June 12: Twitter Update from the Deputy Minister Jody Thomas

June 12, 2020 - Defence Stories

Friday update: Systemic racism exists in the Defence Team. We are committed to doing the work to build a diverse team that upholds equal rights, where every member feels valued, included, and supported. We are failing to do that at present and must do better.

Racism is experienced differently by different people but we all need to work together to be part of the solution. DND is hosting a roundtable led by Minister of National Defence next week with the Federal Black Employee Caucus leadership and employee advisory groups.

Our aim is to discuss how we can do better to ensure a respectful and equitable work environment for all, including those who are Black, Indigenous, Métis, Inuit and People of Colour. More to follow next week on the roundtable and what we heard.

Work resumption: Defence Team members’ resumption of work will align with official public health guidance and will move ahead in your area depending on that advice.

As restrictions gradually lift, we’ll have to take extra care to protect ourselves, our families and our fellow Defence Team members against COVID-19. Wash your hands and read the DM/CDS joint directive - DND/CAF COVID-19 public health measures and personal protection.

Down the road, more operational L1s with Bases, Wings, & other facilities will eventually—not right now—need most employees on-site. Other L1s will be able to maximize remote work. That’s DND’s reality and we’ll work to get the balance right.

Lots of discussions generating lots of questions. Keep them coming. The first round of answers to the Ask anything: COVID-19 inbox have been posted here: Resuming work FAQs.

A reminder to please keep yourself informed by reviewing (and re-reviewing) all the material issued on business resumption.

Shout-out to the Commander of the Canadian Army, LGen Wayne Eyre and his team who have led the National Defence COVID-19 Emergency Charity Campaign. The Defence Team accounts for about a quarter of federal government donations. Outstanding. You can still donate here:  National Defence COVID-19 Emergency Charity Campaign

Amidst business resumption planning, some CAF colleagues will soon move on to new challenges. Goodbyes can be tough but we’re still part of one big family and we can all look forward to welcoming new colleagues to our teams. Farewell not gooddbye.

Fathers Day is coming up. Lots of ways to show dads they’re loved, including keeping them safe from illness by taking proper social distancing precautions. I hope my RCN Vet dad gets to spend time on the golf course.

We all need time away from work pressures. You earn vacation time as part of your collective agreement and you should take it without guilt. Take the time to unplug, let yourself recharge. Oh, and also, wash your hands.

Jody Thomas
@DMDND_SMMDN (external link)

This Twitter thread (external link) from Deptuy Minister Jody Thomas can be viewed in full on Twitter.



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