Previous Recipients of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award

Odette Duranleau June 2016

Ms. Duranleau has a bachelor’s degree in sexology and a master’s degree in criminology. She has worked for the Correctional Service of Canada for nearly 28 years, starting as a parole officer (PO), and quickly moving into supervisory positions. A supervisor for more than 21 years, she has extensive experience in management of correctional operations, information, case management activities and programs, both in institutions and in the community. She was the first deputy warden in the history of Donnacona Institution and, until very recently, she held the position of Quebec Area Director for more than four years. She recently joined the Incident Investigations Branch as a National Investigator.

The issue of employment equity has always been important to her. She therefore volunteered to chair the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee at Donnacona Institution and the Quebec East-West District, and she held this position for 8 years. Ms. Duranleau has always carried out all duties related to her position, but she has also found time to organize outings to promote multiculturalism, such as visiting places of worship in the city of Québec, when 45 employees had the opportunity to tour a synagogue, a mosque and a Buddhist temple and to talk to leaders from each one about their religious beliefs and practices.

In her pursuit to learn a third language, Ms. Duranleau is enthusiastic about world travel and eager to expand her horizons. She has a keen interest in and especially enjoys talking to people from different cultures and with various profiles.

Mohamed Ait Lahcen June 2015

Commissioner Don Head, Mohamed Ait Lahcen and  Anne Kelly, Senior Deputy Commissioner

Mohamed, a parole officer at Donnacona, has promoted multiculturalism among his colleagues, clients, volunteers and community throughout his career with CSC.

He was the Ethnocultural Site Coordinator for ethnocultural offenders and a member of the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, which promotes inclusiveness and respect for diversity among staff members. He delivers college-level training to future correctional officers in the Quebec region on social diversity and intervention use in correctional settings.

Mohamed develops partnerships between the cultural communities and CSC to identify and resolve issues affecting ethnocultural offenders. He has organized many ethnocultural-type activities with clients as well as a variety of conferences and awareness sessions for employees.

He produced a corporate DVD entitled Beyond the Fence to inform the community about the social reintegration services offered to inmates at Donnacona Institution.

Doug DanielsJune 2013

Anne Kelly, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Doug Daniels and Commissioner Don Head

Doug, a parole officer at Warkworth Institution, has promoted cultural awareness and diversity both within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the community, throughout his 29 year career with CSC.

As a member of CSC’s Advisory Committee on Racial Harmony, Doug was a key player in helping guide the committee’s work: promoting equity and diversity. He also served on other groups with a goal to remove barriers, create equal opportunities and encourage cultural understanding. Today, as a member of the Warkworth Institution’s Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, he remains dedicated to the site’s employment equity plan while working towards improving the Service’s ability to address and remove barriers to fair access.

Doug has organized workshops and training sessions to educate and encourage inter-cultural understanding among staff, offenders and the public. Doug has also worked with staff to help ensure the successful return of offenders with various cultural needs to the community. His dedication continues through his volunteering with many organizations that work to shape a more inclusive and respectful society.

Hamza Al-BaghdadiJune 2012

Commissioner Don Head and Hamza Al-BaghdadiAl-Baghdadi has demonstrated his commitment to multiculturalism through his daily duties as a Community Parole Officer. His contribution in promoting initiatives that support CSC in the successful reintegration of Ethnocultural offenders has helped to engage discussion on multiculturalism and diversity within CSC.

Mr. Al-Baghdadi's passion has not only assisted in the reintegration of ethnic minority offenders, but has also promoted multicultural understanding and awareness, both within CSC and the public. He understands the challenges endured by Ethnocultural offenders and has been able to use his background as a visible minority to relate to, and seek solutions for, the cultural and religious needs and concerns faced by this group.

Having worked as a Community Parole Officer in two of Canada's highly diverse metropolises, Toronto and Ottawa, Mr. Al-Baghdadi has endeavoured to expand his knowledge of different cultures and gain a deeper understanding of the impact that cultural and language barriers can have on community supervision. His exemplary approach to helping CSC fulfil its public safety mandate in the past year has also included the reaching out to Ethnocultural communities and the writing of articles aimed at cultivating understanding between cultures.

