2012-2013 Part III - Departmental Performance Report (DPR) - Privy Council Office
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Additional Details on PCO's Performance and Achievements in 2012–13
Sub-Program 1.1.2: International Affairs and National Security
In 2012–13, PCO identified a number of opportunities for the Prime Minister to engage with leaders of key existing and emerging markets. As part of an ambitious engagement schedule, the Prime Minister conducted 15 visits abroad and welcomed 10 world leaders to Canada. PCO supported the Prime Minister in all these engagements through expert advice and timely briefing materials. This allowed Canada to promote its values on the world stage, expand opportunities for trade, and open new markets for Canadian businesses.
In order to facilitate travel and trade and to enhance economic competitiveness and security in close cooperation with the United States, PCO established the governance mechanisms necessary to coordinate and oversee the Government’s implementation of the Canada-U.S. Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan (Beyond the Border Action Plan1). This Canada-U.S. Action Plan, announced in December 2011, includes a wide range of trade facilitation and security initiatives requiring new legislation and regulation, new programs, and in many cases, significant infrastructure. The first Beyond the Border Implementation Report,2 which was released on December 14, 2012, identifies progress made to date under the Action Plan.
Following the announcement by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama regarding the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council3 (RCC) in 2011, a Canadian RCC Secretariat was established within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). In August 2012, the unit was transferred from TBS to PCO in order to capitalize on economies of scale and co-management with the related Beyond the Border4 initiative. The Canadian RCC Secretariat oversaw the creation and release of work plans for each of the 29 initiatives in the RCC Joint Action Plan. A Progress Report to Leaders,5 released in December 2012, highlighted some of the key accomplishments of the RCC up to that point.
PCO provided advice and support to the Prime Minister for his participation in the Summit of the Americas, APEC, NATO, G8 and G20 Summits, as well as the Summit of La Francophonie. These summits provided opportunities for Canada to: promote its economic, defence and security priorities; seek to advance negotiations with the European Union on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); as well as further engagement with the Pacific Alliance. In addition, the summits provided key opportunities to promote Canadian values and engage with key bilateral partners on areas of common concern and interest.
Throughout the year, PCO supported the Government in its goal to expand opportunities for trade and open new markets for Canadian businesses. As such, PCO helped to advance nuclear trade with China by providing advice and support to enact a Supplementary Protocol to the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. Nuclear cooperation was also advanced with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by completion of a Canada-UAE Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.
In 2012–13, PCO coordinated the renewal and approval of Canada’s Americas Strategy6 covering the next five years. The Strategy has already delivered results. Canada was the first non-Latin American country to be granted official observer status in the Pacific Alliance. Moreover, Chile and Peru supported Canada’s bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is expected to increase Pacific trade and investment for Canada.
Throughout the year, PCO helped to advance Canada’s foreign policy interests and international affairs agenda. PCO provided advice and briefing materials to support the Government’s efforts to advocate for human rights. To this end, in 2012–13, PCO supported the issuance of public statements calling for improvements of human rights in the Ukraine, North Korea and Sri Lanka. PCO provided policy support and advice on the human rights situation in many Latin American countries, focusing on countries with weak democratic governance. PCO also supported the creation of an Office of Religious Freedom at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and provided advice on United Nations sanctions and other measures against Iran in response to its nuclear program and its ongoing violations of human rights. PCO also supported Canada’s engagement with the French government concerning Mali and Canada’s policies with regard to the Middle East.
PCO provided advice and support for Canada’s involvement in matters of international development assistance. As an illustration, PCO provided policy support for the Prime Minister’s ongoing involvement in the Global Campaign for Maternal and Child Health. PCO also provided policy support and facilitated interdepartmental coordination for the review and development of new directions for international development and the eventual amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), announced as part of EAP 2013.
