Dear colleagues and friends,

Besides celebrating their hard work and accomplishments during 2022 and welcoming 2023, communities across Canada will also be participating in their traditional celebrations including Las Podas (December 16), Hanukkah (December 18), Shab-e Chelleh (December 21), Tohji Taisai (December 22), Christmas (December 25), Kwanza (December 26), and Gahambar Maidyarem (December 31), New Year (January 1) and Orthodox Christmas (January 7). No doubt, it is a non-exhaustive list and we are seeking input and suggestions to expand our list to represent all communities across Canada. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful holiday season!

Each year, the holiday season brings about an opportunity for most of us to celebrate with our colleagues, friends, family members and communities. However, this time of the year can also be a source of anxiety, stress or depression for individuals facing difficult situations such as loneliness, interpersonal conflicts, or financial struggles.

Therefore, this holiday season, take time to find balance, protect your mental health and recharge your battery. Saying “no” to some of the many activities or social demands can be an important way to care for your own mental health through the holiday season. Furthermore, reaching out to those who may need support is an important Canadian value and makes a difference to those around you.

In addition, remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is always there for you. It is a bilingual, confidential, and voluntary service available to all public servants and their family members 24/7. Contact the toll-free line: 1-800-268-7708, or the line for people with hearing impairment (YYI): 1-800-567-5803. Alert the counsellor if you are in distress or contact 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.

Stay safe, stay well!


Waheed Khan

President, National Consultation Team