Good morning, Madam Chair and honourable members.
I am pleased to be with you today to contribute to this committee's exchanges on matters of physical security.
As the acting director of the Parliamentary Protection Service, I can assure you that being invited to take part in this dialogue is heartening and of critical importance to me and my colleagues.
While I will keep my opening remarks brief, I propose highlighting a few key points.
The first involve collaboration and partnerships. The service is responsible for the physical security of parliamentarians, staff and employees, visitors, buildings, grounds and assets on Parliament Hill and in the precinct. To fulfill this mandate, the service must continue to be proactive in how it networks and builds partnerships with its security and law enforcement partners. How well the service responds to any complex threat or situation is not just a measure of where it is, that day. It is also a reflection of how it has prioritized trust and relationship-building over time.
These relationships, whether with our parliamentary corporate security partners, or with external organizations, were key to how we responded to the occupation for those 23 days this past winter and will continue to be pivotal to our operational readiness in the future.
When it comes to continuous improvement of the service, no matter how well an organization responds to a situation, there are always lessons learned. In 2020, when I was chief operations officer for the service, I created a unit dedicated to ensuring that our operations were provided with mechanisms for proactively applying lessons learned to how we conduct our readiness and response operations.
Through critical activities like scenario-based training and tabletop exercises, this team, called the operation evaluation and continuous improvement unit, now plays a key role in the service's ability to learn from its response to any complex event and helps ensure that findings are integrated across the service. The OECI is key to ensuring the service optimizes every learning opportunity it uncovers.
Finally, I want to raise a point about taking a multi-layered approach to physical security. Physical security is not solely about having strong barriers, optimally trained protection officers or advanced technology. Rather, it's about the triangulation of all three of these elements.
Our service's operational readiness and response capacity is really a function of how physical barriers, human assets and technology work together to create an integrated physical security system to optimally serve our parliamentary community.
As a last word, I recognize that today's exchange is conducted in a public manner. I will do all I can to contribute to the discussion while respecting the confidential nature of certain details.
Thank you, Madam Chair.