A Nuanced and Modernized Telework Policy for Canada’s Public Servants Ongoing Concern for Parliamentarians

USJE’s Regional Vice President Sonia O’Brien-Colterman had the opportunity to attend a community event in Ottawa that was hosted by Member of Parliament Anita Vanderbeld (Ottawa – West Napean) at Smithvale Stables this past weekend.

During the event, Ms. O’Brien-Colterman and MP Vanderbeld were able to discuss USJE’s important ongoing advocacy in regards to  maintaining and promoting  a nuanced and functional approach to telework for federal public servants, including USJE’s members.   Unfortunately, many departments and agencies have become increasingly rigid in their insistence that public service employees work almost exclusively from the office, despite the agreement reached after PSAC’s National strike to ensure some flexibility in this area through individual department approaches.

As we have learned, Canada’s own Parliament has become an excellent example of a more modernized approach to tele-work as it now functions with a hybrid model since the COVID-19 pandemic.  Members of Parliament frequently participate in debates and question period remotely, and they are also able to cast their votes in such a manner when necessary.  It was clear that MP Vanderbeld is supportive of more flexibility and would like to see that reflected in departmental policies.

 Ms. O’Brien-Colterman encouraged MP Vanderbeld to mark her calendar for USJE’s  2nd annual Public Safety Awards ceremony scheduled to take place on on   Parliament Hill on April 9th . This event is an opportunity for USJE to highlight and celebrate the outstanding contributions of by seven USJE members to Canada’s public safety and justice network. Last year, USJE’s inaugural ceremony was a resounding success with many MPs from all political stripes attending the event and meeting USJE’s Award Recipients.

MP Vanderbeld currently serves as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development. Prior to this role, she served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence. She is an active member of numerous Parliamentary associations between Canada and foreign governments as well as with international organizations. She was first elected in 2015.