Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update on Travel, Group meetings and other issues – March 13, 2020


Audience: All employees

As we’ve witnessed the last few days, the current situation involving COVID-19 (coronavirus) is evolving rapidly. Our primary goal from the beginning has been to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep employees safe. As we continue to respond to this rapidly changing situation, our actions have been guided by the expert advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Government of Canada’s lead for COVID-19.

We also understand that concern levels are high as this situation evolves. As an Executive team, we have heard from many employees and take your concerns seriously.

We have therefore decided to make the following changes in the short term. Until further notice, we ask you to follow the recommendations below:

For international travel:

  • Business Travel – We ask that you cancel all international business travel. The coronavirus situation is unpredictable and changing very fast. We don’t want our employees to become stuck in another country while travelling for work.
  • Personal Travel – The Government of Canada has advised Canadians to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel outside Canada. We encourage employees to follow this advice and think carefully about any non-essential travel outside the country.

For domestic travel:

  • At this time, please defer all but essential air or rail travel within Canada. If travel within Canada is necessary, talk to your team leader and follow the pre-approval process. We continue to encourage those who travel by vehicle for business to do so.

For group meetings:

  • Please look for reasonable ways to minimize the size of your meetings or utilize other options such as video-conferencing or conference calls.
  • Please talk to your team leader and postpone all non-mandatory training. Online training can continue, but sessions involving travel or groups can certainly occur at a later date.

Other ongoing issues:

  • The news related to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We are currently evaluating recent decisions by provincial governments, such as the closing of schools in several provinces, to determine the impacts on our employees and develop the best course of action. In the meantime, any employee who may have to care for children for an extended period should be encouraged to continue to seek alternative care arrangements.
  • FAQs have been added to the all-employee website that can be found by going to à I’m an employee, and clicking on the banner. Please check the website often. We will be regularly updating the FAQs with important information for employees.

The safety of our employees is at the heart of everything we are doing. We will continue to actively monitor this fluid situation, address emerging challenges and keep you regularly updated. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. If you need support, please visit our Keep wellness in mind website. On the site you’ll find contact information for our Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Email updates