Commissioner's update for correctional employees: September 25 2023

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

Thank you to all who joined us yesterday for the 46th Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day service. I would like to give a special thanks to our Ceremonial Unit and Honour Guard who proudly represented CSC.

We know that the day is difficult for many, including CSC staff and their families. It is an important day to honour and remember those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. From coast to coast to coast, we recognized the day, either by taking time to attend a ceremony, watching the ceremony virtually, or observing a moment of silence.

We stand with our fallen each and every day and I want to express my deepest gratitude to each of you for the work you do to protect Canadians and exercise your duties with professionalism in a challenging environment.

Report from the Ombuds for Workplace Well-being

The first 150-day report from the Ombuds for Workplace Well-being is now available. The report shares insights on general statistics, key observations and what is next for the Office.

The Ombuds is an independent office that launched on January 31, 2023. It provides a safe space for CSC employees to discuss workplace issues confidentially and explore options to resolve them informally, without fear of reprisal.

In CSC, the Ombuds function also includes the Office of Values and Ethics, the Office of Informal Conflict Resolution, and the Office of Integrity Risk, which manages disclosures under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and the fraud risk function. 

I encourage everyone to read the report and learn more about the services that are available to you:

For more information about CSC’s Ombuds for Workplace Well-being:

Update on Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion at CSC

CSC believes that open dialogue and collaboration are essential in advancing our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion.

The Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Directorate (ARDI) and our Champion continue to engage with CSC employees, inmates, management and stakeholders across the country.

Engagement sessions have taken place in the Atlantic, Ontario, Quebec and just last week, CSC’s Anti-Racism Champion and Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, Kirstan Gagnon, visited the Pacific Region. Additional engagement sessions are scheduled to take place later this fall, including the Prairie region. Thank you to everyone who contributed their perspectives and ideas!

These visits aim to foster meaningful discussions, gather diverse perspectives and identify some common themes. The insights gathered from these engagement sessions is to raise awareness of our work in this area and inform the next version of our Anti-racism, Diversity and Inclusion Framework and Action Plan. Together, we must work to identify areas for improvement and implement changes that address systemic barriers.

To learn more about anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, we invite you to visit:

Mosaic Leadership Development program

I am pleased to announce that Jasmin Armstrong, Area Director from the Greater Ontario and Nunavut District, and Marie-Ève Soulière, Associate District Director from the East/West Quebec District, have been selected to participate in the second cohort of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s (TBS) Mosaic Leadership Development program.

Following a national call out in May 2023, Jasmin and Marie-Ève were nominated by a CSC Mosaic Selection Committee and selected by the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion Selection Board at TBS.

Mosaic aims to take bold action to address barriers faced by equity-seeking employees by sponsoring, providing leadership development opportunities, and supporting them in their journey towards becoming an executive. Jasmin and Marie-Ève will join candidates from 50 federal departments for the 15-month-long learning journey.

Congratulations and good luck to them both!

Fedstarter8: Want to Make an Innovative Impact​​​​​​​?

I just wanted to remind those of you who have ideas for projects or initiatives to help incarcerated individuals on their path to rehabilitation that you can apply for funding through the eighth annual FedStarter program. Fedstarter8, run by the Prairie, British Columbia, Northern, and Atlantic Federal Councils, is based on a Dragon’s Den model that gives federal government employees an opportunity to pitch their well-developed idea and gain funding to start a project or initiative in their organization. Staff can apply for funding between $1,500 and $5,000 to develop innovative projects.

FedStarter encourages all interested staff to join a team in a participating region! If you have an idea for an initiative you would like to develop in your area of CSC, then I encourage you to participate.

If you submit your proposal before Friday, September 29, you will be entered for an early bird prize of an executive mentorship. The winning team will be paired with a mentor to help them pitch their idea to the Dragon’s Den. You can direct any questions or accessibility requests to

Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day and Canada’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour the children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.

Take time to learn more about the history of the Residential School System and reflect on the damage it has caused generations of First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples. Understanding the impact it has had – and continues to have – on so many individuals and communities is critically important to helping us find a way to participate in reconciliation.

CSC’s Indigenous Initiatives Directorate and our Employment Equity and Diversity Committee have organized a number of events to help educate us and steer us towards a path forward in partnership with Indigenous peoples. Please participate in these opportunities to listen and learn as we move forward in the reconciliation process.

The path toward reconciliation is about building an understanding of Indigenous peoples, history and cultures. It is about repairing relationships and mutual understanding. To do so, we each have a responsibility to learn about the past, to share this knowledge with others, and to support Indigenous peoples by standing side-by-side in solidarity.

I recognize that Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation may cause grief and trauma for many. If you need assistance and support, the National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

In addition, EAP referral agents are available to listen to you and help find appropriate, helpful resources that can respond to your needs. Employee Assistance Services are available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members.

We have also made the National Residential School Crisis line available to all federal inmates. Please be mindful that this day may be a trigger for Indigenous colleagues and inmates in our care and custody.

I want to, once again, thank you for the work you do each and every day in support of our mandate.

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

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