Mr. Al-Baghdadi has worked actively to ensure that CSC has a greater appreciation for diversity, not only within the organization but also in society at large. Hamza is recognized for encouraging ethnic harmony between staff, offenders, and Ethnocultural communities, thereby contributing to our public safety mandate.

Dave VarisJune 2011

Commissioner Don Head and Dave VarisVaris, of the Addictions Research Centre, dedicates his career and life to raising awareness of Aboriginal cultures. He has significantly improved cross-cultural understanding and race relations between CSC and key Aboriginal non-governmental organizations, and among his colleagues. Dave was born and raised in Manitoba and is very proud of his dual ancestry - Scandinavian descent and Peguis First Nation of Cree ancestry. One of his most significant contributions to cultural awareness has been his leadership in the development and implementation of the high and moderate intensity Aboriginal Offenders Substance Abuse Program.

Through these programs, Dave has raised awareness of Aboriginal issues surrounding addiction and the importance of culturally-specific forms of intervention. His efforts have also resulted in a lasting relationship between CSC and Aboriginal organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal People, and the Native Women's Association of Canada. Dave has shared the personal importance of his Aboriginal heritage, the values he has learned and, in the process, solidified relationships with the Aboriginal community. He has rightfully earned his designation as the Aboriginal Champion of the research branch and therefore deserves the Multiculturalism Award for his promotion of Aboriginal culture and values.

Ronnie GillJune 2011

Commissioner Don Head and Ronnie Gill

As a former Regional Manager of Ethnocultural Services, Ronnie Gill has had a significant impact on the Pacific Region. She has made contributions towards enhancing the importance of cultural identities and being a voice to create recognition of this initiative within CSC. Her work provides a message of inclusiveness with the importance of understanding the unique cultural differences of staff and inmates. In the last year, Ms. Gill has spoken at various community and senior management meetings with the purpose of educating staff on policy pertaining to Ethnocultural Offender Programs and bringing awareness to the projected demographic changes. Through her work on these issues, she has attracted and involved individuals with similar visions and has the ability to motivate people to make a difference. The work of creating an inclusive organization is driven by her passion and the Pacific Region has seen the positive effects since she got involved. She was able to provide the support and direction to the new members of the regional Employment Equity and Diversity Committee and has worked actively to ensure that the organization has a greater appreciation for a diverse workforce.

Dr. Emerson DouyonJune 2010

Commissioner Don Head and Dr. Emerson Douyon Dr. Emerson Douyon is a Psychologist and retired Professor in the Faculty of Criminology at the Université de Montréal and has chaired the national and regional ethnocultural advisory committees (NEAC/REAC) for the last 10 years. During that time, he led these two committees to help advance the portfolio of the Ethnocultural Section. He chaired every meeting with the Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Programs and Operations and, for the past year, the Commissioner. Despite his precarious health, he never fails to do his duty and always attends committee meetings. Dr. Douyon says that the idea of making an effort, even if it is unsuccessful, has inspired and guided him throughout his life.

He also chairs the Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (REAC), where he helps the Quebec region organize and coordinate activities for offenders from ethnocultural minorities and tries to raise awareness of multiculturalism issues among offenders and staff. In all these years of volunteering within CSC, Dr. Douyon has often advised the Regional Deputy Commissioner on programs and services for ethnocultural offenders in the Quebec region. He helped make CSC aware of the special needs of this client group and increased its understanding of cultural diversity.

Mr. Douyon will retired to in July 2011 to make way for a new generation, but he has agreed to pass on his corporate memory in a book that he will write on a voluntray basis for CSC, Le passé, le présent et le futur du Comité consultatif ethnoculturel national et régional [The past, present and future of the national and regional ethnocultural advisory committees], which will be his last project for CSC. This initiative will help him leave his mark and fulfill CSC's mandate for the reintegration of ethnocultural offenders.