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Changes to the Public Service Employment Act (June 2021)

By Anti-racism

Before rising for summer break, Parliament made changes to the Public Service Employment Act in June in order to, “address systemic barriers for equity-seeking groups in public service staffing.”

Treasury Board said this was a result of, “too many Canadians continuing to face bias, barriers, and discrimination based on their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or other factors.”

These changes were outlined in April’s federal budget but because the Public Service Employment Act is a law, legislative changes have to go through the Parliamentary process first, being passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate.

The list of changes are:

+ The Public Service Commission now has explicit authority to audit for bias and barriers that disadvantage members of equity-seeking groups.

+ The Commission and deputy heads will have explicit authority to investigate bias and barriers for members of equity-seeking groups.

+ All new or revised qualification standards must be evaluated for bias and barriers for members of equity-seeking groups.

+ The design and application of assessment methods must include an evaluation of bias and barriers, and reasonable efforts for mitigation.

+ Permanent residents now have the same preference as Canadian Citizens when appointments are made through external advertised hiring processes.

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. Refugees who are resettled from overseas become permanent residents through government programs. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.

Treasury Board said these latest changes are meant to, “help departments take measures in their staffing actions to reduce barriers and encourage more inclusive recruitment practices. They are just one part of a set of initiatives and activities to increase diversity and inclusion in the public service so that it is reflective of the Canadian population it serves and a place where all public servants feel a true sense of belonging.”

An action plan to to increase representation and leadership development in the public service was first announced in the 2020 Speech from the Throne with $12 million being committed over three years towards these goals.

Then 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.”

Most recently, Interim Clerk Janice Charette sent a message last month to departments, notifying them that they have until the end of August to submit departmental reports to the Clerk outlining the concrete actions they’ve taken to implement meaningful change around anti-racism and also equity and inclusion in the public service.

Other links:

News release: Taking Action to Address Potential Barriers in Staffing: Public Service Employment Act amendments receive Royal Assent

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

Budget 2021

2020 Speech From the Throne

Public Service Employment Act

Understanding more about permanent resident status

Changes announced to the senior ranks of the public service (July 9, 2021)

By Shuffles

On July 9, 2021, the Prime Minister announced the following changes in the senior ranks of the public service:

Catherine Luelo becomes Chief Information Officer of Canada, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, effective July 26, 2021. Ms. Luelo previously served as Chief Information Officer at Air Canada and at Enbridge Inc.

Bob Hamilton, currently Commissioner of Revenue, is reappointed in this role, effective August 1, 2021.

Other links:

Message from Clerk to departments: departmental progress reports on anti-racism due August 31

By Anti-racism

On Monday, the Interim Clerk issued a message to departments: they must submit a report outlining the concrete actions they’ve taken to implement meaningful change around anti-racism and also equity and inclusion in the public service.

This follows the “Call to action on anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in the Federal Public Service” from the Clerk to departments earlier this year, which “set common expectations for leaders across the public service to take practical actions that will be the basis for systemic change. It is about getting going on actions that are long overdue.”

For their reports, the Interim Clerk asked departments to apply an intersectional lens, considering the interconnected dimensions of identity (e.g. race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identification and expression, and physical or mental ability).

These reports will be made public for all to see and determine which departments have been advancing real change and which ones have the most work to do.

The Interim Clerk said the purpose of this is to be authentic and transparent but also, “to learn from each other, surface key challenges, and identify best practices to tackle barriers and generate and sustain the momentum necessary to achieve meaningful results. Success requires us to do things differently, and this extends to the way we share our progress.”

“I have also heard that barriers remain and entrenched mindsets are obstacles to necessary progress.”

– Janice Charette, Interim Clerk, June 28, 2021

At a Canada School of Public Service virtual event back in April titled, “Systemic racism and the public service,” the Interim Clerk gave opening remarks and acknowledged the slow, uneven progress on anti-racism efforts and recognized that the public service doesn’t look like the public it serves, in terms of representation.

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; Indigenous Services Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and; even the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In addition to her message on Monday, the Interim Clerk also provided departments with guidance on how they could structure their reports with questions to answer, specifically about Indigenous, Black, and other racialized employees.

The Interim Clerk suggested departmental reports could be organized into the following sections:

  • Actions
  • Measurements and results
  • Challenges and barriers
  • Employee response
  • Momentum

The Interim Clerk also encouraged departments to provide a “Data Annex,” a section based on facts with metrics to clearly show how departments have been increasing representation and to answer questions such as:

  • How many Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees:
    • joined your organization in 2020/2021 compared to the total number of employees who joined in 2020/2021*;
    • left your organization in 2020/2021 compared to the total number of employees who left in 2020/2021*; and,
    • were appointed to Executive positions in 2020/2021 compared to the total number of employees appointed to Executive positions in 2020/2021*?

