COVID-19 update for correctional employees: November 5, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
We have been working hard since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect:
- staff, and
- our communities
and vaccination is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19. All CSC staff must be vaccinated and I thank each of you who submitted your online attestation of your vaccination status last week.
As I mentioned in my last message, the Honourable Marco Mendicino is the new Minister of Public Safety. I had the opportunity to meet him and provide a briefing on CSC, including our key files and priorities. I look forward to additional briefings in the weeks ahead.
Proof of vaccination requirement
As an additional measure to protect everyone working or living in our facilities, starting on Monday, November 15, 2021, visitors will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter a:
- federal correctional institution
- community correctional centre
- parole office, or
- CORCAN community industry
To allow for a transition period, from November 15 to January 24, visitors who are partially vaccinated will be permitted to enter if they show proof of having received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as well as a negative COVID-19 test result. This transition period allows visitors to receive their second dose within this timeframe. Those with an exemption based on:
- a certified medical contraindication
- religion, or
- another prohibited ground of discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act
will be required to:
- provide documentation to support their exemption prior to their visit, and
- show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
This new visitor proof of vaccination requirement does not currently apply to those under the age of 12 or emergency personnel entering our facilities on an urgent basis.
You can find more detailed information on this new vaccine requirement for visitors on our website:
This new visitor requirement is consistent with the vaccination requirements and policy announced on October 6, 2021 for the public service, including:
- contractors, and
Information on checking proof of vaccination for volunteers, including citizen advisory committee members, can be found on the Hub.
Operational plans are still being finalized and will be communicated with sites before November 15. This includes information on how to manage exemption requests.
Facilitating connections for offenders is a key part of their successful rehabilitation. Unvaccinated individuals who do not have an exemption are encouraged to maintain connections through phone or video visits. CSC has expanded its video visitation services to ensure inmates remain connected with their:
- friends, and
- support networks
I want to thank each of you who has gone above and beyond to make virtual connections happen.
Clocks fall back an hour
Remember to set your clocks back on Sunday, November 7. Daylight saving time ends at 2:00 am, and you get an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning. Those of us on daylight saving time will appreciate having more daylight in these dark autumn and winter mornings.
International Volunteer Managers’ Day
November 5 is International Volunteer Managers’ Day. CSC has over 4,000 volunteers supporting offenders in institutions and in the community. These connections play an essential role in rehabilitation and reintegration of our offenders. I would like to thank staff at the regional and local levels who contribute to the management of volunteers year-round. During the pandemic, they have gone above and beyond to connect offenders with volunteers in new and innovative ways.
Remembering our veterans
The week of November 5 to 11 is Veterans’ Week, which honours those who have served in conflict and peace, overseas and at home. More than 2,300,000 Canadians have served throughout our nation’s history and more than 118,000 have died in the cause of freedom and democracy. This year marks a number of anniversaries:
- the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands
- the 65th anniversary of peacekeeping operations in Egypt, and
- the 10th anniversary of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
Take time this week to reflect on the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who participated in Canadian Armed Forces commitments overseas and at home.
November 8 is Indigenous Veterans Day, which marks the valuable contributions and sacrifices made by:
- First Nations
- Inuit, and
- Métis members of our Canadian Armed Forces
including 7,000 Indigenous peoples who participated in:
- World War I
- World War II, and
- the Korean War
We honour their:
- dedication, and
- service to Canada
I encourage you to participate in a local Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11, whether you attend in person or virtually:
This is an important opportunity to remember and pay tribute to those who bravely served, and those who continue to serve Canada in countries in conflict. Take time to also thank the veterans who you work alongside for their dedication and service to our country. I wear my poppy with pride in honour and memory of all who worked to bring peace to others.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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