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Amethyst Award Winners

Archived Backgrounder

Amethyst Award Winners

Recipients Demonstrate Excellence In Ontario Public Service

Office of the Premier

David Doyle and David Drury recognize the Government of Ontario relies on them to be the face of the Ontario Public Service at a variety of special events and trade shows throughout the year. Whether it's the Queen's Golden Jubilee or a local fair, this duo go to great lengths to design, set up and take down their high-quality and cost-effective displays -- all in an effort to help promote Ontario's dynamic agri-food industry.

Marjorie Mercer
Ministry of Culture

Marjorie Mercer served as the Executive Director of the Ontario Heritage Foundation from 1998 to 2003. During that time, she demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation. Marjorie's dedication to raising the profile of heritage across the province was instrumental in developing a host of initiatives including the Young Heritage Leaders Program, Heritage Intern Program and Doors Open Ontario. Today, Marjorie is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Culture Division at the Ministry of Culture.

Grant Clarke, Doley Henderson, Chantal Locatelli and Susan Pekilis
Ministry of Education, Passport to Prosperity Team

This team's collective ability to foster positive relationships is essential to the development of several important Government of Ontario partnerships that have helped thousands of young people prepare to enter the workforce. One such campaign, Passport to Prosperity, is designed to encourage employers to hire high school students to give them workplace experience. It has identified over 20,000 employers willing to offer cooperative education placements, job shadowing experiences and career talks to students.


Ian Smith
Ministry of the Environment

During the course of his career with the Ministry of the Environment, Ian Smith has worked tirelessly to reduce mercury pollution. His extraordinary commitment to the protection of human health and the environment is credited for helping to elevate mercury reduction from a local issue to one of national significance. One of Ian's successes was with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). His willingness to listen to stakeholders with competing interests and different priorities, as well as his ability to work collaboratively, was instrumental in CCME developing national standards for mercury reduction. Intelligent, creative and solution-oriented, Ian is a model for other public servants.

Penny Armstrong, Vaila Tait Baehnisch, Joanne Bedard, Germaine Berrotte, Jeremy Bertrand, Deborah Brock, Carole Cadotte, John Cipparrone, Sue Dewar, Donald DiProspero, Lisa-Nicole Gec, Jim Gordon, Deb Grech, Tony Grech, Maria Haslehurst, Lynne Haves, Charlene Herbert, Scott Hillson, Linda Hubling, Eastlyn Hull, Heather Kendrick, John Klonowski, Jeff Knox, Betty Lou Lachapelle, Jocelyn Lalonde, Richard Lavigne, Anita Lyon, Rob McDermott, Caroline McKinnon, Nancy McLean, Dan McLeod, James Nemesfalri, Orene Price, Cathy Rae, Darlene Schmidt, Janet Schmidt, Diane Searcy, Roxanne Sestito, Elina So, Jim Tasveski, Ava Tomlinson, Gina Versluys, Linda Waterman, Lynn Witteveen, Manon Wong and Jay Young
Ministry of Finance, Joint Provincial and Federal Tax Seminars Team

Managing the startup of a new business can be time-consuming and an administrative burden. The Ministry of Finance teamed up with Canada Customs Agency to present a free seminar about the Provincial Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax to make it easier for business owners to get important tax information. The Ministry of Finance played the lead role in developing and organizing approximately 700 seminars beginning in May 2000, which attracted more than 10,000 attendees. This extraordinary team worked together harmoniously and took their commitment to providing their clients with professional tax advice to another level of excellence.

Shirley Davey
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Shirley Davey has been a compliance advisor with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for 14 years. She has always been highly regarded by colleagues for her devotion to the health and safety of people living in Ontario's long-term care facilities. Shirley has very strong principles on how the elderly in our society should be cared for. This is not only demonstrated on the job, but in her personal life as well. Shirley's dedication and commitment have contributed greatly to the well-being of Ontario's senior citizens.

