We are in this together

April 10

Colleagues,

While these times are unusual and uncertain, I did want to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy Easter and Happy Passover! Though our various celebrations will likely be somewhat different than normal this year, I do hope that you and you families will be able to celebrate the holidays – even if that may be through online video conferencing rather than in person gatherings.

As we near the end of the fourth week since we began working from home, I also wanted to check in and to say thank you. I am very proud of the way we as a portfolio have come together to continue with our important work and to support each other during these uncertain times.

We are all learning to work in ways that are somewhat different from those we are used to. This is true whether one works in Human Resources, IT, Programs, Security, Facilities or Communications. It is true whether you are working from home or providing critical services in the field.

Beyond carrying on with the critical tasks performed by our organizations each and every day, we have made significant donations of PPE to support frontline workers and we have had several employees accept short term assignments to assist other agencies and departments with COVID-19 response.

In these exceptional circumstances, Canadians are counting on governments and public servants more than ever. Thank you for your resilience, your professionalism, your innovation, your empathy, your compassion and your hard work.

During this long weekend, it will be important that we all take time to relax and recharge. It will also be extremely important that we each do all we can to ensure we are keeping our communities safe and are doing our part to flatten the curve.

On a personal level, I have been very fortunate. My eldest daughter is now back home from university and we have had a chance to spend more time than usual with two teenagers. As those of you with teenagers will know, spending a lot of time home with parents would not normally be at the top of the list of fun things to do! It has been very nice to have them both home.

I certainly know some of you are facing more difficult challenges – being separated from family and friends, homeschooling young kids, worrying about elderly parents, or looking after a loved one who is sick. Please know that whatever challenges you may be facing, we are here to support you.

We will get through this together.

Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend.

All the best,

Jonathan Wilkinson

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