Policy transparency

Principle 5

The Government will inform Canadians of the strategic issues impacting national security and its current efforts and future plans for addressing those issues.

The global security environment is constantly evolving, and Canada’s own situation is developing along with it. The Government will be transparent with Canadians about the issues the nation faces in protecting its security. It will not always be possible to speak to specifics, such as technologies or capabilities, but the Government will work to provide information at the strategic level—the type of information that could play a role in determining changes to resources, legislation, or public policy. In doing so, this principle will put into context the information provided through initiatives under other principles.

Principle 6

To the extent possible, the Government will consult stakeholders and Canadians during the development of substantive policy proposals and build transparency into the design of national security programs and activities.

This principle will see Canadians put the information provided through other principles to use. Before moving forward with substantive policy proposals, such as changes to what national security institutions are able to do, the Government will seek Canadians’ input. Exceptions will be made for emergency situations, such as to respond to a crisis, or where the changes are more technical, such as to implement the recommendations of the courts.

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.
  • Executive transparency, to explain the legal structure for protecting national security, and how choices are made within that structure
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