The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence

Chair: The Honourable Colin Kenny
Deputy Chair: The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall

February 2002



37th Parliament - 1st Session


The Honourable Colin Kenny, Chair
The Honourable J. Michael Forrestall, Deputy Chair 


The Honourable Senators:

*Carstairs, P.C. (or Robichaud, P.C.)
*Lynch-Staunton (or Kinsella)

The following Senators also served on the Committee during its study:  The Honourable Senators Jaffer, Hubley, Pépin, Rompkey.



37th Parliament – 1st Session

Extract from the Journals of the Senate of Thursday, May 31, 2001:

The Honourable Senator Kenny moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Moore:

That the Standing Senate Committee on Defence and Security be authorized to conduct an introductory survey of the major security and defence issues facing Canada with a view to preparing a detailed work plan for future comprehensive studies;

That the Committee report to the Senate no later than February 28, 2002, and that the Committee retain all powers necessary to publicize the findings of the Committee until March 31, 2002; and

That the Committee be permitted, notwithstanding usual practices, to deposit any report with the Clerk of the Senate, if the Senate is not then sitting, and that the report be deemed to have been tabled in the Chamber.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

Paul C. Bélisle
Clerk of the Senate




        What We Have Learned.

Defence Issues

        1. Developing a Strategic Vision for the 21st Century
        2. Canadian Forces Health Services
        3. Quality of Life
        4. Recruiting and Retention
        5. Operations Tempo
        6. The Canadian Forces Reserves
        7. Equipment and Contracting Out

Security Issues

        8. Human Resources and Equipment
        9. Access to Encryption and Cryptography Equipment
        10. Threat of Man-made Environmental Disasters
        11. Control of Ports and Borders
        12. Airports
                A) Montreal (Dorval) Airport
                B) Vancouver Airport
        13. Ports
                A) The Port of Montreal
                B) The Port of Vancouver
                C) The Port of Halifax

Issues Common to Defence and Security

        14. Development of a National Security Policy
        15. Countering National Threats, Terrorism, Asymmetric Threats, and Cyber Threats
        16. Inter-agency Cooperation and Shared Jurisdictions
        17. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Mandate
        18. The Washington Fact-Finding Trip
        19. NORAD and the Proposed Homeland Defence Command
        20. NATO Enlargement
        21. NATO Interoperability
        22. National Missile Defence
        23. The Axis of Evil
        24. Al Queda and Taliban Prisoners at Guantanamo
        25. Border Issues


        What We Think


Defence: What We Think
1. Context
2. Defence Funding
3. Defence Expenditures Historical Trend – Constant 2000 $
4. Committee Assessment
5. Defence Capability Underpins Foreign Policy
6. Budget 2001
7. Results of Testimony and Visits
8. Canadian Forces Operations - Doing More with Less
9. Where did all the Troops Go?
10. Tunnel Vision on Terrorism
11. The Impact of Winning the Cold War/An Ounce of Prevention
12. Coping with a 30% Reduction of Budget
13. Quality of Life
14. Health Service
15. Pay and Benefits
16. Clothing and Personal Equipment
17. Other Morale Issues
18. Recruiting and Retention
19. The Submarine Project
20. Qualification/Specialist Pay
21. The Reserves
22. Requirement for $4 Billion Increase in Baseline Budget
23. Near Term Requirements
24. Interoperability
25. NATO Enlargement
26. Northern Command
27. Defence Policy


        National Security: What We Think


        1. Security at Sea Ports
                A) Port Authority Focus
                B) Fences and Passes
                C) National Screening System
                D) Issues Relating to Maritime Commerce
                E) National Enforcement Strategy for Security in Ports
                F) Universal Set of Security Standards
                G) Small Ports and Harbours

        2. Airport Security
                A) Pass System
                B) Passenger and Baggage Screening
                C) Private Security Companies
                D) Mail and Cargo Delivery

        3. Border Issues
                A) Trade issues
                B) Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Staffing and Working Conditions

        4. A Fundamental Challenge Facing the RCMP and CSIS
        5. Canadian Security and Intelligence Service
        6. Oversight Requirements
        7. The Need for a National Security Policy

National Security


Proposed Order of Reference














The objective of the Committee over the past seven months has been to make its members familiar with the issues and government officials associated with national security and defence, as well as with the opinions of a range of academic and non-governmental experts.  We see this as a preliminary step to preparing a work plan for future studies.  The list of these issues is included as an appendix and a summary of the testimony received by the Committee is presented in Part 1 of this Report.

The Committee began its study with two days of intensive hearings in Ottawa on July 18-19 2001.  On 18 July, officials from the Department of National Defence provided the Committee with an overview of defence policy, planning and operations, while representatives of the Navy, the Army and the Air Force outlined the current capabilities and future challenges faced by the Canadian Forces. 

July 19 began with briefings from the Department of the Solicitor General on various aspects of national security including security policy, counter-terrorism, technology and lawful access.  This was followed by a discussion of the challenges facing the National Investigation Branch of the R.C.M.P. which investigates potential national security offences.

The Committee then received a briefing from the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.  The day concluded with a presentation on the work of the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, Department of National Defence.

The September 2001 terrorist assault on the United States took place before the Committee continued its hearings in October.  The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon not only proved the wisdom of establishing the Committee but gave urgency to its work.  They also emphasized the fundamental importance of good intelligence for effective counter-terrorism measures and the need for even closer international co-operation, particularly between Canada and the United States.

The Senate of Canada established a Special Committee on the Subject Matter of Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Canada Evidence Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act and other Acts, and to enact measures respecting the registration of charities, in order to combat terrorism. The Bill is an important element of the Government of Canada’s response to the attacks.  Since much of the testimony before the Special Committee related to the work of the Standing Committee, steps were taken to incorporate extracts into our proceedings so we could refer back to its report.  The Standing Committee also carefully reviewed the issues it would study, adjusting its work plan to take into account the new realities created by 11 September.

The October meetings focused on the various aspects of intelligence: the collection of information, its processing into intelligence by analysis, and its dissemination to the relevant decision makers.

The Committee heard from senior officials who, before their retirement, had occupied important positions in the intelligence community whether as Commissioner of the R.C.M.P., as Deputy Director of the Security Intelligence Service, or as Chief of Staff, Joint Operations, in the Canadian Forces.  Their testimony was complemented by that of academic specialists, as well as the Assistant Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, the Director General of Military Intelligence, and by the Deputy Commissioner, Operations, of the R.C.M.P. and the R.C.M.P. Assistant Commissioner, Criminal Intelligence Directorate.

The Committee also heard from non-governmental organizations that have a continuing interest in national defence. Their representatives, mainly retired senior officers of the Canadian Forces, could speak more candidly about the current condition and capabilities of the services than could serving officers and departmental officials.

The Committee made two fact-finding trips in November, visiting and being briefed by officials, police and customs officers on security in the ports and airports of Montreal and Vancouver.  It also heard from senior officers and NCOs of Regular and Reserve units of the Canadian Forces stationed in Montreal, Esquimalt and Winnipeg, including the Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters of the Navy in Esquimalt and 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters in Winnipeg.

Wherever possible, the Committee made arrangements to meet privately with groups of enlisted personnel and junior officers, as well as with Customs officers and their local union representatives, to discuss “quality of life,” training, and safety issues.  These meetings gave the members of the Committee an invaluable insight into the day-to-day concerns of the men and women on the “front lines” of our national security forces.

Committee members would like to thank the officers who organized these meetings and to note its particular appreciation for the clarity and candour of the participants. 

In Ottawa, the Committee continued its study of defence issues with a hearing on the present policy of the Department of National Defence, which is still based on the principles set out in the White Paper of 1994.  In addition it heard testimony on the program review currently underway, and the potential for a policy review given the 11 September attack on the United States.

The Committee held two meetings in December.  On the first of these days the Chiefs of Staff of the three defence environments – maritime, land and air – discussed current operations of their services and the factors that would affect their force capability in the next few years. 

They were followed by General Henault, Chief of the Defence Staff, who gave an overview of the participation of Canadian Forces in the campaign against terrorism. This included Operation Apollo and Operation Active Endeavour, the latter of which is NATO’s contribution to the campaign.  General Henault also noted the progress that is being made to encourage serving servicemen and women to stay in the forces and to recruit new officers and personnel.  He also spoke about upgrading communications and Canadian participation in the multi-national project to develop a new joint strike fighter.

On the concluding day of its December meetings, the Committee was briefed by the Auditor General on two chapters of her December 2001 report. Chapter 8 evaluated the ability of Customs to manage the risk posed by commercial shipments.  The Committee paid equal attention to Chapter 10, which painted a bleak picture of the constrained financial resources available to the Canadian Forces. It pointed to serious shortcomings in the condition of some Air Force equipment. It also drew attention to shortfalls in the number of technicians available to carry out maintenance and it noted the lack of essential specialized training of some maintenance personnel.

Between January 20-24, the Committee visited units of the Maritime Forces Atlantic and had an opportunity to learn about its work and the challenges its officers and men and women face.  The Committee also visited the Port of Halifax and was briefed by Port authorities, customs officials and their union and by the R.C.M.P. and Halifax police who are responsible for controlling organized crime and patrolling the Port.

The tour of the East Coast facilities concluded with a visit to Base Gagetown where the Commander of Land Forces Atlantic Area, briefed the Committee on the organization and mission of his command.  This presentation was followed by a candid series of briefings and exchanges with the Commander of 3 Area Support Group, the Commander of the Combat Training Centre, and the commanding officers of the combat schools for artillery, armour and infantry. 

These exchanges ranged far beyond the advanced training of officers and men of the Army and included issues such as the health care available to families, quality of life on the base, the impact on operational units of cutbacks in the staff of the schools, etc.  The Committee regrets that the discussions were so informative that it was unable to keep its commitment to tour the combat arms schools before it had to leave in order to visit 403 Wolf Squadron, which operates the Griffon helicopter in support of the Army.

The Committee had several objectives for its trip to Washington in early February to discuss Canada’s activities since 11 September:

a.      to understand the views of the United States Congress and Administration with regard to current and future military and security issues and how Canada relates to them,

b.     to promote a better understanding of bilateral cooperation for homeland security and future defence arrangements; and

c.     to explore specific issues such as NATO enlargement, NORAD, and emerging joint command questions, the Missile Defence System, border issues, and measures to combat terrorism.

The Chair of the Committee and senior staff met with respectively: the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff and the Director General of International Security Policy on issues relating to CINC([1]) North and joint Defence.

The Committee prepared for its fact-finding trip to the United States with two days of briefings in Ottawa and one day of briefings in Washington.  On Monday 28 January it heard presentations and discussed aspects of Canada-United States relations with three panels.

A panel from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade gave the Committee an overview of the various aspects of the Canadian-United States relationship, covering the Canadian response to the attacks of 11 September, the political dynamic in the United States since then, the challenges facing the relationship, such as balancing border security with the free movement of goods and people, and the respective positions of our governments on the expansion of NATO and the Missile Defence System.

A panel from the Department of National Defence continued the discussion of NATO, NORAD and the National Missile Defence System, as well as the opportunities and risks posed by a likely move by the United States to establish a commander-in-chief for homeland defence.

Because the balance between border security vs. trade is vitally important to both Canada and the United States, a panel including representatives from the R.C.M.P., the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Transport Canada, the Solicitor General, Canada Citizenship and Immigration and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency met with the Committee in the evening to review the issue.

On Tuesday, the Committee heard presentations on police cooperation and intelligence sharing with the United States from the perspective of the R.C.M.P. It also was briefed on what the Canadian government has contributed to the campaign against terrorism and to enhance public security in cooperation with the United States.

In preparation for the trip, the Chair also had separate meetings with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to obtain their views on bilateral issues relating to the United States.

The week in Washington began on the morning of Monday, 4 February, when a team from the Canadian embassy briefed the Committee on outstanding issues, and on the committees and personalities the Committee would be meeting.

In the afternoon, the Committee heard presentations from experts on an issue vital to Canadian interests and to North American security – the ideas and technology that can help to separate the vast majority of cross-border container traffic that is low-risk, from the small percentage that must be subjected to closer inspection.

On Tuesday the Committee met with representatives of two Congressional Committees – the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee.  In between these meetings, the Committee heard presentations and discussed United States foreign and defence policy with experts from the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Foundation.

Wednesday was a particularly full day.  The Committee had an early morning meeting with the House Armed Services Committee at which its Chair requested a continuing committee-to-committee relationship. This was agreed to after the meeting.

The Committee took advantage of an unexpected invitation to meet with Secretary of defence Rumsfeld.  Then members of the Committee were invited to hear Secretary Rumsfeld testify before the House Armed Services Committee. During the course of the hearing the Chair of the Armed Services Committee and the Secretary complimented and thanked Canada for its contribution to the war against terrorism and for the hospitality shown to the air travellers stranded by the closure of United States air space. 

This was followed by meetings in the State Department with officials responsible for the “Canada” file and in the Pentagon for briefings about the plan for a unified northern command, NATO expansion, NORAD, the Missile Defence System and border security. 

In the evening, the Committee returned to the Capitol for a second meeting with members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. 

On Thursday, the last day of our visit, the Committee had an early morning meeting with the Judiciary Committee of the House before it received a briefing on homeland security at the White House.

The introduction has outlined the Committee’s work chronologically. Part 1, which follows, is structured to review the topics the Committee focused upon. Part 2 will set out the Committee’s observations and conclusions about defence and security issues; and, Part 3 will outline the mandate that the Committee will seek for more in-depth study in the next fiscal year.


What We Have Learned

Defence Issues

1. Developing a Strategic Vision for the 21st Century

It is conventional wisdom in some circles that budget cutbacks and events have overtaken the White Paper of 1994.  The Committee considered the desirability of a review of the White Paper, and defence policy in general, as well as a study of the principles which should guide development of the Canadian Forces in the 21st Century.

The early stages of the Committee hearings witnessed a disagreement among witnesses over whether events had overtaken the White Paper.

