The Public Service Award of Excellence 2018

Learn about the achievements of the 2018 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

Congratulations to the 123 recipients of the 2018 Public Service Award of Excellence for their dedication and exceptional service.

Canada's public servants work hard every day to turn government priorities into real results for Canadians, and deliver the essential services we all rely on.

Whether aiding wildfire victims in British Columbia and Alberta, negotiating international trade agreements, or offering mental health services to those in need, Canada's Public Service is always there to get the job done.

The Public Service Award of Excellence celebrates and recognizes federal public servants who go above and beyond in their work and set a shining example for service excellence.

To all of this year's award recipients: Thank you. You play an integral role within our society, and your hard work and dedication drive Canada forward.

Canada is fortunate to have you, and your leadership is no doubt one of the reasons why our Public Service is the envy of governments around the world.

Congratulations again, and keep up the tremendous work!

Message from the Clerk

Picture of Michael Wernick

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

It is an honour for me, as head of the Public Service, to pay tribute to the exceptional work of this year's recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence.

The 2018 recipients have helped make the Public Service a safe and inclusive workplace. They have shown notable commitment to serving Canadians, protecting them from hazards and natural disasters, and supporting them in their time of need. The recipients truly reflect the diversity and agility of the Public Service of Canada, from the next generation, to those who have served for a generation. Their leadership and teamwork have been instrumental to the progress made in our ongoing efforts to renew a Public Service considered to be one of the best in the world.

It is with pleasure and gratitude that I congratulate this year's recipients on this well-deserved recognition and wish them continued success. I also want to thank those public servants who took the time to nominate their colleagues or to serve on the selection committee. Recognition by one's peers is the most precious of all.

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 123 recipients of the 2018 Public Service Award of Excellence in five categories

Excellence in Profession

Nadine Crookes
Parks Canada

The Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative aims to increase the percentage of Canada's protected land and freshwater. Nadine Crookes has shown exemplary leadership by building and maintaining strong relationships based on trust and respect with numerous partners. As the federal co-lead of the initiative's National Steering Committee, and in the spirit and practice of reconciliation, Nadine was instrumental in expanding a government process to include Indigenous peoples as equal partners. The Pathway initiative has resulted in a renewed approach to conserving Canada's land and freshwater that will help Canada meet its commitment under the Convention of Biological Diversity.

Nominated by Marie-Josée Laberge, Manager, Pathway to Canada Target 1 Initiative, Parks Canada

Patrice Dion
Statistics Canada

Patrice Dion's work has made Statistics Canada a leading national statistics organization in the field of population projections. He chaired a task force for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe that prepared a report that was acknowledged by experts for its quality and presented by the Conference of European Statisticians. In addition, the United Kingdom Statistical Agency uses Patrice's method of projecting sub-national migration. Patrice introduced the opinion survey of Canadian demographers to enrich assumptions on components of growth, and his work has contributed to the development of innovative probabilistic projections. Patrice is also an excellent manager, whose expertise and professionalism are a source of inspiration.

Nominated by Hubert Denis, Chief, Demographic Estimates Section, Demography Division, Statistics Canada

Larry Hegan
Environment and Climate Change Canada

In leading Canada's efforts to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Conference's Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples' Platform, Larry Hegan has advanced Canada's international leadership in recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples and shown Canada as an exemplar in efforts toward reconciliation. He established relationships with six national Indigenous organizations to develop and represent Canada's positions internationally. Through his work, he championed efforts to establish an international forum to promote dialogue on climate change and recognize Indigenous rights. Larry accelerated discussions by organizing an international meeting with government and Indigenous representatives. He also worked tirelessly with other countries to ultimately negotiate an outcome that went beyond what was anticipated.

Nominated by Christina Paradiso, Director, International Affairs Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Joe Paviglianiti
National Energy Board

Joe Paviglianiti is being recognized for over 20 years of exceptional public service as an engineer who specializes in pipeline safety. He has shaped and implemented policy related to the National Energy Board's (NEB's) oversight role in protecting Canadians and the environment, and he is a technical mentor to staff and board members on high-profile and technically complex regulatory issues. He also provides guidance to team members clearly and thoughtfully, and he is committed to ethical regulatory oversight. Joe is recognized as a leader in technical matters and as a model for NEB staff to follow.

