Dear members of the McGill community,

I hope this message finds you well. As we continue to adapt to the “new normal,” evaluate and operationalize resumption plans from our faculties and administrative units, and increase the safe and gradual ramp-up of activities across our campuses, I would like to provide you with the latest updates and developments relating to McGill’s operations.

Mandatory masks on campus

The safety and well-being of our students, staff, faculty, instructors and researchers remains our utmost priority as we pursue the resumption of activities on campus. As per recent government directives, people accessing closed public spaces, including universities, will be required to wear a mask or face covering as of July 18. If you are planning to come to campus, we invite you to bring your reusable masks, and to wear them when entering McGill buildings. Conditions and/or exceptions to the mandatory mask directive may apply in areas such as office spaces, labs, classrooms, etc. We will update the directives on preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campus as we receive additional clarity from the government.

Incoming international graduate students

Newly admitted international students understandably have questions about the Fall semester. I would like to take this opportunity to shed some light on specific questions related to graduate students.

International students with funding packages will still receive their stipend during the Fall, even if they will be following remote instruction from their home country. Departments have been given instructions on how to disburse stipends; several options are available. For more detailed information, students are asked to contact their Graduate Program Coordinator.

Those international students who will be living in Montreal during the semester will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada, as per Canadian government directives.

The FAQ available on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website is a good resource for additional information. GPS is also hosting a series of virtual Friday lunches throughout the summer. These lunches are a great opportunity to ask questions.

University-sponsored travel exceptions

Although University-sponsored travel within Canada remains suspended until further notice, faculty, staff and students can apply for exceptions for mission critical and time-sensitive travel. Applications are to be made through your Faculty Dean or unit head (associate vice-principal or higher).

Library pick-up

I know that many faculty, staff and students are interested in accessing library materials that are not available electronically. To help meet those needs, McGill Libraries is introducing a new service starting the week of July 20: Terrace Pickup for print books housed in the McLennan-Redpath Library Complex and the Nahum Gelber Law Library.

As this service expands, materials from other collections may become available. This service is only for print books that are not available electronically or through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service.

Summer vacation

I would like to remind employees about the importance of taking time to rest and recharge before the start of the new academic year. If you haven’t already done so, please plan and schedule your summer vacations before the start of the fall semester. As is generally the norm, staff are expected to take a significant portion of their vacation this summer, unless their units request that they remain at work during these months.  In scheduling vacation, managers and employees should take into account that given the uncertainties related to the COVID-19 situation, there may not be the same degree of flexibility as normal for employees in scheduling vacations not taken during the summer.

Thank you for your time, and for your ongoing collaboration in keeping our community safe.


Fabrice Labeau

Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), on behalf of the Emergency Operations Centre