Dear Ms. Anand:
Thank you for agreeing to serve Canadians as Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
On Election Day, Canadians chose to continue moving forward. From coast to coast to coast, people chose to invest in their families and communities, create good middle class jobs and fight climate change while keeping our economy strong and growing. Canadians sent the message that they want us to work together to make progress on the issues that matter most, from making their lives more affordable and strengthening the healthcare system, to protecting the environment, keeping our communities safe and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. People expect Parliamentarians to work together to deliver these results, and that’s exactly what this team will do.
It is more important than ever for Canadians to unite and build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient country. The Government of Canada is the central institution to promote that unity of purpose and, as a Minister in that Government, you have a personal duty and responsibility to fulfill that objective.
That starts with a commitment to govern in a positive, open and collaborative way. Our platform, Forward: A Real Plan for the Middle Class, is the starting point for our Government. I expect us to work with Parliament to deliver on our commitments. Other issues and ideas will arise or will come from Canadians, Parliament, stakeholders and the public service. It is my expectation that you will engage constructively and thoughtfully and add priorities to the Government’s agenda when appropriate. Where legislation is required, you will need to work with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the Cabinet Committee on Operations to prioritize within the minority Parliament.
We will continue to deliver real results and effective government to Canadians. This includes: tracking and publicly reporting on the progress of our commitments; assessing the effectiveness of our work; aligning our resources with priorities; and adapting to events as they unfold, in order to get the results Canadians rightly demand of us.
Many of our most important commitments require partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Indigenous partners, communities and governments. Even where disagreements may occur, we will remember that our mandate comes from citizens who are served by all orders of government and it is in everyone’s interest that we work together to find common ground. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is the Government-wide lead on all relations with the provinces and territories.
There remains no more important relationship to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We made significant progress in our last mandate on supporting self-determination, improving service delivery and advancing reconciliation. I am directing every single Minister to determine what they can do in their specific portfolio to accelerate and build on the progress we have made with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
I also expect us to continue to raise the bar on openness, effectiveness and transparency in government. This means a government that is open by default. It means better digital capacity and services for Canadians. It means a strong and resilient public service. It also means humility and continuing to acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect; they expect us to be diligent, honest, open and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.
As Minister, you are accountable for your style of leadership and your ability to work constructively in Parliament. I expect that you will collaborate closely with your Cabinet and Caucus colleagues. You will also meaningfully engage with the Government Caucus and Opposition Members of Parliament, the increasingly non-partisan Senate, and Parliamentary Committees.
It is also your responsibility to substantively engage with Canadians, civil society and stakeholders, including businesses of all sizes, organized labour, the broader public sector and the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. You must be proactive in ensuring that a broad array of voices provides you with advice, in both official languages, from every region of the country.
We are committed to evidence-based decision-making that takes into consideration the impacts of policies on all Canadians and fully defends the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You will apply Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the decisions that you make.
Canada’s media and your engagement with them in a professional and timely manner are essential. The Parliamentary Press Gallery, indeed all journalists in Canada and abroad, ask necessary questions and contribute in an important way to the democratic process.
You will do your part to continue our Government’s commitment to transparent, merit-based appointments, to help ensure that people of all gender identities, Indigenous Peoples, racialized people, persons with disabilities and minority groups are reflected in positions of leadership.
As Minister of Public Services and Procurement, you will ensure services within your portfolio, including those internal to government, are delivered at a high standard and in an efficient manner. You will oversee the procurement processes of government so that they reflect modern best practices, lessons learned and value for money.
I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities. In particular, you will:
- With the support of the President of the Treasury Board, continue the modernization of procurement practices so that they are simpler, less administratively burdensome, user friendly, deploy modern comptrollership, encourage greater competition and include practices that support our economic policy goals, including innovation, as well as green and social procurement. Your implementation of the e-Procurement Solution will be central to this priority.
- Publish clear metrics to measure government performance on procurements and make government data more readily available to vendors to encourage more and better bids.
- Continue the development of better vendor management tools to ensure the Government is able to hold contractors accountable for poor performance or unacceptable behaviour, particularly in large-scale procurements.
- Develop initiatives to increase the diversity of bidders on government contracts.
- Work with the Minister of Indigenous Services andthe President of the Treasury Board to create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to succeed and grow by creating a new target to have at least 5 per cent of federal contracts awarded to businesses managed and led by Indigenous Peoples.
- Lead, with the support of the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, in bringing forward analyses and options for the creation of Defence Procurement Canada, to ensure that Canada’s biggest and most complex National Defence and Canadian Coast Guard procurement projects are delivered on time and with greater transparency to Parliament. This priority is to be developed concurrently with ongoing procurement projects and existing timelines.