Nominated by Iain Colquhoun, Ph.D., P.Eng, Professional Leader / Chief Engineer, National Energy Board

Janette Rodewald
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Janette Rodewald is vital to Manitoba’s RCMP Traffic Services team. As Strategic Data Analyst, she is responsible for programs that are crucial to traffic enforcement, collision reduction and road safety. She coordinates a number of programs, including procurement projects that exceed $1 million in value. Janette also manages the Manitoba Public Insurance Enhanced Enforcement Program, which has a $718,000 annual budget and requires coordinating approximately 120 police officers. Over the past 12 years, Janette has been a constant that has allowed the Traffic Services team to remain effective. She also participates in triathlons, often with her daughters, and volunteers at many triathlon events.

Nominated by John Duff, Officer in Charge, Provincial Support Services “D” Division, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Generation Energy Team
Natural Resources Canada

  • Katherine Babiarz
  • Saminder Bhalesar-Saran
  • Matthew Brady
  • Lindsay Coyle
  • Frank Gale
  • Wendy Hadwen
  • Cathy Liu
  • Leanne Moussa
  • Laura Nourallah
  • Paul O'Keefe
  • Laura Oleson
  • Marco Presutti
  • Roisin Reid
  • Satender Singh
  • Rachael Weir

Generation Energy was a broad engagement on Canada's energy future that involved over 380,000 Canadians and stakeholders. It tackled tough policy issues and reached under-represented groups such as youth, women and Indigenous people to reflect Canada's diversity. A national forum brought over 650 diverse voices together to discuss energy policy. The team transcended traditional barriers to solve complex public policy challenges, contributing to a culture of openness, collaboration and citizen‑centred policy development. The International Energy Agency described Generation Energy as a model for engagement and policy development, and federal partners framed it as a decisive step toward broad consensus on Canada's long-term energy plan.

Nominated by Jay Khosla, Assistant Deputy Minister, Energy Sector, Natural Resources Canada

Highly Toxic Substances Team
Canada Border Services Agency

  • Jeremy Adams
  • Chris Fulcher
  • Grant Gallant
  • Ryan Martin Stanley Jarvis
  • Adrian F. Marsh
  • Rene M. Siguenza
  • Sean Patrick Stone

The international opioid crisis is a rapidly evolving threat that poses significant risk to the public and to staff at the Canada Border Services Agency. Since fall 2016, the agency's Highly Toxic Substances Team has worked to address the threat of highly toxic substances to officer safety through awareness and education; enhanced policy and procedures for handling, training, reporting, and acquiring and distributing naloxone; and emergency management exercises. The team's work has been recognized by other federal departments and internationally, and partners of the agency request this team for assistance in safely interdicting highly toxic substances.

Nominated by Stephen DeVries, Director, Commercial Operations Division, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency

Innovation Canada Digital Platform
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

  • Émilie Artelle
  • Monica Baxter Burkitt
  • Stephan Bélanger
  • Antonio Bemfica
  • Stéphane Bérubé
  • Claude Charron
  • Jessica Dare
  • Wendy Desnoyers
  • Tara Gillespie
  • Lee-Anne Peluk
  • Doris Pham
  • Andrew Pitt
  • Gwennig Nicolas Poirier
  • Kate Poirier
  • Alexandra Theoharis

Imagine you've got a great business idea. It could really take off. You just need a little help. You find a few government programs, but they all sound the same. It's too complicated. Forget it. That used to be the story. Enter, a truly innovative digital platform enhanced by artificial intelligence that makes it simple—fun, even—for businesses to be matched with the right services. The user interface is beautiful and simple. Just fill in your story, and in less than two minutes you get your best fit from over 1,000 programs and services from across all levels of government in Canada.

Nominated by Mitch Davies, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Leadership Practice Circle
Public Health Agency of Canada

  • Lynn Humber, Indigenous Services Canada
  • Sharon Young, Public Health Agency of Canada

Lynn Humber and Sharon Young came together to share their leadership knowledge, which they acquired through an 18-month peer leadership program. They wanted to practise their leadership skills and support colleagues in developing their own leadership practices. They subsequently founded and led the Leadership Practice Circle, engaging colleagues at Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada in Halifax. Lynn and Sharon led the group in five monthly sessions, focusing on exploring their own leadership styles and practising their new skills. Circle sessions are now led by other employees who want to develop leadership skills for personal and career development.

Nominated by Michelle Bowden, Policy and Planning Analyst, Public Health Agency of Canada

Exceptional Young Public Servants

Nelly Duarte

Nelly Duarte, an inspiring role model and young leader, is being recognized for her highly skilled professionalism. She is an exceptional young public servant in the “D” Division of the RCMP’s Major Crime Unit North. Her exemplary dedication, tenacity and courage in the face of high levels of homicides and complex crimes make her an invaluable asset. Ms. Duarte is also an avid volunteer for countless community initiatives. Her unwavering optimism and many professional contributions raise unit morale, and her example empowers her peers and other youth in the community to strive for their own personal level of excellence.

Nominated by Stacey Gervin, Corporal, Major Crime Unit North, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Ryan Keefe
Veterans Affairs Canada

Ryan Keefe is recognized for his dedication, leadership abilities, innovation and commitment to excellence. Ryan showed exceptional dedication and collaboration in reducing a backlog of complex files that had accumulated before his arrival at Veterans Affairs Canada. He is innovative and is often the first to try something new. Ryan has also honed his leadership abilities, researches issues meticulously, and has become the “go to” person when colleagues need help or advice. In addition, his commitment to excellence has been demonstrated by his completion of the PE program in only 12 months. In all his actions, Ryan embodies the department’s motto of “Care, compassion, respect.”

Nominated by Cynthia MacAulay, Acting Team Leader, Veterans Affairs Canada

Next Generation Network (co-chairs)
Canada Border Services Agency

  • Nadia Descollines
  • Emilie Simonet

Emilie Simonet and Nadia Descollines are two dynamic officers who lead the Next Generation Network at the Canada Border Services Agency. Their goal for the network is to be a catalyst for the transformation, innovation and growth of the new generation of millennial employees. They launched a mentorship project for hundreds of participants across the country, developed a podcast on mental health, and held an inter-branch observation event to improve employees' understanding of the different realities and working environments at the Agency. Emilie and Nadia exhibit outstanding leadership qualities, and their work is meant to improve the workplace for all.

Nominated by Erika-Kirsten Easton, Director General, Communications, Strategic Policy Branch, Champion, Next Generation Network, Canada Border Services Agency

Exemplary Contribution under Extraordinary Circumstances

Canada-U.S. Engagement Team
Global Affairs Canada

  • Jean-François Bergeron
  • Sara Cohen
  • Niall Cronin
  • Noëlla De Maina
  • Thomas A. Gillmore
  • Noelle Grosse
  • Wallace Ip
  • Karen McNaught
  • Jennifer McSporran
  • Shawn Morton
  • Angus Munroe
  • Florian Olsen
  • Mireille Ouellet
  • Robert Pengelly
  • Arwen Widmer Bobyk

After the 2016 presidential U.S. election, Global Affairs Canada created a Canada-U.S. Engagement Team to manage outreach and advocacy efforts with partners across Canada and the network of missions across the U.S. The team launched an unprecedented campaign to unite pro-trade and pro-Canada voices in the U.S. to preserve and strengthen relations between Canada and the U.S. for the benefit of all Canadians. Working directly with the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister's Office, the team has supported more than 250 official visits, and the results have been applauded by the media, officials, stakeholders and citizens.

