COVID-19: Information for employees

Effective March 16, 2020, only CGC employees who perform critical functions that cannot be performed remotely are required report to their assigned work location. All other CGC employees are asked to stay home in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the pressure on critical resources.

Updates for CGC employees

Canada School of Public Service online courses

March 30, 2020

All of the GCcampus online self-paced courses are available, including all online required training and self-paced language maintenance tools. However, registration for in-person classroom courses continues to be suspended until further notice.

Learn more about Microsoft Teams with these information sessions

March 31, 2020

Microsoft Teams is a great resource for employees to keep in touch and continue to collaborate remotely. Even if you’re not currently connected to the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) network via VDI, you can download and install Microsoft Teams on your home computer or personal mobile phone for free.

Your username to log in to Microsoft Teams is your regular VDI username, followed by @cgc.ca. For example, msmith@cgc.ca. Your password is the same one used to log in to your VDI.

Microsoft Teams IMTS information and Q&A session

Please check back later for a list of upcoming sessions.

If you have any questions about or need help with Microsoft Teams, contact Client Services for assistance.

Guidelines for teleworking

March 20, 2020

Unless otherwise directed, CGC employees should not log onto the CGC network using secure remote access.

CGC employees should use these external resources to work on documents and communicate with employees and stakeholders.

  • webmail.cgc.ca to access their corporate email accounts
  • Citrix ShareFile to share corporate files
  • Microsoft Teams to communicate quickly and work collaboratively with other CGC employees
  • BBM Enterprise offers secure text, voice, video and group chat on any device, including smartphones and desktops
Employee illness and leave

March 20, 2020

As per Treasury Board Secretariat guidelines, employees will continue to get paid and are not required to enter leave in PeopleSoft at this time.

All employees are asked to refrain from submitting new leave requests and leave amendments in PeopleSoft until further notice. When operations return to normal further instruction will be provided. Thank you for your cooperation during this time.

Accessing Canadian Grain Commission emails remotely

March 17, 2020

Information Management and Technology Services (IMTS) has introduced the capability to access CGC corporate email from your web browser at home. This service doesn’t require virtual desktop (VDI) access and allows employees who are not on the critical function list to be able to access their emails remotely.

To access your email, open a browser and visit webmail.cgc.ca. You’ll be required to prefix your username with cgc\ followed by your Windows username. For example: cgc\bbell. The password is your regular Windows login password.

Be sure to check your CGC corporate emails regularly.

More information on other tools you can use to access work files and information will be coming shortly.

If you have any questions about accessing your email remotely, please contact Client Services for assistance.

Messages to all staff

COVID-19 update – April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

When we implemented our Business Continuity Plan on March 16 in response to the COVID-19 situation, we had hoped to be in a position to re-evaluate within a few weeks. However, the situation remains a difficult one and we know things will take some time to return to normal. Public health direction continues to be to work from home wherever possible and to ensure physical distancing in shared spaces. As such, until further notice, the CGC will continue to focus on critical service delivery, with staff working at home or in isolated settings as much as possible.

The current events have put a particular strain on the areas of the federal public service providing immediate measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are doing our part to support and assist them where we can. In Winnipeg, 21 CGC employees have put their names forward to support work carried out by the National Microbiology Laboratory. A big thanks to all those who have offered to help.

To facilitate our response to future requests for assistance, we are establishing an inventory of potential volunteers and their respective areas of expertise. If you are not in a critical position and would like to volunteer over the next several weeks to help in other departments if the need arises, please fill out the attached form and email it to Rosana Leung Shing by end of day Tuesday, April 7.

As the situation is continually evolving, be sure to visit the following websites so stay up-to-date on the latest information

The Canada School of Public Service has also resumed all GCcampus online self-paced courses, including all online required training and self-paced language maintenance tools. They have also released a suite of job aids for virtual teams. All CGC employees can access these resources outside of our secure network, and we encourage you to take advantage of learning opportunities that are available to you at this time.

We would like to thank you all for your patience and your cooperation during these unprecedented times. It’s comforting to know that we can count on each other for support as we find new and innovative ways to move forward together.


Patti Miller
Chief Commissioner & Deputy Head
Canadian Grain Commission

Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 25, 2020 – WHAT AN AMAZING CGC TEAM!

March 25, 2020

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued collaboration and support during these extraordinary times.

They say that individuals reveal themselves in times of crisis. Whether you are at home trying to get into a new groove of working virtually using new technology; one of the front line staff at the waterfront pulling samples; collecting these samples in the mailroom so they can be analyzed by lab staff; working feverishly on fiscal year end, or providing health and safety and labour relations support, your dedication to what we do in the face of this emergency is simply profound.

