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This information sheet will be updated as necessary with the newest information added to the beginning of the document.

In addition to email updates every second Monday, this information will be available at the following websites:

Subscription requests to these updates can be sent from your DND or personal email address to Ashley.Evans@forces.gc.ca.

Again, we thank you for your patience and commitment during this time. Please take care of yourself and your family.

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Update April 26

Team,

I wanted to provide an update on the Unit’s current posture and discuss some significant covid-related events occurring around us. First off, on Monday the Premier and the Public Health Officer announced that the current health restrictions and orders will be extended until 24 May 21. Furthermore, guidance on travel restrictions will be formalized via legal orders precluding non-essential travel between health regions. While we were already requiring this for military members and advising it for civilian employees, I hope this further convinces all our team to stay local to avoid contributing to the spread of the virus.

In more positive news, as of Tuesday the province is accepting vaccine registrations for all BC residents aged 18 and over. In addition, our military members will be receiving the first dose of the vaccine 4 May 21. This means that all of our employees will have the opportunity to be vaccinated in the coming weeks which is an amazing milestone in our now 13-month pandemic! In support of the CAF vaccination schedule to ensure our members are well-informed, MARPAC has created an internal webpage accessible through the MARPAC Notice Board and an external page which is accessible via The Lookout. I encourage the whole FMF team to review these links to inform both you and your families

on the vaccine – there is a lot of excellent information in those presentations that are important for anyone who has questions or wants more information.

On a personal note, I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be vaccinated and for my family to receive their first doses as well. For me, this signals the start of the end of this pandemic and a significant step towards a return to a more normal existence where I will be able to spend time comfortably with family and friends and embrace those who I haven’t seen in over a year. All this will come soon if everyone does their part.

For our team, we have reached a critical decision point as to our internal posture. We have spent the last three weeks in the 3C “Protect” posture, which we assumed due to a number of factors, including the cluster of cases within CFB Esquimalt, increasing number of covid cases and prevalence provincially and regionally, all weighed against the impact on RCN operations expected from FMF being in this posture. Since that time, the Nelles Block cluster has been isolated and controlled, and resulted in the vaccination of 250 base personnel. During our protect posture, the number of cases on CFB Esquimalt have dropped, there continues to be no cases in FMF, and the province’s “circuit breaker” is working, with cases in the Island Health Region decreasing by over 35%.

Due to these changes and to the overall decrease in risk to FMF personnel, combined with growing operational impact of our shutdown, it is now our duty to return to more significant levels of output. Any further delay in our return to work will have unmitigable impacts on important government and RCN requirements including WIN’s deployment this summer and VAN’s deployment next summer. Working with management and labour reps, considering the local and base situation, and weighing our strong internal exposure control plan, I am directing that FMFCB will transition to the 3B “Sustain” posture starting this coming Monday, 26 Apr 21. I intend that we will remain in this posture for a minimum of two weeks barring a significant change in risk.

We will continue our strong diligence in the workplace while we change postures and I need our members to do the same while at home. A large part of this is getting vaccinated for those who are able, as it is proven to be the most effective way to mitigate the health effects of the virus and is the best chance we have to end this pandemic.

MD

Capt(N) / Capv M. Drews
Commanding Officer
Fleet Maintenance Facility CAPE BRETON

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update April 12

Team,

I wanted to give you an update on our current posture, and on what minimal work we are having to execute while in this posture.

I implemented our 3C Protect minimum-manning posture starting 1200 last Thursday, 1 April 2021. Since then, we have seen some changes to the covid situation: locally, the MARPAC situation is improving, particularly with the isolation of the group living in Nelles Block, which had seen some spread of covid; however, the regional and provincial numbers continue to grow.

Also, you will shortly see yet another COVID case in REG. Rest assured that the FMF safety and management team have been tracking this case closely. My orders to continue essential work have taken this risk into consideration. The member in question has not been onboard the ship for the last two weeks, so there is no increased potential for exposure to those of you that I am calling on to ready REG for operations.

Despite the current covid situation and our posture, we are an essential enabler to vital Government of Canada operational requirements, which continue to be important. As such, we have to bring employees to support this critical work to support operations. Today we had approximately 55 people onsite (about 5.5% of the work force), but we expect lower numbers moving forward. These are the areas where we need to focus our efforts:

Completing work in the submarine HMCS Victoria to allow her to continue with her strategically important program. VIC is nearly complete, requiring a very small number of people onsite.