Witnesses whose responsibility it is to support government policy, and current funding levels, argued that the Canadian Forces continue to meet or exceed the 1994 White Paper assigned roles and missions.

Academics, defence analysts and representatives of defence non-governmental organizations argued that Canadian Forces’ strength, equipment and capabilities fall far short of the tasks set out in the White Paper.  

Our first witness, Mr. Daniel Bon, Director General, Policy Planning, Department of National Defence, vigorously defended the departmental opinion that “with some exceptions the Canadian Forces are much more combat-capable than they were as little as 10 years ago.”([2])  Mr Bon later sent the Committee documents supporting his view, as requested. 

The departmental view was challenged by, among others, Lieutenant General (Ret) Charles Belzile, Chair of the Conference of Defence Associations.  He testified that the Canadian Forces have suffered from under-funding for 30 years, with a critical drop of 30 percent of purchasing power in the mid 1990’s.  Under funding has led to cutbacks in the strength of the Forces from 85,000 to 57,000 (that is, 53,000 effectives).   This, in turn, has placed additional pressures on those remaining, leading to burnout and low rates of retention.

With their capabilities in decline, and new resources unavailable, the Canadian Forces are unable to sustain their commitments beyond a marginal level within the stipulated resource and time limits.   General Belizile’s conclusion was stark: “We are ready to fight with no capability to sustain.”  In his opinion, just stabilizing the situation of the Canadian Forces will take a funding increase of $1 billion/year for five years – that is, an increase from about $11 to $16 billion..  In addition, the Canadian Forces should be brought up to their strength of 60,000 effectives, and then increased to at least 75,000.([3])

Aside from the disagreement over current capabilities and funding levels, by the end of the hearings there was a growing consensus (including departmental officials and the senior commanders of the Armed Forces) that the 11 September 2001 attack on the United States and the U.S. experience in Afghanistan had challenged the assumptions of the policy set out in the White Paper, and that the Forces faced not only a “funding challenge,” but also a “sustainability” problem. 

Dr. Kenneth Calder, Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) DND, acknowledged that a program review launched at the beginning of 2001, “… started with the assumption that the current policy was still valid and that we had the resources to do what was set out in the White Paper.  That said, we also recognized that we had a funding challenge.” He acknowledged that 11 September had challenged the assumptions about current policy and raised the possibility of a full-blown review of defence policy.([4])

The Commanders of the three services were quite candid about the limitations they faced meeting the standards set out in the defence policy.  Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, Chief of the Maritime Staff, DND, said that while the Navy can cover the essential elements of its mandate with its current resources, “we need to resource the military to the correct level to do the things that we are asked to do.  As I have said, I am doing the essential.  I would like to do that in a manner that would allow me more options in my efforts.”([5]

Lieutenant-General M.K. Jeffrey, Chief of the Land Staff, noted that while the Army was in demand, “it faces limited sustainability” and faced an urgent need to improve its capability through modernization.  At the end of his opening statement he warned,  “No amount of efficiency or new technology can make up for size or depth, and in the end, it is the Government and Canadian society that must determine what they want us to do.”([6]

Lieutenant-General Lloyd Campbell, Commander of Air Command and Chief of the Air Staff noted that while “we had managed to preserve, and in fact even enhance, the capability and the quality of many of the forces that we have, we should not confuse that with depth or sustainability, because those are quite different things.  You cannot take the kind of resource reductions that we faced in the 1990s and not have something change.”([7])


2. Canadian Forces Health Services

Even before the attacks on the United States, the Committee was told that there was a need to review the medical care and treatment of personnel returning from UN missions and the services available to their families.([8])  Almost any level of participation in operations against the foreign bases of terrorists will intensify the pressure on existing medical and dental services and the problem of retaining qualified medical staff.

Early on in the hearings the prevention and treatment of stress-related illnesses and particularly of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was identified as a growing problem.([9])  More attention is now paid to briefing soldiers about the realities they will face when deployed, and to the follow-up process, both in theatre and on return home.  Witnesses reported that some progress has been made in setting up centres to help returning soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and lesser degrees of stress. More has to be done, particularly for Reservists.([10])

Given the nature of the deployments of the Canadian Forces, the risk of stress and stress-related illness is obviously most severe for Army personnel.  But the risk also exists for individual members of the Navy and Air Force where the relatively low rate of serious stress- related illnesses can often conceal the existence of the problem.

At 1 Canadian Air Division, for example, the Committee was told that the lack of training time was probably the major cause of stress.  The Air Force itself lacks the resources to treat the most serious consequences of stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and has to establish partnerships with non-military clinics.  There is still a problem getting airmen to come forward before their stress becomes chronic.  Most commonly effected are those airmen and women who have served with the Army; their problem has been made worse by their isolation when they return to their unit.([11]

Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, Chief of the Maritime Staff, DND noted that naval personnel are not particularly prone to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder while at sea, but crewmen and divers who participated in the Swissair recovery operation are vulnerable.  Clinics have been established in the Halifax and Victoria naval medical facilities.([12])

Lieutenant-General Christian Couture, Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) DND outlined for the Committee the initiatives the Forces have taken in recent years to reduce, and treat, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  These include establishment of a network of operational stress clinics across the country; better preparation of personnel for what to expect; better training of leaders to recognize symptoms in-theatre; establishment of a joint centre in Ottawa with Veterans Affairs; and, establishment of the “operational stress injuries support network” to provide non-medical social support to soldiers, and to evaluate and suggest improvements to pre-deployment training and post-deployment de-briefing. 

Early access to treatment increases the chances of success in dealing with the disorder.  Lt. Gen. Couture said that it is important to convince soldiers to come forward sooner rather than later by ensuring confidentiality of their treatment, and training their immediate supervisors about the nature of the disorder.([13])

In informal conversations with rank-and-file members of the Forces and representatives of their families, the members of the Committee heard a number of complaints about the quality of medical care.  According to Lt. Gen. Couture, since the Forces eliminated hospitals in the mid-1990s as part of the re-organization of the medical services to focus on support of deployments, the health care system has deteriorated.  He acknowledged that it no longer meets the needs of garrisons and operations and told the Committee that the RX2000 program, launched in 2000, will overhaul the system by 2004.([14])


3. Quality of Life

Implementation of most of the recommendations of the House of Commons report on the quality of life in the Forces was given credit by many witnesses for significant improvements in the pay and allowances and in their living accommodations. 

Indeed, the Department of National Defence has established a permanent Directorate of Quality of Life to oversee implementation of the remaining recommendations of the House of Commons Report and to monitor quality of life and other issues.([15])

To-day, the most common source of discontent mentioned in testimony is the tempo of operations and the frequency of foreign deployments.  In one of the Committee’s earliest briefing sessions Major General (Ret) Clive Addy, National Chair, Federation of Military and United Services Institutes of Canada, argued that the Canadian Forces were being deployed too frequently – six times to the Balkans in the past ten years, for example.  In part this is because they have been increasingly understaffed.  This became a great hardship for personnel and their families and particularly for the 65 percent who are married.([16])

The same point was raised when the Committee visited the West Coast.  The tempo of operations had become the major source of complaint, instead of pay and allowances. This was having an impact on morale, individual and family stress, physical health, and group cohesiveness.  Whereas most NATO countries maintain a 50 percent time-on-ship to 50 percent time-on-shore ratio, in the Canadian Navy it is a 60-40 percent time-on-ship to time-on-shore shore ratio.  In informal conversations with members of the Committee, Navy reservists pointed out that they spend even more time at sea than the 60-40 percent ratio.([17])

During the Committee’s visit to 1 Canadian Air Division, Chief Warrant Officer Dan Dietrich outlined the “Flight Plan for Life” initiative to enhance the quality of life.  The Command Chief Warrant Officer acts as Chair of the Air Command FPfL (Flight Plan for Life) Advisory Committee which has representatives from the various units. 

The Advisory Committee solicits and evaluates suggestions on how to improve morale from all ranks, guaranteeing a considered response to each suggestion.  The program has proven so successful it has been adopted by other air forces. 

Perhaps its greatest success has been to encourage more flexibility in deployments: the 12V concept for deployments to Bosnia-Velika/Kladusa provides for a 12‑month Squadron deployment with variable personnel tour lengths – 16 core personnel deploy for 6 months at a time while most remaining personnel serve two 56 day periods and a few serve three periods.  This is not only less disruptive of family life, it also makes it easier for reserve personnel to participate in the rotations.  While this new system of rotation had eased the pressures of deployments, the tempo of operations and staff shortages both impeded training, setting up a vicious circle.([18])

On its visit to the East Coast the Committee was told about a number of quality of life issues.  The federal government housing available in the Halifax area was admittedly sub-standard.  In the opinion of many sailors, it was poor value for the rent charged, perhaps one reason why 70 percent of service men and women in the Halifax area have purchased houses.  Funding has not been available to modernize the PMQs, or Private Married Quarters, which were  built to 1940s-1950s standards.  Since the local market had a reasonable supply of 1-2 bedroom accommodations, the plan was to concentrate on updating larger units of 3-4 bedrooms.  While the quality of government housing affects only a minority of servicemen and women, the complaints the Committee heard about the thin and unyielding mattresses on Canada’s frigates and submarines were shared by all personnel.

Base Gagetown is located outside Fredericton, New Brunswick. One of its major functions is to support the Army training schools. The officers commanding 3 Area Support Group, the Combat Training Centre and the separate schools for advanced artillery, armour and  infantry training, brought their senior officers and warrant officers with them to their meeting with the Committee.  They raised a number of very important quality-of-life-issues.

The shortage of single-room accommodation at the base is acute due to the increasing demand for training courses and the necessity of bringing in additional instructors from Operational Units.  Even during the winter there is a shortage of rooms, and about 200 staff are forced to live two or three to a room.  In summer, the Base must provide accommodation for an additional 2,000 students and staff, who must be put under canvas or housed in open barracks.

The lack of services for families is reaching a crisis point.  It is prejudicing the willingness of servicemen and women with families to accept postings to  Base Gagetown.  While there are sufficient medical and dental staff on Base to look after the service personnel, the military does not provide medical services to family members, who are expected to find civilian practitioners.  Almost no civilian doctors, however, are accepting new patients because the doctor-to-population ratio in the Greater Fredericton area is one-third the national average.  It is just as difficult to find a local dentist, and francophones face an even more daunting search for either medical or dental care.

The serviceman or woman suffering from the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause physical and mental problems among family members.  While the military looks after its own, family members must depend on the resources of the province. Increasingly, however, the resources available in the health systems vary from province to province.  New Brunswick does not offer the same level of services as British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.  This applies not only to medical care, but also to the availability of special education and social services.

There was a consensus among many military witnesses at Base Gagetown that responsibility for the medical care of families should be the responsibility of the Department of National Defence, and that servicemen and women whose families have special medical, educational or other needs should, without prejudice to their careers, be free to turn down postings located in areas where these needs cannot be met.([19])


4. Recruiting and Retention

Recruiting new personnel into all services and trades has become increasingly difficult in recent years, as has the retention of specialists sought after by civilian employers.

The Committee learned that there are 105 military occupations within the Canadian Forces.  The status of an occupation is considered Red or “critical” if its “trained effective strength” is 90 percent or less of the “preferred manning level” and there are indications that its strength will not recover within 2 years.  It is considered Amber or “caution” if it is 91-95 percent of the “preferred manning level and there are indications that the shortfall will be made up within 1-2 years, if there is a rapid change year-to-year in its “trained effective strength,” or if its strength is more than 10 percent above the “preferred manning level.” 

On this basis an extraordinary 66 of the 105 occupations are “stressed,” that is 43 are classified as “critical” and 23 as “caution.” 

Among the understaffed non-commissioned occupations are highly specialized ones such as fire control and weapons technicians, several kinds of naval electronics technicians, as well as more traditional occupations like vehicle, x-ray, medical lab, and dental technicians.  Among officers, all six of the engineer occupations are of concern, as are those of medical and dental officers.([20])

According to the naval officers who briefed the Committee, the Regular Force is currently about 400 below strength, mostly in technical trades and at the level of Lieutenant, where there is a shortage of about 80-100 officers.  As a result some ships were short-staffed.

A shortage of personnel is one reason why HMCS Huron is tied up.  However there is no demand for all four Tribal Class Destroyers (DDH-280s), which are not fuel-efficient, to be fully operational.([21]

The Air Force, which has a critical shortage of 222 pilots and 40 aerospace engineers, as well as of technicians, hopes that retention bonuses will reduce the loss of its most valuable personnel. 

The need to assign some of the most highly-trained personnel to teach recruits places a heavy burden on the units concerned.

The Commander of the Combat Training Centre at Base Gagetown and the Commandants of the individual schools for advanced artillery, armoured and infantry training were particularly candid about the situation they faced.  Due to a reduction of roughly 25 percent  in their permanent staff, and constant increases in the demand for officer and advanced training, their workload has gone from 1,429 students and 50,000 student days in 1997-1998 to 2,342 students and 106,000 student days in the current financial year. The Army is forced to strip operational units of experienced personnel to serve as instructors. 

The demands on the operational units have increased exponentially over the past 5 years, from 233 Reservists and 113 Regulars in 1997-1998 to 734 Reservists and 1,266 Regulars in the current financial year.  Given the success of the current recruiting program, the situation will only get worse for the next few years as the new soldiers complete their basic training, carried out elsewhere, and move on to advanced training. 

The loss of core personnel to the training schools, particularly during the four summer months, is prejudicial to the ability of operational units to carry out either collective training exercises or the professional training of their officers and personnel.  As one of the witnesses bluntly told the Committee, the pace of the increase in workload is not sustainable by the schools or the operational units.([22])

According to the witnesses, the current recruiting campaign has generally had a great deal of success.  The Forces are offering recruiting allowances for most of the understaffed occupations, offering equivalencies for non-military technical training so that some or all of the military training can be by-passed, introducing a college sponsorship program for some of the technical trades, and encouraging internal transfers. 

More is being done to encourage commissioning officers from the ranks. The university studies for more engineers, doctors and dentists are being sponsored.  Despite these measures, however, it still takes years of training and experience to produce a qualified technician or officer.  An ominous note is that too many trained and qualified personnel leave the Armed Forces rather than re-enlist when their agreed-upon period of service is over.([23])

Throughout its hearings and travels the Committee enquired about the success of the Armed Forces in recruiting and retaining francophones, women and visible minorities.  The Committee was told that representation of visible minorities in all three services and in all ranks is not what it should be if the Forces are truly to represent the Canadian community.  The Committee heard from departmental witnesses some of the reasons for this were that new recruits are often from smaller towns while the majority of new immigrants live in cities and that many recent immigrants have reason to be suspicious of state authority figures and distrust them.


5. Operations Tempo

The tempo of operations refers to the total number of missions undertaken by the Canadian Forces at any one time.  These include among others fulfillment of treaty obligations, aid to the civil power, training and training exercises, as well as peacekeeping missions.  Already heavily burdened, arguably over-burdened, the Canadian Forces have just been assigned a new mission – to assist the United States “war” against international terrorists.  The very high tempo of operations emerged very early on in the Committee’s proceedings and travels as an contributing factor to other problems, whether the latter involve health care, quality of life, the ability to hold large-scale training operations or to ensure the professional development of individual service personnel.

Colonel Peters, in his presentation of July 18, 2001 told the Committee that throughout 1990s the operational tempo was higher for the Army than in any other period since Korea.  Not only were there deployments in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Pacific Rim, but major domestic deployments were required to help with floods and ice storms.  The Army proved its capability of maintaining two battle-group sized units abroad on demanding peace support operations, but “we managed to accomplish these tasks only at a considerable price.  We are very concerned about our ability to sustain this tempo at current resource levels.”  Colonel Peters went on to say that the burden is becoming “intolerable” for soldiers, and particularly junior leaders, who have been forced to work the equivalent of 80 days beyond the typical work year.  Vital combat skills at higher levels are being eroded at an accelerating rate due to lack of collective training at brigade level.([24])

The Committee learned that while the Army has borne the heaviest burden in terms of the tempo of operations, the Navy and Air Force have also been hard pressed.  Maritime Forces Atlantic, for example, has 5,230 Canadian Forces personnel, of whom about 2,625 serve on surface ships.  Well over half of these 2,625 are currently deployed, 1,150 in support of Operation Apollo to combat terrorism, and a further 240 with HMCS Toronto.  Since the Navy is short approximately 600 personnel, the workload is that much heavier for the others and personnel are increasingly posted from Operational Unit to Operational Unit. That is, the crew of a ship preparing for deployment can only be brought up to strength by taking personnel from another ship. 

While the shortage of junior officers places an addition workload on the others, the success of the current recruiting campaign promises to ease this situation in a few years.([25])   On the other hand, a serving naval officer described the workload demands placed on middle ranking officers as “having gone beyond abusive.”  Since it takes about 20 years to prepare an officer for promotion to Captain in the Navy or the equivalent in the other services, it will be much more difficult to replace them.([26])

12 Wing Shearwater provides the helicopter detachments, called “Helairdets,” that serve on the destroyers and frigates of both Maritime Forces Atlantic and Maritime Forces Pacific.  Each Helairdet consists of a Sea King helicopter, four pilots and eleven maintenance technicians.  Four of these units operate out of 443 Squadron based at Pat Bay, near Victoria, B.C. and five are based at Shearwater, Nova Scotia.  Since there continues to be a higher demand from the Navy for Helairdets than are available, operational detachments move from ship to ship, in Air Force vernacular, they “jetty hop.”  As a result, Helairdet personnel average more days at sea than most of their naval colleagues and their families must share their shore time with the need for continuous individual and collective training.([27]

Not surprisingly, operational tempo was one of the three priority issues identified by Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, Chief of the Maritime Staff, DND.([28])


6. The Canadian Forces Reserves

The Canadian Forces Reserves must provide the mobilization base for war.  While the Navy and Air Force have found valid roles for their Reserves, the Army has lagged behind. Although some progress has been made in restructuring the Land Force Reserves (Militia), they still lack a defined role in the Total Force concept. 

Briefing the Committee on the role of the reserves, Mr. Bon noted that in the 1994 White Paper, the Reserves were to be reduced in strength to help finance an increase of 3,000 in the field force.  When the Committee pressed him about the reduction, he replied that there is “no DND policy with regard to reservists.  There is a Government of Canada policy.”  Reserves, like Regulars, must reflect the realities of to-day, rather than the reality of yesterday.

Commodore McNeil gave the Committee an overall view of the Naval Reserve, noting that the 4,000 naval reservists are organized into 24 naval divisions with 150-200 reservists each.  Like Navy Regulars, the Naval Reserve is currently 400 below establishment.  The Navy sets aside specific roles and equipment for its reserves; for example, its coastal defence vessels are basically crewed by reservists.([29]

During the visit to the West Coast, Captain (Navy) Pile gave the Committee a more detailed view of the role of the reserves in manning the 6 West Coast and the 6 East Coast Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels.  With the exception of two Regular Force technical experts, these vessels are crewed and officered (38 Reservists including the Captain) by reservists from across Canada who are on contracts of between three months and  three years.  The vessels themselves are very versatile and can be easily given different configurations. They can be equipped with weapons, or to conduct Route Surveys and inspection of objects on the sea floor, or as the Ready Duty Ship for Search and Rescue.  The Navy has implemented the Total Force concept, expecting the same standards, expectations, level of leadership and professionalism from Reservists and Regulars alike.

There are three levels of Reserve pay: Class A for those serving an evening a week and the occasional week-end; Class B, supporting Reserve commitment on fixed length contract; Class C, on full-time call out doing the job of a Regular.  In April 2002, deploy ability will distinguish between Classes B and C.  Those who are deployable will receive 100 percent of the Regular pay, as opposed to 85 percent.

Captain Pile gave two reasons for delays in taking on recruits as Reservists: if the applicant has a criminal record, or when the applicant has previous service and the records must be searched before an offer is made.  Cutbacks have reduced the staff available to search records.  Like other officers the Committee spoke to, Captain Pile is opposed to U.S. style legislation governing Reservists: major employers will give time off, even “top up” Naval pay, but smaller employers might be disinclined to hire Reservists if they have to hold the job open.  He identified two major problems: shortage of staff (only 5 of the 6 vessels available could be manned) and lack of at sea time for training  (most at sea days are allocated to training regular force Naval officers).

Col. Peters briefed the Committee about the Land Force Reserve – the “Militia”.  The 15,000 militia reservists are organised into 10 Brigades scattered across Canada.  These formations are small and lightly equipped and cannot be deployed or serve in combat.  Traditionally, the Militia has been used for force generation and particularly “individual augmentation,” but the intent is to move to company-sized elements (100 soldiers) capable of being deployed with a regular force unit by 2002.([30])

In his appearance before the Committee, Lt. Gen. M.K. Jeffrey, Chief of the Land Staff, noted some of the progress that has been made in deploying militia formations as opposed to individual reservists.  The unit currently deployed in Bosnia, for example, the 3rd Van Doos, includes six full reserve infantry sections.  The next rotation, the 2nd Van Doos, will include one or two full platoons, and the follow-on rotation will include a full reserve infantry company.  He was quite candid about admitting that he was working to end the distrust between the Regulars and Reserves:  “Frankly, the Reserves did not trust the Regulars, and the same was true the other way round.”([31])

During its trip to Montreal, the Committee had the opportunity to meet informally with some officers and non-commissioned officers of the Black Watch Regiment.  Some of the points raised were the following:

a.      The Militia is increasingly short of instructors, and consequently cannot quickly increase its numbers;

b.     Sending large numbers of a Militia unit to serve with regulars, whether on deployment or as instructors, compromises its ability to train recruits and others;

c.     Reservists are not guaranteed jobs when they return from serving on missions because employers are not required by law to hold their job open;

d.     It takes longer to hire someone with previous experience in the Militia than a new recruit;

e.      Recruiting of officers and other personnel is impeded by centralization, generally inadequate promotional budgets and material.  Very little effort is made to appeal to the idealism of young people or to attract young women to the infantry; it is also very difficult for local units to get permission to recruit on their own at local secondary schools, colleges and universities;

f.       The Militia has been suffering from severe shortages of equipment for several years;

g.     Lieutenant Colonel Bolton, their commanding officer, stressed that the morale of his unit was good despite limited budgets and the increasingly bureaucratic military environment.([32])

The establishment of the Regular Air Force is just over 13,000.  The Reserves currently number just over 2,100, of whom about 700 are full-time and the remainder part-time.  Outside the two Reserve Squadrons which fly the Griffon helicopter, the Air Force Reserves are fully integrated in regular Air Force flights across the country.  The Air Force plans to increase the Reserves to 3,000.([33])

During the visit to 1 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg, Lieutenant Colonel Bert Doyle, Commanding Officer, 402 Squadron, spoke to the Committee about the role of the Squadron and the “Total Force” concept which it embodies. Its task is to conduct pilot training on de Havilland Dash 8’s and to provide the aircraft which the Air Navigation School uses for training air crew.  Regular and Reserve Force members work side-by-side to fulfill 402’s roles and duties. The only difference is that Regular Force personnel are used wherever they must be used, while Reservists are used wherever they can be used.  About 10 percent of the Reservists with 402 Squadron worked full-time with the Squadron.  The major concern of the Reservists is their lack of legislated job protection during periods of service on operations or training.([34])

Whenever possible members of the Committee questioned officers and other personnel of the Reserves of all three services about the need for legislation forcing employers to give Reservists time off for training and deployment.  There was definite reluctance among the officers to support the U.S. model of legislation because small employers in particular might be inclined, all other things being equal, not to hire the Reservist.  Some other ranks shared this view, but on balance they favoured legislation to protect their jobs. 

The Committee was told that while all provinces except Quebec have legislation allowing public servants to take time off for Reserve duties, the Federal Government had not adopted such legislation.  Dr. Kenneth Calder, Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy), DND, noted that legislation before the House of Commons would protect employment of Reservists during emergencies declared by the government – the Ice Storm, the Red River Floods, etc. – but not for peacekeeping operations.([35])

7.  Equipment and Contracting Out

Many witnesses noted that the Canadian Forces lack certain equipment; other equipment is at the end of its lifespan, but budget restrictions have delayed its replacement and reduced the quantity that will be replaced.  They also referred to the effectiveness of the “Alternate Service Delivery” program, or contracting out of tasks deemed not to be core or essential to the conduct of operations.

Mr. Bon reminded the Committee that by the policy set out in the 1994 White Paper the Forces were to be “appropriately equipped, but no more” to contribute to a wide range of operations at home and abroad.  New equipment would only be made available for core capabilities, and it would have to be suited for a wide range of roles.  Thus the White Paper identified four priority acquisitions: armoured personnel carriers, search and rescue helicopters, submarines (maybe) and ship-borne helicopters.  With the notable exception of the ship-borne helicopters, the equipment on this shopping list has been acquired.

In his presentation, Commodore McNeil showed the Committee a chart illustrating the remaining life of some major equipment, from the Sea King helicopter and ILTIS jeep (none), to the Aurora, Hercules and CF 18 Fighter aircraft, the Leopard Tank, etc. (25-50 percent) and to the new and “nearly new,” such as the Victoria submarines and Halifax Class and Kingston Class vessels, the Griffon helicopter, and the LAV armoured personnel carriers, etc. (75-100 percent).  To fund the purchase of new equipment the department’s planning places a heavy emphasis on finding ways to dedicate more of the budget to capital expenditures than the present $2.1 billion of $11.4 billion.([36])

Witnesses noted that the status of the equipment of the Navy and Army is generally regarded as quite good, largely because these services received a large quantity of new capital equipment in the years prior to the funding cutbacks of the mid 1990s.  The naval forces assigned to Operation Apollo, for example, are totally integrated into the United States carrier battle groups.  The Navy, however, continues to rely on the Air Force Sea King helicopter squadrons whose replacement has been delayed for more than a decade.  443 Squadron, for example, is supposed to have 6 Sea King helicopters to support Maritime Forces Pacific, but none are available.  Because of its age and the way its electronics were designed and installed, the Sea King requires 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight.([37])

According to Vice-Admiral Ron Buck, Chief of the Maritime Staff, DND, the first priority of the Navy is to replace the two 30 year old replenishment ships, HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Preserver.  The Navy hopes to build in some sealift capacity as well as to reduce the crew requirement to roughly half of the 265 crew required to man the existing vessels.  The Navy must also plan to replace the command and control and the anti-warfare capability of the 4 Tribal class destroyers, but this will not necessarily entail a hull-for-hull replacement.  Although the 1970s era destroyers and 1990s frigates are roughly the same size, the former are crewed by about 330 and the latter by 225, the difference being due to their respective technology.([38])

Colonel Peters testified that the Army’s most urgent need is to acquire better ISTAR capability – intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.([39])  The Air Force supports the Army with one of its most up-to-date platforms, the Griffon helicopter which it intends to modify by installing a system that will provide it with a surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capability, thus helping to meet the Army priorities.  As modified, it will complement the strengths of the Coyote reconnaissance vehicle and contribute much more to land operations.([40])

Senior departmental officials noted that most of the Canadian Forces equipment that is in need of outright replacement or major modernization to extend its life belongs to the Air Force.  In her recent report and in her appearance before the Committee, the Auditor-General, Ms. Sheila Fraser, was outspoken. The statistics developed for the audit indicate that the equipment owned by the Army is in good shape, and the Navy is holding its own but faces a “bow wave” of deferred work on the frigates that could cause availability, life expectancy and cost problems in the future.  The Air Force equipment is deteriorating and in general decline: annual flying hours for the Sea King, Hercules and Aurora have all steadily eroded over the past five years.  Except for the Griffon helicopter, aircraft availability is low – ranging from 30-60 percent – and falling  while the incidence of mission aborts is increasing.  The supply system can rarely meet urgent demands, and there is a shortage of maintenance personnel: overall, 13 percent of maintenance positions are vacant, and 15 percent are filled by personnel who are not fully trained for their rank.  Almost 40 percent of the training required to do specific jobs in individual units has not been taken.([41])

According to Lieutenant-General Lloyd Campbell, Commander of Air Command and Chief of the Air Staff, the delay in deciding on a replacement for the Sea King will virtually ensure that at least some of them will have to remain in service beyond their current life expectancy of 2005.  Thus the Air Force is evaluating what would have to be done to extend their airworthiness and safety for a further five years to 2010.([42]) A $1 billion modernization project will upgrade 80 of the newest F-18 fighter aircraft and bring them to the same capability as those in service with the United States Navy and Marine Corps.  (Initial investments have already been made in a possible replacement for the F-18, an international project to develop an affordable, stealthy, multi-role fighter aircraft, the “joint strike fighter.”)  The Aurora maritime surveillance aircraft will also undergo a major upgrade over the next decade to provide them with new avionics and sensor systems.

