[OTTAWA] — December 15, 2022 — The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, today issued the following statement in response to the federal government’s announcement of a Common Hybrid Work Model:
“We’re pleased to see the government’s plans for a more normal and consistent work model for federal employees. Everyone understood the need to close offices and move to virtual work as COVID-19 arrived in Canada. However, those measures, which were always meant to be temporary, affected the quality of services Canadians received and left taxpayers paying for facilities that remained largely empty. It’s time to ensure that taxpayers receive the level of service they deserve in the most cost-efficient and effective fashion possible.
As one of 32 business associations that signed a joint letter to the federal government earlier this fall, we believe in-person meetings are vital to the effective stakeholder engagement and collaboration needed for both good public policy and efficient service delivery.
Even a partial return to the office will be good news for businesses in downtown centers across the country. Recent data from our Business Data Lab revealed significant declines in mobility to workplaces in Canada’s biggest cities. The drop was especially evident in cities with a high concentration of federal employees. In the National Capital Region, for example, Ottawa and Gatineau saw a staggering 45% and 75% drop in people coming to work downtown.
Canadian businesses recognize that, just as in the private sector, there will be permanent structural changes to government organizations and to how their employees work. We urge the federal government to review its business model and its real estate holdings with a view to ensuring the highest quality of services at the lowest possible cost to Canada’s citizens and businesses.
We applaud today’s announcement and look forward to continuing to work together to support all Canadians and their businesses.”
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 business of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance.
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Canadian Chamber of Commerce