NOTES FOR ACCEPTANCE STATEMENT BY DAVID A VARDY AT PRESENTATION OF GOLD MEDAL BY THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA AT THE HOTEL NEWFOUNDLAND ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, 2000

 

PREMIER TOBIN, PRESIDENT STEVE HINDLE OF THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA, MINISTERS ANNA THISTLE AND JOHN EFFORD, MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY RALPH WISEMAN, EXECUTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE, PRESIDENT EARLE MCCURDY OF THE FFAW-CAW, PRESIDENT ALASTAIR O’RIELLY OF THE FISHERIES ASSOCIATION OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, BARBARA HOPKINS, ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE AUTISM SOCIETY OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, PRESIDENT DENNIS KNIGHT OF THE ST. JOHN’S ROTARY CLUB, DISTINQUISHED GUESTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

 

IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO ACCEPT THIS GOLD MEDAL FROM THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA. THIS IS INDEED AN HONOUR, NOT ONLY TO MYSELF BUT ALSO TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE PROVINCE AND PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH WHOM I HAVE WORKED OVER THE PAST 28 YEARS.

 

THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE IN THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PROVINCE IS ONE WHICH HAS BEEN WIDELY ACCEPTED.  IT HAS BEEN ADDRESSED BY EVERY POLICY RESEARCH GROUP AMONG THE CRITICAL FACTORS IN THE PROVINCE’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.  THE AMULREE REPORT OF 1934 RECOGNIZED IT AS DID THE PUSHIE ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE ECONOMIC PROSPECTS OF THE PROVINCE THAT REPORTED IN 1967 AND THE ECONOMIC COUNCIL OF CANADA REPORT OF 1979.

 

FURTHERMORE, THE RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS IS IMPORTANT TO THE MATURITY AND DEVELOPMENT OF EACH PROFESSION.  THIS APPLIES NOT ONLY TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE.  RECENT MOVES TO RECOGNIZE FISH HARVESTERS AS A PROFESSION IS A SIGNIFICANT STEP IN THE EVOLUTION OF OUR FISHERY AND OF OUR SOCIETY.  THE RECENT AWARD OF THE ROMEO LEBLANC MEDAL FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHING TO A WELL-KNOWN FISH HARVESTER FROM THE EASTPORT PENINSULA, GEORGE FELTHAM, FOR GOOD CONSERVATION PRACTICES IN THE HARVESTING OF LOBSTER, IS HEARTENING. THE LAUREATES REPRESENT THE NATIONAL COMMITMENT BEING MADE BY CANADIAN FISH HARVESTERS TO THE SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION OF OUR OCEAN RESOURCES.   THIS SHOULD BE THE TRIGGER FOR FURTHER AWARDS TO RECOGNIZE ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FISHERY, PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT RELATE TO CONSERVATION AND RESOURCE MANAGMENT.

 

GLENN BLACKWOOD AND HIS COLLEAGUES AT THE CENTER FOR FISHERIES INNOVATION ARE TO BE APPLAUDED FOR THEIR WORK IN ESTABLISHING AWARDS TO RECOGNIZE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY.

 

I HAVE ALWAYS FELT THAT WE AS A SOCIETY SHOULD BE MORE PRO-ACTIVE IN THE RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN A NUMBER OF KEY PROFESSIONS, PARTICULARLY FISH HARVESTERS, TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS.

 

MY NOMINATION FOR THIS AWARD WAS SUBMITTED BY MR. JOHN CUMMINGS, CLERK OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. IN HIS NOMINATION MR. CUMMINGS CITED A NUMBER OF PROJECTS IN WHICH I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED. THESE INCLUDE THE DIVESTITURE IN 1984 OF THE PAPER MILL IN CORNER BROOK, WHEN BOWATER MADE THE DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM THE PROVINCE.    MY ROLE, AND THAT OF THE PROJECT TEAM WHICH I LED, WAS TO FIND A NEW OPERATOR FOR THE MILL. THIS BOWATER DIVESTITURE PROJECT WAS HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL IN THAT WE FOUND AN OPERATOR WHO HAS SINCE REVITALIZED THE MILL AND GIVEN NEW LIFE TO CORNER BROOK.

