The Public Service Award of Excellence 2019

From: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Learn about the achievements of the 2019 recipients of the Public Service Award of Excellence.

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Message from the Clerk of the Privy Council—2019 Public Service Award of Excellence

Picture of Ian Shugart

Ian Shugart
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

I would like to congratulate the 104 recipients—but also all the nominees—of the 2019 Public Service Award of Excellence for their dedication and service to Canadians.

These leaders have helped define the future and chart a path forward, inspiring and motivating each person involved in or touched by their endeavours along the way. They have sought out many perspectives to ensure the best outcomes in their projects, challenging what already existed and taking bold risks. They make our Public Service more agile, inclusive, and better equipped, while exemplifying professionalism and transparency.

These remarkable public servants would not be recognized today if it weren’t for the peers who nominated them, and the selection committee who further underscored their contribution. I truly appreciate the time and commitment it takes to make this happen.

It is a privilege as Clerk to pay tribute to the outstanding work of this year’s recipients. You should be proud.

Congratulations once again, and keep driving progress in the Public Service by promoting innovation and guiding change.

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 104 recipients of the 2019 Public Service Award of Excellence in five categories.

Excellence in Profession

Kimberly Chan
Canadian Space Agency

Kimberly was Canada’s lead negotiator on the Guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities. Developed under the auspices of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the guidelines are widely recognized as the most significant international space policy accomplishment since the negotiation of the treaties of the 1960s and 1970s.

Kimberly’s professionalism and integrity helped build consensus and find creative solutions to many contentious issues. She intervened with key countries at critical moments when the negotiations were at an impasse. Her leadership role was recognized by other national delegations and by the chair of the committee.

Nominated by Mary Preville, Director General, Policy, Canadian Space Agency

Pavel Cheben
National Research Council Canada

An authority in photonics and integrated optics whose discoveries have advanced many disciplines and brought global attention to Canadian research, Dr. Cheben is widely regarded as the father of subwavelength integrated photonics.

His work includes the discovery of a unique optical waveguide and integration of the Fourier transform spectrometer onto a monolithic chip that has light-gathering capabilities over 100 times that of conventional devices.

He is the only Canadian Fellow of the European Optical Society; he holds the Order of the Slovak Republic; and he served as Lead Director of Integrated Optics College at the UNESCO International Centre for Theoretical Physics.

Nominated by Ruth Rayman, Director General, Advanced Electronics and Photonics, National Research Council Canada

Lori Corriveau
Global Affairs Canada

Throughout her extensive career and years of service, Lori has excelled in difficult circumstances. Whether as management consular officer in different parts of the world or as mission inspector, she has risen to every challenge.

Her exemplary management of the human resources processes that followed a sensitive fraud investigation at one of Canada’s largest missions, her performance while acting as chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Canada in Caracas during Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis, and her invaluable service as mentor to many in recent cohorts all speak to Lori’s superior skills and knowledge and to her dedication to excellence.

Nominated by Frank Asi Talatini, Consul, Hong Kong, Global Affairs Canada

Clay Evans
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

In his 35 years with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), Clay has saved countless lives at sea. He is now Superintendent, Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), in western Canada.

Clay contributed to the design and deployment of the CCG’s Cape Class SAR lifeboats. He spearheaded the opening of the SAR school in Bamfield, B.C., which has trained mariners from around the world. He designed and implemented training in coastal SAR for members of Indigenous communities. Graduates now form the basis of the Indigenous Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Clay, a published author and a recipient of the Exemplary Service and the Diamond Jubilee medals, is an extraordinary public servant who brings credit to Canada.

Nominated by Jeffery Hutchinson, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner

Victoria Torresan
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

When the Humboldt Broncos bus crash happened, Victoria was office manager at the RCMP’s Central District office in Saskatoon. On hearing of the tragedy, Victoria headed to Humboldt to help, knowing that staff there would be traumatized from their involvement in the response.

In overwhelmingly complex and emotional circumstances, Victoria provided critical support. She engaged emotional support systems for employees; replaced those who needed breaks; liaised with community members; and coordinated countless logistical details between the district, the detachment and headquarters.

Victoria showed enormous commitment to the RCMP and its employees, some of whom are working today as a direct result of her presence and support.

