COVID-19 update for correctional employees: March 19, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Spring officially arrives this weekend, March 20! I know we are all looking forward to warmer temperatures, so we can spend more time outside again. I wanted to update you on a few upcoming important days and initiatives.
CORCAN partnerships shine
I am always inspired when I see interesting and creative partnerships between Correctional Service Canada (CSC) and community organizations. They show that CSC cares about the communities in which it operates, while providing opportunities for offenders to build their skills to succeed upon their return to those same communities.
You can read about one such collaboration, featuring the team at Stony Mountain Institution and the CORCAN team. They launched a partnership with BUILD INC., an Indigenous-led social enterprise in Winnipeg that aims to offer meaningful training and support services for individuals facing barriers to employment. This collaboration led to BUILD INC. winning a Spirit of Winnipeg Award in 2020!
If you have not been to Let’s Talk Express in a while, I suggest you visit our online magazine again! There are many great stories like this one about the good work you are all doing.
International Day of Happiness
In 2011, the United Nations recognized that happiness and well-being were universal human goals and created the International Day of Happiness, celebrated every March 20. Although the past year has had its challenges, there is always room for happiness and finding the silver lining in every situation. I hope you enjoyed, as much as I did, the quotes related to happiness that popped up on your computer every day this week. These quotes were good reminders of the day’s slogan to “Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind.”
Journée internationale de la Francophonie
March 20 is la Journée internationale de la Francophonie. Please join Francophones in Canada and around the world in celebrating the French language and the diversity of Francophone culture. I am proud that CSC has Anglophones, Francophones, Indigenous peoples, and employees from other backgrounds in its workforce across the country. Many of them have learned or are still learning French or are simply Francophiles. La Journée internationale de la Francophonie gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate together.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Sunday, March 21, is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I hope that everyone takes the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of this day and be part of the collective effort to eradicate racism and discrimination in all its forms.
There is no tolerance for racism and discrimination, both within or outside of our organization. At CSC, we are committed to ensuring that all of our workplaces and correctional environments are:
- respectful, and
CSC continues to work on this every day by building respectful and inclusive spaces. That is why CSC is working to develop an anti-racism action plan in consultation with others, and with the help of our employees. This will complement the work CSC has already done, including the implementation of a National Comprehensive Strategy on Workplace Wellness and Employee Well-Being last fall.
CSC is also continuing to take concrete steps to improve the correctional and reintegration outcomes for Indigenous, Black, and other racialized offenders in our care. CSC recognizes that a lot more needs to be done to eliminate racism and discrimination. CSC is dedicated to being a strong, active participant in this mission.
New Platform for Empowering Black employees
We celebrated Black History Month in February, and I thank you all again for your great participation. As CSC continues to celebrate its rich diversity throughout the year, a new platform has been created for Black employees and CSC’s community of allies at every level of our organisation who want to share various positive and empowering news and activities. I encourage all of you to join the group on Microsoft Teams and contribute to improving our collective commitments to preventing racism and discrimination. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael K. Olotu, Champion of Multiculturalism at CSC, for mobilizing staff from coast to coast in promoting a safe space to foster diversity and inclusion.
World Water Day
Monday, March 22, is World Water Day. I would like to highlight and thank the dedicated staff who ensure our institutions have safe, clean water. In particular, kudos to the water treatment operators who treat the water on-site at eight institutions:
- La Macaza
- Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge
- Pê Sâkâstêw Centre
- Mountain Institution, and
- Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village
Water treatment operators are the unsung heroes of public health. They are responsible for complying with all provincial and federal regulations, monitoring and ensuring proper treatment of water. The staff oversees and addresses issues, such as:
- water chemistry
- consumption changes
- pipeline breaks, and
- everything required to guarantee the final water quality
Clean water is priceless. Many people around the world still live without access to safe water. So when you turn on the tap (to fill your water bottle, make coffee, wash your hands, etc.), take a moment to appreciate and value this precious resource and how it contributes to our overall health.
Federal Safety Security and Intelligence Career Fair
CSC is looking to recruit new employees at our spring Federal Safety Security and Intelligence Career Fair on March 25. Every year CSC participates in this job fair along with other departments, such as:
- the Canadian Armed Forces
- Canada Border Services Agency, and
- the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
This is the first time it will be virtual, which may make it easier for people to join us. So please spread the word and tell friends and family who might be interested.
In closing, thank you for everything you do. Please continue to:
- wear your mask
- wash or sanitize your hands often, and
- keep a two-metre distance between yourself and others
It is very important to remember that we need to practice these measures outside of the work environment, as well. Let’s continue to be careful and diligent about keeping ourselves and others healthy.
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