National COVID-19 Update – Team RCMP – May 27, 2020

Commissioner's broadcast sent May 27, 2020

If there was ever a time for the RCMP to show Canadians what sets us apart, this has been it.

In the past weeks, we have experienced a tremendous loss, mounted a massive investigation and mobilized relief for our colleagues in Nova Scotia. We have grieved with our colleagues in the Canadian Armed Forces, who have experienced their own tragedies. And we did all of this while adapting to the hard realities imposed upon us by a global pandemic.

The RCMP has been steadfast in serving Canadians, who look to you in your communities to be there for them, to uphold the law, and to keep them safe. We mitigate and manage the risks to ourselves and our families with the tools and experience at our disposal, and we continue to keep our core mandate intact, maintaining our critical operations in spite of all the challenges.

We often claim to be different – unique. But the cost of that difference is that we have to keep going when others can't. It means we don't have the same choices that everyone else has.

You have continued to fulfill your role, day in and day out, at times sacrificing your own comfort for the common good. You lead by example. You make us all so very proud.

But now, we see some workplaces opening, some restrictions loosening, and we wonder: when will we be able to relax?

The answer is "not yet."

We have done so well keeping each other safe. Through the measures we have taken, and even with so many on the front lines, we have kept our active cases down to less than one in a thousand employees and are the envy of the public sector. As of this morning, we have only 7 active, confirmed cases in the organization, however we know that multiple exposures can happen in an instant, so we can't let our guard down.

Jurisdictions across Canada and around the world are discovering, even with opening the door just a tiny crack, that cases can go up quickly. Our public health officials are quick to remind us that these outbreaks usually come with a second wave.

When a province lifts restrictions on a category of business, they are giving them the option to open under certain conditions, not ordering them to open. Many businesses are simply doing their best to survive in these uncertain times, so they put the necessary measures in place to protect the health of employees and customers, and take that chance. If they open, and their customers or employees get sick, they can always close the doors again.

If we open up too fast or too soon without the necessary scientifically validated safeguards – whether it's training, or gyms or workspaces – and our front-line members or other critical employees get sick, they can't keep the community safe and we can't do our job. Everyone loses. We cannot "close for business" – we simply don't have that option.

We all know the importance of fitness in our line of work. We need to be healthy for duty, and physical exercise is a key ingredient for releasing stress, building positivity and maintaining mental resilience. But even with all the precautions, experts tell us gyms remain a high-risk environment. As important as they are, if our routines take us into these kinds of spaces, they put us at risk.

If we're at risk, public safety is at risk.

For a while at least, we need to keep finding new ways to meet that need. Everywhere, fitness providers are finding ways to engage and motivate their clients from a safe distance – we can do the same.

Better yet, let's tap into those around us. If you're stuck, our own Fitness and Health Promotion Program offers some workout routines to keep you fit. They've also included several alternatives and bodyweight exercises. Take advantage of it! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your Divisional Fitness and Health Promotion Advisor.

I also know we have colleagues and co-workers out there doing creative things to keep active and fit. Maybe you're getting your cardio outdoors, or joining a virtual fitness challenge. Maybe you've got a favourite app that lets you create workouts with what you have available.

Share your solutions through the Innovation Inbox (on the Infoweb), under the "Sharing a Success" heading and the "Health and Wellness" topic. Let's see how you're keeping fit!

We are making progress on the plan for our way forward, looking closely at how to resume training, transfers, promotions, relocations and annual leave, and how we will reintegrate into our workspaces. But we will go as gradually as we need to in order to keep you healthy. We are finalizing national standards to ensure that all of our employees are given the same consideration. Your municipality or province may allow more, and you may see other organizations moving faster. But the expectations on our organization are different. Too many people depend on us and what we do.

At the end of the day, we need to embrace the fact that we're different – and all that comes with it. It may be frustrating now, but at the end of this, we will have the satisfaction of knowing that we did what we had to do, and that when Canadians needed us, we were there.

Brenda Lucki

Stay informed

Please review the national COVID-19 Infoweb site – we are adding new information every day. I urge managers to review these sources daily and ensure that you share them with your teams.

For those without access to the Infoweb or ROSS e-mail (including families):

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