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Updates to staff from the City Manager

Update from the City Manager - January 14, 2021

This week, the Province of Ontario reported that the number of COVID-19 cases is at its highest since the start of the pandemic. To stop the rise in cases and protect our healthcare system, the Province declared a second provincial state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order.

The stay-at-home order, which will be in effect until at least February 11, requires everyone to stay home except for essential trips for groceries, medical appointments, exercise or work that cannot be done remotely.

We have received the regulations from the Province and can now confirm there will be some impacts to how we deliver our services.

Effective end of day Friday, January 15, the City will be suspending its current in-person counter services and moving to online or alternate delivery formats. There will be no public access to administrative buildings, including 100 Constellation and Ben Franklin Place. Public access to City Hall will be restricted to the Service Ontario counter and the municipal daycare service.

All indoor recreation and cultural facilities will remain closed to the public, excluding respite centres, COVID-19 assessment centres, municipal childcare centres (ages 0 to 4), inclusive recreation programs and Before-and-After School Programs when elementary schools resume. Ottawa Public Library facilities will remain closed but will continue to provide contactless curbside services.

For any of you affected by these closures, the team in Human Resources continues to work closely with our unions to redeploy impacted individuals to departments with new and emerging needs to support the City’s pandemic response.

Our people play an important role in this emergency. We will continue to provide essential, front-line and emergency services, including the important work taking place to vaccinate those most at-risk in long-term care and retirement homes.

As the Premier noted, anyone who can work from home, should do so.

Those of you who are operationally required to be on-site to deliver services, access resources in the workplace, or who have individual accommodations in place, should report to work as usual. Please continue following all required health and safety protocols including completing the self-assessment form before each shift. A letter confirming your employment with the City is not required at this time, unless you are a resident of Quebec travelling to or from work during curfew hours. If you need a certificate of employment for this reason, please speak to your supervisor or manager.

Your leadership team is here to support you and will keep you informed on any specific impacts to your department, so we can continue to provide critical services to our residents and to each other.

For parents juggling work, child care and at-home learning please keep conversations going with your manager and supervisor to explore flexible working arrangements and accommodations, if required. Free emergency child care for school-aged children is available for designated front-line municipal workers. For more information, speak with your supervisor or manager.

Finally, I want to stress the importance of continuing to follow the advice from our public health experts so we can stop the upward trend in cases and get back on track. Continue to maintain physical distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick. As a reminder, all City employees must wear a mask in City vehicles, when more than one occupant is in the vehicle and in all areas of City facilities accessible to the public. Our people have great visibility in our community, and we need to set an example by following these rules and guidance.

Also, don’t forget to check in on one another and continue to work together as One City, One Team to keep our community and each other safe.

Keep up the good work. Together we can do this.

Steve K.

City Manager

Update on our reopening plan, work-from-home arrangements and finances - August 11, 2020

Hi everyone,

It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through August in what’s been an incredibly challenging year. With COVID-19 still very much present in our community, we’ve all had to adjust our summer plans in some way, but I hope you’ve been able to take a break and spend some well-deserved time with family and loved ones. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take time to disconnect from the day-to-day work to rest and recharge.

Before I continue any further, I want to take a moment to recognize all of our colleagues who have been impacted by the devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Please know that your leaders and colleagues are here to support you following this tragic event. Be sure to reach out to them or to our Employee and Family Assistance Program if you need support.

As we look ahead to September, I know many of you are starting to plan for the fall. So, I wanted to take a moment to update you on a few things including where we’re at with our reopening plan, work-from-home arrangements and our finances.

Our reopening plan

Last week, we moved into Phase 2 of Our Reopening Plan. This includes the reopening of museums, revenue service counters, municipal election offices, fitness centres, indoor rentals, the financial needs testing program and more. Over the next several weeks, we’ll continue to gradually and safely resume more services while closely monitoring the situation and implementing preventative measures to keep our people and residents safe and healthy.

We continue to follow Ottawa Public Health’s guidance and the Province’s directives in terms of our reopening plans. We know this virus isn’t going away any time soon and we’re preparing for all scenarios including a possible second wave. So, we must continue to be vigilant, flexible and adaptable during these uncertain times.

Working from home or onsite

The health and safety of our people continues to be our number one priority. To help protect and preserve our workforce, employees who can work from home will continue to do so until the end of 2020, unless you’re required to be onsite to support or deliver services.

This extension allows us to increase physical distancing at City facilities which contributes to the safety of our people onsite. If you’re required to come back to the workplace as we resume additional services, you’ll be contacted by your manager or supervisor who will share all the safety protocols that have been put into place to protect you. Our emergency operations team and people task team are continually reviewing our protocols and are working hard to ensure that those who are required to be onsite have the proper personal protective equipment and training to be safe at work.

For those of you continuing to work remotely, you’re encouraged to retrieve any additional equipment you may need from the office to continue working effectively from home. Please speak with your manager or supervisor to arrange a pick-up time as per your service area’s office equipment retrieval process. There are also additional work-from-home tools and resources that have been added to the COVID-19 Employee Information site to help you stay productive and connected while working remotely.

Whether you’re at home or onsite, we’re committed to making sure you have everything you need so you can continue to safely support and deliver services to our community.

Our finances

On July 16, the federal government announced an investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. Following this announcement, Premier Ford shared that the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is providing up to $4 billion in urgently needed one-time assistance to Ontario municipalities.

This funding will help local governments across the province maintain the critical services people rely on every day over the next six to eight months. Details on specific allocations for the City of Ottawa have yet to be released and an update will be provided once this information becomes available.

I know that a lot of uncertainty remains which can be stressful. Please know that your departmental leaders and direct manager or supervisor are available to support you and answer any questions you might have. You can also share your thoughts, questions or concerns with me through the anonymous Talk to Me feedback tool on my SharePoint site. We’re all in this together and it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.

I’m incredibly proud of how our organization and our community at large has rallied together to help manage the impact of the pandemic in our city. Despite seeing some increases in positive cases in the last few weeks, there’s been a tremendous community-wide effort and many sacrifices made to help control the spread of the virus. When I see what’s happening in other parts of the world, I’m very grateful to be part of our City of Ottawa family. Thank you again for everything you’re doing to protect each other while continuing to provide excellent service to our residents.

Steve K.

Our Reopening Plan - June 10, 2020

Hi everyone,

Earlier today, I presented Our Reopening Plan at Council. This is an important milestone in our ongoing response to COVID-19 and I know you will likely have many questions about the plan and how it impacts you and your work. So, I want to a moment to share some additional information with you and let you know that your senior leadership team will support and guide you every step of the way.

Before I get into the details, I want to thank you for the personal and professional sacrifices you’ve all made to help slow the spread of the virus to protect each other and the community. This has truly been a team effort, and together, we’ve been able to make some real progress to flatten the curve in Ottawa.

I also want to recognize that this unprecedented emergency has been among the most difficult our organization has faced in recent memory. But, in challenging times we see our people rise to the occasion. I’ve seen you rallying together, stepping in to take on new roles and trying new things to respond to emerging needs and keep our services running smoothly. We’re all in this together and I know we’ll come out on the other side. Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do to support each other and our community.

Current situation

As I mentioned before, the situation remains fluid and we know that COVID-19 will be present in our community for some time to come. There are still many unknowns related to this virus which makes it difficult to plan. However, we continue to closely follow the advice of Ottawa Public Health and we are taking our cues from the Province of Ontario in terms of our reopening plans.

The City remains in a State of Emergency so that we can react quickly in a changing environment, access critical resources and continue to respond to evolving community needs. We know that we must remain flexible and be prepared to adapt and adjust Our Reopening Plan at any time as the situation evolves.

Our Reopening Plan

With the above in mind, we’re starting to cautiously reopen some of our programs and services in a gradual, phased approach from now until the end of August.

Our Reopening Plan prioritizes programs and services that promote a safe and strategic expansion of Ottawa’s economy with ongoing support for our most vulnerable communities. Above all, the health and safety of our people and our community remains our top priority.

Our Reopening Plan focuses on the following key areas:

  • Our Safety
  • Our Services
  • Our People

Our Safety

We are committed to protecting the health and wellness of our people and our residents as we gradually reopen some of our facilities, services and programs. Here are some of the things we’re doing to keep everyone safe:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be prioritized for health care and essential workers.
  • Cloth masks will be provided to employees where PPE is not required but physical distancing is not always possible.
  • The use of cloth masks will be strongly recommended for members of the public (where it’s not specified as mandatory e.g. public transit).
  • Approximately 110 engineered sneeze guards are being installed at 55 public-facing service counters.
  • Approximately 5000 physical distancing signs, floor decals and directional markings are being put in place in facilities.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed in facilities.
  • Site-specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols are being implemented at each facility.
  • All employees including contractors are required to use the self-screening tool before reporting any work site.
  • Client screening protocols are being implemented based on risk assessments in specific service areas.

Our Services

Our services will gradually reopen in the following phased approach:

  • Pre-Recovery Phase: Maintain and Adapt (March-June): includes services that have been maintained without disruption since the start of the pandemic and services that have resumed in an adapted way in accordance with Provincial directives.
  • Recovery Phase 1: Restart (July): includes services that will restart in July in accordance with Provincial directives.
  • Recovery Phase 2: Augment (August): includes services that will be augmented in August in accordance with Provincial directives.

Our Reopening Plan prioritizes public transit, recreation and child care services to support residents returning to work and to provide relief during the warm summer months. We will also continue to support our most vulnerable and help restart Ottawa’s economic recovery by supporting local businesses.

Many of our facilities may look different and some programs and services will be delivered in new or modified ways to help keep everyone safe. This includes more virtual and online services, reduced group sizes for programming, appointment-based in-person counter services and contactless document drop off.

We will monitor and evaluate every program and service that resumes to ensure they are offered in a format that allows our people and our residents to follow public health measures.

Our People

We know that our residents depend on you, our people, to deliver the services they rely on every day. So, we’re taking all the necessary steps to take care of you so that you can continue taking care of our community.

In addition to the safety measures listed above, here are some of the things we’re doing to protect and preserve our workforce:

  • All employees currently working from home will continue to do so until after Labour Day with the exception of those required to work onsite as we reopen services.
  • If you are required to come back to a workplace, you will be contacted by your manager or supervisor.
  • Further assessments will be completed over the summer months to help inform any additional facility retrofits required including workstation and floor designs.
  • A formal work-from-home program is being developed to ensure those working remotely have all the resources and supports required to continue to do so.
  • The corporate redeployment plan will allow for continued flexibility to address new and emerging needs related to the pandemic and prepare for each of the reopening phases.
  • Employees who are currently redeployed will remain in these roles where possible to continue responding to evolving needs related to COVID-19.
  • A comprehensive health and safety policy is being finalized that will include self-screening requirements, personal protective equipment and other preventative measures for employees, personal hygiene standards, cleaning and sanitizing guidelines and physical distancing guidelines.
  • Employee training on new safety protocols and standards related to COVID-19 is currently being developed.
  • Health and wellness resources are being augmented including an updated ergonomic program with virtual tools, expanded counselling services, targeted webinars, an online wellness resource library, expanded peer support networks, refreshed mental health training and updated return-to-work, leave and accommodation practices.

Our Reopening Plan details

For more detailed information on Our Reopening Plan, please visit my SharePoint site where you’ll find my Council presentation, employee FAQ and Reopening Plan handout. In addition, your General Manager will be sending an email shortly with more specific information on the plan and what it means for your department.

Reopening services takes a significant amount of coordination, planning and execution. It’s one thing to turn off the lights but turning them back on requires weeks, if not months, of work.

Overcoming the new and unique challenges we’ll face as a City as we reopen will require patience, flexibility and the combined efforts of our people, residents and community partners.

The next couple of months will not be without continued challenges as we work out the kinks and adjust to our next normal, but I know we will succeed because of the strength and commitment of our City of Ottawa team.

Thank you,

Steve K.

Video Transcript: Making a difference together

Hey everyone, bonjour a tous!

Steve K here.

Every year we take time in the month of June to recognize you, our people, for your incredible commitment to municipal public service and to celebrate the work you do to make a real difference in our community.

Right now, our city, and our world, is going through an extremely challenging time.

