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Measuring the CSC’s Performance against Its Mission Statement

At the conclusion of the first part of her report, Madam Justice Arbour reviewed her findings in the context of the Mission Statement of the Correctional Service of Canada and the core values to which the Service commits itself, values now incorporated into the CCRA. Her conclusions were unambiguous.

In its Mission Statement, the Correctional Service of Canada commits itself to "openness," "integrity," and "accountability." An organization which was truly committed to these values would, it seems to me, be concerned about compliance with the law, and vigilant to correct any departures from the law; it would be responsive to outside criticism, and prepared to engage in honest self-criticism; it would be prepared to give a fair and honest account of its actions; and it would acknowledge error. In this case, the Correctional Service did little of this. Too often, the approach was to deny error, defend against criticism, and to react without a proper investigation of the truth . . .

The deplorable defensive culture that manifested itself during this inquiry has old, established roots within the Correctional Service, and there is nothing to suggest that it emerged at the initiative of the present Commissioner or his senior staff. They are, it would seem, simply entrenched in it.

I believe that it is also part of that corporate culture to close ranks, and that the defensive stance of senior managers was often motivated by a sense of loyalty to their subordinates. This otherwise admirable instinct should, however, always defer to the imperatives of scrupulous commitment to the truth which must be displayed by those entrusted with people’s liberty. (Arbour at 173-74)

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