Summary Report - Orientation to the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security

June 3, 2023

The Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security (CCRS) met virtually on Saturday June 3rd, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. Since it last met in June 2019, the Roundtable went through a significant membership renewal. As this was the first meeting for 11 of the 14 members, the meeting focused on orientation matters.

The CCRS Chair convened the meeting, reflecting on his experience participating on the CCRS over a period of several years and provided an overview of the day’s agenda.  The Chair also reiterated the importance of convening in person to ensure that members were able to learn about each other’s communities via the “site visit” component of each meeting.

The morning began with welcoming remarks from the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, who thanked members for agreeing to serve on the Roundtable. The Minister mentioned the challenges the Government faces, namely around trust, and underlined the importance of engaging with communities. He spoke about how the Roundtable is uniquely situated to mitigate the aforementioned challenges through dialogue on key issues. He highlighted important and timely topics that would benefit from the CCRS’s insight including: Foreign Interference, Ideologically Motivated Extremism (and disinformation), alerting communities to emergencies and Reconciliation through the reform of our law enforcement institutions.

The Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Tricia Geddes was next to provide remarks. She was followed by Ms. Samantha Maislin Dickson, Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Defence and Immigration Portfolio at the Department of Justice, who attended on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. They both emphasized the importance of engagement and understanding the needs of the communities the government serves.

Each CCRS member had the opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their work background, passions and motivations, and role in their community. This allowed members to begin getting to know one another and develop relationships. It also gave government officials the opportunity to learn about this new group of members.

The CCRS members learned about their role and responsibilities as members and heard from various government departments including: Public Safety Canada, the Department of Justice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada Border Services Agency and Correctional Service Canada. Each department provided an overview of its mandate and the work.

Members expressed excitement to share what they learned with their communities and appreciation to be part of the CCRS. Members indicated that they were looking forward to further developing their relationships at the next meeting. 

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