SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Congratulations once again to Chief Clive Weighill of the Saskatoon Police Service who was honoured on September 20th at Government House in Regina with the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

Chief Weighill’s Citation:

Clive Weighill has served as a police officer in Saskatchewan for over 40 years. During his time with the Regina Police Service he worked in many areas, and during 10 years as Deputy Chief, he was part of a leadership team that provided effective and progressive policing to the City of Regina. He became Chief of Police in Saskatoon in 2006. Under his leadership, Saskatoon recorded a 29% decrease in the total crime rate between 2007 and 2012, and a further 6% decrease from 2012 to 2013. Chief Weighill was instrumental in the development of a state of the art police station, which was opened in 2014.

Chief Weighill has been an active member of the Saskatchewan, Canadian, and International Associations of Chiefs of Police, and in 2014, he was elected President of the Canadian Association. He has a long-standing involvement in police information and intelligence, serving in leadership positions both provincially and nationally. He was Chair of the Canadian Intelligence Service Saskatchewan and Co-Chair of the National Police Information Services Advisory Board. He chaired the Business Requirements Sub-Committee, which developed the business requirements for the 134-million-dollar modernization of the Canadian Police Information Centre (known as CPIC), on which all police agencies rely for accurate and timely information.


Chief Weighill has lectured across Canada at community, professional, and academic meetings, and has appeared before Parliamentary Committees on policing issues. In 2013, he was selected to participate in a police delegation to Afghanistan and Israel.


Chief Weighill would merit consideration for this Award on the basis of all of the achievements and contributions I have just detailed, but, even more impressive is his record in transforming the Saskatoon Police Service. At the time of his appointment as Chief in 2006, two previous Chiefs had been dismissed by the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners, and the Service faced allegations of police misconduct, some of which resulted in public discipline proceedings.

There was both internal discord and loss of trust from the community. Immediately upon his appointment, Chief Weighill took steps to restore public confidence in the Service and to raise internal morale. While acknowledging the challenges, he was careful not to criticize his predecessors, taking every opportunity to provide them with credit for a foundation on which he would build.

Chief Weighill’s leadership restored public confidence, and his open and honest manner gained the respect of his colleagues and subordinates. During his tenure, the Police Service underwent a remarkable transformation from a demoralized organization to one with high morale, despite the inherent stresses of police work.

Chief Weighill’s exemplary public service has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Police Exemplary Service Medal and Bar, the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and he is one of only a handful of serving police officers in Canada to hold the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

Other award recipients included:

Promising New Professional Award in Public Administration – John Bird

IPAC Doug Stevens Public Policy Graduate Student Scholarship – Moses Gordon

IPAC Academic Award – Julia Rudzitis and Troy Julé.




SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

On Tuesday, September 27th, IPAC Saskatchewan will be hosting its inaugural “Speed Networking” event.  The event will be attended by numerous senior-level public administrators from the Provincial Government and the City of Regina.  Ministries and Agencies including Corrections & Policing, Public Service Commission, Justice & Attorney General, Social Services, Government Relations, Finance, Economy, and Environment will be represented.  Tanessa Boutin (one of the event organizers) from the Public Service Commission states, “We wanted to put together an event that would provide a new and different opportunity to expose both senior public servants and new and upcoming professionals to each other.  Speed networking is an alternative, and hopefully more relaxed, way of doing this where we will get everyone interacting.”

Speed networking is a derivative of “speed dating” and is essentially a meeting format designed to accelerate business contacts.  The practice involves multiple people gathering in a single space to exchange information. Participants greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during set periods of time. During an interaction, attendees share their professional backgrounds and goals. Networkers are generally seeking exposure to professionals and contacts that they may normally not have opportunities to interact with outside of a structured environment.

