2014-2015 Part III - Departmental Performance Report (DPR)

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Additional Details on PCO's Performance and Achievements in 2014-15
Sub-Program 1.1.2: International affairs and national security

National Security and Intelligence

In 2014-15, PCO continued to support the delivery of the Government’s counter-terrorism agenda and the need to defend against threats to national security. This included regular briefings to the Prime Minister on emerging and ongoing efforts to counter terrorism and cyber threats, as well as on intelligence related issues.

PCO provided advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the mandatory two-year review of the list of terrorist entities under the Criminal Code and on reviewing and adding new entities to the list.

Timely analysis and advice on national security threats were provided following the October terror attacks in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa. PCO developed an after-action report with recommendations to senior management to improve PCO’s response capability. PCO continued to provide advice on policy proposals for bills C-44 Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act and C-51 Anti-terrorism Act 2015.

PCO continued to coordinate Canadian efforts to prevent migrant smuggling, including by strengthening partnerships with key partners and transit states. PCO also maintained awareness of the priority assigned to the issue by Canada and strengthened operational and strategic cooperation through the direct advocacy and engagement efforts of the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister with key partners and transit states.

In 2014-15, PCO developed opportunities for cooperation with international organizations and other partners by supporting Canadian participation in international forums, e.g., Bali Process Senior Officials meetings and workshops in Asia.

Canada’s Trade and International Agenda

PCO provided support and advice which advanced the Government’s international trade and prosperity agendas. In support of the negotiation and implementation of Canada’s international trade agenda, PCO successfully supported the Canada-European Union (EU) meetings in Ottawa and Toronto in September 2014, confirming the conclusion of negotiations on the Canada- European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership.

PCO provided support for the high-level engagement and implementation of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and a range of other international trade issues and negotiations.

In addition, PCO provided advice and support on Canada’s bilateral relations with its NAFTA partners, and on the management of high-profile bilateral issues in the Canada-U.S. relationship, such as Buy America policies, Softwood Lumber, the Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) dispute and the Keystone XL pipeline.

PCO secured bilateral agreement from counterparts at the White House for the Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Forward Plan, and hosted a two-day regulatory event in Washington, DC, which attracted 400 attendees. The Forward Plan resulted in the development of 24 major areas of work between regulatory agencies in Canada and the U.S. to align regulations and their implementation procedures.

PCO supported the implementation of Canada’s Strategy for Engagement in the Americas. PCO provided advice and support on the engagement with priority countries, including a formal request for enhanced partnership with the Pacific Alliance and recommendations to strengthen institutions such as the Organization of American States. In the same region, PCO provided advice and support in the review of Canada’s strategic engagement in Haiti.

The Prime Minister was provided with support in advancing the Government’s international agenda at numerous international summits and meetings, including through written and oral briefings to the Prime Minister in preparation for his official visits abroad, as well as in hosting incoming international leaders and personalities.

During the year, PCO supported successful bilateral visits to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, China and Poland. As well, PCO supported successful incoming visits to Canada from world leaders, including Peru’s President Humala, Australia’s Prime Minister Abbott, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko, European Council President Van Rompuy, European Commission President Barroso, Republic of Korea’s President Park, Germany’s President Gauck, Finland’s President Niinisto, France’s President Hollande, and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel.

The Prime Minister also welcomed Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

PCO provided the full range of support needed, from planning to executing the Prime Minister’s participation, on such key international summits and meetings as:

  • The G7 and G20 summits, where Canada advanced its foreign policy and economic objectives;
  • The 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, United Kingdom;
  • The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where the Prime Minister delivered Canada’s statement focussing on Canada’s global leadership to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children within a generation;
  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and the bilateral visit to China in November 2014;
    • The 15th Summit of La Francophonie where the Prime Minister played a leadership role, and Michaëlle Jean was successfully confirmed as the new Secretary General of the organization; and
    • Canada’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-15).

PCO supported the Prime Minister in hosting the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). It brought together global leaders, including the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Secretary- General of the United Nations, to reconfirm MNCH as a top international priority. Advice and support were also provided by PCO for the creation and implementation of Canada’s Forward Strategy on MNCH, including: announcing a new five-year funding commitment; high-level related events on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly and the Summit of La Francophonie in which the Prime Minister participated; creating a new Global Financing Facility for MNCH; and announcing new funding for Canada’s global commitments on nutrition and vaccines.

PCO supported the monitoring of global development and trends to help the Government mitigate unwanted consequences for Canada’s economic stability, security and prosperity. This included support for a comprehensive Government of Canada approach to fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including sending up to 40 Canadian Armed Forces healthcare and support staff to Sierra Leone, and the mobilization of financial and in-kind support for the global effort to combat Ebola. As well, PCO supported the government’s response to other international incidents such as Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) in the Philippines.

PCO supported the participation of the Prime Minister at international ceremonies such as in the Second World War “D-Day” Commemoration.

International Security and Intelligence

PCO delivered advice and support on Canada’s engagement abroad. This included developing a response to counter Russian aggression towards Ukraine, through the further implementation of the limited engagement policy and the imposition of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities. It also included delivering support to ensure Ukraine’s long-term stability, security and prosperity.

PCO provided advice and support for engagement with key Middle Eastern partners, including Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, in the context of international meetings. In addition, PCO supported the implementation of Canada’s participation in the international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

PCO also produced intelligence briefs and numerous lengthier assessments for the Prime Minister on other current and emerging international issues relevant to the security of Canada. In addition, regular briefings were delivered to PMO, the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Deputy Clerk, and other directors within the office of the National Security Advisor on key security developments in support of the Prime Minister.

PCO supported the promotion of enhanced trade and security cooperation between Canada and the United States and continued to advance the Beyond the Border Action Plan, including by:

  • Coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the Action Plan within the Government of Canada and with U.S. counterparts;
  • Hosting the annual Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee of deputy minister level officials and their U.S. counterparts. In this third year of implementation of the Action Plan, the Committee made recommendations for a forward plan, to ensure that key existing initiatives are completed and that new or enhanced measures are pursued to build on successes and maintain Action Plan momentum;
  • Maintaining regular engagement with key stakeholders, including through a major stakeholder event in Ottawa in conjunction with the Executive Steering Committee;
  • Shepherding major Action Plan commitments through the necessary approval processes, which included such successes as the signing of a new comprehensive preclearance agreement with the U.S., covering land, rail, marine and air transportation;
  • Providing regular advice and updates on Action Plan initiatives; and
  • Finalizing the joint Canada-US 2014 Beyond the Border Implementation Report to Leaders and contributing to the annual Public Safety Canada-led horizontal reporting process.

PCO also fostered strong working relationships with organizations within the Canadian and allied intelligence communities—including through Interdepartmental Experts Groups, for example—to increase information sharing and collaboration. Relationship building was enhanced through conferences and information exchanges with Allies hosted by PCO. The PCO Intelligence Analyst Learning Program also successfully delivered instruction to 600 participants across government on intelligence assessment methods and best practices, thus helping to further strengthen analytical capacity in this area.

Please Note: The above examples of PCO’s performance and achievements during the 2014-15 fiscal year are meant to be read in conjunction with the department’s 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report.