Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security Meeting Summary - Engaging with Canadians

June 7-9, 2013, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Participants: The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and the Deputy Minister of Justice, as well as senior officials from Public Safety Canada, the Department of Justice Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Toronto Police Service participated in the dialogue with the members.

Discussion: The meeting focused on public awareness strategies and campaigns; crisis communications and the evolving role of social media; engaging communities through cultural competence; consultation on Public Safety Canada's work on citizen engagement and on the federal government's intention to bring forward legislation to create a Victims Bill of Rights. Community representatives also presented on initiatives to promote civic engagement and build resilience.

Members highlighted the importance of engaging with Canadians, particularly on national security issues. Members encouraged the government to increase their meetings with communities where they are, be it in community centres, places of worship or settlement agencies. Social media tools and platforms were also deemed to be important ways through which to engage Canadians. Members reiterated that communities are key partners in keeping Canada safe and secure, and an important factor in building a strong and resilient Canada.

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