COVID-19 update for correctional employees: February 18, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Over the last two years, everyone has had to adapt and make adjustments in their personal and work lives to accommodate public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. I know how challenging the most recent wave has been, but we are starting to see some of the case counts decreasing in many parts of the country. I know many of you are tired; we will get through this. Thank you for all the work you do everyday to keep our workplaces and communities safe.
Unmarked graves at Saskatchewan residential school sites
This paragraph deals with topics that may cause trauma invoked by memories of past abuse. I recognize some of you may not want to read further to minimize the risk associated with triggering.
This past Tuesday, we heard that 54 unmarked graves were found at two former residential school sites around Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan. Although a ground penetrating radar located 42 potential graves on the former Fort Pelly school site and 12 at the former St. Philips residential school site, the search was guided by oral history. These graves are painful reminders of the unbearable suffering endured by families and communities whose children went to a residential school and never returned. I know that many generations of:
- First Nations
- Inuit, and
- Métis people continue to feel these impacts
I would like 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.
The demonstrations around our National Headquarters and some other parts of the country continue to impact citizens, including public servants. I encourage those who are affected to exercise caution in their day-to-day activities to remain safe. This can also have an impact on your mental health. If you need support, the Employee Assistance Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to both employees and their family members. For more information: 1-800-268-7708 or 1-800-567-5803 for TTY.
- Employee Assistance Program referral agents (internal resource only)
- Employee Assistance Services (also available to your family members) (internal resource only)
The Emergencies Act was enacted earlier this week in response to these demonstrations, allowing for special temporary measures to be taken. I would like to remind everyone that as public servants, we play a fundamental role in serving:
- the Government of Canada, and
- our communities
We must remain professional and non-partisan during this unprecedented time and continue to exercise our functions with integrity and respect for democracy.
I encourage all of you to stay informed and be aware of our obligations as public servants. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector clarifies the values and expected behaviours of federal public servants.
Black History Month
At CSC, our collective diversity allows us to bring unique attributes and abilities to the table.
- inclusive, and
- diverse workplace
is a top priority for me. This is why we are creating an Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Team. Led by Edwidge Vincent, the team will advance our work and initiatives on these important issues.
Have a look at the new Anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion section in This Week at CSC for:
- resources, and
- upcoming events
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, take time to learn and to reflect on how you can help make CSC a more inclusive workplace.
On February 25, Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC) will host a four-part event on various aspects of:
- allyship, and
- unconscious bias
I encourage you to join the discussion!
- 9:15 am to 11 am Bridging the Gaps: Being aware of your own mental health at work and at home with Dr. Kim Daniels
- 11 am to 12 pm Black History Month, racism, allyship, inclusion with Amie Archibald
- 12:05 pm to 12:55 pm Unconscious bias, how to be an ally, connecting allyship to action and strengthening diversity and inclusion in the workplace with Toni Morgan
- 1 pm to 2:30 pm Talking Circle: Unconscious bias, racism, allyship, diversity and inclusion with Elder Donna Augustine
Also on February 25, the Canada School of Public Service will host an online event that highlights struggles related to serving during the First World War as a person of colour.
The talk will highlight the importance of:
- citizen activism
- meaningful community engagement, and
and explore how events from the past can help us think about the present and the future.
On February 28, please join the Black Employee Network in collaboration with the Prairies Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, for a fireside chat with renowned novelist Lawrence Hill.
Mr. Hill will be speaking to us about his experience as a Black Canadian and will be sharing how his:
- creative writing
- personal lens, and
- critical analysis
of global events interact with topics of:
- identity, and
Mr. Hill is the international bestselling author of 11 fiction and nonfiction books, including his acclaimed novel The Book of Negroes.
- Fireside chat with novelist Lawrence Hill (internal resource only)
I encourage you to participate in learning activities throughout Black History Month, as we celebrate:
- inclusion, and
- understanding Black cultural experiences
You are also welcome to honour and support Black History Month by using the MS Teams virtual background:
Women employees survey results town halls
This past week, I held the last of six town hall discussions on the results of the National Employment Equity Survey of Women Employees. I wanted to thank everyone who attended. We had an excellent turnout for each meeting, and it was terrific to hear your comments and suggestions. Your feedback is important to me. It will give us a solid foundation to develop an action plan that reflects changes you talked about, helping to make CSC an employer of choice. Regional and national summaries of what we heard at the town halls will be shared in the coming weeks. An action plan, based on the input heard, will be forthcoming as well.
Pink Shirt Day
Wednesday, February 23 is Pink Shirt Day in support of anti-bullying. It is another opportunity to celebrate diversity in all its forms. Every one of us is different and should be respected for their differences. Let us take this day to be conscious of how we treat each other and make every effort to be respectful. Being kind is an easy way to contribute to a healthy workplace. Together, we can create a culture of tolerance and acceptance.
I encourage those of you who do not wear a uniform to wear pink on February 23 in support of an environment free of bullying and intimidation! To show your support for this important cause, take a photo of yourself dressed in pink, or of your team (in a virtual meeting or in person in compliance with infection prevention measures) and share them with us as well as on social media. For those of you who wear uniforms, you are encouraged to participate in Pink Shirt Day outside of your work hours and share your pictures.
- Read more and download the virtual background: Pink Shirt Day 2022 (internal resource only)
I want to express my sincere appreciation for the dedication and commitment you have shown to your work. Collectively, we have seen many successes and accomplishments in meeting our mission and mandate. Our communities are safer thanks to the work you do. Your continued support of each other during the pandemic is also appreciated. It goes a long way to helping make the challenges that we all face easier.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
- Date modified: