What Ottawa is Talking About – 1 April 2022
1 April 2022
▪️The freeze on $2 million in funds intended for the Trucker siege protestors has been extended until May. The lawyers representing the proposed class action against the Truckers successfully convinced a judge to keep the money on ice. The money is mostly from accounts formerly controlled by siege co-organizer Tamara Lich. The Province of Ontario, in a different court action, is trying to seize the money for itself as a result of its costs for the siege. [CBC]
▪️Chelsea is under a boil water advisory. A breakage in the water line is creating cloudy water and lowered pressure. Residents should boil tap water for at least one minute. [CBC]
▪️The City wants your opinion on what to do with solid waste. We thought we wrote about this before, but we can't find it, so we're behind the eight ball here. The City is having a (virtual) public meeting on April 4th, and there is a survey to fill out. We're running out of landfill, and these meetings and consultations will determine what happens next. [City of Ottawa]
▪️The Carleton Ravens begin their run in the 2022 U Sports men's basketball national championship today. They play against Victoria at 10 pm tonight. This CBC link has a video player to watch it. [CBC]
▪️Various Federal workplaces have reported their plans to bring civil servants back to work. The Treasury Board, which is the ultimate decision maker, authorized each workplace to make their own decisions. According to the CBC:
- The Canada Revenue Agency said it is not providing a timeline.
- The Department of Canadian Heritage said employees who wish to return to the workplace can do so as of April 4, while following public health guidelines.
- The Department of Finance said it began a process of allowing some employees to return to the workplace in February, following the TBS directive, and is planning a longer-term shift to hybrid work.
- The Department of Justice said it's possible more employees will return to its offices in person as "early as the beginning of summer," though no specific timeline has been established. There are processes in place to allow some employees to return now, according to the department.
- The Department of National Defence said it will continue to support a hybrid work model where operational requirements allow.
- The Department of Public Safety said its transition to a hybrid workforce framework will take place "between Spring and Fall of 2022."
- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) said it already has a large number of employees coming to the office, including those who work at Service Canada and Passport Canada centres. In a statement, an ESDC spokesperson said a pilot project launched on March 28 will help ESDC test hybrid work teams ahead of a transition to "our flexible work model" by Labour Day. In the meantime, ESDC has begun allowing employees to return voluntarily.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada said employees who experienced challenges with remote work are back in the office, and plans are underway to increase occupancy rates "in the weeks and months to come."
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada employees began returning to the office in March and that gradual return continues.
- A statement from Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada said both organizations are resuming re-entry plans "including a further increase in occupancy of federal worksites beginning this spring using the phased approach."
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said its move to a hybrid approach "in the coming months." The process will be guided by operational needs and public health advice.
- Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada are working on a gradual return to the workplace.
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada said it will complete the first phase of its return to the workplace by April 13, starting at 10 per cent of pre-pandemic office occupancy. Employees are being given four weeks advance notice of their scheduled return date.
- Public Services and Procurement Canada is planning "to continue to support a hybrid workforce" and says it has "no specific timelines" for its gradual transition.
- Transport Canada said it will be sharing its organizational vision with employees "in due course."