’s public servants are among the best in the world. Every day, they work hard to make a difference in the lives of all Canadians, while striving to deliver the Government’s agenda and priorities.

Our government was elected on the promise to bring real change – in both what we do and how we do it. With the help of public servants, we have made a terrific start on fulfilling our promise to Canadians. We have introduced measures to strengthen Canada’s middle class and to make government more open and transparent. We have followed through on our commitment to invest in infrastructure across the country, and have laid the groundwork for a renewed relationship with both Indigenous peoples and the provinces and the territories. Every day, in everything we do, we strive to create a more inclusive and fair Canada.

The Public Service Award of Excellence recognizes the outstanding contributions of public servants who have demonstrated qualities of leadership, innovation, and commitment to excellence. This year’s award recipients provided exceptional service to the public across Canada and around the world: from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Canada, to giving a voice to the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, to advancing the role of nutrition professionals in First Nations communities.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I am reminded of the hope, energy, and ambition that helped build our great country. This year’s recipients personify those values, and I am delighted to honour them on behalf of all Canadians. Together, we will continue to strengthen the middle class and ensure Canada’s best days lie ahead.

Message from the Clerk

Picture of Michael Wernick

Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

Across our nation and around the world, Canada’s public servants serve their country with passion and dedication. Today, I am extremely pleased to join the Governor General in recognizing 238 outstanding recipients who have been selected to receive the Public Service Award of Excellence this year.

These individuals and teams have made an exceptional contribution to many different areas of government. Yet they share a common commitment to excellence, innovation and collaboration that reflects long-standing values of public service and our vision for its renewal. It is an honour to work among those who use their talents every day to make Canada an even better place.

As Clerk of the Privy Council and on behalf of the entire Public Service of Canada, I am proud to pay tribute to the 2016 award recipients. Their accomplishments are truly inspiring for us all.

Table of contents

Outstanding Career

Jeff Anderson
Parks Canada

Picture of Jeff Anderson

The Public Service of Canada recognizes Jeff Anderson for an outstanding 34-year career, during which he created opportunities for telling the story of Canada. Among his accomplishments was the cooperative management relationship with Inuit in Torngat Mountains National Park, a partnership exemplifying a best practice for working with Indigenous communities. He also led the Franklin initiative, telling the story of this episode in Canadian history and of Parks Canada’s role in the discovery of the HMS Erebus. Jeff Anderson’s dedication and commitment to public service values have shone throughout his career in his respect for others, his professionalism, and his integrity.

Nominated by Michaela Jacqueline Kent, Superintendent, Parks Canada

Bernard J. Butler
Veterans Affairs Canada

Picture of Bernard J. Butler

Bernard Butler is being recognized for his remarkable career in service of Canada’s veterans. For over 30 years at Veterans Affairs Canada, Mr. Butler has exemplified the public service values of integrity, respect, and dedication every day. A great number of individuals have benefited from his achievements. Most recently, he led the development of a new strategic direction in caring for veterans and their families and enhancing their benefits. An informal mentor to colleagues and staff, Mr. Butler inspires trust and confidence by generously sharing his expertise. His commitment to veterans and his tireless work on their behalf throughout his career make him an exemplary public servant.

Nominated by Walter J. Natynczyk, General (Retired), Deputy Minister, Veterans Affairs Canada

Ann D. E. Fraser, Ph.D.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Picture of Ann D. E. Fraser, Ph.D.

The Public Service of Canada commends the exemplary achievements of Ann Fraser during a career of over 30 years with the federal public service. A research scientist by training, Dr. Fraser has made significant contributions in research and policy on issues related to animal health, plant protection, and food safety. In recent years, she has garnered significant praise from her peers across government for her leadership in the values and ethics community. Despite her demanding portfolio, Dr. Fraser never hesitates when called upon to share her expertise in this area with others, and her recommendations are always honest, thoughtful, and constructive. She is a true model of public service excellence.

Nominated by Claudine Bélanger, Advisor, on behalf of the Values, Integrity and Conflict Resolution Team, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Judy Halladay
Health Canada

Picture of Judy Halladay

Congratulations to Judy Halladay for her exceptional public service career dedicated to improving the health of First Nations communities. Ms. Halladay began her career in the 1980s as a nutritionist providing front-line support services to First Nations communities in northern Manitoba. She has since become a leader for advancing the role of nutrition professionals in community programming, working with the University of Alberta, Health Canada, and First Nations partners. Recently, she co-led the development of the Alberta First Nations Food Security Strategy. An inspiring mentor to students and staff, Ms. Halladay exemplifies the values of the public service and has made a difference in Canada throughout her stellar career. 

Nominated by Coreen Everington, Director, Health Canada

Cynthia White Thornley
Canadian Heritage

Picture of Cynthia White Thornley

Cynthia White Thornley is being recognized for her exemplary public service career. For over 25 years, Ms. White Thornley has led key initiatives in support of Canada’s arts and culture. Whether developing the Government of Canada’s Tomorrow Starts Today cultural investment strategy or modernizing Canadian Heritage’s grants and contributions system, Ms. White Thornley has approached her work with selfless dedication. She is widely respected by her employees, colleagues, and community partners as a creative, enthusiastic, and inspiring leader. She exemplifies the values of the public service, constantly motivating people around her to deliver results that improve the lives of Canadians.

Nominated by Hubert Lussier, Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Heritage

Management Excellence

Sandra Colleen Fry
Public Health Agency of Canada

Picture of Sandra Colleen Fry

Sandra Fry is commended for her leadership in creating one of the world's strongest pathogen regulatory frameworks. This framework serves to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting innovation and discovery in Canadian laboratories. In developing the regulations under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act, Ms. Fry carried out a consultation approach that involved thousands of stakeholders; it has been recognized as a best practice across scientific and academic communities globally. She also spearheaded the launch of the Biosecurity Portal and the cutting-edge software that supports it. Widely respected for her dynamic leadership, vision, and strong work ethic, Ms. Fry is a model of management excellence in the public service.

Nominated by Mary Louise Graham, Director, Public Health Agency of Canada

Normand Masse
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Picture of Normand Masse

Normand Masse heads a large group of nearly 300 employees whose mandate is to acquire a vast range of complex goods and services. Recognized for his strategic thinking and leadership skills, he has successfully represented Canada at a number of multilateral meetings. His contribution to the Government of Canada’s commitment to expedite the arrival of Syrian refugees to Canada shows his ability to produce concrete results and mobilize his teams. Mr. Masse places tremendous importance on his employees, their development, and their well-being. His management excellence is reflected in the results of the 2014 Public Service Employee Survey, where his sector exceeded departmental success rates in the eight categories evaluated.

Nominated by Randal Cripps, Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Geoff Simpson
National Defence

Picture of Geoff Simpson

The Public Service of Canada recognizes Geoff Simpson for his outstanding performance as a leader and a project manager. He and his team achieved the modernization of the Halifax-class frigates, signalling a return to world-class naval capability for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Government of Canada. Thanks to his stalwart support and passion for this complex, multi-billion-dollar program, it was delivered on time and on budget. Mr. Simpson is widely acknowledged by his team as a collaborative and spirited leader, possessing superior vision and sound judgment. His caring and compassionate management style ensured sage stewardship of the program and reflects the best traditions of the public service.

Nominated by Captain(N) David Benoit, Chief of Staff, National Defence

Employee Innovation

North Warning System Office Team

Picture of North Warning System Office Team

  • Captain Rachel Bailey, National Defence
  • Lieutenant-Colonel John Baycura, National Defence
  • Amanda Chen, National Defence
  • Melanie Couture, National Defence
  • Captain Donald Ebsary, National Defence
  • Darren Haley, National Defence
  • Richard R. Hayton, National Defence
  • Terry Herman, National Defence>
  • Patricia Joosten, National Defence
  • Glen MacEachern, National Defence
  • Nancy Morin, Public Services and Procurement Canada
  • Barry Stokes, National Defence
  • Keith William Thistle, National Defence
  • Colonel Alex Tupper, National Defence
  • Kelvin Turriff, National Defence

The Public Service of Canada congratulates the North Warning System Office Team for strengthening Canada’s aerospace surveillance readiness, materiel management, and efficiency. Recognizing the limitations of past equipment-support arrangements, the team championed a new contract framework that resulted in some $11 million in annual savings and stopped a trend toward escalating costs. They also demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision in promoting economic development in the North and creating jobs for Indigenous peoples. The team’s drive, perseverance, and innovation are exemplary—all motivated by their sense of duty to Canada and their desire to make a difference for Canadians.

Nominated by Terry Wood, Director General, National Defence

Perpetual Vetting Initiative
Transport Canada

Picture of Perpetual Vetting Initiative team

Luc Bélair, Denis P. Benoit, Steve Brush, Don Gillis, Gregory Helpin, Deborah Jones-Whittey, Marc Mainville, Artemie Makris, Chris McQuarrie, Guy A. Morgan, Lise Ranger, Sylvie Sauvé, and Debbie Yuill

The Transportation Security Clearance Program Team is being recognized for enhancing the security oversight of transportation workers with access to restricted areas at Canada’s airports and marine terminals. Working with the RCMP and other security organizations, this dynamic team implemented a revolutionary risk-mitigation tool to continually vet security clearances of transportation workers against the Canadian Police Information Centre database. The team is now notified in real time of changes to any clearance holder’s security risk profile—a significant improvement over the nearly 40,000 manual reassessments previously conducted annually. This forward-thinking team has contributed to a safer transportation system and a more efficient public service.

Nominated by Marie-France Paquet, Director General, Transport Canada

Remote Presence Robot Technology: Nain, Labrador
Health Canada

Picture of Remote Presence Robot Technology: Nain, Labrador

  • Leila Gillis, Health Canada
  • Agatha Hopkins, Health Canada
  • Dr. Michael Jong, Memorial University
  • Debra Keays-White, Health Canada
  • Michelle Kinney, Nunatsiavut Government
  • Dr. Ivar Mendez, University of Saskatchewan
  • Andrea Perry, Health Canada
  • Elissa Tilley, Health Canada

In remote First Nation and Inuit communities, providing timely, basic health care services requires costly flights for patients and their families. The Remote Presence Robot Technology Team came up with an innovative solution to this problem. With corporate and other government funding, the team developed a demonstration project to explore the use of remote presence robotics for primary care. The result was “Rosie,” a robot that successfully gives real-time access to physicians for diagnosis and treatment. Plans are now being considered to expand Rosie’s use to access specialist services. The team’s exceptional work has revolutionized health care service delivery and nursing education in northern and remote communities, in Canada and abroad.

Nominated by William McGillivray, Regional Director, Health Canada

STC/AAFC Field Crops Remote Sensing Team

Picture of the STC/AAFC Field Crops Remote Sensing team

  • James Ashton, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Frédéric Bédard, Statistics Canada
  • Wesley Benjamin, Statistics Canada
  • James Brisbane, Statistics Canada
  • Catherine Champagne, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Aston Chipanshi, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Bahram Daneshfar, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Andrew M. Davidson, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Valéry Dongmo Jiongo, Statistics Canada
  • Harvey Hill, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Chris Mohl, Statistics Canada
  • Nathaniel Kenneth Newlands, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Gordon Reichert, Statistics Canada
  • Richard Warren, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Yinsuo Zhang, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Field Crops Remote Sensing Team has developed an innovative approach to measuring crop production by using satellite, meteorological, and historical survey data. Working together over several years, team members from Statistics Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada used this combined data to create new estimates of national and provincial crop yields. The new approach to creating estimates provides similar quality data to that collected in the annual crop survey, without the burden on farm operators. Canada is one of the first countries to release model-based crop yield estimates as official statistics. The team has showcased the powerful results that can be achieved through collaboration, dedication, and innovative thinking.

Nominated by Jean-Pierre Simard, Director General, Statistics Canada

Living the Blueprint 2020 Vision

Departmental Client Relations Management
Canada School of Public Service

Picture of the Departmental Client Relations team

Francine Allard, Erick Beland, Renée Coady, Lynn Couturier, Daun Diffey, Michelle Graveline, Abir Harb, Denise Lachance, Chantal M. Lalonde, Julie M. Lalonde, Juan Camilo Rendon Ocampo, Valérie Rozen, Louise Varagnolo, and Maurice Viau

The Departmental Client Relations Team put Blueprint 2020 into action in its support for a major cultural shift in the public service’s approach to learning that affects 92 client organizations and nearly 250,000 government employees. The team played a crucial role by taking a participatory approach with organizations, encouraging them to share their opinions, needs, and good practices. They managed to elicit government-wide collaboration through strategic engagement activities on GCconnex that provide a best practice for networking and information sharing. The team has made a tremendous contribution to learning transformation in the public service, which has allowed the public service in turn to excel in delivering services to Canadians.