And, without skipping a beat, you’ve stepped up to continue delivering the services our residents depend on each and every day.

You’ve found new and innovative ways to deliver services whether you’re working from home or onsite.

You’ve taken on new or different work to help address the evolving needs of the community.

You’ve adapted to changing work routines while balancing the needs of your loved ones, community and colleagues.

And you’ve provided essential front-line and emergency services to help keep our residents healthy and safe throughout this pandemic.

You’re doing incredible things every day- here’s a few examples of how you’re making a difference together.

My name is Erin O'Connell and this is Avery and will my team and I work in development review and we worked on reviewing plans to ensure that people in Ottawa have places to live work and play in well-planned buildings and neighbourhoods.

Hi I'm Rob for Fleet Services and my colleagues and I are making a difference by making sure paramedic vehicles are safe and are ready to go during these combat Covid times

At the musical child care we're making a difference finding creative ways to connect with and support Hamas families development like making videos of educators reading stories singing songs presenting art activities and helping children with…

Hi I’m Eric from finance and I'm making a difference by overseeing a program that defers the due date for property tax bills for those who've been financially burdened by Covid. Hi I'm Andre I'm working from home and sure they're trying to see the same qualities that they expect every day thank you.

Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m a dispatcher with By-Law and Regulatory Services. Over the last eight weeks or so, we have been making a difference by handling over 6,000 calls related to the COVID-19 emergency response.

Hi I'm Cameron I'm an epidemiologist with Ottawa Public Health and we're making a difference we analyze health and population data provide health guidance and communication to flatten the curve.

Hi my name is Christiane and I work with the Ottawa Public Health communications team. Working with the epidemiology team, we can better adapt our message and target our interventions. Together we’re making a difference.

I'm Shannon Cudahy parks ambassador and Dan Leeza we're making a difference by keeping people in our parks and green spaces informed and safe.

My name is Sandro Capelli I work for frontline services at the city tech center at 100 constellation my team and I are making a difference by providing services vulnerable laptops to clients to work from home as well as extra support for other public health on their phone lines for a pro support forum.

Hello, my name is François Cousineau. I am the IT project manager in the Technology Solutions group. We are making a difference by working in new innovative ways and by making IT services available on a larger scale. Thank you and have a great day.

Hi I'm Courtney I work in transportation services the transit fleet and facilities maintenance team is making a difference by working around the clock for our community to ensure our transit buses and facilities are fully maintained this includes enhanced cleaning so our essential workers and residents can rely on transit for their important trips.

My team and I our making a difference in our community by following rules, being ready prepared and safe through this pandemic times we are still here for you and performing duties while keeping safe, thank you.

Hi my name is Courtney Miller and I'm a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library the audio library is making a difference by supporting organizations that serve people at risk by providing six-month loans for Chromebooks and hotspots by providing technology it allows vulnerable people to physically distance but connect socially we are one city working together.

Hello, my name is Isabelle Courel. We’re making a difference by translating for municipal services so they can communicate in both French and English with residents and City employees quickly and simultaneously. We offer our services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to our colleagues in the various departments, as needed. I am so proud of our City of Ottawa of family and the contributions you’ve made as One City, One Team.

On behalf of the senior leadership team, I want to thank you for all that you do—and all that you are doing— for each other and for your community.

We see you, we appreciate you, and we celebrate you for making a difference together for the greater good of our community.

Thank you/Merci.

COVID-19 update: Loss of a colleague - May 20, 2020

I am deeply saddened to inform you that yesterday we lost one of our own, with the passing of a colleague from the Peter D. Clark Long-Term Care Home, who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Out of respect for the wishes of the next of kin, the individual’s name will not be released at this time. Flags at Peter D. Clark will be lowered to mourn the loss of our colleague.

On behalf of the entire organization, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of this member of our team who will be profoundly missed.

Please know we are here to support you during this difficult time. If you want to talk to someone, please reach out to your manager or supervisor. Also, remember your Employee and Family Assistance Program is available 24/7 to provide support by telephone, text, chat and video counselling. Reach out by calling 1-844-880-9142, downloading the My EAP app or visiting workhealthlife.com.

This is very difficult news to share during an exceptionally challenging time. My thoughts remain with all our colleagues in Long-Term Care who have suffered the loss of friend and colleague and who continue to support our most vulnerable in these difficult circumstances.

Sincerely,

Steve K.  

Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery Phase - May 15, 2020

Hi everyone,

On Wednesday, I provided an update to Council on our roadmap for the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I wanted to check in and provide some additional context on where we’re at with our plans to reopen and what this means in terms of our people and our services.

The situation remains fluid and we’re still in the planning stage for recovery. But I want you to know that above all, your health, safety and wellbeing remain our top priority. As a service organization, Ottawa residents depend on all of you to deliver the services they need. That’s why the entire senior leadership team is committed to putting our people first and implementing all the required safety measures to protect and preserve the workforce as we gradually start to reopen.

Current context - the Province and the City

  • On April 27, the Ontario government released their reopening framework that outlines a careful, stage-by-stage approach to ensure the appropriate measures are in place so workplaces can reopen safely
  • On May 12, the Province announced the extension of their state of emergency to June 2, 2020 which means that all enhanced public health measures including recommendations to stay home, practice physical distancing and hand washing remain in place
  • Yesterday, Premier Ford announced additional workplaces that could reopen including some retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers over the long weekend and on Tuesday, May 19
  • The City remains in state of emergency and we’re in lockstep with the Province in terms of our plans to reopen as we continue to address immediate and evolving community needs
  • We’re progressing at the pace we can and taking our cues from the Province and public health officials to adapt our recovery plan to respond to new and emerging directives
  • We don’t have set dates yet and we need to remain flexible to respond to potential flare-ups or increases in infection rates

Our people and our services

Our People Task Team and Services Task Teams are working together to prepare for the gradual reopening of our facilities and services based on Provincial directives. They are focused on the following key areas:

1. Retrofits and safety

  • All City facilities are being assessed for retrofits required to keep our people and residents safe upon reopening, including the installation of physical distancing markers, physical barriers, sneeze guards, floor decals and signage
  • Work is underway to secure enough inventory of medical and non-medical masks and personal protective equipment required now, when we reopen and beyond
  • Enhanced screening, cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been implemented to meet public health guidelines
  • Staffing plans and service delivery modifications required for the first phase of reopening are currently being developed including additional facilities, physical distancing and crowd size limits

