Commissioner's update for correctional employees: May 12, 2023
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
As you may have seen in the news, nearly 100 wildfires are raging in western Canada as a result of the unusually hot and dry conditions. Many people have been evacuated from their homes and communities, and a provincial state of emergency has been declared in Alberta.
In Ontario and Quebec, people are dealing with flooding after the Ottawa River overflowed with the heavy rain. Many have had to leave their homes, and others are still working hard to protect their properties. Our thoughts are with our colleagues and their families who are dealing with these devastating situations.
Canadian Jewish Heritage Month
May is Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, an opportunity to:
- celebrate, and
- learn more about
the countless contributions Jewish Canadians have made, and continue to make to communities across Canada.
The month of May was chosen because of its meaningfulness to the Jewish community around the world. It often coincides with Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, which celebrates the spring harvest and commemorates the revelation of the Torah.
I encourage you to take time this month to learn and celebrate the history and culture of Jewish Canadians.
Dutch Heritage Day
On May 5, we celebrated Dutch Heritage Day. This date highlights the cultural, social and economic contributions that Canadians of Dutch Heritage have made to our country.
It also marks Liberation Day, the end of the German occupation in the Netherlands during the Second World War. Dutch Heritage Day recognizes the sacrifices made by members of the Canadian Armed Forces in that liberation.
International Nurses Day
Today on International Nurses Day, we celebrate the many roles nurses play, including those delivering health care services to individuals in our care. I want to thank all nurses for the exceptional work they do, both within CSC and Canadian communities. Their constant dedication encourages everyone to safeguard their health and well-being.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week
From May 14 to 20, Canada will celebrate the courage and resilience of victims of crime during Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. I am proud that CSC provides services to over 8,500 registered victims and survivors of crime. We help protect victims and their families, and create a safer and stronger Canada for everyone.
CSC Victim Services regularly engages with partners and stakeholders to expand its reach and promote its National Victim Services Program, so victims have the information they need to have an effective voice in the federal corrections and conditional release process. I wish to thank all staff for helping to uphold victims’ rights, especially our Victim Services Officers who assist victims of crime every day.
For more information about Victims and Survivors of Crime Week and to view the list of events planned:
Learn more about CSC Victim Services:
- Victim services (Internal resource only)
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
Wednesday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This day is about recognizing the violence and discrimination experienced by:
- intersex, and
- additional sexually and gender diverse
It also is a reminder that everyone deserves to feel proud and accepted regardless of their:
- sexual orientation
- gender identity, or
- gender expression
Every year, millions of people around the world come together to show their support to the 2SLGBTQI+ community. I encourage you to speak up, whether you are a victim of, or witness, acts of discrimination or harassment.
Last May, CSC put into effect Commissioner’s Directive 100, Gender Diverse Offenders, which sets out official direction relating to gender diverse offenders and reflects CSC’s commitment to meet the needs of this population in ways that promote their safety and dignity, as well as respect of their human rights.
We are all allies and each of us play an important role in maintaining a safe, inclusive, and respectful work environment.
St. Lawrence College wins award
I want to recognize St. Lawrence College for winning a Silver Program Excellence Award for its Integrating Digital Micro-Credentials into Correction Canada's Learning Management System program. Micro-credentials provide recognition for competency-based training and are created to focus on in-demand workplace skills.
This learning program, a first of its kind in Canada, has helped inmates upgrade their skills online and earn post-secondary credentials. CSC and the college have integrated six micro-credentials into the program including:
- Tourism and Hospitality: Culinary Basics
- Tourism and Hospitality: Remarkable Customer Service
- Professional Effectiveness in the Skilled Trades
- Logistics: Fleet Optimization
- Logistics: Inventory Optimization
- Intercultural Competence and Workplace Inclusion
I am proud to see that a partnership like this one, which helps provide inmates with a better education, is successful. I want to thank all the dedicated CSC employees in the Ontario region for their commitment and contribution in making this program happen. This award represents your hard work.
Action Plan for Women Employees
I am pleased to announce that the 2022 Action Plan for Women Employees has been developed, and we are preparing to implement it. We are committed to monitoring and reporting back to employees on our progress, as we roll out the action plan. This plan was based on the unique challenges and needs that women at CSC experience. These were identified in the 2021 National Employment Equity Survey of Women Employees and the town hall consultations that I held in early 2022. Women employees across the country spoke up, and we heard you. As promised, we are putting your words into action.
- 2022 Action Plan for Women Employees (Internal resource only)
My sincere thanks to the National Working Group for Women Employees and to everyone who participated in the plan’s development by sharing their personal experiences and providing their insight and opinions. You have all made this project possible through your invaluable contributions. I look forward to seeing the positive impact our collective actions will have on women throughout CSC.
Anijaarniq Holistic Inuit Strategy
CSC has revitalized the Anijaarniq Holistic Inuit Strategy in response to recommendations from the 2021 inquest into the death in custody of an Inuk offender.
Anijaarniq refers to traditional Inuit wayfinding, a morning practice where Inuit observe:
- wind, and
to plan for the coming day. The Strategy’s vision is for Inuit to have the support and resources they need to return and remain in their communities as contributing members of their families and society.
Each of the four founding principles of the Strategy highlights the importance of working together with:
- CSC staff
- Inuit organizations and community leaders
for the reintegration of federally incarcerated Inuit.
This Sunday, May 14, is Mother’s Day. I would like to wish a great day to all the mothers in our organization. Moms are a good representation of:
- patience, and
Take time this Sunday to remind your mother, or the important maternal figure in your life, of the important role they play and how much she is appreciated.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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