Commissioner's update for correctional employees: August 4, 2023
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
My thoughts continue to be with those across the country dealing with various environmental emergencies. Flooding, fires, and smoke continue to impact the safety of Canadians. Thankfully, there continues to be limited direct impact on our institutions.
My heart goes out to staff who are impacted themselves or have friends and family effected by these situations. I am inspired by those who step up and lend a helping hand to those in need.
Please take note of any health and safety guidance from authorities in your area.
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
August 9 is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, which is an opportunity to raise awareness and protect the rights of Indigenous populations around the world.
Respecting Indigenous cultural views of justice and reconciliation is part of CSC’s commitment to the:
- custody, and
- reintegration of Indigenous offenders
This is integral to CSC’s culturally responsive programs and services. CSC is committed to working collaboratively with our Indigenous partners and stakeholders to improve offenders’ correctional results while facilitating their healing journey. We recognize the inherent value of reconciliation, and I encourage you to embark on or continue your own learning journey on the path to reconciliation.
National Peacekeepers’ Day
August 9 is National Peacekeepers’ Day. It is a time to honour the efforts of Canadian peacekeepers involved in peace operations around the world. Let us remember their selfless work to:
- bring security
- uphold human rights, and
- promote democracy and the respect for the rule of law in places experiencing conflict
CSC employees have made important peacekeeping contributions in operations in:
- Haiti, and
I am proud of the work members of our organization have done to advance peace and correctional reform. I encourage you to take the time to acknowledge the sacrifices made by Canadian peacekeepers.
Calendar promoting diversity and inclusivity
Last September, I shared a call-out in the inmate message for those interested in submitting art for the 2023 ethnocultural calendar. Their submission needed to highlight the theme Diversity includes me—includes you. We received 50 incredible works of art and poetry. It was difficult to choose only 13 pieces for the calendar!
The result is a collection of art and poetry with a message that you would be proud to hang on your wall. Supporting offenders’ creative expression is beneficial not only for them but for the overall correctional environment. You can read more about how the calendar came together and see the amazing artwork highlighted each month. Thank you to all frontline staff that contributed to making this calendar possible.
- Ethnocultural calendar inspires art and change | Let's Talk Express
- 2023 Ethnocultural calendar (internal resource only)
Work to Give participants outfit arena
I was pleased to read about the rewarding work being done by participants in the Collins Bay and Beaver Creek institutions’ Indigenous-focused and led program, Work to Give (W2G). The program has been providing Indigenous communities with structures they need, such as:
- picnic tables
- school bus shelters and, in this case,
- change rooms, bleachers and benches for the community arena at Taykwa Tagamou Nation near Cochrane, Ontario
The Indigenous offenders from Collins Bay and Beaver Creek institutions gained a sense of pride knowing they learned good construction skills that were used on a project that will help kids in the community learn to skate and build dreams of playing in the big leagues.
This is one example of the many programs that take a lot of coordination with communities and stakeholders. These programs have positive results and play an important role in offenders’ rehabilitation. This is only possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of staff.
FedStarter8 has officially launched
The eighth annual FedStarter program, run by the Prairie, British Columbia, and Northern Federal Councils, is an opportunity for federal government employees to apply for funding to help start a project or initiative in their organization. Staff can apply for funding between $1,500 and $5,000 to develop innovative projects to help incarcerated individuals on their path to rehabilitation.
FedStarter8 encourages all interested staff to join a team in a participating region! This will help FedStarter grow and increase opportunities for collaboration.
CSC staff have been supported for many FedStarter projects over the years and now it is your opportunity to innovate! Get curious and engage with your networks. The deadline for proposals is October 13.
To learn more about FedStarter, visit the Fedstarter page on GCXchange:
If you don’t have an account, you can register at the link:
Upcoming changes to weekly messages
This fall we will launch reimagined ways to share news and stories at CSC. In September, my weekly messages to staff will be combined with the weekly This Week at CSC newsletter. The combined message will be shared via email on Monday mornings. I will have more details to share about this in the coming weeks and will be inviting you to share your feedback on this new approach.
In addition, CSC’s online publication Let’s Talk Express will also get a new look in the fall. The modernized and new website will be a hub for:
- podcasts, and
- videos sharing the stories and voices of CSC
The development of a CSC podcast is also moving along. Thank you to everyone who contributed suggestions for its name, which we are presently reviewing. More details to come soon!
We take pride in telling our stories at CSC. If you have ideas, you are welcome to connect with your regional communications managers to share them.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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