COVID-19 update for correctional employees: March 4, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Last Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced that weekly case counts have decreased across the country by 26 percent. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has also declined by 20 percent. This downward trend is something we have been looking forward to. However, we continue to have some outbreaks in our institutions and must continue to remain diligent in applying our infection prevention and control measures. Thank you for your ongoing efforts and hard work.
Situation in Ukraine
It has been shocking to watch the news about the attack on Ukraine. It is truly heartbreaking. This situation affects all of us as Canadians given our strong ties to Ukraine. Canada has the second largest Ukrainian population in the world and many of our employees are of Ukrainian descent.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this, including their:
- friends, and
- loved ones.
The Red Cross is accepting donations to the Ukraine humanitarian crisis, and the Government of Canada has already matched $10 million in individual donations. Take time to learn more about:
The news and imagery can be very distressing, and I want to encourage you to reach out if you need support or someone to listen. The Employee Assistance Program Referral Agents are there for you.
These fellow employees are trained to:
- support, and
- refer you to professionals as needed.
This is a voluntary and confidential service, available to CSC employees. Employee Assistance Services are also available to both employees and their eligible family members. This bilingual confidential service provides immediate crisis support by phone and counselling as needed.
It is available at all times at:
- 1-800-268-7708, or
- 1-800-567-5803 for TTY.
As an organization, CSC has been working to reinforce a culture of respect, and build environments that are safe and free of:
- racism, and
- violence of any kind.
We are also carrying out an audit of CSC’s culture to:
- assess our organization,
- hear from employees, and
- identify areas
where we need to take action in order to make positive change. Everyone has a role to play in order for us to achieve this.
I greatly respect the work our employees carry out to keep Canadians safe, it is important and essential work. Respect, and I would add, professionalism, are crucial to CSC as it carries out its mandate. We must listen and hear each other – even if there are times when we may not agree.
This leads to better decisions and contributes to building a culture of:
- diversity and equity, and
- healthy and respectful workplaces.
Canadians look to CSC and its employees to do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job. We have taken up that challenge and the responsibility to actively encourage and assist offenders in becoming law-abiding citizens, while ensuring the safety of all. As we work to make improvements together, please know that our individual actions reflect on the work of all of us.
I want you to know that I am extremely proud of our all of our staff who have worked so hard in the face of the challenges we have seen over the past two years. I know that many of you feel proud as well, we have accomplished so much. Having said this, I know it has been very tiring both from a professional and personal standpoint. Your families and loved ones have supported you through some long days and many changing circumstances. I am grateful to them. Your efforts and hard work are noticed and very much appreciated. Thank you!
Unmarked graves at former Alberta residential school
The following deals with topics that may cause trauma invoked by memories of past abuse. We recognize some employees may not want to read the following section to minimize the risk associated with triggering.
It is with great sadness that we found out earlier this week that 169 potential unmarked graves were discovered as part of an investigation on the grounds of St. Bernard Mission School, a former residential school in Alberta. While investigations continue and more details are to come, this is a reminder that we must not forget how residential schools continue to affect generations of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, their families and their communities. These discoveries, as troubling as they are, are essential to ensure accountability and recognition. They are essential in our efforts towards reconciliation.
In these difficult times, I ask you to please support one another and reach out if you need assistance. You can contact the National Residential School Crisis Line 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
Pharmacy Appreciation Month
March is Pharmacy Awareness Month. During the unprecedented challenges over the past couple of years, pharmacy staff have stepped up to maintain medication delivery schedules and provide clinical pharmacy services, prioritizing the health and safety of staff and inmates.
Let us acknowledge all the hard work CSC:
- pharmacy technicians, and
- pharmacy assistants
do every day to help inmates meet their health goals.
National Social Worker Month
Also in March, we highlight and appreciate the important role that social workers play in the daily lives of Canadians and during difficult times, such as this global pandemic. As part of CSC’s interdisciplinary teams, our social workers provide numerous important services, including:
- clinical interventions,
- programming, and
- policy development
for federal offenders. Through their ongoing work, they make a real impact on their lives.
Our Pink Shirt photos
I would like to applaud all staff members who proudly wore pink on February 23, to stand up against bullying and discrimination. I encourage you to take the time to visit the Hub to see the impressive amount of colleagues who showed support for this important cause.
Bahamas Corrections signs MOU
I am pleased to share that on February 24, the Honourable Wayne R. Munroe, Minister of National Security for the Bahamas, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CSC, formalizing our mutual agreement to continue our engagement activities between the CSC and the Ministry of National Security of the Bahamas. CSC’s relationship with Bahamas has grown and evolved over the years, as our values and objectives have become more aligned. Our relationship with the Bahamas will continue to exemplify how mutual engagement and collaboration can improve public safety for all.
CSC Departmental Plan tabled
On March 2, CSC’s Departmental Plan 2022–23 was tabled in Parliament.
This annual plan outlines:
- CSC’s plans,
- priorities, and
- expected results
for the upcoming fiscal year. The Departmental Plan highlights our planned results for our three core responsibilities, which include:
- care and custody,
- correctional interventions, and
- community supervision.
This year, we are focusing in several areas, including:
- offender mental health;
- Structured Intervention Units;
- supporting Indigenous peoples in culturally appropriate ways;
- inclusion and diversity efforts; and
- the modernization of correctional service delivery through digitization.
I invite you to read more about our departmental plans and priorities. I look forward to working with our dedicated:
- partners, and
in the years ahead as we continue to support offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration, while maintaining public safety.
International Women’s Day
March 8 is International Women's Day. This year’s theme, Women Inspiring Women, is a call to celebrate all the women and girls who inspire us, and raise awareness of the challenges they still face in striving for equal opportunities. It is important to recognize achievements across different social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. At CSC, we are proud to have so many women in various positions throughout our organization.
To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee is hosting an impressive roster of events:
- March 7, 2022 – Journey, empowerment and female leadership
- 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EST), Keynote speaker, the Honourable Senator Michèle Audette will be discussing her fight against the discrimination of Indigenous women in Canada.
- March 8, 2022 – Women Inspiring Women: Celebrating International Women’s Day
- 9:45 a.m. – noon (EST): Nina Spencer on “Forward Thinking: Strategies for Protecting and Advancing Professional Passion, Pride, Purpose and Productivity”
- noon – 1:00 p.m. (EST): Dr. Manju Varma on “Commissioner on systemic racism: Climbing the crooked ladder”
- 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EST): The Honourable Senator Nancy J. Hartling on “Inspiring Women
- March 8, 2022 – Amplifying Women’s Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship with Kim Katrin
- 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST): In her presentation, the award winning educator will be shedding light on the issues facing women of different social locations by highlighting local and international feminist movements.
You can show your support by using the International Women’s Day meeting background.
Rendez-vous de la Francophonie
March 20 is la Journée internationale de la Francophonie. Please join Francophones at CSC and around the world in celebrating French language. The 2022 edition of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie gives us an opportunity to reconnect with who we are, honour the traditions that forge our identities and above all, celebrate the beauty of the Canadian Francophonie in all of its depth and diversity. I am proud of the diversity within our workforce, including Indigenous Peoples at CSC who have shaped Francophonie culture over the years. I invite you to visit the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie website to participate in hundreds of activities taking place across the country in March. Let's celebrate our traditions together!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
- Date modified: