COVID-19 update for correctional employees: August 20, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
There is one active inmate case this week at Millhaven Institution (maximum) in Ontario. That low figure is a tribute to all your efforts in this regard.
As you know, the Government of Canada announced last week its intent to require all federal public service employees to be fully vaccinated as early as the end of September. Many of you have questions about how this might work and what happens if you are not fully vaccinated. Although we may not have all of the answers to these questions as of yet, we will keep you updated as information becomes available to us. The health and safety of Correctional Service Canada (CSC) employees is of paramount importance. I know many of you have already received two doses of the vaccine, and I thank you for helping protect yourself and those you are in close contact with.Thank you in advance to those of you who are considering being vaccinated in the near future. Since the start of the vaccination campaign, less than 1% of COVID-19 cases have been among those who were fully protected by the vaccine.
Even when we are fully vaccinated, we still need to keep up our other layers of protection.
So, please continue to:
- wear your mask,
- wash/sanitize your hands often; and
- continue to practice physical distancing.
As a reminder, physical distancing measures should also be taken when gathering in shared spaces, especially when eating. In addition, certain rules and principles still apply. We need to continue to use personal protective equipment (PPE) as per CSC guidance.
It is also important to carefully read and answer the screening questions before entering any of our sites. Anyone experiencing any symptoms (no matter how minor), or anyone who has received a positive screening result, must not enter the site. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated.
Last Sunday, Parliament was dissolved and an election was called. As you know, this affects the work you do. Some of the projects you have been working on may be put on hold, as the government conducts only necessary government business until a new government is sworn in. This is known as the Caretaker Convention, which helps to uphold and reinforce the non-partisan nature of the public service. You can read more about this in my communique.
Election day is scheduled for September 20. However, we will hold elections in the institutions for inmates on September 8. Like all Canadian citizens, offenders have the right to vote, and CSC works closely with Elections Canada to make sure they can exercise their democratic right. This year, with the pandemic, we will be diligent about following infection prevention and control measures to facilitate the election in the institutions. I would like to thank in advance those of you who will be involved with this process. It is an important duty to carry out to maintain a democratic society.
Public Service Pride Week
The week of August 23-27, is the third annual Public Service Pride Week that will be celebrated virtually by public servants across the country. This important celebration highlights the diversity of our staff and the work being done to create a stronger and more inclusive public service sector.
This year’s theme is intersectionality. Intersectionality is the acknowledgement that we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people, including:
- sexual orientation,
To truly embrace diversity, it is important to view inclusion through an intersectional lens. In this way, we can ensure the communities we work and live in are more inclusive and accepting.
Make sure to visit the Public Service Pride page for more information and a complete list of events, including:
- a virtual flag raising ceremony,
- a webcast where public servants share stories of living with intersecting identities,
- as well as the first-ever Government of Canada 2021 Public Service Pride Awards.
However, please note that DRAGanza, organized by Environment and Climate Change Canada, is postponed until the Fall.
International Dog Day
August 26 is International Dog Day and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our K9s and their handlers for their ongoing hard work. Detector dogs play an important role in securing our facilities and ensuring public safety.
The Detector Dog Program was implemented in 2001 as part of the National Drug Strategy to help find and eliminate illegal drugs and contraband in our institutions. In 2020-2021 alone, our 86 detector dog teams conducted countless searches and were involved in 529 drug-related seizures. Kudos to our detector dog teams across the country for keeping our institutions safe and playing a key role in our daily operations.
I am impressed with your continued dedication and commitment throughout the past 17 months. I know how you have continued to adapt to changes and routines in your work situation to meet public health and safety concerns. Thank you, your work is greatly appreciated!
"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autogaph your work with excellence."
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