2017 Recipients - Award of Excellence

Dr. Jason Bond
Department of Internal Services

The Province’s Coordinate Referencing program provides the foundation for all location based information in Nova Scotia. In response to requests by industry to provide higher accuracy and better accessibility, an innovative and sustainable modernization strategy was developed to allow greater outcomes with fewer resources. At the core of the strategy are 40 permanent GPS stations. The technology allows for instantaneous, high accuracy positioning anywhere in the Province where cellular coverage exists. Nova Scotia is one of the first jurisdictions in the world to have such capabilities. The technology is creating significant efficiencies in the surveying, construction and engineering industries by guiding dozers, graders and other heavy equipment.

The system lays the foundation for new technologies to emerge. It can be used for emergency response, earthquake detection and driverless vehicles. The execution of this project is a culmination of efforts between various levels of government, different departments, industry and academia.

Affordable Housing Through Passive House
Housing Nova Scotia, Department of Community Services

In 2016, Housing Nova Scotia built the first provincially-owned duplex in Truro using passive house standards, the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction. Results from our monitoring system show that between the months of August and December 2016, energy consumption in one of the units achieved a reduction of 74% compared to a typical dwelling built to standard construction code. The second unit achieved a reduction of 68% compared to a code-built dwelling. This positive result is not only good for the environment, but makes the case for sustained housing affordability through reduced energy costs.

Team Members: Ramzi Kawar, Matthew Conrad, Tapan Katwala, Frederick Drebot and Tanya Warren

Post-Secondary Disability Services Team
Labour and Advanced Education

Post-Secondary Disability Services (PSDS) provides supports to students with permanent disabilities so they can be successful in post-secondary education. The old process for awarding these supports was a manual, paper-based system that often resulted in long delays for students to receive their funding. Often, students struggled with bureaucratic process and long delays to access the equipment and supplies they needed to be successful in school.

The PSDS project team made innovative adaptations to an existing tool and engaged staff to improve their service and turnaround time. The overall goal was to improve accessibility to learning for students with disabilities. The new solution was complicated by new accountability and reporting requirements of a key partner. It was also complicated by the need to change long-established staff duties and processes.

The solution has been highly positive for staff and students. Staff can now get funding to students in two days (down from three months). Both staff and students are having a much more positive and self-sufficient experience. There is a new, 100% paperless communication channel that has enhanced partnership opportunities and freed up staff for more programming for students with disabilities. Staff have embraced the changes and fully supported the new way of doing things.

Team Members: Corrine Dillon, Ting Ting Han, Jody Harris, Linda Higgins, Carolann Hubley, Mary Ann Laba, Brenda Landry, Micheline McWhirter, Kevin Penny

Nova Scotia Works Transformation Team
Labour and Advanced Education

On July 1, 2016, a newly-transformed system to provide services to job seekers, employers and youth was launched. The new Nova Scotia Works Employment Centres were introduced to provide a suite of employment services under one common brand. This helps Nova Scotians understand, prepare for and attach to employment, while helping businesses find, recruit, hire, manage and develop the talent needed to be more productive in a global economy. The transformation team, led by Executive Lead Vicki Elliot-Lopez, was integral in the system design. In partnership with the previous 51 Careers Nova Scotia service providers, the team worked to redesign the employment system to better reflect the needs of the working population. The result was 18 service providers with an increase in front-line staff. With the increased staff and scope of services, it is anticipated this will result in a larger impact in Nova Scotia.

Team Members: Vicki Elliott-Lopez, Amie Haughn, Dallas McDonald, Joe Brown, Siao (Lucy) Ye, Beatrice Croxen, Roger Peters, Neila Fraser, Cathy Casey, Louise Adongo, Danielle LeBlanc, Jennifer Wagg