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    Colonel John Vass, 4 CDSG Commander. (Photo: DND)

    Official portait of Col Vass
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    Chief Warrant Officer Jack Durnford, 4 CDSG Formation Sergeant Major. (Photo: DND)

    Official portait of CWO Durnford



A Letter from the new 4 CDSG Command Team to the 4 CDSG/Garrison Petawawa Defence Team and their Families


Posted on Thursday July 23rd, 2020

Dear Families and Members of the Defence Team,

As the new Command Team for the 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG), let us begin by saying we are happy to be here and are looking forward to the years ahead.

4 CDSG Defence Team Members
Understanding that we have a large Area of Responsibility, and we are facing unique challenges, it is extremely important to us to get out and meet the members of our team. This may take time, so we ask for your patience. We also ask that you continue doing what you do best, and that is to provide garrison-based institutional support to all Army formations within Ontario, be they deployed in Canada or abroad, and support all lodger units housed in our assigned areas of responsibility. Incredible work is being done behind the scenes and we want to begin by saying thank you for what you do. Your sacrifices and great work has not gone unnoticed through these unprecedented times. As we continue moving forward with our business resumption plans we thank you for your collective efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread. We know the current measures have impacted all of you and we are encouraged by your discipline and dedication to preserve our capabilities. Our main intent will be to keep you informed on many of the key issues that will affect you and your families and ensure a smooth and safe resumption to activities. We know that for some this will not be easy as there may be issues that make this return to work difficult, but again this is something we hope to address through open and consistent communication.

Returning to work in a safe manner
As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday July 7, 2020 a ruling was issued requiring residents of eastern Ontario to wear masks in indoor public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has already been a requirement for access into buildings within the 4th Canadian Division and our intent is to ensure this measure is continued until further notice. In addition to wearing masks, we ask that you adhere to ministry of health guidelines including social distancing and regularly washing your hands.

Access to the Garrisons in Petawawa and Toronto
Within our dependencies across Ontario, to minimize community transmission on our establishments, and maintain positive control over these same facilities, we have established access control mechanisms in the form of COVID-19 screening and logging for both our Defence Team members and visitors to our sites. Restricted access is enforced across all sites and without a valid reason for entering, you will not be permitted on site. While the access control location may differ from region to region, the process remains consistent. Before entering a Department of National Defence establishment you should expect to be asked if you have completed the COVID screening online questionnaire, and if not, be ready to answer these questions before being allowed to enter. Additionally, you will be expected to produce ID and your entrance will be logged. This process is to enable contact tracing if an infection was detected on any of our sites.

Daycare Operations
The Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre (PMFRC) operates several Provincially-licensed child care programs that were suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have received approval by the Ministry to re-open our two full time daycare programs and intend to resume these on 20 July. While we will be able to accommodate already registered families, Provincial cohort restrictions in place to ensure health and safety have reduced our capacity. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept new families until the cohort size increases. Due to cohort restrictions we are also not currently able to operate our two Casual childcare programs. The status of our three Before and After School programs at Valour, Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Francis schools is unknown and we are awaiting information from the schools that host those programs. Our pre-school program is also suspended due to cohort restrictions. Families registered in our eight private home daycares, however, will be able to return to those homes. We are able to offer Emergency Child Care when a family care plan breaks down on a duty related separation. Child care is one my top concerns and I will continue to work closely with the PMFRC on this issue.

In closing we would like to again say thank you for your continued effort in accepting this new normal. We have been in this together since the beginning and we will continue to fight this together as one team.

Very respectfully,
John Vass

Jack Durnford
Chief Warrant Officer
Formation Sergeant Major