Ontario Public Servants Honoured

    McGuinty Government Applauds Employee Excellence

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ -


    Innovative public servants are being honoured today for their hard work
and dedication to the people of Ontario.
    The Amethyst Awards pay tribute to Ontario public servants who have set a
standard of excellence in their daily work. Secretary of Cabinet Shelly
Jamieson and Education Minister Kathleen Wynne were on hand for the
presentation of 24 awards to groups and individuals across the Ontario Public
Service (OPS), including this year's recipient of the Sandra D. Lang Lifetime
Achievement Award.

    Staff being recognized include:

    -   A team who used an innovative construction method to lift, remove and
        replace an entire bridge on a provincial freeway in under 24 hours -
        a first in Canada.
    -   An individual from correctional services who, without formal
        training, created a computer program to aid in child pornography
        investigations - it is now being used by hundreds of law enforcement
    -   A policy team who developed the first comprehensive colorectal cancer
        screening program in North America.
    -   A group who developed BizPaL, an innovative web-based one-stop
        service that allows entrepreneurs to easily generate a customized
        list of the business permits and licences they require from all
        levels of government.
    -   An individual who has dedicated over 20 years to the reduction of
        industrial pollution in Ontario - his methods are now in use across
        Canada and are used to train the next generation of toxics


    "I am continually impressed by the dedication and innovation of Ontario's
public servants who are committed to improving the quality of life for
Ontarians," said Premier McGuinty. "We commend each of this year's Amethyst
Award recipients for the hard work that has contributed to so many positive
outcomes across the province."
    "Leadership, teamwork, creativity and a vision for transformation are
attributes of this year's Amethyst recipients who strive daily to make this
province one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a
family," said Shelly Jamieson. "I congratulate each of these individuals and
groups who have looked beyond the organization to see the big picture for the
benefit of all. I am proud to join the Premier, Minister Wynne and my OPS
colleagues in celebrating their achievements."


    -   The Ontario Public Service is comprised of more than 60,000
    -   Since 1992, over 300 Amethyst Awards have been presented.
    -   This marks the third year for the Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement
        Award, created in honour of former Deputy Minister, Sandra Lang.


    The Amethyst Awards are the Ontario government's most prestigious
recognition program for outstanding work by employees, nominated by their
    The Honours and Awards Secretariat
(http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/honours/) at the Ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration delivers Ontario honours and awards programs which
celebrate the accomplishments of those who make Ontario a great place to live.

                                                      Disponible en français

                           AMETHYST AWARDS PROGRAM
                               2008 RECIPIENTS

    The Amethyst Awards program was created in 1992, to recognize excellence
in the Ontario Public Service (OPS). Administered by the Ontario Honours and
Awards Secretariat, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, any individual,
group or partnership in the OPS is eligible for nomination. Recipients are
selected based on exceptional work in the areas of client service, innovation,
leadership, professional achievement and working horizontally across
government. The Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award honours the late
Deputy Minister Sandra Lang and is awarded to individuals whose career
achievements have set an extraordinary example of excellence and service for
other Ontario public servants.


    George Chin
    Ministry of the Attorney General

    In addition to his position as the Manager of Business Planning in the
Ministry of the Attorney General, George Chin is the Chair of the Ottawa
Interministerial Council (OIC), part of the Eastern and Provincial
Interministerial networks. George is an exceptional leader and a collaborative
innovator. His work has greatly benefited the ministry, OPS staff in the
Ottawa area, and serves as a model for other regions and ministries.


    Angela Coke
    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    An embodiment of leadership, she's a recognized trendsetter "setting the
bar" and "walking the talk". Angela inspires staff by demonstrating and
supporting the Division's values of Integrity; High Performance; Teamwork;
Creativity; and, Work-Life Balance. Despite high demands on her time - she
always makes herself available and accessible to all staff.
    In 2005 she also led the development of the OPS Youth and Young
Professionals Strategy for the Centre for Leadership and Human Resource
Management. Angela lives the words and sets an example that others may


    Loretta Eley
    Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    Over the past thirty years, Ms. Loretta Eley has excelled in the many
aspects of her distinguished career in corrections. She has demonstrated
outstanding leadership and vision towards innovative and humanitarian
approaches in the multifaceted corrections field. As one of the first women to
hold high-level positions, she has significantly contributed to transform the
OPS to be an inclusive environment. Her long-standing resolve has made
"a positive impact on the lives of people in conflict with the law."


    Trevor Fairchild
    Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    In 2004, the workload generated by child pornography investigations was
threatening to overwhelm both the OPP Electronic Crime Section and Child
Pornography Section. Mr. Fairchild, then the administrative assistant for
e-Crime, volunteered to help. Without any experience in computer programming
or digital forensics he nonetheless created a software package that is now in
use by hundreds of Law Enforcement and Security agencies within Canada and


    Dr. Leon Genesove
    Ministry of Labour

    Dr. Leon Genesove exemplifies the Ontario Public Service Values of trust,
fairness, excellence, collaboration, responsiveness, efficiency and diversity
in the daily execution of his responsibilities as an innovative leader. He
started his career with the provincial government twenty-three years ago, and
has been promoted through positions of increasing responsibility and spheres
of influence during that time. Currently he wears two hats: that of Provincial
Physician (since 1997) and Team Lead, Healthcare (since 2007).


