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Canada’s Public Policy Forum will honour two of our country's premier political cartoonists for their lifetime contributions to public discourse. Montreal-based cartoonists, Serge Chapleau and Terry Mosher (Aislin) will receive the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism at the Forum’s Testimonial Dinner & Awards on April 16, 2015, in Toronto.

The Hyman Solomon Award recognizes journalists whose insightful work helps Canadians understand how changes in public policy affect them. The Award celebrates the journalistic integrity of the late Hyman Solomon, Ottawa Bureau Chief of the Financial Post.

Click here to listen to Terry Mosher talk about the award on CBC Radio. 
Click here to listen to Serge Chapleau 
talk about the award on Radio Canada.


We had a very successful Atlantic Dinner and Awards on February 26, 2015, at the Fredericton Convention Centre, in New Brunswick. This important event brought together over 250 regional and national leaders to honour five influential Atlantic Canadians. The Daily Gleaner's news coverage of this memorable signature event is included in the article below:



Governance matters — and we need a more spirited dialogue to ensure that it’s working for Canadians. Jim Dinning and David Mitchell ask: is it working for you? Their article appeared in the February 11, 2015 edition of National Newswatch, included as a PDF below.
Jim Dinning, a former Treasurer of the Province of Alberta, is Chairing the Panel leading the Public Policy Forum’s Governance Matters project.


For the fourth year in a row, the Public Policy Forum was named among the top 30 think tanks in Mexico and Canada by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index. The Forum also ranked in the Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks and Top Social Policy Think Tank categories. We are delighted to be considered among an impressive group of think tanks in this year's Index. The Forum wishes to congratulate all Canadian think tanks who were ranked globally as leaders in their fields. Our country is fortunate to have organizations such as these, who are committed to championing research and public policy with a positive impact.


It was a busy, boisterous year in the world of Candian governance and public policy. In addition to the often sensational political highlights in Ottawa and provincial capitals, the year also saw a number of very consequential policy stories. The Forum has identified the following top 10 Canadian policy stories of 2014:


Mr. Lynton ‘Red’ Wilson, retired Chairman, President and CEO, BCE Inc., and Chancellor Emeritus of McMaster University, is the 2014 recipient of the Vanier Medal.

The Vanier Medal which was created in 1962 in honour of Canada’s then Governor General the Right Honourable Georges-P. Vanier is the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)’s highest form of recognition. It is awarded to an individual who has shown distinctive and indefatigable leadership and made significant contributions in public administration and to the public service in Canada.


Professor Indira Samarasekera, accomplished engineering scholar and current president of the University of Alberta, will join the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence on July 1, 2015. Samarasekera holds many awards including the Public Policy Forum’s Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy.


Michael Wernick’s distinguished career in the federal public service spans over 30 years. During his eight-year tenure as Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, he worked courageously to build bridges among government, Aboriginal leaders, the private sector and academic communities.

The Public Policy Forum recognized Michael’s extraordinary achievements in the public service with an opportunity for Michael's friends and colleagues outside of the federal government to thank him for his leadership and wish him all the best in his new role as deputy clerk of the Privy Council Office.  

The special reception provided an exceptional testament to Michael and included warm remarks from Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire; Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University; and Arlene Strom, Vice President, Sustainability and Communications of Suncor Energy. David Mitchell, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum shared meaningful praise for Michael from Canada’s former Prime Minister, Paul Martin.

The Public Policy Forum hosted the event with corporate sponsors Suncor Energy and the National Arts Centre at the NAC in Ottawa on October 1, 2014.


Originally appearing in Canadian Government Executive

What are the traits that will define the next generation of successful public service leaders? Managerial aplomb? Policy expertise? An ability to ‘speak truth to power’? How about courage, humility and resilience?

In recent conversations with over 130 established and emerging Canadian leaders across sectors, it was these three core qualities that were most frequently emphasized as critical for public service leadership now and in the future.

There is no question that senior government jobs across the country are more difficult today than in the past. Against the backdrop of complex global issues, heightened citizen expectation for efficient services, fiscal restraint, and increased accountability measures, current leaders in the public service simply face more urgent demands, delivered under greater scrutiny, than ever before.

Not surprisingly, the list of skills and attributes needed to navigate the new normal are many and varied. Public sector leaders today and tomorrow need to have sharp business acumen, an entrepreneurial drive, and greater technological fluency, among others. They need to espouse a range of attributes, from creativity and passion to integrity and pragmatism.

New dynamics are also redefining the role of the public service. Leaders today must embrace greater innovation, as well as collaborative policymaking and program execution. And with a huge demographic shift unfolding across Canada’s public sector, there is a need to consider and advance – perhaps even re-think – the way talent is managed in government to ensure that future public sector leaders have the capacity to meet changing needs.

In this context, greater attention needs to be placed on diversity recruitment and mentorship and development at all levels, but especially mechanisms that encourage greater mobility across departments, jurisdictions and sectors.     

