26 September 2023

CANADA: PS ‘spread’ to boost local economies

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The Government of Ontario has unveiled plans to spread the Public Service across the Canadian Province in a bid to stimulate local economies and save money.

The Government is also looking at hybrid work environments for its employees in some communities, with the possibility of expanding that model in the future.

These plans were outlined in the 2022 Budget, tabled ahead of an expected election campaign.

Minister for Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy said every small city and town deserved to succeed.

“We will ensure communities across the Province benefit from good jobs working in Government and for Provincial Agencies,” Mr Bethlenfalvy (pictured) said.

A recent announcement on plans to move the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s headquarters from Toronto to the city of London was highlighted in the Budget as part of the community jobs plan.

The Government said the Board’s current office in Toronto costed more than $C30 million ($A33 million) a year, and it was exploring ways to relocate other offices.

Mr Bethlenfalvy did not give examples of other Agencies that the Government was looking to relocate, but the Budget document says newly-created Agencies that don’t have head offices yet may be based outside Toronto from the beginning.

The Budget said the Public Service was also looking into designing hybrid work environments for employees to reduce congestion.

Co-working spaces are being designed for workers in North Toronto, Hamilton, London, Sudbury, and Ottawa, according to the Budget, and the Government said it may expand the concept to other locations.

Toronto, 30 April 2022

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