COVID-19 Information for Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat employees

This page contains information specifically intended for Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) employees.

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COVID-19 updates for TBS employees

All TBS employees should visit the following pages on a daily basis to stay up-to-date as the situation evolves:

In addition to the practical information available on these pages, please familiarize yourself with:

If you have any work-related concerns, please contact:

Telework tips

To minimize the impact to the TBS Network when using GC Secure Remote Access (GCSRA), please:

  • Use your iPhone whenever possible to send and receive email.
  • Save files locally to your tablet before you leave the office to work without connecting to the GCSRA.
  • Enable “Airplane Mode” on your tablet and work offline as much as possible, only connecting to the TBS network when necessary.
  • Avoid using video conferencing services on platforms such as WebEx, Skype, Zoom and/or Microsoft Teams when connected to the TBS Network.
  • If you wish to leverage public cloud services for Unclassified work, use either your mobile device or a personal device that does not require a connection to the TBS Network via GCSRA (as per bullet 3 above).
  • Avoid use of any video streaming services such as YouTube.
  • Avoid large data transfers such as large graphically intense decks, images, PDFs, etc. during normal business hours.

To obtain BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise (BBME), call the Service Desk at 613-995-0000 or open a Software Request using the IT Service Portal (Software Services -> Request Software)

  1. Select BBM Enterprise from the Software Name list
  2. Enter Number of Licenses (1)
  3. Enter your Fund Centre (no charge is associated with this request)
  4. Click Submit
  5. Once the ticket has been addressed, you will receive an email to activate your BBME account as well as further instructions to complete the activation. Please follow the instructions carefully.

Leadership tips


In times of crisis, leaders may worry about communicating with their teams because they don’t have all the information. Communicate what you know early and often. Your team will benefit greatly from being kept informed about what is known and even what is not known. You do not need to have all the answers. You simply need to be present.


A team’s sense of identity will invariably be impacted by a shift to telework. Find new creative ways for your team to connect regularly, using the communication tools available. Many such tools do not require a connection to the TBS network. Video-conferencing platforms can give team members the opportunity to see each other, check in, and maintain a sense of community during these challenging times.


As we enter a new way of operating, your team will need to “re-form” as we all get used to the new normal. Don’t expect this to be a seamless process. It will take time. It will also take time to figure out which methods of communication will work for your team and how to best use each one.

Dedicating time to team sessions focused on how to manage through this disruption will help everyone feel more of that certainty. Collect feedback on what’s working well and what needs to change so that you can adjust your team’s approach as you all gain more experience in this new context.

For informal conflict management services, contact the Office of the Ombudsman by email or by phone at 613-907-7923.

HALT phishing

Cybercriminals send emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations with information about the coronavirus. The email messages might ask you to open an attachment to see the latest statistics. If you click on the attachment or embedded link, you’re likely to download malicious software onto your device.

To help protect yourself against coronavirus-related scams, remain vigilant and remember to follow TBS guidance leveraging the HALT methodology.

HALT: Hover, Analyze, Look, Test

  • Hover: With a mouse, hover over links (but don’t click on them) to reveal their true URLs. For mobile devices, a long press will reveal the true URL.
  • Analyze: Analyze the content for clues and take note of the organization it claims to be coming from. Be aware that many phishing messages are designed to instill a sense of urgency.
  • Look: Look for the root domain in the email address and the revealed paths. They must match and belong to the legitimate organization mentioned in the email. Watch for letter inversions or unusual domains.
  • Test: Test the validity of the request by doing some research. Search for the organization using a search engine.

If you suspect that an email is a phishing attempt:

  • Send the message as an attachment to Services-Spam, and then delete the message from your inbox, your sent items, and your deleted items.
  • Change the password for any account you think might have been affected.

Learn more about cyber hygiene for COVID-19 by visiting the Communications Security Establishment’s Cyber Centre.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

All TBS workplaces have implemented a heightened cleaning protocol that includes:

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers installed in building lobbies
  • Cleaning procedures to ensure high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, door handles, kitchen and washroom fixtures, water fountain knobs and push buttons are cleaned frequently with disinfectant products
  • Disinfectant wipes are available for use in some high traffic areas and where larger groups could gather, to wipe down surfaces

Posters with handwashing guidelines have also been placed in high traffic, common areas, namely washrooms and kitchens

Become familiar with the latest measures to help mitigate the risks and prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

If you have concerns, please discuss them with your manager, or contact the TBS Occupational Health and Safety team at TBS by email or by phone at 1-833-780-4908.

Mental health resources

In distress? Contact your Employee Assistance Program or call 9-1-1

The TBS Wellness Unit is committed to providing employees with resources to help everyone, every day, to be well and to promote wellness

The following resources are also available to help you maintain your mental health:

If you or an immediate family member have concerns affecting personal well-being call the Employee Assistance Program.

Health care resources in the National Capital Region

Use these resources to stay up-to-date on information about COVID-19 in our community.

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