2. Priority service areas

  • A limited number of priority service areas in each department have been identified for the first phase of reopening
  • We don’t have set dates to start fully reinstating these services yet as we must follow the Province’s lead and ensure our facilities have been properly retrofitted before staff can return

3. Working from home or onsite

  • Those who are currently working from home will continue to do so and a formalized work-from-home program is being developed to ensure the proper supports are in place to maximize efficiency and productivity of remote work
  • Those who are currently working onsite or in the field will continue to do so with the required safety equipment
  • As the situation evolves, safety measures will be enhanced and adapted to ensure the continued protection of our people

We’re just at the beginning, but I want you to know that a lot of careful consideration is being made for each stage of our recovery plan. Everything will be done in a thoughtful, phased approach. We can’t just flip a switch and bring everything back online at once. And, we’re taking all the necessary steps to take care of you so that you can continue taking care of our community and delivering the services they depend on every day.

The senior leadership team and I are committed to keeping you updated as more information becomes available and our plans firm up. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your GM.

Thank you for your continued professionalism and dedication as we get through this challenging time together.

Steve K.

Mental Health Week - May 4, 2020

Today marks the first day of Mental Health Week (MHW), and it’s so important that we all take time to check-in with ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones.

We’re now in the eighth week of managing the response to the pandemic in the community. And in that time, our lives and routines have been completely disrupted. We haven’t been able to get together with family, friends and colleagues like we normally would, and simple tasks like getting groceries can cause stress and anxiety.

We’re all dealing with this situation in our own unique way, but it’s critical to stay connected and share our experiences with each other. That’s why this year’s theme for MHW is social connection—to help promote having real conversations about how we’re feeling.

Many of us say we’re fine when we don’t really mean it. But, having an open and honest dialogue can boost self-esteem, minimize distress, increase your sense of well-being and build resilience. So please carve out some time to create meaningful social engagement during this time of physical distancing.

ITS has done an amazing job at providing us with the tools we need to stay connected socially while being apart physically. If you haven’t already, I recommend you take some time to familiarize yourself with Office 365 and all of the products and features available to you.

Webinars

As part of MHW, we’re offering the following webinars on coping with anxiety and building resilience in times of uncertainty:

  • Today from 1 to 2pm

May the 4th be with you—flatten your anxiety curve

  • Tuesday, May 5 from 9:30 to 10:30 am

Building Resilience in Uncertain Times: COVID-19

  • Tuesday, May 5 from 11:30 to 12:30 pm

Renforcer sa résilience en période d’incertitude (COVID-19) (in French)

New LifeSpeak App

We’re also very excited to launch a new digital wellness platform called LifeSpeak that builds on our already enhanced Employee and Family Assistance Program. LifeSpeak gives you access to world-class specialists and has a large collection of videos and podcasts on mental health, physical wellness, financial health and relationships. It also includes many great resources about coping with the impacts of COVID-19 as a parent, partner, front-line or at-home worker and much more.

If you’re finding things to be too much, please ask for help.

Your Employee and Family Assistance Program is available 24/7 to provide support by telephone, text, chat and video counselling. Reach out by calling 1-844-880-9142, downloading the My EAP app or visiting workhealthlife.com.

Ottawa Public Health

You can also visit Ottawa Public Health’s webpage on mental health and COVID-19 that has excellent resources, videos and additional online supports and information.

Safety and Health Week

This week is also Safety and Health Week, a time we typically take to strengthen our commitment to health and safety. This is a priority now more than ever for our people and our residents. I want to thank everyone for your efforts to keep each other safe and well at home, at work and in our community.

Finally, I want you to know that I see you all working hard every day—and you’re doing such a great job. Please remember to take care of yourselves, take care of your mental health and keep a strong connection with your support networks including your City of Ottawa family.

We’re all in this together.

Steve K.

Joint Statement: Redeployment Process - April 29, 2020

The City of Ottawa has been managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two months. These are unprecedented times, and there is no doubt that our employees are our strength. Each time we are faced with a challenge, our people rise to the occasion to help take care of the community and deliver the services residents depend on.

The crisis we are facing is like no other we have seen before. We are seeing significant increases to demand in critical municipal service areas—and now, more than ever, we need to rally together and work as One City, One Team for the greater good of our community.

We know that the roles of some employees have been impacted due to facility closures, program cancellations and service changes. Recognizing that this is an “all-hands-on-deck” situation, the City has been working together with union leadership to ensure the full complement of City resources are optimized through a redeployment process. This process will help maintain a healthy workforce to effectively respond to the community’s evolving needs during the emergency, recovery and rebuilding phases of this pandemic.

Managers will be reaching out to specific employees who have been identified for potential redeployment to support high-priority service needs. These employees will be assigned to redeployments that are as consistent as possible with their existing experience, skills and training.

The City and our union partners are here to support you. As we focus on redeployment needs, we must also ensure that we look at the supports you require to continue to be effective and safe at work. This includes reinforcing controls such as screening procedures, making changes to work processes and the setup of facilities to create physical distancing, heightening cleaning and disinfecting protocols, issuing appropriate personal protective equipment and providing the necessary training you need to be safe at work. Our commitment to you is to ensure your needs and concerns are addressed so that you can safely deliver the critical services that our residents need right now.

We remain committed to working together during this exceptional time and we know that the City of Ottawa team will continue to rise to this challenge together. Thank you once again for your unwavering commitment and dedication to municipal public service.

Sincerely,

Steve Kanellakos
City Manager
James Watson
President, CUPE 503
Jamie Dunn
Executive Director, CIPP
Michel Sanscartier
President, IATSE, Local 471

Video Transcript: Update from the City Manager - April 22, 2020

Hi everyone, bonjour tout le monde, it's Steve K. here.

I wanted to get back in touch with you after my last video to give you an update of where we're at.

I know many people in our organization are still in the full service, full response mode. We have so many needs in our community and I can tell you that, from my perspective, a city can have a continuity plan, a business continuity plan, on their books, but there's only one real business continuity plan—and that's giving our people a challenge, and they rise every time to it.