Lt.Gen. Campbell told the Committee that the fleet of Hercules, the backbone of tactical air mobility and tactical air-to-air re-fuelling capacity is aging, but no decision has been made about replacing them.  The fleet of 5 Polaris, a militarized version of the Airbus 310, gives the Air Force a limited strategic airlift capacity, and once two are modified for air-to-air refuelling, a strategic air-to-air refuelling capacity.  But the Polaris is not a true strategic airlifter able to move bulky equipment long distances and it is restricted to well prepared and maintained runways.  As a result, he argued that the Air Force urgently requires a true strategic airlift capability if it is to deploy military forces and their equipment abroad and to respond to domestic disasters and humanitarian crises.([43])

A senior officer told the Committee that the Air Force is generally satisfied with how contracting out of pilot training has worked.  Bombardier supplies everything, including food and housing, as well as aircraft, simulators and software.  The training is considered world class and many NATO pilots come to Canada for training.  Contracting out the maintenance of the Radar sites has also seemed to work.

Contracting out the servicing of aircraft is a different matter because the Air Force must be able to service and maintain the aircraft when they are deployed abroad.  In general, contracting out reduces flexibility – the contract workers and technicians cannot be assigned other tasks in an emergency or when under-occupied, and cannot be asked to work overtime except at punitive rates.([44])

According to the Auditor General, “outsourcing” or the Alternative Service Delivery Program has not provided the savings expected: $200 million by 2000.  That is partially because budget cutbacks reduced expenditures after the mid 1990s, but also because some contracts were ill-advised or poorly drafted.  DND now hopes to save $150 million by 2004.([45]) Contracting out may relieve some of the burden of training specialists.

Lt. General Christian Couture, Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) DND, told the Committee that long periods of time are required to train military personnel: 18 months to train a recruit; four additional years to train highly skilled personnel like a fire control systems technician;  2-5 years to train a junior officer. The Forces are therefore hoping to make greater use   of civilian educational institutions.  Civilian universities already provide much of the education required by junior officers through the Regular Officer Training Program, the Reserve Entry Officer Training Program, and the Reserve Entry Scheme Officer Training.  Now the forces are turning their attention to the technical training offered by community colleges. Graduates of some courses can earn credit for much of the content of their courses, which make it easier to quickly master military technology and requirements after recruit training.  The military is also exploring the possibility of having some colleges design and deliver technical courses to recruits or to supply the instructors for military courses.


Security Issues

8. Human Resources and Equipment

The Committee learned that budget restrictions have compromised the ability of both the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to keep themselves at the forefront of technological change.  In addition, many investigations are dropped or not pursued aggressively because of a shortage of trained personnel.  Many witnesses, however, were reluctant to give details or to speak for attribution.

Norman Inkster, former Commissioner of the RCMP, told the Committee that over the seven years he was Commissioner, the RCMP budget was cut by $400-$500 million and staff was cut from 21,000 to 20,000. Budget cuts and staff have been restored in the years since.  In his opinion, however, the Government of Canada must analyse the threat at hand, determine the resources required to meet that threat in a way that Canadians are adequately protected, and then fund and equip the responsible agencies well enough to do the job.([46])  Serving police officers would only admit to the Committee in general terms that they could always use additional personnel and equipment.  But when the government asked what the RCMP needed to combat terrorism following 11 September, the RCMP quickly put together a list of $50 million of equipment.([47])  Professor Wesley Wark testified that both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment had to upgrade their technology and that all of Canada’s security organizations required additional funding.([48])


9.  Access to Encryption and Cryptography Equipment

Senior security officials told the Committee that the relatively unrestricted public availability of sophisticated encryption/cryptography equipment and programs threatens to neuter an essential source of intelligence about the activities of spies, terrorists and criminals.  The use of sophisticated devices of this type by non-police users has complicated and frustrated investigations; it has also led to heavy police expenditures on the development of counter-measures.

Mr. D’Avignon, Director General, National Security Directorate, testified that lawful surveillance of suspect communications is an essential tool in combating terrorism and organised crime.  Protection of the public from acts of terrorism is balanced on a case-by-case basis with rights of citizens in applying intrusive methods under “lawful access”.([49]) Police methodology, however, is being eroded by illicit use of counter-technology.  The rapid increase in the number of telecommunications equipment and service providers has made it more difficult to monitor communications. So has the practice of replacing the use of lined phones with cell phones and then disposing of cell phones quickly. 

Superintendent Pilgrim testified that new technologies are harming lawful police surveillance.  Local number portability allows customers to keep the same number when they change addresses.  Personal communication systems (cell phones, pagers, palm pilots) are digital and more difficult to penetrate.  Satellite communications have a global reach.  The Internet is increasingly being used by criminals for communication.  Criminals have begun using cryptography codes that are almost impossible to decipher.  Cyber-terrorism has become a threat to public confidence in computer systems and computerized financial transactions.([50])


10.  Threat of Man-made Environmental Disasters

There is an increasing threat of national disaster caused by foreign powers or terrorists.  The continuing collapse of the industrial infrastructure in countries that once constituted the Soviet Union raises the spectre of nuclear accidents caused by the “rust out” of nuclear facilities, equipment or weapons.  Another wave of terrorist attacks in North America could result in the release of toxic bacteriological or chemical agents into the atmosphere.

Superintendent Pilgrim told the Committee that the RCMP has co-operated with the Department of National Defence to form a joint biological and chemical response team located at  Base Borden outside Toronto. This team has access to the resources of the Defence Research Establishment at Suffield, Alberta.  Wherever possible RCMP bomb disposal experts partner with the hazardous material teams of local fire departments.([51])


11. Control of Ports and Borders

Witnesses indicated that tightening control over air and seaports, border crossings and the border itself has become vitally important to campaigns against international terrorism and international crime.  The Committee considered the inherent contradiction between the economic need for the free flow of goods and persons across borders, and the need for greater security.

Superintendent Pilgrim did not agree with the perception that Canada has become a safe haven for terrorists and criminals.  The RCMP has a very good relationship with its U.S. counterparts, including the FBI and other policing agencies at the federal, state and local levels.  It also has good working relationships with the police forces of the United Kingdom and other European Countries. In Canada, the RCMP works hand-in-hand with local policing authorities with jurisdiction over ports. It also conducts independent criminal investigations. 

The conundrum over security is that although Canada is less a target for terrorists than the United States, if Canada does not provide an adequate level of security at its borders, the United States is likely to take arbitrary measures to ensure continental security.  Sharing information and intelligence and engaging in joint U.S.-Canadian police exercises helps Canada’s credibility on this issue.  In response to a question about the decision to disband the federal police force that used to patrol Canada’s ports and to devolve responsibility to local jurisdictions, Superintendent Pilgrim noted that elimination of port police had been a political decision, and creation of any new regime will also have to be a political decision.([52])

In Vancouver and Halifax, the Committee met with the local officials of the union that represents customs officers. The officers believe that the Customs Agency is understaffed and that during peak periods in the summer it is too dependent on inadequately trained students.  Staff shortages have led to a reduction in the number of containers inspected and in the size of “rummaging parties” sent aboard vessels to interview crew and conduct searches.  Since a single officer is much more at risk, the union believes no inspection team of fewer than two persons should be sent on board a vessel – even a fishing boat or pleasure craft.

Customs officers told the Committee they could do a better and more efficient job with better equipment.  Their computer network is considered inefficient because it does not give them all the information necessary to “target” inspections or passengers. Officers do not have terminals in their vehicles and have to return to their offices to get information and file reports.  They see a need for more state-of-the-art technology to allow them to inspect a higher percentage of containers and baggage. Customs facilities are inadequate at some of the locations at which they work, particularly the terminal for cruise ships in Vancouver.

At the Vancouver airport, officers feel they have increasingly been asked to do potentially dangerous work for which they have received little or no training – for example, to interview potentially violent passengers and to search baggage for explosives and chemical or bacteriological agents.  They want more training and better personal equipment.([53]

In Halifax, union representatives testified that neither summer students nor term employees are adequately trained.  As a minimum, full-time officers have to pass a demanding 8-week course with additional 2-4 week modules to learn a speciality involving travellers, mail or commercial goods.  After a training period of just two weeks, however, students are allowed to carry out almost a full range of Customs Officer duties.  The union said the security of the country is also placed at risk by the lack of adequate immigration training.  Customs Officers act as Canada’s front-line immigration officers, either clearing travelers or referring them to immigration officers.  A large number of small and remote posts, however, have no immigration officer on duty, so a customs officer must handle the job.  In his April 2000 report, the Auditor General warned that fully 60 percent of customs officers had not received immigration training. 

In Halifax, union representatives noted that, beginning in 2000, customs officers increasingly have been mandated to enforce some provisions of the Criminal Code. For instance, they are instructed to detain and arrest drunk drivers, child abductors, and persons driving stolen cars.  Many small and remote border posts are staffed by just one customs officer.  At the other extreme, the threat of violence  is omnipresent at major border crossings and international airports.  Police backup is not always immediately available.  As a result, the union representatives want at least some customs officers to be given access to firearms.([54])

Ms. Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada, told the Committee that the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, where approximately 6,000-7,000 trucks pass each day, about one-third of the trucks are sent for secondary inspection to a site almost 2 km away.  Very few are escorted.  In general, customs operations are impeded by a poor exchange of information and a lack of sufficient information to adequately assess the risk posed by a shipment or individual.([55])


12. Airports

A) Montreal (Dorval) Airport

Staff Sergeant Charles Castonguay told the Committee that the RCMP mandate at airports focuses on the activities of organized crime and enforcement of the federal laws dealing with contraband, drugs, illegal migrants, Agriculture Canada, the proceeds of crime, copyright and patents, controlled substances, etc.  There are RCMP organized crime units at the largest international airports.  The biggest units, with staffs of 40 police officers, are based in Toronto and Montreal, with a 20-person unit based in Vancouver.  The organized crime units include officials from other federal government departments.  The Montreal unit includes: 40 police; one criminal intelligence analyst; one prosecutor; one food inspector; one Customs intelligence officer; and, one immigration officer.  Special equipment at the airport includes an X-ray truck and an ion scanner, which allow authorities to search for contraband, explosives and drugs in baggage and parcels without opening them.([56])

Mr. Pierre-Paul Pharand, Acting Vice-President of the Airport Authority, testified that, despite tightened security following the 11 September attacks in the United States, two major problems remain: control of restricted area passes (while employees needing a pass are subject to a background check, a pass could be obtained even by those with a criminal record), and screening of passengers and baggage.

Mr. Pharand said that the Airport Authority is responsible for all security except screening passengers and baggage, a task which the airlines contract out to a private security firm.  The best and quickest way of improving airport security would be to make Airport Authorities responsible for screening.  Under the Airport Authority security officers could do screening one day, traffic control the next, and then other inside work.  Rotation would ensure that the staff on screening duty was more alert.  In Quebec the pay for security officers is $11.00/hr, considerably more than the $7.00 paid in Ontario.  More interesting work and better pay would help reduce staff turnover.

Mr. Pharand believed that Transport Canada should not be responsible for both regulating air safety and screening passengers and baggage.  An Airport Authority would find it much easier to discipline or fire security officers who fell down on the job.  Costs of increased security should be incorporated into the price of airline tickets.

According to Mr. Pharand, security screening of all workers on the airside of the barriers is carried out by the RCMP and the Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) at the request of Transport Canada.  The RCMP and CSIS report back to Transport Canada, which then decides whether or not to issue a pass.  All told about 40-50 people are involved in the control of passes.  There are two kinds of passes:  blue for access to restricted areas inside, and, red for access to outside security areas.  At any one time there are about 15,000 –17,000 passes in circulation, including some that have been lost by employees, or that have not been surrendered by employees upon leaving their jobs. 

Mr. Pharand noted, however, that passes now incorporate a security feature.  The chip in the pass that allows the holder to proceed through locked doors can be de-activated.  Employers with high rates of staff turnover can only obtain short-term passes.

In Pharand's opinion, control of those who work in the vicinity of aircraft is still too weak.  Conditions for passes should be made more strict.  Passes should only be given to workers if they agree to be subjected to random searches on entering or leaving a restricted area.

The representatives of both the Montreal Urban Police and the Sûreté du Québec praised the level of co-operation and co-ordination which exists among the three police forces.  A RCMP Joint Task Force led to improved co-ordination, establishing the responsibility of each of the three forces in the event of different incidents/emergencies.

The local district of the Montreal Urban Police began to assign officers to patrol inside and outside air terminals when the RCMP withdrew from such policing in 1996.  They enforce non-federal laws; the most common offences being possession of forbidden items and making threats.  The role of the Sûreté du Québec is quite limited.  It attaches six officers to the RCMP Organized Crime Task Forces at the Dorval and Mirabel Airports and at the Port of Montreal.  It also is responsible for patrolling the local highways leading to the airports and docks.([57])

B) Vancouver Airport

Craig Richmond, Vice-President of Airport Operations, Vancouver International Airport, noted that the Airport Authority already is responsible for most aspects of airport security.  It hires a private security company to control access to restricted areas and to patrol these areas. It also contracts with the Richmond RCMP to respond to security incidents and provide armed response when required at passenger screening points.

