Portfolio Pocket Book
The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Portfolio was established in 2003 with the goal of consolidating a range of responsibilities in the safety and security realm under one Minister. Your general powers, duties and functions are set out in the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act (PSEP Act).
The Portfolio is composed of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Department, PS); and five agencies: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC); and three review bodies: the RCMP External Review Committee (ERC), the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), and the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI).
The Portfolio is the biggest, non-military Portfolio in the Government of Canada. The Portfolio’s 2021-22 budget is more than $10 billion, and it employs more than 69,800 people working in every part of the country and internationally. Each organization contributes to public safety and to the mission of building a safe and resilient Canada through its unique mandate and responsibilities.
The Department’s principal role is to bring strategic focus, coordination and direction to the government’s overall safety and security agenda. It plays a key role in the development, coordination and implementation of policies and programs in the areas of national security, community safety, crime prevention, law enforcement and emergency management. The Department’s annual budget is approximately $915 million with 1,136 employees. The majority of the Department’s employees work in the National Capital Region, but regional offices are also located in five regions: Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut, Atlantic, Prairies and Northwest Territories, and Pacific (British Columbia and Yukon) regions.
The Department is made up of five Branches. The following lists each Branch and responsible Assistant Deputy Minister:
- Crime Prevention Branch; Talal Dakalbab, Assistant Deputy Minister
- Corporate Management Branch; Patrick Amyot, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Security Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister
- Emergency Management and Programs Branch; Trevor Bhupsingh, Assistant Deputy Minister
- National and Cyber Security Branch; Dominic Rochon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
- Portfolio Affairs and Communications Branch; Jill Wherrett, Assistant Deputy Minister
The Five Agencies
RCMP – Prevents and investigates crime, maintains peace and order, enforces laws, contributes to national security, ensures the safety of senior officials and foreign missions, and provides operational support services to other law enforcement agencies within Canada and abroad.
CBSA – Provides integrated border services in support of national security and public safety priorities by enforcing Canadian laws governing trade and travel, facilitating legitimate cross-border traffic, collecting duties and taxes and interdicting goods and people that pose a potential threat to Canada.
CSIS – Investigates and reports on activities that may pose a threat to the security of Canada. CSIS also provides security assessments, on request, to all federal departments and agencies.
CSC – Responsible for administering court-imposed sentences of two years or more for adult offenders and supervising offenders on various forms of conditional release in the community.
PBC – An independent administrative tribunal that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety and has exclusive authority to make independent, quality conditional release, record suspension and expungement decisions, as well as clemency recommendations in a transparent and accountable manner. The Board’s authority extends to federal offenders and offenders in provinces and territories that don’t have their own parole boards.
The Three Review Bodies
ERC – Provides civilian oversight of labour relations within the RCMP by conducting independent reviews of certain types of grievances as well as demotions and dismissals
CRCC – Receives complaints from the public about the conduct of RCMP members and conducts reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of their complaints. It also initiates complaints and investigations into RCMP conduct when it is in the public interest to do so, holds hearings, and reports findings and makes recommendations.
OCI – Conducts independent investigations about issues related to CSC that affect offenders either individually or as a group. The Office is also responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on CSC’s policies and procedures associated with the area of individual complaints to ensure that systemic areas of concern are identified and addressed.
- I am honoured that the Prime Minister has entrusted me with a mandate of such importance and significance.
- Canadian communities are fundamentally safe and peaceful places to live, work and play but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do.
- In the days ahead, I look forward to working with the Public Safety portfolio to move forward on keeping people safe while safeguarding Canadians’ rights and freedoms.
- We remain committed to:
- Support a more respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace in the RCMP;
- Develop an Action Plan to address the troubling rise in hate crimes;
- Take action to improve access to pardons and address systemic inequities in the criminal justice system that have a disproportionate impact on Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, and other overrepresented or marginalized groups; and,
- Toughen our laws on banned assault weapons and increase maximum penalties for firearms trafficking and smuggling.
Hot Issue Messages:
- Border measures play an important role in preventing the spread of serious infectious diseases.
- Canada has some of the strongest border measures in the world to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants into Canada.
- All travellers seeking entry to Canada are subject to strict screening measures and tests to ensure travellers understand their public health obligations and to verify travellers’ quarantine plan (if required).
- The rate of infection detected in cross-border travellers is extremely low.
- The federal government is ready to respond when provinces and territories ask for our help with emergency management.
- Since January of last year, the Government Operations Centre has supported more than 125 requests for assistance from federal, provincial and territorial orders of government, including RFAs from each province and territory. This includes assisting Ontario with its third wave this past spring, and more recently processing a request to provide support to Alberta during its fourth wave.
Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism (IMVE)
- The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about the rise of ideologically-motivated violent extremism, which is a growing threat in Canada and around the world.
- The Government will continue to bring the full range of resources we have to bear in dealing with violent extremism in all its forms.
- Foreign interference is one of the most important strategic threats to Canada’s national security and it will not be tolerated.
- Countering this threat, protecting the safety of Canadians and safeguarding our interests and values are important priorities for the Government.
- Our security and intelligence agencies are actively working to monitor and combat the threats from foreign interference.
- We will continue to work closely with our partners domestically and internationally, to address foreign interference and protect our national interest, at home and abroad.
- The Government of Canada has been carefully assessing the security challenges and potential threats involved in future 5G technology, while recognizing the potential this technology holds for Canadians.
- As the Prime Minister has indicated, a decision on telecommunications and 5G will be made in the coming weeks.
- The Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians and intends to take further action to combat firearms violence.
- We have introduced practical and targeted measures that will help reduce illegal firearms activities, intimate partner and gender-based violence, and self-harm, support municipalities in tackling handgun violence, and make our communities safer for everyone.
- These measures are part of a broader firearms strategy to increase public safety which includes significant funding to provinces and territories to combat gun and gang violence, and investments in border security to tackle firearms smuggling.
Indigenous Community Safety
- Indigenous communities, like all communities in Canada, should be places where people and families feel safe and secure.
- A well-funded, culturally sensitive, and respectful police service is essential for community safety and well-being.
- We are committed to support culturally responsive policing and community safety services in Indigenous communities and will advance our efforts to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service.
Rob Stewart, Deputy Minister, Public Safety Canada
Brenda Lucki, Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
John Ossowski, President, Canada Border Services Agency
David Vigneault, Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Anne Kelly, Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada
Jennifer Oades, Chairperson, Parole Board of Canada
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