Premier John Horgan celebrated the exceptional achievements of B.C.’s public service at the annual Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards ceremony on Nov. 21, 2017.
“Seeing first hand how these individuals have made a difference in the lives of others, in their communities and across the entire province, I couldn’t be more proud of the calibre of civil servants working in B.C. today,” said Horgan. “Congratulations to each winner and finalist — thank you for the passion you bring to serving the people of this province.”
Public-service employees were recognized for applying new, innovative ways of providing services in seven categories: Emerging Leader, Innovation, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Partnership and Legacy. Two new BC Public Service Hall of Excellence inductees were also recognized — the highest honour that the BC Public Service can extend to its employees, recognizing long-lasting achievement, dedication and service to the province.
“As minister responsible for the BC Public Service Agency, I am continually in awe of the knowledge, expertise and commitment of the civil servants who deliver the services British Columbians count on,” said Finance Minister Carole James. “Employees honoured this year ensure our drinking water is clean, welcome newcomers settling into B.C. communities and support our most vulnerable citizens in the Downtown Eastside. Each of them provides insight into the kind of talent the BC Public Service attracts, and I thank them for their service.”
The people and projects nominated for the Premier’s Awards have significantly strengthened the services people rely on throughout the province. This year’s award recipients were selected by a group of independent adjudicators and were evaluated through a two-part judging process.
Videos of the Premier’s Awards finalists can be viewed online:
Learn more about the BC Public Service Hall of Excellence and previous B.C. Legacy winners:
A backgrounder follows.
Jen HolmwoodDeputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
Sonja ZoellerCommunications Manager
Ministry of Finance
Public-service employees were recognized for applying new, innovative ways of providing services in seven categories: Emerging Leader, Innovation, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Partnership and Legacy. Two new BC Public Service Hall of Excellence inductees were also recognized.
Rainer Nicdao led the Vancouver Integration and Outreach Team in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, assisting clients facing significant challenges, including homelessness, addiction and domestic violence.
The Ministry of Finance introduced the Additional Property Transfer Tax. This innovative new tax is the first of its kind in Canada.
Jennifer Goad’s leadership qualities were put to good use in a variety of natural resource sector roles, including when she helped end the Grace Islet controversy — a Southern Gulf Islands land-use disagreement — through consultation between multiple levels of local and regional government, 13 First Nations and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
B.C.’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch transformed the liquor industry by rewriting legislation, developing progressive new policies, streamlining business processes and establishing B.C.’s reputation as a progressive leader in liquor reform.
Through the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund, staff helped welcome and settle 3,000 Syrian refugees to B.C. from 2015-16 with a made-in-B.C. approach, forging new partnerships, expanding cultural awareness and creating community capacity throughout B.C. for generations to come.
With over three decades in the BC Public Service, Michael Shepherd’s advice is sought not only by the highest levels of executives, but countless colleagues as well: a “Michael Shepherd, QC, opinion” is considered the gold standard for solicitor’s legal advice. Shepherd has contributed significantly to the Province’s debt management and success in the capital markets, saving millions in costs and mitigating risks.
After 35 years, Mike Wei is B.C.’s leading authority on hydrogeology and the management and protection of groundwater. From developing nationally leading legislation and regulatory standards, supporting the new Water Sustainability Act, to his work on tools mapping, classifying and monitoring aquifers, Wei shaped B.C.’s management of groundwater and the public health of British Columbians who rely on it.
BC Public Service Hall of Excellence:
For almost 30 years, Dave Jagpal has helped deliver income assistance to B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens, many of whom are homeless and dealing with multiple barriers — including addictions and mental health issues — in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His passion to improve outcomes for marginalized groups has resulted in positive, life-changing impacts and improved services for the benefit of all British Columbians.
BC Public Service Hall of Excellence:
Brent Merchant began as an entry-level correctional officer and rose to lead the Adult Custody Division before becoming assistant deputy minister. Under Brent’s leadership, BC Corrections became a national leader in a more humane, respectful way of supervising offenders in the community and caring for inmates in custody. He was also instrumental in addressing capacity challenges by adding a total of 800 new cells throughout B.C.