It was logical and desirable, according to Mr. Richmond, that the Airport Authority replace the airlines in the area of passenger pre-board screening, acting as the agent of the Government of Canada.  The Vancouver Airport Authority wants to see establishment of a national, non-profit government industry organization that will develop and oversee national standards for technology, training and delivery of passenger pre-board screening. It would also oversee the management of pre-board screening at smaller airports.  Mr. Richmond said this would provide the following benefits:

a.      unity of command among airport security officials and staff – all would report and be responsible to the Airport Authority;

b.     more varied and interesting work for security staff because they would rotate between pre-board screening, patrolling restricted areas inside and outside the terminal, and monitoring the closed-circuit television system;

c.     better pay, benefits and promotion opportunities for those doing pre-board screening as part of an integrated airport security force, whose higher rate of pay would reduce the very high turnover rate among those doing pre-board screening;

d.     local accountability within the bounds of a national standard.

The RCMP is responsible for enforcing federal law at the Vancouver airport. Their local Richmond detachment, under contract, is responsible for policing the airport.

Inspector Jim Begley outlined the organization and responsibilities of the organized crime unit at the airport.  In 1999 it was given 20 new uniformed positions. It now integrates the work previously carried out by a number of sub-units active at the airport.  With a combined strength of 47, its mandate is to enforce federal laws and disrupt the activities of organized crime.  In its first year of existence, the unit has concentrated on developing intelligence sources and information banks on the activities of organized crime at the airport.  It has begun a counter-offensive against the smuggling of humans into the country, as well as drug trafficking through the airport.  The Vancouver airport is a major transfer point between Asia, the United States and other parts of Canada for both drugs and large amounts of cash being moved without legal explanation.

Inspector Tonia Enger, RCMP Richmond Detachment, briefed the Committee on the responsibilities of her detachment as the police force of jurisdiction.  Under contract to the Airport Authority, her detachment provides general duty policing and is expected to respond to a call from a screening point in 5 minutes or less.  As the responding police force, her officers co-operate with the RCMP stationed at the airport, but are not responsible to them.([58])


13. Ports

A) The Port of Montreal

A senior officer of the RCMP (with the assistance of criminal intelligence officers from the RCMP, Canadian Customs and the Montreal Urban Community Police) briefed the Committee on the policing of the Port of Montreal.  According to the officer, who the Committee agreed not to identify, the most important policing is done by the small Organized Crime Task Force staffed by officers of the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec and the Montreal Urban Police.  Otherwise, very little has being done to control crime since the Port Police unit was disbanded.  Only Customs officers are now actively trying to prevent crime.  The RCMP officer said that most criminal offences – theft of containers, theft of contents - were not being reported by companies to police. Hence there are no reliable public statistics on the magnitude of these crimes.  Security guards, provided by a company hired by the Port Authority, are unarmed. They have no power of arrest nor intelligence capability.  In his opinion, these companies are easier for organized crime to penetrate. The previous contracted company had links to the Hell’s Angels.

The police and other officers suggested several solutions to the problem of organized crime at the Port: (a) develop a better understanding of crime in the Port; (b) develop a better system of exchanging information and intelligence, both nationally and internationally; (c) conduct an in-depth study of crime at the Port; and, (d) investigate and arrest the leaders of criminal operations, many of whom work as checkers, or as inspectors, and even in security at the Port.

The police believe that union control over hiring, firing and assigning dock workers – stevedores and checkers -- must be ended.  Checkers should not decide who unloads a particular container.  The union which supplies dock workers is “closed” to outsiders; applicants must be sponsored by insiders, who are sometimes members of crime families and their friends. Hence it is very difficult to infiltrate.  The police estimated that, at present, about 15 percent of stevedores have criminal records, as do 36.3 percent of checkers and fully 54 percent of the employees of a company with the contract to pick up garbage, do minor repairs and operate the tenders servicing ships moored in open water outside the harbour. 

Control at exits from the Port should be strengthened by making the Port Authority re-establish check points to control truckers.  The police testified that it is currently too easy for a dominant criminal gang on the docks to crowd a terminal in the early morning as a screen for the pick-up of contraband.([59])


B) The Port of Vancouver

Unlike the Port of Montreal which has a continuous waterfront, the Port of Vancouver has separate locations for terminals handling bulk or loose cargo, cruise lines, container ships, etc.  While responsibility for policing the Port of Vancouver is divided between a number of police jurisdictions, the Vancouver City Police is the most important of these.  Representatives of the Port Authority told the Committee that they have relatively little responsibility for security at the Port.  They said the Port Authority operates a system of closed circuit television cameras which monitor the various parts of the Port 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They testified that they have acquired a mobile scanner that can produce an image of the contents of a 40-foot container in about 40 seconds. Hence it is possible, in theory, to screen 100 percent of the containers moving through the Port.  They also noted that the Port Authority is paying $250,000 a year for increased security patrols around the perimeters of the Port.

The Port Authority has established a small intelligence unit to co-ordinate the work of the eight municipal police forces with jurisdiction over Port territory.  There is general satisfaction with the status quo, which is considered an improvement over the Port Police because there are more officers on patrol, and because they have a mandate beyond Port property.

The representatives of the Port Authority said they do not have any knowledge of organized crime activities at the Port.  (Customs officials reported to the Committee that they are often subjected to intimidation as they inspect containers, and reported that the Hell’s Angels is the dominant criminal influence within the Port.)  The Port Authority representatives said that it subjects its own employees to security screening, but that it hires only 121 of the 27,000 persons working on Port property.  Companies which lease Port property are free to screen or not screen their employees as they choose.  The British Columbia Marine Employers Association hires and trains dock workers, but workers are dispatched to their assignments through a hiring hall.  In conjunction with the private companies the Port Authority is, according to its representatives, trying to develop an identification card system common to all port employees.

The representatives told the Committee that the requirement under federal legislation that Port Authorities act on a strictly commercial basis may impede public security since the systematic checking of containers and cargo causes delays and irritates importers and exporters alike, and, since all parties have a financial interest in expediting traffic, security is deemed to be expensive and time-consuming.  There was no consensus that making one authority responsible for Port security across Canada would be an improvement.

Policing arrangements at the Port were discussed with Deputy Chief John Unger of the Vancouver City Police and Inspector Doug Kilo, Major Case Manager, E Division Criminal Operations, R.C.M.P.

A large number of municipalities are involved in policing Port property, not to mention separate provincial and federal detachments of the R.C.M.P., departments and agencies, and private security companies.  Consequently, there is seldom a clear division of responsibility.  Nevertheless, the police officers who briefed the Committee were satisfied that policing was co-operative and effective, primarily because of:

a.      the formation of waterfront teams combining the various police forces and agencies, each of which contributes sources of information and intelligence to the combined effort;

b.     the private security company responsible for closed circuit monitoring of Port property functions as the eyes and ears of the teams; and,

c.     modern communications help to unite the various forces and agencies involved in Port security.

An Intelligence Analyst from the British Columbia Organized Crime Unit noted that all the elements of traditional organized crime had infiltrated the Port, as well as more modern threats such as Asian Triads, Russian Gangsters, and Narco-Terrorists.  The range of criminal activity is assessed as much the same as at the Port of Montreal.  Motorcycle gangs are active and visible, linking criminal activities in the eastern and western ports.  The various elements of organized crime tend to have specialities, but they all participate in the import/export of illegal drugs as their most common and lucrative activity.  Asian and Russian gangs export stolen luxury cars.  Russian gangs are active among chandlers. Mexican and Columbian gangs are involved in narco-terrorism.

The police officers testified that policing crime in the Port is complicated because of the number of stakeholders, but effective co-operation on the ground compensate for the fragmentation.  The witnesses opposed formation of a single authority to police all the Ports of Canada believing that it would lack flexibility. About five federal departments have to enforce laws or regulations in the Ports.  They said each Port is different and a one-police-force-fits-all model would not be appropriate.  The different inputs of the various police forces and agencies are both valuable and valid, and are worth the extra effort necessary to co-ordinate their work.  They believed that Ports must have three-level policing to match the interests and responsibilities of the three levels of government at the Port that combines and utilizes the interests and expertise of the various forces. Waterfront teams include representatives from all the police forces.

In conclusion, the police briefers noted that federal and provincial expenditures on controlling organized crime were inadequate and completely disproportionate to the proceeds of crime. The $4 million governments spend represents a minute fraction of one percent of the proceeds of crime.  They believed that to ensure national security, governments need to prioritize bringing Canadian Ports up to the level of security that exists at major airports.  At a minimum:

a.      employees must be security- screened, and access denied to those with relevant criminal records or known criminal associations;

b.     movement onto and off  Port property must be better controlled; and,

c.     reporting of theft of containers and their contents to a central authority,  must be made mandatory.


C) The Port of Halifax

Representatives of the Port Authority told the Committee that following disbandment of the national Ports Canada Police, the Halifax Port Authority contracted with the Halifax Regional Police Service for an “enhanced policing service”.  The contract calls for full- time patrols on Port property 24 hours a day and seven days a week, for a full-time police supervisor and for a full-time intelligence officer.  The enhanced policing service is supplemented with a contract with a private security firm, staffing the Port security desk at all times.

The representatives of the Port Authority said they had implemented specific measures to deny terrorists and other criminal elements “soft” targets.  There is a port-wide contingency plan, developed in conjunction with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard, to coordinate the emergency response to various situations, including bomb threats and other acts of terrorism.  This plan is regularly reviewed and up-dated.  Exercises are held to ensure smooth implementation.  Other preventative measures include: surveillance cameras; a cruise vessel facility security plan to restrict unauthorized access; annual cruise vessel security exercises; evening foot patrols of the Cruise Pavilion and adjacent areas; special precautions for the handling of dangerous cargo; perimeter fencing around container terminals.

The representatives of the Port Authority said they intend to institute a universal system of identity cards and to upgrade both the fencing and camera surveillance of Port property.  The proposed identity cards will not be electronic. The Halifax Employers Association has a screening process for hiring new employees and the Halifax police will participate in the security checks of employees, but there will remain the problem of grand fathering existing workers.  A New Security Working Committee has been formed. Unions will contribute to its work on an “as needed basis”.  Through the Halifax Employers Association, the stevedoring companies hire, train and assign longshoremen and expediters.  Work assignments are made from a list of core workers with needed skills.  The union hiring hall only provides additional workers.  Like the Port Authorities of the Ports of Montreal and Vancouver, the Port Authority of Halifax denies any knowledge of organized crime activities on its property.

In his briefing to the Committee, Chief Superintendent Ian Atkins of the R.C.M.P. noted that container terminals are the favourite target of organized criminal activity.  He said containers are an excellent way of moving contraband, because the vast majority move through the port without being checked by Customs officers.  The major areas of criminal activity are the same in the Port of Halifax as in the Port of Montreal and the Port of Vancouver – drugs, stolen cars, tobacco and alcohol, theft of containers and/or their contents, and smuggling of human cargo.  A senior police officer said that in Halifax, a sample of 500 longshoremen turned up 187, or 39 percent, with criminal records while in the Port of Charlottetown 28 of 51 (almost 54 percent) had criminal records.  Through the biker gangs, organized crime had strong links to the major ports of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

Representatives of the R.C.M.P. indicated that they must also monitor illegal activity in a large number of small ports scattered along the coast of Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces (about 50% of illegal drugs make it to Canada via small boats, which land their contraband on remote beaches).  To do this, the RCMP relies on a coastal watch – volunteers who report suspicious movements along the coast.  In the future the R.C.M.P. believe they will once again be able to patrol the coast, because a patrol boat for this purpose is being built.

A senior officer of the Halifax Regional Police outlined the contribution of his men to the security of the port.  As mentioned above, his force is contracted to provide a detachment of eight police officers, a Staff Sergeant and an intelligence officer, to police the Port.  To ensure that the 10 officers are always available, regardless of sickness and vacation, 20 have been trained to do the job.  Good intelligence is critical to determine which of 250,000 containers to check.  In his opinion, the Port needs Customs officers with better equipment to inspect containers.  It also needs more police officers.

Jack Fagan, Regional Director of the Intelligence and Contraband-Customs for the Atlantic region, reviewed the mandate and responsibilities of his organization.  Given the limited manpower of the Customs and Revenue Agency and the police, he said enforcement had to be intelligence driven, the authorities had to know which containers to inspect.  According to his testimony, the Port of Halifax already meets the three percent national inspection standard.  It is “de-stuffing”, or unloading, three percent of the containers flowing through the Port, exclusive of those containers subjected to “back-end” inspection.

Those responsible for policing the Port were united in their opinion that the current situation is an improvement over the era of the Port Police.  The various policing and enforcement bodies had learned to co-operate and share intelligence.  They were de-stuffing a higher percentage of containers than is the practice in either Montreal or Vancouver, or the ports of the eastern United States.  Their priorities are to improve the targeting of containers for inspection, to acquire a site for de-stuffing and storing the contents of containers being inspected, and to accelerate the process of inspection.([60])


Issues Common to Defence and Security

14. Development of a National Security Policy

The Committee learned that at present Canada does not have a specific National Security Policy that would place defence policy, foreign policy and internal security in context, and relate them to one another.  While the constitutional division of powers represents a challenge, the time may have come to develop and promote a national security policy that can be endorsed by all levels of government.