Nominated by Sara Wilshaw, Director General, North America Network, Global Affairs Canada

Networks and End User Branch Intra-Building Local Area Networks – RCMP
Shared Services Canada

  • Marcel Comeau
  • Thomas Edwards
  • Matthew Frank
  • Yvon Leblanc
  • Trevor McPhee
  • Lance Robinson
  • Trevor Spencer
  • John Strowbridge

The team of the RCMP's Networks and End User Branch Intra-Building Local Area Networks is an exceptional group that goes above and beyond under extraordinary circumstances. Examples of their dedication include flying to a remote location to replace a network router, venturing out in a snowstorm to ensure that an RCMP relocation is not delayed, and travelling 18 hours to restore service to an RCMP facility after a fire. The team quickly jumps into action to provide top-notch service and truly fulfills Shared Service Canada's mandate to improve the Government of Canada's IT infrastructure.

Nominated by Tom Brandt, Director General, Intra-Building Network (Retired), Shared Services Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada

Parks Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Kenow Fire Firefighting Team
Parks Canada

  • Sarah Chisholm – Parks Canada
  • Jed Cochrane – Parks Canada
  • Stephen C. Cornelsen – Parks Canada
  • Natalie Fay – Parks Canada
  • Kevin Ferrie – Parks Canada
  • Joseph Fontoura – Parks Canada
  • Hélène Genest – Parks Canada
  • Victor Kafka – Parks Canada
  • Jonathan Large – Parks Canada
  • Dennis Madsen – Parks Canada
  • Rick Moore – Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Scott Murphy – Parks Canada
  • Darren Quinn – Parks Canada
  • John Stoesser – Parks Canada
  • Ifan Thomas – Parks Canada

This award honours staff of Parks Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for their exemplary collaboration in managing the Kenow wildfire in 2017. With the fire threatening public safety and property in Waterton Lakes National Park, the team was assembled under unified command, the park was closed, and visitors and residents were evacuated. As the fire spread across the park and onto adjacent provincial lands, the team worked tirelessly to protect the Waterton townsite and the park's Prince of Wales Hotel, which would otherwise have been lost. The team demonstrated professionalism, skill and courage in dangerous and uncertain conditions.

Nominated by Salman Rasheed, Associate Director, Natural Resource Conservation, Parks Canada

Service Canada B.C. Wildfire Response Team
Employment and Social Development Canada

  • Sherri Abraham
  • Greg Anstruther
  • Jennifer Duke
  • Yvonne German
  • RJ Gough
  • Jenny Hillier
  • Shauna Krauss
  • Theresa Merslack
  • Carole M. Morrison
  • Daryn Sayers
  • Ryszard Suliga
  • Bridget Tansem
  • Nathalie J. Thomas
  • Lynda Trudeau
  • Justin Woodman

When wildfires forced 46,000 British Columbians to evacuate their homes in July 2017, the Western Region of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) mobilized a response team to coordinate service, supplies and technical support at 12 evacuation centres across the province. The dedication of the team was unparalleled, as many left their homes to work in dangerous environments to ensure that ESDC met the needs of displaced people. Despite many being personally affected by the blaze, team members worked at evacuation centres day and night so that ESDC could help Canadians cope with their personal losses and the impacts on their communities.

Nominated by Patrick Chaba, Director General, Citizen Services, Western Canada and Territories Region, Service Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada

Joan Atkinson Award for Public Sector Values in the Workplace

Donna Achimov
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Donna Achimov is a respected senior leader who consistently demonstrates excellence, professionalism, innovation, and strong values and ethics. She champions accountability, client service and value for money, and she fosters a workplace that is respectful and inclusive. As CEO of the Translation Bureau, Donna launched a new business model and introduced innovative language tools. As ADM of Human Resources at PSPC, she strengthened HR management and served as Official Languages Champion. She has also chaired APEX's Board of Directors, and is currently a Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer at FINTRAC. Donna continues to advocate for respectful workplaces and promotes health and well-being in the public service.

Nominated by Marie Lemay, Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mental Health First Aid Instructors
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

  • Mélina Kyriazis
  • Leslie Newell

Leslie Newell and Mélina Kyriazis train employees on mental health first aid, teaching participants key skills to help people who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis. Leslie and Mélina completed a strict application process and received instructor training from the Mental Health Commission of Canada to teach courses. In addition to their regular duties, Leslie and Mélina have trained over 200 employees throughout the organization. Their leadership and compassion is changing workplace culture, reducing stigma, and helping to create an inclusive, diverse and respectful public service where all employees have the right to be treated fairly.

