The Government of Canada created the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG) in 2001 to serve as a forum where members can identify and coordinate federal initiatives to enhance Canada’s marine security. The IMSWG develops policy recommendations for senior decision-makers and promotes greater communication and cooperation across the federal government.
Since part of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities’ mandate is to coordinate marine security policy across the federal government, Transport Canada’s Director General of Marine Security chairs the IMSWG. Members are Director General-level representatives from 17 federal departments and agencies with mandates for different aspects of marine security. The IMSWG meets as needed, but not less than four times a year.
Three standing committees — Policy, Operations, and Legal Issues — support IMSWG decision-making. Members are at the director and/or senior analyst level. Most committees meet on a monthly basis. The IMSWG may also strike ad hoc working groups as needed.
Assistant Deputy Minister Marine Security Committee
The IMSWG Chair reports to the Assistant Deputy Minister Marine Security Committee. Members are at the Assistant Deputy Minister level of core departments and agencies with marine security interests. Chaired by Transport Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, the committee provides direction and guidance on major policy and legal issues to advance marine security priorities. The committee does not report to any other committee or working group, although its chair provides updates and debriefs at other Assistant Deputy Minister-level meetings to inform and seek direction from the broader federal security community.
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group Secretariat
Transport Canada’s Marine Security Policy branch provides secretariat services to the IMSWG’s chairperson and its members. The IMSWG Secretariat:
- acts as the main contact point for the IMSWG;
- organizes all IMSWG and committee meetings;
- serves as an interdepartmental centre for policy leadership on marine security issues;
- manages the Marine Security Coordination Fund created to support one-time or limited period projects by federal departments and agencies that contribute to the coordination of marine security efforts; and,
- organizes and supports the deliberations of the Assistant Deputy Minister Marine Security Committee.