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Hill Life & People

Unions, Treasury Board in talks for public service’s return to workplace after three-month shutdown

By Mike Lapointe      

PIPSC president Debi Daviau says there’s ‘no rush’ to get employees back to work and that public servant should be able to work from home 'for the foreseeable future' if they can.

PIPSC president Debi Daviau, left, and PSAC national president Chris Aylward, right. Mr. Aylwatd says one major issue around workers returning to the workplace is how to ensure 'physical distancing can be respected.' The Hill Times photographs by Sam Garcia, Andrew Meade

Three months into the COVID-19 shutdown that’s seen government offices closed to all but critical workers and thousands of public servants working from home, union leaders say while there’s “no rush” to return to offices—arguing recent weeks have proven telework arrangements don’t hinder performance—they’ve been working closely with the Treasury Board to plan the re-opening of physical workspaces.

Mike Lapointe

Mike Lapointe joined the The Hill Times in June 2019 and covers the federal public service, deputy ministers, the Privy Council Office, public service unions, the Phoenix pay system, the machinery of government, and the Parliament Hill media.
- mlapointe@hilltimes.com


MPs back more modest option for Parliament visitors’ centre as Centre Block renos roll on

'I appreciate we’re not going for the Cadillac option. …  The larger option was much more expensive,' says NDP House Leader Peter Julian. 'We’re talking about over $110-million in savings.'

Canada ‘ill-prepared’ for potential coronavirus second wave, says Senate committee

News|By Beatrice Paez
The committee noted that the Public Health Agency of Canada has yet to revise or finalize its guidance for long-term care homes in light of concerns about its current relevance.

Cultural assessments needed for sentencing reform, say advocates, amid calls to address high Black incarceration rates

Justice advocates agree with the Black Parliamentary Caucus’ recent call for pre-sentencing reports, similar to the Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders, to be used for racialized Canadians.

Disaggregated data key to ensuring representative workplaces, say experts, as PMO skirts Black staff statistic

The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum

Argentina, Chile, DRC, Hungary, and Madagascar say they backed Canada’s UN Security Council bid, but closest allies are silent

News|By Neil Moss
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand were among 17 countries that wouldn't comment on whether they backed Canada's recent bid for a Security Council seat.

Feds’ fiscal snapshot puts deficit at more than $340-billion, with promise of an update in fall

News|By Beatrice Paez
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a decision on whether the government intends to release a full budget in the fall will be dependent on efforts at managing the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Feds should more clearly verify who is allowed to repay student loans at reduced rates, says auditor general

News|By Palak Mangat
According to an auditor general report, ESDC 'did not properly check the accuracy of applications.'

Poor data, deficiencies in case management to blame for slow pace in enforcing deportation orders, says auditor general

News|By Beatrice Paez
According to CBSA, most of the cases in its 'wanted' inventory involve individuals 'considered a low risk to public safety and are not an agency priority.'

Canada needs to protect Arctic sovereignty to confront emboldened Putin, say MP and expert

News|By Neil Moss
Liberal MP John McKay says there will be 'incursions and intrusions and aggressive actions taken increasingly in the Arctic' by Russia.
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