Mr. D’Avignon, Director General of the National Security Directorate, Department of the Solicitor General, testified that the Department of the Solicitor General is the lead ministry for public security, with statutory responsibility for national security (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), policing (the RCMP) and law enforcement.  It is responsible for co-ordinating the response to terrorist incidents. Its minister is the lead government spokesperson during any incident or threat.  The National Security Directorate has three divisions: Security Policy; Counter-Terrorism and, Lawful Access.([61])

Brig. Gen. (Ret) David Jurkowski, former Chief of Staff for Joint Operations, told the Committee that Canada needs a national, centralized executive intelligence authority that sets priorities for national collection and analysis, has the means and ability to co-ordinate the efforts of all Canadian security organizations, and champions their needs.  This body should be in charge of maintaining a centralized repository of national intelligence information that focuses on all aspects of Canadian security.([62])

Major Gen (Ret) Clive Addy, National Chair, Federation of Military and United Services Institutes of Canada, supported the conclusions of the Federation Paper, Canada’s Strategic Security 21, which argues that Canada urgently needs a security strategy that would involve input from Foreign Affairs and International Trade, National Defence, the Solicitor General, Justice, Immigration, Finance, and other relevant departments. The National Security Strategy would be crafted by an independent panel of experts with a mandate to seek the maximum possible degree of “conversion” possible on issues essential to the security of Canada.  The panel would report to Parliament.  The Strategy would guide future foreign, defence and even financial policies.  A national security office would be created to co-ordinate the Strategy at the national level.([63])

Douglas Bland, Chair, Defence Management Studies Program, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, began his presentation by noting that the term “national security” could be defined so broadly as to be almost meaningless.  In his opinion the definition used by the now closed National Defence College was a good compromise:

“The preservation of a way of life acceptable to Canadian people and compatible with the needs and legitimate aspirations of others.  It includes freedom from military attack or coercion, freedom from internal subversion and freedom from the erosion of political, economic and social values that are essential to the quality of life.”

Professor Bland stated that a national security policy should concentrate on the means to mitigate threats and to address vulnerabilities at the same time.  It is the nature of most threats to be diffuse and outside national control.  They can be mitigated by traditional diplomatic tools such as negotiations, treaties, redress of legitimate grievances, etc.  Vulnerabilities are much more concrete and susceptible to national policies.

He outlined the following elements that should be included in a national security policy:

a.      A statement of purpose -- that is, a clear description of what is to be secured, from what, from whom, etc.

b.     A statement of responsibilities including that of individual Canadians as well as  various levels of government.   This should clearly identify the federal authority accountable to Parliament for the management and direction of national security.

c.     Establishment of an effective national security system to coordinate the many agencies and departments across government and between governments.  An important function of  this system would be to centralize the collection and processing of information into intelligence.  In his words: “You should collect broadly, analyze centrally, and then disseminate quickly from that source.”

d.     A general statement of the resources necessary to produce a national security system.

e.      A statement of the need to coordinate and control national security planning at both the national and international levels.  What is needed to combat single-minded, singly-commanded terrorist organizations is “an agile, centrally controlled properly resourced institution….”

f.       A statement of continental security and perhaps a body something like the Permanent Joint Board on Defence which brings together M.P.'s, Senators and officials, from both the U.S. and Canada, to discuss the needs of defence.

According to Professor Bland, the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities will continue to decline for the next 4-5 years, depending on the capacity in question regardless of how much additional funding they get.  Military equipment will essentially be worn out in the next 7-10 years.  He argued that “…building and maintaining an adequate national defence capability is part of a national security policy to deter, defend against, and defeat terrorists”.

In Canada, the government sets the amount available for defence and then tells the military to do as much as possible within that amount.  In Australia, the government and its experts haggle over what is necessary.  When consensus is reached, the government funds to that level.

While a Minister should be responsible for national security, Professor Bland did not feel this should be the responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Office because the current crisis over terrorism was “not severe enough”.  There are other high priority national policies to manage, he said, and it would be difficult to “sustain interest” over the long haul.  What is needed is a minister “almost solely dedicated to the question of building a national security system:  In my view, we are starting from almost nothing, and we will have to construct the policy, build a structure, bring the agencies together, try it out, run some tests and work for years to try to build this thing.  That requires concentration by a Minister.”

In his opinion responsibility for building and managing and being accountable for the national security system ought to fall to the individual who has most of the resources for that already, that is, the Minister of National Defence.  It would be appropriate, however, to appoint an Associate Minister of National Defence for operational security and to have then two voices in cabinet talking about these issues.([64])


15. Countering National Threats, Terrorism, Asymmetric Threats, and Cyber Threats

Mr. D’Avignon, Director General of the National Security Directorate, Department of the Solicitor General, is responsible for the national counter- terrorism plan which was approved in 1989.  The Plan is subject to ongoing review; a fundamental two year review was completed in May 2000.  It now includes, as a response to the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence (1999), reference to nuclear, bacteriological, chemical and radiological threats.  The primary threat is that new technology is giving terrorists a new versatility that challenges forces of order “to be constantly vigilant and to be fleet of foot”.([65])  Superintendent Pilgrim, Officer in Charge, National Security Investigations Branch, Criminal Intelligence Directorate, testified that under the National Security Act the RCMP is responsible for criminal investigations of national security offences while the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is responsible for collecting information and advising the government about threats to the security of Canada. Both are responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating potential threats.([66])

Professor Wesley Wark told the Committee that Canada faces an intelligence “crisis” because it lacks sufficient information gathering capacity and analytical capacity, combined with a “dysfunctional process for dissemination and usage of intelligence at the highest levels of government”.  The analytical weakness is particularly dangerous.  Canada must seriously consider establishment of a cabinet level ministerial position responsible for intelligence and security.  Privy Council Office Co-ordinators of Security and Intelligence normally serve as legal counsel to the cabinet as well, and consequently spend less than half their time on security and intelligence matters.([67])

Mr. Harlick, Assistant Deputy Minister, Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, DND, testified that this office is a civilian organization with a mandate to provide leadership on critical infrastructure protection and effective emergency management.  It reports to the Associate Deputy Minister of Defence, Ms. Purdy.  Depending on the funding the Office receives, its staffing will be in the order of 180-200 at full strength – now it is 110-120.([68])

Mr. Harlick went on to say that the successful Y2K campaign left the Office with a much better knowledge of critical infrastructures, as well as invaluable contacts with the provinces, foreign countries and private enterprise, particularly the banking, telecommunications and transportation sectors.  Six critical sectors have been identified: energy and utilities; transportation; communications; safety (including nuclear and search and rescue); essential services (finance, food, health); and the government sector.

The Office must plan to counter a wide range of threats. These include natural threats (ice storms, floods weather warming, etc.); information technology (the internet is “immature, unsecured, and unstable,” while software is vulnerable to viruses, Trojan back doors, hacking programs, etc.); and traditional threats (i.e., crime, espionage, and terrorism revolutionized by technology).  Mr. Harlick offered one illustration of   the problem by pointing out that malicious attacks on systems and networks increased by 430 percent from 1999 to 2000, and will probably increase by another 525 percent in 2001.  Cyber-warfare has already become part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and part of political protests.

He noted that in the 21st Century, the threat to Canadian infrastructure will increase.  His reasons: the concentration of the population’s wealth in a small number of vulnerable areas; climate change; infrastructure aging; and more dependency on information technologies.

The current objective of this Office has five elements: to put the federal house in order by completing the inventory of critical infrastructure; to develop a monitoring and co-ordinating capability that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; to build creative and sustainable partnerships internationally, nationally and locally; to intensify education and awareness, research and development; and to enhance national operational capabilities.

Achievement of the objective will be complicated and time-consuming.  In the United States 90 percent of critical infrastructure is not owned by the federal government.  Probably roughly the same is true in Canada.  Thus there is no magic bullet, the task is ongoing.


16. Inter-agency Cooperation and Shared Jurisdictions

The Committee heard testimony that, in a federal system, the difficulties of international and inter-agency co-operation are often compounded by the requirement of co-operation and co-ordination in shared jurisdictions.

Mr. D’Avignon, referring to the co-operation of the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection, told the Committee that he was satisfied that there is, in place, a “seamless organization that can act quickly and coherently anywhere in the country to a terrorist threat.” The national counter terrorist plan sets out the “structure and functioning of the government’s response to an incident.”

The provinces are responsible for first response to every incident, whether it involves terrorists or hazardous materials, or both.  Their role was integrated into the national plan after consultations.  The Security Offences Act governs RCMP arrangements with local police.  Agreements cover all provinces except Quebec, but the arrangements with Ontario and British Columbia are under review.  The Act gives the RCMP responsibility for terrorist incidents, although a municipal or provincial force may make the first response.([69])

Mike Theilmann, Acting Director of the Counter-Terrorism Division in the Department of the Solicitor General, testified that the operational readiness program to acquaint local forces with plans for their jurisdiction is reinforced with seminars and tabletop exercises across the country.  The Department contributes a component to the Incident Commanders Course at the Canadian Police College.  The Department of National Defence helps define threats/risks, participates in the national counter terrorism plan and sits on the interdepartmental policy advisory group.  It also participates in all training and exercises and helps train first responders and police forces.([70]

James Corcoran, the former Deputy Director of Operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, testified that the Security Intelligence Service is frequently asked to send an officer to a border-crossing point to help Immigration conduct an interview.  Most cases arise at major airports, or at the major border crossing points of south-western Ontario.  The Security Intelligence Service also develops terrorist profiles for Immigration Officers to use when conducting interviews at its posts around the world.  Its foreign-based liaison officers are available to conduct follow-up interviews as necessary.([71])

Professor Wark disagreed with the rather sanguine picture some other witnesses painted about the degree of co-ordination and co-operation among the various intelligence agencies.  He compared the Canadian intelligence system to a set of separate intelligence silos, co-ordinated largely by the PCO. He argues that Canada needs a new organization to merge the silos into one.([72])

Gary Loeppky, Deputy Commissioner, Operations, RCMP, told the Committee that following 11 September the government asked what the RCMP needed to respond to this new threat.  The RCMP recommended formation of integrated national security enforcement teams, and integrated border enforcement teams. These teams would involve multi-disciplinary federal, provincial and municipal agencies to target individuals identified as posing a security threat who also carry out criminal acts, even if the latter are “low-level” and have no direct national security implications.  He said that this would have led at least to the arrest of Ressam and some of the US attackers which would have disrupted their plotting and possibly led to more important information.

According to Deputy Commissioner Loeppky, the RCMP also recommended formation of a financial action task force to track the movement of funds to and from terrorist organizations through individuals and charitable groups.  This is essential to understanding the financing and maintenance of terrorist groups.  Criminalization of these activities would encourage prosecutions.  It would also promote greater discrimination in the causes supported by fundraisers.

Deputy Commissioner Loeppky said the RCMP sought funding for improved equipment, infrastructure and training from the government.  The events of 11 September made “intelligence-driven policing” and national and international partnerships even more important, as much of modern terrorism is driven by events in the terrorists’ homeland, not in their country of adoption.  The government gave the RCMP an additional $59 million (an amount which was raised to $576 million over six years by the budget). Almost the full $50 million designated for equipment will be spent and the equipment will be in use by the end of the year.  The $9 million for additional staff has already led to the formation of new teams which became operative well before the end of 2001.

According to Deputy Commissioner Loeppky cooperation and integration is made much more difficult by the lack of standardized technology. Communications systems and computers frequently cannot talk to each other. It is also hampered by the need to trust partners with sensitive information.   Much information emanating from foreign sources is only supplied with the agreement that it is not to be shared with third   parties.([73])

Richard Fadden, Deputy Clerk, Counsel and Security, Intelligence Coordinator, Privy Council Office, outlined the four security/intelligence communities in Canada as follows:

a.      Foreign intelligence is focused on the capabilities, activities and intentions of foreign states, organizations and individuals with an impact on vital Canadian interests.  The Communications Security Establishment works exclusively in foreign intelligence, but National Defence, Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and others also contribute.

b.     Security intelligence is focused on activities that might threaten Canadian security – terrorism, espionage, etc. The Solicitor General, through CSIS, has the greatest responsibility, but National Defence and Foreign Affairs, as well as the RCMP, are also  involved.

c.     Military intelligence – the tactical and strategic capabilities and intentions of foreign states and organizations – is basically the preserve of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. But Foreign Affairs, and the Solicitor General can contribute.

d.     Criminal intelligence – information about criminals and criminal organizations, how and why they commit crime – is the basic responsibility of the Solicitor General, through the RCMP and CSIS.

All these intelligence categories are dependent on the international exchange of information, as well as the exchange of information with each other, and with other federal, provincial and municipal authorities.

The Prime Minister has ultimate responsibility for national security; hence the location of the security intelligence co-ordinator in the Privy Council Office.

As Security Intelligence Coordinator, Richard Fadden has four categories of responsibility:

a.      Strategic Trend Analysis – to monitor the separate analyses for emerging or evolving trends that might impact on Canadian security;

b.     Setting National Priorities – to present intelligence priorities to ministers through the annual meeting of Ministers on Security and Intelligence;

c.     Horizontal Issues Management – to bring key players together to share ideas, best practices and problems;

d. International Relations Management – to preserve and develop the essential relationship with Canada’s intelligence partners; the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and to cultivate other relationships through traditional diplomatic methods, such as exchanges, liaison officers, etc.

As Coordinator he depends on the Security and Intelligence Secretariat, which both provides a forum in which departments can discuss common problems and advises the Prime Minister and Cabinet on security/intelligence issues.  His staff is actually very small.

On the policy or coordination side of the Security and Intelligence Secretariat, there are 20.  Seven work on foreign intelligence issues, seven work on security issues, and six work on physical security issues. On the central assessment side, 29 work for the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat to produce daily assessments for senior decision makers, a weekly assessment for the PCO and regular assessments for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Fadden outlined the Security and Intelligence Committee structure of the Government from the top down:

·        The Ministerial Meeting on Security and Intelligence, chaired by Prime Minister, meets once a year to set priorities;

·        The Cabinet Committee on Social Union, or an ad hoc committee such as the Ad Hoc Committee of Ministers on Public Security and Anti-Terrorism, can make decisions when security and intelligence involves broader social policy issues;

·        The Interdepartmental Committee on Security and Intelligence (ICSI), chaired by the Clerk of the Privy Council, includes the Deputy Heads of the sectors, departments and agencies and is the main executive forum that reviews major policy issues before they go to ministers. Its Executive Subcommittee, chaired by the Coordinator, meets more frequently, and consists of the Deputy Ministers of the core intelligence departments, plus the Department of Justice;

·        The Intelligence Policy Group, meeting bi-weekly chaired by the head of the Privy Council Office Security and Intelligence Secretariat, and including the Assistant Deputy Ministers of the intelligence community and the Department of Justice, is the principal intelligence policy coordination forum.

