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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Defence and Security

Issue 6 - Evidence


OTTAWA, Monday, October 29, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Defence and Security met this day at 6:00 p.m. 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.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Good evening. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Standing Senate Committee on Defence and Security, whether you are here in the room, watching on television or following us on the Internet.

This evening, we continue our study of major security and defence issues. My name is Colin Kenny. I am a senator from Ontario and I chair the committee. On my right is Senator Forrestall, from Nova Scotia, who is deputy chair of the committee.

Let me introduce the other members before us. On my far left is Senator Banks, from Alberta; on my far right is Senator Day, from New Brunswick; beside him is Senator Hubley, from Prince Edward Island; and beside her is Senator Wiebe, from Saskatchewan.

Our committee is the first permanent Senate committee with the mandate to conduct a survey on security and defence issues. Today, we continue our survey of major issues facing Canada and we will be reporting to the Senate before the end of February.

Recent events have focussed attention on the importance of intelligence, particularly how it is gathered, analyzed and used. Last week, we heard from witnesses from the Department of National Defence and the RCMP about their role in intelligence activities. Earlier this month, two panels of experts from outside the government gave us their views about how things should be done. This evening we have before us two representatives from the Privy Council Office who play a major role in the coordination of security and intelligence operations in the federal government. In the second half of our meeting, we shall hear from a university professor about the elements of a national security policy.

Let me begin by introducing our first two witnesses. Mr. Richard Fadden was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council Office in June of 2000. He was given additional responsibilities as Security and Intelligence Coordinator in February of this year. A career public servant, Mr. Fadden joined the public service through the Department of External Affairs and has served in Ottawa and was posted abroad. He has also worked at the Office of the Auditor General, at Natural Resources Canada and at the Treasury Board. With him is Larry Dickenson, Assistant Secretary to the cabinet for security and intelligence. Mr. Dickenson has had numerous diplomatic postings, including Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia. After serving as Director of the Millennium Task Force of the Privy Council Office and as Executive Director of the Millennium Bureau, he was appointed to his present position in January of 1999.

Mr. Richard Fadden, Deputy Clerk, Counsel and Security Intelligence Coordinator, Privy Council Office: Thank you for the invitation to appear before this committee. Amid the hectic pace of dealing with the challenges brought about by September 11, I welcome this opportunity to take a step back and look at how Canada's S & I community is set up. You have already received a fair amount of information and have heard from many quarters about the impact of September 11 on Canadians, on global security and related government responses - both real and contemplated.

I propose to try to put the current thread in Canada's anti-terrorism activities into the wider context of the S & I community in Canada. You have asked me to talk to you about Canada's S & I community and describe how its component departments and agencies collect, analyze and disseminate intelligence. I will try to offer insight on how these activities fit together and are coordinated, hopefully illustrating for you both the nature and value of intelligence to public security.

I will try to explain my role and that of the Privy Council Office. Much of that is found in supporting and managing a range of key interdepartmental committees, which are currently fully engaged. I will also try to give you a brief overview of PCO's role in crisis management, emphasizing the counter-terrorism context.

Finally, I will offer some observations on the S & I community's efforts to respond to emerging issues that are horizontal or crosscutting in nature. I hope you have had an opportunity the look at some of the materials we left with you.

[Translation]

Like the global environment, the current security and intelligence environment - the backdrop, if you will, for anti-terrorism - is now highly fluid and unpredictable. Of course, while at the best of times, there can never be 100 per cent risk management and prevention, September 11 has rendered intelligence itself, and the challenges to its effective uses, of critical importance.

The core work of Canadian security and intelligence community is to contribute to the safety and security of Canadians. The community must judge the growth or decline of particular threats, and provide political leaders with well-founded advice on appropriate prevention and enforcement action. The community works to add value to decision-making and policy-making on the full range of matters vital to Canada's interests in foreign relations, defence, economy and domestic security.

In doing its work, the community possesses a unique capability and authority to collect and assess information that is not available from conventional sources - colloquially speaking, secret information. The community must blend this information with all other available information, including that produced by the media and academia, and intelligence generated by foreign countries.

A quick word at this point on the nature of intelligence, Mr. Chairman, may be helpful before moving on to a more detailed description of community players.

[English]

Foreign intelligence is information about the capabilities, activities or intentions of foreign states, organizations or individuals. This information is collected and used to support and protect Canada's political, economic, military scientific, social and security interests.

The Communications Security Establishment works exclusively in the FI arena in Canada, but several other components of our community also contribute, for example, CSIS and Foreign Affairs.

Security intelligence is information about activities that could threaten Canada's security. This includes not only terrorism but also espionage and foreign-influenced activities that would cause a threat to public safety or national security. Broadly speaking, the collection and management of security and intelligence in Canada rests with the Solicitor General's department and CSIS is the primary agency to collect and develop this kind of intelligence.

Military intelligence includes tactical intelligence about military threats, capabilities and tactics that our military forces use to maximize their effectiveness - in short, enabling us to win the war or manage the peacekeeping activity and protect the troops. Military intelligence also includes strategic assessments of what will happen next, where and why. This is the domain of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Criminal intelligence is gathered and developed primarily by police agencies, including the RCMP, which, like CSIS, reports to the Solicitor General. It is information about those persons and groups who commit crime, how they do it, and the broad trends in criminal activity and its impact on society.

These four "INT" categories are by no means watertight. For example, most terrorist threats in Canada have foreign origins and foreign intelligence is critical to understanding those threats. All four forms of intelligence are critical to: understanding the origins of the situation and assessing future prospects; to protecting Canadians at home and in affected regions of the world; supporting our deployed military, supporting a key ally contributing to an international effort; and, to considering an dealing with any violence that might spill over to Canada.

An important measure of success in a security and intelligence community such as ours is how the various elements of the community work together effectively. They must complement each other, communicate readily and avoid undue overlap in competition for scarce resources. In later describing my role as coordinator, I will explain how we in PCO work to optimize the overall effectiveness of the community.

[Translation]

I will move on now to sketch out the elements of our community and how it works.

Let me begin with the head of government, the Prime Minister. He has ultimate responsibility for the national security of Canada and related intelligence matters. To a considerable degree, this is why the security and intelligence coordinator is located in the Privy Council Office. Individual ministers have line department responsibilities for the activities of the sector, and are accountable to Parliament for these activities. At another level, some of these line ministers have co-ordinating responsibilities for their parts of the community.

To drill down further on departments and agencies, and try to sketch for you who is primarily involved with that type of intelligence:

The Department of the Solicitor General has primary federal responsibility for public safety and domestic security matters. The Solicitor General provides policy direction to CSIS and the RCMP, and is directly responsible for overall federal counter-terrorism contingency planning. As Minister MacAulay has noted, he is accountable for co-ordinating Canada's counter-terrorism response, and the National Counter-Terrorism Plan.

The CSIS Act gives CSIS a mandate to collect security intelligence in Canada to counter espionage, sabotage, terrorism and subversion. CSIS also has a special mandate to advise any Minister of the Crown on matters relating to the security of Canada. This includes responsibility for providing security assessments, which for our current discussions, largely means producing threat assessments relevant to counter-terrorism. CSIS is best-placed to do this work, having developed the greatest operational expertise in this area.

[English]

Canada does not have a foreign intelligence service along the lines of a CIA, but CSIS can, under section 16 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, assist in the collection of foreign intelligence within Canada in response to requests from the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of National Defence.

Also reporting to the Solicitor General, the RCMP collects analyzes intelligence to support criminal investigations, including those with terrorist links. The RCMP is also primarily responsible for enforcing the Security Offences Act, which deals with offences related to terrorism, espionage and offences against internationally protected persons such as ambassadors accredited to Canada.

I wish to note that the RCMP and CSIS, for which the Solicitor General is accountable to Parliament, enjoy a measure of independence. It has long been a landmark of our system that criminal investigations are carried out independent of the government of the day. CSIS, for its part, pursues investigations of threats to Canada as defined in its statute.

With regard to the components relating to national defence, the Canadian agency devoted exclusively to foreign intelligence is the Communications Security Establishment, CSE. CSE is answerable to the Minister of National Defence and it reports to me for its operations and policy, and to the Deputy Minister of National Defence for administrative and personnel matters. CSE obtains foreign intelligence by collecting foreign radio, radar and other electronic signals - hence the term "signals intelligence." CSE also helps to ensure that the Canadian government's communications are secure from the interception efforts of others. In this respect, the Canadian Forces Information Operation Group assists CSE in carrying out its mandate.

CSE's intelligence products and expertise support Canada's anti-terrorism efforts, mainly by providing foreign intelligence that helps CSIS, the RCMP, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and others, to understand those foreign conflicts and dynamics which generate terrorism. Also, at DND, the Director General of Intelligence, DGInt, is responsible for providing military intelligence to the Canadian Armed Forces and to the government on issues involving the use or potential use of the Canadian forces abroad.

While not a generator of intelligence per se, it is important to note within DND the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness Canada, OCIPEP. OCIPEP provides national leadership, coordination and training for critical infrastructure protection and national civil emergency preparedness.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is responsible for protecting Canadians and DFAIT employees abroad. Its Security and Intelligence Bureau advises its ministers on such matters as security in their missions abroad, the expulsion of foreign diplomats from Canada for security reasons, and the management of terrorist incidents abroad involving Canadians or Canadian interests. DFAIT works with the Solicitor General to represent and to promote Canada's positions in international fora working to deal with terrorism, such as the G8, and it is instrumental in developing Canada's contributions and obligations under international agreements and conventions against terrorism.

To jump ahead a bit, the Privy Council Office is the home of the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat, the IAS, which produces foreign intelligence assessment for the Prime Minister, the cabinet, other PCO elements and other officials across government. I mention the IAS at this point to underline their role in the analysis of intelligence and as the only central assessment body in the system. The IAS staff produce all-source - that is, using all the types of intelligence - agreed-upon assessment that reflect input from across government and cover a broad range of issues. The IA committee is the key interdepartmental committee that addresses assessment issues and reviews strategic foreign intelligence assessments or papers.

The IAS has developed a unique value-added role by concentrating on broad, strategic assessments of world events and emerging issues and trends with specific implications for Canadian policy, albeit written with policy-neutral content.

The Department of Justice provides legal advice regarding security and intelligence issues, policy-making and specific cases.

Other significant players include the departments of Citizenship and Immigration, Customs and Revenue, Transport and the Department of Finance's Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre, which monitors and analyzes suspicious criminals and, if Parliament approves, terrorist-related financial transactions.

In light of the current environment and in terms of consequence management and prevention, it is important to mention Health Canada, Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the National Research Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Let me move on to the Privy Council Office and outline how my role originated.

The coordinator's role has existed since 1985. The Clerk of the Privy Council has given me a mandate to coordinate and lead the sector on the Prime Minister's behalf. The main rationale for the coordinator's position is that there is no single minister responsible for S & I issues. Each of the departments and agencies I have described has its own mandate and budget; most also manage other programs that have nothing or little to do with security and intelligence. The deputy heads of these departments and agencies are responsible to their ministers. At the same time, however, on S & I, as on all matters, they are mandated to work together on files with horizontal implications.

Yet, the sector must be more than the sum of its parts. The Prime Minister has ultimate accountability to Parliament and to Canadians for the security of our country. My role is to support him in that accountability and to ensure that the key players work well together - that we address the right issues at the right time, and that we collectively identify the correct responses, solutions and courses of action.

My core responsibilities fall into four categories: Strategic trends analysis, setting of national priorities, horizontal issues management, and managing relations with our international intelligence partners.

Strategic trend analysis is a hallmark of the PCO role. We constantly monitor the S & I environment for emerging and evolving trends that could have an impact on our security. Each of the players in the sector does their own strategic thinking from their own perspective and my part is to put the individual views into a balanced overview. PCO has also come to play a role in helping to understand the evolution of challenges and appropriate responses on the horizontal, global scale. Just as issues such as terrorism, arms proliferation, organized crime and immigration interact, the types of intelligence must interact. Someone must be able to step back and ask the key questions about how these "INTs" can help each and to deal with the ethical, legal organizational questions that occur within the Canadian context.

Next is the setting of national priorities. Assisting with priority setting is the most important part of my job, given normal times and normal circumstances. I must ensure the presentation of intelligence priorities to ministers for their direction. We do this once a year at the meeting of Ministers on Security and Intelligence, MMSI, about which I will say more later when we get to the committee structures. This is the key accountability mechanism which allows ministers to set intelligence priorities to guide all the activities of the sector in collection, assessment, production and in the overall management of intelligence resources and programs.

