Commissioner's update for correctional employees: November 20, 2023

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

Today, November 20 is Respect Day at CSC. Take this day to reflect on the role we each play in creating a workplace that is respectful, professional, and free of harassment and discrimination. Each of us has our own individual experiences, backgrounds, opinions, and emotions. We are all different. Everyone deserves respect! 

Respect is demonstrated in our interactions with others and in a multitude of other ways. Let us be mindful of the
well-being of others and respect everything that makes them unique. Together, we can make CSC an organization that embodies respect for each other.

Anti-Racism Diversity Equity and Inclusion

In November 2022, Kirstan Gagnon, the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement and CSC’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion, began a series of in-person consultations with ethnocultural and Indigenous offenders, staff, stakeholders, and with community supports working with institutions and in communities across the country.

The goal of the regional consultations is to share information about CSC’s anti-racism framework. We presented some of the key actions and initiatives undertaken by the organization at the consultations. Getting participants feedback will help us better understand the complex issues related to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are an opportunity to hear potential solutions.

The consultations will finish by December 2023. We will use the feedback from these sessions to inform the next iteration of the Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework. In early 2024, the Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Directorate at National Headquarters will hold consultations on a new draft of the framework.

We would also like to encourage everyone to review CSC’s ARDEI Progress Report, which highlights CSC’s ongoing efforts to address systemic racism and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

CSC remains committed to listening and learning about the experiences of Indigenous and racialized offenders and staff so that we can continue to build an anti-racist organization that is more inclusive, diverse and equitable.

I encourage you to learn more by visiting:

Launch of New Victim Committee

Following a recommendation by the review committee that looked into the security reclassification and transfer of a
high-profile offender this past May, we launched a Multidisciplinary Committee on Victims Services. The goal is to explore a number of topics related to how we provide services to victims of crime and examine additional areas that could be further strengthened. The Committee is comprised of 10 individuals, including victims and Regional Victim Advisory Committee members, operational and community corrections experts, criminologists and the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. The first meeting occurred on November 17. We expect the Committee to conclude its work by February 2024. We are proud of the work done by our Victims Services Officers across the country and this will further bolster how we provide quality services to Canadians.

Canada History Week

November 20 to 26 is Canada History Week. This year’s theme, is the ‘History of Black Achievement in Canada.’
I encourage you to take the time to recognize and celebrate the contributions Black Canadians have made and continue to make in building our nation.

Canada’s history is moulded by the diverse cultures, stories, and accomplishments of the people who make up our society. Correctional Service Canada has its own significant and fascinating history, which is deeply intertwined with our country’s story. Over the years, we have made marked progress in our approach to rehabilitation, restorative justice, reintegration, and anti-racism.

We are taking bold action towards advancing real, systemic change, and a progressive, inclusive culture at CSC. Our work is ongoing and there is still a lot to do. During Canada History Week, celebrate our accomplishments and recognize
the profound impact of Black Canadians within the correctional service who are helping to build a stronger, more inclusive future.

National Addiction Awareness Week

November 19 to 25 is National Addiction Awareness Week in Canada. It provides an opportunity to learn more about the causes, prevention of harm, treatment and recovery, and solutions for change. Remember that substance use disorder is a complex health condition. Stigma remains one of the biggest barriers to seeking and receiving support and treatment for people experiencing issues related to substance use. We need to have open and honest conversations to recognize and overcome this stigma. Together, we can help reduce the barriers for people living with a substance use disorder to access the services, supports, and treatments they need.

It is important to remember that help is available. There are many resources available to get you and your loved ones through difficult times.

I appreciate the work you do every day and your efforts to improve our workplaces. I am proud to work alongside you
to make CSC a better organization that benefits our staff and offenders.

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

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