 

THIS PROJECT TOOK CLOSE TO A YEAR AND A HALF AND ITS SUCCESS IS DUE TO THE EFFORTS OF A HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL TEAM OF PUBLIC SERVANTS.  MESSRS. JOHN CUMMINGS, HAL STANLEY AND HERB CLARKE, WHO ARE WITH US TODAY, WERE MEMBERS OF THIS TEAM.

 

THE BOWATER PROJECT WAS ONE OF THE MORE IMPORTANT FILES WHICH I CARRIED AS SECRETARY TO CABINET.   I SERVED AS SECRETARY TO CABINET FROM 1978 TO 1985. MY MENTOR WAS JIM CHANNING WHO SERVED AS CLERK OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FROM 1956 UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT IN 1978.   I WAS ONE OF A NEW GROUP OF YOUNG DEPUTY MINISTERS WHO WERE PROTEGEES OF JIM CHANNING AND GRADUATES OF MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY.   THIS GROUP OF YOUNG TURKS INCLUDED VIC YOUNG, HERB CLARKE, DAVID MERCER, BOB PETERS AND CYRIL ABERY.    I REMEMBER BEING REFERRED TO IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BY THE LATE STEVE NEARY AS A BEARDED WEIRDO!

 

AGAIN, ON A LIGHTER NOTE I WANT TO RELATE A VIGNETTE FROM MY TERM AS SECRETARY TO CABINET.   THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE WAS BEING READ AND I WAS SITTING IN MY OFFICE. I RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH WHO RAISED THE SUBJECT OF THE NOTES THAT WERE SENT FOR INCLUSION IN THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE.    THE NOTES REFERRED TO THE GREAT SUCCESS OF A NEW MOBILE DENTAL HEALTH CLINIC.   THE NOTES HAD INDICATED THAT THE CLINIC HAD BEEN PERFORMING SERVICES ALL AROUND THE PROVINCE.  THE DEPUTY MINISTER SAID THE BUS HAD BEEN PARKED BEHIND THE CONFEDERATION BUILDING FOR TWO YEARS BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDING.   THE NOTES WHICH HAD BEEN SENT TO ME WERE NOT QUITE ON THE MARK.    HE SAID  THE CLINIC IS GOING ON THE ROAD THIS AFTERNOON!!!

 

ANOTHER PROJECT CITED IN THE NOMINATION IS MY ROLE AT THE MARINE INSTITUTE, DURING WHICH I WORKED WITH LES O’REILLY, CHRIS CAMPBELL, KEVIN CLARKE AND OTHERS TO BUILD A WORLD CLASS CENTER OF EXPERTISE IN FISHERIES AND MARINE TECHNOLOGY.   THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCES OF MY PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER.   IT WAS VERY GRATIFYING TO BE THE CEO OF A VERY DYNAMIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION THAT WAS CREATED TO SUPPORT THE FISHERY AND OTHER MARINE SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.  THE NEWLY EMERGING OFFSHORE PETROLEUM SECTOR WAS A KEY COMPONENT OF THE MANDATE GIVEN TO THE NEW INSTITUTE OF FISHERIES AND MARINE TECHNOLOGY.

 

THE MARINE INSTITUTE HAS GROWN IN STATURE AS A RESULT OF ITS BECOMING A PART OF THE UNIVERSITY AND HAVING THE CAPACITY TO OFFER DEGREE LEVEL PROGRAMS. THE MOVE TOWARD AFFILIATION WITH MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY BEGAN DURING MY SHORT TENURE AS PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE.

 

MY TERM AT THE MARINE INSTITUTE WAS BROUGHT TO AN END AFTER ONLY FOUR YEARS WHEN PREMIER WELLS ASKED ME TO TAKE ON THE ROLE OF DEPUTY MINISTER OF FISHERIES.   IT WAS DURING MY TERM AS DEPUTY MINISTER THAT THE COD FISHERY AND INDEED THE WHOLE GROUNDFISH SECTOR WAS PLACED UNDER MORATORIUM. THE DEPARTMENT WORKED VERY HARD TO TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN SHAPING THE FISHERY OF THE FUTURE BUT THE INEXORABLE EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLLAPSE OF THE RESOURCE OVERSHADOWED EVERYTHING WE DID.

