Summary of the Meeting of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) - June 9, 2021

Held via Videoconference

Members Present:

Members Absent:

Meeting Theme:

Invited Guests and Speakers:

National Security Community Members Present (as observers):

Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Department of National Defence (DND), Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Public Safety Canada (PS), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).


Meeting Summary:

The twelfth virtual NS-TAG meeting took place on June 9, 2021, on the theme “Connecting with Diverse Communities: Enhancing How National Security Organizations Engage, Build Trust, and Evaluate Success – Part Two”.

The Deputy Minister of Public Safety began the first session by expressing his sorrow at the recent attack in London, Ontario, that claimed the lives of several members of a Muslim family and injured a young boy, as well as denouncing anti-Muslim hate in the strongest terms.

He then discussed the NS-TAG’s second report, scheduled to be published in early fall 2021. He shared his comments and initial thoughts on the report and its recommendations, and asked for the Group's views on the level of engagement of the various national security and intelligence departments and agencies on transparency. The Group said that the level of commitment to transparency varied from one national security institution to another and that there are many barriers to transparency, including the current national security culture. The Deputy Minister noted the upcoming departure of two members, Bill Baker and Myles Kirvan, and thanked them for their service to the NS-TAG.

To conclude the first session, the Secretariat provided a brief update on the publication process of the NS-TAG’s second report.

During the second session, the first guest speaker discussed racial profiling, systemic discrimination, and racism within the national security community, as well as ways in which they can gain public trust. The second guest speaker presented the report from the University of Toronto’s Institute for Islamic Studies and the National Council of Canadian Muslims titled Under Layered Suspicion.

Key Takeaways of the Discussion with Guests’

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