Below you will find an assortment of videos from our webinar series and DSFG events. 

2021 Webinar Series

Regional Order and Institutions in the “Indo-Pacific:” Canadian and Asian Perspectives

Recent events, including the establishment of the AUKUS, China-Taiwan engagement, and US-China strategic competition have escalated tensions and raised the risks of conflict in the Asia Pacific. Panelists with look to the transformation of the region’s multilateral architecture, reflecting the “strategic competition” between the US and China, with the implications for Southeast Asia and middle powers, including Canada and Australia.

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Trends in Intra-State and Transnational Security: Asia Pacific 2021

The well-being and security of Asian populations are most directly and immediately affected by so-called “non-traditional” security concerns. Participants in this webinar will share their expertise on the impacts of the co-vid pandemic, migration and refugees, transnational violence, civil resistance to the state, and environmental disasters across a broad geographic scope from China to India and through Southeast Asia, with special attention to Myanmar.

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The Future of Engagement in Iraq 

This panel explored how the domestic context in Iraq will shape the future of the international presence in the country over the coming 12 months. Our three speakers, have extensive knowledge of the situation on the ground in Iraq, will analyze how developments in Iraq will affect members of the international coalition against the Islamic State, including Canada.

We were also fortunate to also have Ulric Shannon, Ambassador of Canada to Iraq, to provide opening remarks before our panel discussion.

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Beyond Covid-19: Non-Traditional Security in Asia

On February 23, 2021, the Asia-Pacific Team held “Beyond COVID-19: Non-Traditional Security in Asia”. This event explored so-called “non-traditional” security concerns, including illicit trafficking, sea piracy, migration, and the like, that have in fact been at the forefront of defence and security policy in the Asia-Pacific for many decades. These concerns are central to the agenda of many regional states, multilateral institutions, and bilateral agreements.

In recent years, new concerns - such as terrorism and radicalization, cyber, pandemics, environmental disasters, climate change, among others – have been added to the list of more established priorities due to changing circumstances, and evolving security perceptions and priorities. COVID-19 has also clearly demonstrated that the region’s long-standing preoccupation with the interlinkages between security and other domains of governance is especially relevant, and that it is here to stay. This is despite the fact that non-traditional security issues, while crucial, being still often considered, in some circles, to be secondary to “hard” security concerns pertaining to territorial/maritime inter-state disputes or major power dynamics.

Participants in this seminar shared their expertise on the security implications of specific issues at the core of their research agenda, including migration and demographic change, cyber and information control, as well as climate change. They cover a broad geographical scope, from China to India and through Southeast Asia. Panelists discussed the implications of these challenges for the region’s defence and security environment, and how they overlap in interesting ways, but also how they have been impacted by the global pandemic, or found new ways to thrive while key actors were otherwise preoccupied.

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2020 Webinar Series

Roll-out of 5G Technology: Threats, Opportunities, and Subject of Debate

Watch our Defence and Security Foresight Group (DSF-G) webinar on the roll-out of 5G technology in Canada. Our panelists discuss the importance of 5G adoption to Canada’s competitiveness and its digital economy. They also discuss some of the arguments found in public and security sector debates about the threats and challenges of foreign ownership of this key infrastructural development. As different countries will experience unprecedented digital change connecting more of our critical business applications and infrastructures to the Internet — driving innovation and GDP growth, 5G technology will be essential to our economic growth. However, along with these opportunities comes unprecedented vulnerability. This panel highlights the associated risks of 5G deployment and adoption and will explain what risk mitigations are being explored by countries and companies globally.

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Managing the Pandemic through Contact-Tracing Apps

In an effort to track the spread of COVID-19, more and more contact tracing apps have and will continue to emerge. Canadian jurisdictions are developing and deploying contact-tracing apps without sufficient technical review by independent security and privacy experts. Such reviews help identify potential flaws and provide indispensable input to a public debate about the balance between health safety, privacy and security. Reviews can enhance trust in the deployment of apps and help foster wider adoption. Reviews should be public because public technical specifications will enhance trust and acceptance.

Watch the lunch and learn virtual session with Dr. Florian Kerschbaum, Executive Director, Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) and CPI members Dr. Douglas Stebila, Dr. Plinio Morita and Dr. Bessma Momani discussing COVID-19 contact tracing apps in their respective faculties.

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Covid-19 and Asia-Pacific Security: Regional Experiences and Implications for Canada

The spread of the novel coronavirus has transformed and reoriented Asia Pacific regional security. State military forces, themselves impacted directly by the pandemic, have been challenged to assume additional roles and responsibilities, within and across state borders. Global and national public health has been securitized, with military forces mobilizing their human and materiel resources as health monitors and care providers. At the same time, traditional regional security tensions and crisis points continue apace, albeit lower on the radar screen of public attention. The impacts of Covid-19 will extend long beyond “recovery” from its current phase, reshaping the region's security environment and national security strategies of military composition and deployment. 

This webinar takes Covid-19 as a starting point to examine both its direct impacts on Asia Pacific security and broader developments in the region's security landscape. Organized by the Asia Pacific team of the Defence and Security Foresight Group, four Canadian security experts focus on the implications of Covid-19 for Asia Pacific security from various angles and perspectives, including the transformation of the geostrategic environment, the spectrum of state responses to the pandemic, the securitization of health, the juxtaposition of new and traditional priorities for the region's militaries, etc.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Security and Stability in the Middle East

The Institute for Peace & Diplomacy organized a panel discussion titled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Security and Stability in the Middle East,” in partnership with the Defence and Security Foresight Group on Sept 17, 2020.

This panel brings into conversation various perspectives on security interdependence among Middle Eastern countries and explores the opportunities and challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has created for diplomacy and dialogue in the region.

Keynote: Ambassador Stefanie McCollum, Canada’s representative to the State of Qatar.


  • Dennis Horak, Canada’s Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
  • Bessma Momani, Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo
  • Luciano Zaccara, Professor of Gulf Politics at Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University
  • Rothna Begum, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch

Moderator: Sanam Shantyaei, Senior Journalist & Host of Middle East Matters at France24

This panel is part of a discussion series about the impact of COVID-19 on international peace and security. The discussion series is supported by the Department of National Defence’s Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.

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Belarus at a Crossroads: Mass Protest and Regime Instability

On October 9, 2020, The Defense and Security Foresight Group held “Belarus at a Crossroad: Mass Protest and Regime Instability.” In collaboration with the Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership at the Royal Military College and the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, the event brings into conversation affiliates of the Belarusian Canadian Alliances with international relations experts on European Security and Russian foreign policy, on the challenges ahead for Belarus, and the historical legacy that has brought us to where we are today.

The recent re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus since 1994, has led to mass protest decrying a rigged election. The protests and their scales, as well as the active repression of it by the regime, has led to a high level of instability in Belarus. The future is uncertain for Belarus as protests keeps gaining in intensity.

This webinar engages with a series of relevant question to the situation on the ground. Can President Lukashenka survive the current unrest? If he does, what are the implications for Belarus? Alternatively, what would a Belarus on the verge of collapse look like? Would Russia take the opportunity to intervene and solidify its sphere of influence in the region? What steps are Belarus and Lukashenka taking to forestall such prospect? Why should Canada’s defence and security community be paying attention?

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Violent Extremism in Canada: Anticipating the Future by Clarifying the Past

To honor and remember the 6th Anniversary of Parliament Hill Attacks in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on October 22, 2014, the DSF Group and the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security, and Society (TSAS) gathered speakers for the panel Violent Extremism in Canada on October 22, 2020.

The attack, carried out by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, left Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian Soldier and reservist on ceremonial sentry duty dead, and raised questions about parliamentary security while also sparking a national debate over the nature of terrorism.

Each of our experts provided a brief presentation on their work and spent the last 30 minutes answering questions from the audience.

  • Steve Hewitt (Canadian and American Studies, University of Birmingham) - Shooting, Bombing, and Vehicle Attacks: A History of Male Lone Actor Terrorism in Canada
  • Shandon Harris Hogan (Radar Solutions, Adjunct Research Fellow, Victoria University Australia) - The Comparative Analysis of Canadian and Australian Domestic Jihadist (2000-2020)
  • Jillian Hunchak (Insight Threat Intelligence) - The Far-Right extremist threat in English- and French-speaking Canada, the risk it poses, and its potential for growth.
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The Impact of the US Election on Canada: Risks and Challenges of Unpredictable Outcomes

The Defense and Security Foresight Group hosted, “The Impact of the US Election on Canada: Risks and Challenges of Unpredictable Outcomes" on October 23, 2020. The event brought together Canada’s foremost experts on Canada-U.S. relations, spanning a range of subject including trade partnership and NAFTA, foreign policy and the Arctic, as well as defence cooperation through NORAD and NATO, engaging with the ramifications of the elections on what has been called “The Special Relationship” moving forward.

The Canada-U.S. relationship has deteriorated significantly since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 in several ways. On the defence front, The United States heavily criticized its NATO allies on their spending towards the alliance, Canada included. On trade President Trump demanded the renegotiation of NAFTA, imposed tariffs on Canadian steel citing national security concerns, and recently re-imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports, arguing it was flooding U.S. markets. Canada retaliated with imposing tariffs on American goods to the tune of $2.7 billion dollars.

There’s lingering uncertainty on the future of the Canada-U.S. relationship, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. This webinar explored these uncertainties, and how they may be resolved depending on the make-up of Congress post-election, and who assumes the presidency in 2021. What can Canadians expect under four more years of President Trump? What would a Democratic Presidency and/or Congress mean for the future? Watch the recording to learn more.

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