Our people are our strength. We all firmly believe that, and again the City of Ottawa staff are rising to the occasion, and delivering, and coming to work every day. Whether it's at home or on the frontline coming in physically, to take care of our residents and make sure that we deliver the services they count on.

And I can't thank you enough for the dedication and the commitment that you've made to our community. It always amazes me. It always makes me feel so happy to be part of the City of Ottawa family and to be able to say that I work with such amazing people every day who do such incredible things for, not only our vulnerable population, but our entire community.

So a huge thank you to start.

Right now, what we're focusing on and what I want to tell you about, is where are we going and where this is evolving as a situation. We are thinking really hard about the next steps and what's going to transpire over the next several weeks, and next several months, and the senior leadership team has formed five task forces to deal with, what we anticipate, are going to be the challenges as we move forward.

And I want to tell you about those briefly, just so you get a sense that, even though we're in it today and we're working so hard to deal with the immediate needs on an hour-by-hour basis, we have to think of the future. And have to think about what our workplace will be like, what will our services be like as we go forward.

The task forces we started with. And we're looking at our people, that's one task force. It's led by Valerie Turner, our General Manager. And Valerie and her team are going to be looking at all the issues that we need to deal with and our people.

Not only the practices, the policies, but how do we get back to work. What your cubicle situations are going to be like, what are we doing with holidays, what are we doing with redeployment, what are we doing with all the things that we need to do to take care of our people. Mental health, EAP, what supports do you need to be able to do your job as you move forward.

The second task force is our service task force and that's being led by Dan Chenier. And Dan is going to be looking at: How do our services come back online across all City departments, what things do we have to do to make sure people are safe when they come back to the workplace, what things do we to make sure that our residents will access services that are safe, and what changes do we have to make in our services to make sure that we can sustain them in this new situation while this pandemic is still ongoing and we haven't found a vaccine.

The third task force that we've created is a recovery task force, and that's being led by Steve Willis. Steve is going be looking at it, externally, how does the economy come back online. Working with the province, working with the federal government, ensuring that our business community—from an economic development perspective—is supported and prepared to be able to open up their businesses, and we are there for them to make sure that construction is moving forward that our retail operations eventually can open.

How do we manage our city so that we can start moving back into an economic recovery. And Steve will also be looking at an entire legislative agenda and all the major work that's being done in the community, they will bring recommendations by Council in terms of what things can we still proceed with in this environment and what things we have to put off or defer.

The fourth task force is our financial task force, and that's being led by Wendy Stephanson. The objective of that is to ensure that, as a City, we are very aware of what the financial pressures are on us. As everybody knows and the Mayor stated, we're losing about a million dollars a day—that’s what it's costing us to be in this current situation and we're doing everything we can to make sure that we redeploy our staff so that every staff person or organization is deployed in a way that is still delivering services, supporting our residents.

We want to make sure, though, that we're responsible around how we spend our money, what we do with our expenditures over the next year to make sure that we don't put ourselves in a deeper hole than we're already in. And Wendy is looking at, with her team, all of our capital programs, our operating expenditures and advocacy with the federal and provincial government, working with her fellow treasurers and other senior bureaucrats and our Mayor to ensure that we advocate for the funding cities need to be able to get through this.

And our fifth and final task force is our human needs task force which is led by Donna Gray and her team, and they are looking at our entire vulnerable population, childcare, social services, shelters, our homeless.

They are looking at all the people that need our support, need our help, how does our nonprofit sector survive and do well and sustain themselves through this so that they're there to help the people that are most in need. And that is such a broad, broad topic, but we have an incredible team that's come together: This is a joint staff and a community team that's working on those issues every day.

So those are the five areas we're focusing on. We're going to be driving those five areas over the next two weeks to be able to get a sense of what do they all mean and what recommendations do we have to implement to ensure that we can come back stronger than ever as a city.

So again, I want to thank all of you for your support.

I want to thank all of you for the hard work that you're putting in and rising to this challenge. I know it's not easy.

I know you all have very unique situations in your own personal lives. It's not all about work. We all go home and have to deal with things. We have elderly parents, we have children, we have young children, we have people who are sick in our families.

Everybody has a unique situation that they're trying to deal with and I'm totally understanding of that, and I appreciate that you're able to still commit yourself to your work despite dealing with all the things that you have to do at home and in your personal lives.

So huge thank you to all of you for the incredible work that you do.

Merci.

Update on the City’s Response to COVID-19 - April 6, 2020

As you know, the City has taken significant action in the last few weeks to help flatten the curve to protect our people and our community from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has involved some unprecedented measures, and I know a tremendous effort has been made by all of us to support each other and our residents while continuing to deliver the services our community depends on every day.

But as I shared in my video statement last week, we’re going to be in this situation for months. And now, we must do even more to continue to prevent the spread of the virus, support our people and ensure the stability of our municipal services during these incredibly challenging circumstances.

Extended facility closures, service changes and state of emergency

Earlier today, a decision was made in consultation with Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, and the Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) that includes all General Managers, to remain in a State of Emergency and extend the existing closures of City facilities, services and large public gatherings until June 30, 2020.

This decision will be reviewed on a regular basis by the EOCG, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health officials and the federal and provincial governments. However, it is important to act now in a concerted effort to continue to slow the spread of the virus, and provide our Council, our people and our community with some degree of certainty on how the City will continue to deliver service during this evolving situation.

Temporary workforce adjustments

Many of our colleagues provide invaluable services to our community by running our facilities and providing cultural and recreational programming throughout the year. However, due to the decision to extend the closure of our facilities and cancel programming, we’ve had to make some decisions in the very best interests of our people.

The City has worked in partnership with CUPE 503 to place approximately 4,000 of our part-time colleagues from the Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department (RCFS) and approximately 280 of our part-time colleagues from the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) on an unpaid, job-protected legislated leave of absence, or declared emergency leave, under the Employment Standards Act. During the period that our facilities are closed, there is insufficient work and this negotiated agreement ensures that our people will not be laid-off.

These are not permanent reductions and those impacted will retain their status as City of Ottawa employees. This decision was necessary to ensure the financial well-being of our people. By taking this step, our part-time colleagues from RCFS and OPL are eligible to apply for the federal funding supports currently being offered while our facilities remain closed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank James Watson, President of CUPE 503, for his collaboration in developing a plan that protects and supports our part-time colleagues during these challenging times.

We need these people to sustain themselves through this period and come back ready to deliver the services and programming that hundreds of thousands of people in our community rely on when our facilities reopen.

Deferral of 2020 summer student employment program

We will also defer the 2020 summer student employment program until the end of May and will review its viability on a regular basis as the situation evolves.

Extension of paid emergency leave

The paid emergency leave that was created in response to the pandemic to assist employees with school and childcare closures has been extended until April 19, 2020. We will review this on a regular basis as the situation evolves.

Emergency Leave will be granted when alternate work arrangements (i.e. working from home, flexible hours) are not operationally feasible, and all other childcare alternatives have been exhausted. The paid emergency leave code (6096) is currently available in SAP.

Planning ahead

I also want to assure you that the senior leadership team is working on a comprehensive business continuity plan to ensure our finances remain stable, and that we continue to deliver the services our community needs the most during this unprecedented time. This plan includes strategies to keep our people healthy and safe and ensure that our full complement of City resources are optimized. More details on the organization’s plan to effectively sustain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic will be shared at Council on Wednesday.

Our people remain our top priority. We know that if we take care of you, you will take care of our community and the services they rely on. We must prepare ourselves for the long haul and maintain a healthy workforce that’s ready to be redeployed to different parts of the organization to continue delivering the services our city depends on. We’re all in this together and we must work as One City, One Team for the greater good of our community and residents.

During this challenging and uncertain time, please know that the Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to you 24/7 by calling 1-844-880-9142 (TTY: 1-877-338-0275), visiting workhealthlife.com or downloading the My EAP app.

Finally, the senior leadership team is also examining what a return to our new normal might look like. Reopening facilities and reestablishing services will be done in a thoughtful, phased approach. We anticipate that it may take many months to return the City to full service. However, we’ll be continuously monitoring the situation and following the advice and guidance of Ottawa Public Health to help inform these decisions.

Closing

I recognize that this is an extremely difficult and stressful time for everyone. But I want you to know that the senior leadership team is doing everything possible to ensure we can sustain our workforce as we move through this crisis.

We have a duty to continue to provide services to our residents. We have thousands of frontline workers keeping our City running each and every day. Many of you are making personal sacrifices to the benefit of our residents. Others continue to work long, hard hours to ensure business continuity while caring for loved ones at home. Some of you have even contracted the virus – and I and your colleagues wish you a full recovery.

We’ve all been impacted by this situation in some way. And I want to thank you once again for your unwavering commitment and resilience.

To our part-time colleagues in RCFS and OPL, I look forward to the day we can reopen our facilities, restore our services and bring you back to work.

I know that now more than ever, we will all come out of this together – and we will be stronger.

Thank you,

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

Statement from the City Manager - March 31, 2020

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community, please take a moment to watch this video statement from me.

Thank you,
Steve Kanellakos
City Manager

Video transcript - Statement from the City Manager (March 31, 2019)

Hi everyone, Steve K here.

I want to take this opportunity to send a message to every person that works for the City of Ottawa.

I think it's an important time now to stop and pause and talk to you about the way forward and what we're thinking of.

What we're focusing on the last couple weeks has been an experience that I've never had in my entire 36 year career.

I know for all of us it seems like things are happening at such a rapid pace.

Two weeks ago we had to move very quickly to take care of the number one priority that I've always talked about, and that's our people.

Our team came together with the general managers and the extended leadership teams and moved very quickly to try and get you the help and the protection and your safety as quickly as possible.

A lot of decisions were made rapidly, and I bet you had felt that information was coming out faster than you could absorb it.

I'm so proud of everybody has adjusted to all the changes we've implemented in the last two weeks, but I think it was critical that we move quickly to protect our people because the services that our people deliver are the only way that everyone else in our community can stay home and function and stay socially isolated from each other and to make sure that they can continue doing what they need to do.

We have to come to work it's such a critical, critical Public Service role that we have here at the City of Ottawa and I'm so proud of everybody how quickly they've been able to maintain our services and we haven't missed a beat.

I know it's hard on people.

I've seen more basement photos of offices and cats and pets and children and all kinds of weird photos people are sending me about their working conditions from their at home.

Some of them are quite funny actually and I'm getting quite a kick out of it, but it just tells me how resilient and adaptable people are in terms of making the best of the situation and it can't be easy being home and being out of your routines and dealing with things that you never thought you'd had to deal with it's a very, very different situation for us.

All I can ask is that you continue to think about others, think about the common good, think about our community, think about the things that really matter to everyone else and how much they depend on us to do our jobs so that they can stay home.

And it's important that they stay home so that we can do our jobs, and I think that's another important message for our community.

Our focus over the last several days has really been about several things.

First is our people.

We want to make sure that we can continue to deliver services as the months go by on this event.

I don't think it'll be over in the next couple of weeks, this is going to be months before we get to a point where we're transitioning out of this, and we have to be ready for the long term.

We have to be ready to have a workforce that's ready to be able to continue delivering services we need to protect our workforce so we always have reserves ready to go to come in and help wherever they can, into the future, as we need to continue to deliver our services and our people have to make—we have to

make sure that our people are mentally well in terms of their mental health.

That we're supporting them and that people feel that they are supported every day when they're doing their jobs.

The second priority for us is our community, and there are a lot of vulnerable people in our community, they need our help.

And we have a human services task team that's led by the Community and Social Services Department.

The staff there are just doing an amazing job helping people who need our help the most at this time, and things are changing so rapidly for them, too.

I think it's just fantastic what they're doing and they're helping people that need help the most.

And our focus is going to continue to be helping our community partners: the agencies, the nonprofits working with the province, working with the feds, making sure that we have all the tools that we

can leverage put out into the community to help those people the most.

The third thing that we're focusing on are our services.

We have to really think about how are we going to maintain services, as what I expect is absenteeism will increase in our own workforce as people start to get sick and people are with other people that are so sick and have to socially isolate because of that.

We have to figure out very quickly how are we going to maintain the critical services, so that we can keep going and this city keeps running and we can come out of this in a strong position into the future.

