Commissioner's update for correctional employees:
November 14, 2023
This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.
I wanted to start by noting that this past Saturday was Remembrance Day.
We have a number of CSC employees who are Veterans of Afghanistan and peace support operations in the Balkans, Gulf War, Haiti, Rwanda, and Somalia. We are very proud to work alongside them and are grateful for the service they provided to our country and the countries they served in. We are also grateful to have active military members (reservist) who commit their evenings, weekends, and time away from work to serve Canada. Thanks to you all for your commitment to our country.
This year, Remembrance Day was particularly meaningful, as we reflect on the armed conflicts happening around the world. I know the ongoing wars, including the loss of innocent lives, can have a profound impact on us. Many of our employees have loved ones in impacted areas. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Please reach out to support services if you need assistance. These resources are in place to help you and your family.
Sts’ailes and Kwìkwèxwelhp
Healing Village Welcoming Ceremony for RDC
On October 13, a ceremony was held in the Long House at Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village to welcome Constance Hourie, the Pacific Regional Deputy Commissioner. The Coast Salish tradition welcomes staff and offenders to the Healing Village and the territory. Constance was blanketed, which symbolizes the welcome/hugs/love from the peoples of the territory, Sts’ailes and the site. The ceremony included drumming, singing, speakers, and witnesses. The meal was an integral part of the ceremony, demonstrating a sign of respect for the hosting family and the ceremony as a whole.
We were honoured that Constance was so warmly welcomed to the Coast Salish Territory, Sts’ailes and Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village. We are also honoured that Grand Chief Stewart Philip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, was also in attendance at the ceremony.
RDC Constance Hourie speaking to master carver Elder Stan Greene.
CSC at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland
Over the weekend, Michael Olotu, Director General, Rights Redress and Resolution Branch represented CSC in Geneva, Switzerland at a United Nations event. The Universal Periodic Review is an opportunity for each country to present to the world their human rights record. Each country’s work is looked at by other countries to provide comments and recommendations. This is the fourth time that Canada has participated in this process.
Events like these help us showcase our leadership in corrections on the world stage, and allow us to learn about ways we can better protect the rights of those in our care and custody. Canada also helps to encourage other countries to take important steps forward in human rights, like abolishing the death penalty, and legalizing same-sex relationships.
Kudos to Michael and the team for representing CSC at such an important international event!
Michael Olotu, Director General of Rights, Redress and Resolution
Visit from Mongolian Delegation
On October 23 to 25, we hosted a delegation from the General Executive Agency of Court Decisions of Mongolia. The delegation visited National Headquarters, the National Training Academy, Millhaven and Bath institutions. They also met with the A/Senior Deputy Commissioner and other CSC officials. The guests were interested in learning about medium and maximum-security institutions and how correctional officer recruitment and training is managed by federal corrections.
I want to thank the staff and management involved in meeting with the Mongolian delegation and making this visit a success.
Nurse Practitioner’s Week
This year during Nurse Practitioner’s Week (November 12–18), I want to take a moment to recognize and acknowledge the contributions that nurse practitioners make in CSC’s institutions and across our health care system. Nurse practitioners play a crucial role in providing high-quality, patient-centered care, bridging the gap between primary care physicians and patients. I want to thank them for their expertise, compassion, and commitment to improving health outcomes.
This past Sunday, November 12, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist communities celebrated Diwali. The five-day festival of Diwali is a time of joy, unity, and reflection. It is an opportunity to appreciate the light within oneself and the positivity that we can spread to those around us. It is often referred to as the Festival of Lights, signifying the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
If you aren’t familiar with Diwali, I encourage you to have conversations with one another and learn more about this religious festival and its rich cultural traditions. To all of you who are celebrating, I wish you a Happy Diwali!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.
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