One of the lesser known stories of Canada's past is how our country was able to move away from the system of political patronage that had eroded the public's perception of the public service.
Aware that this situation was damaging to our country, Parliament created the Civil Service Commission in 1908. An independent agency accountable to Parliament, its goal was to ensure that appointments and promotions in the public service were based on merit and free of political patronage.
For a century now, the Commission-which was renamed the Public Service Commission in 1967-has championed the values of merit and non-partisanship. The professional public service that Canada knows today could not have grown without an unwavering commitment to these two fundamental values.
In 2008, the Commission continues to evolve, but its mandate remains the same: to ensure that Canadians are served by a highly competent, non-partisan and representative public service, dedicated to excellence, and able to provide services in Canada's official languages.
To designer Céline Morisset of Canada Post's Graphic Design Group, the Parliament Buildings seemed an ideal emblem to mark the Commission's centenary. The preprinted image of the Picture Postage™ stamp features a historic photograph of Parliament Hill, a reminder of the Commission's long history, and the envelope portrays a contemporary image of the Parliament Buildings, confirming the Commission's relevance today. "The interplay between the past and present images of Parliament Hill celebrates the Commission's accomplishments, while highlighting the incredible beauty of the building's architecture," explains Morisset.
Additional information about the Public Service Commission is available at www.psc-cfp.gc.ca.