Multimedia gallery - 2021

Minister Blair underscores Pride Month 2021
June 22, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello everyone, I’m Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

I’m speaking to you this morning from my home which is located on the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the New Credit.

As you’re all aware, June is Pride Month in Canada.

It’s a time when we celebrate the 2SLGBTQQIIA+ community in this country. It’s also an opportunity to acknowledge the history, the hardships and the challenges that the community has endured, along with celebrating the progress that has been made.

In early June, we kick off the Pride season of festivals and celebrations across Canada.

And while events will look different of course this year due to the pandemic, it will not deter us from celebrating and showing our individual and collective Pride.

This year, we mark the 50th anniversary of the first rights protests of these communities in Canada, which took place in Vancouver and Ottawa in 1971 – a true turning point for the movement in this country.

It’s a reminder that the fight for equality is not yet over.

And for too long, these communities have encountered targeted injustice and intolerance.

Two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex people continue to face inequality and even violence just for being who they are.

We also see that in the disproportionate rates of hate crimes – and in the rise of incidents of hate speech online, bullying and cyberbullying.

As long as discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression exists, we must speak up and we must speak out.

Because when we remove barriers to success, we make our communities safe and welcoming places to live, for every Canadian. And we all benefit.

My department, Public Safety Canada, is committed to improving the lives of Two-spirited, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and intersex Canadians. We will do this through dedicated work to strengthen our security for the community through program funding initiatives, partnerships to prevent gender-based violence, and through the important work to create the 2SLGBTQQIIA+ Action Plan.

I’m very proud to celebrate and support these communities across the public safety portfolio.

And I hope you will join me in celebrating the history, courage and remarkable diversity of these communities in Canada, as we kick off Pride Month and Pride Season.

Thank you very much. Happy Pride everyone.

Minister Blair commemorates National Indigenous History Month 2021
June 22, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello everyone, I’m Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

And I want to acknowledge that I’m speaking to you today from my homewhich is located on the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the Credit.

June is National Indigenous History Month in this country.

It’s an opportunity for all of us to recognize and to learn more about the history, heritage, diversity and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

This year, National Indigenous History Month is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of residential schools.

Like everyone, I was profoundly saddened by the heartbreaking and horrific news that the remains of 215 children were found on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

This discovery is a painful reminder of the awful reality, the tragic legacy and the shame of the residential school system.

As the Prime Minister has said, “we cannot hide from this… and we have to own up to it.”

National Indigenous History Month also coincides this year with the launch of both the National Action Plan and the Federal Pathway to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

This ongoing national tragedy is a stain on our country’s history.

And it must never be forgotten.

And, as we walk the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the Government of Canada is working to ensure that such tragedies never happen again.

Policing reform is a key part of this commitment.

My department and I are currently working hard to co-develop a legislative framework that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service.

The goal is to ensure that communities across Canada have policing services that are culturally competent, and that are equitable, in both resources and quality, as those in every other part of Canada.

The Government also continues to take action to improve the safety of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people right across the country.

And we remain committed to addressing the inequalities and systemic racism against Indigenous Peoples that still exist within our criminal justice system and our public safety institutions.

We must – and will – do better for Indigenous communities across Canada.

That includes better educating ourselves about the historical treatment of Indigenous Peoples that continues even today, while also gaining a greater understanding of the rich and diverse cultures, voices and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

It’s truly what National Indigenous History Month is all about.

And I encourage you all to join me in marking this important month by honouring and discovering the cultures and experiences of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you all very much.

Pardon legislation introduced to address criminal justice system inequities and keep communities safe
June 10, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello, I’m Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Today I was proud to stand in the House of Commons and introduce our government’s Pardon Reform Bill.

When passed, this Bill will allow people with criminal records to request pardons far sooner – instead of waiting five years, people with summary conviction offences will be able to apply for pardons at three years. And those with indictable offence convitions will now have to wait just five years before applying.

We are also proposing to significantly reduce the application fee for a pardon so that all Canadians with criminal records will have equal and fair access.

Allowing people to get pardons quicker helps them reintegrate into society, and it improves public safety through reduced re-offending and victimization.

However, for those with convictions for the most serious offences – sexual offences against children, terrorism sentences over 10 years, or for life or indeterminate sentences – they will contiunue to be ineligible to apply for criminal records pardon.

Approximately 10% of all Canadians have a criminal record, and those criminal records serve as a significant barrier to opportunities from employment, education, and housing.

The legislation recognizes the need to reduce the stigma of a criminal record so that individuals who have served their sentences and are living now, as law-abiding citizens can successfully reintegrate into the community. These measures will  make Canada a fairer and safer society for everyone.

Thank you.

Minister Blair reflects on World Red Cross Day 2021
May 8, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello everyone, I’m Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Today is World Red Cross Day – it’s a day when we recognize the work that the Red Cross does to help people in Canada and around the world each and every day.

