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BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Interview with Janet Akins, EC member

Janet Akins is originally from friendly Manitoba. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Philosophy at the University of Manitoba and later completed a Master of Arts in Public Policy & Public Administration at Concordia University in Montreal. She has been working for the federal public service for 3.5 years.
To celebrate Black History Month, CAPE interviewed Janet Akins, one of its EC members working for Health Canada in Ottawa. Janet is also a director on CAPE’s National Executive Committee. CAPE invited her to share her experience working for the federal public service and her perspective on the recent PSES results about racial discrimination in the workplace.

CAPE: Tell us about your experience in the federal public service: what gets you excited, what do you find most challenging?

Janet Akins: My work experience in the public service has been varied. I began my career as a co-op student in the policy area of science, technology and innovation. I then shifted gears to gender-based analysis plus, and now I'm in a performance measurement role. The gear changes might make some people spin but I can always adjust so long as I'm contributing to any work that results in a net social gain for Canadians.

The work aside, I love connecting with my colleagues. The public service is huge, and it is staffed with intelligent people from across the country who come to Ottawa with their big ideas and unique experiences. It's exciting to see how...CONTINUE READING

Interview with Greg Fergus, Chair of the Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians

Greg Fergus (member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer) was recently interviewed by CAPE in his capacity as Chair of the Canadian Caucus of Black Parliamentarians. The interview, part CAPE’s activities marking Black History Month, was conducted by Dina Epale – Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor. It is worth noting that Mr. Fergus is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government.

Dina Epale: The theme for this year’s Black History Month is “Canadians of African descent going forward, guided by the past.” As we take a moment to recognize and honour Black culture and Black Canadians and their impact on Canada’s growth, prosperity and accomplishments, what message do you have for our members?

Greg Fergus: Well, specifically for your members I would say that what they’d want to do is to take a look at the contributions which Blacks have made to this country and to the building of our Public Service. History is nothing concrete; it always depends on the perspective that you have. So, if you are looking to see the contributions of Black Canadians, you’ll find it. And I would argue that what we don’t do well enough is talk about...To continue reading, please click here to download the PDF.

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