Nominated by Lynne Dallaire, Senior Human Resources Advisor, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

PSPC Transgender Guide Working Group
Public Services and Procurement Canada

  • Paul M. Beaudry
  • Marc Benoit
  • Gordon Bulmer
  • Marylaine Choquette
  • Christine Forgrave
  • Emmanuelle Gallays
  • Katharine Hart
  • Kara Lafleur
  • Heni Nadel
  • André M. Proulx
  • Mia Elissa Sigouin
  • Ajay Singh
  • Jennifer Touhey
  • Assia Y. Turenne
  • Lori Walton

This award is for the excellent and ground-breaking work done at Public Services and Procurement Canada by the working group that produced Support for Trans Employees: A Guide for Employees and Managers. This guide is the first comprehensive document of its kind for employees and managers in the Canada's public service. It provides guidance on how to support transgender and transitioning employees and offers useful information, tools and resources. The guide directly supports the department's and the Government of Canada's efforts to address diversity and create a more inclusive, respectful and safe work environment where culture change is actively fostered.

Nominated by Manon Rochon, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Outstanding Career

Ivan P. Felligi
Statistics Canada

February 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the start of Dr. Ivan Fellegi's career with Statistics Canada. He joined the department in 1957, and in 1985, he was appointed Chief Statistician of Canada, a position he held for 23 years until his retirement in 2008. Dr. Fellegi has been awarded six honorary doctorate degrees, has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has received many other honours. As Chief Statistician of Canada Emeritus, he provides guidance to employees on a voluntary basis. His work has contributed enormously to Statistics Canada's excellent reputation, and he is widely held in great esteem.

Nominated by Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada, Statistics Canada

Agnès Lajoie
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Throughout her 34-year career at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Agnès has shaped many aspects of Canada's patent granting system. She led Canada's implementation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. She also achieved the prestigious ISO 9001:2015 certification for the Patent Branch. She was the first woman to be Chief of the Patent Branch's Electrical Division and the first female chairperson of the Patent Appeal Board, a position she held until she was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Patents and
Director General of the Patent Branch. Agnès's exemplary work has made her a leader in her field and has contributed greatly to Canada's public service.

Nominated by Neena Kushwaha, Director, Patent Branch, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Diane Larocque
Privy Council Office

As Executive Assistant and Office Manager of the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat, Privy Council Office (PCO), Diane Larocque skilfully manages the complexities of the Prime Minister's international travel and calls with foreign leaders. In her 36 years of service, she has participated in approximately 355 international trips alongside 8 prime ministers and 15 foreign and defence policy advisors. In doing so, she has earned a reputation for exceptional service and support, making her a central figure in PCO's culture of excellence. Diane epitomizes the ideals of public service, and her exemplary career makes her a worthy recipient of this award.

Nominated by John Hannaford, Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister, Privy Council Office

Robert Prosper
Parks Canada

Rob Prosper's work has been a foundational part of Canada's system of national parks and protected places for 38 years. He has dedicated his career to conservation and to facilitating the enjoyment of protected places. He has also advanced reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by restoring lost connections to the lands and by promoting Indigenous leadership in conservation. Rob embodies the best of the public service values of engagement, respect, excellence and integrity.
His dedication to his work, to his staff, to stakeholders and communities, and to Indigenous peoples has defined his career and has been a key part of his leadership as an executive.

Nominated by Nadine Crookes, Director, Natural Resources Conservation, Parks Canada

2018 Selection Committee


  • Jean-François Tremblay
    Deputy Minister
    Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada


  • Tim Pettipas
    Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet
    Privy Council of Canada
  • Stephen Van Dine
    Assistant Deputy Minister (Northern Affairs)
    Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Kyle Symonds
    Regional Program Coordinator
    Public Safety Canada
  • Diane Girouard
    Senior Web Developer
    Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Lee Seto-Thomas
    Senior Policy Advisor
    Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Catherine Charron
    Statistical Officer
    Statistics 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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