So those are the three areas We’re focusing on there's a lot of work that's happening this week to get ready for that.

April 5, that was the date that was initially set by the province in terms of when schools would be closed.

I think we're going to blow right past that.

We're moving into a period now where we are into this for months as I said.

And we have to make sure that as an organization, we're thinking ahead best we can to try and predict something that is very hard to predict but try to predict where are we going and how do we keep ourselves going during this period.

It can’t happen without you.

You are our number one priority you're the part of the first part of your discussion every day when the senior leadership team gets together with the general managers, every one of them are working hard and are paying attention to what your needs are and I know there's lots of issues out there.

I know we're not perfect.

I'm not expecting they're going to be perfect—we have 17,000 employees.

There's so many different situations and circumstances, but there's one key word I keep telling their general managers, and that's flexibility.

We need to be flexible with our staff, we need to give them every opportunity to be able to do the services that deliver the services the way they can and give them total flexibility to deliver it that accommodates their circumstances.

That is a very important principle for us because I firmly believe, as you know, that we take care of our people, our services will be taken care of and therefore our community will be taken care of.

I appreciate the support of Mayor Watson and our Council.

They've been amazing and they provide us with incredible support as we go through this, and it's a

wonderful thing to be able to work in unison with our Council and the administration to deliver these services.

I also want to shout out to our community partners who have reached out and are so supportive and are doing so many wonderful things under very stressful conditions to be able to maintain their services to the community.

And lastly, and I know there's so many people doing incredible work and everybody is calling out people who are doing great work, but I want to pay special attention to our IT services department who have gone to incredible lengths to make sure that our people can work from home.

That our people can continue to deliver services.

And that's taken an incredible amount of work to get the tools in place, laptops rolled out, to hundreds and hundreds of our employees so that people do have the flexibility to be mobile and work from home.

I also want to thank our emergency management team, who have supported the entire City for so many times over the last three-four years.

They step up every time and rise to the challenge and provide the logistics to support the knowledge to help us get through the most difficult situations.

I also want to thank Ottawa Public Health, under the leadership of Dr. Vera Etches.

Her entire team has been amazing.

From the beginning, her staff and her people are working so hard to benefit the community.

They're going around the clock.

I can't say enough good things about them.

We're getting incredible advice from them, subject matter expertise that helps us and guides us as we make every decision at the Emergency Operations Control Group table and Dr. Etches has been incredible with her communication and Leadership.

We're very fortunate to have someone like her in the lead here in our community.

Please take care of yourselves.

We are not at the end, we are just at the beginning, and remember that we have a long way to go.

But I want to give you a comfort that we're doing everything we can to put you at the forefront of our minds in terms of how we go forward.

Please take care of yourselves, take care of your families.

Social distancing is very important right now.

Please take care of yourselves, look after your families, and I hope you stay in a good place as you

move forward and you feel good that you're playing a critical role in maintaining our community spirit and

supporting people who need support right now more than others and in delivering the services that our entire community depends on to be able to function and to be able to stay well.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you from all the general managers who are so appreciative of the work we do and

thank you to all of our partners in the community for the support that you've been given the

city, and working so well with us.

Thank you very much

Update from the City Manager - March 17, 2020

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly and this morning, Premier Doug Ford announced a State of Emergency. The Premier was clear that this isn’t a provincial shutdown and essential services residents need will continue to be provided. At the City, we have an important role to play in continuing to deliver these services.

Essential and emergency services continue

The City will continue to resource essential services such as:

  • Emergency first responders including fire, paramedics and public health staff
  • Front-line communications for 9-1-1 emergency services, Ottawa Public Health, Revenue and 3-1-1 call centres
  • Social assistance services
  • Key assets, public works and operations such as water services, road and traffic services and snow clearing
  • Front-line workers who serve our most vulnerable in the community including long-term care
  • Transit services will be running on a regular schedule to allow for physical (social) distancing
  • Garbage and recycling collection
  • By-law services
  • Fire investigations and inspections for complaints and licenses
  • Community Paramedic program

Closures and cancellations

  • Effective end of day today:
    • The main foyer at City Hall will remain open to the public, however access to staff work areas will be closed
    • The Mary Pitt Centre, Ben Franklin Place and the City of Ottawa Landfill Site at Trail Road will be closed to the public
    • All counter services will be closed to the public, but we will continue to deliver services through alternate channels where available
    • All municipally run daycares will be closed
  • Access to long-term care homes is restricted to essential visitors only and screening remains in place for all who enter
  • Court services at the Provincial Offences Act courthouse located at 100 Constellation Drive are closed until April 3
  • All on-street overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice

Protecting front-line workers

In addition to implementing the above closures to allow for increased physical (social) distancing, we have implemented additional measures to protect front-line staff including:

  • Rear-door boarding on all OC Transpo buses and installation of caution tape to separate the operator cab and accessible seating areas from the rest of the bus
  • Increased cleaning of all high-traffic areas and touch points at City-owned buildings, buses, trains, stations and Para Transpo vehicles
  • Eliminating direct face-to-face interactions with clients by moving to online, phone, mail and email support for several service areas
  • Limiting access to Public Works and Environmental Services facilities to staff that are essential to the delivery of services

Your senior leadership team continues to review opportunities to reduce face-to-face interaction where possible.

Supports for staff

  • Please remember that the Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to support you, your family and your team during this time
  • For those who are able to work from home, please remember that demand on VPN will be high, so use Office 365 as much as possible when working offsite
  • For all the latest information on protection, travel requirements, physical (social) distancing please visit Ottawa Public Health

Sustaining our service

On behalf of the senior leadership team, I want to personally thank everyone for quickly adapting to new and different ways of working during this rapidly evolving and challenging time. I also want to thank all our front-line staff who continue to show their incredible commitment to delivering the critical services our residents rely on 24/7. Thank you for keeping us healthy, safe and moving during a time when our community needs it most.

I also want to thank everyone who has been working on this fast-paced issue, which has been changing like nothing we’ve seen before.

You are all doing amazing work under challenging circumstances and I am proud of the innovation, resilience and dedication all our people are showing during this stressful time.

We will continue to work on understanding how the changing situation will affect us and our work and we are committed to keeping you informed.

Thank you for continuing to support each other.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

Update from the City Manager - March 19, 2020

This past week, we’ve seen a very quick escalation from all levels of government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the Federal Government’s announcement to close our country’s borders, the Province of Ontario declaring a state of emergency, and our own senior leadership team making the decision to close our City facilities to the public and make significant changes to in-person services.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank each one of you for quickly adapting to this constantly evolving situation and doing everything possible to help slow the curve of the spread of the virus to protect each other and the community.

I know you’re all doing everything you can to continue to provide the best service possible in challenging circumstances. Our Emergency Operations team, together with colleagues from each department, have been working day and night to keep on top of the latest information so the organization can take quick action to respond to the latest developments. Many of you have re-arranged your homes to create make-shift offices while caring for your children and loved ones. Others have had to quickly adapt to provide service in new, alternative ways. And, so many of you continue to provide essential front-line and emergency services our community depends on.

I’m incredibly proud of our people, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unwavering commitment to continue to serve the people of Ottawa during these unprecedented times. I appreciate each and every one of you, and the important contribution you are making.

Here are some of the latest actions we’ve taken as an organization to support you and the community:

Keeping you informed

  • We are committed to keeping all employees informed during this time of uncertainty

  • A new web page has been created, Resources for City staff, for all employees that includes my latest updates and links to important resources and supports

  • I encourage you to continue visiting Ottawa Public Health for all the latest information on the current situation in Ottawa, protection, travel and self-isolation requirements, and physical (social) distancing

Preparing for the long term

  • We expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be a prolonged emergency

  • The senior leadership team is focused on preparing for the future by building business continuity and contingency plans to ensure the continued health and safety of our people, and to maintain our services as best as possible

  • Activities to enable essential service providers to work remotely, including purchasing laptops and ensuring access to work applications, are underway
  • A longer-term strategy to augment access to all City tools from home is currently being developed
    • A reminder that VPN access is not required to connect to Office 365 products
    • All City email can be accessed directly on any web browser from any device using Office.com
    • Please visit the City’s O365 website for self-help videos, FAQs and other information about the O365 apps
    • To limit network congestion, please stagger the use of VPN during peak business hours
  • During this time of physical (social) distancing, we encourage you to support one another and find creative ways to stay virtually connected
  • A simple acknowledgement, video chat or phone call goes a long way

Update on self-isolation

  • The self-isolation instructions vary for each person’s situation

  • Please consult Ottawa Public Health for the latest self-isolation instructions

Supports for the community

  • Caring for our most vulnerable
    • A human services task force has been created by the Community and Social Services team that includes City departments and key community partners to plan for future scenarios including food, housing, shelter and psychosocial supports, and to coordinate information, service changes, emerging issues and needs
  • Tax deferrals
    • The City is proposing a property tax relief package for residents and small businesses that are financially impacted by COVID-19
    • If approved at City Council on March 25, the City will offer a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program to assist affected small businesses and extend the interim property and final property tax deadlines of March 19 and June 18, to Friday, October 30, 2020The City will also grant all property owners a grace period for payment of their interim tax bill – extending the current March 19 deadline to Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  • Supporting our small businesses
    • An economic partners task force has been created to find ways to support our small businesses, restaurants, tourism operations and special events, as well as the tens of thousands of workers who rely on these jobs to feed their families
    • This taskforce will be responsible for advising City staff in many departments on how we can help the business community as this pandemic evolves

Other ways you can help

  • Because all blood drives are cancelled due to physical (social) distancing, Canadian Blood Services is looking for blood donations - donating blood in Canada continues to be safe

  • Keep checking in with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help

I want to close by saying that the actions the City has taken to date in response to this unprecedented emergency makes us a leader in the province. I want to thank the General Managers and the extended senior leadership team for making significant business decisions and taking swift action to protect our most important asset of all: you, our people.

Our priority hasn’t changed—we’re committed to supporting all of you and minimizing risk to your health and safety while maintaining services for our residents. Our community depends on it. We’re all in this together as One City, One Team and we need everyone to do their part to keep our city healthy and moving, while providing support to those who need it most.

Having said that, I know many of you are working around the clock. Working during an emergency can lead to burnout, so remember to check in on how you’re feeling and talk to your manager if you have concerns. I’d also like to remind you that resources are available to you and your immediate family members through our new Employee and Family Assistance Program. This new service now offers online and over-the-phone counselling services, which is ideal during this time of physical (social) distancing.

Our response to this emergency isn’t going to be a sprint, it’s a marathon. So, please take care of yourself and each other. Thank you again for all that you do each day to provide service to our residents. I am so proud to be part of this incredible team.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

Update from the City Manager - March 25, 2020

Earlier today, Mayor Watson declared a state of emergency in Ottawa in response to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in our community.

By declaring a state of emergency, we will be in a better position to make decisions even more quickly in this rapidly evolving situation and deploy our emergency operations in a nimble fashion. It will also make our procurement process more flexible to expedite the purchase of much-needed personal protective equipment for our frontline workers and first responders. Finally, it will help us to mobilize quickly should we need to respond to spring flooding.

As the Mayor mentioned today, we’ve been preparing for all scenarios and he has declared a state of emergency to ensure we have all the tools available to protect our healthcare workers, our people and our community.

This declaration aligns with the Province’s announcement earlier this week to expand Ontario’s state of emergency to close all non-essential services, while encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. Here at the City, our people continue to provide essential, front-line and emergency services. We are also adapting to deliver service in new and different ways by working remotely where possible.

I want to express once again how proud I am of all of you for demonstrating such resiliency during this challenging and stressful time. You have been adapting to this changing situation with professionalism and positivity. This morning at Council, the Mayor and Members of Council expressed their gratitude for the exceptional efforts of our people to continue delivering the best possible service to our residents and most vulnerable. I know it hasn’t been easy, but I want you to know that the work you are doing is deeply appreciated.

I encourage you to continue checking Ottawa Public Health’s website regularly to stay healthy and updated on the evolving COVID-19 situation in our community, and City of Ottawa's website for the latest information on the City’s response including resources for employees.

We all have an important role to play in this emergency. On behalf of the senior leadership team, thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community safe and healthy.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager