2022 - Mary Ann Triggs

The winner of the 2022 Heintzman Leadership Award is Mary Ann Triggs, Assistant Deputy Minister for Service Canada, Ontario Region, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Mary Ann’s leadership and dedication to delivering and transforming citizen-centred services has resulted in a multitude of trailblazing service improvement initiatives for Canadians throughout her career.

Visionary. Change Agent. Enduring Collaborator. Champion of Service Excellence. Throughout her illustrious 47-year career in the Public Service, Mary Ann Triggs has unequivocally and fundamentally transformed the Canadian service delivery landscape.

Throughout her career, Mary Ann has demonstrated a genuine commitment to inclusive service, with a focus on improving lives in vulnerable communities. She was instrumental in the development of the 2005 Service Canada Initiative and continues to be responsible for delivering many “Made in Ontario” innovations that have become major milestones for ESDC and transformed the service delivery landscape. This includes the development of the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, a national resource for job posting, labour market trend analysis and career planning. Mary Ann also pioneered SIN@Landing in collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency, providing Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) directly to newcomers upon landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

She oversaw the genesis of Community Outreach Liaison Services, a collaboration between Service Canada and community stakeholders, promoting and providing access to government services in response to community needs. Building on this success, Mary Ann seized the opportunity to expand services to remote Indigenous communities leveraging federal-provincial and federal-federal partnerships. In 2018, Mary Ann launched the Toronto North York Flagship Service Canada Centre, an in-person client office developed in partnership with persons with disabilities, their service providers, and networks. The Flagship serves as an example of inclusivity best practices, incorporating a combination of real property, staff training and technological solutions to provide an accessible client-centric service experience. This landmark initiative has paved the way for the implementation of many of these inclusive tools across Canada.

In response to the unprecedented demand on GoC response to COVID-19, Mary Ann shifted over 850 Service Canada Ontario Region employees to support the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and 61 staff to support the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) contact tracing initiatives. Under her guidance, a virtual assessment strategy was introduced which assessed and hired 1,251 new employees. A new bilingual call centre was also established to support the surging demand for EI. Mary Ann’s extensive network of provincial partners laid the groundwork for collaborative initiatives. Of particular note is the first contact client resolution through streamlined access to other levels of government in co-located service centres and integrated support to workers impacted by mass-layoffs through the Joint Rapid Response Action Plans.

Joint outreach and cross-promotional activities with federal partners such as the Canadian Revenue Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada have resulted in cross-jurisdictional initiatives in support of the Reaching All Canadians. This provides targeted outreach to at-risk or vulnerable populations such as Indigenous Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Seniors, and Racialized Canadians to eliminate barriers and increase access to benefits across programs. Through Mary Ann’s leadership, ESDC is bridging the gap between federal, provincial, and regional partners in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s response to COVID-19. It includes a focus on Quarantine Planning, Outreach, Inspections and Vaccinations, including leveraging collaborations with the Ministry of Health, Local Public Health Units, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and PHAC on case-specific files, strengthening relationships and implementing information sharing.

In recognition of her outstanding, innovative, and transformational leadership in promoting citizen-centred approaches to service delivery, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service is proud to award Mary Ann Triggs the 2022 Heintzman Leadership Award.