COVID-19 vaccine update for employees: May 20, 2022

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

In terms of a COVID-19 update, we continue to have active cases in our institutions. In this last wave, we saw the highest number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic and continue to manage through a number of outbreaks. On the flip side, we also saw our lowest number of cases with severe outcomes in the last two waves! We are now past the peak of this wave and things are improving. Thank you for your continued hard work and continued dedication during this ongoing pandemic. I know it has been challenging but with summer months ahead and more people outdoors, it should help reduce transmission in our communities.

Events in the United States

Recently, we have heard reports in the media about an increase in racially motivated incidents in the United States, most recently in Buffalo, New York. The events that took place last weekend are shocking and disturbing reminders of the presence of Anti-Black racism. Our thoughts are with the communities affected by these terrible attacks. Many CSC employees feel the impact of such events as well having experienced incidents of racism themselves. Please know that CSC stands with you. Our diversity is our greatest strength and everyone at CSC is welcomed and must be treated as an equal member of our team, regardless of:

I recognize that these events may be difficult for some. Please know that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is always available to assist you if needed. The EAP referral agents are available to listen to you and help find appropriate, helpful resources. In addition, bilingual Employee Assistance Services are available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


This past Monday, May 16, was Vesak, the holiest of Buddhist holidays and celebrated by millions of Buddhists around the world. Vesak is a celebration of:

His teachings and message of compassion, peace, and goodwill is an important one today, not only for Buddhists, but for all people. To those who celebrated Vesak, I wish you and your families:

World Bee Day

May 20 is World Bee Day, which celebrates the pollinators that are integral to our ecosystem. CORCAN operates three beekeeping programs. Currently:

Thank you to staff and community volunteers for all you do to facilitate this program and teach offenders valuable skills.

Penitentiary Museum reopening

On May 21, Canada's Penitentiary Museum will reopen to the public for the first time in two years. The museum is a small space and physical distancing may be difficult. Therefore, for the time being, masks will be required for both staff and visitors to facilitate a successful reopening. I encourage you to visit the museum, located in the old Kingston Penitentiary wardens’ home, as it preserves and interprets the history of our federal penitentiaries. Kudos to the staff and Friends of the Penitentiary Museum who have been busy preparing to reopen. Read more about: 

Indigenous Public Service Awareness Week

Indigenous Awareness Week is May 24 to 27, and is a wonderful opportunity to attend learning events and deepen your knowledge of the cultures and traditions of:

Elders at Kiche Anishnabe Kumik Lodge (Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada), invite you to join the traditional Circle Keeper Malcolm Saulis:

Elders at Iskotew Sweat Lodge (Health Canada), a healing and wellness lodge for Indigenous and non-Indigenous public servants, are also hosting multiple events during the week. On Friday May 27, a Canada School of Public Service event, explores the importance of preserving and revitalizing Indigenous languages. Learn how you can support and promote Indigenous languages at work as an act of reconciliation. For more information on these events and how to participate please visit:

Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion

I am pleased to note the Government of Canada is holding the first annual Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion on May 26 and 27. The virtual, interactive, and inclusive event will provide an opportunity to bring together:

to exchange ideas and groundbreaking insights to help shape accessible and inclusively designed communities and workplaces across Canada. Please visit the  :

Naming of wing at Nova Institution

The late Doris Fortin was one of those incredible employees who went above and beyond in advancing women’s corrections. To recognize and honour her contributions, the programs area at Nova Institution for Women is being renamed the Doris Fortin Programs Wing. A ceremony will be held in June to unveil a plaque in this wing where correctional program officers and offenders engage in interventions built from Doris’ vision. We invite her many colleagues and friends to share a story that highlights the impact she had. During the ceremony, some of these fond memories will be shared, and they will also be made into a memory book. Please send your stories about Doris to Rebecca Desjardins by June 3, 2022.

A special thank you to those of you who will be working this Victoria Day long weekend.


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

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