A senate committee has decided to allocate $150,000 of taxpayers dollars so that senate employees can buy desks for their homes.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the Senate committee on internal economy voted 9 to 6 to approve the funding. It remains unclear how many employees will receive funding or how much each desk will cost.
Senators voting against the funding said that they have been able to work from home just fine during the pandemic without expensive desks.
“Many of us are also sitting at home and doing a lot of our work from our living rooms and our dining rooms,” said Conservative Senator Donald Plett.
“I have been using a dining room table for an awful lot of work in the Senate, and my dining room chair, a hard-back chair.”
Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain was also vocal in her opposition to the funding.
“I am totally opposed to this proposal,” she said.
“I feel first of all it is premature, and is based on something permanent when we are in a temporary situation.”
The senate has around 600 employees who are currently working from home most of the time. The director of property at the Senate Caroline Morency said that “employees could benefit from better equipped work setups at home.”
Staff have already taken their computers and office chairs home. Committee Chair Senator Sarabjit Marwah said that once the $150,000 is spent the senate administration can discuss additional funding with the committee.
As of November, the federal government spent $36.26 million on desks, computers, printers, monitors, office supplies and other items for staff working from home.
The Department of Public Works has defended the spending while federal workers have been complaining about their “repetitive” and “uninspiring” workload.