COVID-19 update for correctional employees: July 3, 2020
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I hope you had a good Canada Day and are enjoying the summer weather. Below is an update on various items, including progress being made on shaping our new normal.
We have developed a visual placemat, which provides an overview and update on COVID-19 (as of June 25, 2020). I invite you to read it. It provides a snapshot of our efforts and progress, and shows that all outbreaks in our institutions have been declared over. I would like to say thank you for your hard work in putting in place exceptional measures to keep everyone safe. This pandemic has tested us on many levels and I am proud of your continued perseverance, agility, and dedication.
While this is good news, things can change quickly and we need to continue being diligent in applying our health and safety measures to prevent spread of the virus. Please continue following all measures that are in place, including wearing your masks, especially when you are working in close proximity to others.
Shaping our new normal
As mentioned in my last message, a governance structure is in place with different working groups, an advisory group, and a steering committee to make recommendations on reintegrating operational activities. We have a new, dedicated area on the Hub with information related to this process. We are constantly adding information and I encourage you to have a look to learn more about progress being made.
As mentioned last week, correctional programming has started to resume across the country. We are also starting to phase in on-site access to Elders and Chaplains.
We have started training new recruits again. We are continuing to work closely with our partners to put in place proper health and safety measures related to the re-introduction of these training activities, including a self-quarantine period of 14 days upon arrival at the training site.
We are also working on plans to resume inmate visits in institutions. These will begin rolling out at different times across the country within the coming weeks. We have different local public health and institutional realities in each region and this requires us to have a customized approach. There will be changes to how visits roll out and we are implementing a number of new health and safety measures. We will soon provide more information on what visitors need to consider before planning a visit at one of our institutions.
By now, you have likely all had conversations with your managers about returning to work and provided your input for the questionnaire launched by the Workforce and Administration Working Group. I encourage all of you to stay connected with your managers and supervisors – we want to ensure that you continue to be engaged and supported in this ongoing process.
Diversity and inclusion
On June 21, we celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day and I hope you were able to take some time learn about the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Then on June 27, we celebrated Multiculturalism Day, a day to celebrate and recognize the contributions of Canada’s numerous cultural communities and the values that we all share: freedom, democracy, individual rights, and equality.
As an organization, we are also having important conversations on the issue of systemic racism. I have held Town Halls across with senior management across the regions and I talked about recent anti-racism protests, the role we have to play both as individuals and as an organization, and how more needs to be done to make real and demonstrable progress. I asked senior management to have discussions with employees about this important topic.
I will be engaging our Indigenous and Ethnocultural Advisory Committees on this issue as well – they provide invaluable external perspectives to CSC.
I would like to take this opportunity to share that Michael K. Olotu, Senior Director, Operations at CORCAN, is our Multiculturalism Champion. Michael’s in-depth knowledge of CSC and his leadership skills will help move this important agenda forward while helping to give it visibility within CSC.
Thank you for your ongoing collaboration and hard work.
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