Nominated by Bonnie Ferguson, Superintendent / Assistant Criminal Operations Officer, Ontario, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Alternate Data Source Team
Statistics Canada

  • Elizabeth Abraham
  • Suraj Ammanath
  • Ross Beck-mcneil
  • Mark Cherwonka
  • Paul Durk
  • Brett Harper
  • Liz Hay
  • Rehma Husain
  • Steven Melo
  • Devin Morrison
  • Jean-Sébastien Provençal
  • Bryan Stafford
  • Gilles Tremblay
  • Simon Trottier
  • Jonathan Wylie

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is based on the prices of some 100,000 goods and services throughout Canada. Producing this monthly index is a costly and complex endeavour.

To simplify the process, the Alternate Data Source team acquired scanner data and used machine learning algorithms to incorporate it into existing processes. The May 2018 release of the CPI marked the first application of machine learning to a Statistics Canada production process.

The team’s innovation has made the CPI more relevant, reduced costs, lightened retailers’ response burden, and opened up new possibilities for statistics.

Nominated by Daniela Ravindra, Director General, Economy-Wide Statistics, Statistics Canada

Office of Disability Management
Department of National Defence

  • Mélissa Battah
  • Geneviève Francoeur
  • Allison Hale
  • Jillian Hooper
  • Chantal Lussier
  • Josée Plante (PSPC)
  • Shannon Redburn Alvarado
  • Nicole Schaaf
  • Noémie Sincennes Labrecque
  • Erin Yakabuski

Created in 2016, DND’s Office of Disability Management provides neutral, personalized case management services to guide ill, injured and impaired employees and their managers through the disability management process.

Through partnership and collaboration, the office went from concept to reality in just a year. The pilot reduced the duration of sick leave without pay by nearly 50%, productivity loss by 48%, and the number of longstanding situations of leave by 48%.

The office’s progressive and holistic model is leading-edge in disability management; and staff have a variety of professional backgrounds, including nursing, occupational therapy, health insurance, social work and psychology.

Nominated by Glenn MacDougall (retired), Director General, Workplace Management, Department of National Defence

Pacific Region Service Complaints and Problem Resolution Team
Canada Revenue Agency

  • Leanna Brett
  • Leah Cheyne
  • Gloria Cook
  • Theresa Hain
  • Inderjit Khakh
  • Monica Langford
  • Laura Mojak
  • Karen Parker
  • Layla Saarela
  • Maggie Silzer

A commitment to service is the compass that guides every member of this team in every encounter with clients. With their superior knowledge and skills, team members consistently exceed expectations when addressing clients’ complaints and problems. By serving each client with empathy and compassion, they reduce heightened levels of stress and frustration and show the agency’s human side.

The team’s dedication to maintaining a culture of excellence and to improving service to Canadians has created an important shift in the service culture in their region and in the agency as a whole.

Nominated by John Fisher, Manager, Validation Division, Surrey National Verification and Collections Centre, Canada Revenue Agency

Strategic Innovation Fund Team
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

  • Sylvain Dion
  • Kristian Ewen
  • Ian Fall (NRCAN)
  • Anne-Marie Hinther
  • Vien Huynh-lee
  • Nicholas Ignatieff
  • Collette Kaminsky
  • Sachelle Magloire-Prosper
  • Denis Martel
  • Céline Ménard
  • Alphoncine Mtui-Kajubili
  • Sylvain Quilliam
  • Eric Smith

The Strategic Innovation Fund spurs innovation in Canada by funding large projects that address top government priorities.

In just 2 years, the fund team has collaborated with hundreds of federal officials across Canada in over 12 departments to assess more than 1,000 applications for funding across the 6 Economic Strategy Tables and has redirected over 250 applications to programs and services that might be a better fit.

In pursuit of new ways to deliver client-focused programming, the team has negotiated $2 billion in contribution agreements, which has resulted in more than $40 billion in private sector funding and other lasting economic benefits to Canadians.

Nominated by Derek Jackson, Senior Advisor, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Exceptional Young Public Servants

David Brake
Canada Revenue Agency

David’s innovative sprit and strong leadership abilities inspire others every day. By suggesting ways to improve the efficiency of workflows and offices at the Canada Revenue Agency, David has been making a difference ever since he joined the organization in 2014. His drive to find new ways of working, along with his integrity, honesty and willingness to challenge the status quo, make him a leader in the organization. His contributions go well beyond his position, to participating in the local Young Professionals Network and serving on the Innovation Committee.

