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Denley: How the work-from-home movement could imperil Ottawa's future

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The COVID-19 pandemic is generating so much bad news that some of it is now coming disguised as good news. Working from home, we are told, is going to reshape the workplace in exciting new ways. Unfortunately for Ottawa, that development would have significant negative effects.

Shopify, Ottawa’s leading tech company, says it will keep its downtown offices closed until next year, and even after that most people will work from home. The federal public service has become largely a work-at-home enterprise during the pandemic, and that is causing public sector thinkers to ask why so many public servants need to work downtown, or even in Ottawa at all.

Those are alarming developments for people who have a stake in Ottawa’s future, because big changes in where and how we work could undermine the city’s transit and development plans, while reducing the federal employment that insulates Ottawa from economic downturns.

The prime job of Ottawa’s transit system is to get workers to and from their........

© Ottawa Citizen