Part of the reason is each department makes its own decision on a case-by-case basis.
Federal offices in Washington, D.C. shut down on Tuesday because of a snowstorm that basically didn't happen.
The Wire decided to see what it would take for the Canadian government to close because of a snowstorm, and the answer is: it doesn't. We spoke with multiple Canadian federal government employees who wouldn't speak on the record because they're that polite. They don't want to offend anyone, especially Americans. But the overwhelming message was, nothing like today would happen up there, despite more extreme weather being more common.
Part of the reason is because, unlike in the United States, the Canadian federal government, especially in Ottawa, is so fractured and bureaucratic that the decision to close does not lie with one person. It's not run like a school board. One federal employee explained that each department makes its own decision on a "case-by-case basis" whether the elements are extreme enough to close for the day. Closing the entire Canadian federal government in one fell swoop is literally impossible.