Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit
Summary of National Security Panels



Public Safety’s Panels

Public Safety organized the development and delivery of five national security-related panels at the Summit.  Academics, civil society advocates, and government leaders from Canada, the US, the UK, France and New Zealand came together to discuss issues ranging from the role of oversight bodies to inclusion and diversity in national security. Approximately 500 participants attended the national security panels alone, and Public Safety produced the second-highest number of panels of any Government of Canada department.

Participating in the Summit provided a valuable platform to showcase the importance of transparency in national security, and preceded the announcement of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group, which provides guidance on the implementation of the National Security Transparency Commitment. The Summit also provided a forum for discussion and interaction between attendees and high-level officials, politicians and experts. A number of panelists expressed a desire to continue collaborating in future.

Below are some key takeaways from the five panels spearheaded by Public Safety:

Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) & Diversity in National Security: Can We Ever Be “Bias-Free”?


Catherine Clark (moderator) – Host, Before the Bell
Monik Beauregard – Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, National and Cyber Security Branch, Public Safety Canada  
Caroline Xavier – Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Security and Intelligence, Privy Council Office
Tricia Geddes – Assistant Director, Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Rachel Schmidt – TSAS Research Fellow

Highlights of the panel:

National Security & Democratic Values



Tim Sebastian (moderator) – Host, Conflict Zone and The New Arab Debates; former BBC correspondent (UK)
Tufyal Choudhury – Senior Research Fellow, Rights Watch (UK)
Alex Joel – Chief, Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC – Former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation (UK)
Mary Beth Goodman – Former Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Development and Democracy, National Security Council, The White House (US)

Highlights of the panel:

National Security Transparency: Expert Perspectives


 Aaron Shull (moderator) – Managing Director & General Counsel, Centre for International Governance Innovation
Christopher Parsons – Senior Research Associate, Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Wesley Wark – Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Veronica Kitchen – Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Waterloo
Leah West – Lecturer (Incoming), Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

Highlights of the panel:

Oversight and Review Bodies in the Canadian National Security Landscape


Tim Sebastian (moderator) – Host of Conflict Zone and The New Arab Debates; former BBC correspondent
David McGuinty – MP; Chair of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP)
Pierre Blais – Chair of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee
Daniel Therrien – The Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Mary Francoli – Associate Dean and Director, Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs

Highlights of the panel:

Collective Actions to Eradicate Online Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content


Kara Brisson-Boivin (moderator) – Director of Research, Media Smarts
Henri Verdier – Ambassador for Digital Affairs (France)
Daniel Mellsop – High Commissioner to Canada (New Zealand)
Brett Kubicek – Acting Senior Director, Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence
Micah Clark – Program Director, Moonshot CVE
Merlyna Lim – Canada Research Chair in Digital Media & Global Network Society, Carleton University

Highlights of the panel:

Key Take-Aways

Moving Forward/Next Steps

The Summit provided many lessons learned for future transparency-related initiatives. It also gave Public Safety an opportunity to hear the perspectives of government and non-government experts on transparency work to date and potential avenues for future activities.

Feedback to be integrated into transparency initiatives moving forward includes:

Enhancing Dialogue with International Partners

The National Security & Democratic Values panel featured panelists from the US and the UK and highlighted case studies and best practices in national security transparency from both respective countries. As the Government of Canada moves forward with our own transparency initiatives, we will be building on the relationships established with Summit participants and increasing dialogue with international partners.

Engaging with Civil Society

Whether hearing from Rights Watch UK on the National Security & Democratic Values panel, or academics discussing their relationship with national security practitioners on the National Security Transparency: Expert Perspectives panel, panelists impressed the importance of more robust consultation with civil society proactively and continuously moving forward.

More Information

Open Government

News Coverage and Press Releases

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