Unprecedented times: A letter from Federal Retirees president Jean-Guy Soulière

March 27, 2020
Jean-Guy Soulière .
Federal Retirees president Jean-Guy Soulière is still hard at work but minding his social distance.

We are living in unprecedented times. Even though we are a seniors’ organization and most of us have lived through much in our lives, none of us has lived through anything like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only is this situation unprecedented—and so there is no rulebook—but the situation is changing daily, sometimes even more frequently. This makes it very difficult for all of us to know what to do and when to do it.

As a former public servant, I am incredibly proud of how Canada’s professional public servants—at all levels of government—are providing the best advice they possibly can to our politicians, and I am gratified that Canadian politicians are taking and acting on that advice and not substituting their own opinions for informed recommendations. I am also thankful for the protection and front-line services that have been provided and continue to be provided by our professional Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. We should all be proud because each and every one of us contributed during our careers to the very fine public service we enjoy today. 

The national office is effectively closed, but staff continue to work on your behalf from their homes. Our phones are being answered, emails are being answered, communications are being sent and our website is being updated as new information becomes available. We continue to engage with the government on behalf of our members as it relates to COVID-19 and other issues, although obviously much of the government is focused on COVID- 19 at the moment.

There is no doubt that this pandemic is causing increased levels of stress and feelings of isolation but, in my experience, the one upside to public crises is the fact that people and communities step up and come together. Be sure to take the time to check in with yourself and care for your mental health. Despite social distancing, there are many ways we can still feel connected and demonstrate our support for others. I urge you to stay informed through reliable news sources, to do what you can for others in need and to ask for what you need from your own support networks.

If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We, like many organizations, are experiencing unusually high call volumes but we are all here to help you as we navigate through these stormy waters.

Jean-Guy Soulière
National president

National office staffwaving.

A big wave hello from the national office staff! We’re happy to support our members and volunteers during this time.