For attendees there are both benefits and risks.  The benefits range from the ability to meet more people in a given amount of time than would typically be possible to eliminating awkward conversation exits as there is never a need to bow out of a conversation gracefully.  The risks typically involve attendees trying to speed-track longer-term relationships and focusing on quantity over quality.  It is absolutely necessary for participants to follow-up with each other subsequent to the event if they truly want to establish a relationship.

At speed networking events it is important to note that established principles of good networking apply.  For example, an attitude of giving and not pushing business cards or marketing materials at people is still appropriate.

For those planning on attending the event on September 27th, participants will be split up into both Mentors and Mentees.  The session will be organized as follows:

  • Find a seat with a label matching your colour and title
  • Clock starts at 5:45pm and the formal networking will run for 1 hour
  • Mentees move chairs, mentors will stay seated
  • All networking will be face-to-face, one-on-one
  • Mentors and Mentees will have 4 minutes with each other
  • Movement will be prompted by the host
  • The 4 minutes will begin as soon as Mentees are seated subsequent to moving from their last networking conversation
  • Questions will be provided on a screen and paper on the tables to assist in prompting discussion.

This format will provide a unique structure within which all attendees will get some time with each other to exchange information about themselves along with some of the knowledge that Mentees have developed throughout their years of work in public administration.  Ultimately, the session is designed to help all of those attending to reach greater potential as public servants through the exchange of knowledge.


OCTOBER 20, 2016

The 2016 American Election: Is this any way for a democracy to choose a leader?

For anyone at all perplexed by the current US election, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy recorded and released the following lecture from late September.  Dr. Paul Finkelman outlines how the US electoral system works and the implications of this on the current election.


OCTOBER 30, 2016

Today on Spark with Nora Young there was an interesting conversationregarding a new book called “The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work” by Andre Spicer, a professor of organizational behaviour at the Cass School of Business at City University of London.  The conversation with Dr. Spicer was part of Spark’s focus on innovation in the workplace.

Spicer sums up the paradox as follows: “Functional Stupidity [in organisations] is smart people sitting around doing stupid things”.

Does this definition resonate at all?  This is certainly something that public administrators should be focusing on to make sure that “functional stupidity” is not a problem in their organizations.

This could be a potentially good book for an upcoming session of Regina’s Public Policy Book Club.

Listen to Spark


OCTOBER 30, 2016

Spark with Nora Young presented an interesting discussion with Patrick McCray on myths that have built up over time around the narrative of how innovation happens.  McCray argues that innovation is not always what we have been led to believe it is.

McCray wrote a longer essay on the topic which is also a fascinating read in addition to his interview on Spark.

McCray argues that “…it’s essential to understand how science and technology advances actually happen and affect the world. Because of their importance, it’s essential to reflect more critically on our collective myths about innovation.” 

A clearer understanding of what innovation is, how it is usually much more ordinary than the popular media and stories would have us believe, and how it should (and often should not) be harnessed is important for everyone facing decisions regarding the implementation of new technologies.

“The history of technological change is full of examples of roads not taken. There are many examples of seemingly illogical choices made by firms and individuals. This shouldn’t surprise us – technological change has always been a deep and multilayered process, one that unfolds in fits and starts and unevenly in time and space. It’s not like the ‘just so stories’ of pop history and Silicon Valley public relations departments.” — Patrick McCray



DECEMBER 7, 2016

JSGS Roundtable: After the Political Storm: Assessing the Effects of the 2016 US Elections

On November 9, 2016 the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy held a roundtable discussion on the results of the 2016 US election.  This discussion is interesting for anyone wanting insights into what may have contributed to the election results and what the future may hold with respect to President-elect Trump’s Administration.

This JSGS Roundtable was moderated by Dr. Murray Fulton and features:

  • Dr. Daniel Béland – Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public Policy, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and Associate Member, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan
  • Professor Cheryl Camillo – Assistant Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina
  • Dr. John. C. Courtney – Senior Policy Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University Saskatchewan; Professor Emeritus, College of Arts and Science, Department of Political Studies
  • Dale Eisler – Senior Policy Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Editor, JSGS Policy Brief