PM Harper names new bosses for CanNor, Environment Canada
Patrick Borbey to depart Iqaluit-based agency July 2; veteran mandarin Janet King takes over
Patrick Borbey, who has served as president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency since December 2011, will depart that job July 2, the prime minister’s office said June 20 in a late afternoon announcement.
Janet King, the assistant deputy minister for northern affairs at the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, will replace Borbey at CanNor, also on July 2, the PMO announcement said.
A geologist, King has since 1985 held a variety of positions with the federal government.
Borbey will move to the Department of Canadian Heritage, where he will serve as associate deputy minister.
This change-of-command at CanNor comes hard on the heels of an unflattering report that the Auditor General of Canada released this past May 6.
In that report, the auditor general found that since the creation of CanNor in August 2009, the agency still struggles with the administration of contribution agreements and the monitoring of clients.
The report also found that, at the time of the audit in 2013, CanNor had filled only 15 of 32 jobs at its Iqaluit office, which was supposed to serve as the agency’s headquarters.
Of those jobs, the auditor general found that three top management positions — Borbey’s president job, a vice president of planning and policy, and a senior advisor for Inuit community relations — were all located in Ottawa.
And the auditor general found the agency ended up with more office space than it needed and did not follow Treasury Board guidelines when it leased space in the new Allavvik building in Iqaluit, which is owned by Qikiqtaaluk Properties Ltd.
The agency also had to unload surplus office space at its Yellowknife and Ottawa offices that it had leased by mistake.
Borbey is also a key figure in running Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
In March 2013, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, the Arctic Council ambassador, announced Borbey will serve as chair of the council’s senior Arctic officials group.
The senior Arctic officials, or “SAO,” group is made of diplomats and senior civil servants from each of the eight states that comprise the Arctic Council and does most of the work involved in running the council between ministerial meetings.
One of its biggest priorities is an Arctic economic forum, likely to be held some time next year to highlight Canada’s chairmanship, which expires in May 2015.
Right now, it’s not clear how Borbey’s job shuffle will affect his Arctic Council responsibilities.
In another move, which affects Aglukkaq’s other big cabinet responsibility, the federal environment department, Michael Martin, the senior associate deputy minister of national defence, will become deputy minister of the environment as of July 2.
Martin replaces Bob Hamilton, who on July 2 will become deputy minister of natural resources.
Between 2008 and 2010, Martin served as Canada’s chief negotiator and ambassador for climate change and led Canada’s delegation to the December 2009 global climate change conference in Copenhagen.
“In that post, he left the impression that he was a capable person on a short PMO leash,” the Hill Times newspaper commented in 2012.
Since then, Martin served as deputy secretary to cabinet at the Privy Council Office and since January 2013, as senior associate deputy minister of national defence.
The June 20 PMO announcement also listed changes to senior managers at Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.