This past year has been a particularly remarkable year for the Red Cross.

In countries around the world, they have stepped up to play a pivotal role in helping governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here in Canada, they have been on the front lines.

The Canadian Red Cross has helped our seniors in long-term care homes, they’ve made sure temporary foreign workers could work safely, they have staffed our support isolation centres, supported Indigenous communities,
provided mental health help, and they staffed and tested vaccination sites. They have been there for Canadians and they have saved lives.

Every time that we called upon the Canadian Red Cross, they have responded by quickly and courageously answering the call to service.

We know that this has been a difficult year for many, many Canadians have lost family and friends, but in every case, the members of the Canadian Red Cross have never wavered in their dedication.

Their work has truly been an inspiration, and on behalf of the government and all Canadians, I want to thank the Canadian Red Cross for their tireless and courageous work.

We will never forget the role that you have played in fighting the pandemic.

And on behalf of all Canadians, thank you.

Minister Blair reflects on the Asian Heritage Month 2021
May 3, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello everyone, I’m Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

I’m very pleased to be able to deliver my remarks from my home, which is located on the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the New Credit.

In Canada, we celebrate May as Asian Heritage Month.

And this year, the theme of Asian Heritage Month is “Recognition, Resilience, and Resolve.”

Throughout the month of May, virtual activities right across Canada will honour the important contributions that people of Asian descent in Canada have made to our country’s heritage and identity for centuries.

And this month is a time to reflect and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian origin continue to make to our country, our growth and our prosperity.

It’s also a chance to for all Canadians to learn more about the history of Asian Canadians and the contributions they have made.

Over the last two centuries, immigrants have journeyed to Canada from all areas of Asia.

They’ve brought to our society a rich cultural heritage, representing many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions.

Ever since, the people of this diverse, vibrant and growing community have contributed to every aspect of life in Canada – from the arts and sciences, to sport, business and to government.

And that diversity truly represents one of Canada’s greatest strengths.

We will always strive to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to reach their full potential and to participate to in Canada’s civic life.

And as a society, we must continue to work every day to make sure that Canada remains the inclusive, pluralistic society that we’ve all come to value.

Recent events have highlighted that there remains a lot of anger, anxiety and polarization in our society, which the pressures of the pandemic have only exacerbated.

The rise in racial intolerance directed at Asian Canadians is completely unacceptable and frankly un-Canadian.

It strips the community of their safety and their dignity.

And we must never let hate divide us.

We need to continue to defend the values of diversity and compassion that make our country strong.

And this month, I hope you will join me in celebrating the remarkable contributions that Asian Canadians have made to our country.

And I hope that you’ll continue to spread the word, to help us understand and learn from each other, and to embrace Asian cultural diversity and prosperity in Canada.

Thank you all very much.

Buying Cannabis Online
April 12, 2021


Transcript/Captions

An increasing number of Canadians are shopping online, including cannabis products. But are they being purchased from a legal cannabis source?

Following legalization, obtaining cannabis from an illegal source had declined, but there are still illegal shops lurking online.

Legal cannabis products are only sold through online retailers who are authorized by your province or territorial government. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Look for an excise stamp on the package. The stamp guarantees the product was produced by a federally authorized licensed producer. This ensures the highest health and safety standards, has accurate THC levels and is free from other harmful substances.

However, each province and territory has a different coloured stamp.

Cannabis products containing more than 0.3% THC will also feature the standardized cannabis logo,  have information on risks associated with use, and mandatory health warning messages, such as, “do not drive or operate heavy equipment after using cannabis”.

Beware of websites that are asking for e-transfer or cryptocurrency payments, and have a look at their email address. If it is generic and not business-like, that is a red flag. Also, if the website states that they ship anywhere in Canada, that is an illegal vendor and your shipment may be seized.

So, before you make a purchase, do your research. This ensures you only buy legal cannabis products, keeping you and your financial information safe and the profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.

For more information, visit Canada.ca/cannabis.

Minister Blair reflects on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2021
March 21, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello, I’m Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Today marks International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Organized in 1979 by the United Nations, it aims to foster a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination.

And it calls upon all of us to stand up against racial prejudice and intolerance.

Discrimination on the basis of race or bias cannot be tolerated in Canada.

It’s contrary to our rights, and to the values that we all hold dear as Canadians.

Yet, tragically, the roots of that racism run deep in our country.

And that has led to far too many simplistic, hateful and fear-filled policies, wide-ranging impacts, including on Black and Indigenous communities.

Over the years, we have taken many steps forward.

I’m encouraged by the work being undertaken through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, Building a Foundation for Change.

And within my portfolio, I remain committed to ensuring that all officials in Canada’s law enforcement and security agencies have access to unconscious bias, anti-racism and cultural competency training.

