Tim Kilbourn, Counsellor (Immigration), at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow has been selected as a PAFSO Award Winner for his outstanding efforts under very difficult circumstances. He was assigned to Moscow in 2005 in advance of the establishment of a new Area Management model for CIC and the implementation of changes within the Immigration Section. When his Program Manager became ill and later passed away, full responsibility fell on Mr. Kilbourn to implement the changes, provide leadership to his section, and deal with retaliatory actions from the Russians in response to the refusal of a Canadian visa. These actions took the form of denial of Russian visas for other officers going on posting to Moscow and for temporary emergency help from Canada necessary to alleviate the serious staffing shortage in the Immigration Section. This resulted in the section operating for several months at 50% – 60% of its normal strength, and long hours and high levels of stress for the staff. He provided hands on support to his staff and led by example, bringing a “can do” approach to client service while ensuring that inadmissibility concerns were appropriately addressed. He was particularly effective in maintaining morale and momentum in this process. He also led an initiative to prod various agencies in Ottawa to speed up their response times on key visa applications.
Joanne Lemay is being honoured with a PAFSO Award this year in recognition of her work both abroad, as Consul in Guadalajara, and in headquarters for her work in organizing six of the Deputy Minister for International Trade’s regional symposia – “The TCS Global Team: Making it Happen for Canada”. While in Mexico, she developed an excellent and effective team of two Canada-based employees and seven locally engaged employees. Though a micro mission, the Guadalajara trade team ranked among the top 4 missions in identifying business leads for Canadian clients in both 2004 and 2005. Her work on the Deputy Minister of International Trade’s six regional symposia reflected a great degree of strategic thinking, careful thought for the melding of diverse inputs into a focussed, informative and interactive program. The Symposia have positioned the Trade Commissioner Service to respond creatively and effectively to the new and emerging challenges of assisting Canadian business around the world.
Anne Martel, Commercial Counsellor, the Canadian Embassy, Rome, is being honoured with a PAFSO Award for her work resolving issues threatening access to the key Italian market for the export of Canadian durum wheat. She deployed specific local knowledge and language skills to develop and expand her local network which she mobilized to defend core Canadian interests. Through her hard work and her clear reporting to all interested Canadian actors, she not only helped solve the specific problem facing Canadian durum wheat exports in 2005-06, but helped develop a course of action that diminished the probability of further impediments to Canadian exports. In December 2005, a magistrate in southeastern Italy ordered the seizure of two shipments of Canadian durum wheat, claiming that it contained unacceptable levels of a dangerous toxin. This put at risk Canadian exports of more than 400,000 tonnes of durum wheat annually to Italy, representing exports worth about $100 million in an average year. She assisted in gaining the Italian government’s acceptance of the need for a science-based approach. Her pragmatic and positive approach to problem-solving over a period of months contributed to her ability to help bring this chapter to a very successful and satisfactory conclusion for Canada and the Canadian interests she protected and promoted. The classic work of a Canadian foreign service officer.
Michael Watts has been honoured as a winner of the PAFSO Award for his high level of performance in a variety of assignments including as Immigration Program Manager in Accra, Ghana. He is currently the Director, Geographic Operations, Asia-Pacific/Americas in CIC. While in Ghana he had area responsibility for the immigration movement from Liberia and was required to deal with numerous cases of child adoptions from Liberia by Canadians. There were serious concerns regarding reliability of the adoption process. He developed reliable sources of information in Liberia and dedicated himself to providing excellent client service to the prospective Canadian parents while at the same time paying close attention to ensuring the potential adopted child was protected from human trafficking. He is a team player, playing key roles in the High Commission during the visit of the Governor General to Ghana and during the evacuation of Canadians from Cote d’Ivoire to Ghana.