TechNOW Interview with the Honourable Vernon White: "Excited about the opportunity and challenges" for Canada's Public Safety Broadband Network: Join the mission now, contact
May 15, 2015

Watch CATAAlliance's Chief Business Officer, Kevin Wennekes, as he interviews the Honourable Vernon White, Senator, Senate of Canada, in a discussion around the recent announcement in the federal budget supporting the launch of a national Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN).

Senator White is the distinguished, inaugural speaker of CATAAlliance's PSBN Video Campaign: a planned weekly series of live video interviews of key public safety experts discussing the opportunities, issues and potential pitfalls to avoid in the pursuit of this national communications endeavour.

In this 15-minute interview, you will hear Senator White describe how a PSBN would have been a benefit to him as a police officer and Chief, and why he believes the PSBN will be "absolutely crucial to continuing to provide a robust police presence" in Canada. Senator White further explores the challenges and opportunities ahead, including matters relating to governance, funding, network security and the unquestionable need for private-public partnerships.

Key quotes:

"At least now we now have a path we can follow. Up until the announcement of this ten megahertz it was very difficult for us to plan for the future when we had no idea if there was a future. I think now we understand there is a future and now we just have to walk it through... I truly believe in a couple of years we can build a path or road across this country - coast to coast to coast - that will improve the safety and security of Canadians."

"An expectation of the federal government to come up with half a billion dollars in funding is going to be difficult to do... I think it's very difficult to expect them to go into the deficit on the back of this unless there is a real plan and a real strategy for now bringing other people to the table who have real assets."

Watch the full video here:

Visit CATAAlliance's Public Safety Advisory Board page for Senator White's recent biography.  

Public Safety Broadband Network Video Campaign

Each week, CATAAlliance will interview an individual authority or panel of experts on a wide range of topics related to the development of a PSBN, and speakers will represent domestic and global private, public and academic interests. As such, conversations will cover a wide range of related issues, including:

  • Defining the use and applications of a PSBN

  • Exploring possible governance models, interoperability standards, and policy needs

  • Defining technology and architecture needs

  • Understanding the Private-Public Partnerships that will be required

  • Exploring a PSBN's potential impact on real-time situational awareness

  • Understanding a PSBN's potential impact on deployment under certain scenarios

  • Discovering what operational efficiencies may be realized

  • Showcasing and promoting current research initiatives

  • Internationally-informed lessons learned or best practices

To be kept regularly updated on the broadcast schedule, contact Kevin Wennekes at asking to be included in future correspondence on this initiative, join his or CATAAlliance's many social media platforms, or regularly review the CATASecure site for updates.

Next Broadcast Date

Join Kevin Wennekes as he interviews Ernest MacGillivray, Alignment Champion, Public Safety, Province of New Brunswick on May 20 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Use this link to access the live broadcast at the scheduled date and time:


Watch as Kevin Wennekes interviews two figures key to the past direction and future developments of the PSBN campaign: Eric Torunski, Executive Director of the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group, and Steve Palmer, Executive Director of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety at the University of Regina, and Chair of CATAAlliance's Public Safety Advisory Board.

During this video webcast, Kevin provides viewers with a better understanding of Messrs. Torunski's and Palmer's immediate reactions to the Budget announcement, their insights into the impacts of this announcement, and what resulting strategies are now being considered in response. The conversation covers topics including: impact to the Digital Economy; a needed focus on governance and the pursuit of the "Montreal model", importance of technology testbeds; and how to become better involved and aligned with the on-going campaign.

View the video now: