COVID-19 update for correctional employees: June 5, 2020

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

June, we are celebrating many important commemorations dedicated to inclusion, diversity, history and pride:

As we look to commemorate these important moments, this year will be a little different, with a greater focus on virtual celebrations given public health advice. I will touch on a few of these commemorations below with more to come on others in coming weeks.

National AccessAbility Week

As mentioned in my last note, it is National AccessAbility Week! It reminds us that an important part of inclusion is removing barriers and focusing on our strengths and abilities. It urges us to find positive ways and solutions to promote everyone’s full participation in anything we do.

CSC’s Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC) has committees in all of our regions. They do great work to create a barrier-free, accessible and inclusive work environment. I encourage you to learn more about EEDC resources.

National Indigenous History Month

Every June, Canadians across the country celebrate National Indigenous History Month. At CSC, we will take this opportunity to honour the heritage, contributions, and cultures of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis Peoples across Canada.

CSC is proud to be one of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples in the core public administration. Watch for more information in This Week @ CSC including how we provide culturally responsive interventions and programs in support of Indigenous offenders.

Pride Season

June marks the beginning of Pride Season, which runs until August.

The diversity of CSC’s workforce makes us stronger as an organization. We all have a role to play in fostering inclusiveness and respect. Together, we need to continue creating workplaces that are inclusive, safe and welcoming for everyone, including Canada’s LGBTQ2+ community. I encourage you to share photos on social media to show how you are #ServingWithPride.

National Public Service Week

I want to let you all know that National Public Service Week (NPSW) celebrations, which normally take place during the third week of June annually, will proceed and take place from Sunday, June 14, to Saturday, June 20, 2020. This year’s NPSW celebrations will be an opportunity to recognize the ongoing extraordinary contributions of our staff, especially in the current context. As a result, the 2020 NPSW celebrations will be primarily held through virtual activities and in ways we can adhere to physical distancing measures, in order to ensure that we are adhering to public health guidelines. I look forward to celebrating this week with all of you.

CSC Appreciation Day

We just celebrated CSC appreciation day on Monday, June 1st. This year was particularly meaningful given it marked the 185th anniversary of federal corrections in Canada. It is incredible to think about how far we have come as a Service since 1835.

Since the COVID-19 public health crisis began, we have strongly come together to efficiently adapt the critical work we do to care for offenders and keep our communities safe. Thank you to the CSC family for all of your hard work. The Minister also sent a video message stating his appreciation. I invite you to watch his video on the Hub.

COVID-19 Update

As of today, 99% of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 since March have recovered. There is only one active case remaining at the Federal Training Centre in Quebec. We continue to monitor the situation across all of our institutions and diligently apply our prevention measures.

As we talk about the importance of accessibility this week, I wanted to make you aware there is Government of Canada COVID-19 information available in 33 languages and various formats. I encourage you to share these resources with anyone who would benefit. This information is also available on the Hub.


I would like to extend my gratitude to management teams and their staff working at sites across the country. Your hard work continues to make a big difference and I appreciate all of your efforts.

Every week, I send a message to inmates to keep them updated as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, I have received cards and letters from inmates expressing their appreciation for the work we are doing to keep them safe. I have read several accounts of the compassion and professionalism demonstrated by CSC employees throughout this difficult time. It was nice to receive these expressions of gratitude and I wanted you to know that your efforts are having a positive impact. Keep up the great work!

Current events - news coverage

Recently, the tragic death of George Floyd in the United States has sparked protests around the world. News reports touch on discrimination and racism, both here in Canada and elsewhere. It links well to the need for inclusion, diversity and equality I spoke of earlier. Many of us are reminded that, as a community, we need to make changes to ensure a safer future – both within our systems of justice and in the mindsets of Canadians.

To our black employees or those who are racialized, we see you. We all need to listen and learn from you, and use this as an opportunity for understanding, unity and betterment – and most importantly, dialogue. There is no place for discrimination and we all have a role to play in making a positive difference. I also touch on this in my communique to inmates this week.

Reports in the media can be difficult to hear. I remind you that the Employment Assistance Program (EAP) is available if you need support. You can also reach out to your manager or colleagues.

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