Garry Fay and Dr. Robert King
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Developmental Disabilities Program Team

When the Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP) Team at the North Bay Psychiatric Hospital saw an opportunity to make a difference in their community, they took advantage of it. Their goal was to develop and implement a collaborative, community-based and client-centred model of care and treatment for people with intellectual or mental health disabilities in Northeastern Ontario. They certainly succeeded. Today, the DDP works in partnership with community agencies and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Together, they deliver a continuum of mental health services and act as an advocate for people with intellectual or mental health disabilities in Northeastern Ontario where access to psychiatric care had been a problem for many individuals and families.

Dianne Alexander, Helen Ambrose, Larissa Artemenko, Judy Balog, Sharon Balsys, Dr. Erika Bontovics, Lise Bouffard, John Bozzo, Lee Bridgeford, Ron Brunstad, Bessie Callitsis, Rouhan Coutinho, Rosa Figliano, Kevin Finnerty, Catherine Frank, David Jensen, Kathy Jesso, Wendy Joyce, Dr. Barbara Kawa, Anne Kelly, June Kirkou, Shira Korman, Jim Kovacs, John Letherby, Stephen Lindsay, Chris MacLean, Anne Matthews, Dr. Joyce Nsubuga, Guylaine Parthenais, Nancy Peroff, Liz Powell, Florence Roach, Sarah Saunders, Andrej Silaj, Rose Sottile, Conrad Spezowka, Dan Strasbourg, Bev Sunohara, Russell Weston and Anne-Luise Winter
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, First Universal Influenza Vaccination Program Team

This team demonstrated outstanding innovation and leadership when it launched a campaign to fight influenza. Ontario's Universal Influenza Vaccination Program, the first of its kind in North America, provides all Ontario residents the opportunity to receive a free flu shot allowing them to protect themselves and those around them. The program has had a significant impact - it has helped protect the health of those who are most at risk of complications from influenza and improved wellness throughout the province's general population while reducing pressures on emergency health services. Caring and talented, these public servants have helped make Ontario a health care leader.

Dr. Charles Le Ber
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Dr. Chuck Le Ber is a senior veterinary consultant in the Public Health Branch. Dr. Le Ber, an expert in the areas of food and water safety and disease control, is being recognized for his commitment to public service and dedication to the well-being of Ontarians. His career at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care began 18 years ago. Dr. Le Ber has a multitude of achievements and has contributed greatly to the area of public health and safety for all Ontarians.


Marlene Stein
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Marlene Stein has consistently demonstrated an exceptional work ethic in every project she has been involved in since joining the Ontario Public Service more than 27 years ago. Marlene's most stellar accomplishment is the Preschool Speech and Language Program, which she developed and implemented with much dedication. Before 1997, children experiencing delays in learning language had a hard time accessing services to overcome their disorder. But Marlene's provincewide and community-based system of speech and language services resulted in significant improvements for children. Today, preschool children with communications difficulties can access a range of programs, and as a result are better positioned to reach their full potential.

Sue Boychuk
Ministry of Labour

Sue Boychuk has worked tirelessly to achieve a vision of an Ontario where young people are free from work-related injury and illness. Known as a creative and determined individual, she is being recognized for her work with partners in the public and private sectors to develop Live Safe! Work Smart!, a campaign to inform students of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Sue's contributions have helped make Ontario's workplaces among the safest in the world.

Garry Crossman
Ministry of Labour

Garry Crossman is a strong advocate of health and safety policies and training resources. During his 22-year career at the Ministry of Labour, he has worked closely with many communities, employers and municipal and federal partners to ensure safer environments, at work and play, for everyone. Known for his energy, wisdom and experience, he is also recognized for his tremendous efforts in developing four innovative health and safety initiatives: the Safe Workplace Ontario Program; the Greater Safe Communities Coalition; the Passport to Health and Safety Program; and the Peterborough Client Service Health and Safety Council.

Joan McCalla
Management Board Secretariat

Joan McCalla has shown exceptional work performance throughout her 27 years in the Ontario Public Service. She pioneered the development and implementation of electronic government in this province and was instrumental in gaining international recognition for Ontario as a leader in the delivery of electronic services to the public.

