Commissioner's update for correctional employees: May 19, 2023

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

My thoughts continue to be with our team members affected by the heatwave and ongoing wildfires in several provinces across the country. Our institutions and offices in those areas are not currently affected by evacuations but we are monitoring the situation closely. 

I encourage all to check the Health Canada Air Quality Health Index in their area and take appropriate precautions when air quality is poor. Public health authorities in your province are a great place to seek advice related to what you can do to protect yourself both against extreme heat and smoke due to the forest fires.

Funeral for fallen Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Officer

CSC plays an active role in joining processions for fallen officers, in solidarity with the public safety community. Most recently, we did so a few weeks ago in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and again yesterday, for Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Sgt. Eric Mueller. He was recently killed in the line of duty in Bourget, Ontario. Thousands of police officers as well as peace officers and front-line workers gathered at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, including over 30 members of CSC’s Guard of Honour and representatives from National Headquarters, to take part in the procession march. CSC is proud to show support for colleagues and partners that are part of the public safety community, during these difficult times. Thank you to those who participated in the procession or sent in words of condolence.

Events like these can be difficult and have an impact on your mental health. It is important to talk about how you feel. If you wish to speak to someone, EAP referral agents are available to listen and help you find appropriate, helpful resources to support you. The Employee Assistance Program is available not only to all employees, but also to eligible family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Community engagement in Structured Intervention Units (SIUs)

Over the past weeks, a number of institutions have opened their doors to community stakeholders to increase awareness, understanding and engagement within the Structured Intervention Units (SIUs). These activities have been organized in an effort to increase community supports and networks for offenders in SIUs and enhance opportunities for them to interact with others. As most of you know, positive connections to the community can be the difference in someone’s efforts towards successful rehabilitation and reintegration.

Thank you to all of the staff at the institutions who have and will continue to be part of this important initiative. This has also generated positive media coverage in some regions. I look forward to seeing the success of further “open house” events! 

Run for Women 2023

The Run for Women is a national event that raises funds to support women’s mental health resources in our communities. This year, you can choose to do a virtual or in‑person 5K or 10K run/walk event. Runs will be held in 15 cities across Canada between May 27 and June 25, so be sure to check the event date in the city closest to you. 

The Ottawa event is on June 4, and R.I.O.T & Wine, a team led by CSC staff, are currently leading in their fundraising efforts.

Kudos to all CSC staff across the country who participate in this event year after year in support of mental health programs for women.

World Bee Day

May 20 is World Bee Day, which celebrates the pollinators that are integral to our ecosystem. CORCAN operates three beekeeping programs with minimum security offenders at Joyceville, Collins Bay, and Stony Mountain institutions. In addition, the program is offered to medium security offenders at Stony Mountain Institution. Thank you to staff and community volunteers for all you do to facilitate this program and teach offenders valuable skills.

Indigenous Awareness Week

Indigenous Awareness Week is May 22 to 26 and is an opportunity to attend learning events and deepen your knowledge of:

cultures and traditions.

We are fortunate to have 1750 self-declared Indigenous employees and close to 153 Elders representing rural and urban Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast.

Learn how you can support and promote Indigenous cultures and traditions at work as an act of reconciliation.

In closing, I want to extend my gratitude to the many members of our organization who will continue to work through the Victoria Day long weekend. Your commitment to service and hard work do not go unrecognized.

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

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