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Ottawa To Make Hybrid Work Permanent For Elected Officials

The federal government in Ottawa is taking steps to make hybrid work permanent for elected Members of Parliament (MPs) at the same time as it pushes civil servants to return to the office.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is moving to make virtual participation in the House of Commons a permanent option for MPs, including the ability to vote on legislation and other government business using a smartphone app.

The effort to enshrine a hybrid work model for elected officials comes after more than 150,000 civil servants across Canada went on strike this spring, in part, because the federal government was fighting their efforts to make hybrid work arrangements permanent.

Most federal government departments have mandated that civil servants return to the office two to three days each week now that the pandemic is over.

The hybrid work model in the House of Commons was meant to be temporary but has remained in place even after public health restrictions related to Covid-19 were lifted.

Government House leader Mark Holland said hybrid work for MPs is important as it enables elected officials to continue their work in Ottawa while also attending to business in their ridings and dealing with personal matters.

Holland added that making hybrid work permanent could help encourage new people to run for public office throughout Canada.

The Liberals have said they want to hold a vote in Parliament on making hybrid work permanent before the House of Commons breaks for its summer recess on June 23.