Presentation of the Public Service of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award
Rideau Hall, Friday, January 23, 2009
I am delighted to welcome you to Rideau Hall to pay tribute to three people—a woman and two men—who embody excellence within the Public Service of Canada, and because one woman is equal to two men.
Mrs. Bloodworth, Mr. MacLean, Mr. Smith, I see a great deal of similarity in the paths you have taken.
First of all, there is your passion for what you do, which has motivated you since your careers began.
You wanted to explore the universe; treat and heal bodies; defend the principles of justice and protect what is most dear to our society.
You have shared that passion with your teams and your colleagues in the hope that it would spread throughout the institutions you have led or that you continue to lead today.
There is also a similarity in your willingness to contribute to something greater than yourselves and to improve the lives of those around you.
Your discoveries, your innovations, your achievements touch the lives of millions of our fellow citizens and enhance our global reach.
And finally, there is similarity in the way you have of seeing beyond the horizon. Beyond the status quo. Beyond preconceived ideas, beyond the present, beyond the clouds, even beyond the stars themselves.
Thanks to you, we have an entirely new perspective on the Earth, biology and medicine, national security and resource management.
Here in Canada, we are fortunate to have an extraordinary public service, both because of the women and men who have committed themselves to it and because of the work they do with caring and integrity.
It is work that goes well beyond personal interest. Work that is especially important today, as we need now more than ever a global vision and planet-wide approach to develop our public programs and policies.
We can no longer go it alone and focus solely on national realities. Because the issues we are facing today affect the entire world.
Which is why I am delighted that Canada can count on people of your calibre and on experienced, dedicated employees and colleagues to support you.
Thank you for putting your passion, creativity, vision and energy to use in service of our country and all Canadians.
Thank you for working to better our well-being and for the evolution of our society.