Her great leadership and vision have allowed people from across Ontario to get in touch with the provincial government. Whether it is people living in remote communities or children in schools, they now have access to government online services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Joan's knowledge and experience have made a significant contribution to our province.

Stella Garisto, Greg Giberson, Joan Hamer, Carol Kiley, Vince Mathias, Merv Moscrop, David Noronha and Brian Opitz
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal Virtual Call Centre Project Team

The Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, which deals with landlord and tenant disputes and provides information on their rights and obligations, drastically improved customer service through virtual call centre technology. In centralizing 18 provincial offices into one efficient call centre, the team demonstrated patience and perseverance as they successfully encouraged staff from across the province to embrace the new technology. As a result of the transformation, the call centre became fully equipped to handle almost a million calls per year and help issues get resolved quickly.

Richard Chassie, Jim Cowan, Karen Dinsdale, Barry Farndon, Jan Godfrey, Dan Hefkey, Stacy King, Mika Kosaki, Inspector Gerry Mann, James Noronha, Barbara Pathy, Krys Potapczyk, Nancy Rahtz, Dianne Scoffield, Andra Takacs and Gord Yoshida
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Provincial World Youth Day Team

Each and every member of the Provincial World Youth Day team went beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of World Youth Day 2002. Team members, in partnership with church organizers and other levels of government, devised an organizational model for World Youth Day (WYD) that was second to none. Pre-event promotion was enormously successful in raising Ontario's profile around the world. This resulted in many positive benefits for the provincial economy. The team's careful planning also guaranteed that all WYD visitors, including those with special needs, had a safe and memorable stay in Ontario.

Duncan Armstrong, Mitch Baldwin, Ron Baldwin, Steve Bowers, Eric Boysen, Barbara Card, Bret Colman, Barclay Cormack, Earl Dertinger, Richard Drouin, Mark Emery, Ron Evers, Jim Faught, Larry Halyk, Jim Hendry, Jack Henry, Suzanne Lafrance, Ron Ludolph, Peter Mabee, Ken Maronets, Glenn McLeod, Al Murray, Gary Nielson, Lorraine Normington, John Osmok, Brian Peterkin, Steve Pitt, Dave Pridham, Dave J. Reid, Mike Rose, Mike Rosen, Dan Schaefer, Carole Seysmith, Jerry Smitka, Ron Thayer, Craig Todd, Dianne Vella, Rob Wallis, Mike Walsh, Jeff Ward, Joe Watson, Steve Wilkins and Owen Williams
Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Stewardship Program Team


Approaching 10 years of service, the Ontario Stewardship Program team has established a very important program that encourages landowners to find information, expertise and funding to ensure their forests are well managed. The individuals delivering the program have continually shown impressive collective leadership and are valued for their ability to bring together landowners and resource associations. Together, they have made outstanding contributions to the province's ecosystem. The program is a model for other jurisdictions.

Doreen Armstrong, Steven Beneteau, James Boyd, Scott Cousineau, Roy Denomme, Friedrich Erbersdobler, Ron Gashinski, David Harrison, Darrell Hoffer, Phil Hum, Colombe Janiuk, Debbie Lefebvre, Brad Leonard, Gianfranco Merlino, Leanne Messier, Jude Paradis, Karen Pascoli, Lisette Prud'homme, Tony Scarr and Trudy Wallace
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Mining Lands and Business Solutions Section

The Mining Lands and Business Solutions team created an indispensable website that provides accurate information and exceptional client service to industry stakeholders like mining entrepreneurs, explorationists and prospectors. This team showed incredible ingenuity when it used web technology to provide instant access to anyone interested in viewing a claim map. It is this type of forward thinking that has allowed Ontario to be recognized as the best mining jurisdiction in Canada.

Commissioner Gwen Boniface
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ontario Provincial Police

Commissioner Gwen Boniface is an exemplary leader. As Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, she brings vision, humanity and high standards to her work. Her professional accomplishments include: developing the OPP's new vision - Safe Communities, A Secure Ontario - and mission - Policing Excellence through Our People, Our Work and Our Relationships; and creating the Promise of the OPP. She was instrumental in developing policies that encourage dignity and respect in the workplace. She takes a special interest in staff development to make sure those employed by the OPP get the training they need. Her trademark for excellence in policing is recognized internationally and the positive impact she has on her fellow OPP colleagues cannot be overstated.

Rosa Afonso, Debbie Baker, Pam Beaton, Dan Bouchard, Kim Bradd, Lidia DelVecchio, Margaret Dube, Bibiane Dumont, Lorraine Duncan, Marilyn Dwyre, Kelly Garneau, Kristen Gilmour, Cheryl Hames, Meribeth Hart, Lisa Herrmann, Chris Ianni, Pat Jackson, Jane Johnstone, Gema Kochovski, Garlene Kubisheskie, Bernice Lee, Rosa Liburdi, Tija Lidums, Jack Lynch, Susan Martin, France Maurice, Shannon McDougald, Phoebe McLellan, Lynne Meloche, Christine Morrison, Bev Noga, David Owen, Linda Pagliaroli, Ruth Parkes, Jackie Phillip, Jackie Radomski, Linda Renaud, Sandra Robertson, Rita Robinson, Angela Romano,
Jacqueline Seguin, Preston Squire, Adrienne Tees, Denise Tickner, Janice Trainor, Andrea Trembath, Sylvie Veenstra, Dawn Wessel and Cinzia Worek

Ministry of Tourism and Recreation, Ontario Travel Information Centres

The people who make up this team are scattered across the province and work at one of Ontario's 18 Travel Information Centres (TIC). Their commitment to achieving service excellence was put to the ultimate test when the events of September 11, 2001 started a travel crisis in Ontario. Thousands of panicked and stranded travellers were put at ease as the TIC staff stepped up to comfort them. They helped visitors get in touch with their families and aided truckers by monitoring the border crossings. Through it all, they showed diligence, compassion and good judgement. The Government of Ontario is proud to recognize every member of this team for their exceptional work performance during a very tragic time in history.

Doug Flegel, Doug McIntyre, Randy Noga and Toby Vennechenko
Ministry of Transportation, Fort Frances Flood Response Team

Doug Flegel, Doug McIntyre, Randy Noga and Toby Vennechenko are being honoured for their heroic and co-ordinated efforts in responding to the Fort Frances flood of 2002, which washed out some 1,000 kilometres of highway in Northwestern Ontario. In spite of the enormous challenges brought on by torrential rains, these fine men displayed a constant dedication to public service and worked non-stop to repair the damage and re-open the highway system.

Gordon Bell, Paul Ireland, Chris Kardassis, Dave McAvoy, Barry McQuay, Felipe Mendoza, Phil Pawliuk, Frank Pinder, Ken Polson, Tony Sangiuliano, Louis Tay and Nicolas Theodor
Ministry of Transportation, Highway 417 Twin Structures Team

In the fall of 2001, the Highway 417 Twin Structures Team constructed twin bridges on the Highway 417 extension west of Ottawa to give Arnprior residents better access to the Canadian capital without disrupting the sensitive ecosystem of the Mississippi River's wetlands. The team showed remarkable dedication. Using innovative thinking and leading-edge technology, they met the project's formidable environmental challenges. Together, they have made an outstanding contribution to Ontario's transportation infrastructure and improved the quality of life for many.


Decade of Achievement Award - John Robertson
Ministry of Tourism and Recreation

John Robertson, who has been with the Fort Henry National Historic Site since 1988, is one of the province's unsung heroes. His leadership has helped make Fort Henry one of Canada's premier historic attractions and earn designation from the Government of Canada as a place of national significance. He is a true mentor and takes pride in fostering excellence in the workplace. Among his many achievements, John is being saluted for ensuring that Fort Henry was named the number one attraction of national and international interest by Attractions Canada in 2001; overseeing the successful transition of Fort Henry's Guards from an all-male unit into one that included women; and implementing a sponsorship program that has raised more than $2.5 million for Fort Henry over the past six years.

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