Some other efforts have been heroic in the face of chaos. Kudo’s to our policy folks who worked furiously to get the CUSMA regulatory package through to the Minister for signature before the seemingly impossible deadline. The wonderful support from IT staff who kept us running and made it so much easier to adopt the new technology so we could work virtually. The dedicated Industry Services employees who transitioned to an alternative service delivery model almost overnight without gaps in client service. We are humbled by your professionalism and dedication in the face of the uncertainty.

Both the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, have recognized the critical importance of Canada’s agriculture sector as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever efforts to keep the world food supply chain moving are of paramount importance.

CGC staff are part of these efforts and we are doing our part to keep grains and oilseeds moving from farms to markets despite the challenges we are facing. Our focus as an organization is to keep delivering these services while ensuring the health and safety of our employees.

In an effort to keep you informed of the latest information, we have launched an information page for CGC employees on the CGC website that can be accessed without VDI. On this page you will find:

  • guidance for CGC employees, including on telework and leave
  • resources to help you stay connected with your colleagues
  • key links that will allow you to stay informed on government-wide policies and guidelines
  • links to access Employee Assistance Program resources

We all have a role to play in keeping our communities healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is essential that all CGC employees abide by instructions from their local health authority and follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada, including practicing social distancing as much as possible in both their work and personal lives.

We have all worked hard to adjust to the current circumstances, and the results are amazing. We care deeply about client service and it shows. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.


Patti Miller
Chief Commissioner & Deputy Head
Canadian Grain Commission

Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 21, 2020

March 21, 2020

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Aside from critical service employees who are unable to work from home, all CGC staff are now out of the workplace and working remotely where possible. This is to support our collective efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

At an organizational level, our priorities are first and foremost the health and safety of our employees. For those who have childcare obligations due to COVID-19 closures or are feeling ill, please take care of yourself and your family.

Employees may be experiencing worry, anxiety and stress during this time of uncertainty, and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has put together resources to help employees. It’s important to support each other and make sure our mental health remains a priority.

We remain focused on delivering our essential services to the grain sector. We’ve adjusted our approach to how services are delivered so we can continue to provide mandated services while ensuring the safety of our employees and the Canadian public.

We’re also making efforts to add functions remotely where possible. The capacity to continue to provide normal services for those working from home varies by division and team.

Each director is identifying the functions that can be supported remotely and assigning staff, as required, to either work from the CGC network using VDI (critical functions) or remain off of the network using Outlook Web Access (non-critical functions). We ask that employees do not log in to the CGC network through VDI unless authorized by their director.

If you and your team have not finished your performance assessments, you can hit pause for now. We’ve delayed the deadline for completion until further notice.

We’re launching a resource page on the CGC external website so employees can stay up to date on our COVID-19 response. The webpage will be available next week.

The transition appears to be going smoothly and we would like to thank everyone for making these changes quickly and efficiently with no gaps to client service. We greatly appreciate our frontline staff’s efforts and know we wouldn’t be able to operate without your collective efforts.

We’re all in this together. Let’s be sure to stay in touch as we work through these difficult circumstances.


Patti Miller
Chief Commissioner & Deputy Head
Canadian Grain Commission

Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020

Effective immediately, and until further notice, only CGC employees who perform critical functions will be required to continue to work, remotely if possible. Your director or regional manager will communicate with you if your role is considered a critical function.

All other CGC employees are asked to stay home in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the pressure on critical resources. Employees will continue to get paid, but are not required to enter leave in Peoplesoft at this time.

The CGC plans to continue to provide mandated services to the Canadian grain sector. Management is developing plans to adjust processes so we can fulfill our mandate with a reduced workforce, and working remotely when and where possible.

Unless otherwise directed, please refrain from logging onto the CGC network using secure remote access. Our current infrastructure can only support a limited number of employees working remotely at any given time and overloading our network could impact our ability to perform critical functions.

We have instructed managers to collect personal emails and phone numbers. Employees must remain reachable and available to work as required.

We’d like to remind everyone of the importance of taking care of yourselves and your families. Under circumstances such as these, it is natural to experience different levels of anxiety. Please keep in mind that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is always available.

We will provide you with more details as they become available.

Useful links


Doug Chorney
Acting Chief Commissioner
Canadian Grain Commission

Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 15, 2020

March 15, 2020

In light of school closures that have been announced in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, the Treasury Board Secretariat has provided the following guidance on leave:

Employees whose children cannot attend school or daycare due to a closure or because of attendance restrictions in place in relation to the coronavirus situation will:

  • Attempt to make alternative care arrangements.
  • If that is not possible, they will discuss the option to telework with their director or senior regional manager.
  • If that is not possible, they will be granted “other leave with pay” (699 code).