With regard to the issue of horizontal issues management, many of the toughest issues in the sector today are multi-faceted, wide ranging and horizontal in nature. The potential complexity of issues in the area of national security is clearly illustrated by the events of September 11. It would be hard to find a comparable issue that has affected more government department, programs and other levels of government and private sector interest. Such issues can only be effectively addressed collectively by bringing the key players together to share ideas, best practices and problems. This is one of my key functions - namely, to facilitate such a style of management and cooperation.

[Translation]

Our international relationships give Canada invaluable access to intelligence, technology and expertise that help us protect Canadians. The centrepiece of these relationships is the alliance with our partners, the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand. That five-party alliance had its genesis in formal agreements dating back to the Second World War, and it must be regarded as an essential asset to be protected and cultivated. It gives us access to resources far beyond what Canada has or could hope to develop on its own; simply speaking, we get far more than we are able to give.

That being said, a significant development is the growth in the number of international relationships beyond the five-party alliance. Terrorism is a global threat and terrorists clearly ignore borders. In order to be effective, police and security agencies have a world-wide interest in co-operating, sharing intelligence and undertaking joint operations, if terrorism is to be thwarted.

The Privy Council Office helps to maintain these relationships by what might be called the traditional diplomatic methods. We travel, host visits and meet with their representatives. We have liaison officers in both London and Washington who serve these functions and facilitate exchanges on intelligence assessments. We also have a not inconsiderable role in setting the policy parameters of these relationships.

But most contacts with foreign intelligence services occur directly and bilaterally between those services and Canadian government departments, our intelligence agencies and our police agencies. My task is to co-ordinate the players in the security and intelligence community to maximize the benefits of these relationships.

[English]

I wish now to address how I approach the coordinator's role. The PCO function is best played out day-to-day at all levels without a heavy hand. Cooperation is built through constructive influence and agenda setting. To do otherwise in this sector would be counterproductive and adversely affect the ability of others to do their jobs. The individual accountability of each deputy head to his or her minister must be given room for expression.

In my role as coordinator, I rely on the Security and Intelligence Secretariat headed by Larry Dickenson, who is with me tonight. It works to provide a forum for departments to discuss common concerns, help manage crises or hot issues and coordinate work on horizontal matters that are important to the sector and to the government as a whole. The secretariat also performs the traditional PCO functions of providing advice to the Prime Minister and cabinet on a full range of security and intelligence and supporting the intelligence committee structures.

Let me turn now to security and intelligence committee structure. A vigorous and well-accepted committee structure has always been essential to the Canadian S & I community.

Working from the top down, let me touch upon the Ministerial Meeting on Security and Intelligence, MMSI, chaired by the Prime Minister. This is held once a year to set national intelligence priorities. Its membership has grown somewhat in recent years and it can also address other major policy issues in the sector.

In addition, where there is a security and intelligence component within a broader social policy, the Cabinet Committee on Social Union or an ad hoc meeting of ministers may take decisions affecting the sector. In the current circumstances, the Prime Minister has established, under Mr. Manley's chairmanship, the Ad Hoc Committee of Ministers on Public Security and Anti-Terrorism.

The Interdepartmental Committee on Security and Intelligence, ICSI, chaired by my boss, the Clerk of the Privy Council, and for which I am vice-chair, is a committee of deputy heads from the sectors, departments and agencies. It reviews major policy issues before they go to ministers and is the main executive forum in the sector.

ICSI often acts through an executive subcommittee, which I chair. It meets more frequently than ICSI and it is composed of the deputy ministers from the core intelligence departments along with the Department of Justice. Executive ICSI is effective in ensuring senior level attention to key policy, operational and resource issues in a sensitive area. Currently, ICSI deputies, as well as deputies of key concerned departments are meeting frequently, both to deal with specific matters relating to the crisis and to support Minister Manley's committee.

The Intelligence Policy Group, IPG, is the principal intelligence policy coordination forum. Again, in normal circumstances, it usually meets bi-weekly and is chaired by Mr. Dickenson. Assistant deputy ministers from the intelligence community participate, as does Justice Canada. The IPG tries to epitomize horizontal management in our sector. The members focus on those issues that have a broad impact and identify courses of action and solutions for the way ahead.

An ADM committee on public safety is also led out of the Department of the Solicitor General. It provides a coordination and discussion forum for policy and priority setting in law enforcement and public safety. This group and the IPG maintain close links and have some cross-pollination in membership.

[Translation]

I think it may be helpful at this stage to sketch the role Privy Council Office plays in terrorism crisis management and policy development. Again, I will offer how it "normally" works while noting what I can about what we are doing in these extraordinary times.

With the Deputy Solicitor General, I work continually to ensure that counter-terrorism-related issues, preparedness, policy development and resources are given proper priority in the intelligence community and in the cabinet committee system I have described.

I will speak mostly about the NCTP, the National Counter-Terrorism Plan. Under that plan, the Privy Council Office would play very much its traditional role of supporting the Prime Minister and cabinet with information and advice, and facilitating senior decision-making. We would work with the lead ministry, Solicitor General, to coordinate special meetings of ICSI or ministers. We would also have representatives on the NCTP's working groups and at the RCMP National Operations Centre. We would particularly work to insure effective two-way communication between the crisis management bodies and the Prime Minister, cabinet committees and ICSI. PCO would play on a co-ordinated, central public communications response as well.

I understand that you are interested in some ways in the frequency of meetings of committees, and that's probably a good angle from which to talk about the current role of the Privy Council Office in managing September 11-related business. Let me first underline that this situation is extraordinary; the scale of it, the variety and depth of programs and public issues affected, the work demanded of ministers and public servants. This is probably unprecedented in recent government and public service history. It is not an oversimplification to say that all the processes and people I have so far described are working flat out.

[English]

A committee of deputy ministers, whose membership is similar to that of ICSI's, meets at least weekly. It is dealing with substantive issues and interdepartmental issues and working to support Mr. Manley's committee. We are bringing to the table everyone who needs to be there and widening membership on an ad hoc basis in dealing with the current multi-faceted concerns. The Clerk is kept well informed of the major policy issues being dealt with by this group and is participating in many of the key meetings.

