Commissioner's update for correctional employees: August 18, 2023

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

This has been an extraordinary summer of extreme weather across the country. We continue to hear about:

The latest news with Yellowknife and Kelowna being evacuated because of wildfires is heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with our colleagues in those areas who have had to leave their homes and are going through this terrifying ordeal. Their safety is of paramount importance and (CSC) will provide what support we can. To all our colleagues and friends affected by these extreme weather events, keep yourselves safe and healthy.

Public Service Pride Week

From August 21 to 25, we are celebrating our fifth Public Service Pride Week. This year’s theme is ‘Taking Action to Create a More Inclusive Public Service.’ This is a time to come together to:

the contributions of members of the Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Plus (2SLGBTQIA+) communities.

Every day we strive to inspire diversity at work. Everyone deserves to feel safe and heard regardless of their gender identity or expression. Each of us has a responsibility to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

While great progress has been made, we need to acknowledge that the fight for equality is not over. Discrimination based on:

is still present within our society. This is a great opportunity for us to be allies and:

for our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues.

The Employment Equity and Diversity Committee and CSC’s Positive Space have created a quiz to test your knowledge and celebrate Public Service Pride Week:

I encourage you to open the conversation. Make your voices heard by participating in the many events and activities organized across Canada, including the Pride breakfast and parade, here in Ottawa. 

SIU posters

To support the transformation within the Structured Intervention Units (SIU), we recently sent a poster to all institutions that have an SIU. The poster, Structured Intervention Units—Opportunities for Interaction, highlights and reminds inmates of the valuable community interactions and support systems available to them. Printed copies were shipped to all institutions and the poster is accessible on the Hub:

As always, your role in guiding inmates is paramount. This includes informing them of the resources available to them in the community. Community supports offer different perspectives that complement your efforts. They can help foster personal growth and development of those in our care and custody.

Community involvement is a corporate priority because it strengthens our efforts as an organization to meet our mandate. We do not do this work alone. It is expected of us by our community partners who want to contribute to making CSC one of the best correctional systems in the world.

Kingston Youth Shelter benefits from inmate assistance

I wanted to share a positive project that offenders at Collins Bay Institution Minimum were involved in. Staff took a group to help clean up the property around the Kingston Youth Shelter’s new location. The lot was overgrown with:

which violated city by-laws and was difficult for staff to supervise. In a few hours, they cut down:

The result was a:

The Kingston Youth Shelter staff was grateful for the help. The men were:

This is a good example of:

Thank you to all the staff who made this opportunity happen.

Correctional officer (CX) wins medals 

I would like to congratulate Todd Alteman who participated in the World Police and Fire Games in Winnipeg, July 28 to August 6. He took part in two shooting events and secured gold medals in both.

Having attended the 2010 Games when I was the Regional Deputy Commissioner in the Pacific Region, I know the quality of the law enforcement participants that compete in the Games. Todd is a correctional officer at William Head Institution in the Pacific Region. Congrats on your medals, Todd, well done!!!

Parole officer basketball pro 

I enjoyed reading this week about a CSC parole officer with a passion for sport. Winnipeg’s Michelle Foreman had an accomplished career as a professional and international basketball player before beginning a career in corrections. Her dedication to perfecting her craft has led her to excellence in the things she is passionate about. This article highlights her love for her work and her sport. 

I want to express my gratitude for your continued work efforts throughout the summer. I realize that many of you cover for colleagues on vacation and it is much appreciated. I know from firsthand experience how difficult it can be working on the frontlines. I am grateful for your work.

I have said this before but firmly believe that no matter what role you play at CSC, you are helping people reshape their lives and contributing to public safety.

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

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