COVID-19 update for offenders and their families: February 12, 2021

This content is a message to federal offenders and their families from Correctional Service Canada's (CSC’s) Commissioner.

I wanted to thank you and provide an update on COVID-19. By continuing to wear your mask, wash your hands often during the day and practice physical distancing as much as possible, you are helping to minimize the spread of the virus in our institutions.

In terms of active cases among inmates, there are currently 9 active cases at one institution – Drumheller in Alberta. We no longer have positive cases at any other institution across the country. This is good news. Thank you for continuing to do your part. It is making a difference. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take measures accordingly.

We have a process in place, which involves working closely with public health experts, on when we can look at resuming additional activities at each institution. We will keep you posted as decisions are made. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.

On other items, February marks Black History Month. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the history and legacy of Black Canadians. This gives us an understanding of the challenges Black communities continue to face, including situations of racism, means we need to do better and work harder to address this.

Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, including our criminal justice system. CSC has no tolerance for these behaviours, and we are committed to doing more to increase diversity and address racism. CSC is currently working on an action plan which will involve consulting a wide array of stakeholders to help us find concrete ways to tackle systemic racism and effect positive change. I also look to you to help eliminate discriminatory behaviours. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and respectful environment for all.

This coming Monday, February 15, is National Flag Day – the anniversary of the day our Canadian Flag was first raised on Parliament Hill in 1965. Our national flag is a symbol of our common values of equality, diversity, and inclusion. It is an opportunity to reflect on these values and what being Canadian stands for.

Please continue to look after yourselves and stay healthy. Wearing your mask is helping stop the spread of the virus in our institutions and keeping everyone safe. This is much appreciated. I also want to thank the many of you who have taken time to write to me. We take the feedback you provide into consideration as we continue to evolve our approach and practices in response to the pandemic.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation.

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