COVID-19 update for correctional employees: August 13, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I wanted to provide an update on COVID-19. With COVID-19 cases rising in multiple provinces, more signs point to Canada entering a fourth wave of the pandemic; one which could be quite different from earlier waves, thanks to rising vaccination rates, but one still requiring precautions and vigilance.
The Government of Canada announced today its intent to require vaccinations for federal public servants. There are more details in my message:
We will work with our managers and bargaining agents and others as this requirement rolls out. Many CSC staff have received their vaccinations, and I appreciate that you have done so. Institutions and community correctional centres are congregate living settings where we know that COVID-19 can spread quickly, so it is even more important in our work environment to protect:
- our colleagues
- offenders, and
- our families and communities
We all need to remember that the virus is still active and, in addition to getting vaccinated, it is crucial to remain diligent about:
- wearing a mask
- washing/sanitizing our hands often, and
- practicing physical distancing
These are proven ways to help minimize the spread, particularly as other contagious strains, such as the Delta variant, are of concern.
It is very positive to know that almost 72% of inmates have received two doses of the vaccine, and over 77% have received their first dose. We have been working on different strategies to increase vaccinations rates, such as engaging our National and Regional Ethnocultural Committees to speak to inmates if they have questions or concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We also created a handout for inmates with quotes from our committee members, including the reasons they chose to get vaccinated themselves.
I want to thank those of you who have also been vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and effective:
You are helping protect yourself and others against COVID-19.
Climate change and the environment
Canadians are experiencing climate-related extremes first hand, from devastating wildfires and flooding to heatwaves and droughts. As the planet warms, extreme weather events will become increasingly common. Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to work with Canadian scientists, by listening to their expertise and evidence-based advice to help us continue to take action to reduce emissions and fight climate change.
CSC plays a part in Canada’s approach through its:
We are working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at our facilities by improving the energy efficiency of equipment and buildings with modern technologies. We are on the path to reduce our ecological footprint and meet the federal government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. If you would like to read more about the Government of Canada’s report on how it is accelerating efforts to combat climate change, check out:
I am mindful of the current heatwaves in many provinces and the need to stay cool and hydrated if you work in our institutions. Please remind inmates to do the same.
National Acadian Day
August 15 is National Acadian Day, a day to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Acadian people. I encourage you to mark this day by learning more about the contribution of Acadians. You can find information on the:
- events and activities taking place this year that highlight and celebrate the history and unique culture of the Acadian people
Happy National Acadian Day to those of you who have Acadian roots!
Celebrating Pride Season
LGBTQ2+ communities and allies have come together at different times throughout the summer to reflect upon and celebrate Pride Season. One upcoming event that is sure to be a fun celebration of Public Service Pride Season is:
- DRAGanza, a drag competition
Friday, August 27, 2021
hosted by Environment and Climate Change Canada
This event is open to every public servant in all federal government departments.
CSC is proud to be a diverse and inclusive organization. Make sure to send in a photo or share your story about where and when you took part in Pride celebrations this year to:
We will be highlighting LGBTQ2+ staff and allies on the Hub and social media in weeks to come.
New Champion of Mental Health Award
The Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment has created a first-ever Champions of Mental Health Award to celebrate front-line public safety personnel who are dedicated to improving the well-being of their colleagues. I encourage you to nominate a colleague who you think has made a difference in your workplace by raising awareness or who has helped reduce the stigma of mental health. This award is a great way to recognize that mental health is an important issue to address. By the way, check out the Hub for variety of tools and resources about your wellbeing.
I hope you are taking time to enjoy the summer. I also appreciate that summer might be busier than usual for many who may be taking on extra work while your colleagues are away on vacation. It is testament to your ongoing hard work and dedication. Thank you for everything you do!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
Autograph your work with excellence.
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