June 16, 2020: Message from the Commissioner

Hello,

The situation around COVID-19 has significantly improved in our institutions. We currently have only one active inmate case at the Federal Training Centre in Quebec. We expect all outbreaks to be declared over by June 16 if there are no new cases. While this is good news and a positive step forward, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep up with our prevention measures. Please continue doing your part.

I know these past few months have been difficult on you and your families and I appreciate your patience and collaboration. You will remember that starting in March I waived food, accommodation, and telephone deductions for three months. I am renewing this for another three months effective yesterday, June 15.

As you know, CSC is preparing to resume some services, activities and programs. These decisions are based on whether there is community transmission of the virus and on public health guidance.

We are looking at resuming group programming in the near future. Group programming will look different than prior to COVID-19. Groups will be significantly smaller, chairs will be spaced 3 meters apart, everyone will be wearing masks, and session lengths may be shorter. CSC will continue to explore and identify with public health authorities how to adapt our environments and infrastructure to increase our ability to prevent the transmission of COVID -19.

For correctional programs, in places where there is no local transmission of COVID-19, we expect to begin resuming correctional programs at some sites by the end of the month. We are hoping that within the next few weeks, if it is safe to do so, and with appropriate infection prevention control measures in place, to have Social Programs Officers, Elders and Chaplains on site, increased yard time, access to gym and equipment. I will keep you updated.

I have heard many positive stories over the past couple of months of how many of you have taken the time to help others. Keep up the good work.

I want to end this week’s message with a big thank you to a group of inmates in the Pathways unit at Saskatchewan Penitentiary who helped sew 500 non-medical masks for staff and inmates at the institution. Thank you to everyone involved in this wonderful project.

Please continue to practice good hygiene, physical distancing and wear your mask, especially when close to others. Your continued cooperation is necessary and greatly appreciated as it makes a difference.

Thank you again for your cooperation.

Anne Kelly
Commissioner

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