* A comparison to the previous fiscal year may also be illustrative, if available.

  • What department-specific recruitment approaches do you have that are geared towards Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees?
  • What department-specific sponsorship, leadership or other career development services are available to Indigenous employees and Black and other racialized employees?

Departments have until August 31 to submit their reports to the Interim Clerk.

Other links:

Message and guidance for letters on the implementation of the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion

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

Latest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service (June 16)

By COVID-19

The margin of new COVID-19 cases being reported in the public service continues to narrow from week to week. The number of total reported cases since reporting began now stands at 5,256 as of June 16. Only 62 new cases were reported since June 2. The number of total reported cases has been:

  • 5,194 on June 2;
  • 5,151 on May 26;
  • 5,091 on May 19;
  • 4,967 on May 12;
  • 4,785 on May 5;
  • 4,581 on April 28;
  • 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 continues to be:

National Capital Region: 1,457
Quebec (minus the NCR): 909
Ontario (minus the NCR): 800
Alberta: 773
British Columbia: 721

There amount of reported cases in the public service outside of Canada remains at 57.


Province, region or territory
Reported cases
Alberta773
British Columbia721
Manitoba221
National Capital Region (NCR)1,457
New Brunswick16
Newfoundland and Labrador21
Northwest Territories1
Nova Scotia49
Nunavut2
Ontario (Minus NCR)800
Prince Edward Island2
Quebec (Minus NCR)909
Saskatchewan226
Yukon1
Outside of Canada57

Other links:

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

Latest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service (June 2)

By COVID-19

The margin of new COVID-19 cases being reported in the public service continues to narrow from week to week. The number of total reported cases since reporting began now stands at 5,194 as of June 2. Only 43 new cases were reported from the week before. The number of total reported cases has been:

  • 5,151 on May 26;
  • 5,091 on May 19;
  • 4,967 on May 12;
  • 4,785 on May 5;
  • 4,581 on April 28;
  • 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 continues to be:

National Capital Region: 1,437
Quebec (minus the NCR): 908
Ontario (minus the NCR): 793
Alberta: 762
British Columbia: 715

There amount of reported cases in the public service outside of Canada remains at 57.


Province, region or territory
Reported cases
Alberta762
British Columbia715
Manitoba210
National Capital Region (NCR)1,437
New Brunswick15
Newfoundland and Labrador21
Northwest Territories1
Nova Scotia48
Nunavut2
Ontario (Minus NCR)793
Prince Edward Island2
Quebec (Minus NCR)908
Saskatchewan222
Yukon1
Outside of Canada57

Other links:

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

For retired and active public servants: email notification about updates to pay, pension and benefits

By Pay and Pension

Treasury Board recently announced a new email notification system for retired and public servants to stay in the know about updates to their pay, pension and benefits:

Treasury Board describes the system as:

“By subscribing, you will automatically receive important general information about changes to pay and the public service pension and benefits plans, such as changes to the contribution rates, that may affect you.”

When registering, public servants are asked to confirm whether they are retired or active in service and which language of choice they would like to receive their updates in.

Treasury Board recommends using a personal email address to register, one that won’t change in the event employees switch departments.

However, Treasury Board notes that public servants can update their subscription preferences and unsubscribe at any time.

What subscribing looks like:

Link to subscribe:

Register for the public service compensation email notification system here.

This week: National Public Service Week (June 13-19)

By NPSW

This week is National Public Service Week across Canada. It’s a time to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of public servants who work hard serving Canadians all year round but especially in the past year during COVID-19.

Canadians have seen public servants on the front lines during the pandemic but they haven’t seen many public servants who have been working hard, behind the scenes, as well. From ensuring Canadians had the benefits they needed while they weren’t working to procuring vaccines, and strengthening borders and travel, public servants across the public service have been working around the clock to keep Canadians healthy and safe.

Many departments hold their annual awards and recognition events during National Public Service Week.

Read the Prime Minister’s message to public servants for National Public Service Week:

“Today marks the start of National Public Service Week, an opportunity to recognize all public servants across the country for their hard work and their important contributions in their service to Canadians.

“The National Public Service Week’s theme is ‘Proudly Serving Canadians’. Every day, federal public servants rise to the challenge of delivering timely, effective programs and services that support the work of the Government of Canada and meet the needs of Canadians. Over the past year, they worked to defend and protect our country’s interests and values, and helped implement new government policies, initiatives, and programs aimed at improving the lives of Canadians. They also supported the government response to natural disasters, including flooding in the Northwest Territories.

