The Public Service Award of Excellence 2017

Learn about the achievements of the 2017 recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence.

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Message from the Prime Minister

Picture of Justin Trudeau

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada

I would like to congratulate the 131 recipients of the 2017 Public Service Award of Excellence for their exceptional service to Canadians.

Canada's public servants work hard every day to improve the lives of Canadians, tackle the challenges we face as a country, and help the Government deliver on its agenda and priorities.

This year, with the help of public servants, we have taken further steps to strengthen the middle class, make government more open and transparent, and map the way forward to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. We have made significant investments to improve, modernize, and expand public transit, and to create high-quality early learning and child care services across the country. Through measures like the Feminist International Assistance Policy, we have taken a leadership role on the world stage, to make a positive difference for the most vulnerable.

The Public Service Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding federal Public Service employees who have demonstrated excellence, professionalism, and innovation in their work on behalf of Canada and Canadians. This year's recipients made extraordinary contributions at home and around the world: from improving Canadians' access to data, to helping refugees resettle in Canada, to recruiting our next generation of astronauts.

This year, as we mark the 150th anniversaries of Confederation and our federal Public Service, I reflect on the hope, energy, and ambition that helped build our great country. This year's recipients exemplify those values, and I am delighted to honour them on behalf of all Canadians. Together, we will continue to ensure that Canada's best days lie ahead.

Message from the Clerk

Picture of Michael Wernick

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

As Clerk of the Privy Council and Head of the Public Service, I take great pride in Canada's exceptional public service.

Today, I congratulate the recipients of this year's Public Service Award of Excellence, who are being recognized for their outstanding professionalism and service to Canadians. Whether by creating Indigenous youth employment opportunities, recruiting Canada's next astronauts, or supporting fact-based decision making with sound data and subject matter expertise, these award recipients are a credit to Canada, and the public service.

Our public service is one with a proud history, built over generations, and adaptive of the needs of government and the people we serve. As Canada's 150th anniversary comes to an end, I reflect on the remarkable accomplishments of public servants over the last century and a half, and look forward to all we will achieve in the future.  

I am pleased to recognize the excellence of the 2017 award recipients and commend them for their dedication to their respective fields, and their contributions to a culture of innovation, collaboration, leadership and service.

The Public Service Award of Excellence

The Public Service Award of Excellence recognizes employees who have demonstrated excellence in achieving results for Canadians and who reflect the priorities of the public service, while demonstrating key leadership competencies. The award is open to individuals and teams at all levels.

This year, there are 131 recipients of the 2017 Public Service Award of Excellence in five categories.

Outstanding Career

Stuart L. Beaton LCol (Retd)
National Defence

LCol (Retd) Stuart Beaton's 66-year career has been in service to Canada and to the Canadian Armed Forces. He started as an instructor with Air Cadets in 1950 and was commissioned into the RCAF Education Branch in 1954. From 1982 to 1986, he was the CO of the Oshawa Squadron and of Borden Cadet training from 1994 to 1996. He was instrumental in the Base Borden Military Museum's transition to its new facility in 2007. He was elected to director of the Organization of Military Museums of Canada and simultaneously Vice-President. He was its President from 2013 until his retirement in 2015.

Nominated by Michel Litalien, Manager, Canadian Armed Forces Museums Network

William D. Blight
Public Services and Procurement Canada

William (Bill) Blight is being recognized for an exceptional public service career that has, literally, brought Canadians closer together. As the lead engineer for the Confederation Bridge and, more recently, as a negotiator on the Maritime Link Project, Bill's contributions to Canada's infrastructure will endure for generations to come. So will his leadership and sense of duty, which have shaped the careers of many young public servants through Bill's generous mentorship. With his faithful seeing-eye guide dog Craig by his side, Bill passionately advocates for equality in the workplace and is an inspiration for perseverance in the face of adversity.

