COVID-19 update for correctional employees: April 22, 2022

I have had the chance to visit some of our institutions. Last week, I visited the Regional Reception Centre in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines in Quebec and Joyceville Institution in Ontario. It was a pleasure to meet and have the opportunity to hear the perspectives of staff, including the challenge they face and their success stories. I remain committed to working together to build on what’s working well and address concerns that have been raised.

Minister Mendicino also toured a few of our sites last week. He visited the Federal Training Centre in Quebec, parole offices in Thunder Bay and Barrie, as well as a community residential facility (CRF) in Orillia, Ontario. He met with parole office staff and with CRF operators to discuss issues relevant to each location. Minister Mendicino expressed his appreciation for their work and acknowledged the challenges associated with working with our offender population.    

Importance of vaccines 

World immunization Week, April 24 - 30, highlights the global importance of the life-saving role that vaccines play in protecting people of all ages against preventable diseases. We have become acutely aware of vaccines the last two years with the pandemic and the development of vaccines to protect against COVID-19. Vaccines have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and its variants. World Immunization Week is a good reminder to all of us to keep our own immunization status up to date. 

As announced earlier this week, CSC is implementing a verification process to confirm the validity of employee vaccine attestations, as per the Government of Canada Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the Core Public Administration.

If you are randomly selected to participate in the verification audit, you will have until May 6, 2022, to show your proof of vaccination to your manager/supervisor. To those selected to participate in the audit, I thank you for your ongoing cooperation.

I want to thank you once again for being fully vaccinated, for getting boosters as they become available to you, and doing everything you can to protect:

Please continue with our infection prevention and control measures. They are in place for everyone’s safety.

Earth Day 2022 

Today is Earth Day! As we continue to ensure we are taking appropriate precautions to keep ourselves and community safe from COVID-19, we must also consider our environment. In particular, COVID-19 has increased the amount of waste being produced as people:

I would like to highlight an innovative initiative at La Macaza and Joliette Institutions in Quebec to recycle disposable masks. Over a two-month period, they diverted more than 3,000 masks from the landfill. The environmental staff continue to make improvements to their pilot project and will be expanding it to other institutions and other regions. Thank you to everyone involved in these efforts! These actions make a big difference.  

Invitation from the Centre on Diversity and Inclusion 

In case you missed it earlier this week, the Centre on Diversity and Inclusion is inviting all public servants to join a meaningful and transformative conversation on racism in the workplace and how we can use behavioural insights to dismantle systemic racism. This bilingual session will take place next Tuesday, April 26, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). There is still time to register, but do not wait!

National Volunteer Week 2022 

This year, National Volunteer Week will be celebrated from April 24 to 30. The 2022 theme is Volunteering is Empathy in Action. Volunteers continue to play a key role in our organization, and we are grateful for their dedication and commitment. We are also thankful to those who volunteer their time on our Citizen Advisory Committees, Ethnocultural Advisory Committees, and Regional Victim Advisory Committees. Their time and perspectives are invaluable to our work.

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, staff, community partners, and volunteers have continued to show creativity and incredible commitment to meet the needs of those in our care and custody. We value the many groups and organizations that support us in fulfilling our mandate locally, regionally, and nationally. Together, we all have an important role to play, whether it is to support inmates, parolees, victims, families or communities. 

Thank you to all staff who play a role in supporting volunteers at CSC. I encourage you to take a moment to thank our volunteers and learn more about their value in corrections:

Citizen Advisory Committee New National Chair

This week, I had an opportunity to speak with our CAC National Executive Committee, comprised of our regional chairs. I thanked Peggy Joiner for her service as outgoing National Chair and presented her with a plaque, certificate and Commissioner’s coin. Over the past two years, Peggy provided a great deal of leadership in her role as the CAC National Chair during a very challenging time. She has been a CAC member for over 20 years and has contributed in countless ways. She plans to continue contributing in the future as well. I also welcomed Ingrid Schmidt who will serve as National Chair for the next two years. She started in this capacity on April 1. I look forward to working with Ingrid along with Maire Bracken, from Ontario Region, the new vice chair of the National Executive Committee. Working with CACs helps CSC to build trust and demonstrate accountability with the communities and public we serve. To learn more about all of the National Executive Committee members:

Next Thursday, April 28, is National Day of Mourning. It is a day to remember and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives or were injured in a workplace tragedy, or suffered a work-related illness. We honour and remember them and their loved ones.

Thank you for the work you do on a daily basis. Your contribution to our mandate is important and essential. I want you to know you are making a difference in keeping our communities safer.

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

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