COVID-19 update for correctional stakeholders: June 2, 2020
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada's (CSC’s) stakeholders from the Commissioner of CSC.
June is upon us and I hope that everyone will be taking time to enjoy some nice weather. Thank you all for your continued commitment and work to support Correctional Service Canada's (CSC's) mandate during this time.
There is a lot underway as CSC continues to work hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while, at the same time, putting thought into our path forward. Here is an update on various items, starting with some important celebrations and milestones that I would like to recognize.
Update on COVID-19
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, CSC's top priority has been the safety of our:
- offenders, and
- the public
To date, CSC has had COVID-19 outbreaks at five of our 43 institutions, with two remaining. The outbreaks at Port-Cartier, Grand Valley and Mission Institutions have been declared over. As of May 31, of the 360 inmates who have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, 354 (or 98%) have now recovered. There are only four active cases that CSC continues to monitor.
Indigenous Awareness Week
May 18 to 22 was Indigenous Awareness Week and I just want to recognize the contributions of Indigenous staff and stakeholders, who contribute immeasurably to the work that CSC does. CSC is strongly committed to providing culturally responsive interventions and programs to support Indigenous offenders. I am also proud that CSC is one of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples in the core public administration.
National AccessAbility Week
From May 31 to June 6, it is National AccessAbility Week. This is an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of Canadians living with disabilities, and to take action to make our work and lives more inclusive.
Shaping the new normal update
As noted in my last update of May 13, CSC has established a governance structure to shape the next phase of its pandemic response. CSC's key stakeholders and labour partners will be part of the advisory committee. They will provide advice to an overarching steering committee that will receive input from a number of working groups.
CSC is working collaboratively across the organization, with unions and our partners, to start looking at:
- what needs to resume
- which safety measures need to be in place, and
- how that would roll out
I know there are many questions as to how this transition will unfold and I want to reassure you that any reintegration of CSC's activities will be gradual, based on public health evidence in each province and you will be given proper notice of any changes before they happen.
Here are the principles that will guide CSC's planning:
- Ensuring the safety, wellness and physical and mental health of:
- CSC staff
- stakeholders, and
This is our top priority. We will continue to make ethical and evidence-based health practices decisions that are in adherence with public health advice.
- Ensuring that any planning and actions to prevent, manage or restore services following COVID-19 is implemented in a manner that is:
- collaborative, and
Easing of restrictions and the restoration of interventions, programs and services will likely vary across Canada.
- Adopting an approach that is phased and gradual when restoring:
- programs, and
This will help ensure appropriate measures are in place to limit health and safety risks while also supporting public safety efforts. CSC will adjust restrictions as may be required by public health authorities.
- Restoring interventions, programs and services in an appropriate manner considering the local level of the pandemic and threat. Our response will be tailored so that it is in line with national, provincial and territorial public health guidance. The development of local plans and activities will include meaningful consultations with the:
- local occupational health and safety committee, and
- union executives
Lastly, on June 1, we celebrated CSC appreciation day. I see this as an opportunity to show appreciation for our community partners and all of you. Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment and your ongoing engagement as we work to shape the new normal.
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