Nominated by John Prentice, Senior Director, Canada School of Public Service


Picture of the team members of the iHireaboriginal project

  • Kim Blanchet, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Catherine Bolduc, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Audrey De Montigny, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Christopher McDonell, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Christian McIntyre, Public Service Commission of Canada
  • Sarah Moretti, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Josée-Ann Paradis, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Manon Tremblay, Public Service Commission of Canada
  • Carole Verreault, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Inspired by Blueprint 2020, the team members of the “iHireaboriginal” project worked together to develop an interdepartmental marketing and communications approach aimed at increasing the visibility of the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) among Aboriginal students and, ultimately, at helping them enrol in it. The team developed a regional outreach strategy and used social media and promotional videos to show the range of student employment available in the public service. Their efforts were successful; the number of Aboriginal students registered in FSWEP in the Quebec region doubled in one year. The team has made an exceptional contribution to renewing the workforce and to building a representative, inclusive public service.

Nominated by Luc Dumont, Regional Director General, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Regional Federal Council Managers

Picture of the Regional Federal Council managers

  • Miranda Bianco, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
  • Lyne Dubé, Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Kathleen Hunter, Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Liette Lavallée, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Aude Lortie, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
  • Marie Anick Maillé, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

The Regional Federal Council managers are commended for the outstanding success of their transition to a new governance model. Following the reduction of councils from 13 to 6 in 2014, the managers collaborated effectively across Canada to establish new regional business objectives on a reduced budget. They championed smart use of technology and created strong virtual networks for some 150,000 public service employees. They partnered with the Canada School of Public Service on regional talent management and strengthened communications between Ottawa and the regions. Motivated by the Blueprint 2020 vision, these Regional Federal Council managers have created an inspiring new operating model for all public servants.

Nominated by Daphne Meredith, Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification Canada

Regulatory Web Renewal Core Team

Picture of the Regulatory Web Renewal Core team

  • Nathalie Bernier, Health Canada
  • Penny Day, Health Canada
  • Jessica Dugas, Health Canada
  • Gabriel Frost, Health Canada
  • Steven Leconte, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Scott McNaughton, Health Canada
  • Louis Michaud, Health Canada
  • Mary E. Moreland, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Mark Schindel, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Trajan Schulzke, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Manmeet Singh, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Laura Stewart, Health Canada
  • Marc Viau, Health Canada

The Regulatory Web Renewal Core Team is being recognized for its collaborative and user-centered approach to developing web designs that simplify the presentation of complex regulatory information on This interdepartmental, multidisciplinary team brought together public servants from 16 departments and representatives of various private industry sectors to create a common solution. The resulting design exceptionally meets the needs of public servants and stakeholders alike, and gives Canadians access to information that is easier to find, to understand, and to scan. This team’s smart use of technology, service excellence, and new way of working together in the public service make it a shining example of living the Blueprint 2020 vision.

Nominated by Brenda Czich, Executive Director, Health Canada

Excellence in Citizen-Focused Service Delivery

Picture of Calvin Pepabano

Calvin Pepabano
Service Canada

Thanks to Calvin Pepabano’s commitment to excellence, citizens in remote Cree communities in northern Quebec are now better-served by the Government of Canada. As a client service officer at the Chisasibi Service Canada Centre, Mr. Pepabano put in place a dedicated phone line that enables nine Cree communities to quickly access Service Canada programs in English or in Cree. His collaborative working relationship and strengthened partnership with Cree officials also led to the recent opening of new in-person service locations in these communities. Mr. Pepabano has demonstrated that excellence in improving client services not only affects individuals, but can also benefit an entire people and culture.

Nominated by Lianne Morin, Service Manager, Service Canada

Collections Web/Video Presence Team
Canada Revenue Agency

Picture of the Collections Web/Video Presence team

Brigitte Beauregard, Robert Bowman, Sylvie Bissonnette, Kirsten Burton, Dalérie Courchaine, Nancy Fowler, Bronwyn Funiciello, Cathy Gibson, Patricia Hollohan, Neil Huffman, and Monica Smith

The Public Service of Canada applauds this team for its citizen-centred approach to promoting and encouraging compliance with Canada’s tax laws. Believing that every taxpayer has the right to clear, accurate, and timely information, the team recognized that there was an information gap for clients who could not or would not pay their taxes owing. To address this, the team created a dedicated web page and video, which provide essential information on payment options and payment arrangements for those who cannot pay in full, and consequences of non-payment. The team’s innovative approach to tax collection is truly a model of service excellence.

Nominated by Jim Sorofty, Director, Canada Revenue Agency

Inspire Democracy: Knowledge for Civic Action
Elections Canada

Picture of the team for Knowledge for Civic Action
Elections Canada

Natalie Babin Dufresne, Alexandre Bellemare, Rebecca Bothwell, Barbara Buchholcz, Neil Burron, Lucy Cole, Daniel Fischer, Shari Kulik, Anne-Marie Lalonde, Miriam Lapp, Ph.D., Mario Lavoie, David Le Blanc, and Brunella Vallelunga

This team designed and led a new initiative aimed at building and engaging a community of youth-serving organizations across Canada to help address declining electoral participation among young Canadians. Over the course of 2014, the team hosted a number of digital and in-person workshops to share Elections Canada’s research and inspire the 133 participating groups to encourage young people to vote in the lead-up to the 2015 general election. The workshops and rich exchange of ideas led to better understanding of the factors affecting youth electoral participation, as well as to new forms of collaboration among participants. The team’s innovative approaches served to strengthen electoral outreach and engagement efforts.

Nominated by Susan Torosian, Senior Director, Elections Canada

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Pre-Inquiry Team

Picture of the Pre-Inquiry team for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

  • Salena Brickey, Status of Women Canada
  • Margaret Buist, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Lisa Hitch, Department of Justice Canada
  • Corrado Puddu, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Allyson Rowe, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

This team is commended for the design and implementation of an unparalleled Canada-wide consultation process to seek input from family members and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls on the structure and scope of a national inquiry. Beyond managing the logistics, the team created a respectful, safe, and caring environment that enabled people to tell their harrowing and frequently horrific stories, often for the first time. The team’s sensitive and responsive approach represents Canada’s public service at its very best and offers a concrete example of what it means to put Canadians first in service delivery.

Nominated by Paula Isaak, Assistant Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Employment Equity and Diversity

Positive Space

Picture of the employment Equity and Diversity team

  • Karma Burkhar, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Marcella Daye, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Jennifer Dietz, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Veronique Gakwandi, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Ronnie Gill, Correctional Service Canada
  • Fiona Keith, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Christine Kerr, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Ümit Kiziltan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Roger Lamoureux, Shared Services Canada
  • Andrea Markowski, Correctional Service Canada
  • Jennifer Murakami, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Rachel Parker, Correctional Service Canada
  • Martine Senior, Canada Border Services Agency
  • Sundeep Singh Cheema, Correctional Service Canada
  • Gillian Wan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

The Public Service of Canada recognizes two interdepartmental teams for the trail-blazing programs they developed to support the Positive Space initiative, and commends the individuals of these teams for their leadership and commitment. Positive Space aims to create safer, more tolerant, and open-minded work environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning employees. The teams’ accomplishments include hosting the first Positive Space Lunch and Learn session, with over 130 participants from 14 federal organizations across Canada, and delivering high-impact Champion training and materials to some 400 public servants. Through their actions, these Positive Space teams are improving the work environment and advancing human rights awareness across the public service.

Nominated by Steve Khan, Program Officer, Canadian Heritage, and Peter Linkletter, Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

Official Languages

French Support Working Group
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Picture of the French Support Working Group

Christian Barrette, Denis Bélanger, Anne-Julie Boivin, Lisa Carosi, Laurent de Camprieu,  Valérie Dubé, Geneviève Fortier, Marie Letellier de St-Just, Jacinthe Moreau, Alain B. Paquin,  André Pilon, Ph.D., Assia Semra, and Salim R. Taleb

The French Support Working Group at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is being recognized for the innovative way it fosters the use of both official languages in the workplace. When called upon, these specialists volunteer their services to validate the French translations of highly technical texts. The group has also taken the initiative to design a wiki page that enriches employees’ professional use of French and has developed a terminological database specific to the field of patents. Some of these terms have been added to Termium Plus. The group’s exceptional support for the Official Languages Program benefits public service employees and Canadians alike.

Nominated by David Boudreau, Director, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Excellence in Policy

Yohanna Loucheur
Global Affairs Canada

Picture of Yohanna Loucheur

Yohanna Loucheur is being commended for her exceptional contribution to strengthening the transparency of Canadian aid. Ms. Loucheur’s policy expertise and analysis informed Canada’s landmark decision to sign on to the International Aid Transparency Initiative in 2011. Since then, she has led efforts in the department to publish more and better information about Canada’s development assistance programs, which has strengthened the accountability, legitimacy, and ultimate impact of these programs. Ms. Loucheur’s work on open government and aid effectiveness has contributed to a culture change in Canada and around the world. Canada is now a recognized leader in aid transparency, ranking among the top five bilateral donors.

Nominated by Alison Van Rooy, Deputy Director, Global Affairs Canada

Let’s Talk TV Policy Review: A conversation with Canadians
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Picture of Sheehan Carter, Peter Foster, Rachelle Frenette, Donna Gill, Shannon Hines, Scott Hutton, Tania Lafleur, and Eric Rancourt

Sheehan Carter, Peter Foster, Rachelle Frenette, Donna Gill, Shannon Hines, Scott Hutton, Tania Lafleur, and Eric Rancourt

The Public Service of Canada applauds this stellar team for leading a comprehensive and complex policy review of the Canadian broadcasting system. The team’s multi-phase public engagement strategy was exceptional in its outreach. More than 13,000 citizens and industry stakeholders across Canada were consulted through a variety of methods, including social media, online town halls, and innovative “flash” conferences. The team led the analysis of the complex issues raised and developed effective policy proposals to meet the challenges of rapid technological change. Thanks to the team’s leadership and dedication, Canadians are ensured access to a broadcasting system that enriches and reflects our lives as citizens, creators, and consumers.

Nominated by Scott Hutton, Executive Director, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

North American Energy Ministers Clean Energy and Climate Change Agreement

Picture of North American Energy Ministers

  • Christine Angelo, Natural Resources Canada
  • Abha Bhargava, Ph.D., National Energy Board
  • Colleen Brady, Natural Resources Canada
  • Line Dumais, Natural Resources Canada
  • Kelly Kutchaw-Polak, Natural Resources Canada
  • Viktoryia Leipi, Natural Resources Canada
  • Rachel McCormick, Canadian Embassy in Washington, United States of America
  • Melanie McKay, Natural Resources Canada
  • Nathan Platte, Natural Resources Canada
  • Simon Préfontaine, Natural Resources Canada
  • Michael Scrim, Statistics Canada
  • Magalie Veillette Ménard, Natural Resources Canada
  • Cameron Walter, Natural Resources Canada
  • Jeff Wilson, Natural Resources Canada
  • James Zeni, Natural Resources Canada

The trilateral agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States on clean energy and climate change was signed at a summit in Winnipeg, in February 2016. The agreement laid the foundation for future North American action on clean energy in six priority areas. This team negotiated the text, coordinated complex logistical arrangements, and integrated multiple perspectives to achieve ground-breaking outcomes. Over eight months of intensive work went into developing the agreement, during which the team also conducted analysis and built new information tools, including the first-ever map of the continent’s energy infrastructure. The agreement represents a major policy success for North America.