In reply to a comment that Canada is regarded as an intelligence “free-loader” by its closest intelligence allies, Mr. Fadden argued that while security/intelligence budgets were cut to provide a peace dividend and to reduce the deficit, since the 2000 budget $1.5 billion has been re-allocated and much of the $250 million announced since 11 September also supports security and intelligence: “It is not how we respond to this crisis in two or three months, but our actions in the coming three years or six years that is key.”  In his opinion security/intelligence budgets should not be given blanket increases, but the object should be to identify specific gaps and problem capacities and fund solutions.  11 September had showed up some problem areas, particularly the need for more standard operating procedures to speed up the flow of information/intelligence in a crisis.

One of the tasks of the Ad Hoc Committee of Ministers on Public Security and Anti-Terrorism, chaired by the Honourable John Manley P.C., is to evaluate the machinery and legislation in the security/intelligence field and advise the Prime Minister on whether more centralization is needed.([74])


17.  The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Mandate

The Committee learned that the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service are basically limited to the collection of intelligence in Canada. Except for the investigation of immigration cases, it lacks the resources to routinely operate in foreign countries. 

James Corcoran, the former Deputy Director of Operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, testified that under the existing Act the Security Intelligence Service has the power to operate in foreign countries in discharge of its mandate to investigate threats to the security of Canada. Its primary mandate, of course, is domestic.   A foreign intelligence service could be established as a separate unit in CSIS through the simple elimination of the words “within Canada” from section 16 of the CSIS Act.  A former Commissioner of the RCMP agreed that if it is decided to establish a foreign intelligence capacity, it should be incorporated into CSIS, rather than delegated to a separate agency.

Wesley Wark argued that, notwithstanding the accuracy of Corcoran’s remarks, Canada does not have a true foreign secret service capacity, which it needs if only to maintain an independent role in the global intelligence business and to keep its place at the allied intelligence table.  In his opinion, over the past years Canada has let what foreign information gathering capacity it had deteriorate.  In his opinion:

·        The communications security establishment needs both the resources to upgrade its technology and more political attention;

·        The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has severely reduced its capacity to report on the politics of foreign countries;

·        The Department of National Defence needs more resources for military intelligence, particularly for additional analytical experts.

This testimony came before the announcement of additional resources for security in the recent budget.  “The first line of defence against terrorism”, said Dr. Wark, “is intelligence”.  In his opinion, improved intelligence can once again be used to help Canada influence the decisions of allies, as was the case during World War II and the Cold War.

In response to the claim that more resources would have to be allocated to military intelligence if Canada is to remain a member in good standing of the allied intelligence community, General Jurkowski, the recently retired Chief of Staff for Joint Operations of the Canadian Armed Forces, acknowledged that, as a member of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence (which links Canada and the United States), he often had the feeling that he was considered “the Canadian freeloader.”  He did not have intelligence of equal value to offer in exchange for the intelligence he was seeking.

In Professor Wark’s opinion, the budget of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service should be increased. He told the Committee that a decision to develop an overseas intelligence capability would add an additional and large expense to the budget of CSIS and would take a decade to produce results.  He believes that reform of the security and intelligence agencies should be both internal to the agencies and external.  It could be carried out by a Parliamentary committee, issuance of a White Paper, or creation of a Royal Commission.  The process, in his opinion, has to be open to debate and understanding and led by a supportive Prime Minister to ensure that there is change.([75])

Major General Maisonneuve, Assistant Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff outlined three priorities in strengthening military intelligence:

a.      Enhance the human, as opposed to the technological, collection of intelligence, by training more personnel in the collection of intelligence from human sources;

b.Enhance the analytical capability of the Forces to deal with the ever increasing volume of information, by hiring more analysts and by forming partnerships with outside cultural, academic, etc. experts; and,

c.Establish an “information fusion centre” that will receive feeds from all collection assets and analyse the information.


Gary Loeppky, Deputy Commissioner of Operations of the RCMP,  agreed that sometimes it would be useful to have an off-shore intelligence capability, since  much of terrorism is driven by homeland politics.  In most cases, however, Canada can already get the information necessary from partnerships with foreign agencies.   Canadian analysis of information collected abroad, however, might be valuable. ([77])


18. The Washington Fact-Finding Trip

The fact-finding trip of the Committee to Washington D.C., during the first week of February, gave the Committee unprecedented access to the Congressional committees and Administration officials responsible for defence and security.  Unquestionably, part of the reason for this degree of access was   Canada’s supportive response to the attacks of 11 September([78]).  The members of the Committee took a strong message to their American hosts: 

·        First, the government and people of Canada consider the attacks on New York and Washington to have been an attack on North America. 

·        Second, contrary to some media reports and the opinions expressed by a few members of Congress, Canada and the Canadian border are not part of the security problems of the United States, but part of the solution.  Even before 11 September, the security of the Canadian side of the border compared favourably with the security of the United States side.  Since then, the Canadian Government has poured additional resources into at least the non-military elements of security, and has proven its determination to intensify cross-border co-operation as symbolized by the 30 point action plan to create a “smart” border. 

·        Third, the Committee strongly promoted Canadian energy resources, gas, oil and hydro, as an important element of U.S. and North American security.

Not surprisingly, the issues of U.S. and North American security dominated the Committee’s discussions in Washington.  While the Committee received many expressions of thanks for Canadian friendship and support, it also received many expressions of concern about the failure of the NATO allies of the United States in general, and Canada in particular, to devote enough of their resources to the modernization of their armed forces. 

Members of the United States Senate and House Committees on both Intelligence and the Armed Forces expressed a strong interest in developing a permanent, binational, committee-to-committee relationship that would help sensitize the committees of each country to the political realities faced by the other.

During these discussions the Committee also found it necessary to deliver two rather pointed messages about the common campaign against terrorism. 

·        In the Committee’s view, Canadian public opinion was not reacting favourably to the perceived United States treatment of Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners.

·        Secondly, Canadians had received no information that would favour expansion of the war to any of the countries of the so-called “Axis of Evil”. 

When the point was made that these issues were of political concern in Canada, several members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives immediately indicated that they understood that our statements were a reflection of the Canadian political reality.


19.  NORAD and the Proposed Homeland Defence Command

The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) continues to be essential to North American air defence and to the security of Canadian and United States air space.  According to a briefing before the visit to Washington from Lieutenant General George Macdonald, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, DND, since 11 September NORAD has flown over 10,000 sorties.  It has expanded its focus to include suspicious activities in the air space, both within Canada and the United States, rather than focus almost exclusively on aircraft approaching the North American air space.  It is working more closely with civilian air traffic control organizations in both countries to secure their respective air space.([79])

Canada renewed the NORAD agreement as recently as May 2001 because it continues to be one of the key aspects of the Canada-United States defence structure.  It incorporates a command- and- control framework, a pattern for coordinated action and an integrated military headquarters.  Most important, it has a bi-national command structure that respects the sovereignty of both countries; it thus provides a successful and proven pattern for coordinated action, including military plans and rules of engagement.

The United States Department of Defence is now in the final stages of developing a plan for Presidential and Congressional approval that would establish a commander-in-chief for homeland defence and complement the civilian homeland defence structure responsible to Governor Ridge.  This raises the critical issue of the relationship of NORAD to the proposed homeland defence command.  In the view of General Macdonald, it is essential that NORAD not become a subordinate command in such a way as to weaken the command and control of the Canadian Chief of Defence Staff over the Canadians and Canadian Air Force units integrated into NORAD’s structure.([80])

During its trip to Washington at the beginning of February, the Committee had an opportunity to discuss the future of NORAD and a possible Canadian role in the homeland defence command with officials of the United States Administration and members of both the Senate and House Armed Forces Committees. 

The Canadian Senate Committee opened these discussions by asking for a clear description of the proposed new homeland defence command. It then asked how Canada might fit in.  The members of the Senate and House Committees did not have the details of northern command and could not comment on Canada’s role.  The discussions with Secretary of defence Rumsfeld and officials of the Department of State, the Department of Defence and the National Security Council filled in some of the details about the architecture of the plan. 

At each of these meetings, members of the Canadian Senate posed two questions.

a.      How will the CINC North function?

b.     How did they view Canada’s participation?

Secretary Rumsfeld told the Committee that he planned to proceed and establish the new command by 1 October 2002, but that he had not taken the plan for the new command to the President.  After obtaining the approval of the President, he had to consult Congress.  Then he hoped to begin consultations with Canada and Mexico.

In describing the new command, which he referred to as “CINC NORTH”, Secretary Rumsfeld said it would include a geographical area from the North Pole to Panama and about 200 miles off each coast.

He told the Committee that no decision had been made about the location of the new command, but it was clear the officer in command (a four star General) would have to work closely with Governor Ridge.  Secretary Rumsfeld commented that the new command would have a relatively small staff and few permanent assets – other commands would serve as “force generators” as required.

When asked about Canada’s involvement, Secretary Rumsfeld commented that NORAD was already in place.  The Treaty had just been renewed.  He said he was very aware of the importance of maintaining the direct links from the Commander of NORAD to the Canadian command structure as well as the American command structure.

He said that Americans were pleased with the way NORAD functioned and assumed that Canadians were as well.  He then said he would welcome similar Canadian participation with both the sea and the land elements, but that it would be up to Canadians to determine whether it was in their national interest to participate in either or both.  He indicated that Canada and the United States had a long history of cooperation, and that he would be happy with whatever decision Canada made.

Essentially the same position was put forward by the officials of the Department of State, the Department of defence and the National Security Council.

Since no concrete proposal had yet been laid before the President the members of the Canadian Senate Committee did not comment, other than to note that the Canadian government would receive the proposals with interest.


20. NATO Enlargement

NATO enlargement will alter the nature of the alliance and have an as yet undetermined impact on Canadian defence and security policy.  According to Dr. Kenneth Calder, Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy), DND, the enlargement of NATO, like its growing emphasis on peacekeeping, proves its ability to evolve in tune with the international situation and continues to make the alliance relevant.  The invocation of Article 5 of the Treaty following 11 September proved its ability to respond quickly to an attack on North America, thus emphasising that it exists to defend North America as well as Europe.([81])

Jill Sinclair, Director General of the International Security Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, noted that Canada has always been one of the strongest supporters of enlargement, believing that this is the best way to extend the zone of stability and security in Europe.  She then reviewed the countries seeking admission: the three Baltic countries (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania), two parts of the former Yugoslavia (Macedonia and Slovenia) and the countries of Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. 

She commented upon NATO’s Membership Action Plan, which sets out guidelines for the admission of new members, addresses not only issues of military capability, but also human rights standards, and political, economic and social issues.  This May, the NATO foreign ministers will receive progress reports on each of the nations seeking membership.

According to the U.S. Department of State officials who briefed the Committee, President Bush is committed to a “robust” expansion at the Prague summit in November 2002 as part of a wider reform of the alliance.  The United States Administration would like to see NATO take a strong position against terrorism and notes that the Missile Defence System is intended to protect European members of the alliance as well as North America.  President Putin of Russia and his senior advisers have dropped their objections to NATO enlargement.  They recognize the inevitability of expansion and that it does not pose a threat to Russian security.  Indeed, Russian relations with the first three new members, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have improved since the latter were admitted. 

On the other hand, officials from the Brookings Institution and Carnegie Foundation told the Committee that important elements of the Russian General Staff and senior officials are still very suspicious of western motives. 

Dr. Crouch of the U S Office of the Secretary of defence told the Committee that the earlier expansion had been a success in helping to build security in central Europe.  In his view, expansion could be expected to make it more difficult to develop consensus among NATO members.  There are already different levels of interoperability among NATO forces which expansion could be expected to exacerbate.  The challenge over time would be to move the alliance toward greater interoperability and burden sharing.


21. NATO Interoperability

NATO Interoperability, or the need to ensure that the training and equipment of Canadian Forces personnel allows their full participation in NATO operations, is an ongoing concern. Because of NORAD, the Canadian Air Force is almost fully capable of operating with the United States.  According to testimony before the Committee, Canadian ships can be integrated into a U.S. Carrier Battle Group and frequently participate in joint exercises and missions.  They are controlled by the Commander of the Carrier Battle Group within the rules of engagement established by the Canadian Government.  The Commander of the Carrier Battle Group assigns missions based on the capabilities of Canadian ships and the parameters set by the government.  Only the Government of Canada can amend missions and the rules of engagement.  While both the Canadian Navy and Air Force have a reasonably high degree of interoperability with their United States counterparts, the Canadian army has lacked opportunities to exercise with United States forces since Canada left Europe.

American expenditure on defence was increasing rapidly even before the attacks of 11 September and the current intention is to increase spending from about U.S. $350 billion this year to about U.S. $450 billion by 2007.  A growing percentage of this expenditure will be spent on technology as the United States re-equips its conventional forces.  Inevitably, this will increase the interoperability gap between the United States and its allies.

The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a good example of the innovative way the United States exploits technology for military purposes.  According to its Deputy Director, Dr. Jane Alexander, it exists, not to solve the technological problems of to-day, but to identify problems that might arise a decade or fifteen years in the future.  To solve the latter, it has an annual budget of more than U.S. $2 billion to fund radical solutions.

The Committee was told that Canada and the other members of NATO face the prospect that United States forces will become so technologically advanced that interoperability becomes a thing of the past and the United States will operate alone.  Major General Dunn of the Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasised the importance of common standards of communication and training as well as of joint exercises in achieving interoperability.  Nevertheless, there was a strong message that a number of steps will have to be considered.

The Committee heard politely expressed, but clear, suggestions that Canada and the other NATO allies will have to increase the level of their military expenditures.  For its part, the United States will have to transfer technology by offering more opportunities for its allies to participate in the development of new weapons systems, such as the joint strike fighter or missile defence.  Finally, every country (including the United States, which prepares for combat, not peacekeeping) will have to consider more specialization, to decide what things it will do exceptionally well whether this be providing strategic air lift capacity, combat forces, special forces, etc.


22. National Missile Defence

National Missile Defence, the United States’ plan to develop and deploy what U.S. authorities described as a limited missile system to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles, will have a profound effect on the future of Canadian-US military co-operation, particularly in NORAD, and on Canadian defence and foreign policy in general. 

Early in the hearings Canadian Department of National Defence officials told the Committee that, in the opinion of the department, the U.S. does not really need Canadian participation.  Canada, however, did not have enough information to adopt a position.([82]

Prior to the departure of the Committee for Washington, Jill Sinclair, Director General of the International Security Bureau of Foreign Affairs, provided a briefing on the issue which she characterized as “cutting to the heart of a broad range of foreign policy and defence issues” and as “one of the more provocative issues on the security agenda.”

She outlined a number of Canadian concerns, including: how missile defence will fit into the broader framework of United States-Canada relations; how it will affect strategic stability and particularly relations with Russia and China; and, how it will affect global non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament.

In Washington, presentations by Professor O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution,  and Joseph Cirincione, of the Carnegie Foundation, explained to the Committee why the Missile Defence System had become such a high priority to the United States and why, in their opinion, the Administration had scant faith in the value of arms control treaties. 

In dealing with the near-nuclear powers, North Korea, Iraq and Iran (the so-called “Axis of Evil”) the United States wants a third option between nuclear retaliation and acquiesance, should one of these countries attempt nuclear blackmail some time in the future.  In the U.S. government’s opinion, there is also the realization that the coercive impact of attack by a nuclear ballistic missile is much more potent than the threat of a suitcase bomb.  In Congress, support for missile defence has been strong enough to give the program a large increase in funding for this financial year.

In discussions with members of the United States Congress and Administration officials, the Committee could not offer an opinion about the merits of the Missile Defence System other than to note that Canada was waiting for more specific information about the architecture of the proposal before adopting a position.


23. The Axis of Evil

Members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence were asked on three separate occasions about the “Axis of Evil” countries – Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee all asked whether Canada would be prepared to support the United States in an armed conflict with these countries.

Each time the issue was raised, the Canadian Committee replied that the burden was on the U.S. to show that Canada should join America in such an endeavour.  The Committee pointed out that the Americans would have to make the case in public in such a manner that the Canadian electorate and government would perceive the campaign to be in  Canada’s  national interest.

The Committee pointed out that, as always, Canadians would listen attentively to American concerns before making a decision.  It also noted that a United Nations resolution supporting the American objectives would be of great assistance in helping the Canadian Government arrive at a decision.

The Committee came away from the meetings with the sense that the American legislators were satisfied with its response.


24. Al Queda and Taliban Prisoners at Guantanamo

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence raised the question of Canadian concern regarding the perceived treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo military base with several organizations it met in Washington, including the three committees mentioned above.

While the Committee’s concerns were not shared, they were noted. Some groups went on to say they had received similar expressions of concern from other allies.


25. Border Issues

The briefings the Committee received and its trip to Washington made it clear that both Canada and the United States need to do more to secure their borders and to prevent the movement of contraband, illegal aliens and terrorists.  While Canada’s ability to prevent its territory from becoming a haven for those wishing to enter the United States illegally, or to smuggle contraband into the United States, has been called into question, the United States faces problems that are just as serious. 

Some of the United States politicians the Committee spoke to expressed strong dissatisfaction with the under funding of both the U.S. immigration service and the coast guard as well as with the general lack of United States resources assigned to the border with Canada.  The work of the Committee and its trip to Washington made it clear that Canada and the United States will have to intensify their cooperation to make the border more secure by adopting common measures to identify the high level of cross-border traffic that is low risk, from the remainder that is suspect and should be subjected to more thorough inspection.

At the beginning of the Committee’s hearings, Mr. D’Avignon, an official from the Department of the Solicitor General,  (responsible for CSIS and the RCMP), told the Committee that his department co-operates closely with Citizenship and Immigration to control borders.  Procedures were tightened in the aftermath of the Ressam incident.  The Passport Office now has an automated system that verifies information with other departments and can determine whether there is a security concern.  A cross-border crime forum seeks practical solutions for drug smuggling and other issues.  There is well-established Canada-United States information exchange and operational co-operation at the working level across Canada.([83])

Superintendent Pilgrim, the Officer in Charge of the RCMP’s National Security Investigations Branch, Criminal Intelligence Directorate, told the Committee that since 1996 the national security investigation capability at major international airports has been enhanced. Units are now located at Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal (Dorval) and Halifax.  Sixty-five agreements cover relations between the RCMP and police with local jurisdiction.  In the event of a national security incident, as defined by the Security Offences Act, the RCMP has jurisdiction, but not exclusive jurisdiction. Internationally, the RCMP works through international forums and working groups to combat terrorism.  It has several bilateral arrangements, especially with the United States and the United Kingdom.  Twenty-nine liaison officers are currently posted in 20 foreign countries to assist criminal investigations and exchange of information.([84])

Norman Inkster former Commissioner of the RCMP, noted some of the problems at the border.  Canada has 9,000 km of shared border with the United States.  A large percentage of customs agents are university students – about 2,200, for example, were hired to work during the summer of 2001.  This raised the question, in his mind, as to whether students should be used so extensively, and if so, whether their training could be improved.

According to the testimony of the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency, the ratio of student and term customs officers to permanent customs officers probably varies between 40-50 percent term to 60-50 percent permanent across the country, depending on the time of year.  The students receive just two weeks of training.  They are then are paired with a senior customs officer for a month before working on their own, sometimes on the primary inspection line.([85]) 

While new computers are being installed at border posts to assist customs agents screen people, these data banks are not connected to the RCMP data bank on criminals, or to data banks on suspected terrorists.  At present there is no link to U.S. border computers.([86])

The visit of the Committee to Washington confirmed that in the aftermath of 11 September, the United States has been united in its determination to find and punish the attackers and to dramatically strengthen its defences, and particularly its borders, against further terrorist attack.  Prior to leaving for the United States the Committee sought and received thorough briefings about all aspects of the security of the Canadian-United States border, about likely criticisms of security on the Canadian side of the border, and about problems on the American side of the border.

Free and unrestricted movement of goods and persons across the Canadian borders with the United States is essential to the economic well being of both countries, but Canada is undeniably even more dependent on bilateral trade than is the United States.  Over $1.9 billion (Cdn) in goods and services flows across the border every day.  Canada’s exports to the United States represent about 87 percent of its merchandise exports and 43 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.  Exports to Canada account for 25 percent of all United States exports, but just 25 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.  Nevertheless, 38 states have Canada as their largest trading partner.([87])  Seventy percent of the cross-border trade is carried by truck, about 45,000 of which cross the border each day at the same four or five border points in south-western Ontario.  Two-way trade has doubled since 1993, and traffic volumes are projected to grow by 10 percent annually over the next decade.  Clearly the stakes involved for Canada and the United States in ensuring the free flow of this trade are as huge as the volume of trade itself.

Over the past decade the perception has grown in the media of both the United States and Canada that the Canada-U.S. Border is porous.  Prior to 11 September, many in the United States had come to the conclusion that contraband, illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists pour across the border from Canada into the United States.  Unfortunately, this belief was given dramatic currency by the Ressam incident. It was not surprising after that, that it was initially reported that many of the terrorists responsible for the attacks had a Canadian connection.

In fact terrorists who carried out the attacks did not come through Canada.  All had legally entered the United States.  Members of the Canadian Senate Committee pressed home these facts with those U.S. politicians and officials who suggested a significant “Canadian connection” to the attacks.

When members of Congress raised the issue, members of the Canadian Committee asked the Americans if they could provide the names of any individuals with terrorist connections who had crossed the border from North to South, other than Mr. Ressam.  Inasmuch as no member of Congress could name an individual, this issue was not pursued further.

On 12 December 2001, Canada and the United States signed a declaration for the mutual development of a “Smart Border” between the two countries.  The Declaration embodies a 30- Point Action Plan calling on the two countries to collaborate in identifying and removing security risks, and in expediting the legitimate flow of people and goods across the border.  Other elements of the Plan will strengthen co-ordination between the enforcement agencies of the two countries in addressing common security threats.  Canadian and Unites States officials will meet in early 2002 to review the progress made in implementation of each of the objectives set out in the Action Plan.

Shortly after its arrival in Washington, the Committee heard a presentation by Stephen Flynn, a Commander in the United States Coast Guard and a Senior Fellow in the National Security Studies Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.  For some years he has been very concerned about the potential use of a maritime cargo container in a terrorist attack.  If the movement of containers should ever be halted so that all can be inspected, instead of the two percent  that at present are subjected to at least a cursory check in the United States, the North American transportation system will be tied up for months. 

More than 12 million maritime containers pass through the United States border inspection system annually.  He proposes a reform of the international transportation system, beginning with the seven greatest ports of the world through which most of the world’s sea traffic moves.  If these ports agreed on common standards for security, reporting, and information-sharing for operators, conveyances and cargo, these standards would quickly become universal.  Containers would be loaded at security-sanitized facilities, and after loading the containers would be equipped with monitors that would record any attempt to tamper with their seals.  Movement of the containers would be monitored by a global positioning system.  The secure movement of the containers would be complemented by advance notice of their contents, shippers, etc. to allow authorities time to assess the level of risk they presented.

Challenging the myth of the porous Canadian border, and promoting the measures that have already been implemented or are contemplated to improve security at border points, were important objectives of the Committee’s visit to Washington. 

The argument was presented forcefully that the vast majority of the container traffic is low risk.  Greater use of technology and biometrics, security screening of shippers, truckers and individuals who frequently cross the border, and advance information about containers will go a long way to increasing the security of trans border shipments, as will intensified Canadian-United States co-operation in the form of a single inspection system and joint border patrols.  These are just some of the ideas that the Committee raised in discussions about border security with the members of United States committees.  For the most part the principle of taking steps to identify “low risk” shipments was well received, as was the concept of cooperation and sharing of limited resources.

([1]) CINC is Commander in Chief which is a prefix for one of the U.S. regional commands.

([2]) Mr. Daniel Bon, Director General, Policy Planning, Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, Department of National Defence, Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([3]) Ibid., Issue 4, 15 October 2001.

([4]) Ibid.,Issue 7, 26 November 2001.

([5]) Ibid.,Issue  8,  3 December 2001 AM.

([6]) Ibid.

([7]) Ibid., 3 December 2001 PM.

(8) Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([9]) See the brief comments of Colonel William Peters, Director, Land Strategic Planning, Chief of Land Staff and of Commodore Jean-Yves Forcier, Chief of Staff J3, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Ibid., Issue 1, 18 July 2001

(10) Ibid.

([11]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002

([12]) Proceedings, Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

(13) Ibid., Issue 9,  10 December 2001

([14]) Ibid.

([15]) Ibid.

([16]) Ibid., Issue 4, 15 October 2001.

([17]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002

([18]) Ibid.

([19]) Notes from visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([20]) "Critical Occupations Considered to be at Risk Due to Personnel Shortages".  Information provided as a supplement to the testimony of 3 December 2001.

([21]) Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001 and Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([22]) Notes from visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([23]) Ibid.

([24]) Proceedings, 18 July 2001.

(25) Maritime Forces Atlantic, “Backgrounder for Senate Committee on Defence and Security: Military Personnel Issues and Quality of Life Issues”

([26]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([27]) Notes from visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([28]) Proceedings, Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

([29]) Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([30]) Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([31]) Ibid., Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

([32]) Notes from visit in Montreal, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([33]) Lieutenant-General Lloyd Campbell, Commander of Air Command and Chief of the Air Staff, Proceedings, Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

([34]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([35]) Proceedings, Issue 7, 26 November 2001.

([36]) Ibid., Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([37]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([38]) Proceedings, Issue 9, 10 December 2001.

([39]) Ibid., Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([40]) Lieutenant-General Lloyd Campbell, Commander of Air Command and Chief of the Air Staff, Proceedings, Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

([41]) Proceedings, Issue 9, 10 December 2001.

([42]) Proceedings, Issue 8, 3 December 2001.

([43]) Ibid.

([44]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([45]) Proceedings, Issue 9, 10 December 2001. Testimony of the Auditor General.

([46]) Proceedings,  Issue 3, 1 October 2001

([47]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001.

([48]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001

([49]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001

([50]) Ibid.,

([51]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001

([52]) Ibid., Issue 2,  19 July 2001

([53]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([54]) Notes from visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([55]) Proceedings, Issue 9, 10 December 2001

([56]) Notes from visit in Montreal, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([57]) Notes from visit in Montreal, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([58]) Notes from visit in Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([59]) Notes from visit to Montreal, 5-6 November 2001, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([60]) Notes from visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([61]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001.

([62]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001

([63]) Ibid., Issue 4, 15 October 2001.

([64]) Ibid., Issue 6, 29 October 2001.

([65]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001.

([66]) Ibid.

([67]) Ibid., Issue 3, 1 October 2001.

([68]) Ibid.

([69]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001.

([70]) Ibid.

([71]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001

([72]) Ibid.

([73]) Proceedings, Issue 5, 22 October 2001

([74]) Proceedings, Issue 6, 29 October 2001

([75]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001.

([76]) Proceedings, Issue 5, 22 October 2001.

([77]) Proceedings, 22 October 2001.

([78]) Notes from visit to Washington D.C, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([79]) Proceedings, Issue 10, 28 January 2002.

([80]) Ibid.

([81]) Proceedings, Issue  7, 26 November 2001.

([82]) Proceedings, Issue 1, 18 July 2001.

([83]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001

([84]) Proceedings, Issue 2, 19 July 2001.

([85]) Notes of visit in Halifax and Fredericton, Proceedings, Issue 12, 18 February 2002.

([86]) Proceedings, Issue 3, 1 October 2001.

([87]) Proceedings, Issue 10, 28 January 2002


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