 

I HAVE SERVED AS A DEPUTY MINISTER, OR EQUIVALENT, IN FIVE DIFFERENT POSITIONS, FOR OVER 25 YEARS.   DURING THIS PERIOD, IN ADDITION TO MY TERM AS DEPUTY MINISTER OF FISHERIES, I HAVE CHAIRED A QUASI-JUDICIAL TRIBUNAL, THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD, I HAVE MANAGED A POST SECONDARY INSTITUTION NAMELY THE MARINE INSTITUTE, AND I HAVE SERVED AS SECRETARY TO THE CABINET, THE MOST SENIOR PUBLIC SERVICE POSITION IN THE PROVINCE. ALL OF THIS HAS INVOLVED AN INCREDIBLE VARIETY OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES.

 

THE THIRD PROJECT CITED IN THE NOMINATION WAS THE TASK FORCE ON FISH PRICES, WHICH LED TO A NEW APPROACH TO THE SETTING OF FISH PRICES IN THE PROVINCE. IT IS THIS PROJECT WHICH WAS THE BASIS FOR MY NOMINATION AND I WILL SAY A FEW WORDS ON HOW THE PROJECT ORIGINATED AND HOW IT WAS CONDUCTED, WITHOUT BEING DRAWN IN TO A DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW SYSTEM. 

 

DURING THE PERIOD 1994 TO 1997 THERE WERE A NUMBER OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES IN THE FISHERY, WITH THE MOST SERIOUS BEING THE STRIKE IN THE CRAB FISHERY IN 1997. WHEN THE DISPUTE WAS SETTLED, GOVERNMENT MADE A COMMITMENT THAT AN INQUIRY WOULD BE HELD TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PROCESS OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE FISHERY.   I WAS ASKED TO HEAD UP A TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE ALTERNATIVES TO THE EXISTING SYSTEM AND TO BRING FORWARD A NEW APPROACH.

 

THE WORK OF THE TASK FORCE BEGAN EARLY IN SEPTEMBER OF 1997 AND THE TASK FORCE WAS ASKED TO REPORT BY JANUARY 15 OF 1998. THIS WAS A DEMANDING ASSIGNMENT TO BE CARRIED OUT IN A SHORT SPACE OF TIME!

 

THE TASK FORCE REPORTED ON TIME AND ITS REPORT WAS IMMEDIATELY ACCEPTED BY GOVERNMENT AND BY THE PARTIES AS THE BASIS FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.   IT HAS SINCE BEEN ENSHRINED IN LEGISLATION, HAVING BEEN USED IN 1998, 1999 AND IN THE CURRENT YEAR FOR THE SETTING OF FISH PRICES.    WHILE I WILL NOT BE DESCRIBING THE NEW PRICE SETTING SYSTEM I DO WANT TO SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE PATH THAT WAS TAKEN IN GETTING FROM THE OLD SYSTEM TO THE NEW.

 

FIRST I WANT TO APPLAUD THE WISDOM OF THOSE IN GOVERNMENT WHO ASSEMBLED THE TEAM WHICH MADE UP THE TASK FORCE.   THE TEAM WAS PRESENTED TO ME AS A FAIT ACCOMPLI.   HAVING SAID THAT, THE CHOICE OF MEMBERS TO WORK WITH ME WAS INSPIRED. IT WAS A VERY STRONG TEAM.

 

THIS TEAM INCLUDED JOE O’NEILL, WHO AT THE TIME WAS ASSISTANT DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR RELATIONS.   JOE HAS AN ENORMOUS WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN LABOUR RELATIONS.   THESE QUALITIES, ALONG WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF GOOD COMMON SENSE, WERE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO THE DESIGN OF A PRACTICAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS THAT HAD PLAGUED THE FISHING INDUSTRY. (ASK JOE O’NEILL TO STAND).

