Executive transparency

Principle 3

Departments and agencies will explain how their national security activities are authorized in law and how they interpret and implement their authorities in line with Canadian values, including those expressed by the Charter.

In Canada, the Government must be given the authority, usually through legislation, to undertake its activities. The Government will make the link between authorities and actions clear by explaining how legislation and other authorities are applied and interpreted.

All legislation is subject to Canada’s constitutional documents, such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Government will make clear how legislative authorities are in line with the rights and freedoms established by the Charter, as well as other Canadian values, such as multiculturalism and reconciliation.

Principle 4

Departments and agencies will explain what guides their national security-related decision making in line with Canadian values, including those expressed by the Charter.

While the law identifies what the Government may to do to protect national security, it provides the Government with room to choose when to use its authorities. The Government will be transparent with Canadians in how it determines when to use its authorities, and how it does so in a way that is consistent with Canadian values.

The Government is also fulfilling its commitment to transparency through action in two other areas:

  • Information transparency, to show what departments and agencies are doing to protect national security.
  • Policy transparency, to engage Canadians in a dialogue about the strategic issues impacting national security
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