ADM-level meetings and topic-specific working groups are also in play and we have a broad ad hoc membership. IPG has essentially stood down temporarily to allow for this.

Mr. Manley's committee is meeting often, on the order of roughly twice weekly. Other core members are the Deputy Prime Minister, the Solicitor General, the ministers of Finance, Transport, Defence, Justice, National Revenue and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Many PCO secretariats - primarily the S & I - are working to support this group secretariat, and to ensure coordination with the broader policy agenda and interests of the government. Mr. Manley reports regularly on his progress to the PM and cabinet.

I apologize for going quickly, but I thought it would be better to save time for questions.

The Chairman: It was helpful.

Before we proceed to questions, I should like the introduce Senator Stollery, chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Nolin, who is the chair of the Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs.

Senator Banks: You talked about the way things work "normally" and said that the present situation is not normal. It would be fair to say that - notwithstanding the remarkable abnormality of the present situation and of the events of September 11 - any terrorist attack at any level, on any scale, on any part of North America, would be extraordinary and not normal. When those things happen, nothing is normal. In that respect, I think I understand why the structure is as complicated and as widely based as it is. To the uninitiated, it sounds like an unimaginable hornets' nest of opinions and interests. However, as you have explained so clearly, those interests do cut across all of those areas.

We have heard from experts in the area of national intelligence tell us that, generally speaking, Canada's intelligence capabilities have been in rather severe decline over the last few years. This committee has been told that, and many of us have heard that suggestion put forward outside this committee.

In particular, we have heard that Canada's intelligence contribution internationally used to be highly regarded - particularly with respect to signals intelligence. We have been told that the gathering of information is one thing and the processing of it and turning it into intelligence is another. We used to be highly regarded in that field. We have become less so over the last 25 years or so, partly because of budget constraints and our incapacity to do certain of the kinds of things that we used to do. We heard it suggested that in those international meetings to which you refer, some people who have attended them feel that the reaction is "Here come the Canadian free-loaders." I suspect that things have been ramped up considerably. We know that certain monies have been ramped up since the events of September 11, but I would appreciate your telling us what you think of that assessment - which we have heard from more than one person.

Mr. Fadden: That is a very critical question. First, it is important for me to point out that, with the fall of the Soviet Union, a large number of countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, generated for themselves what is called a "peace dividend." They cut back on their defence resources and the resources that they spent on security and intelligence. I am telling you nothing that you do not know by saying that we have done the same. If you add to that the determination of the Canadian government to deal with its difficult fiscal situation over the course of the last several years, the amounts that have been available to the S & I community have been reduced.

However, since budget 2000, if you take the S & I community broadly defined, somewhat between $1 billion and $1.5 billion have been reallocated to this area and of the $250 million that the ministers announced in response to the events of September 11, a good chunk is going to traditional S & I.

Having said that, we probably have not ramped up as much as the other two countries I have mentioned. We are not a world power. To a considerable degree, what we do, we do well. The more important issue is whether we are doing what we should be doing in pursuit of our national interest because we have to make difficult choices.

During the course of the Cold War, one of the real advantages of Canada in respect to signals intelligence was our geography. The geographic advantage is no longer there because Russia is not quite the enemy that the Soviet Union was. The communications security establishment is trying to develop new ways of fulfilling its mandate. That is a challenge for all signals intelligence agencies because the global communications network today is not the same network we had 15 years ago.

To try to sum up, we have been cut back as has been the case with many other countries. We received an infusion of funds and interest. The key for Canada and Canada's S&I community now is whether or not, for a variety of reasons that involve national decision making, we make some decisions that reorient and resituate the community. 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.

Mr. Martin has indicated he will be giving a budget later this year. It will be interesting to see whether there is anything for is S&I but, more importantly, what sort orientation the world's S&I communities take in respect to the fight against terrorism.

Senator Banks: That suggests that if we are going to make a valuable contribution and be at the international table, which we value, we should specialize in something and become better at it than everyone else, and so good at it that we will be valuable contributors to that international table. I am assuming that that is not going to lie in the foreign or offshore collection of foreign intelligence, that we will continue to rely upon others to provide us with that raw information. Is that a reasonable assumption? We do not have the means now of doing any foreign intelligence beyond signals foreign intelligence.

Mr. Fadden: We have to be careful with definitions. We do collect intelligence abroad through the CSIS, although it is limited by law to collecting information relating to the security of Canada. As I was trying to say in my opening remarks, the gap between foreign intelligence and security intelligence is not as great as it used to be. CSIS is gathering some information abroad that relates to counter- or anti-terrorism. I do not know if you would characterize that as foreign intelligence or not. In some ways, you can. In any event, there is some collection going on beyond signals intelligence.

In respect of your broader question about specialization, I strongly agree with you. The difficulty we are going to have is that Canada has a global foreign policy. Having a niche security and intelligence community with a global foreign policy creates a bit of a disconnect. It would be necessary for us to try to identify within that global foreign policy those areas where we could legitimately develop that expertise and pursue it.

Senator Banks: Like the processing of signals intelligence.

Mr. Fadden: That is an excellent example.

Senator Banks: I ask you the next question because we have asked it of others. The answers we got did not satisfy me in terms of clarity. Canada contains several nuclear generating plants, including the largest one in the world, which could, theoretically, be a target for somebody wishing to wreak havoc. In the event of either an accident, which happens, or an attack, regardless of how it came about, there would be a problem. Who exactly would be in charge of managing a nuclear disaster in Canada? I ask the question because in almost every other respect of energy generation, there is a clear answer. In the case of a nuclear accident, who is in charge?

Mr. Fadden: That is a very good question. Constitutionally, it is clear that the federal government is responsible for nuclear energy and nuclear policy in this country. That includes setting the security standards for that industry. You probably know better than I do that the Nuclear Safety Commission just issued upgraded standards for the industry about a week ago. In the event that either disaster occurred, the honest answer is that the responders of first resort are the provinces and the municipalities in which these nuclear plants are located.

Senator Banks: They do not know that.

Mr. Fadden: With respect, in this country, we have taken the view that civil order and the responsibility of the police, ambulances and fire companies are provincial. If we had a nuclear disaster in any one of our major plants, we would require police, health emergency response and fire companies. They are all provincial.