 

DAVID JONES WAS OUR LEGAL COUNSEL AND DAVID WAS, AND IS, THE LEGAL ADVISOR TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE.    AS A MEMBER OF THE TASK FORCE HE WAS MUCH MORE THAN A LAWYER.   LIKE JOE O’NEILL HE HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF IDEAS AND PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS.

 

BRIAN DELANEY WAS OUR RESEARCH OFFICER.   BRIAN  IS A BRIGHT YOUNG ECONOMIST WHO MADE AN ENORMOUS CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORK OF THE TASK FORCE.   HE IS A RISING STAR IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE!

 

ROSE LEDWELL WAS OUR EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND WHEN THE TIME CAME TO WRITE OUR REPORT SHE CAME THROUGH SINGLE-HANDLEDLY, DOING THE WORK OF THREE SECRETARIES.     OUR TASK FORCE WORKED 14 TO 16 HOURS A DAY.    TOWARD THE END I HAD TO TELL ROSE AT 3 AM IN THE MORNING TO GO HOME.    BUT SHE WAS BACK IN THE OFFICE, READY TO BEGIN AGAIN AT 8:30 A.M.    ROSE HAS A STRONG WORK ETHIC AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. (ASK ROSE TO STAND)

 

SECOND THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO SET UP A TASK FORCE RATHER THAN A FORMAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY.   A FORMAL INQUIRY WOULD HAVE HAD THE POWER TO SUBPOENA EVIDENCE AND TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS.   AT THE OUTSET, AS CHAIR OF A QUASI-JUDICIAL TRIBUNAL I FELT THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE WAY TO GO.

 

I WAS WRONG. THE MORE INFORMAL APPROACH OF THE TASK FORCE WAS THE SECRET OF OUR SUCCESS. THE TASK FORCE CARRIED ON AN INTENSIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE PARTIES, EARLE MCCURDY, REG ANSTEY AND ALASTAIR O’RIELLY WHICH TOOK PLACE LATE AT NIGHT IN HOTEL ROOMS AS WELL AS IN MORE FORMAL MEETINGS.  THE PREMIER AND HIS MINISTERS MADE THE RIGHT DECISION AS TO THE FORM OF THE INQUIRY. INSTEAD OF DRAWING UPON THE FORMAL HEARINGS-BASED APPROACH OF A JUDICIAL TRIBUNAL WE EMBRACED AN APPROACH WHICH HAS BEEN HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL IN RESOLVING DISPUTES. THE APPROACH OF WHICH I SPEAK IS THAT OF NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENTS OR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR).

 

IT BECAME APPARENT AT THE OUTSET THAT THE CHALLENGE FOR THE TASK FORCE WAS NOT SIMPLY TO PRODUCE A REPORT WITH GOOD IDEAS AND NEW APPROACHES.  THE TASK WAS MUCH GREATER.    THE CHARGE WAS TO FORGE A CONSENSUS AMONG THE PARTIES WHICH WOULD BE WORKABLE IMMEDIATELY.   TO THIS END WE WORKED CONTINUOUSLY WITH THE PARTIES.  TOGETHER WE MET WITH FISHERY REPRESENTATIVES FROM OTHER PROVINCES AND FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.   TOGETHER WE REVIEWED OTHER MODELS FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.    EVERY STEP WE TOOK WAS TAKEN IN CONCERT WITH THE PARTIES.

 

THE TASK FORCE TRAVELLED THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE TO SEEK INPUT.   WE ASKED FOR VIEWS FROM FISH HARVESTERS AND PROCESSORS IN SMALL GROUPS WHERE PEOPLE COULD SPEAK CANDIDLY AND OPENLY.  THESE MEETINGS, IN PLACES LIKE MARY’S HARBOUR, HARBOUR BRETON, AND CLARENVILLE WERE INVALUABLE.  WE LISTENED CAREFULLY TO WHAT WE HEARD AND, AS HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE, THERE WAS A LOT OF WISDOM IN WHAT WE WERE TOLD.

