3 federal ministers hosting national security town hall in Markham

Three federal cabinet ministers are expected to host a town hall on national security on Sunday afternoon in Markham, Ont.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Health Minister Jane Philpott and Immigration Minister John McCallum are scheduled to attend.

The town hall, set to begin at 4 p.m. ET, is being held in the cafeteria of Markham District High School. 

The federal government said in a news release that the town hall is part of its series of public consultations on national security.

Philpott is MP for Markham-Stouffville, while McCallum is MP for Markham-Thornhill.

Philpott and McCallum

Health Minister Jane Philpott represents Markham-Stouffville, while McCallum represents Markham-Thornhill. (Canadian Press )

Scott Bardsley, spokesperson for Goodale’s office in Ottawa, said the government has held a total of 27 public consultation meetings as of November 2. The government is seeking feedback on key elements of its national security laws, he said.

Issues to be discussed at the meeting, likely about two hours long, can include any part of the national security framework, he said.

“Really, it’s up to whatever the audience is interested in,” Bardsley wrote in an email. “We hope it will attract a broad cross section of the regional community.”

Bardsley said the town halls are being held in urban and suburban locations to solicit a variety of opinions. The House of Commons public safety and national security committee has also held consultations, including one in downtown Toronto. 

“The feedback to the consultations will be compiled in a report that will be made public,” he wrote.

“The consultations will help inform what changes our government will make to our national security laws, in addition to the commitments set out in our election platform.”

Air Canada

Canada’s no fly list, the Deemed High Profile list, may be among topics discussed at the town hall. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

He said the government is also soliciting feedback online.

According to the federal government’s website, the consultations began on Sept. 8 and will be completed on Dec. 15.

It said the consultations are focusing on 10 “key topic” areas: accountability, prevention, threat reduction, domestic national security information sharing, passenger protect program, Criminal Code terrorism measures, terrorist entity listing procedures, terrorist financing, investigative capabilities in a digital world, and intelligence and evidence.

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