Monthly Archives

May 2021

“I am the secret public servant”

By Offbeat

An anonymous public servant has taken to Canadaland, the online news site and podcast, to start a new “tales from the public service-like” series that promises to cast an unfavourable spotlight on some questionable behaviours and practices that have occurred behind the scenes in the federal public service.

The anonymous public servant under the veil of “F” claims to have worked in several departments and the nature of their role has given them access to, “some of the highest-level executives, their concerns, behaviours, and motivations” and that they’ve been “privy to very sensitive information.”

The new column titled, “I am the secret public servant” will chronicle alleged true stories over the coming months, based on this public servant’s first hand experiences and knowledge. “I have been in many discussions about how to handle issues that may soon become public knowledge. I’ll share some examples that I wouldn’t believe had happened if I hadn’t been in the room,” the anonymous public servant writes.

The public servant gives a hint of what’s to come in their new column from sharing knowledge of employees allegedly dealing drugs out of their offices to other stories of toxic Ministers.

The series won’t only focus on stories of anonymous public servants and their behaviours but also look at issues on a wider scale: Phoenix, systemic problems around government procurement, and apparently what really happened at Rideau Hall regarding the 29th Governor General of Canada and the allegations of abuse and a toxic workplace.

Why?

The anonymous public servant says, “My target here is a collective culture of complacency that I’ve seen cost the taxpayer millions of dollars and which has enabled unprofessional behaviour to go unchallenged.”

They go on, “As public servants, we commit to privacy and confidentiality as part of our values and ethics. But we also sign up to the value of “stewardship,” which means being mindful of the long-term financial implications of our decisions. So every time (and they are legion) that a poorly behaved employee is put on a “special project” rather than being disciplined, because management doesn’t have the courage for the fight, it violates our commitment to stewardship.”

Canadaland says they’ve confirmed the identity of the public servant and have verified their role in the public service. However, they’ve agreed to grant them anonymity, as they will be sharing information in each column that would directly result in them being fired.

Other links:

“I am the Secret Public Servant”

Letter from Treasury Board President urging all public servants to get vaccinated

By COVID-19

As the number of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service reaches 4,581 and continues to climb week to week, the President of the Treasury Board wrote a letter to all public servants, urging them to get vaccinated.

“Over the last year, public servants have gone above and beyond in countless ways to ensure Canadians continue to have access to the programs and services they rely on. I would like to thank all public servants for their efforts and their dedication during this difficult time.

The physical and psychological health and safety of employees remains an absolute priority for the Government of Canada. As jurisdictions work to open up vaccine eligibility to more Canadians in the coming weeks, I encourage all public servants, who are able to, to get vaccinated when their turn comes.

Vaccines save lives. Canada has authorized only COVID-19 vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective, and high quality. I recently got my shot and urge all public servants, who are able to, to get theirs as soon as they can according to the plan in the province or territory in which they reside.

I would also like to remind those who work in the core public administration that, if they need it, they have access to up to a half a day of paid leave in order to get vaccinated during work hours. Once vaccinated, we all need to keep up the other health measures we know are still important – keeping our distance, washing our hands and wearing proper fitting masks.

We are almost there. Keep up the good work.”

– Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, May 4, 2021

Other links:

Latest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service (April 28)

Statement: President of the Treasury Board urges all eligible federal public servants to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Latest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service (April 28)

By COVID-19

Reported numbers of COVID-19 cases in the public service are up for the fourth week in a row.

As of April 28, 2021, the latest total now stands at 4,581. This is up from:

  • 4,314 on April 21;
  • 4,011 on April 14; and,
  • 3,751 on April 7.

The breakdown is by province and the top five areas with the highest reported cases were:

National Capital Region: 1,296
Quebec (minus the NCR): 867
Ontario (minus the NCR): 711
Alberta: 636
British Columbia: 620

There are now 55 reported cases in the public service outside of Canada.