Nominated by John Fisher, Manager, Validation Division, Surrey National Verification and Collections Centre, Canada Revenue Agency

Alexandra Haggert
Library and Archives Canada

Alex is being recognized for her leadership and creativity.

She oversaw the user-testing, launch and enhancement of Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC’s) crowdsourcing tool, Co-Lab, which lets Canadians participate in making LAC’s digital collection more accessible, and was instrumental in developing new client-focused infrastructure to improve access to LAC’s audiovisual collection.

She also reinvigorated Project Naming, an initiative that encourages Indigenous people to identify unnamed individuals in photographs in LAC’s collection. Alex pitched the idea of producing a video on the initiative to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. She coordinated the production process, and the video was shown at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2019.

Nominated by Amy Tector, Manager, Online Content and Copyright, Public Services Branch, Library and Archives Canada

David Kepes
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

David’s leadership while serving as a criminal intelligence analyst in Ankara, Turkey, enhanced the RCMP’s reach and visibility internationally.

David rose to the challenges of a fast pace, diminished resources, and changing threat levels. He built and maintained innovative relationships with regional partners, developed international criminal intelligence of interest to the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies, and promoted a healthy work environment.

David’s professionalism and charisma enabled the RCMP to continue to quickly address critical issues, remain proactive in its mission abroad, and identify and respond to criminal threats with a connection to Canada.

Nominated by Eliane Caron, Program Manager, Analysts Deployed Overseas Program, National Intelligence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Exemplary Contribution under Extraordinary Circumstances

North Atlantic Right Whale Intervention Team
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

  • Diane Amirault-Langlais
  • Ron Belliveau
  • Isabelle Elliott
  • Isabelle Frenette
  • Steve Hachey
  • Matthew Hardy
  • Krista Petersen
  • Stephanie Ratelle
  • Simon Richard
  • Antoine Rivierre

In summer 2017, dead North Atlantic right whales started appearing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fewer than 500 of this endangered species remain worldwide.

Staff from different sectors in the Quebec and Gulf regions quickly modified their priorities to help locate and tow whale carcasses so that necropsies could be performed, and Communications staff worked around the clock to keep fish harvesters and the public informed.

The interventions in 2017 led to new fisheries management measures in 2018 and 2019, and no North Atlantic right whales were found dead in Canadian waters in the 2018 fishing season.

Nominated by Jacqueline Richard, Regional Director, Fisheries and Harbour Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Northern Ontario Grid Connection Project Team
Indigenous Services Canada

  • Rachelle Boone
  • Kevin Courtney
  • Luis de Jesus
  • Aaron Dorland
  • Kathryn Duchnicky
  • Jody Knibbs
  • Lori Macadam
  • Tyler Nash
  • Michelle Piano
  • Chris Rohr
  • Anne Scotton
  • Karen Waite
  • Mandy Wirta

The Northern Ontario Grid Connection Project, the largest Indigenous-led and -owned power project in Canada, will connect 16 First Nations to the provincial electricity grid by 2025, ending their reliance on diesel power.

Developed by a passionate and determined team of Indigenous Services Canada employees, supported by colleagues from the Department of Finance Canada, this innovative project will create over 700 jobs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 35,000 cars off the road.

In December 2018, Pikangikum First Nation, the first community to connect to the grid through this project, lit up its Christmas tree in celebration.

Nominated by Lynda Clairmont, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Operations, Indigenous Services Canada

Joan Atkinson Award for Public Sector Values in the Workplace

Karine Rondeau
Public Services and Procurement Canada

As a Translation Bureau manager, Karine has promoted Canada’s linguistic duality for many years. Her achievements include implementing the Pan-Canadian Terminology Committee, which provides a wide range of public- and private-sector stakeholders with a forum for discussing current terminology issues. She also organized the committee’s first annual conference on gender-inclusive writing and developed the Gender and Sexual Diversity Glossary.

Karine’s initiatives have promoted the presence of both official languages in the workplace, and have helped make the public service more inclusive by fostering gender-inclusive writing in both French and English.

Nominated by Chantal Reid, Director, Terminology, English and Multilingual Translation and Professional Support, Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Indigenous Mentoring Initiative Team
Canada Revenue Agency

  • Nadine Bell
  • Lynn Maria Bellemare
  • Cynthia Booden Firth
  • Terri Fisette
  • Claudine Gélineau
  • Madeleine Kwun
  • Mellanie Lawrenz
  • Nicole Meyer
  • Stan Morin
  • Maribelle Saludes
  • Nadine Stiller
  • Laura Ursu

Through the Indigenous Mentoring Initiative, Indigenous employees at the Canada Revenue Agency work with mentors to develop skills, expand their network and create a community with fellow participants. In turn, mentors gain exposure to Indigenous perspectives. The initiative fosters two-way learning in a supportive environment, in an effort to enhance the recruitment, advancement and retention of Indigenous employees. By breaking down barriers and by engaging employees in creating a more inclusive, knowledgeable and respectful workplace, the initiative benefits the agency as a whole. Launched as a pilot in October 2016, the initiative was so successful that it was rolled out nationally in February 2017.

Nominated by Roberta Tetreault, Assistant Director, Income Tax Audit Division, Saskatchewan Tax Services Office, Canada Revenue Agency

Pilimmaksaivik Team (Federal Centre of Excellence for Inuit Employment in Nunavut)
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

  • Lily Amagoalik
  • Christie Akearok
  • Seemie Attagutsiak
  • Delma Autut
  • Neoma Cox
  • Ahme Eegeesiak
  • Micheline Kilabuk-Cote
  • Joanna Laskey

Pilimmaksaivik is a ground-breaking, government-wide initiative to increase Inuit representation in the federal public service in Nunavut.

Pilimmaksaivik has supported federal departments in implementing Inuit employment plans, reducing staffing barriers, and testing new recruitment approaches. It has launched programs for Inuit employees that include post-secondary education supports, leadership training and needs-based classroom training. The team has also improved wellness and cross-cultural competence by providing on-site psychological services, training in mental health first aid tailored to Inuit needs, an Elders-in-residence program, and land-based learning events.

Pilimmaksaivik is a shining example of how to promote workplace inclusivity and diversity, and shows how a dedicated team of professionals can have a profound impact on a community.

Nominated by Paula Isaak, President, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Outstanding Career

Rita Campeau
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Mail room manager Rita Campeau has worked for the RCMP since April 1, 1959. During her 60-year career, she has kept pace with the ever-changing realities of the public service and the mail room. Rita has welcomed and trained countless employees, instilling in them the RCMP’s values, a deep sense of responsibility, and a desire to excel in their work. Rita’s unflagging dedication to her job is nothing short of outstanding.

Nominated by Nicole T. Landry, Manager, Paper Conversion, Digital Records Information Management Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Brigitte Joncas
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Brigitte is the backbone of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, providing invaluable support in major interventions, including two high-profile organized crime investigations. She consistently exceeds expectations and often takes on responsibilities beyond the regular scope of her duties.

Brigitte puts others’ priorities ahead of her own. She warmly welcomes newcomers to the unit and offers her support. Her ability to keep people united, strong and confident helps maintain harmony in the work environment.

With her extensive knowledge, professionalism and respect for procedures and standards, not to mention her dedication, compassion and authenticity, Brigitte is a source of motivation and inspiration for everyone around her.

Nominated by Pierre Massé, Inspector, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Gerard Shaw
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Throughout his 36-year career, Gerard has brought extensive knowledge and a genuine sense of caring and professionalism to his work. He is also a long-time volunteer and respected leader in the hockey community. His dedication in the public service and beyond has created a lasting environmental, social and professional legacy in Cape Breton.

Gerard has helped shape the process for consultations with Indigenous peoples and found innovative solutions for issues that affect all Canadians. He helped develop Canada’s first portfolio-wide approach to Indigenous accommodation, led the repurposing of old coal lands for greening and technology development, and handled sensitive benefit programs for former miners.

Nominated by Darcy Truen, Director, Cape Breton Operations Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Shaun Tyler
Public Health Agency of Canada

Throughout his career, Shaun used applied science technologies to produce superior lab evidence to advance public health.

His expertise in molecular biology, sequencing and analytics provided new capacity for Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory and provincial public health labs to detect microbial diseases, and helped establish a new genomics standard that is now applied daily to protect public health. His efforts behind the scenes helped resolve thousands of disease outbreaks, diagnose countless patients, and change public policy.

Canada’s public health system and federal science program are indebted to Shaun for his technical leadership, outstanding contributions, and exceptional public service.

Nominated by Dr. Morag Graham, Chief, Genomics, Public Health Agency of Canada

2019 Selection Committee


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


  • Tim Pettipas
    Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet
    Privy Council of Canada
  • Catherine Charron
    Statistical Officer
    Statistics 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
  • 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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