But we have a long way to go.

The Government is determined to uphold the principled values of inclusion, compassion, fairness and justice, and to truly tackle the systemic racism that pervades within our country.

And in marking this important day, I want to thank all Canadians for sharing the commitment to making a better, fairer and more just Canada.

Every day, it depends on each of us to build the nation that we want, together.

Thank you.

Minister Blair reflects on National Impaired Driving Prevention Week 2021
March 21, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello, I’m Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

This week is National Impaired Driving Prevention Week.

The dangers of impaired driving are well known, as are the tragic and entirely preventable consequences.

It remains a leading cause of criminal death and injury in Canada.

And for survivors and loved ones affected by a vehicle crash, the pain and suffering can last a lifetime.

And yet, year after year, even during this pandemic, too many people continue to make the wrong choice to drive when they’re in no condition to do so.

Whether impaired by alcohol or drug, impaired driving is never ok.

And that’s why awareness weeks like this one can be so important.

And it’s also why the Government of Canada has given police more tools, training and resources to increase detection efforts so that they can catch more drug-impaired drivers in particular.

The most recent figures suggest that this additional support is helping to do just that.

Police-reported drug-impaired driving incidents increased by 43 percent in 2019 compared to the year before.

And we will continue to support enforcement action against impaired drivers.

But the most important thing is to stop people from driving impaired in the first place.

And in that important matter we all have a role to play.

I want to encourage parents to talk to their kids about this, as young drivers are the highest-risk group.

I want to take this opportunity to implore everyone watching: if you’ve been drinking or consuming any drug, if you’re too tired or distracted to focus, make the right choice and do not get behind the wheel of a car.

Take a taxi, use rapid transit or use your favourite ride-hailing app.

You must plan ahead and find other, safer ways to get to your destination.

There have never been more options available to us, so there really is no excuse.

Think of your future, the safety of your passengers and others using the road, and think of the potential impact on those closest to you of the decisions that you make.

For their sake, and for yours, make the right choice and do not drive while impaired.

Thank you very much.

Minister Blair reflects on International Women's Day
March 8, 2021


Transcript/Captions

Hello, I’m Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy International Women’s Day.

And I’d also like to take the opportunity to recognize the contributions of all the women who work so hard, day in and day out, to keep Canadians safe.

I’m proud that four of the organizations in my portfolio are led by women.

And I’m also thankful for the outstanding efforts of the thousands of women in all corners of our portfolio.

Through their skills and dedication, these women play a crucial role in Canada’s response to the pandemic, and in protecting our borders, our communities, our correctional institutions and our national security.

I’m also grateful for the hard work of talented women across the government, and for our commitment to gender parity among my cabinet colleagues.

Despite the advances that women have made in the workplace, and elsewhere, I know that full gender equality remains an elusive goal, here in Canada and around the world.

And that’s why I’m committed to upholding the principles of gender equality in everything that I do.

And it’s why, as a portfolio, we will continue to take action against gender-based violence and discrimination.

To everyone involved in all these efforts, I thank you once again.

And to the women and girls everywhere, happy International Women’s Day.

Teaser: The Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative
January 6, 2021


Transcript/Captions

The Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative supports Indigenous communities to identify

risks to community safety and develop their own Community Safety Plan, or what we

refer to as a CSP, to address those risks.

What makes this process different and effective, is that it is led by the community

with guidance and support from Public Safety Canada officials.

Aboriginal community safety planning is grounded in the understanding

that healing is an integral part of the journey.

The community-driven approach of CSPs ensures that the resulting safety plan addresses the

priorities identified by the community that are specific to their particular circumstances.

During the development of CSPs, the community also identifies their own strengths, assets,

and safety and wellness goals,

so that community members can prepare for their role

in the journey toward a healthier and safer home and community life.

Community Safety Planning is not just writing a plan, rather, it is a long-term process

that starts by looking at where the community has been and reflecting on historical impacts.

It involves the community coming together to plan how to heal by sharing values and

taking responsibility to set and achieve goals that will make the community a healthier,

safer place to live and raise families.

This long-term work is planned, developed and implemented by community members,

which is why community leadership needs to understand and fully support the process.

Throughout the entire process, communities will have support from a Public Safety Canada

liaison and a workshop facilitator.

The facilitator is specially trained and paid for by Public Safety Canada, to lead the workshops

and, in the time between the workshops, the facilitator will also guide the core group

through the important tasks that the group will have to take care of on their own.

Once the CSP is developed, everyone should have a good understanding of the community's

priority challenges and the assets that can respond to these challenges.

With the completed CSP, the Core Group should feel better equipped to talk with partners

about solutions and Public Safety Canada can help, by bringing the plan to the attention

of other government departments.

Embarking on this journey may be an important step for communities as they plan for now

and for future generations.

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