October 21, 2022 – Regional Vice-president Laurie Ann Wesselby met with the Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister for Official Languages at her office in Moncton in New Brunswick. The Minister’s executive assistant, Brent Mazerolle, was in attendance during the meeting.
RVP Wesselby provided an overview of the 18 departments and agencies that USJE represents and the challenges and dangers that our members face every day.
Copies of Dr. Rose Ricciardelli’s two reports “The Mental Health and Well-being of Canadian Federal Parole Officers” along with the Presumptive Injury report were given to Petitpas Taylor who enthusiastically committed to reading them.
RVP Wesselby shared concerns around the workloads of members within CSC and how it is affecting their mental health and work life balance. During the Pandemic, 18,000 USJE members continued to work across the country ensuring that the front-line services that Canadians expect were maintained. Petitpas Taylor, having been Minister of Health during the first Trudeau government, was particularly interested on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the membership.
To exemplify the dangers that our members face at work, the traumatic assault case that occurred at Stoney Mountain Institution in 2021 during which a Food Service Officer was attacked by an offender was used. The Minister was very curious about the details of how our FOS members are responsible for training offenders. RVP Wesselby informed her that this service is provided with little or no prior training from CSC and pointed to USJE’s ongoing Food Service Officer Campaign.
Minister Petitpas Taylor admitted to never having had the opportunity to participate in a site visit since being elected in 2015. When offered to tour one of the Federal Institutions in the Atlantic, the Minister expressed great interest.