Dear Associates,

 

Thank you for joining us Thursday morning for our first virtual townhall.  While it was strange to address the whole company without seeing and hearing your reactions, it was a privilege to be able to do so.   For now, we will conduct all townhalls this way.  For the next one, we are looking into ways to receive questions and respond live.  This COVID-19 period continues to “up” my technology game; the townhall was no exception.

The townhall slides (including the infamous picture of Mitch, Fernando and me growing out our hair) have been saved to the to the SmartHub for your reference.  If you have any questions about the content, please ask your leader, call me directly, or feel free to submit your questions and comments via the anonymous “Ask the BCLT” link.

As you saw in the townhall, we are very well positioned to weather the COVID-19 storm. The market seems to be acknowledging this by virtue of the rebounding of our unit price.   Furthermore, as Mitch reviewed in the townhall, not only has our development activity not slowed down…it has accelerated.  We have submitted 13 applications since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11th; a very impressive accomplishment that we should all be exceptionally proud of.  We continue to adapt and lead the way.  In fact, the zoning application submitted by Allan Scully and Jinny Tran for 381 Wilson was the first electronic submission processed by the city of Toronto. We are demonstrating that nothing can hold us back.

Tomorrow, we start to welcome Stage 1 Associates back to the office.   I look forward to gradually and safely seeing all of your faces back in the office.  Video calls are extremely beneficial and I have been very impressed by our ability to operate remotely, but nothing can replace the energy and value of meeting in person.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to observe all our new physical distancing protocols and I am very impressed by the proactive ideas that the HC1 team has implemented.  To name a few:

  • Motion sensors now open key doors;
  • Temperature scanning is in place;
  • Capacity limits for each meeting room, washroom and coffee station have been posted;
  • Some fridges and microwaves have been moved into the auditorium, and additional microwaves have been purchased for the first floor, to reduce kitchen congestion;
  • Some chairs have been removed from gathering places, reducing the number of associates in meeting rooms and encouraging physical distancing; and
  • Signage has been posted throughout the office to continuously remind us of best practices,

We are also implementing a COVID-19 “safe word”.  If anyone is within 6 feet of you or others, you can use the safe word “orange” to gently, but effectively, let them know that they are too close.  Likewise, if you see someone touching their face, orange is intended to be a lighthearted (and on-brand) way to express your concern and encourage a quick correction.

 

See you soon, stay strong and stay safe,

 

Peter