COVID-19 update for correctional employees: December 3, 2021
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I am thinking of our colleagues on both coasts, as they deal with the aftermath of extreme weather conditions. Last week, heavy rainstorms hit the Atlantic region, washing out roads and bridges and causing extensive damage to other infrastructure in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. This week, British Columbians endured more rainfall, while still recovering from the devastating flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rain two weeks ago. Our thoughts are with everyone affected, and particularly with our colleagues whose lives have been impacted.
As you have likely heard, there is a new COVID-19 variant called Omicron. This news may be concerning for some of you as we wait to learn more about the new variant. Please remember that vaccinations, in combination with our infection prevention and control measures, remain the best way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These measures will also help limit your risk of getting the flu virus this winter. I also recommend that you get a flu shot.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The United Nations designated December 3 the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to promote understanding of disability issues. It also encourages people to uphold the:
- rights, and
- wellbeing of people with visible and invisible disabilities
This year’s theme, Courageous conversations for building a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible future, focuses on empowering change through:
- honest, and
- engaged dialogue
At CSC, we commemorate this day to remind us to:
- address misconceptions
- counter stereotyping, and
- fulfill our responsibilities to become a more inclusive workplace
National employee diversity chair for persons with disabilities
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Suzanne Cuff as CSC’s National Employee Diversity Chair for Persons with Disabilities. Congratulations Suzanne, and thank you for stepping up! As an active member of CSC’s Employees with Disabilities Diversity Network and the National Persons with Disabilities Working Group, Suzanne will provide:
- expertise, and
on a wide range of accessibility and disability related matters with the goal of making CSC barrier free and accessible for all. Among the projects currently underway, CSC’s three year Accessibility Plan is being developed. I encourage you to learn more about the Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada and join the new Employees with Disabilities Support Network on MS Teams.
- Accessibility Strategy for the Public Services of Canada
- Employees with Disabilities Support Network
International Volunteer Day
International Volunteer Day is December 5! This year’s theme is about working towards a better tomorrow and future for everyone. I would to like celebrate and recognize the thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time to supporting our organization.
Volunteers change lives and have a positive impact on our organization. Even during the pandemic, volunteers have found creative ways to stay engaged, with the support of community partners and CSC’s dedicated staff. Recently, the value of volunteers in our organization was highlighted at the International Corrections and Prisons Associations conference. Please take a moment to thank our volunteers.
I encourage you to read more about our:
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Monday, December 6, is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women that commemorates the 1989 shooting of 14 women in an engineering class at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal. The day of remembrance reinforces our commitment to a country free from gender-based violence. Hatred and intolerance has no place in our society or place of work.
Happy Hanukkah to those of you celebrating this week! Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights, which is observed for eight days and nights according to the Hebrew calendar. This year’s festival is from November 28 to December 6. Each night of Hanukkah is marked by the lighting of a candle in the menorah, the nine branched candelabrum, and is meant to spread light to others. I wish you a:
- safe, and
- happy holiday with family and friends
Virtual discussion with Black employees
Our Black Employee Network invited me to a meet and greet on November 30. It was a one-hour national engagement session with Black employeeswhere they outlined their work in developing a grassroots network and to provide resources and support across the respective regions and sectors. I provided opening remarks and we heard from a guest speaker, Jacqueline Edwards, who is a CSC employee on an interchange with A.B.L.E. (Association of Black Law Enforcers). Jackie is also this year’s winner of the prestigious President’s Award of Merit by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), which is the association’s highest honour.
Champions of Mental Health Award
It is with great pride that I highlight that three CSC employees are among the winners of the first-ever Champions of Mental Health Award! This initiative, launched by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment, aims to celebrate front-line public safety personnel who are dedicated to improving the well-being of their colleagues. From over 200 applications, 20 winners were selected, including three of our colleagues:
- Tara Mayne, Regional Manager, Employee Assistance Program/Critical Incident Stress Management Program (Pacific Region)
- Marc Filiatrault, Correctional Officer, Federal Training Centre (Quebec Region); and
- Amanda MacCullam, Correctional Officer, Atlantic Institution (Atlantic Region)
Congratulations for this amazing recognition of your compassion and dedication. You are inspiring!
Find out more about the winners:
Inmate talent show raises research funds
Bath Institution recently held an offender talent show to raise money for Prostate Cancer Research in honour of Movember. There were 15 musical and comedy acts, involving approximately 30 offenders. The event raised over $1,200, which will be submitted to Prostate Cancer Research through the local GCWCC. Kudos to staff and offenders for collaborating towards a great cause!
CORCAN winter sale
The annual CORCAN Winter Highlight offers an opportunity for CSC employees and their families to find amazing holiday gifts while contributing to offender reintegration. All items showcased, including specific items made by Indigenous offenders are produced through the offender employment and employability program. Historically, we have had in-person events at specific sites during the winter season and now CORCAN is providing an online opportunity to staff across Canada to purchase products made by Indigenous offenders just in time for the holidays!
You can find more information on CORCAN’s holiday season gifts on the Hub.
Christmas Lights Across Canada
From December 8 to January 7, 2022, celebrate Canada’s winter by enjoying the thousands of dazzling lights on monuments and sites displayed in provincial and territorial capitals across the country in the Christmas Lights Across Canada event. People living in the national capital region can enjoy this festive time with:
- the magical winter lights illuminating:
- national museums
- embassies, and
- other significant sites in Ottawa and Gatineau, as well as
- the annual multimedia projection light show on Parliament Hill
On December 21 at 8:00 pm (ET), traditions and legends of Canada will be highlighted through the television show IllumiNATION: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice. It will feature a variety of performances from artists across the country.
Find out more about:
Thank you for your ongoing dedication and hard work.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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