The National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG)
On this page
- Advice to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada
- Meetings and Accountability
- Meeting Summaries
- Current NS-TAG Members
On July 2, 2019, the Minister of Public Safety Canada announced the creation of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG), a key step in implementing the National Security Transparency Commitment (the Commitment). This advisory group on national security transparency will advise the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and other Government officials on the implementation of the Commitment across the Government of Canada's national security and intelligence departments and agencies.
To advise the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada ("Public Safety Canada") and the Government of Canada's federal departments and agencies with national security responsibilities on how to implement the Commitment.
The NS-TAG will accomplish this by advising on how to:
- Infuse transparency into Canada's national security policies, programs, best practices, and activities in a way that will increase democratic accountability;
- Increase public awareness, engagement, and access to national security and related intelligence information;
- Promote transparency while ensuring the safety and security of Canadians.
Details on the Group's mandate and scope, meetings and membership are included in the NS-TAG's Terms of Reference.
Advice to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada
The NS-TAG members independently identify which national security topics are of interest and importance to Canadians, and focus their meetings and advice accordingly. The Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada may also provide guidance and submit specific questions to the Group. To develop their advice, the NS-TAG refers to their own expertise, as well as perspectives gathered through NS-TAG meetings and engagement activities with government and non-government subject matter experts.
The advice and/or recommendations that the NS-TAG gives to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, and by extension to the national security community, is provided through written material or in-person deliberations. The format of advice may adapt to the subject matter at hand at the discretion of the NS-TAG.
The NS-TAG’s advice will be made publicly available here:
- Initial Report: What We Heard in Our First Year (November 25, 2020)
- The Definition, Measurement, and Institutionalization of Transparency in National Security (November 12, 2021)
- How National Security and Intelligence Institutions Engage with Racialized Communities (May 31, 2022)
Meetings and Accountability
The NS-TAG will meet up to four times per year in locations across Canada to discuss the implementation of the Commitment and provide their views to the Government.
The NS-TAG's advice will be included in meeting summaries, which will be posted below.
Following NS-TAG meetings, meeting summaries will be made publicly available here.
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) August 22-23, 2019
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) December 1-2, 2019
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) February 2-3, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) June 10, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) July 10, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) July 22, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) October 7, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) November 4, 2020
- Summary of the Special Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) December 14, 2020
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) January 20, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) February 17, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) March 17, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) April 21, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) May 12, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) June 9, 2021
- Summary Report of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) August 30, 2021
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – September 29, 2021
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) October 27, 2021
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – November 10, 2021
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – January 26, 2022
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – February 23, 2022
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – March 30, 2022
- Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) – August 31, 2022
Members are appointed by Public Safety Canada's Deputy Minister for a two-year term with the possibility of renewal.
One of the NS-TAG seats is to be held by a senior Government official from Public Safety Canada, who will sit on the group in an ex-officio capacity. This person will serve as the bridge between the Commitment's internal and external transparency efforts, and will be involved in coordinating the NS-TAG's efforts internally within government. The ex-officio government member will not speak publicly on the NS-TAG's behalf.
Members accept their appointment on a voluntary basis, and are not paid or remunerated for services rendered. NS-TAG members are entitled to reimbursement for reasonable travel, hospitality, and accommodations expenses in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat's Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures.
Current NS-TAG Members
The current members of the NS-TAG can be found below, in alphabetical order.
- John Ariyo
- Chantal Bernier
- Amira Elghawaby
- Mary Francoli (serving as non-government Co-Chair)
- Daniel Jean
- Stéphane Leman-Langlois
- Rizwan Mohammad
- Jeffrey Roy
- Lesley Soper (serving as government Co-Chair)
- Jillian Stirk
- Lorelei Williams
- John Ariyo
- John Ariyo is the Executive Director, Equity and Engagement for the Province of Nova Scotia, at the Department of Health and Wellness. He also worked for the City of Mississauga and City of Hamilton, and as a Returning Officer for Elections Ontario. John has extensive leadership experience leading initiatives that build public trust, democratic involvement, and community engagement with various racialized and underrepresented populations in Ontario and Nova Scotia. He played leadership roles on many community organizations serving newcomers and marginalized residents, such as at the Hamilton Immigrants Working Centre (Chair of the Board of Directors) and the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (Director and Treasurer). John is a member of the Halifax Regional Municipality's Electoral Boundary Resident Review Panel.
- Chantal Bernier
- Chantal Bernier is currently Counsel in the Privacy and Security practice at Dentons Canada. She was (interim) Privacy Commissioner of Canada, after spending five years as Assistant Commissioner. Chantal began her career in the Canadian federal government as a lawyer in the Department of Justice. She went on to hold a directorship at the Privy Council Office before being appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Socio-economic Policy and Programs Sector, at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Safety and Partnerships Branch, at Public Safety Canada.
- Amira Elghawaby
- Amira is a journalist, human rights advocate and a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star. She is Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. Previously, Amira served two terms as a Commissioner on the Public Policy Forum’s Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression and also promoted the civil liberties of Canadian Muslims at the National Council for Canadian Muslims. In addition, she was a founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and past board member at the Silk Road Institute. Her 2019 TEDXOttawa talk is titled “Multiculturalism: Worth Defending”.
- Mary Francoli
- Mary Francoli is Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies. She is also an Associate Dean and Director of the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from Western University. Prior to joining the School of Journalism and Communication, she was the Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in New Media and Internet Politics at Royal Holloway, The University of London. As a leading researcher in the field of open government and open data, her research explores the relationship between digital media and issues related to politics and governance. Amongst other topics, much of her research takes a particular focus on the ways that digital media has impacted citizen engagement and mobilization, governance, and access to information and data. A frequent expert commentator on issues relating to open government and open data, she has authored two major reports for the Open Government Partnership and has provided her expert testimony to the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Government Operations.
- Daniel Jean
- Daniel Jean was National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister (2016-18). Previously, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2013-2016) and Canadian Heritage (2010-2013) and an Associate Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board and the Privy Council Office after several years in international and migration-related positions that included two postings in Haiti, two separate assignments in the United States (Buffalo and Washington) and one in Hong Kong. He received a Public Service Award of Excellence and a Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers award for his efforts. Daniel graduated with an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1988. He completed his undergraduate studies in 1982 at the University of Ottawa with a BA in Social Sciences (International Relations and Economics). He is a senior fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Ottawa, a distinguished fellow with the Canadian School of Public Service, an associate member with the Observatory of multidimensional conflicts at the Raoul Dandurand Chair of UQAM and a member of the Strategic Council of the Network for Strategic Analysis. He is an active volunteer with Centraide Outaouais and a mentor with the Action Canada Fellowship Program.
- Stéphane Leman-Langlois
- Stéphane Leman-Langlois is Professor of Criminology at Laval University, Québec. He is a member of the International Centre for Comparative Criminology and of the Centre for International Security at the Laval University Graduate School of International Studies. His research topics include societal reactions to crime, use of technology for offending and for policing, theories of policing, radicalization, terrorism and political crimes. His recent publications include Police et policing au Québec (Thompson Reuters, 2020), La sociocriminologie (Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2022) and The Canadian Far-Right Nebula (upcoming, 2023).
- Rizwan Mohammad
- Rizwan Mohammad is a Canadian Muslim researcher and civic engagement specialist. Serving a diverse array of community organizations across Canada for over a decade, he has managed national civic engagement projects that mobilized youth and community leaders to engage in active citizenship and find creative ways to strengthen civil society. A graduate of the University of Toronto specializing in Islamic Studies, Rizwan has taught Islam to students of all ages and trained Muslim Students Associations from coast to coast. As an Advocacy Officer with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, Rizwan champions changes in public policy that oppose Islamophobia and promote justice for all Canadians.
- Jeffrey Roy
- Jeffrey Roy is Professor in the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Management. He is a widely published observer, critic and teacher in the realm of digital technologies and their widening impacts on government, democracy, industry and society. Dr. Roy has worked with the OECD, the United Nations, multinational corporations, and all levels of government in Canada. He has produced more than eighty peer-reviewed articles and chapters and his most recent book was published in 2013 by Springer: From Machinery to Mobility: Government and Democracy in a Participative Age. Professor Roy is a member of the Editorial Board of Canadian Public Administration, the scholarly journal of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and he is also a featured columnist in Canadian Government Executive, a leading national publication devoted to public sector governance and public policy challenges. Among other bodies, his research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
- Lesley Soper
- Lesley Soper is the Director-General of the National Security Policy directorate in Public Safety responsible for community-wide policy development on a wide range of national security issues, including transparency and review, research security, lawful access and tools to counter violent extremism. She joined Public Safety in 2018 after coordinating the office of the Independent Review of the Immigration and Refugee Board. She has spent her career working in the area of security and intelligence policy and border law enforcement and migration, at the Canada Border Services Agency (2012-2017); Privy Council Office (2010-2012) and at Immigration Refugees and Citizenship (1997-2010).
- Jillian Stirk
- Jillian Stirk is a former ambassador and Assistant Deputy Minister at Global Affairs Canada where she was responsible for strategic policy, global issues and European affairs. She has had postings to Poland, at the UN and NATO, and to Norway, where she served as ambassador. Over the course of her career she has worked on a wide range of issues including security, peace support operations, human rights and democracy. In 2020, she led the OSCE/ODIHR Election Assessment and Observation Missions to Slovakia and Georgia. She is a member of the board at Equitas, an associate with the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue and co-led a project on diversity and inclusion for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Jillian is a frequent speaker and commentator on foreign policy and diversity issues in Canada and abroad.
- Lorelei Williams
- Lorelei Williams is an Interior Salish/Coast Salish woman from Skatin Nations/Sts’Ailes, Vancouver, BC. She is the founder of founded Butterflies in Spirit, a dance group dedicated to raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Until recently, she served as Women’s Coordinator at the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, a non-profit organization that addresses Indigenous social justice issues and works to build a stronger relationship between the Vancouver Police Department and Indigenous communities. Lorelei also devotes her time and effort volunteering for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Collation in Vancouver. It is due to her work as a front line missing and murdered Indigenous women’s advocate that Lorelei was presented with the 2017 Everyday Political Citizen Award by the Samara Centre for Democracy.
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