    John Goch
    Ministry of Children and Youth Services

    For John Goch, the vision of finding ways to support communities in
healing and addressing youth justice issues is not the result of some recent
epiphany; it is the product of more than thirty years of experience helping
Aboriginal communities to address challenges related to families and youth.
His achievement is ongoing as Youth Justice in the North continues to support
the identification of need, the development of programs and the implementation
of these services in places where they have not been previously offered.


    Stuart J. McKeen
    Ministry of Research and Innovation

    Due to the vision and foresight of Stuart McKeen in challenging two of
Ontario's best and brightest biotechnology scientists to "think big and take
on the world", the Province of Ontario has achieved world leadership positions
in two prestigious international research initiatives that are now leveraging
millions of dollars from Federal and international research granting agencies
to the benefit of Ontario. These initiatives are creating hundreds of jobs for
skilled Ontario graduates and skilled immigrants, bringing top international
scientists to work in Ontario, providing new opportunities for the creation of
spin-off companies and bringing acclaim to Ontario and its biotechnology
research community.


    David Poirier
    Ministry of the Environment

    David Poirier is the leader, chief scientific innovator, and technical
spokesman for MOE's reference facility for aquatic toxicity testing -
acknowledged to be one of the best in Canada. Working with a group of
dedicated scientists and technologists who comprise the Aquatic Toxicology
Unit (ATU), Dave has developed methods used Canada-wide, trained a significant
number of young professionals who are taking similar positions in public and
private laboratories, and has received a 94% approval rating from customers of
his laboratory in a 2005 survey.
    Dave's efforts over 20 years have had a profound effect on reducing
industrial pollution in Ontario. The University of Guelph has recently
recognized his achievements by appointing him to their Special Graduate


    Jeffrey Simser
    Ministry of the Attorney General

    In developing and implementing the Civil Remedies Act, 2001 and leading
the Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities Office ("CRIA"), Jeffrey Simser has
demonstrated innovative excellence, skilled leadership and an ability to
effectively work horizontally.
    The Act is the first of its kind in Canada and permits a civil court to
freeze and forfeit property acquired through, or likely to be used for,
unlawful activity. The legislation has enabled the Ministry of the Attorney
General to use these forfeited funds to compensate victims and provide grants
to prevent victimization.


    John Stager
    Ministry of Labour

    John Stager has championed the modernization of the Ontario government's
regulatory compliance community, working horizontally across 13 regulatory
ministries, other partner ministries, agencies and with business stakeholders.
John's leadership has resulted in strong and connected inspections,
investigations and enforcement (II&E) community and recognition of Ontario by
numerous jurisdictions as a leader in regulatory compliance approaches.
    John's leadership has been instrumental in building the II&E community,
enabling Ontario regulators to work together more effectively while also
assisting the regulated community to comply. These initiatives have improved
the effectiveness of government resources and, most importantly, have improved
overall public protection.



    BizPaL Project Team
    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    BizPaL is an innovative web-based service allowing entrepreneurs to
easily generate a customized list of the business permits and licences they
require from all levels of government - federal, provincial, regional and
municipal. The service saves entrepreneurs time and reduces the administrative
burden in their interaction with government.
    The BizPaL project team realized that a new partnership model was
required for success. The result is sustainable cooperation across all
jurisdictions and the delivery of one-stop permit and licence information
without infringing on local responsibility or accountability.


    Cancer Screening Framework Policy Team
    Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care

    In 2007, Ontario announced a new program to screen for colorectal cancer.
At the time of its announcement, Ontario's Colorectal Cancer Screening Program
was the first of its kind in North America; the first comprehensive colorectal
cancer screening program offered across an entire jurisdiction to its
    The Colorectal Cancer Screening Framework Policy Team developed a unique
Ontario-based approach to delivering comprehensive colorectal cancer
screening. The initiative cuts across leadership, client service, innovation,
professional achievement and horizontal policy work.


    Corporate Talent Management Team
    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    Talent Management (TM) is working to transform the Ontario Public Service
(OPS). The recognized workforce challenges related to retirements and skill
shortages are the burning platform upon which an entirely new and innovative
approach to managing talent was built. Through extensive consultation with
best practice organizations and stakeholders, Talent Management was designed
to meet the unique needs of the organization and it continues to improve and


    Office of Francophone Affairs

    The Office of Francophone Affairs (OFA) Policy Research and Services
Branch Director Eric Mézin and Senior Policy Analyst Geneviève Brouyaux took
the lead in developing and delivering an innovative, strategic and
transformative professional development program for OPS bilingual staff: FLEX
(French-language Excellence).
    FLEX was realized with the collaboration and support of Kerry Pond and
Lynda Shepard from the Centre for Leadership and Learning (CFLL). The program,
delivered in French, was designed to address a wide range of needs and issues
among bilingual staff.


