February 4, 2019
Passing of Michael Ferguson, Canada’s Auditor General
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of the Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson.
When he was appointed, Mr. Ferguson was already an accomplished public servant with a stellar track record, having held the positions of Auditor General, Comptroller General and Deputy Minister of Finance in the Province of New Brunswick (a rare, if not unique, accomplishment in a Canadian jurisdiction). The burden he accepted to bear, although a great honour and in itself a recognition of excellence, was a heavy one.
Holding the government accountable in a democracy is a daunting task. It requires rigour, a keen understanding of the complexity of public administration and the unwavering courage to tell the truth to power. Mr.Ferguson embodied all of these attributes in spades.
His deep conviction was that an Auditor General plays a unique role to encourage continuous improvement in the public service, not for the sake of it, but because ultimately all citizens, and especially the most vulnerable among us, are entitled to governance that maximizes the public good. He also believed that, as a leader, he had to foster a vision of collaboration among all the stakeholders who must work together to achieve results that truly make a difference.
Mr. Ferguson did all this with professionalism, dignity and compassion. We will miss him dearly.