Having said that, they also constitute national vital points, which are of considerable interest to the federal government. OCIPEP, which is a new organization, is endeavouring to develop a national plan for training and coordination. I am not trying to avoid answering your question. I am trying to suggest that the answer is complex. You cannot say it is the City of Toronto with Pickering. It is largely the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, but the federal government does have a role.

Senator Banks: The Province of Ontario does not have any regulatory role outside the immediate environmental/ecological one with respect to nuclear energy generation. Nuclear energy is the only kind of energy generation in which the provinces have no role. In the management of a disaster of the kind I am discussing, in which, for example, large amounts of nuclear waste material were discharged into Lake Ontario, who is in charge?

Mr. Fadden: Under the constitution, the police alert local jurisdiction would be initially responsible. The hospitals and the health services most directly related to the location of the plant would be responsible, but the Canadian government would become immediately involved. There is a national counter-terrorism plan that plans and coordinates that effort.

The corollary is that if the federal government were responsible for incidents of this sort, the federal government would have to maintain at all of these nuclear plants a full capacity to respond on the health front, the environment front, the police front and the emergency planning front. Rightly or wrongly, it has been decided by successive Canadian governments that that is not the way to go.

Senator Banks: I agree there would be a fire that would have to be put out. There would be some injuries that would have to be looked after, and it is clear those would have to be done by the local authorities. The question to which I am trying to find the answer is whether an overarching umbrella responsibility would have to come into play in order to coordinate the larger parts of the question - not just those injured on the site, not just the fire but the large question, the cloud or water or whatever. Are you satisfied that somebody would be able to take responsibility and coordinate the efforts of the respective agencies given their respective responsibilities?

Mr. Fadden: I would argue that if the disaster were caused by an act of terrorism, the federal responsibility for national security would come into play. If it were sufficiently serious, consideration would be given to invoking the Emergencies Act, and, in that case, the default responsible minister is the Minister of National Defence, although it is always up to the Prime Minister to delegate another minister. If it were related to counter-terrorism, the federal government would play a greater role.

There are also administrative provisions - and I do not think you are necessarily referring to this - in terms of consequence management over the longer term for federal reimbursements for costs incurred. That is probably not the most perfect answer, but I am trying to give you as honest an answer that I can.

[Translation]

Senator Nolin: Mr. Fadden, in line with Senator Banks' question, I understand there are actually intervention plans. You referred to changes that might be brought to a plan that was recently disclosed by the responsible agency.

Are there any exercises regularly carried out in order to make sure that the plan is working? That might answer my colleague's question.

Mr. Fadden: I am not an expert in that field. I do not think there are any exercises at the national level, no. But the Solicitor General organizes regular reviews and exercises at the regional level.

I do not know if Mr. Dickenson, who is more familiar with that than I am, could give you a better answer. I could easily get further information on that, but I don't have the details right now.

[English]

Mr. Lawrence T. Dickenson, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Security and Intelligence: I do not think I have an answer on that specific point, but as Mr. Fadden said, they do a table-top exercise where they simulate a situation of a terrorist attack. They do, with cities, simulate an attack, and every so many years they do that with the United States. It is not necessarily directly related to a nuclear attack. It could be anything from a hostage taking to some form of terrorist attack.

Senator Forrestall: Let me take another tack. Perhaps it might be helpful if the witnesses were to tell us that the local director would not necessarily take charge.

Mr. Fadden: There is very little doubt that that would not be the case. The local director is representing an agency that, by and large, is dedicated to coordination, training and the development of plans. They are not meant to be the on-site coordinators in any shape, way or fashion.

Senator Forrestall: I was not being facetious. I appreciate the difficulty you have.

Another anomaly is your persistent use of the term "horizontal." I believe that you are talking about integration and operations generally. Could you give us a bit of an explanation as to your - I almost said fixation - with the word "horizontal"? I think it is important to understand that term in order to understand your remarks.

Mr. Fadden: The Government of Canada, as you know better than I do, is organized on a vertical basis with public servants being responsible to ministers who are responsible to Parliament. Having said that, it would be my observation, in this sector, at least, that virtually nothing that happens of any great import is restricted to one department or ministry's vertical lines of responsibility. You find yourself having to take the vertical and merge it at the top to get a coordinated, collaborative, well-communicated approach to life.

The response to the events of September 11 is a good example of that. At least a dozen departments are involved, and if look at just the Canadian border, Customs Canada, Immigration, the RCMP, the Food Inspection Agency and a variety of others have all been involved in increasing the level of alertness at the border. If this were to take place without any coordination, without the other departments knowing what is going on, you would have some considerable confusion.

When I use the word "horizontal", I mean horizontal coordination either brought about by the departments themselves, which sometimes happens, or sometimes brought about by my colleagues and me.

Senator Forrestall: That is helpful. I wanted to look at some detail. How many people are in the Privy Council Office, Security and Intelligence Directorate?

Mr. Fadden: Let me look up the specific numbers. It is a relatively small shop, and it is divided, by and large, into two parts.

Mr. Dickenson: My portion of the group to which Mr. Fadden is referring has 20 people. That figure is split among those who work on foreign intelligence type issues, those who work on security type issues, and those who work on actual physical security of the building, of relationships, with Parliament and the Prime Minister's protective detail.

Senator Forrestall: At your level, you work with all those departments that are involved?

Mr. Dickenson: That is right.

Senator Forrestall: It may differ from time to time, but you work with all of them?

Mr. Dickenson: That is right, through the committee structure. Perhaps I could add a footnote while Mr. Fadden is reflecting on the other part of his portfolio. In terms of the structure - both you and Senator Banks have raised this - it has evolved over the last few years. The fact that budgets have not been so robust has helped it evolve because you cannot afford overlap and duplication if budgets are small.

Before September 11, we had re-instituted and made quite real the executive committee of ICSI, which Mr. Fadden chairs, and it was meeting on an extremely regular basis. We created, a year and one-half ago, the ADM committee on public safety, which is a far more operational one. It was meeting on a regular basis. After September 11, it was meeting virtually daily for the first few weeks to manage horizontally the operational aspects.

Mr. Fadden: The other part on the S & I side is composed of about 29 people who work on the preparation of centralized foreign intelligence assessments.

Senator Forrestall: There are, roughly, 50 people between the two sides. Since the events of September 11 are part of what we are dealing with, in a sense, how often did briefings take place, for example, prior to September 11 and then after? Could you give us some sense of the increase in activity, approximately?

Mr. Fadden: I can try, senator. On the central assessment side, they produce regular assessments for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and they produce one centrally for PCO every week. Since then, they have been producing virtually twice daily a compendium of intelligence reviews and assessments about what is happening in the world.

On the policy or the coordination side, since September 11, a committee of DMs, which I chair, certainly met once a week, twice a week most weeks. Previously, we might have met every three or four weeks. At the ADM levels, people also met two or three times a week.

The difficulty we have is that you need to get people together to coordinate and ensure you are sharing the same information base. You must not get together so frequently that people cannot work, which is the underlying objective of all this. It is a balancing act. However, at a minimum, our regular meetings have tripled if not quadrupled.

Senator Forrestall: That is a lot of meetings. Do what degree does that tax your existing staff?

Mr. Fadden: I would be less than honest if I did not say that it has taxed the staff considerably.

Senator Forrestall: Would that be beyond its capacity to work and serve well the end that you are trying to serve?

Mr. Fadden: That is a fair question. It has been okay until now. If this level of activity continues beyond Christmas, I do not think it is sustainable. People will become ill. Most people have worked every weekend since September 11, in many cases both days of each weekend, and pretty well every evening. I want to stress, however, that the people on the front line, at the borders, the RCMP, if anything, are having a tougher time.

Senator Forrestall: The whole community is having an extraordinarily difficult time. I presume you have your oar in the water.

Mr. Fadden: Occasionally, yes.

Senator Forrestall: Are you a net producer of information or gatherer of information at your level?

Mr. Fadden: That is a difficult question to answer. It is hard to answer it "net," as you put it, Senator Forrestall. Personally, what I do is I cause people to talk to one another. I cause things to be done. On the assessment side, every day starts with an assessment being prepared for senior decision makers on what we have learned overnight and later in the day. Since September 11, and even before, very few days went by without two or three meetings.

A great deal of what I do is much like when the chairman called me to invite me to appear and to tell me what you wanted me to try and say. One does some preparatory work on meetings and then does follow-up meetings to make sure everyone is on the same wavelength. I report regularly to the clerk, who reports to the Prime Minister on what goes on. Some days are more operational than others.

Senator Forrestall: You say you report regularly. Is that on the basis of "we will meet five times a day," or "we will meet as and when you feel that you need me or I feel that I need you"?

Mr. Fadden: It is pretty well the latter. I have discovered that one of the great advantages of my life and one of the great banes of my existence is the PMO switchboard. They can find one anywhere, anytime, and it is used a great deal. It is very much when there is the need. During the weekend, when the United States initiated its military actions against Afghanistan, we met for three days and talked into the evening. I know Mr. Capp talked a great deal with the Prime Minister during that period. It is "as needed" more than on a regular, relatively automatic basis.

Senator Forrestall: I will now move to the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat. How large is that group?

Mr. Fadden: Approximately 30 people.

Senator Forrestall: Is that large enough?

Mr. Fadden: If you look at it in the context of Canada having a global foreign policy, with a wide reach of interests, it is barely doing what it can do. If you look at the world as being composed of a certain number of countries and continents that are of interest to the country, does it cover them? Yes, it does. Would I like to be able to say that we could have some backup, some people who could spend more time on short term as opposed to long term? I would say yes.

With the results of program review and a variety of other reductions, if we were reduced at all, I would have to tell my masters that we could not purport to deliver a comprehensive view. We are close to the limit, I think.

Senator Forrestall: That would be more true were we to extend to CSIS that envelope to do offshore intelligence work, other than what it is doing presently.

How big is the Assistant Secretariat to Cabinet office? I am wondering how far we have to go because it is so vital and important.

Mr. Fadden: Mr. Dickenson's office is about 20.

Senator Forrestall: What about the Foreign Intelligence Section? How many would work there?

Mr. Fadden: I am sorry, senator, I am not sure which you mean exactly.

Senator Forrestall: In international trade, for example, as a collector of intelligence, whatever its nature, how many are charged with the responsibility of receiving that information, assessing it and passing on to your level of operation? It is not important if you do not have that number.

Mr. Fadden: I do not think I could. I would have to break it down. The bottom line is that it is not a large number of people.

Senator Forrestall: That is fine. What is the role of the National Security Section?

Mr. Fadden: That is a component part of Mr. Dickenson's shop.

Senator Forrestall: How many hats do you have?

Mr. Dickenson: I am multi-headed. In this office of 20 people, there is my immediate support and myself. Then you have a small team that deals with what we call operational security issues: The security of the Prime Minister's suite, the security of PCO, liaison with the Prime Minister's protective detail and with security people on Parliament Hill. That is a small group of about six.

Then, for the balance of that group, they are split into two small offices. One office helps me in terms of providing coordination on foreign intelligence and the advice to Mr. Fadden and on up to the clerk and the Prime Minister. The other office deals with national security issues. These are three small teams of about six or seven people each.

Senator Forrestall: Are there any other significant groupings that are generally involved in bringing together the information that you must look at and dispense in the right direction at the end of each day or week? Are there any other significant departments?

Mr. Fadden: My advice on that would be the Solicitor General's department plays a key role here and that partly reflects their portfolio. Within that there is CSIS and the RCMP, but they are the central agency for those specific agencies. We rely on them for policy advice and coordination, and frequently turn to them to chair meetings that are more of an operational nature.

I would like to comment on your reference to foreign affairs. The intelligence group that they have does not really generate intelligence. They coordinate the foreign affairs participation in the horizontal management of the intelligence community. They provide advice to their senior management and the minister on the security of all those embassies and consulates around the world. They provide advice on whether a foreign diplomatic resident in Ottawa is doing something that they should not be doing and perhaps should be expelled. They have a whole range of functions but it is not foreign intelligence collection.

Senator Forrestall: I appreciate your responses.

We were told the other day about the threat level; how high is it relative to something that the great Canadian population might understand. The director of the RCMP in the region told us that he would compare it with the level that they attach to securing the American embassy.

