Thank you, Joyce.
Joyce and I first met when she was a cabinet minister in B.C. and I was Minister of Public Works. We were dealing with issues of shared services between the federal and provincial government—that was back around 2005, I believe—and she brings with her that experience.
We need to renew our public service. We have a first-class public service. One thing is that the average age of new hires within the public service now is 37, which would seem ancient to Mr. Lightbound over there. Millennials represent the most digitally connected generation in the history of Canada, but also the most educated and informed, and we need to find ways to attract them. They want to know that they can make a difference, and the only way you can make a difference is if you can try new things. The problem is that if you try new things, some of those things won't work out, and if you create a culture of fear in the public service that if you try something that fails you're going to be in trouble, that cover-your-butt kind of culture is anathema to innovation.
We have to create a culture of intelligent risk-taking within the public service enabling some level of entrepreneurialism within it. Mr. Long has been an entrepreneur. I don't see any reason why the best instincts of entrepreneurs cannot be harnessed in government, in both politics and the public service. We want to do that.
That's why I've been totally transparent this morning, saying that as we do these things we will err sometimes and will try something that doesn't work, or we may find that something we hadn't thought about makes a lot of sense. We can hear from you and others. We really want to do that.
For young people who want to make a difference, public service still represents one of the best places to do it, in the government as a public servant, in politics—and in opposition as well as in government. Don't take for granted for one moment the opportunity, the privilege you have to make a difference, wherever you sit in the House of Commons. There is no bad seat in the House of Commons.