COVID-19 update for correctional employees: November 20, 2020

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

Today is CSC Respect Day!

Take the opportunity today to reflect on the role we each play in creating a respectful workplace and affecting positive change. It is also a chance for all of us to take pride in being part of a diverse organization made up of exceptional people. I encourage all of you to continue building a culture where there is no place for inappropriate behaviours and where we work together to instill more respect, inclusion, diversity and equity within our organization.


I want to thank you for your efforts in following health and safety measures to contain COVID-19. Over the summer, we had no identified inmate cases of COVID-19 at any of our institutions. However, as public health experts predicted, we are now experiencing a second wave. As I mentioned last week, some of our institutions in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec are experiencing some positive cases, and we are monitoring this closely. Thank you to all of you who have been working long hours and making ongoing efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Please continue to diligently follow the public health measures in place, both at and outside of work. Based on community transmission rates, we have heightened our measures in many institutions. It is essential that we are each mindful of the role we play in preventing and mitigating spread of the virus in our workplaces.

We are working in close partnership with:

We have appreciated their advice and recommendations to ensure we have the most effective infection prevention and control measures in place, based on the circumstances of each site.

We have also been working with the Public Health Agency of Canada to implement rapid testing for COVID-19 in our institutions. We have started using the rapid test devices at Stony Mountain Institution and Drummond Institution. Our nurses have been trained to use the device and it gives us results in 15 minutes. We will be receiving more rapid testing devices in the coming weeks and expect to roll them out across the country. This is one more tool to help us rapidly identify and contain COVID-19.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow public health advice and our protocols, especially in areas of the country with higher community transmission. I know how difficult it is not to visit friends or hug family members you have not seen in months. However, as rates of community transmission increase in communities across the country, our chances of contracting the virus increase as well. Someone who is asymptomatic and is unaware that they may be infecting the people around them can spread COVID-19. COVID-19 spreads through everyday interactions, when infected people:

We need to reduce our contacts, avoid crowded settings and close contact situations that give it an advantage.

This also means we must all focus on prevention. Please continue to:

The latest health advice is to wear a cloth mask that has three layers, with a filter being one of those layers. Please read this:

I want to remind you that we have a lot of information about our:

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is also International Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day to pay tribute to transgender people who lost their lives to transphobic violence. It also draws attention to the violence that LGBTQ2+ communities still endure. We must all strive to create a more inclusive environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in all of its forms. It is a reminder to all of us to be:

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2020

Next week, we will celebrate the courage and commitment of victims of crime during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2020. This year's week (featuring online events, webinars, and more) marks several important milestones, including the fifth anniversary of the coming into force of the:

On Monday, November 23, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, will deliver a message to kick off the week. Watch for our social media posts throughout the week for victim-related updates.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Wednesday, November 25, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We all have a responsibility to put an end to violence against women in our society. Let's work to eliminate violence in all of its forms by ensuring we all do our part in treating everyone with respect and equality.

Remote work and employee equipment

Since March, many of you have been working from home. Many of you already have the necessary tools to comfortably carry out your work remotely, but some may require additional equipment. Please speak to your manager if:

More information is available on the Hub:

GCWCC auction

I want to remind you that the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign's (GCWCC's) virtual auction kicks off on Monday, November 23 at 10 am ET.

You have until 8 pm ET on Friday, December 4, to bid on a beautiful selection of Canadian art, donated by deputy heads from across government, in support of HealthPartners and United Way Centraide. The commissioner has donated some beautiful Indigenous items from CORCAN.

All federal public service employees and retirees can participate. You can register for the auction and submit your bid online:

You can also register by texting GCWCC at 1-819-201-1913 and following the instructions in the response.

Just a reminder that you can also donate by making an e-pledge:

The GCWCC is an important fundraiser that supports those in need. While many of you have donated, we still have more work to do to meet our goal. I thank you for your generous support.

Holiday gift program

As the holiday season approaches, CSC works to support local charities in different ways across the country. Here in Ottawa, NHQ employees are helping children in need through the Children's Aid Society (CAS) Holiday Gift Program. It provides us with an opportunity to make a small difference in a local child's life during the holiday season. In 2019, employees generously provided gifts for more than 600 children in the Ottawa-Carleton region! For employees in the NHQ, please consider:

Next week, we will be presenting our 2020 gifts to the CAS.

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