NAVRES COMMUNIQUÉ – COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 / April 3, 2020

Team,

As the Naval Reserve (NAVRES) response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, I would like to give you an update as to what is happening. First, I would like to impress upon you the importance of safeguarding your health, safety and welfare. As you have heard in multiple Government of Canada announcements, your country needs you to stay fit and able to serve.

I must continue to discourage you from exposing yourselves to health risks in your communities.  I also request that you continue to follow the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Provincial Health Care guidelines, and that augmented hygiene and physical-distancing be your new-normal throughout the duration of this situation.

Our main effort:

NAVRES’s main effort is for its sailors to identify their availability for potential taskings. Helping Canadians at home is the reason why so many of you put on the uniform. We have now been tasked to identify, and place on Class C contract, the first wave of Naval Reservists in order to ensure they are ready to respond to any taskings. These contracts will be in place from April 5 until August 30, 2020. Our intent also includes keeping our Forces agile enough to respond to Op LENTUS taskings, such as flooding and fires, while operating in an Op LASER environment. 

What we ask of you:

We require that you please identify yourselves to your Naval Reserve Divisions (NRDs) with your availability so that we can count on you if you should get the call to serve.  This means being sure to keep your chain of command informed of your personal availability, of any changes to your health and well-being, and of any Canadian Forces Liaison Council Employer Support your chain of command can provide to bolster your availability. 

Further, if you are available for full-time employment on Class B or C service, be sure to have a family care plan, and other necessary arrangements in place, so that you can serve with peace of mind. We understand that many of you have important civilian responsibilities which may prevent you from additional commitments. We know that our NAVRES sailors are also health care providers, first responders, at work in the Public Service and other front line support employees. We recognize the extraordinary work you are doing, and thank you for your dual service during this crisis.

Your pay:

In response to our duties to our Class A and B reservists, NAVRES has put in place a system to ensure that you are paid for cancelled in-Unit activities. Due to the annulment of parade and training activities at your NRDs, we will continue to pay our Class A reservists for their continued efforts from home. If you have been offered a Class B period of employment, we will honour our obligation to you for the remainder of that period. This includes items such as Guaranteed Employment Offers (GEO) employment periods which were due to start in the coming months. Those of you who have been offered a Class B GEO are also eligible for Class C employment if you have completed Basic Military Officer Qualification/Basic Military Qualification as per Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) pre-requisites. If you are concerned about your NAVRES employment impacting your ability to access the Emergency Response Benefit, we request that you evaluate your personal finances before committing to Class A duties. NAVRES is working with the CAF to better clarify the impact of Reserve employment to access to this new Federal program. Our intent with this is to ensure that we are doing our utmost to protect you, our sailors. We in turn, require that you will continue to stay connected with your chains of command.

What we are doing:

We will continue to work closely with your command teams as we continue to ensure we stay Ready To Help our nation in its time of need. NAVRES anticipates Chief of the Defence Staff and Canadian Joint Operations Command direction which will detail the full CAF domestic response, in the very near future. Please continue to look to us for further updates as we navigate through this crisis together.

How to continue to stay informed and prepared:

We would like to remind you that the following sources of information continue to produce daily updates on the COVID-19 situation, and that we ask you to stay engaged as to what is happening both in your communities and in the CAF:

For CAF-related and general COVID-19 information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/covid-19.html

For Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)-specific COVID-19 information:

http://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/news-operations/news-covid-response.page?

The RCN’s national Twitter and Facebook accounts continue to post relevant updates from proven Government sources as they become available.

Finally, please take care of your families, as they are your first line of support. My thanks to you all for your continued dedication. You will continue to receive updates from me through your chains of command throughout the duration of this situation.

 

Yours Aye,

M. A. Hopper
Commodore