On Friday, September 28, high-ranking officials representing both the Canadian and the US government joined CHDS Director Dr. Richard Downie for a luncheon celebrating the Honorable Peter MacKay, Canada’s Minister of National Defense and a 2012 recipient of the William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education. Mr. MacKay joins the list of 2012 awardees that includes the Caribbean Regional Security System (RSS) and the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), both of which won the William J. Perry award in the institutional category.
Prior to the presentation of the award, the attendees heard from Lieutenant General Alain Parent, the Canadian Deputy Commander of the bilateral North American Aerospace Defense Command. Lieutenant General Parent attended the event and spoke on behalf of NORTHCOM Commander General Charles Jacoby.
Dr. Downie commended Mr. MacKay for his contribution to security and defense education, explaining that “He has actively promoted Canadian participation in multinational organizations that strengthen hemispheric security, with particular emphasis on regional emergency relief capacity… and Minister MacKay has promoted cooperation and collaboration at the highest levels of government.” Minister MacKay was lauded for his integral support for the first Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas and also the Inter-American Defense Board. Dr. Downie was joined by Dr. Paul Stockton, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland and Security Affairs, and together they presented Minister MacKay with the 2012 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education.
Minister MacKay then accepted the award, stating that he sees “prosperity, security, and governance as mutually reinforcing principles that —together—will help make this hemisphere more stable and secure for everyone.” MacKay then expanded on his point that security is one component in which the United States and Canada are able to cooperate “seamlessly to bring better security to both nations and the rest of the hemisphere,” through joint initiatives like NORAD and other regional bodies.