While we will do our best to accommodate employees during this challenging time, our current teleworking infrastructure can only support a limited number of employees working remotely at any given time. For this reason, flexible working arrangements will be offered in priority to employees who belong to a vulnerable population group and those who carry out critical functions as identified in the CGC’s business continuity plan.

Employees who are healthy and are not affected by the above-mentioned school closures are expected to report to work. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your manager. The Employee Assistance Program also offers valuable resources to help employees manage issues during this difficult time.

We appreciate your patience and collaboration while we work on finding ways to continue to deliver essential services to the Canadian grain sector while ensuring the health and safety of our employees.

Useful links


Doug Chorney
Acting Chief Commissioner
Canadian Grain Commission

Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020

As you all know, the information about the COVID-19 issue and its impacts on people and the economy are changing rapidly. This week, I announced precautionary measures that the CGC has taken related to essential and non-essential business travel. Since that message was shared with employees, the Executive Management Committee (EMC) has received many questions from you related to travel, leave, plans for mitigating risk to employees and possibilities of alternative work options, where practical or available.

Many of these questions are coming up across the public service, and we have received guidance developed collaboratively by Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and others to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 in federal workplaces. Please take some time to review this information.

We understand this may not address all of the questions or concerns you may have. EMC and other key employees from labour relations, health and safety and security continue to meet daily to process information, seek guidance and to make decisions in response to questions we are receiving. We are working hard to provide you with answers to your individual questions and appreciate your patience while we sort through all of the issues.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to emphasize the following points:

  • If you become sick, stay home and notify your supervisor.
    If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call the public health authority in the province where you are located. They will provide advice on what you should do.
  • Talk to your director if you belong to a vulnerable population group.
    Individuals who have compromised or weak immune systems, pregnant and nursing mothers, and employees who are caring for sick or elderly dependants should talk to their director about flexible working arrangement options that may be available.

The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. As decisions are made and information is made available from the Government of Canada we will share it immediately with you.


Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

COVID-19 update – March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

The Canadian Grain Commission has been monitoring the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation based on information provided by Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Safety Canada.

The public health risk associated with COVID-19 for Canada is low at this time. Health Canada regularly reassesses and updates its advice on COVID-19 for federal employees using evidence-based occupational health information. This includes guidance on what to do to prevent the potential spread of infection in the workplace.

To limit the spread of illness in the workplace:

  • Practice hand hygiene regularly. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains between 60 and 95% alcohol;
  • Always use cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available); and
  • Notify your supervisor and stay home if you become sick.

The Canadian Grain Commission is taking steps to ensure that we are prepared to support employees and to continue to serve the Canadian grain sector as the situation evolves. We are committed to preserving a safe and healthy work environment, and will be actively supporting the Government of Canada’s efforts to respond to this emerging risk.

Many organizations across the country have started to reduce or suspend work-related travel to limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. A large number of CGC staff travel for work regularly, both domestically and internationally. In the current context, this presents an increased risk of contracting the virus and potentially spreading it on their return to the workplace. In light of this, as a precaution, we are suspending all non-essential work travel until further notice. This includes any international travel, travel for training or conferences and discretionary meetings. At this time, essential operational travel within Canada will continue. We will be providing further guidance to supervisors to assist in managing travel planning going forward and cancelling travel that has already been booked, as required.

We are also looking at different ways to conduct business such as video-conferencing, web-ex, or teleconferences where possible to limit the amount of travel by our employees and our stakeholders.

All federal government departments have been asked to refresh their business continuity plans, and the CGC is actively working to ensure that the risks and mitigating factors are identified. You can expect to hear more from us, with regular updates, as we obtain advice from central agencies.

With respect to personal travel, we advise employees to follow the Government of Canada’s Active travel health notices. As this is an evolving situation, employees should speak with their immediate supervisor prior to any international travel and prior to returning to the workplace after having travelled abroad.

We will continue to actively monitor the situation and update you on new information and guidance related to the CGC workplace. As you all know, everyone across government and industry are working hard to ensure that we are prepared to mitigate the risks within our control. Although we do have information coming into us almost daily, we do not have all of the answers and we appreciate your patience as we seek the information and answers to your questions.

The primary authoritative source of information for all Canadians on COVID-19, including Government of Canada employees, is Canada.ca/coronavirus as well as the COVID-19 Information Line at 1-833-784-4397.

For questions about COVID-19 in the workplace, managers and employees are encouraged to visit the coronavirus disease page on GCintranet or email their questions to healthsafety-santesecurite@grainscanada.gc.ca


Jocelyn Beaudette
Chief Operating Officer
Canadian Grain Commission

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