Commissioner's update for correctional employees:
January 8, 2024

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

Happy New Year! I hope you had a relaxing break over the festive season. I am excited for the coming year and all that we will accomplish in 2024 to support our mission of changing lives and protecting Canadians. I also look forward to continuing to share CSC news with you this year through this weekly newsletter.

I am excited about how we are sharing the important work we do with Canadians. Just before the holidays, we launched our first Prisons Inside Out podcast.

I encourage you to listen to it. There will be many more interesting episodes to come this year and we will keep you posted.

Prisons Inside/Out, ep. 1

National Ribbon Skirt Day

January 4 was National Ribbon Skirt Day in honour of Indigenous women and girls. First Nations and Metis women have traditionally worn ribbon skirts with pride during ceremonies and special events. The skirts represent the person's identity, diversity, and strength.

Ribbon Skirt Day was inspired by Isabella Kulak. In 2020, the then Grade 5 student wore her ribbon skirt to a school formal event and was shamed when staff told her it was not a formal dress. The incident sparked support on Facebook from thousands of people around the world and inspired recognition for this day.

National Ribbon Skirt Day is a reminder of the need to combat discrimination and racism. It is the importance of building an inclusive society that accepts, welcomes, and embraces diversity. The day is an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate Indigenous culture, traditions, histories and contributions to our country.

Celebrating John Tremble

Before the holidays, I was delighted to join the retirement celebration for John Tremble, the Ombuds for Workplace Well-being. John retired at the end of December with 36 years as a public servant. John, who has 20 years of experience at CSC, spent a significant portion of his career advocating for safe and healthy workplaces and promoting workplace well-being.

He joined CSC’s Policy Sector in 2002 and has taken on several roles across CSC since then. He has been responsible for the provision of services in EAP/CISM, employee recognition, anti-harassment, employment equity, and official languages. He has also been an EAP Referral Agent and CISM Peer Helper. In 2019, John took on the role of Director General, Values, Integrity and Conflict Management. Last January, John became CSC’s first Ombuds for Workplace Well-being. 

CSC is grateful for John’s leadership and tireless work to support healthy, respectful, and inclusive workplaces at CSC. Thank you, John, you will be missed.

Anne Kelly presents a medal to John Tremble

Anne Kelly and JohnTremble, the retired Ombuds for Workplace Well-being

CSC and Human Rights Newsletter

CSC’s Human Rights Division has published the first edition of its new quarterly internal newsletter: CSC and Human Rights. This publication raises awareness of CSC’s human rights obligations and highlights the great work that is being done throughout our organization in respecting these obligations, and areas that require our attention.

Volume 1 of the newsletter underscores relevant human rights legislation. It also shares scenarios drawn from human rights complaints received by CSC. I encourage you to read it:

Public Service Pride Network Releases their Annual Report

Pride is more than a season—it is an opportunity to support our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues year-round. The Public Service Pride Network has released their annual report for 2023. It highlights the incredible work done by Pride networks across Government, including our own here at CSC. Our participation in the Capital Pride Parade is featured on page 13. I encourage you to download and read the report and think about ways you can get involved – as a member of community, or as an ally.

I encourage you to visit the Public Service Pride website to learn more about the network, see upcoming events, the Guide for Two-Spirit, Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Diverse Employees in the Federal Public Service, and how to become a Public Service Pride Network member. 

CSC Recruits to the Rescue

On December 4, in the late afternoon, one of CSC’s trainers at the National Satellite Training Academy in Summerside, Prince Edward Island noticed staff from the neighbouring daycare were visibly upset. They asked what was wrong and learned that a child from the daycare was missing. Our trainers immediately jumped into action and enlisted the assistance of the recruits in the training group. They began an organized search in the surrounding areas and the building complex. About 15 minutes later, recruits Courtney Comeau and Connor Barilla found the child in a vacant space upstairs in the building complex. The child was returned safely, back to the daycare facility.   

I applaud the quick thinking of all the trainers and recruits who assisted in the safe return of the child.

I wish you a very healthy, productive, and successful 2024!

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

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