Nominated by Kelly Walker, Regional Director, Professional and Technical Services, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Melvyn Cameron Brown
National Defence

Melvyn Brown is being recognized for his outstanding achievements and unwavering commitment to Canada over his 61-year career. He began his service in 1956 when he enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces, serving with distinction for over 36 years before joining the public service in 1992. One of the many highlights of his military career was as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. He has used his invaluable knowledge to mentor generations of public service employees and military staff. Mr. Brown has shown an unparalleled devotion to his country and is highly commended for his exceptional contribution to the public service of Canada.

Nominated by MGen Nicolas Eldaoud, Chief of Staff Strategic, Military Personnel Command (MPC) Canadian Armed Forces

Serge Dupont
Privy Council Office

Serge Dupont has shaped and influenced the public service in many ways and over many years, from being a policy analyst in 1983 until his retirement in 2017 as Deputy Clerk, Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Serge has supported and mentored many, including senior leaders across the public service. What sets him apart are his values, his integrity, and his support of inclusion and diversity. He displays the utmost respect, compassion and caring, and exemplifies the leadership qualities that we have come to expect in the very best of our public servants.

Nominated by Kami Ramcharan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, Privy Council Office

Daniel Harvey
Canada Border Services Agency

Daniel Harvey has worked for the Government of Canada for 37 years. He began his career at 18 with the former Environment Canada, and has been with the Canada Border Services Agency for over 20 years, serving in many different positions in which his passion for the marine mode of border enforcement has been reflected. He has worked as part of the confined space entry team and the vessel rummage team, and at the container examination facility. Dan volunteers his time locally in Montréal and internationally. Dan's nature is truly altruistic, and he is recognized as a natural mentor and leader.

Nominated by Rachael Mosley, Border Services Instructor, Canada Border Services Agency

Donna F. Mitchell
National Defence

For 45 years, Donna Mitchell has epitomized the spirit of loyalty and dedication in serving Canada and National Defence. As Administrative Assistant for four Canadian Armed Forces Chief Dental Officers, she ensured that daily operations proceeded smoothly and that any obstacle was overcome. She was instrumental in organizing the 2007 FDI Annual World Dental Congress, and she voluntarily assumed the role of Chief Clerk and acted as the incoming Chief Clerk's mentor. Ms. Mitchell's activities to recognize the team's achievements were instrumental in maintaining a healthy workplace. Her initiative, perseverance and organizational skills have made her a true role model.

Nominated by Colonel Dwayne Lemon, Chief Dental Officer, National Defence

Larry Smith
Global Affairs Canada

Larry Smith joined the Department of External Affairs in 1957, when John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister, and over the course of his career served as Head of Mission on four continents. He also served from 1981 to 1983 as personal advisor to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on North-South issues. After "retiring" in 1993, Larry promptly returned to the department in the following year to join the Access to Information team, where he has continued to work ever since.

Nominated by Patrick Picard, Director, Global Affairs Canada

The Joan Atkinson Award

Theresa Friday
Canadian Grain Commission

Theresa (Teri) Friday is a grain inspector at the Canadian Grain Commission. As one of the first women inspectors in the organization, she has continually strived to break down barriers for designated group members and to make the workplace better for all employees. Teri has served on the Commission's Employment Equity Committee for over 20 years, and she was instrumental in developing and implementing the Commission's Informal Conflict Management System. As a senior union leader, Teri has helped establish more positive union-management relationships in the organization. Teri provides training in support of respectful workplaces and now mentors young women grain inspectors.

Nominated by Michael Parker, Senior Human Resources Advisor, Canadian Grain Commission

Todd Lyons
Natural Resources Canada

A social worker turned Natural Resources Canada free agent, Todd Lyons' deep respect for people and his desire to foster respectful and inclusive workplaces have been a constant. The longest-serving volunteer administrator on GCpedia, he has helped countless contributors launch their projects on GCTools. In 2010, he initiated the Gnomie Awards to promote virtual collaboration and sharing, and in 2015, he created Toddcast. Mental health has been a recurring theme on his podcast, with other subjects including gender violence, harassment, disabilities, discrimination, diversity, grief and conflict resolution. His work is published under Creative Commons licensing to guarantee free and permanent accessibility.