    Healthcare Health and Safety Multi-Disciplinary Team
    Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

    This collaborative multi-branch team improved Ontario's healthcare
workers' health and safety.
    The SARS Commission's final report addressed the devastating impact of
SARS on healthcare workers. Various Ministry of Labour (MOL) branches
responded collectively by forging a partnership involving joint planning,
problem solving and decision-making with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care (MOHLTC). The majority of the report's 84 recommendations were addressed
through 60 initiatives. This level of responsiveness and efficiency is based
on the power of the partnership.


    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program Cabinet Submission Team
    Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care

    A small and feisty inter-branch team metaphorically leapt tall buildings
to ensure the development of the HPV Vaccination Program, addressing all the
government's issues and concerns within extremely tight timelines. Results
were the key focus and accomplishments achieved clearly demonstrate excellence
for both OPS policy and public health.
    The team's keen client focus successfully enabled the government to
announce a significant public health initiative for the prevention of cancer
in a very timely manner.


    Island Park Project Team
    Ministry of Transportation

    For the first time in Canada, an entire bridge on a provincial freeway
was replaced in under 24 hours. On August 11 2007, the Ontario Ministry of
Transportation (MTO) along with its contractors made history by using an
innovative rapid replacement technology to lift, remove, and replace the
Island Park Bridge on the Ottawa Queensway while crowds gathered to witness
first-hand history in the making. The MTO team brought an innovative
construction method to a high profile location where complete success was the
only option acceptable.


    Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) Team
    Ministry of Natural Resources

    On October 25, 2007, Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Area
(NMCA) in Lake Superior was created. Throughout the process, Ontario's NMCA
team provided outstanding leadership on behalf of Ontarians to ensure that
their interests are taken into account, the lake's marine heritage is
adequately protected, and its resource base will be soundly and effectively


    MOE Electricity Team
    Ministry of the Environment

    The government made strong commitments to develop an energy strategy that
would support its efforts on climate change. Central to this strategy was an
increase in Ontario's supply of clean and renewable energy.
    The Ministry of the Environment established a dedicated Electricity Team.
The team found innovative ways to streamline the environmental approval
process and reduce turnaround time by as much as 50 per cent without
compromising environmental protection. As a result, over 70 electricity
projects and more than 1,600 megawatts of new clean and renewable energy
capacity have been assisted through the approvals process in record time.


    New Ontario First Nations Partnership on Gaming Revenues
    Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

    Through the efforts of both teams, Ontario was able to reach agreement
with the Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership for a long term,
multi-billion dollar historic revenue sharing agreement with 133 First
Nations. The monies available to these First Nations will allow for
improvement in health and education in communities, and will allow these
communities to grow and enjoy an improved quality of life. The agreement is an
important first step in the new relationship between First Nations and


    Niagara River Toxics Management Plan
    Ministry of the Environment

    Thirty years after Love Canal the environmental conditions along the
Niagara River are no longer front page news.
    This nomination recognizes twenty years of cross-governmental
co-operation between two countries and four governments. Since 1987 Ontario
Ministry of the Environment scientists and water resource managers have
collaborated with partners to address toxic contaminants in an area that was
once among the most severely degraded in North America. In doing so they have
established a model for efficient inter-jurisdictional environmental


    Office of the Registrar General, Premium Online Service Project Team
    Thunder Bay
    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    In 2006, the Office of the Registrar General (ORG) was committed to
expanding its access to emergency service for birth, marriage and death
certificates from one Toronto public counter to an online application
available to all Ontario citizens with a money-back service guarantee. By
July 2007, the ORG launched Premium Online Service for birth, death and
marriage certificates, backed by a 5 business day Service Guarantee.
    Word of this initiative reverberated throughout the public and the public
sector internationally. It took overwhelming dedication and tenacity to
deliver this project and achieve an astounding 99.75% success rate.


    Tomorrow's OPS (TOPS) Leadership Representatives
    Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

    TOPS executives have shown leadership through their efforts to establish
and build TOPS, and to develop its members as leaders. To create opportunities
for leadership, TOPS encourages members to lead projects that equip young and
new OPS professionals with the skills they'll need to take on leadership



    Ken Knox
    Former Deputy Minister, Retired from the OPS

    Ken Knox has always been focused on the future. His ideas like the
MaRS Centre have made Ontario one of North America's leading jurisdictions in
innovation. Ken Knox started in the Ontario Public Service in the field
offices of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. As Deputy Minister
for the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Ken Knox always showed his
greatest skill: the vision to create new, innovative programs that benefit all

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Maria, D'Addona, Ministry of Citizenship and
Immigration, (416) 314-7529; Christine Edwardson, Ministry of Health
Promotion, (416) 326-4956

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