Nominated by Jean-Michel Catta, Assistant Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada

Restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Picture of the team for Restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

  • Marie-Claude Auger Bouchard, Natural Resources Canada
  • Marissa Bender, Natural Resources Canada
  • Seth Cain, Natural Resources Canada
  • Mary Ellen Cavett, Department of Justice Canada
  • Josée Chalifoux, Natural Resources Canada
  • Cécile Cléroux, Natural Resources Canada
  • Karen Huynh, Natural Resources Canada
  • Sharonne Katz, Natural Resources Canada
  • Paul Kearns, Natural Resources Canada
  • Jean-Frédéric Lafaille, Natural Resources Canada
  • David Moroz, Natural Resources Canada
  • Maude-Émilie Pagé, Natural Resources Canada
  • Shannon Quinn, Natural Resources Canada
  • Graeme Williamson, Natural Resources Canada

This dedicated team is being recognized for leading the complex restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, which was successfully completed in September 2015. The project posed unprecedented operational and policy challenges. The team designed the policy framework and developed a wide range of new policies covering governance, finance, human resources, science and technology, intellectual property, environmental remediation, and procurement. They provided consistent analysis and clear advice, and worked together to consult internal and external stakeholders, mitigate risks, and steadfastly put decisions into operation. The team’s accomplishment reflects sound public policy and the very best of the public service.

Nominated by JD Neil Bouwer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada


David Marson
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Picture of David Marson

David Marson is commended for his dedication to excellence in the fight to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp. Mr. Marson, an aquatic science biologist, leads the early detection and rapid response field program, which involves scouring the Great Lakes for early signs of carp and conducting intense emergency response efforts, no matter the weather. Mr. Marson is highly committed to his work and is able to inspire and motivate a crew of technicians, students, and casual staff to join him in what is often gruelling work. He is respected for his leadership and operational skills, and esteemed as a valuable young public servant.

Nominated by Gavin Christie, Division Manager, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Nootka Inshore Rescue Boat 507 Crew
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Picture of the Nootka Inshore Rescue Boat 507 Crew

Juan Burak Yepez, Adele Horbulyk, and Phil Mercier-Provencher

The young crew of the Canadian Coast Guard Nootka Inshore Rescue Boat 507 is being recognized for their meritorious conduct during a maritime rescue. On the evening of September 5, 2015, the crew responded to a search call and ventured some fifty kilometres into the north Pacific in weather conditions beyond those intended for their small craft. They rescued a survivor from the capsized fishing vessel Caledonian, and then joined the long, unsuccessful search for others, which lasted into the next day. The crew’s persistence in the face of extraordinary challenges and personal risk is remarkable. Their courageous efforts distinguish themselves, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Public Service of Canada.

Nominated by Tyler Brand, Coordinator, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Exemplary Contribution Under Extraordinary Circumstances

Litigation Team, First Nations Child Welfare Case
Canadian Human Rights Commission

Picture of the Litigation Team, First Nations Child Welfare Case

Philippe Dufresne, Mélanie Matte, Samar Musallam, Sarah Pentney, and Daniel Poulin

Canadians recognize this stellar litigation team for successfully representing the public interest in the First Nations Child Welfare complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. In a case that lasted over nine years, the team grappled with complex legal issues around the discriminatory underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. They demonstrated uncommon levels of creativity and resilience in assessing volumes of documentary evidence and making sound arguments under trying circumstances. The team’s brilliance, grit, and dedication significantly contributed to a historic Tribunal decision in January 2016 that will advance social justice in Canada and forever change the relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples.

Nominated by Sherri Helgason, Director, Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Joan Atkinson Award

Mary Ann Triggs
Employment and Social Development Canada

Picture of Mary Ann Triggs

The hallmark of Mary Ann Triggs throughout her career of more than 41 years has been service excellence. Her encouragement of service innovation and policy and program collaboration has contributed to the success of many regional and national initiatives. As Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ontario Region, Ms. Triggs has demonstrated exemplary leadership in labour market and social development programs that respond to the needs of Canadians. Her legacy of accomplishments is truly inspiring. Along the way, she has enriched the careers of many individuals whom she has motivated and mentored, and has provided constructive and frank advice to colleagues while fostering a compassionate, respectful workplace.

Nominated by Johanne Belisle, Chief Executive Officer, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Scientific Contribution

Shen-En Qian, Ph.D.
Canadian Space Agency

Picture of Shen-En Qian, Ph.D.

An eminent scientist in spacecraft optical payloads and satellite signal processing, Dr. Shen-En Qian has 9 inventions to his name, which have led to 26 patents worldwide. These technology solutions have helped overcome the challenges encountered in developing Canadian optical space missions and have contributed to lowering the cost of space missions. Dr. Qian has been widely published, and his more than 100 publications are internationally recognized. Together with NASA experts and the European space sector, he has developed 3 international standards for spacecraft data systems. These standards have benefited over 50 space missions to date.

Nominated by Michael Maszkiewicz, Manager, Canadian Space Agency

Genomics R&D Initiative Shared Priority Projects

Picture of the Genomics R&D Initiative Shared Priority Projects team

  • Cathryn L. Abbott, Ph.D., Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Sabah Bidawid, Ph.D., Health Canada
  • Guillaume Bilodeau, Ph.D., Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Patrice Bouchard, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Nathalie Corneau, Health Canada
  • Robert Foottit, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Morag Graham, Ph.D., Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Siegfried Janz, Ph.D., National Research Council Canada
  • André Lévesque, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • James Macklin, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Franco Pagotto, Ph.D., Health Canada
  • Michael Rott, Ph.D., Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Edward Topp, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Gary Van Domselaar, Ph.D., Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Teodor Veres, Ph.D., National Research Council Canada

The Food and Water Safety Team and the Quarantine and Invasive Species Team are commended for their outstanding scientific contribution and for leading the first-ever large-scale interdepartmental projects under the Genomics R&D Initiative. The teams performed beyond expectations. They created a federally led system for analyzing genomic data; developed new technologies for detecting food- and water-borne pathogens, reducing detection time from days to hours; and advanced faster, more accurate ways to identify and trace the origins of invasive and quarantine species. The success of these priority projects validates the collaborative model of research in government and demonstrates that stronger results can be achieved for Canadians by sharing knowledge and resources.

Nominated by Anne-Christine Bonfils, Research Program Manager, National Research Council Canada

Large-Scale Special Event or Project

Operation Syrian Refugees

Picture of the Operation Syrian Refugees team

  • Mieke Bos, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Élaine Chatigny, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Devin Conley, National Defence
  • C. Mark Cosenzo, Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • Alain Desruisseaux, Privy Council Office
  • Dawn Edlund, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Eric Gordon, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Mark Gwozdecky, Global Affairs Canada
  • Brenda Hensler-Hobbs, Transport Canada
  • Shawn Hoag, Canada Border Services Agency
  • S. Craig Oldham, Public Safety Canada
  • Denis Racine, Canadian Heritage
  • Surinderpal Singh Komal, Shared Services Canada
  • Mary Ann Triggs, Service Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Sandra M. Young, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Led by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, this group of outstanding role models spearheaded efforts to safely bring 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canada under very tight timelines. The project was a massive undertaking that rallied together hundreds of public servants across government. It required the establishment of interim screening and medical centres overseas, reception centres, and charter flights to Canada. Considerable diplomacy was necessary, as well as liaison with international partners and all levels of government, service organizations, and community groups in Canada. The success of the humanitarian effort, which has made a difference to tens of thousands of vulnerable people, is a tribute to this team, to the public service, and to Canada.

Nominated by Stefanie Beck, Assistant Deputy Minister, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

2016 Selection Committee


  • Marie Lemay
    Deputy Minister and Deputy Receiver General for Canada
    Public Services and Procurement Canada


  • Stephen Van Dine
    Assistant Deputy Minister
    (Northern Affairs)
    Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Jay Khosla
    Assistant Deputy Minister
    (Energy Sector)
    Natural Resources Canada
  • Elizabeth Tromp 
    Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer
    (Corporate Services)
    Canada School of Public Service
  • Frances McRae
    Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet
    (Public Service Renewal Secretariat)
    Privy Council of Canada
  • Irma Farinaccio
    (Corporate HR Staffing, Employment Equity, Official Languages, Awards and Recognition)
    Global Affairs Canada
  • Shirley Friesen
    Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
  • Vicki Fleury
    National Capital Region
    Youth Professional Network


  • Mary Anne Stevens
    Senior Director, Workplace Policies, Programs, Engagement and Ethics
    Governance, Planning and Policy Sector
    Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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