In 2012–13, PCO undertook a number of trend monitoring and analytical activities in order to provide timely information for Government decision making. Throughout the year, PCO produced numerous intelligence assessments for the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defence, regarding international developments that had the potential to require a Canadian policy response. This work was done in coordination with organizations within the Canadian and allied intelligence communities to increase information sharing and to enhance collaboration.
PCO continued to provide advice to support the delivery of the Government’s counter-terrorism agenda and the need to defend against threats to Canada’s national security. To this end, over the past year PCO provided regular briefings to the Prime Minister on emerging counter-terrorism issues. PCO supported the ongoing implementation of Canada’s Counter Terrorism Strategy7, including the introduction of legislation (Combating Terrorism Act, Nuclear Terrorism Act) to provide strong judicial tools to help fight terrorism. PCO also supported the overall coordination of the national security community to ensure situational awareness across the community on key issues and the development of coordinated advice and decision making.
PCO provided advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet in conducting the mandatory two‑year review of the list of terrorist entities under the Criminal Code and in reviewing and adding new organizations to the list of terrorist entities.
PCO provided advice on national security, as well as on foreign and defence policy, and helped the Government to deliver on its commitment to defend national sovereignty. PCO supported the Prime Minister’s participation in various international fora, coordinated interdepartmental submissions and provided advice on Canada’s policy positions.
PCO, through the work of the Special Advisor on Human Smuggling and Illegal Migration, continued to strengthen Canada’s ability to detect and prevent human smuggling and illegal migration. PCO led the implementation of a closely coordinated, whole-of-government strategy founded in international cooperation to disrupt smuggling ventures before they depart for Canada.
The Office of the Special Advisor on Human Smuggling and Illegal Migration enhanced operational partnerships and cooperation with a number of transit states, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and West African states, by engaging with them in consultations and senior level exchanges. In September 2012, Australia and New Zealand were invited to and participated in a seminar hosted by the Office of the Special Advisor with a view to enhancing Canadian operational efforts and linkages. The Office of the Special Advisor also led several delegations to partner states and to international fora to expand Canadian partnership in support of this goal.
PCO provided advice, analysis and support to the Prime Minister and portfolio ministers on emerging national and international security issues and crises. Also, PCO provided policy advice and interdepartmental coordination to increase the security of diplomatic assets and personnel abroad and provided regularly updated threat assessments to decision-makers.
PCO also provided support for changes to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act that are designed to enhance accountability and transparency by: strengthening the review and complaints body of the RCMP; establishing a statutory framework for handling criminal investigations of serious incidents involving RCMP members; and streamlining the RCMP human resource management regime.
PCO advised on emergency management issues, including the preparation for and responses to natural disasters.
PCO also supported the Government so that it was best positioned to respond to emerging issues and crises in the medium term. In 2012–13, PCO established a Senior Officials Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence issues to identify and discuss advice and options for emerging issues and crises. The work of this committee supported analyses for deputy minister level and Cabinet committee discussions, contributing successfully to the identification and policy coordination of issues during the year.
Please Note: The above examples of PCO’s performance and achievements during the 2012‑13 fiscal year are meant to be read in conjunction with the department’s 2012‑13 Departmental Performance Report.
- Beyond the Border Action Plan, www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/page/bbg-tpf/beyond-border-action-plan
- Beyond the Border Implementation Report, www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/page/bbg-tpf/2012-beyond-border-implementation-report
- On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and United States President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to better align the two countries’ regulatory approaches, where possible. Additional information can be found at the following website, www.actionplan.gc.ca/rcc.
- On February 4, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States issued Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. The Declaration established a new long-term partnership built upon a perimeter approach to security and economic competitiveness. Additional information can be found at the following website, www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/content/beyond-border.
- Regulatory Cooperation Council 2012 Progress Report to Leaders, www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/page/rcc-ccr/2012-progress-report-leaders
- Canada’s Americas Strategy, www.international.gc.ca/americas-ameriques/index.aspx?lang=eng
- Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rslnc-gnst-trrrsm/index-eng.aspx
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