 

THE TASK FORCE ORGANIZED A BRAINSTORMING SESSION INVOLVING A GROUP OF FISH HARVESTERS AND FISH PROCESSORS, ALONG WITH THEIR LEADERS.   THIS EXCHANGE TOOK PLACE IN A SMALL BOARD ROOM AT THE BUNGALOW IN BOWRING PARK. WE PRESENTED 42 QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE FOR THEM TO ADDRESS.    EACH OF THE PARTIES RESPONDED TO THESE QUESTIONS IN AN OPEN FORUM AND IN A SERIES OF SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS THERE EMERGED THE KERNEL OF A NEW APPROACH, FOUNDED UPON INTEREST BASED BARGAINING.

 

THE ESSENCE OF THE NEW APPROACH WAS TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE PROCESS IN THE HANDS OF THE PARTIES AND TO MINIMIZE THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND OF OTHER THIRD PARTIES.

 

AFTER THE REPORT WAS ACCEPTED THE PARTIES ASKED ME IF I WOULD AGREE TO SERVE AS FACILITATOR IN REACHING COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS FOR CRAB AND SHRIMP.     I TOOK ON THIS ROLE AND AT THE SAME TIME  ENLISTED THE HELP OF HERB EBSARY.     HERB HAS CONTINUED TO PERFORM THE ROLE OF FACILITATOR AT THE REQUEST OF THE PARTIES SINCE 1998.    IN MY OPINION HIS EFFECTIVENESS IN THIS ROLE HAS BEEN A CRITICAL INGREDIENT IN THE SUCCESS OF THE NEW APPROACH TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY. (ASK HERB TO STAND)

 

HOW HAS THE NEW SYSTEM WORKED?  IT HAS AVOIDED STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS IN THE $1 BILLION DOLLAR FISHING INDUSTRY OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS.   THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CLIMATE HAS CHANGED FOR THE GOOD.   THE SYSTEM  HAS ALSO LED TO AN EARLIER OPENING OF THE CRAB AND SHRIMP  FISHERIES.    THE EARLIER OPENING HAS MEANT HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCT LARGELY BECAUSE THE PRODUCT IS LANDED WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS COOLER AND MEAT QUALITY IS HIGH.    PREVIOUSLY, PEAK LANDINGS WOULD OCCUR IN MID SUMMER WHEN TEMPERATURE IS HIGHER AND THE QUALITY LOWER.  THE HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCT AND THE GREATER RELIABILITY OF SUPPLY HAVE HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT IN THE MARKETPLACE FOR SEAFOOD FOR NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR.

 

I WOULD LIKE TO TIP MY HAT TO MINISTER EFFORD AND TO MESSRS O’RIELLY AND MCCURDY FOR THEIR IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY.   THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS A NEW QUALITY GRADING PROGRAM FOR COD.  ANOTHER MAJOR QUALITY INITIATIVE IN THE GROWTH OF OUR FISHING INDUSTRY.

 

I APPLAUD THE PARTIES FOR THEIR WILLINGNESS TO EMBRACE NEW APPROACHES.   IN PARTICULAR I WANT TO RECOGNIZE THE ROLE OF EARLE MCCURDY, ALASTAIR O’RIELLY AND REG ANSTEY, ALONG WITH THE MANY FISH HARVESTERS AND PROCESSORS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE PROCESS.

 

ALONG THE WAY WE TALKED WITH A NUMBER OF WELL-RESPECTED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE, SUCH AS RICHARD CASHIN, AIDAN MALONEY, LES HARRIS, AND BILL WELLS. AS ALWAYS, THEY OFFERED SAGE COUNSEL.

 

THE TWO MINISTERS, THE HONOURABLE JOHN EFFORD AND THE HONOURABLE OLIVER LANGDON, GAVE US THEIR FULL SUPPORT AS DID THEIR OFFICIALS.    THEY ARRANGED FOR OUR REPORT TO BE DISCUSSED QUICKLY WITH THE PREMIER AND TO BE GIVEN EXPEDITIOUS APPROVAL BY CABINET.

 

HOLDING THE FORT AT THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD IN MY ABSENCE WAS THE THEN VICE CHAIR LESLIE GALWAY, ALONG WITH BOB BYRNE, CHERYL BLUNDON, AND HELEN REDDY. LESLIE IS NOW THE PRESIDENT OF THE NEWFOUNDLAND OCEAN INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (NOIA). SHE WAS A TOWER OF STRENGTH AT THE BOARD AND OUR LOSS IS THE GAIN OF NOIA.   THE NEW VICE CHAIR OF THE BOARD, DARLENE WHALEN, IS HERE TODAY AND I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE THAT SHE WILL PLAY A LEADING ROLE IN THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD.

 

I WANT TO THANK THE PREMIER, ALONG WITH MINISTERS EFFORD AND LANGDON FOR THEIR CONFIDENCE IN APPOINTING ME TO CHAIR THE TASK FORCE.    AGAIN I WANT TO SAY THAT THE PARTIES LESSENED THE BURDEN OF MY TASK BY VIRTUE OF THE NEW IDEAS WHICH THEY BROUGHT TO THE TABLE AND THE POSITIVE APPROACH WHICH THEY TOOK.

 

THIS IS A GOOD NEWS STORY THAT IS A WELL-KEPT SECRET IN THIS PROVINCE.  I HAVE AVOIDED GETTING INTO THE MODEL ITSELF BECAUSE THAT IS FOR ANOTHER TIME AND ANOTHER PLACE.   HOWEVER, I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE NEW APPROACH IS ONE WHICH HAS THE POTENTIAL TO RESOLVE DISPUTES IN OTHER INDUSTRIES AS WELL AS IN THE FISHERY.

 

BEFORE I CONCLUDE THERE ARE SOME VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE THAT I MUST RECOGNIZE.    MY MOTHER, JEAN VARDY, IS HERE TODAY, ALONG WITH MY SISTER ELAINE INKPEN AND HER HUSBAND FRASER AND MY WIFE JANET. THERE WERE ONLY TWO OF US IN MY FAMILY AND ELAINE AND I ALWAYS GOT A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM MOM AND DAD, WHO IS DECEASED.   DAD WAS A GREAT BELIEVER IN THE REDEMPTIVE POWER OF WORK.  MANY THANKS TO MY CARING AND LOVING  MOTHER, WHO IS VERY YOUNG FOR HER AGE.   MY WIFE JANET AND MY SONS ADAM AND ANDREW HAVE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO PUT IN MANY LONG HOURS IN THE SERVICE OF THE PROVINCE OVER THE PAST 28 YEARS.   DURING THIS PERIOD I HAVE HELD FIVE DEMANDING DEPUTY MINISTER LEVEL POSITIONS.   IN MY STYLE OF WORK I HAVE GAINED A REPUTATION AS A WORKAHOLIC, PUTTING IN MANY HOURS IN ORDER TO DO THE JOB.

 

MY WIFE JANET HAS NEVER COMPLAINED ON THE MANY OCCASIONS WHEN I CAME BACK FROM WORK AT 3 AM AND WAS OUT OF THE HOUSE AGAIN AT 7.      JANET HAD TO BRING UP THE CHILDREN TO A LARGE EXTENT ON HER OWN BECAUSE I WAS NOT AROUND.     IN THE PROCESS, JANET HAS SACRIFICED HER CAREER TO MINE.   JANET DESERVES A LARGE SHARE OF THIS GOLD MEDAL HERE TODAY. (ASK JANET TO STAND)

 

I WANT TO SAY TO YOU THAT PUBLIC SERVANTS, NOT ONLY IN THIS PROVINCE BUT ALSO NATIONALLY, HAVE BEEN CLOAKED IN AN UNFAIR AND MISLEADING NEGATIVE IMAGE. MY OPINION IS THAT SENIOR POSITIONS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE ARE EVERY BIT AS DEMANDING AS THOSE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, EVEN THOUGH THE LEVEL OF COMPENSATION FALLS FAR SHORT.

