Speaking notes: Terrasses de la Chaudière town halls

Speaking Notes for

Stéphan Déry
Assistant Deputy Minister, Real Property
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Terrasses de la Chaudière Town Hall
Gatineau, QC

February 25, 2020

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Thank you, and good morning, everyone.

I would like to acknowledge that we are on traditional Algonquin territory.

I want to thank my colleagues for joining. We have:

Their presence demonstrates the level of collaboration between our departments.

Thank you all for gathering here in person or by Webex.

We appreciate your welcoming us to your space.

I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Andrew Shaver from the Union of National Employees. Our open and frank conversations are appreciated and I hope that we can continue to collaborate on issues that matter to employees.

We are here today to let you know that we have heard your concerns, understand your expectations, and are committed to addressing each of them.

My name is Stéphan Déry, and I am Assistant Deputy Minister of Real Property Services at Public Services and Procurement Canada.

To start, and most importantly, we are here to assure you that the building is safe. We are here today to let you know that we have heard your concerns, understand your expectations, and are committed to addressing each of them.

Not only are there federal employees and businesses in the building but there is also a daycare. I know that parents might have been concerned following the reports of lead in the water and as a father, I can completely understand.

No children were at risk and we worked very closely with the daycare provider to ensure they had access to clean drinking water until we did the necessary tests.

We have completed the testing and all points of consumption are open.

I’m sure most of you have seen the message that was sent last week regarding the status of the work being completed here at Les Terrasses.

I won’t get into the details as I’m sure you want us to get to the point.

Our ultimate priority is to ensure your safety and make sure you have a positive space to do your work.

We all know the building is older. We see it in the outdated office spaces and the deteriorating brick on the exterior of the building. We know that the complex requires a complete interior and exterior makeover. This is also why some of you may be experiencing discomfort as the plumbing is old and the HVAC system needs a complete overhaul.

While we move forward with major modernization work, we completed projects to address your concerns and alleviate some of the discomfort you may be experiencing. They include:

We also held Expert series sessions, where experts were invited to present valid information on Asbestos, Legionella and indoor air quality.

Over the next 10 years, the Government of Canada will invest over $1 billion to make Les Terrasses a workplace of the future. This work is well-underway.

In fact, we can commit that, by 2022, one third of the office space here at the complex will be modernized. That means new office spaces, plumbing, HVAC system and water filtration systems.

Our goal is to make Les Terrasses a healthy and positive work environment with bright and modern workspaces and an inviting courtyard.

As we move forward with the modernization of the Complex, there will be hiccups and growing pains throughout the process and we are making a promise to address issues as soon as they arise. We encourage you to report any workplace issues to your manager and the National Services Call Centre.

One thing is for sure - we have not and will not compromise on your safety. That remains at the forefront.

We understand that communication is key. We remain engaged with unions, your senior management, and health and safety committees and accommodations representatives. This is your work space and you deserve to know what is going on.

In addition to regular communications channels, we will also update the Les Terrasses web page to include information on the latest work, air quality test results, and outcomes of meetings with unions and health and safety committees.

In closing, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your day to meet with us.

We would now like to open the floor for questions. I am joined by a number of experts from PSPC who have been working on various projects here at Les Terrasses. If we don’t have time to answer your question, feel free to send us an email. You can find out contact information on the screens behind me, and also on Les Terrasses website.

Thank you.

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