April 1st marked the beginning of a new fiscal year, a year that will present us with challenges but also opportunities to improve on the excellent results we have achieved in the past year.
First, I would like to thank each of you for your work during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The contribution each of you makes every day is critical to the organization and to our ability to fulfill our mandate. Everyone has a role to play in maintaining the safety and security of both staff and offenders and in motivating offenders to address their criminality, participate in programs, and improve their chances of successfully and safely reintegrating into the community.
As we review our collective performance over the past year, I note that there has been a substantial decline in the federal custody population and a noteworthy rise in the number of offenders on conditional release under supervision in the community. The fact that more federal offenders are being released earlier in their sentence, and are being managed safely in the community, is a result of the combined efforts of efficient case preparation for safe release and effective supervision in the community.
To date, I have met with various Unions, including AFCO, USJE, PIPSC and UCCO-SAAC-CSN. I have been pleased by the level of engagement of all members around the table. I have also met with the Correctional Investigator of Canada as well as the Chairperson of the Parole Board of Canada and had productive discussions with both on various issues that impact our work.
Earlier this month, the acting Senior Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Operations and Programs joined me on a site visit to Edmonton Institution. I returned to Edmonton Institution again this past week. The Regional Deputy Commissioner for the Prairie Region, the Warden of Edmonton and I met with various groups of staff, including the correctional managers and interventions staff. Overall, the visits were positive and I appreciated how engaged participating staff and the Citizen Advisory Committee members were during our discussions. I would like to reiterate that the senior management team is committed to ensuring a healthy workplace that is free of harassment, bullying and intimidation for all staff; this continues to be a standing agenda item at EXCOM.
This month, one of the last graduation ceremonies took place at the CSC Academy in Regina, with the final ceremony scheduled for the end of May. As you know, the Correctional Officer Training program is moving to a new location at the Correctional Learning and Development Center in Kingston. The training facilities in Kingston will be fully operational by May 7, 2018, in advance of the first group of recruits. Thank you to all those that helped make the move possible over the past year.
Last week, the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) released results for each organizational unit on the Public Service Employee Surveys web page. Please take a moment to review the findings relevant to your area of work. I also invite you to read the Twenty-Fifth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada. The report features stories of dedication and innovation that public servants have demonstrated in serving Canadians. We have accomplished a lot over the last year and were ranked as the most effective public service in the world – a reflection of your talent and diversity.
Positive Space is an international movement striving to increase safety and inclusion for people of all genders and sexual orientations. We are collaborating with the Canadian Human Rights Commissioner and the LGBTQ2 Secretariat of the Privy Council Office on a status report on Positive Space in the public service. This report will help us take stock of our activities, better understand the impact of our initiatives, and plan for the future. I invite you all to participate in a short survey about Positive Space so that we can continue to build a safer, more inclusive workplace.
On a similar note, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada will soon conduct a survey called “Guarding Minds at Work” with all CSC staff. I encourage all of you to complete the survey.
Finally, I would like to thank the many staff members from coast to coast who paid tribute in various ways in remembrance of the Humboldt tragedy, including participation in Jersey Day. It’s clear that we are an organization with a lot of heart. Take a few minutes to view the photos of your colleagues in their jerseys to honour members of the Broncos junior hockey team and their families on CSC's Facebook page.
As we start this new fiscal year together, I want to thank you in advance for all of your contributions and I look forward to achieving great results with you.
“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
Autograph your work with excellence.”