Anniversary treat

Hit and Miss #243

Good morning!

It’s May. Wow, eh?

This time last year, leaves were already out on the trees, and spring flowers were merrily on display. We’re not quite there yet this year, but I’ll take today’s sun and blue skies as a good sign that we’re well on our way.

May marks the anniversary of my time at CDS—this being my fourth anniversary, which boggles the mind. A sort of anniversary treat was the public reveal of some of the work I’ve been doing for the last while, legislative amendments to facilitate service delivery to other orders of government (division 14 of part 5 of bill C-19 of the 44th Parliament, in case you needed a mouthful of words in lieu of brunch), as signalled in the budget a few weeks ago.

It always strikes me how small the apparent outputs of policy work can be—depending how you count it, those three clauses are the product of months to years of work. Of course, there’s plenty that went into it, and plenty else that’ll come if it passes, but it’s humbling to see just how much work can go into a few precisely chosen words—and to recognize how much a team effort it is to produce such a change.

I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my time at CDS thus far—and looking forward to everything still to come. I’ll no doubt tour away at some point, if only for a time, but for now I’m still enjoying myself, with thanks, in great part, to the excellent people with whom I get to work. You’re too many to list, but you’re gems, each and every one of you.

Anniversaries are good moments of reflection, so I went through my writing from the last year to find a few pieces on public service:

  • #229, “Playing for team public”: One of my favourite pieces, on outsourcing and government capacity. My brain is never far from this subject, so crucial to government competence.
  • #242, “Forces for good”: From just last week, on how governments effect and protect from harm through what they do and don’t decide to do—as the pandemic has demonstrated.
  • #216, “Registering intent”: That week’s smattering of links speak to the wide range of what constitutes “policy” (my job).
  • #206, “Democratic events”: My gentle chiding of public servants using “democratic event” as a euphemism for the election that loomed in early August 2021.

Finally, resharing without comment my CDS anniversary post from last year—a chronicle of the year that was, and a remembrance of a late friend.

As I’m keen to get outside, and you may well be, too, I’ll just share a few links so we can all get on our way:

All the best for the week ahead!