In terms of these precincts here, and the men and women who work from them, do you have a perception of the threat level? Could you let us in on that? I ask this because there is a growing concern. People are looking after our physical well-being, but I have a sense we may overlook the mental well-being, particularly of many of our employees.

Mr. Fadden: Do you mean in respect of Parliament in particular, senator?

Senator Forrestall: Yes, what threat level would you assess? Could you relate it to something we might understand?

Mr. Fadden: It is somewhat difficult because Canada, for a variety of reasons over the years has not created levels of threat. NORAD, of which we are a member, has a series of carefully calibrated distinctions. More broadly, we have chosen not to do that to allow for a more nuanced response.

The threat against Canada has been characterized as significant, growing and worthy of ongoing review. Within that category, Parliament Hill rates near the top of the threat scale. Having said that, whether or not we like it, the principal target on this planet right now is the United States, not Canada. However, there are a variety of reasons why people might try to attack Canada: because they want to try to drive a wedge between us and the United States; because security there is so tight that you cannot get it; or because there are significant United States interests in Canada.

Within Canada, Parliament Hill, the Prime Minister and a few other sites have the highest level of threat. Mr. Dickenson and I read more intelligence than we probably want to and there has been no specific or identified threat against this country and none against Parliament Hill.

There have been instances where individuals who have been under surveillance for one reason or another have given us cause to worry. That is about as far as we can go, not because I do not want to tell you more. However, security here was increased significantly because there are a half dozen individuals who we could not quite get our hands on who had been seen on the hill and that caused concern. We do not want to take a risk, so we suggested and it was agreed that security could be increased.

I want to stress that we have no clear intelligence suggesting that there is a threat against Parliament. We are trying to take preventive steps to ensure that nothing will happen.

Senator Wiebe: At the first set of hearings that were held I expressed my deep concern that security and intelligence systems in this country were rather fragmented. At times, the right hand within the various departments did not know what the left hand was doing.

I want to thank you for your presentation today; it has given me some level of comfort, though not completely. The concern that I still have is that the citizens of this country must rely on seven different ministers of the Crown and the PMO to provide a comfort level of security.

We have responded to the unfortunate events of September 11 by increasing budgets for manpower, new equipment and this sort of thing with which I certainly agree. In comparison, the United States has a similar system to ours, where that responsibility for security is divided up among many ministries. Here we have a country that spent over $80 billion on security and they got caught with their pants down.

Our security system has not been tested as severely as theirs. I am happy to hear that you are meeting on a weekly basis, but have you looked at this system? We are facing a new style of terrorism and perhaps we are spreading ourselves too thin but making this the responsibility of seven separate ministries to keep on top of what is happening and to react quickly in case something happens or if some leads come to us.

In your agendas, have you talked about or considered centralizing some of the responsibility and the work that is required out there in an effort to try to respond more quickly?

Mr. Fadden: The short answer is that we are looking at the system. The role of Mr. Manley's committee is to hear recommendations on this issue and eventually to formulate them to the prime minister if they relate to machinery or to Parliament if they relate to legislation.

Having said that, we are blessed in this country by having, fundamentally, one police enforcement agency. The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was telling me the other day that there are 43 of his opposite number in the United States.

We have a national police force that does provincial, some municipal and federal policing, that does the enforcement for customs and immigration. There is no separate secret service or bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. In that way, we are starting from a position of considerable strength. Our only intelligence agency is CSIS.

It is true that there are a number of ministers involved, and I acknowledge your point that the world has changed, but it has not been the tradition in the west to give all responsibility in respect to security and intelligence to one minister. There are historical reasons for doing this, and if I could be allowed a personal opinion, there is some validity attached to those reasons.

More practically, I would argue that what we need to do is to ensure that we have an intelligence-driven, risk management approach to this and that we have the best possible sharing of operational data. I am sure honourable senators have heard of the now infamous Ressam case which resulted in Canada being characterized as a sieve. I think that is incorrect.

In the post-mortem to those events, we undertook a review of the sharing of information. Even if information had been perfectly shared, even if there had been only one agency, we are not certain that we would have caught him. Unless we want to recreate in this country something similar to what was set out in Orwell's 1984, it is difficult to catch somebody unless they do something criminal. We are trying to ensure that the operational database from which customs, immigration, transport, CSIS, and the RCMP are drawing is absolutely shared, that they have access to everything they need.

In the United States, the director of central intelligence is a cabinet level position that has broad coordinating responsibilities for the U.S. security and intelligence community. If you had some American witnesses before you, they would say that despite the not inconsiderable prestige and power of the director of central intelligence, they have problems with fragmentation, too. You need some degree of specialization in order to carry out some of these functions. If you have only one minister or one entity dealing with all of it, you lose the benefits of specialization.

This is an incomplete answer to your question, but there are some advantages to having a highly specialized customs service that knows its job well and a highly specialized and competent immigration service. The key for me is to ensure that they coordinate.

Whether we should have three ministers as opposed to six or seven is a fair question. However, in respect to most ministers who deal with these issues, they also have other responsibilities that are attached to them, so there is a certain amount of logic involved.

I hope that was the beginning of an answer to your question. I am not trying to evade; it is a difficult question.

Senator Wiebe: My comfort level as a result of your answers has increased somewhat. It may be an impossible task, but in reference to the Ressam case, you suggested that, had all the information been shared, that even then this individual would not have been caught. The general feeling of the public out there is that our intelligence service must develop a system or a centre of intelligence that would ensure that that individual in the future would be caught.

I would agree that our intelligence agencies should not be placed under one minister. As you suggest, there should be two or three ministers involved. There are tremendous advantages there.

Sharing of information is important, but how quickly that information is shared is vital. An officer on the street who needs the information must go through many hoops before he gets the kind of information to which he can react. Someone conducting some investigations does not have the power to arrest, whereas a police officer does. If we are going the react quickly to insure that incidents like this do not happen again, there must be some move towards the smaller number.

Senator Hubley: I, too, found a great deal of information in your presentation this evening. My question builds a bit off of Senator Wiebe's comments.

It is established now that terrorism is a global concern. My question is going to focus on the five-party alliance with the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. I am wondering if you could share with us how other countries are coming on board.