“Since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, federal public servants have supported the government’s efforts to minimize the impact of this public health crisis. They have helped deliver the government’s emergency financial and economic assistance, as well as the procurement and pan-Canadian coordination of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and other supplies. They have also supported COVID-19 data tracking and enhanced testing and research for the virus, implemented border measures, assisted Canadians stranded abroad, and helped fight the pandemic worldwide.

“Federal public servants have continued to show their unwavering professionalism and creative thinking, adapting the way they work to ensure that they could continue to deliver essential services to Canadians when they needed them the most. They are challenging conventional ways of doing things, adopting new technology, and finding innovative ways to support the government’s efforts to keep Canadians healthy and safe, and our businesses open.

“Federal public servants continue to set an example for service excellence. I am proud of their innovation and inspired by their dedication to their fellow Canadians. The Government of Canada will continue to work to ensure that the federal public service has the right people and resources to serve Canadians and their country well. We will also work to make sure that our federal public service is more diverse and inclusive and truly representative of the people it serves.

“To our federal public servants, I say thank you. Your hard work, creativity, and commitment to Canada will help us come out of this pandemic a stronger and more resilient country. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we tackle today’s challenges, for the benefit of all Canadians.”

– Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, June 13, 2021

Watch the Interim Clerk’s video message to public servants for National Public Service Week:

Watch the President of the Treasury Board’s video message to public servants for National Public Service Week:

More about National Public Service Week:

National Public Service Week was created in 1992, following the passage of the National Public Service Week: Serving Canadians Better Act. Its objective is to “recognize the value of the services rendered by federal public service employees” and to “acknowledge the contribution of federal public service employees to the federal administration.”

The week was designed to promote pride in and recognition of the federal public service by providing internal recognition, and by raising Canadians’ awareness of the excellence of the federal public service of Canada. In accordance with the Act, every year throughout Canada, the third week of the month of June is known as “National Public Service Week,” with the week ending on the third Saturday of the month and beginning the previous Sunday.

Other links:

Statement by the Prime Minister on National Public Service Week

The National Public Service Week page on the Government of Canada website

Latest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service (May 26)

By COVID-19

The number of new COVID-19 cases being reported in the public service continues to fall from week to week. The number of total reported cases since reporting began now stands at 5,151 as of May 26. Only 60 new cases were reported last week. The number of total reported cases has been:

  • 5,091 on May 19;
  • 4,967 on May 12;
  • 4,785 on May 5;
  • 4,581 on April 28;
  • 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 continues to be:

National Capital Region: 1,429
Quebec (minus the NCR): 906
Ontario (minus the NCR): 784
Alberta: 757
British Columbia: 710

There amount of reported cases in the public service outside of Canada remains at 57.


Province, region or territory
Reported cases
Alberta757
British Columbia710
Manitoba202
National Capital Region (NCR)1,429
New Brunswick15
Newfoundland and Labrador21
Northwest Territories1
Nova Scotia46
Nunavut2
Ontario (Minus NCR)784
Prince Edward Island2
Quebec (Minus NCR)906
Saskatchewan218
Yukon1
Outside of Canada57

As cases continue to drop, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Treasury Board sent a letter to Deputy Heads on May 28 to inform them that guidance will be coming this summer about increasing occupancy levels at federal worksites as, “decisions taken in the coming weeks and months will matter for the workforce of the future.”

Other links:

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

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

By COVID-19

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in the public service has surpassed 5,000. The number now stands at 5,091 as of May 19. Only 124 new cases were reported last week with the number of new cases continuing to drop on a weekly basis. The number of total reported cases has been:

  • 4,967 on May 12;
  • 4,785 on May 5;
  • 4,581 on April 28;
  • 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 continues to be:

National Capital Region: 1,420
Quebec (minus the NCR): 898
Ontario (minus the NCR): 775
Alberta: 743
British Columbia: 702

There amount of reported cases in the public service outside of Canada remains at 57.

Province, region or territoryReported cases
Alberta743
British Columbia702
Manitoba198
National Capital Region (NCR)1,420
New Brunswick15
Newfoundland and Labrador21
Northwest Territories1
Nova Scotia41
Nunavut2
Ontario (Minus NCR)775
Prince Edward Island1
Quebec (Minus NCR)898
Saskatchewan216
Yukon1
Outside of Canada57

Other links:

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

Changes announced to the senior ranks of the public service (May 28, 2021)

By Shuffles

On May 28, 2021, the Prime Minister announced the following changes in the senior ranks of the public service:

Thao Pham, currently Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations), Privy Council Office, becomes Deputy Minister, COVID Recovery, Privy Council Office, effective May 31, 2021.

Shawn Tupper, currently Associate Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, becomes Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations), Privy Council Office, effective May 31, 2021.

Christopher MacLennan, currently Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also serve as Personal Representative of the Prime Minister for the G20 Summit, effective immediately.

Other links: