Commissioner's update for correctional employees: September 18 2023
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
Last Tuesday, I presided over the Warden Change-of-Command ceremony at Grande Cache Institution, which was delayed by a year due to the pandemic and wildfires. This was an important milestone for the institution.
I would like to congratulate Jasmine Verge in her new role as a warden. I would also like to thank Paul Bailey for his valuable contributions as warden from May 2014 to his retirement in May 2021. Both Jasmine and Paul have distinguished themselves as strong leaders.
These ceremonies provide us with a valuable opportunity to gather and witness the passing of responsibility for the safety and security of staff, offenders, and the community from one person to another.
Truth and Reconciliation Day
September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of this day, which honours the children who never returned home, survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. It is a powerful reminder of the tragic and painful history of these schools and of their enduring impact on Indigenous peoples.
On this day, we also observe Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative event. This day helps shed light on the inter-generational effects of residential schools and emphasizes that "Every Child Matters." I invite you all to proudly wear an orange shirt and show your allyship. I also invite you to take a moment to reflect on the role that each of us can play in the reconciliation process.
I want to express my sincere appreciation for the invaluable contributions made by CSC:
- Indigenous employees
- the National Indigenous Advisory Committee
- the National Elders Working Group
- our dedicated stakeholders.
Your dedication to sharing knowledge about the history, culture, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples, both with offenders and fellow employees, is deeply valued. You play a crucial role in fostering meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities and advancing our collective journey towards reconciliation.
CSC will be hosting several national virtual learning events this week. I encourage you to get your supervisor’s approval and participate.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (internal resource)
Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day
The last Sunday in September holds a special significance for each of us. On Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day, we honour Canadian police and peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
Starting today until Sunday, September 24, you may show your respect by wearing the Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Ribbon.
Please join me in observing two minutes of silence on Sunday to remember and honour our fallen colleagues and members of public safety who lost their lives while protecting Canadians.
On Sunday, CSC staff will come together from coast to coast to coast to attend ceremonies to commemorate the day. I will be present with CSC’s Ceremonial Unit and other staff members at the 46th National Memorial Service on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The service will be live-streamed.
For more information on the day:
- Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day (internal resource)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month
September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Month. FASD is a condition that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. Each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and needs supports to help them succeed with many different parts of their daily lives.
I would like to highlight the work of CSC’s clinical team who is involved in education and training of staff in working effectively with patients living with FASD.
Health Services is currently expanding capacity in each region for the assessment and treatment of FASD through the creation of clinics at the Regional Treatment Centres modelled on the clinic developed at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon.
Celebrating the Achievements of the Ounce of Prevention Program Participants
In August, facilitators held an in-person ceremony at Atlantic Institution, Dorchester Penitentiary, and Springhill Institution to celebrate the participants' accomplishments in An Ounce of Prevention program.
The Atlantic Region invited Urban Rez Solutions, a social change agency who facilitated a virtual 8-week program for offenders this past spring. The agency is rooted in:
- Black advocacy
- community advancement
- pro-social development
The program, considered highly successful by the ethnocultural participants, focused on:
- financial literacy
- conflict management
- critical thinking skills
This is a way to give them tools for successful reintegration in the community.
Thank you to all staff involved in this initiative – the Atlantic Region is exploring options to bring the program back this year.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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