 

MR PREMIER, YOU AND YOUR GOVERNMENT HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF DEDICATED AND HIGHLY COMPETENT PUBLIC SERVANTS, WHO WORK AT GREAT PERSONAL SACRIFICE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PROVINCE.    THEY ARE OFTEN CRITICIZED AND ARE RARELY RECOGIZED FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

 

HAVING SAID THIS, THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR IS ONE WHICH IS BASED ON THE MERIT PRINCIPLE AND THE BRITISH TRADITION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM UNDUE POLITICAL INFLUENCE.    I HAVE DEALT WITH PUBLIC SERVANTS OVER THE YEARS FROM EVERY PROVINCE AS WELL AS THOSE WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.   I CAN TELL YOU THAT OUR PUBLIC SERVICE IS SECOND TO NONE.

 

WITH ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVES EMERGING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, GOVERNMENT WILL BE CHALLENGED TO ENSURE THAT THIS HIGH STANDARD IS MAINTAINED.

 

GOOD GOVERNMENT REQUIRES A HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL AND MOTIVATED PUBLIC SERVICE.    I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT GOVERNMENT HAS EMBARKED UPON A PROGRAM TO REVITALIZE THE PUBLIC SERVICE.   I NOTE AS WELL THAT THERE HAS BEEN AN INFUSION OF YOUNG BLOOD INTO THE SENIOR PUBLIC SERVICE, WHICH IS A HEALTHY SIGN. HOWEVER, THOSE OF US WHO, LIKE MYSELF, ARE A LITTLE LONG IN THE TOOTH AND SHORT IN THE HAIR DEPARTMENT, HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AND ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE WHICH COULD BE CALLED UPON.

 

THERE IS A NEED FOR A MAKEOVER IN THE NEGATIVE IMAGE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE.   A REVITALIZED EFFORT TO RECOGNIZE ACHIEVEMENT IS A NECESSARY FIRST STEP IN BUILDING A MORE POSITIVE IMAGE, WHICH WILL IN TURN ATTRACT BRIGHT, DYNAMIC AND INNOVATIVE PEOPLE. PERHAPS THIS CEREMONY TODAY WILL SERVE AS A SPRINGBOARD TO A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO RECOGNIZE ACHIEVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE PUBLIC SERVICE AS WELL AS IN OTHER PROFESSIONS ALLIED WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE, SUCH AS THE TEACHING PROFESSION.

 

I WANT TO CONCLUDE BY THANKING THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF CANADA FOR THIS GOLD MEDAL.    IT IS A DISTINCT HONOUR TO BE THE FIRST WINNER OF THIS AWARD IN THIS PROVINCE SINCE IT WAS AWARDED TO CLARENCE POWELL IN 1977.    AS A MATTER OF INTEREST, MR. POWELL WAS AT THE TIME CHAIR OF THE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD.

 

I WANT TO THANK STEVE HINDLE AND HIS COLLEAGUES FOR GRACIOUSLY COMING TO THE PROVINCE TO PRESENT THIS AWARD.    MANY THANKS TO BOTH THE INSTITUTE AND TO PREMIER TOBIN AND HIS GOVERNMENT FOR SPONSORING THIS CEREMONY AND THE FINE LUNCH TO FOLLOW.

 

MANY THANKS TO MESSRS JOHN CUMMINGS, PHONSE FAOUR AND LES DEAN FOR NOMINATING ME.

 

MANY THANKS AS WELL TO MIKE WARREN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE AND TO DONNA FAGAN OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION FOR PREPARING THE DOCUMENTATION.

 

LAUREEN ALLAN, OF THE PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE AND DAVID DEMPSTER, DIRECTOR OF PROTOCOL, AND MY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY HELEN REDDY  ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED FOR THEIR GOOD WORK IN ORGANIZING THIS LUNCHEON AND AWARD CEREMONY HERE TODAY.

 

ONCE AGAIN I RECOGNIZE THE VITAL AND SUPPORTIVE ROLE WHICH MY WIFE JANET HAS PLAYED.

 

I ACCEPT THIS MEDAL ON BEHALF OF THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WITH WHOM I HAVE WORKED OVER THE PAST 28 YEARS, SOME OF WHOM ARE HERE TODAY TO SHARE IN THIS RECOGNITION.    IT IS MY PLEASURE TO RECEIVE THIS AWARD ON THEIR BEHALF.    

 

TO MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES MANY THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO BE HERE WITH ME ON THIS OCCASION.