Nominated by Darlene Marion, Senior Program Officer, Canada Border Services Agency

2017 Innovation Fair Privy Council Office

  • Charles Brisebois, Global Affairs Canada
  • Assia Chaala, Canada Economic Development For Quebec Regions
  • Ian Cooper, Federal Economic Development Agency For Southern Ontario
  • Lyne Dubé, M.A., Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Elizabeth Dussault, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Francine Guérette, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Kareen Hashmi, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Uyen Hoang, Privy Council Office
  • Amy Hunt, Health Canada
  • Kathleen Hunter, Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Yvon Lamoureux, Public Services and Procurement Canada
  • Marie Anick Maillé, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
  • Claire Niedbala, Public Services and Procurement Canada
  • T. Ryan Sigouin, Privy Council Office
  • Charlie Tsao, Privy Council Office

The Innovation Fair core team is being recognized for developing and implementing an initiative to inspire positive culture change in the public service. The event brought together over 6,500 public servants in regions across Canada to exchange innovative approaches for improving our workplaces and how we serve the government and Canadians. This dynamic and entrepreneurial team structured the fair around the value of diversity and challenged themselves to reach new communities who would typically face barriers to inclusion. As a result, the event was more extensive and connected than ever before and was a true reflection of public service values.

Nominated by David Creasey, Director, Privy Council Office

Census Of Population Team
Statistics Canada

  • John Beler
  • Peter Bissett
  • Elaine Castonguay
  • Nicole Falardeau
  • Louise Gosselin
  • Nancy Guarino
  • Vincent Hartung
  • Bonnie Holte
  • Normand Laniel
  • Larry Macnabb
  • Marc Melanson
  • Dr. Margaret Michalowski
  • Mark Turner
  • Danny Wall
  • Kwong Wong

The Census of Population is one of the largest undertakings of the Government of Canada, with more than 35,000 employees involved at the peak of operations. The 2016 cycle surpassed all expectations: the overall response rate was an overwhelming 98.4%, and the response to the long-form census was an all-time best at 97.8%. International records were reached for the Census's Internet response and self-response, confirming Canada's place as a world leader in census-taking. The exemplary work of the Census of Population management team, and of the thousands of people they led, made the 2016 Census the most successful in Canadian history!

Nominated by Marc Hamel, Director General, Statistics Canada

Exemplary Contribution Under Extraordinary Circumstances

Dams and Water Management and Transportation Engineering Team
Public Services and Procurement Canada

  • Peter Arts, P.Eng
  • Paul Charron
  • Stephane Houle
  • John Ikonomopoulos, P.Eng
  • Michel Lafleur
  • Paul Lebrun, P.Eng
  • Dieudonné Nault
  • Robert W. Porter, ing., P.Eng
  • Eric Potvin, ing.
  • Robert Pratt, P.Eng
  • Alain Prévost
  • Sascha Schreiber, P.Eng
  • Philippe Scott

The Dams and Water Management and Transportation Engineering Team is being recognized for its effort to keep Canadians, regional infrastructure, and departmental bridges and dams safe. Following severe flooding along the Ottawa River in spring 2017, the team diligently assessed conditions seven days a week and coordinated with provincial and private sector agencies to manage water levels. The team inspected and monitored the interprovincial bridges under the responsibility of PSPC to ensure the public's safety and prepared contingency plans. Throughout several non-stop weeks, team members exhibited the highest level of competence, professionalism, collaboration and a selfless commitment to duty during this natural disaster.

Nominated by Judith Bennett, Senior Director, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Disability Award Increase Automation
Veterans Affairs Canada

  • Robert Arsenault
  • Chantal Boisclair-Dalton
  • Jovette Bouchard-Doucet
  • David Butler
  • Christopher Clissold
  • Dean Gaudet
  • Anthony Wayne Howarth
  • Chris Macdougall
  • Grant Mccarron
  • Lynne Mccloskey
  • Corinna Mcgregor
  • Charmaine Mcguigan
  • Lisa Stewart
  • Sandra Williamson

Over 68,000 veterans were impacted by the Budget 2016 initiative of the Retroactive Lump-Sum Payment (some dating back to 2006). This team was put in place to ensure payments could be processed on April 1, 2017. The initial estimate was targeted at over 110 full-time employees working 18 to 24 months. An automated approach was selected to more efficiently process payments, which included full automation of the process, from calculation of benefits to issuing payments, involving over $432 million in retroactive payments in the first week. The initiative put veterans first and resulted in significant process efficiencies and better services to Veterans and Survivors.

Nominated by Mitch Freeman, Director General, Information Technology, Information Management, Administration and Privacy, Veterans Affairs Canada

Service Canada Fort McMurray Wildfire Response Team Employment and Social Development Canada

  • Greg Anstruther
  • Greg Bamford
  • Paul Burrell
  • Robert Coe
  • Gerard Crocker
  • Jan Fix
  • Lisa Gibbins
  • Bond Hardie, Shared Services Canada
  • Michele Morandini
  • Nadine Neis
  • Miguel Therrien
  • Danial Thompson
  • Greg Trela
  • Lorna J. Wallace
  • Steve Windlinger

Minutes into the Fort McMurray disaster, ESDC's W-T Region mobilized. Resources were brought in to help 80,000 evacuees, and a response committee was struck on Day 1. The team delivered information services and tools to all communities, including Indigenous communities; organized EI teams and produced thousands of cards to expedite claims; and procured RVs for outreach services. Specialists helped at evacuation centres, providing for survival needs and accessing government services. Despite fearing for their own losses, some employees reported to other offices to selflessly assist others. ESDC employees went above and beyond, helping Canadians during horrendous personal tragedy and in an extremely challenging physical and emotional environment.

Nominated by Pat Chaba, Director General, Citizen Services Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada

Exceptional Young Public Servants

Carmen Chan
Canada Revenue Agency

Carmen Chan, a future leader and innovative millennial with the Canada Revenue Agency, is being recognized for her exceptional and inspirational leadership. Her ability to mentor and support her colleagues makes her a great collaborator, her ability to solve problems and find solutions during difficult situations makes her a remarkable motivator, and her ability to bring out the best and showcase the diverse talents of those around her makes her a special leader. Ms. Chan is a trendsetter who embraces changes in technology while thinking ahead of the curve. Her pride as a public servant is evident in everything she does.

Nominated by Darryl Seunath, Appeals Officer, Canada Revenue Agency

Mason Magill
Employment and Social Development Canada

Mason Magill is nominated in recognition of his excellent work as a procurement officer, his work as a champion of Youth Mandate for Greater Involvement (YMAGIN) and other leadership efforts that improve branch spirit, support departmental priorities (GCWCC) and team building. His work is exemplary; he has rapidly become one of the most trusted members of the team notwithstanding his youth and relative lack of experience. He handles complex files, offers excellent customer service, seeks improvement and innovates in the work he conducts every day. His work ethic and high performance demonstrate a level of accomplishment to which others can aspire.

Nominated by Lorne Sundby, Director General, Employment and Social Development Canada

Hilary Paulin
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Hilary Paulin is being recognized for her dedication, exception skill set and innovation capacity. A brilliant and passionate public servant, Ms. Paulin works on the development of greenhouse gas emissions projections for Canada and provides analysis in support of climate change policy. She is innovative and has put in place new processes that increase the effectiveness of her division. She does not hesitate to step in and take on new challenges. Hilary Paulin's dedication is evident, and she inspires others to excel in their work through her courteous and positive attitude, eagerness to learn, and commitment to high-quality analysis.

Nominated by Judith Hamel, Director, Analysis and Modeling Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Excellence In Profession

Oscar Chen-See
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Oscar Chen-See is recognized for excellence in his profession due to his outstanding actions as a human resources professional and people manager. Mr. Chen-See was instrumental in leading a team at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer to originate a series of consequential recruitment initiatives that address the Clerk's priorities of diversity and public service renewal. Highly respected by employees, colleagues and superiors, he inspired others, collaborating with departments to innovate new ways of enhancing opportunities for Indigenous youth and post-secondary students with disabilities, and improving the workplace experiences of new public servants.

Nominated by Robert Makichuk, Director of Strategic People Management, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Andrea Hudson
Global Affairs Canada

Andrea Hudson is recognized for her pivotal role in administering official travel abroad of the Governor General, the Prime Minister and Global Affairs Canada ministers, as well as for major incoming visits. She possesses deep knowledge of the intricacies of international protocol, the skillfulness to draw lessons quickly from more than 1,000 visits, and the acumen to mobilize key partners from 15 agencies across three levels of government. Her outstanding judgment and problem-solving abilities combine with unwavering ethics and acute focus on her team's wellness in an exceptionally rapid-paced environment. Andrea is a natural leader who is admired by her clients, colleagues and stakeholders alike.

Nominated by Geoffrey Dean, Ex-Deputy Chief of Protocol of Canada and Director, Official Visits, Global Affairs Canada

Mark Ingalls
Canada Border Services Agency

Mark Ingalls has over 18 years of dedicated service at the CBSA, as Border Services Officer Detector Dog Handler (DDH), Detector Dog Program assessor, and Advanced Contraband Enforcement trainer. Mark has demonstrated an extraordinary ability in the support and delivery of the CBSA's mandate. He is highly skilled in his profession as a DDH, having been successful in multiple contraband interdictions. Mark maintains strong ethics in his day-to-day work and inspires and motivates others through his own personal examples of professionalism. Mark has demonstrated innovation in co-producing a local training product called Advanced Contraband Concealment, which has been nationally adopted for core training for land border officers.

Nominated by Matthew Jollymore, Acting Chief, Canada Border Services Agency

Matt Jones
Environment and Climate Change Canada

The public service of Canada recognizes Matt Jones for his leadership, professionalism and exemplary people management skills over the course of developing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Canada's first federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) domestic plan of action on climate change. Matt's ability to build and maintain respectful relationships, his focus on finding solutions, his sense of humour, and his genuine interest in the well-being of his team were key to overcoming the many challenges presented by this complex and rapidly evolving project. The result was a successful FPT agreement to advance one of the government's top priorities.

Nominated by Janina Chandler, Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Manisha Mehrotra
Health Canada

Manisha Mehrotra has been nominated for her inspirational, collaborative and effective contributions over the past 15 years. Manisha's achievements are of immense public health significance domestically and internationally. She has excelled in collaborating to find effective tools to address serious public health issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, leveraging her solid scientific background. Dr. Mehrotra's approach has always been centred on sustained engagement of stakeholders. She inspires and motivates everyone through her professional and ethical demeanour, her respectful and open-door approach, as well as her focus on being truly innovative in addressing highly important and challenging public health issues that have broad scope and impact.

Nominated by Mary Jane Ireland, Director General, Veterinary Drugs Directorate, Health Canada

Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Team (2016–17)
Canadian Space Agency

  • Olivier Brisson, Canadian Space Agency
  • Claudine Chartrand, Canadian Space Agency
  • Joseph Jean-Marc Comtois, Canadian Space Agency
  • Patrick Gagnon, National Defence
  • Natalie Hirsch, Canadian Space Agency
  • Luminita Ilinca Ignat, Canadian Space Agency
  • Joy Klammer, National Defence
  • Lidia Marrello-Curcio, Public Service Commission Of Canada
  • Karyne Poissant, Canadian Space Agency
  • Karl Saad, Canadian Space Agency
  • Carole Sicotte, Canadian Space Agency
  • Julie Simard, Canadian Space Agency
  • Edward Tabarah, Canadian Space Agency
  • Leena M. Tomi, Canadian Space Agency
  • Liza Zourikian, Canadian Space Agency

Members of the Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Team are being recognized for their essential contribution to the success of the Canadian Space Agency's recruitment campaign for 2016–17. All team members brought great professionalism, team spirit, creativity and commitment to excellence. The team planned and implemented each recruitment step with competence and rigour, solving each problem with objectivity and equity, and treating all candidates with honesty and respect. The result is the selection of two high-calibre astronauts who will honour Canada internationally and be a source of inspiration for all Canadians.

Nominated by Hugues Gilbert, Director, Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Campaign, Canadian Space Agency

Federal Geospatial Platform
Natural Resources Canada

  • James Ashton, Natural Resources Canada
  • Yannick Blain, Natural Resources Canada
  • Yvon Boucher, Natural Resources Canada
  • Stacey-Anne Cloutier, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Brock Fraser, Parks Canada
  • Claude Guay, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Alannah Hilt, Treasury Board Of Canada Secretariat
  • Aaron Ludmer, Transport Canada
  • Arthur Matson, Natural Resources Canada
  • Andrew Moore, Natural Resources Canada
  • Pascale Roussel, Natural Resources Canada
  • Mark Shaw, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Joost Van Ulden, Natural Resources Canada
  • Mike Weech, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Aining Zhang, Natural Resources Canada

The Federal Geospatial Platform (FGP) Team is being recognized for outstanding collaboration and professionalism in bringing together the expertise, geospatial data and leading-edge technology of 11 departments and agencies to support decision-making, foster innovation and provide better service to Canadians. The team engaged thousands of public servants and Canadians through hundreds of presentations and demonstrations to ensure that the FGP would be successful. The FGP Team has helped move the public service toward an open, networked and tech-enabled organization that manages its information assets more effectively.

Nominated by David Harper, Executive Director, Natural Resources Canada

ForestInfo Science Team
Natural Resources Canada

  • Douglas Pitt, Natural Resources Canada
  • Leonard Ritter, University Of Guelph
  • Dean G. Thompson, Natural Resources Canada

The Canadian Forest Service's Doug Pitt and Dean Thompson and the University of Guelph's Len Ritter are the scientific voices of ForestInfo, a working group on vegetation management formed to address public concerns over the use of herbicides in New Brunswick. Through their dedication and diligence, this team has made an impact on a significant issue that affects forest policy in Atlantic Canada. Because of their efforts, forestry professionals, politicians, municipalities and Indigenous leaders are better informed and able to answer questions on forest management. This team is a model of national leadership in advancing research activities and knowledge transfer.

Nominated by Laurie Saulnier, Economist, Natural Resources Canada

Parliamentary Precinct Operations Team – Block 1 Public Services and Procurement Canada

  • Michael Belafi
  • Bruce W. Berry
  • Alexandre Bisson
  • Daniel Cyr
  • Stéphane Leblanc
  • Serge Pacheco
  • Miguel Sousa
  • Jonathan St-Louis

Over the past six years, this team has done exceptional work to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in the challenging heritage building at 80 Wellington St. in Ottawa. They worked quietly and behind the scenes to drive a program of largely invisible changes to the Prime Minister's and Clerk's building that slashed emissions by over 40%. They did this before such reduction became a priority, simply because they saw room for improvement. These team members are models of excellence in their profession, and are proof that employees can have a huge impact through their skill, dedication and commitment.

Nominated by Duncan Retson, Director General, Operations, Public Services and Procurement Canada

2017 Selection Committee


  • Jean-François Tremblay
    Deputy Minister
    Infrastructure Canada


  • Frances McRae
    Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet
    Privy Council of Canada
  • Stephen Van Dine
    Assistant Deputy Minister (Northern Affairs)
    Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • lizabeth Tromp
    Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (Corporate Services)
    Canada School of Public Service
  • Kyle Symonds
    Regional Program Coordinator
    Public Safety Canada
  • Diane Girouard
    Senior Web Developer
    Health Canada
  • Lee Seto-Thomas
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Yasmina Tirib
    HR Project Coordinator
    Employment and Social Development Canada


  • Kathleen Clarkin
    Director, Workplace Policies, Programs, Engagement and Ethics
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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