COVE Events

Ethical Standards, Culture and Leadership:

‘Back to the Future’ with the Tait Report

When?        May 8, 2018, 08:45 to 16:45

Where?       Amphitheatre, St. Paul University, 233 Main St., Ottawa

The continued focus on ethics in the Canadian public sector is indebted to John Tait’s report, A Strong Foundation: Report of the Task Force on Public Service Values and Ethics. This landmark Report launched two decades of heightened attention to public sector ethics.

The Conference takes a critical look at achievements as well as shortcomings since the Report’s publication in 1996. It also looks ahead at perennial and emerging ethical challenges in the public sector.

Keynote: Mary Dawson, Former Ethics Commissioner, Government of Canada

Panel 1: The Tait Vision of Public Sector Ethics: Articulating a Culture

The Tait Report, A Strong Foundation, sought to describe the very identity of the public sector, its needs, challenges, and ambiguities at the end of the 20th century. Did this values based approach capture the reality and the ideals of public sector culture? What, if anything, did it miss? Have any of the basic principles changed?

Panellists: Judith Moses and Ralph Heintzman

Panel 2: A Legacy of Public Sector and Organizational Ethics

The Tait Report partially explains the arrival of public sector ethics related leadership responsibilities, codes, dialogue-based ethics awareness programs, ethics courses for employees, reporting requirements from central agencies, and much more. How much have these initiatives transformed the institution? What are the best parts of the work resulting from the report? What more should be done?

Panellists: Ann Fraser, Andrew Treusch, Ian Bron

Panel 3: Public Sector Ethics: The Next 20 Years

Changes in technology, Canadian society, and geopolitics are profoundly impacting governance. Which developments pose the greatest challenges for public sector ethics today and tomorrow? Which elements of the Tait legacy should we rethink in order to sustain public trust in the public sector of the future?

Panellists: Catherine MacQuarrie, Roger Scott-Douglas, Kent Aitken


$200 Regular
$175 Per-person cost when three or more persons register from the same organization
$150 EPAC member. (Note: Annual EPAC membership is $75.)
$35 Student


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The lead sponsors of the Conference are the Ethics Practitioners’ Association of Canada; the Centre on Values and Ethics of Carleton University; and the School of Public Ethics, Saint Paul University