COVID-19 update for correctional employees: September 29, 2022
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
My thoughts continue to be with all those who are impacted by last weekend’s devastating hurricane that hit the Atlantic region and parts of Quebec. I understand that many colleagues are still without power and have been displaced from their homes. Please continue to take care of yourselves. Thank you again to those who continue to work in our institutions and the community: your efforts are appreciated during this difficult time.
Please note that the Canadian Red Cross is assisting the impacted communities with relief efforts. If you wish to make a donation, here is the information on how to donate:
- online at www.redcross.ca
- by calling 1-800-418-1111, or
- by texting FIONA to 20222 to make a $10 donation
Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30 is Orange Shirt Day and Canada’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour the children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Tomorrow, I encourage you to wear an orange shirt. Take time to learn more about the history of the Residential School System and reflect on the damage it has caused generations of:
- First Nation,
- Inuit and
- Métis peoples.
Understanding the impacts it has had on so many individuals and communities is critically important to helping us find a way to participate in reconciliation.
CSC’s Indigenous Initiatives Directorate has organized a number of interesting events this week to help educate us and steer us towards a path forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples. I would like to thank:
- those of you who participated in these events,
- those who attended to listen and
- those who bravely shared their stories to teach and inspire us to move forward in the reconciliation process.
Hybrid Work Model
Thank you to managers and employees for taking the time to meet and have productive discussions on how we move to a hybrid work model. By now, those of you in positions identified as suitable for the Hybrid Work Model should have experimented with coming into the workplace.
Good discussions occurred with the Executive Committee this week regarding the future of work at CSC, keeping in mind our mandate and guiding principles such as:
- equal opportunity and
Discussions remain ongoing, and we anticipate being in a positon to initiate the implementation of the Hybrid Work Model in October. More information, including telework agreement forms, will be shared in the coming weeks.
Until then, I encourage you to continue with the experimentation phase as we work towards formalizing telework agreements and implementing a Hybrid Work Model at CSC.
Heads of Corrections Meeting
CSC executives met with the heads of provincial and territorial corrections in-person this week. It was an opportunity to share information and exchange best practices to improve and uphold the public safety of communities across the country.
Over the next few days, many are also participating in the World Congress on Probation and Parole, which is currently taking place in Ottawa until October 1. This year’s theme is “No one left behind: building community capacity”.
Cyber Security Awareness Month
Cyber Security Awareness Month is an internationally recognized campaign held each October to help the public learn more about the importance of cyber security. This year’s theme is Fight Phishing! Watch for weekly messages in This Week at CSC and CSC’s social media channels.
Women’s History Month
October is also Women’s History Month - an opportunity to celebrate the many amazing women in Canadian history! Throughout our country’s history, women have made outstanding achievements and contributed to all facets of our society. Many have been trailblazers in traditionally male professions, such as:
- policing, and
They have succeeded in securing freedoms, rights, and equal opportunities for women. Take the opportunity this month to recognize and celebrate the significant accomplishments of women.
- Women in Canadian History: Timeline highlights some of the women who have shaped our country and made an impact on lives of women today.
World Teachers' Day
World Teachers’ Day on October 5 is an opportunity to recognize the teachers who deliver the education programs that support offenders in our care to improve their literacy, academic, and personal skills. The work they do is invaluable in preparing them for release and reintegration into the community. Education provides the necessary tools and skills to pursue employment and live as law-abiding citizens. I offer my sincere appreciation for the guidance, encouragement, and for all the knowledge they share with offenders every day.
Mental Illness Awareness Week
Mental illness still carries a stigma, which prevents people from seeking treatment. Awareness Week, from October 2 to 9, is an ideal time to discuss mental illness to change the conversation about it, and break down barriers for people dealing with this illness. It is important for everyone's health to:
- talk, and
Social and cultural factors have long influenced people’s perceptions of mental illnesses. These perceptions may influence how people identify themselves, participate in their communities, access services and reach out for support from others. We are committed to providing effective and timely interventions to those in our care. I would like to express my appreciation to the:
- occupational therapists,
- social workers, and
who work together to provide mental health care services to patients in our institutions.
Our own mental wellness is something we all need to take care of, as well. Please remember that EAP referral agents are available to listen and help you find appropriate, helpful resources that can respond to your needs. In addition, LifeWorks is also available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Your mental and physical health is important.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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