While our discussions with leaders across Canada focused on the present context and the implications for future competencies, we kept returning to the three foundational requirements for individuals who will thrive as leaders.

Courage was the most common theme throughout our conversations. To be effective as policy advisors and crisis managers, public service leaders need to face challenges head-on. In addition to providing fearless advice, leaders must have the courage to push for necessary change and stand behind their decisions, especially in the current environment of risk aversion.

Increased roles and responsibilities for senior leaders make this even more necessary. Leaders must be able to navigate accountability parameters with their political masters, never shying from these difficult discussions. In an era of fiscal restraint, leaders also need to be able to make and enact tough decisions in their operations.     

Humility is another core trait highlighted by emerging and established leaders alike. Rather than a lack of confidence, leaders who practice humility appreciate the value of collaboration. Understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses and being able to build a team that includes broad and comprehensive talents are essential. Humility also ensures a capacity to empathize and connect with others.  

The vast majority of the problems tackled by governments today require a high degree of collaboration with those outside government. Whether it’s the development of new policy, the refinement of a regulatory regime, or the co-delivery of a program, finding solutions to challenging issues requires an acceptance of shared power. Humility enables leaders to build relationships and leverage the expertise of others in support of common interests.
Resilience is an absolute requirement considering the pressures on public sector leaders. From adapting to rapid change to coping with demanding workloads, effective leaders need to persevere through hard times. Some of those we spoke to cited the real concern of job burnout. In fact, many outside of the public sector marveled at the ability of senior leaders to function against so many, often unrealistic, demands.

Resilient leaders also keep an eye on constant evolution, seeking new ideas and approaches that enable more responsiveness. Although there are operational and cultural restrictions on how much change can be pursued in government, the best leaders guide their organizations to keep pace with the world around them.  

Public service leaders are adapting to growing complexity in an increasingly risk-averse, resource-strapped environment. Intractable issues are certainly not new to government. Public services across the country need to transform their cultures and modernize their practices to become flatter, more flexible and increasingly forward-looking organizations.

Against these new realities, we still need leaders who practice courage, humility and resiliency.


The Public Policy Forum’s report, Flat, Flexible and Forward-Thinking: Public Service Next, is available at


Minister Sorenson participates in panel at the 64th Annual Oilmen’s Business Forum

August 20, 2014
Banff, Alberta
Natural Resources Canada

The Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Canada’s Minister of State (Finance), today participated in a panel discussion at the 64th Oilmen’s Business Forum in Banff, Alberta, with Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada; Doug Eyford, Partner at Eyford Macaulay Shaw & Padmanabhan LLP and formerly the Government of Canada’s Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure; and Dan Wicklum, Chief Executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).

During the panel discussion, Minister Sorenson highlighted the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development. In particular, he emphasized the importance of collaborating with Aboriginal communities on resource projects and increasing their participation in pipeline safety operations.

In his remarks, Minister Sorenson noted a number of new measures to strengthen engagement with Aboriginal Peoples, including the creation of the Major Projects Management Office West, work toward the establishment of an tripartite forum, and the Government’s recent announcements regarding marine and pipeline safety.

Following the panel, Minister Sorenson participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) on such topics as market access, the importance of partnership with Aboriginal communities, fiscal and regulatory competitiveness, and the availability of labour.

Background Facts

  • In 2012, more than 13,500 Aboriginal people worked in the Canadian energy sector.
  • According to the Public Policy Forum, over 400,000 Aboriginal youth will be entering the workforce in the next decade, creating an unprecedented opportunity to address the need for new workers in the oil and gas industry.
  • The Conference Board of Canada estimates that B.C.’s natural gas sector could attract more than $180 billion in investment between now and 2035, and Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples have a major role to play in this development.
  • The Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development is enhancing Aboriginal consultation for proposed projects by ensuring early consideration of the potential impacts of natural resource development on Aboriginal Peoples.
  • Canada has a safe and reliable energy transportation system, and the Government is taking steps to improve and expand it in the areas of prevention, preparedness and liability. These steps include new measures to strengthen safety regimes for pipelines, tankers, offshore, rail and nuclear energy.


“Canada stands at a pivotal moment where it must develop new markets for its energy resources to ensure continued growth and prosperity for Canada for decades to come. The best way to achieve our goals is through partnerships, meaningful engagement and ongoing dialogue among key partners including industry, Aboriginal communities and governments. Responsible development of our energy resources and construction of the necessary infrastructure to get them to market will lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenues that fund critical social programs.”

Kevin Sorenson
Canada’s Minister of State (Finance)

“Governments, Aboriginal Peoples, industry, communities and other interests must engage more collaboratively and develop stronger partnerships if Canadians are to realize the potential benefits of responsible development of our abundant energy resources. This conference provided an opportunity for attendees to share their experiences and to discuss potential actions to improve collaboration and strengthen partnerships going forward.”

Dave Collyer
President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Associated Links


Alexandra Lemieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources and
Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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