- Work with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, as well as the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to continue the full renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, and with the Minister of National Defence to continue the renewal of the Royal Canadian Navy Fleet, continuing the revitalization of the shipbuilding industry across Canada, creating middle class jobs and ensuring Canada’s marine services have the modern ships that they need.
- Work with the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to manage the competitive process, select a supplier and enter into a contract to construct Canada’s fighter aircraft fleet.
- With the support of the Minister of Digital Government, eliminate the backlog of outstanding pay issues for public servants as a result of the Phoenix Pay System to rebuild their confidence in the integrity of their pay and pensions.
- Support the Minister of Digital Government on the Next Generation Pay and Human Resources System to replace the Phoenix Pay System and support the President of the Treasury Board to actively engage Canada’s major public sector unions.
- Work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion to develop a proposal to require that government suppliers participate in the new Canadian Apprenticeship Service, and require that federal construction contracts meet targets for greater inclusion of women in the trades.
- Working with the provinces and energy suppliers, develop a strategy to power federal buildings with 100 per cent clean electricity, where available, by 2022. Commit to being a first purchaser to help support the growth of new clean electricity/renewable power sources as they become available.
- Explore measures that support the conversion of Government fleets to zero-emission vehicles.
- Continue to implement a new vision for Canada Post to ensure it provides the high-quality service that Canadians expect at a reasonable price. The Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development will support you in improving Canada Post services in rural and remote areas.
- Be the lead Minister for the National Capital Commission (NCC) and leverage your department’s strengths in real property management and heritage rehabilitation, as demonstrated in the Parliamentary Precinct rehabilitation. You will work with the NCC in its core functions of federal lands planning, stewardship of nationally significant public places, and creative partner for development and conservation.
- Continue to improve crossings in the National Capital Region, moving forward with Budget 2019 commitments to replace the Alexandra Bridge, addressing the demonstrated need for an additional National Capital Region crossing with a long-term integrated interprovincial crossing plan led by the NCC, and investing to rehabilitate and maintain the crossings, including the Chaudière and Macdonald-Cartier bridges.
- Support the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations to conclude the Government’s contribution to the space for Indigenous Peoples in the Parliamentary Precinct.
- Working with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Indigenous Services leverage the expertise of the Translation Bureau to help preserve, protect and revitalize First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages by increasing the availability of translation and interpretation services.
These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments. As mentioned, you are encouraged to seek opportunities to work across Parliament in the fulfillment of these commitments and to identify additional priorities.
I expect you to work closely with your Deputy Minister and their senior officials to ensure that the ongoing work of your department is undertaken in a professional manner and that decisions are made in the public interest. Your Deputy Minister will brief you on the many daily decisions necessary to ensure the achievement of your priorities, the effective running of the government and better services for Canadians. It is my expectation that you will apply our values and principles to these decisions so that they are dealt with in a timely and responsible manner and in a way that is consistent with the overall direction of our Government.
Our ability, as a government, to implement our priorities depends on consideration of the professional, non-partisan advice of public servants. Each and every time a government employee comes to work, they do so in service to Canada, with a goal of improving our country and the lives of all Canadians. I expect you to establish a collaborative working relationship with your Deputy Minister, whose role, and the role of public servants under their direction, is to support you in the performance of your responsibilities.
We have committed to an open, honest government that is accountable to Canadians, lives up to the highest ethical standards and applies the utmost care and prudence in the handling of public funds. I expect you to embody these values in your work and observe the highest ethical standards in everything you do. I want Canadians to look on their own government with pride and trust.
As Minister, you must ensure that you are aware of and fully compliant with the Conflict of Interest Act and Treasury Board policies and guidelines. You will be provided with a copy of Open and Accountable Government to assist you as you undertake your responsibilities. I ask that you carefully read it, including elements that have been added to strengthen it, and ensure that your staff does so as well. I expect that in staffing your offices you will hire people who reflect the diversity of Canada, and that you will uphold principles of gender equality, disability equality, pay equity and inclusion.
Give particular attention to the Ethical Guidelines set out in Annex A of that document, which apply to you and your staff. As noted in the Guidelines, you must uphold the highest standards of honesty and impartiality, and both the performance of your official duties and the arrangement of your private affairs should bear the closest public scrutiny. This is an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.
I will note that you are responsible for ensuring that your Minister’s Office meets the highest standards of professionalism and that it is a safe, respectful, rewarding and welcoming place for your staff to work.
I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you. It is incumbent on you to turn to me and the Deputy Prime Minister early and often to support you in your role as Minister.
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada