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Hill Life & People

As union members face COVID-19 pandemic ‘head on,’ PSAC calls for feds to return to bargaining table

By Mike Lapointe      

Treasury Board spokesperson Martin Potvin says the government's goal is to take 'constructive steps to keep meeting and to prepare for negotiations when they resume.'

PSAC national president Chris Aylward, left, and Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos, right. Mr. Aylward says there are thousands of public servants 'stepping up to the plate to get the job done, and some are doing completely new jobs wherever there has been a need to support the government’s relief efforts.' The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade

With union members “facing the pandemic head on” at our borders, in federal penitentiaries, and by processing millions of financial support claims under tight timelines, the head of Canada’s largest federal public service union is calling for the federal government to return to the bargaining table to reach an elusive contract settlement for more than 140,000 federal public service workers as the COVID-19 crisis rumbles on.

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

Stronger social policies needed to boost resiliency, combat future pandemic threats, says Tam

News|By Palak Mangat
‘To help us better prepare for any future pandemic, it’s about addressing health inequities, ensuring that our population is sustained and can be resilient to future threats,’ says Dr. Theresa Tam.

Senate leaders at impasse on committees as PSG balks at clause keeping seats with groups

With each side accusing the other of playing ‘hostage’ with negotiations, ISG Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain says it would be ‘anarchy’ to let seats leave with Senators.

Senate audit committee is ‘a step forward,’ with non-voting external members a necessary compromise, say Senators

‘The appearance is terrible,’ says former Senate ethics officer Jean Fournier of the Red Chamber's long-awaited new oversight group, which gives Senators a final say on review of their expenses.

Senate art group turns focus to restoration, finding gaps in Indigenous representation

‘We can do it in small steps and make big impacts,’ says Senator Patricia Bovey of a plan to broaden the Indigenous works the Chamber highlights, and help with reconciliation.

Centre Block renovation estimates likely to land in new year, PSPC says work on track despite COVID-19

Public Services and Procurement Canada is planning to survey the public on its plans for Parliament Hill, something that wasn’t done ahead of renovations to either the West Block or the Senate of Canada Building.

Tam says ‘extremely difficult balance’ lays ahead in second wave of COVID-19

News|By Palak Mangat
'Everyone wants to get schools open, they want to have not just the essential businesses but some of the other sectors open as well. But as a result, it looks like some of the rebound has happened,' says Dr. Theresa Tam.

O’Toole can’t keep promise to return election rebates to Conservative riding associations if there’s a fall or spring federal election, but he will next time

News|By Abbas Rana
'Ridings will receive the full equivalent of their candidate rebate for every election going forward,' says Cory Hann, the Conservative Party’s director of communications.

New Green Leader Paul says she’s been invited to run in ridings across the country, as she sets sights on Toronto Centre byelection

News|By Abbas Rana
'If Annamie Paul could win a riding on her own...that will really put wind in the sails of the Green Party movement in Canada,' says pollster Nik Nanos.

‘Much more gets accomplished when hyper-partisanship is taken out of politics’: MPs, experts, politicos weigh in on leadership during global pandemic’s second wave

News|By Mike Lapointe
'When we’re going through a crisis like this—this may be the biggest one in my lifetime—the public has no patience for petty political games, name-calling and finger-pointing,' said Mr. Manley.
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