Raison d’être, Mandate and Role: Who We Are and What We Do

Raison d'être

The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (PSEP), also known as Public Safety Canada, plays a key role in discharging the Government's fundamental responsibility for the safety and security of its citizens. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is responsible for the Department.

The Department provides strategic policy advice and support to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction on a range of issues including: national security, community safety and emergency management. The Department also delivers a number of grant and contribution programs related to these issues.

Mandate and Role

Public Safety Canada was created in 2003 to ensure coordination across all federal departments and agencies responsible for national security and the safety of Canadians. Public Safety Canada maintains a presence in all provinces with offices representing the five regions (Atlantic, Québec and Nunavut, Ontario, the Prairies and Northwest Territories, and British Columbia and Yukon).

Public Safety Portfolio

  • Public Safety Canada (PS)
  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
  • Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
  • Parole Board of Canada (PBC)
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • RCMP External Review Committee (ERC)
  • Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC)
  • Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI)

The Department's mandate is to keep Canada safe from a range of risks such as natural disasters, crime and terrorism. As such, Public Safety Canada collaborates with federal partners as well as other levels of government, non-government organizations, community groups, the private sector, foreign states, academia, communities and first responders on issues related to national and border security, crime prevention, community safety and emergency management. This cooperation supports a cohesive and integrated approach to Canada's safety and security.

Public Safety Canada is organized into five branches: Emergency Management and Programs, Community Safety and Countering Crime, Portfolio Affairs and Communications, National and Cyber Security, and Corporate Management; it also has a Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive and is supported by a Legal Services Unit. The Department has a regional presence in all provinces, as well as in the North, in order to deliver a coordinated federal response to emergencies; facilitate the effective delivery of emergency management, Indigenous policing and crime prevention programs; and improve partnerships with other levels of government and key regional stakeholders.

The commitments outlined in the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness' mandate letter are as follows:

For more information on the department's organizational mandate letter commitments see the Minister's mandate letter.


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    “We exercise national leadership to ensure the safety and security of Canada and Canadians. We contribute to Canada's resiliency through the development and implementation of innovative policies and programs and the effective engagement of domestic and international partners.”

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