Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada (French: Sécurité publique Canada), formerly known as Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC), legally incorporated as the federal Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for protecting Canadians and helping to maintain a peaceful and safe society.

Legislation for the agency began in February 2001 and the department was created in December 2003 during a reorganization of the federal government, and it became legally established when the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act came into force on April 4, 2005. The agency Emergency Preparedness Canada was created under the auspices of the Defence department before the establishment of the department by the Emergency Preparedness Act of 1988.

The department was created to have a single entity with responsibility for ensuring public safety in Canada and is a direct result of lessons learned from the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. The department is in many ways similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, though it does not cover the protection of maritime sovereignty (this is covered by the Canadian Forces and Transport Canada).

Most of the department comprises organizations that were previously placed under the Department of Solicitor General of Canada, however the reorganization of several federal departments and ministries added the Canada Border Services Agency to the portfolio, after the two streams of the former Canada Customs and Revenue Agency were split in 2003. In addition, the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) from the Department of National Defence was also brought into the Department.

The first Public Safety minister was Anne McLellan, who also served as Deputy Prime Minister. On October 30, 2008, Peter Van Loan was appointed Minister of Public Safety by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In addition to the department there are five agencies and three review bodies within the Public Safety portfolio headed by the Minister of Public Safety.

  • Associated agencies
    • Canada Border Services Agency
    • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    • Canadian Security Intelligence Service
    • Correctional Service Canada
    • National Parole Board
  • Review bodies
    • Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP
    • Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee
    • Office of the Correctional Investigator

In addition, reporting to the Deputy Minister and Minister of Public Safety is the Inspector General of CSIS, one of two review bodies for the agency.

Senior officials of PS include:

  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Public Safety minister
  • Deputy Minister Public Safety.
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Emergency Management and National Security
    • Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Emergency Management and National Security
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Policing, Law Enforcement and Interoperability
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Safety and Partnerships
    • Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management
    • Inspector General of CSIS

The annual budget of the Department is $6 billion.

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