COVID-19 update for correctional employees: February 4, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I am happy to report that your efforts in halting COVID-19 are paying off. The number of positive cases in Correctional Service Canada (CSC) institutions has declined steadily. We now only have 13 active cases in three institutions.
Every February, we recognize and show appreciation for the important role psychologists play in our lives, both as researchers and practitioners. During the pandemic, psychologists have supported those at risk, through the services they provide, educating communities, and advocating for mental health services. This month, take the time to appreciate their everyday contributions to our workplace environment and their dedication to the development of informed practices and policies. It is important to acknowledge all the hard work CSC psychologists do in helping offenders and our communities flourish.
Black History Month
As Black History Month got underway this week, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, invited everyone to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Canada's dynamic Black communities. In Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement, he called on Canadians to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of Black Canadians. Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, also made an impassioned statement, calling us to acknowledge the challenges the Black community has faced and the courage they displayed in fighting against them.
This year's theme is The Future is Now. This theme inspires us to take the time now to build on the extraordinary contributions that Black communities in Canada continue to make to the growth, well-being, and prosperity of our country. It calls on us to learn from and listen to their experiences. It reminds us that now is the time to celebrate the long and rich history of these communities. Finally, it encourages us to work towards a better and consciously more inclusive society.
Racism and discrimination have no place in society, including in our workplaces. Here at CSC, we are working hard to foster a work environment that is safe, respectful and inclusive for everyone. CSC is also committed to collaborating with its partners to address systemic barriers for offenders once they are in custody and improving correctional outcomes for Black, Indigenous, and other ethnocultural offenders. This is important work and I know we can make great strides by working together and learning from one another. Together we can build a better future.
I encourage you all to take time to honour the history of Black people and communities in Canada by actively participating in virtual events, as well as the important national conversations taking place.
Declaration for a Canada Free of Gender-Based Violence
CSC is also making great strides in gender equality. The Ministers responsible for the Status of Women held their annual meeting on January 21 and 22, and endorsed the federal-provincial-territorial ministerial:
This joint declaration is an important step in developing a coordinated national action plan to end all forms of violence against women and gender-based violence for every Canadian. The agreement will strengthen prevention measures, support survivors and their families, and improve responses in the justice system.
New IT equipment
I am happy to announce that CSC has invested in additional information technology (IT) equipment (laptops, monitors, docking stations) to better equip our institutional and community staff, particularly community parole offices. CSC expects to start distributing in mid-February to offices with an identified need. I would like to thank the Information Management Services team across all six regions for their hard work to make sure staff have the right equipment to do their jobs.
Hiring correctional officers
As many of you know, staffing needs are critical in some of our institutions. If you know people who would like to be part of the CSC family to help change lives and protect Canadians, share with them the new online job postings for:
Thank you for spreading the word!
Corporate Planning and Reporting Poster
I am pleased that CSC's updated Corporate Planning and Reporting Poster is now available. The poster is an excellent resource for staff, providing information on:
- CSC's workforce
- the offenders under CSC's jurisdiction, and
- how CSC supports offenders through the correctional continuum
This year, CSC added sections on COVID-19 and structured intervention units.
The poster is also an important training and reference tool for staff across the country. Feel free to display it in:
- community sites, and
You can download the online version, or request a hard copy by emailing Integrated Strategic Business Planning
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for your continued efforts regarding our infection prevention practices. Despite the high community transmission, the number of COVID-19 cases in our institutions have remained relatively low overall. This is because of your efforts and commitment to keeping yourselves and others safe and healthy by:
- wearing your mask
- sanitizing your hands often, and
- keeping your two-metre distance from others as much as possible
Just a reminder to report any symptoms as soon as you experience them, even if that happens to be on your day off. This helps us respond quicker with our tracing efforts. Thank you for everything you do.
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