COVID-19 update for correctional employees: February 19, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I hope you are staying healthy and safe. This week’s updates include some important dates that the Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is highlighting as an organization.
Black History Month
I am proud to be a part of an organization that is working hard to ensure a work environment that is:
- equitable, and
This a commitment we do not take lightly and it is always wonderful to see staff embodying these principles every day, in their personal and professional lives.
If you have not yet had the chance, I encourage you to check out this week’s edition of This Week at CSC to read about our Champion of Multiculturalism, Michael K. Olotu. In this piece, Michael talks about his efforts to bring a lens of multiculturalism to everything he does at CSC. His passion and optimism are inspiring and I look forward to continuing our work on this important file with Michael as our Champion.
Diversity in uniform
Also as part of Black History Month, CSC is participating in the third edition of the Diversity in Uniform job fair on February 26 and 27. The fair is being held virtually this year, so I hope you will take the opportunity to encourage friends to learn more about the many job opportunities at CSC. The value of having a diverse workforce is very important so please share information about the job fair far and wide. Watch our social media for more details.
Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day is an important CSC tradition that gives us the opportunity to take a stand in the fight against bullying. On Wednesday, February 24, CSC staff who are not in uniform are encouraged to proudly wear pink to show support for the fight against bullying. For CSC's uniformed staff, please show your support in other ways. This is an opportunity to reflect on our own actions and to think about the type of workplace we all want to create. How we interact with each other has a direct impact on our health, well-being and work environment, and we all need to contribute to creating safe and supportive workplaces. Show kindness and patience. It really goes a long way, especially as everyone is doing their best to navigate the challenges of this pandemic.
For more information on Pink Shirt Day and how you can participate this year please visit the Hub.
Grand Valley Institution giving back
I am always proud to pass along CSC success stories, and wanted to share this one. Over the last few months, the Grand Valley Institution (GVI) for Women’s social programs department and offender population have been busy knitting and crocheting warm accessories with yarn generously donated from a community member.
What they made is impressive:
- 133 pairs of mittens
- 173 hats
- 106 headbands
- 12 scarves
- 29 pairs of socks, and
- two pairs of leg warmers
These items will be donated to local Kitchener, Ontario, agencies to help those in need. Thanks to the hard work of staff and offenders at GVI, many heads and hands will be warmer this winter.
Historic flag raising
Another successful collaboration I am pleased to mention was a historic ceremony that took place last fall at the Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village in Harrison Mills, British Columbia, when their community flag was raised alongside the Canadian flag. The flag raising ceremony reflects the ongoing partnership, which began 20 years ago, between the community of Sts’ailes and CSC who work together to operate Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village with the goal of improved public safety for Indigenous people.
We continue to have some active COVID-19 inmate cases at two of our institutions. We must continue our efforts to follow our infection and prevention guidelines. I want to thank you for:
- wearing your mask
- washing/sanitizing your hands often, and
- keeping two metres between each other
I know this can be a challenge, particularly for those who work in institutions during lunchtime and breaks. It is really important to avoid sitting close together or sharing food. Combined with other measures, maintaining your distance, as much as possible, remains an important way to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Unfortunately, like the seasonal flu, there are now mutations or variants of the COVID-19 virus in Canada. To keep our institutions free of any form of the virus, we need to keep our guard up and continue with the measures we have been practicing for months. These are still our best defence to prevent the spread of this contagious virus.
Provinces and territories continue to plan and roll out vaccines, following :
We continue to work closely with provinces to support our front line staff in being prioritized for vaccinations.
Your hard work and cooperation is appreciated. I am proud of what we are achieving as an organization. You each play a critical role in helping us fulfill our mandate. Thank you for everything that you do.
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