March 16 Update to LAC Staff - COVID-19 Situation

Since our last message of March 15, 2020, efforts to slow down the spread of the infection have been stepped up considerably.

This update reflects the latest directives issued by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer at TBS - March 15, 2020.

The current directive is for employees to work from home if their job allows them to do so. To that end, we have increased our VPN network capacity to accommodate more simultaneous connections.

If you are unable to telework in your regular duties, you should contact your manager to discuss which duties you could carry out remotely. Your management teams are currently working on identifying these remote tasks.

All non-essential meetings will be cancelled or will be held via teleconference. Other alternative means are also currently under consideration.

If a decision is made to hold in person meetings, or if you are carrying out your duties on site in an LAC building, we strongly suggest that you apply the recommendations of public health officials with respect to social distancing.

Please note that all individuals identified in the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) must remain on stand-by at all times.

The Emergency Management and Security Committee and the management team are convening on a daily basis, in order to keep a close eye on the situation with a view to updating you as it evolves.

Should you have any particular concerns or anxiety about the current situation, do not hesitate to talk to your manager, or contact Health Canada’s Employee Assistance Services, which offer various means of support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of charge.

For the latest updates on this situation, please regularly consult our website, Canada.ca/Coronavirus, the GCintranet and LAC’s Intranet. LAC’s Emergency Information Line will also be updated on a daily basis. You can reach it by calling one of the numbers found on the back of your personal building access card: 613-943-0102 or 1-888-457-3796

You are also urged to comply with the following best practices as you work from home and access the remote network:

If you are teleworking using Remote Access (VPN), limit your access to the network to business-related activities and proactively disconnect otherwise.

Please familiarize yourself with the tools that support effective telework and follow these best practices:

  1. When using Remote Access:
    • Only use applications that you need to do your job
    • Keep internet usage to what’s essential to do your job
    • Do not use streaming services for music or videos
    • Only use social media if needed
  2. Work offline if and when possible.
  3. Avoid large data transfers:
    • Minimize or eliminate downloading of non-essential data
    • Download large files outside normal business hours
  4. Use GC Teleconferencing (voice), Skype or external WebEx:
    • Avoid using the video chat function in Skype or similar products (such as Zoom)
    • If you need video, use WebEx on a public network
  5. Use devices on mobile networks to reduce the load on the VPN:
    • Use devices on mobile networks to reduce the load on the VPN; for example, use email on your smartphone if you have a data plan
    • Use the Blackberry Messenger Enterprise (BBMe) application to communicate with your colleagues, for up to Protected B work
  6. Bring home your chargers, docking stations, keyboards and headsets if you need them to work:
    • There are no restrictions with using your home monitor, keyboard or mouse, connected to your SSC device
    • To connect your home monitor to your SSC tablet, you will require your docking station.
  7. If you experience problems connecting to the network, please try again a few times. If it still doesn't work, contact the IT Service Desk at 819-934-4300. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
  8. As a reminder, please consult the procedures to connect to the network remotely.
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