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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > N, O > Non-Partisanship


A core value by which public servants are appointed without political influence and carry out their duties in a politically impartial manner.

(Public Service Commission of Canada. 2006-2007 Annual Report, Chapter 2 – Non-partisanship, Public Service Commission of Canada, , Visited on July 29, 2009


The traditions and values of professionalism and political neutrality have defined Canada’s public service ever since the adoption of the merit principle in 1908. It is a cornerstone of Canada’s system of government and an essential element of our democratic society. Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act governs the political activities of public servants. It recognizes the need to balance the rights of employees to engage in political activities with the principle of a politically impartial public service. Employees can engage in political activities outside the performance of their duties as public servants as long as they do not impair, or are not perceived as impairing, their ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner.


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School of Public Policy and Governance