Commissioner's update for correctional employees: March 31, 2023
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Today is fiscal year end. I know this is a busy time of year with many of you working hard to wrap up the last fiscal year. Thank you to everyone involved in these activities, including processing finances, finalizing performance management agreements, and completing your online work arrangements.
As you know, March 31st is also the Treasury Board Secretariat’s deadline for implementing the return to the office directive. For CSC, this means that as of next week, we should be in full implementation of the minimum three day per week requirement.
I want to thank everyone for their efforts in implementing the return to office directive. I know it has been an adjustment for many staff, and I am thankful for your:
- continued commitment
- dedication, and
as we continue to implement this change.
Incident in Kingston
Last Friday, a shooting occurred outside of Collins Bay Institution (CBI) and Henry Traill Community Correctional Centre (HTCCC), in Kingston. When this occurred, some of our staff ran out to help and administer first aid. These lifesaving measures made the world of difference. As you can imagine, it has been a challenging few days for the staff at those sites as they process the situation.
On Monday, I travelled to CBI and the HTCCC to speak with the staff. I was accompanied by:
- France Gratton, Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Operations and Programs
- Kevin Snedden, Ontario Regional Deputy Commissioner; and
- Crystal Thompson, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Integrated Services
We were warmly greeted by Warden Christine Anderson, and District Director Dave Finucan. We had an opportunity to visit with the staff at HTCCC, the maintenance garage, the regional pharmacy, the minimum-security unit, and the medium and maximum security units.
In speaking with the staff, it struck me to see how:
- courageous, and
they are. They truly embody the duty of care principle that we often talk about. I am extremely proud of CSC staff and my visit on Monday reinforced this. I see it everywhere across the country in the everyday actions you take. Thank you.
I would like to remind you that EAP referral agents are available to listen and help you find appropriate, helpful resources to support you. In addition, the Employee Assistance Program is available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Nova Scotia public inquiry
Yesterday, the public inquiry into the April 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia released its report. Two valued CSC employees, Alanna Jenkins and Sean McLeod, lost their lives in these tragic events. The release of the Mass Casualty Commission’s report may be particularly difficult for our CSC colleagues in the Atlantic region. I speak for all staff in saying that our thoughts are with them, and all those who continue to be impacted by this terrible tragedy.
Procession for two fallen Edmonton police officers
On March 27, 2023, two fallen Edmonton police officers were honoured during a regimental funeral. They lost their lives in the line of duty earlier this month. CSC took part in the procession march and was represented by Alain Tousignant, Senior Deputy Commissioner and Trent Kane, CSC National Guard Commander, as well as many CSC uniformed officers and parole officers.
At CSC, we are part of the public safety community and it is important to show our support for colleagues and partners during these difficult times. Thank you to those who participated in the procession or sent in words of condolence.
Events like these can be difficult. They can have an impact on your mental health. So, it is important to seek the assistance you need.
On Tuesday, March 28, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, presented the federal budget in the House of Commons.
Budget 2023 highlights three themes:
- a strong middle class
- affordable economy, and
- healthy future
For CSC, Budget 2023 proposes to invest $171 million over the next three years to address:
- health and safety issues within our federal correctional facilities
- support remote work and court appearances, and
- stabilize core operations
It also proposes an additional $210 million over the next five years for essential goods and services.
The Budget also reiterates our commitment to building the Shepody Healing Centre in Dorchester, New Brunswick, and proposes to accelerate the construction to bolster our capacity to provide timely mental health services to federal offenders. In the coming weeks, we will assess what Budget 2023 means for our day-to-day operations.
More information on the Budget can be found here:
Signing Ceremony with Université de Moncton
A ceremony was held yesterday, March 30, at the Université de Moncton to renew CSC’s decade-long partnership. I am pleased that this joint partnership supports the first French-language criminology program in New Brunswick. The criminology program offers students firsthand learning opportunities with internships at CSC. As part of the agreement, the Université de Moncton also provides two seats for CSC employees to participate in its French immersion program.
Thank you to:
- Adele MacInnis-Meagher, outgoing RDC
- Johanne Charest, incoming RDC
- Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Integrated Services Roger Poirier
- District Director Nicole Smith
- internship supervisors, and
who attended the signing ceremony. We are very proud of this partnership. The benefits of this collaboration will continue for years to come, including the promotion and expansion of official language development.
Pros and Cons Music
Recently, music lovers at CBI enjoyed a special concert with world-renowned jazz guitarist Bill Frisell’s trio. Over 75 concert goers enthusiastically enjoyed the hour-long performance. Thank you to staff at CBI who were ‘instrumental’ in making the event happen.
- Pros and Cons Music Program brings in big name performers (internal resource only)
It is inspiring to learn of initiatives like this. Music and other programs at our facilities provide positive experiences that help offenders with their rehabilitation.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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