Commissioner's update for correctional employees:
November 6, 2023

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

Last Friday, I was pleased to attend a change of command ceremony at the Regional Reception Centre in Quebec. Edith Desnoyers was officially welcomed in as the new warden for the centre, following Anne-Marie Labalette’s appointment as the Regional Deputy Commissioner for Quebec.

I was honoured to also present Corrections Exemplary Service Medals to eight employees for their outstanding hard work, dedication, and decades of service to the Correctional Service of Canada. Congratulations to Denis Bélanger, Stéphane Breton, Geneviève Émery, Martin Fontaine, Benoit Gervais, Julie Haineault, Daniel Leroux et Sacha Ouimet. These ceremonies are very meaningful to me because they provide the opportunity to congratulate recipients and recognize their contributions to CSC.

National Gathering of Elders in Edmonton

Last week, the Deputy Commissioner of Indigenous Corrections Kathy Neil and CSC Elders gathered and participated in the National Gathering of Elders Kanata (NGEK), which was held in Edmonton, Alberta. It was a great opportunity to share our experiences at the NGEK and to address how we can improve upon truth and reconciliation for our Indigenous offenders. I was pleased to speak to CSC Elders virtually on Sunday afternoon before the Gathering officially began. This was a wonderful occasion to express my appreciation for the work that Elders do. It was also an opportunity to recognize that CSC can, and will, do more to support them in their important work.

We are all so grateful to the Elders working in our institutions who teach Indigenous culture, languages and ceremonies to Indigenous offenders in our care and custody.

National Gathering of Elders in Edmonton, Kathy Neil
National Gathering of Elders in Edmonton, Kathy Neil 

Public Service Award of Excellence

One of our Correctional Officers from William Head Institution, Todd Altman, recently received the Excellence in Profession Award from the Public Service Awards of Excellence. These awards recognize excellence, professionalism, and leadership within the public service. I’m so proud that one of our Correctional Officers represented CSC!

Todd lives out our mission each and every day — from finding new work experiences for offenders to establishing strong relationships within the community. Thank you so much for all of the work you have done and continue to do for CSC.

Anne Kelly, Todd Altman
Anne Kelly, Todd Altman

Office of Correctional Investigator Annual Report Tabled

Last week, the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s (OCI) annual report was tabled in Parliament. This report provides an opportunity for us as an organization to reflect on how we are responding to the needs of the offenders in our care and custody.

I encourage you to review the OCI’s report, our response, my statement and Minister LeBlanc’s statement.

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

On November 3, 2023, CSC published its ninth Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS), for the period 2023-2027. This strategy will guide CSC’s actions to reduce waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and vulnerabilities to climate change.

We have a very important role in fighting climate change. The 2023-2027 strategy reinforces our commitments to sustainability, GHG reduction and adaptation to climate change.

Celebrating those managing volunteers!

November 5 was International Volunteer Managers Day. Please join me in recognizing the important work of our staff that manage volunteers within CSC, including our social program officers, community volunteer coordinators, chaplains, and regional Project Officers for Citizen Engagement and Ethnocultural Services.

They all play a crucial role in recruiting, training and supporting CSC volunteers. Their efforts contribute to a multitude of activities and supports provided by volunteers for offenders nationwide, which, in turn, play an important role in offender rehabilitation and reintegration.

I encourage all staff to learn more about the importance of volunteering and community supports within CSC.

Veterans Week

It is Veterans Week, a time we take to honour veterans and reflect on their service to our country in times of war, conflict, and peace. We express our deep gratitude for their sacrifices to ensure our freedom and peace.

On November 8, we remember Indigenous Veterans who have served in missions across the world. On November 11, for Remembrance Day, we will come together in ceremonies across the country to honour our veterans.

I encourage you all to wear a red poppy throughout the week to show your appreciation for the service and sacrifice of veterans. Thank you to all veterans who currently work within CSC – for all you have done to protect Canadians.

Inuit Day

Tomorrow is International Inuit Day. On this day and every day, we honour Inuit culture and the important role it has in the rehabilitation of Inuit incarcerated individuals. We have been working with Indigenous partners to expand culturally responsive approaches to Indigenous corrections.

We recognize that Inuit incarcerated individuals have specific cultural and spiritual needs and that’s why we have worked in consultation with Inuit to create the Anijaarniq Holistic Inuit Strategy. The strategy was created to define the path forward for Inuit corrections and meaningfully advance reconciliation within the federal correctional system.

We know there is still much more work to do and we are committed to continuing to work with Indigenous partners.

Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy

Recently, you may have seen Health Canada’s newest Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS) that’s focused on our government’s response to the drug and overdose crisis. The crisis continues to have devastating impacts on people within Canada, including in our federal institutions.

One of CSC's top priorities is ensuring that incarcerated individuals have access to quality, safe, patient-centred care. Over the coming weeks, we will be explaining to Canadians the steps we are taking to address substance use in federal institutions.

I invite you to download and share our infographic on how we are addressing substance use in our institutions:

Thank you to all who are working on providing safe and comprehensive services for those in our care and custody. I look forward to continuing the work we’re doing together advancing this important priority for the Government of Canada. 

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

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