Preparing HMCS Regina to take over as Standby Ready Duty Ship (RDS), in support of unforeseen defence and search and rescue requirements, as well as in support HMCS Victoria’s program. This is requiring the most people onsite – about 30 today, with fewer required over the next few days; but it should be noted that the remaining work package was scaled back by about 90% in light of the current covid risk.

Advancing a small number of very long jobs in HMC Ships Winnipeg and Vancouver, to ensure that planned work packages can be completed soonest on return to our 3B or 3A posture, minimizing the impact of covid on WIN’s deployment this summer and VAN’s deployment next summer.

I thank everyone for their hard work leading up to and transitioning to the current posture, and in particular I thank those who have been or will be onsite to advance this critical work. Each job is reviewed carefully against RCN requirements by senior leaders before being approved, ensuring that if you are called onsite, it is because your work will have a tangible and important effect on achieving defence requirements.

Thank you all, and stay healthy.

MD

Capt(N) / Capv M. Drews
Commanding Officer
Fleet Maintenance Facility CAPE BRETON

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update March 29

Team,

Given the current increase in the number of COVID cases across BC and on Vancouver Island, along with the Provincial Health Officer’s updated orders and restrictions, it is prudent to reassess the FMF posture. In support of this, your unit and union leadership have reviewed factors and trends such as FMF loading, COVID point prevalence (and projections), average daily number of new cases, and recent provincial direction and guidance.

Having completed this review, I am directing that FMF assume the 3B Sustain Posture (in accordance with our COVID Business Continuity Plan) starting Wednesday, 31 March 2021. Specific direction on changing to this state will be managed by your department. The COVID risk and RCN requirements will be monitored closely in order to determine when we can revert to the 3A Surge posture.

FMF is and continues to be a safe environment. Aspects that have aided us are our strict Public Health Measures (PHMs), our Exposure Control Plan (ECP), and our proactive approach. Continue to sanitize, wear your masks, and keep your distance from other employees.

This change is the right thing to do. Other units across MARPAC and CFB Esquimalt are adopting similar postures in order to contribute to the fight against the current wave of COVID-19. While you are away from the workplace, I expect that you will all continue to follow and abide by the continued and updated COVID restrictions, advisories, and Provincial Health Orders. I appreciate that this will mean the upcoming Easter Holiday/Long Weekend will be impacted, however it is these small sacrifices that will ensure the current wave and future waves will be minimized.

Thank you for your continued efforts both to meet the government’s and the RCN’s objectives and to mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

MD

Capt(N) / Capv M. Drews
Commanding Officer
Fleet Maintenance Facility CAPE BRETON

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update March 15

Good Morning FMF Cape Breton,

Please note there is no update for today.

Have a wonderful week.

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update March 1

Team,

March Break is coming up, along with the end of the leave year, so I am certain that a large number of us will want to take some time off. This is very important so that we can spend time away from the work place to get the break that we deserve.

As always when we take leave in the current covid environment, the FMF Team must continue to do our part and should set the example for the community. All military members must continue to monitor and follow the evolving, situation-based provincial Travel Advisories and other guidance, and must continue to follow required and recommended public health measures. As always, travel for essential reasons such as mission-essential travel, compassionate travel and for specialist medical appointments can be approved by CO FMFCB.

Civilian employees are also required to follow Public Health Orders, and are encouraged also to follow the evolving situation-based Travel advisories and other guidance.

Thank you for continuing to do your part, and please know that your adherence to these measures will serve us all well in the long term.

MD

Capt(N) Martin Drews

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update February 16

Good Morning FMF Cape Breton,

Please note there is no update for today.

Have a wonderful week.

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

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Update February 9

Team,

As you would have seen by email or been briefed by your supervisors last night or this morning, we have had a confirmation of a fourth covid-positive FMFCB employee. This case is again, as a close contact, part of the already identified cluster. Our thoughts are with each of our employees and their families in hoping that they recover quickly.

I am proud of the way you the FMF team came together and reacted quickly to the initial covid case. We followed our processes, as well as Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and other health and safety guidelines, to take actions including identifying close contacts and sanitizing required areas. Due to the risk associated with the initial case and close contacts, we immediately reverted to our ‘3C Protect’ (i.e. minimum manning) posture. In order to progress the Fleet’s critical operational work, I have ordered the stand-up of the Operations Control Centre. Some of you have already been called upon to support these efforts. Thank you.

I also want to let you know that I met with an Environmental Health Officer from the VHIA yesterday, who reviewed our processes and inspected our facilities. This was a valuable visit in that we have a few

takeaways to allow us to make some minor improvements. It was encouraging in that our existing procedures are more than acceptable and VIHA supports our continued work with the policies currently in place.

In reviewing our current risk level, I am directing that FMFCB will remain in our current ‘3C Protect’ (i.e. minimum manning) posture through Sunday, 14 Feb 21. At that time, I will assess the situation with a view to returning to our ‘3A Surge’ posture only when it is safe to do so.

Please stay safe and healthy, and continue to follow all covid measures both at work and at home.

MD

Capt(N) Martin Drews

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Update February 1

Team,

It has recently come to my attention that some are concerned that FMFCB is not applying a consistent risk-based COVID work posture. I understand our current posture decision is being compared with the posture ordered in November. First let me be clear, as the CO of FMFCB I need balance the risk to you the workforce with FMF’s ability to support mandated naval operations.

My decision in November to assume the ‘3B Sustain’ posture was based on my obligation to protect the workforce during a relatively low intensity operation period. The intent at the time was to ensure the workforce was safe and ready to deliver today – January 2021, when we knew demand on FMFCB would be high. Subsequent to this decision the number of new cases/day dropped and I made the decision to bring the workface back to “3A Surge”.

Throughout these last few weeks, I have continuously assessed the situation with the command team, Fleet Commander and the Admiral, assessed the risk to you the workforce, and determined that we must remain in ‘3A Surge’ posture to prepare the Fleet for operations. Let me make in clear, your work and dedication these last few weeks has been nothing short of exceptional! You are demonstrating that you

are a strategic asset that the Navy and Canada can rely on in times of crisis. That said, given some of the concerns expressed, I wanted to share with you some of the factors that I consider in reviewing FMFCB’s posture:

  • The operational load on FMFCB, i.e. the number of concurrent work periods;
  • The regional point prevalence (percentage of the population with COVID) in both South Vancouver Island and Central Vancouver Island;
  • The average number of daily new cases in the Vancouver Island Health Authority area;
  • Information on outbreak localization and case source risk;
  • The BC COVID Restart Plan Phase; and
  • The number of positive COVID cases in the FMF and in the ship repair zone (SRZ).

To be more certain that this is reviewed explicitly and in a timely manner, I have established ‘triggers’, that is, conditions with respect to the above factors that, if met, will require a review of our posture with my senior management. I am also likely to take other factors into consideration depending on circumstances at the time – for example, eventually (sooner, rather than later, we hope), the vaccination rate will become another important factor. Other factors might include regional health orders or advice from CAF medical authorities.

Please rest assured that I and your senior management continue to take the pandemic seriously and to carefully consider risks in all that we do. Your work is important and critical to Canada’s security and interests – and, given this, it is important that we continue to carefully balance risks in order to provide our ‘essential service’ as long as possible and in as much volume as possible.

I thank you for your continued hard work and flexibility, which has been exhibited in spades by the FMFCB team since the beginning of the pandemic, and we have seen particular success this January while executing four concurrent work periods; and I reiterate that our work is important to and valued by both the RCN and Canada.

Capt(N) Martin Drews

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[DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VERSION HERE]

 

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National and Provincial Resources:

Federal Websites:

Provincial Websites:

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COVID-19 Cyber Hygiene:

DND/CAF users are asked to exercise caution in handling any email that is COVID-19-related. This includes subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks. Users are also advised to be cognizant of potential social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19. The following precautions are highly recommended:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoid Social Engineering and Phishing Scams.
  • Use trusted sources such as legitimate, government websites for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.

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Social Media:

Local:

National:

  • Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer
    Twitter: @CPHO_Canada

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Family Mental Health Support:

Support Resources: