Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security – Delayed Answer
Response to questions raised by Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer on April 23 and June 11, 2013
This Government is fully committed to the Cross- Cultural Roundtable on Security (Roundtable), an advisory group to the Government, which engages leaders from a variety of communities across Canada in an ongoing dialogue on national security issues.
The Roundtable provides advice to the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice on the impact of national security policies and programs on communities. It meets formally two to four times a year, each meeting lasting two or more days with very robust agendas. Fifteen volunteer members are appointed to the Roundtable by the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice.
The Roundtable is a mechanism that allows policy- makers and members to discuss issues related to national security, potential policy and program responses, and implementation. Since its creation, the Roundtable has examined and provided feedback on: border, marine and airport security; biometrics; immigration policy; cultural and sensitivity training; the review of the Anti-Terrorism Act; security certificates; communicating with Canadians on national security; hate-crime; and, the financing of terrorism and organized crime. The Roundtable is also examining the issue of preventing and countering violent extremism, and specifically how Government can better assist communities in dealing with the issue of homegrown terrorism. A number of departments and agencies with national security mandates are regular participants to the meetings and bring issues to its table. Three meetings were held in 2012- 2013. The Department assumes all meeting costs. Members are reimbursed for their costs but are not remunerated.
Separate from Roundtable meetings, community outreach sessions are also organized across Canada to engage cross-cultural communities in dialogue with Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Canada Border Services Agency and Justice Canada. Roundtable members act as a bridge into communities, and with their assistance, more than 20 outreach events have taken place since 2009 in cities across Canada.
These outreach sessions help communities understand the role and mandates of Canadian departments and agencies involved in national security. They also work towards building trust and establishing long-term relationships, while also allowing these departments and agencies to hear directly from communities and community leaders. Six outreach events were held in 2012-2013.
Through valuable partnerships such as the Roundtable and through its outreach activities, the Government is continuing in its efforts to protect Canadians.