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Canada: Harper Shuffles Deputy Ministers, Senior Officials
Source: theglobeandmail.com
Source Date: Monday, October 15, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Canada
Created: Oct 16, 2012

From international trade to internal spending cuts, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shaking up some of the top financial assignments in the federal government.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced a shuffle of deputy ministers and other senior officials on Monday afternoon that touches on several key economic files.

The new assignments give the deputy ministers several months to find their feet before the Prime Minister shuffles his cabinet, as he has promised to do in 2013.

During the summer, Mr. Harper said he would evaluate his ministers around the midterm mark of the four-year mandate the government won in May, 2011. It’s expected that the cabinet shuffle would coincide with a prorogation and Speech from the Throne outlining policy priorities for the next two years.

Monday’s moves include the promotion of a rising star in the public service, Simon Kennedy, to his first deputy minister job. Mr. Kennedy takes on the important international trade file after spending time at Industry and the Privy Council Office. He does so as Canada is finalizing a trade deal with the European Union and beginning wide-ranging talks with the United States, Mexico and seven other nations under the umbrella of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mr. Kennedy has close working relationships with U.S. officials – including Ambassador David Jacobson – because of his lead role representing Canada in negotiations aimed at boosting co-operation on trade and security.

Mr. Kennedy also headed the investment review team at Industry Canada that provided the policy work leading to Ottawa’s decision not to approve an Australian company’s hostile-takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. in November, 2010. That background will come in handy as Ottawa works out long-term policy rules on trade and foreign investment.

“There’s a huge trade agenda before the government, and his leadership, energy, insight and skills will be a gift to the department and to the minister,” said Peter Harder, who has held several deputy minister positions in Ottawa, including trade. He now follows the trade file closely as president of the Canada China Business Council.

Meanwhile, veteran senior deputy minister Michelle d’Auray is leaving Treasury Board, where she worked with minister Tony Clement on spending cuts to the public service that were announced in the March budget. She becomes deputy minister of Public Works, where challenging files include government procurement of new fighter jets and extensive renovations of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

In all, the Monday afternoon announcement from the PMO shuffles six people who already were deputy ministers, while two senior public servants take on new jobs as heads of departments.

Those with insight into the world of deputy ministers said the shuffle appears to be largely driven by a cascade of openings triggered by a couple of recent retirements.

Along with Mr. Kennedy, Yaprak Baltacioglu is considered to be among the next generation of mandarins in Ottawa. She moves from Transport to Treasury Board, the department that is ultimately responsible for the extensive staffing changes across the government triggered by the March, 2012, federal budget.

The moves announced Monday also include:

Fran?ois Guimont, currently DM of Public Works, becomes DM of Public Safety
Louis Lévesque, currently DM for International Trade, becomes DM of Transport
Guy Mc Kenzie, currently president of the Canada School of Public Service, becomes president of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Linda Lizotte-MacPherson, currently Commissioner of Revenue, becomes president of the Canada School of Public Service
Jean Boivin, currently deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, becomes associate deputy minister of Finance
Marta Morgan, currently assistant deputy minister, Industry Sector, Industry Canada, becomes associate deputy minister of Industry.

(By Bill Curry)
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