Province, region or territory
Reported cases
Alberta636
British Columbia620
Manitoba138
National Capital Region (NCR)1,296
New Brunswick12
Newfoundland and Labrador20
Northwest Territories0
Nova Scotia20
Nunavut2
Ontario (Minus NCR)711
Prince Edward Island1
Quebec (Minus NCR)867
Saskatchewan202
Yukon1
Outside of Canada55

Other links:

Reported cases of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the federal public service

Clerk admits slow, uneven progress on anti-racism efforts in the public service

By Anti-racism

Interim Clerk Janice Charette recently spoke about systemic racism towards Black, Indigenous and other racialized employees in the federal public service at a virtual event titled “Systemic racism and the public service” for public servants.

Public servants have been speaking in the media about their truths and about their experiences of racism and discrimination in the federal public service, specifically at: Rideau Hall; the Canada Revenue Agency; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and; even the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

There is currently a class action lawsuit against the federal government being led by 12 representative plaintiffs on the basis of, “wrongful failure to promote Black employees in the Public Service, and for unjustly subjecting Class Members to the systemic, unlawful practice of Black employee exclusion.” More than 500 current and past Black public servants have joined the claim.

The claim seeks long-term solutions to permanently address systemic racism and discrimination in the public service of Canada:

  • Apology: the Prime Minister of Canada shall issue a formal apology to all present and past Black employees of the Public Service for the injustices suffered in the past;
  • Self-declaration: the federal government shall amend the self-declaration of ‘Visible Minority’ to create a separate category for Black employees;
  • External reporting mechanism: the federal government shall establish a mechanism to ensure that Black employees in the public service have access to an external and independent body to report harassment or misconduct. This body should have the power to investigate and make binding recommendations;
  • Black Equity Commission: the federal government shall appoint a Black Equity Commission to serve as the central coordinating entity to carry out an investigation of the challenges facing Black employees as well as the power to implement solutions and hold all Government entities accountable. The Commission will also provide a strategy for the development of a “Diversity Lens” model for the public service as it relates to the hiring and promotion of Black employees. The Commission will also be tasked with creating a framework for present and past Black employees to have their stories and voices heard with the goal of providing recommendations to address historic injustices and eradicate systemically racist practices;
  • Compensation fund: the establishment of a fund to address the psychological, pain and suffering and financial losses of both past and present Black employees, within the past 50 years.

Black public servants have said that they believe, “the situation is hopeless” for Black employees in the public service and have detailed specific examples of mental abuse, physical abuse, racism and discrimination across the federal public service.

Earlier this year, Clerk Ian Shugart sent a message to Deputy Ministers on a “call to action on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in the federal public service.”

However Clerk Janice Charette admittedly pointed out that there is still a lot of work to do, progress has been too slow and too uneven across the public service, and recognized that the public service doesn’t look like the public it serves, in terms of representation.

Nearly 8,000 public servants across the country tuned in to this virtual event on systemic racism and the public service.

Public servants can also visit the Black Class Action website for “Canada’s Public Service in 2021” for a visual snapshot of the underrepresentation and lack of diversity at the senior levels across the public service.

Budget 2021 also proposed legislative amendments to the Public Service Employment Act in order to help address potential bias and barriers in staffing processes.

Watch:

UPDATE: The Canada School of Public Service had made a recording of the virtual event on systemic racism and the public service available publicly on their YouTube page: https://youtu.be/HEo26YngHmg which we had embedded here but has since made the video private.

CBC’s The National: Black federal public servants allege discrimination in government lawsuit

Other links:

Black Class Action

Civil servant says he was assaulted on job and faces discrimination because he is Black

Black civil servants allege discrimination in proposed class-action lawsuit against Ottawa

Call to action on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in the Federal Public Service

Message to deputy ministers, heads of separate agencies, and heads of federal agencies

An open letter to federal Black employees

Federal Black Employee Caucus

Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat

Budget 2021