26th Annual Testimonial Dinner & Awards

When: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 17:00 - 21:15

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Honouring Canada's Top Public Servants

Canada's Public Policy Forum recognized the contributions of Canada's Clerks of the Privy Council at its 26th Annual Testimonial Dinner & Awards in Toronto on April 11, 2013.

 "At our 25th Anniversary Testimonial Dinner in 2012, we paid tribute to Canada's former Prime Ministers, occupants of the highest political office in the country" said David Mitchell, President and CEO of the Forum. "This year, we're honouring the very important but less public role of Canada's top civil servant, a job not always understood or appreciated."

The following former Clerks were honoured and gave speeches:

  • Kevin Lynch (2006-2009)
  • Alex Himelfarb (2002-2006)
  • Mel Cappe (1999-2002)
  • Jocelyne Bourgon (1994-1999)
  • Paul Tellier (1985-1992)

"One of the Forum's goals is to celebrate leadership in Canada's public service," said Larry Murray, Chair of the Public Policy Forum. "As the head of the federal public service, the Clerk of the Privy Council must demonstrate extraordinary leadership qualities. We are very pleased to give our Clerks' achievements the spotlight they deserve."

Each year, the Forum's Testimonial Dinner & Awards recognizes distinguished Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of public policy and government in our country.

The Public Policy Forum produceComments from some previous Public Policy Forum Honourees, who shared their insights about the importance of Public Service Leadership.

Video: The Importance of Canadian Public Service Leadership.

Comments from previous Public Policy Forum Honourees who shared their insights about the importance of Public Service Leadership.



L to R: Kevin Lynch, Paul Tellier, current Clerk Wayne Wouters, Alex Himelfarb, Mel Cappe (absent: Jocelyne Bourgon)

About the Clerk of the Privy Council

The Clerk of the Privy Council is the most senior non-political official in the Government of Canada. He or she provides professional, non-partisan support to the Prime Minister on all policy and operational issues that may affect the government. The Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet also has particular responsibilities with respect to:

  • ensuring the continuity of government between successive administrations;
  • keeping custody of the records of previous administrations; and
  • enabling the government of the day to understand and recognize the established conventions of Canada's constitutional monarchy.

For more about the Clerk and the mandate and responsibilities of the Privy Council Office, visit the PCO website.

For more information, please contact kelly.cyr@ppforum.ca or 613.238.7858 x248


Media coverage

News Release
We need to protect Canada's public service (Toronto Star editorial)
Five top public servants to be honoured (Radio Canada International)

Stop muzzling scientists, restore public service's policy capabilities, says former PCO clerk Mel Cappe (Hill Times)

Canada's diverted public service poses a threat to our future (Nathalie Bender's column in the Toronto Star)

Don't take the public service for granted (Mel Cappe's speech published in iPolitics)

Let's respect the "faceless bureaucrats" who keep Canada running (Globe and Mail op-ed by Mel Cappe)


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