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Government Dept to Clamp Down on BlackBerry Use

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Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Canada has ordered its employees to stop using their BlackBerry handsets at weekends and evenings, in which it says is designed to improve the work life balance. Immigration Canada's Deputy Minister, Richard Fadden sent an internal staff memo last week asking that staff refrain from using the ubiquitous devices when not at work and also asking that they not be taken into meetings.

"Work/life quality is a priority for me and this organization because achieving it benefits us both as individuals and as a department," Fadden wrote in the memo, suggesting that the devices be switched off between 7pm and 7am - and at weekends.

The emailing handset has often been nicknamed the CrackBerry for its addictive nature.

"We're feeling the pressure trying to get a lot of stuff done in a short period of time and the fact that they're recognizing our families are suffering the consequences of it, I think it's a great idea," one employee told local reporters.

There is a mild irony in that it is a Canadian government department which is trying to clamp down on the BlackBerry use out of work hours, considering that Research in Motion - the manufacturer of the devices is itself a Canadian firm.

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Tags: blackberry  Canada