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The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada > News & Events > Communications Magazine > Vol. 36, No. 2, Spring 2010 > Member News
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Member News

Mysterious Ways

By Jo Ann Yhard, Litigation Division, Nova Scotia TSO Article courtesy of Interaction Magazine

Jo Ann Yhard

Halifax — Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? They say (or at least I do) that whatever it was — a dancer, a hairdresser, a sailor, a chef — that’s the key to your passion. My dream as a child was to be a writer. I loved reading Nancy Drew books, escaping into the latest exciting mystery…

Unfortunately, as happens with many of us, life took a different turn. But I believe our passions influence our choices, whether we're aware of it or not. Maybe our subconscious is always trying to achieve that childhood dream. At the CRA, I found myself in Litigation, which involves drafting Tax Court filings and editing — pretty compatible tasks for a writer at heart. My desire to write stories like the ones I had loved as a child, coupled with a wild imagination, drew me into writing for children in my spare time.

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For further information on maintaining your membership after retirement, please contact the Institute’s Membership Section at or the President of the Retired Members Guild, Joe Pelisek, at

Well, the road to publication is a long and ego bruising journey. After years of attending writing workshops and crafting stories to send to publishers, all I had to show for my efforts were enough rejection letters to wallpaper a gymnasium! At times it seemed impossible to continue, and many of my writing workshop peers did not. I kept at it, though: rewriting, revising, and sending my stories to publishers.

It is often said that “Perseverance is the key to success." How true! My young adult novel (for ages 8-12) was accepted by Nimbus Publishing and is being released this spring. The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines is, you guessed it, a mystery — complete with bootleg mine tunnels, treacherous sinkholes, 300-million-year-old fossils, a secret hideout, and a suspicious death. This is where the wild imagination comes in! And once you find your path, don’t stop! My second novel, Lost on Brier Island, has also been accepted for publication.

So, sip a glass of lemonade, sit back in the hammock, and ponder. Rediscover that dream you had as a child. Go after it and don’t give up!

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison

Members In Vancouver

Vancouver members

A crowd of young professionals representing the diversity of our membership joined President Gary Corbett when he visited Vancouver’s Burrard Street government offices where the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada are located. Pictured above is the team of stewards at the Burrard Street offices: Stewart Yee, Mindy Brugman, B.C./Yukon Regional Director Dan Jones, Rose da Silva, Adam LaRusick, President Gary Corbett and Gisèle Bramwell (Missing Jennifer Hay).