Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay and Public Safety's Parliamentary Secretary Candice Hoeppner announced the establishment today of a new program that harmonizes the security work of different organizations in the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP). 

According to a press release, the CSSP will strengthen "Canada's ability to anticipate, prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disaster, serious accidents, crime and acts of terrorism through the convergence of science and technology with policy, operations and intelligence."

An annual federal investment of $43.5 million will support the program, as the Government of Canada works to ensure collaboration between all levels of government, industry and academia, as well as professionals in emergency management and response, public health, law enforcement and intelligence, the press release says.

The CSSP investments will be managed through Defense Research and Development Canada to develop further capabilities in areas such as chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosives threats, border and transportation security, emergency management, surveillance and intelligence, cybersecurity, interoperability and critical infrastructure. 

The CSSP will build on the best practices of Defense Research and Development Canada's Centre for Security Science's previous three programs: 

  • The Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives Research and Technology Initiative
  • The Public Security Technical Program, which expanded efforts into areas like critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, surveillance, intelligence, interdiction, border security, emergency management systems and interoperability
  • The Canadian Police Research Centre

The CSSP will be executed through three separate investment categories (competitive calls for proposals, targeted investments, community development) providing funding for nine types of projects:

  • Evidence-based examinations or analysis used to address known public safety and security issues,
  • Research and development projects involving applied research to generate new knowledge or awareness while addressing user-defined capability gaps,
  • Technology demonstrations to advance the maturity of technologies, applications or capabilities within the operational community,
  • Advice and guidance projects allowing stakeholders to provide evidence-based analysis in the support of policy development, planning and decision-making,
  • Workshops to provide a forum for knowledge- and experience-sharing between stakeholders,
  • Technology acquisition projects concerned with the strategic acquisition of technologies to enhance specific capabilities,
  • S&T transition projects to integrate technology within existing systems of people, tools, processes and capabilities to facilitate transition from the lab into the hands of emergency responders, 
  • Operational support through S&T projects to enable Canada's emergency managers, responders and security authorities through the timely access to scientific and technological expertise to support planning, operations and exercises, and
  • Operational support through Testing and Evaluation projects to assist police, fire, emergency medical services and other stakeholders by assessing the performance of technologies and processes in simulated or operational settings.