Statement by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos on the easing of restrictions related to COVID-19

Statement

June 22, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Like many Canadians across the country, in mid-March a large number of public servants traded their usual worksites for makeshift ones in their dining rooms and kitchens, while others served on the front lines of this pandemic. Many have worked long hours, in new and innovative ways, or taken on new responsibilities to ensure Canadians continue to receive the services they rely on during an uncertain time. 

New services, that would normally have taken many months to plan and execute were rolled out in a matter of days and weeks, including the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, all while coordinating the largest repatriation effort in Canadian history. 

The pandemic has shown how fast and nimble the public service can be – and just how important its role is.

Now, the growth curve of the disease is trending downward. Provinces and territories are, at varying paces, reopening their economies.

The heads of federal departments and agencies have received guidance, developed in close collaboration between the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Health Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada, to support planning for eventual increased access to federal worksites as health restrictions ease. 

Re-opening access to federal worksites will be gradual and will vary from organization to organization, each according to their own operational circumstances. As plans unfold, the health and safety of employees will be our priority.

Planning is being guided by the decisions of public health authorities, including Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and will take into consideration the local public health situation and the nature of the work. 

Many public servants will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future, leveraging tools and technology to continue serving Canadians as we move into the recovery phase of our response. 

I have witnessed first-hand the accomplishments of our public servants these past months, and I have never been more certain that Canada has the best public service in the world. 

I thank all public servants for their efforts, and know that they will continue to serve with unwavering dedication.

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