Top bureaucrat says there's a 'buzz and excitement' in public service despite increased workload


By Katharine Starr, Simon Nakonechny, CBC News

Clerk of the Privy Council says a very different looking public service will emerge as boomers retire

Canada's public service is enthusiastically embracing its revamped role within the new Liberal government, but with an ambitious agenda comes the risk of bureaucrat burnout, warns the country's clerk of the Privy Council.

"Everyone's finding it both challenging and stimulating," said Michael Wernick in his first TV interview, on CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

"I think this government takes its tone from the prime minister — a very open approach, very engaged, very consultative. That's creating a lot of energy, but also a lot of work" for public servants, Wernick said.

"You have to be good at managing work flows and not trying to be a hero and do everything in the last 48 hours. It's putting a premium on good management skills, and those are not skill sets all our senior middle managers have, so we're working on developing them."

An increased workload and new demands hasn't dampened federal employees' spirits though, he said. 

"There does seem to be a bit of a buzz and excitement about being around something exciting."

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