COVID-19 update for correctional employees: February 11, 2022

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

As you know, February is Black History Month. It is an important time to reflect on the experiences of Black Canadians and our Black employees, as well as an opportunity to learn about and celebrate their heritage and accomplishments. A good way to become an ally, and extend the spirit of Black History Month, is through fostering meaningful conversations and celebrating the history and culture of Black Canadians.

The Employment Equity and Diversity Committee is hosting a two-part webinar celebrating arts and culture in the Black community. I encourage you all to join the celebration on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

Office of Correctional Investigator Annual Report tabled

While I am on this important topic of Black History, I want to touch on the OCI report released yesterday and comments you may have seen in the media around use of force incidents involving Black and Indigenous offenders. This is something I take very seriously and a number of actions are underway to more closely examine and address this.

While the OCI report provides an opportunity for us to reflect as an organization on how we are responding to the needs of offenders who are:

the report may also bring home personal reflection and experiences of our BIPOC employees. We have been talking about systemic racism actively for a number of years, and the fact that it does exist both inside and outside of our organization. It is an important conversation. This is why we are taking action to have an anti-racist organization. We are also implementing an Anti-Racism Framework and Action Plan and building a new Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Team to mobilize our actions and work with our:

to identify and remove systemic barriers in our

There is more work to do and I know I can count on each of you as we continue to make this a top priority.

I welcome the OCI's report and the opportunity to work with their office to review and enhance the work we do in corrections. They challenge us to do better and I encourage you to read more about the OCI’s report and CSC’s response here:

Women Employee Survey town halls

To date, I have hosted four town halls to discuss the results of the National Employment Equity Survey of Women Employees. I have appreciated the contributions, views and ideas of those who participated. These discussions have been helpful in providing feedback and comments on how we can improve the work environment at CSC for women, including those who identify as women. I look forward to the last two, the Pacific town hall on February 14 and the Atlantic town hall on February 16! Once all town halls are complete, I will be working with the National Working Group for Women to develop an action plan. I look forward to sharing more details with you about this later in the spring.

COVID-19 update

During this most recent Omicron wave, we had several outbreaks in our institutions over the last three months. It is encouraging to see more and more of our staff and inmates continue to recover each day. COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be highly effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization, especially with a third dose. Thank you to those assisting in rolling out vaccines for inmates and for playing your part in helping to slow the spread of this virus and continuing to follow our health and safety measures. 

Ongoing demonstrations

A number of significant demonstrations are taking place across Canada, including in the streets surrounding our National Headquarters. The right to engage in lawful protests is an important element of a free and democratic society; however, during these demonstrations, we have witnessed words and actions that have varied from being upsetting, to absolutely unacceptable and intolerable. This may be having an impact on you and your family, or your commute to our workplaces. These circumstances can affect our mental health. If you need support, the Employee Assistance Services are available to both employees and their family members.

For more information: 1-800-268-7708 or 1-800-567-5803 for TTY.

Thank you to all staff, especially those on the frontline, for your daily efforts in managing through the pandemic. I also want to thank you for your ongoing dedication and commitment to upholding CSC’s mission of actively encouraging and assisting offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens.

 

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

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