COVID-19 update for correctional employees: September 24, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
The federal election took place on Monday. I would like to remind you that we are still operating under the Caretaker convention until the Prime Minister appoints his cabinet.
This means, we are still restricted to conducting only necessary government business that is:
- non-controversial, and
As you know, we are currently in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our best defence is to keep up with layers of protection:
- wearing a mask, and
- keeping a distance of two metres from others.
If you have not yet been vaccinated, I urge you to roll up your sleeves to get the shots. By protecting yourself, you help protect others, as well as our healthcare system and ensure that people who need it can still get the care and treatment they need.
Our infection prevention and control efforts have helped limit the spread of COVID-19 in our institutions. Thank you for your contribution to this. Together, we must continue to work towards limiting the spread of the virus.
Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day
The 44th Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day is this Sunday, September 26. The annual commemoration is an opportunity for Canadians to remember, honour, and show appreciation for the dedicated police and peace officers who have died while working to keep Canadians safe. The memorial starts at 11:00 a.m. (EDT), and will be live streamed from Parliament Hill. I am proud to be the Honourary Parade Marshall at this year’s memorial.
I invite you to join the ceremony virtually on Sunday to honour our fallen colleagues.
Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day is September 30.
In 1973, six-year-old Phyllis Jack Webstad wore the new orange shirt her grandmother had given to her for the first day of school at the St. Joseph's Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. That first day, her shirt was taken away and never returned. Her story has inspired people across Canada to wear orange shirts—a symbol of how the residential school system took away the students’ Indigenous identities. I encourage you to wear an orange shirt next week—on Wednesday at work if you are not working on the statutory holiday—and/or on Thursday as a reminder of the lasting trauma endured by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children who attended residential schools and their families, and as a communal gesture in the spirit of reconciliation. For uniformed staff, you may wear an orange ribbon or a small square orange cloth on the left breast pocket of your uniform shirt or protective vest.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This year, September 30 will also be the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
This is an opportunity for all Canadians to work on reconciliation by recognizing and reflecting on the residential schools’ devastating legacy, and honouring:
- their families, and
At CSC, we have 1,739 self-declared Indigenous employees and 140 Elders, representing rural and urban Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast. We benefit greatly from being one of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples in the core public service. I encourage all non-Indigenous employees to take time to learn from these colleagues, reflect on their lived experiences and commit to action.
September 30 is a day for all of us to:
- observe, and
in this important day and work together in partnership with Indigenous peoples on the path forward.
I wanted to inform you of two important virtual events planned to mark Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- I invite you to join myself, Alain Tousignant, Senior Deputy Commissioner and Elders Doreen Prosper and Raymond Gros Louis for a town hall on Tuesday, September 28 to have an open discussion about the importance of September 30. More information on this event will be provided shortly.
- On Wednesday, September 29, the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee and the Indigenous Initiatives Directorate invite you to attend a virtual learning event: Marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This event will highlight the lived experiences of five residential school Survivors and their communities. The guest speakers will share their thoughts and insights on what those experiences mean as we continue the journey of truth and reconciliation. All CSC employees are invited to attend from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). Please register by 10:00 a.m. on September 29 on:
I recognize that Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation may cause grief and trauma for many. We want to remind you that if you need assistance and support, the National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
In addition, the EAP referral agents are available to listen to you and help find appropriate, helpful resources that can respond to your needs. Employee Assistance Services are available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members.
We have also made the National Residential School Crisis line available to all federal inmates.
“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
- Autograph your work with excellence.”
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