More importantly, when they gather intelligence, is that something that is assessed by each country? Does each country take information out of this information that they feel is going to be pertinent to their particular country, or is there somebody that assesses all the information these countries have gathered from a particular trouble spot upon which we may be focussing? Do we get a global sense of intelligence and security that we have to address, not only on a national level but also on the global level, given the repercussions that we have seen from the September 11 event?

Mr. Fadden: Senator, To reply to your question, we have to distinguish a little bit between the kinds of intelligence about which we are talking. Even countries as closely allied as the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States do not share information that is not in their interests to share.

If we are talking about some forms of economic intelligence, we would not share some things with them and they would not share some things with us. In respect to counter-terrorism and terrorism, which is the crux of your question, we have a strong sense that there is almost total sharing of information, both the actual intelligence in many cases, and also the assessed intelligence.

One of the things that we have tried to do since September 11 is to fill in some gaps that particular preoccupations of the United States have caused to develop because they have reorganized their priorities. There is a good sharing of both intelligence per se, and of assessed intelligence. Our sense is that we have a common view of what is going on out there. I do not mean to suggest that we see every piece of intelligence seen by the president of United States, but I do have a good sense that the sharing is generalized and comprehensive.

Senator Hubley: Further to that, what other countries have shown an interest in presenting their information, their intelligence?

Mr. Fadden: I could not give you the exact numbers, but CSIS, for example has a large number of bilateral relationships with countries with whom they have written agreements that they undertake subject to ministerial direction. It would be fair to say that the countries of Western Europe are included in that. A large number of other countries around the world are included, as well. The United States has managed to gather a coalition of 120 odd countries now. Not all of them have intelligence that is of use. Those who do, by and large, share to the extent to which we can.

Senator Stollery: Thank you. It has been a very interesting presentation. I understand why so many ministers are involved. Intelligence and information comes from different places. If it were overseas information, ministries that that have overseas interests would be involved. It is very interesting and quite impressive.

I will be brief on my question about Air India, on which you have heard me on before. Why was not some of this activity undertaken when 320 people hit the north Atlantic, and we have never been able to convict anyone?

My other point relates to budgets. What do you think about the fact that the Americans spend about Can. $30 billion every year on intelligence? It does not seem to have done them any good at all with reference to the attack on the World Trade Center.

They could say that more money is needed, which raises the question of how much money is needed? The sum of $30 billion is a lot of dough for collecting intelligence. It is not a small amount of money. Do we run that risk of needing more money in Canada?

You have made a very impressive presentation. You noted that you are all worked to death in this current atmosphere. It may be that you need more money. I do not question that. However, do we not also run the risk of getting carried away and wasting money, as the Americans seem to have done?

Yesterday, we all read about the Americans ordering 2700 new fighter airplanes. They do not seem to be able to deal with the problem in Afghanistan, which does not have much to do with airplanes. People are talking about an enormous amount of money.

Do we run that risk of not riding the line between what you genuinely need to run your operation without having heart attacks, but not becoming extravagant? We do not want to make what I consider the American mistake.

Mr. Fadden: Although intelligence did not prevent September 11, intelligence may have prevented any number of similar events in the past. It is always hard to make that statement, but I know in respect of some of the things that we do in this country - which are not public - some of the money we do spend means that things do not happen. I make the general point.

In respect of the money that we might need or might receive, I tend to agree with you. The key for us and for ministers will be to determine not so much the dollars that they need to give us, but what they want us to do. Going about it by toting up sums, if that is your implication, is entirely the wrong way to go about it.

Senator Stollery: It is the risk that we run.

Mr. Fadden: Absolutely. In response to September 11, we are trying to sort out where we have gaps in our coverage with which we must deal. The old adage goes "I do not want to reward you for doing something poorly." We do not want to spend more money on doing something badly.

In support of Mr. Manley and other committees, we are trying to see if there is not a better way to do things. We are trying to see where there are gaps. We are trying to decide whether there are, in some cases, real capacity problems. My sense is that we will never get - even if you factor back the Canadian proportion - anywhere near as much money as the United States has. We are trying to sort out what needs to be done, why and how, and then, decide whether the price tag attached to it makes sense.

It does not make sense for a department or agency to argue for a 10 per cent increase. We need to know what they propose needs to be done that has not been done and what they can discontinue doing, so they can do something that does need to be done.

I agree with your concern. There is always a risk. We are conscious of it, and we are going to try to avoid it. Certainly, my former colleagues in the Treasury Board Secretariat are not losing any opportunity to make that point.

Senator Stollery: I am not making the point in the sense that you should not have what you need. However, $12 billion a year on intelligence - which would be what we would spend if we wanted to keep to the U.S. rate of expenditure - may not get us $12 billion worth of information.

Mr. Fadden: I would be inclined to agree with you.

[Translation]

Senator Nolin: Mr. Fadden, this afternoon, Secretary Ashcroft made a statement. He did not want to be alarmist, but he warned the Americans that, within the next few days, terrorist attacks might take place.

In the light of the way you answered some of my colleagues' questions, I wonder if you knew about the information which led Mr. Ashcroft to make that statement? If so, why did Canada not issue such a warning?

Mr. Fadden: I think that, by and large, we have the same information as Mr. Ashcroft, at least to a great extent. Canada and actually the United Kingdom have taken an approach somewhat different from the one the United States took.

The Americans have deliberately opted for quite a visible response by alerting the public in order to protect their citizens.

In Canada, we took some measures in various sectors of the economy, together with the military forces, the police and the security. We decided that, without specific information, we would not alert people, we would not frighten them.

Mr. Ashcroft, to a somewhat greater extent than his colleagues in the United States, did that a couple times. He might be right to do so, but we simply opted for a different approach. It might be that Mr. Ashcroft was holding very specific information which brought him to do that. Through intelligence we are reviewing consistently, I can notice suggestions, leads, the beginning of a concern.

Very seldom are we asked to check X, or time Y; very seldom are we told that something is going to happen. On our side, unless we actually had some evidence, we wouldn't want to frighten people, but we try to pass the word around to those involved, in order to alert them.

[English]

The Chairman: First, I refer to the latest report of the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence - referred to as the Kelly Report. Recommendation 24 called for "regular and joint training exercises to respond to nuclear, biological or chemical attack be conducted by the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and $first responders' throughout the country." Recommendation 22 proposes "that the government support the training of $first responders'" and ensure that they receive appropriate resources. Has that happened?

Mr. Fadden: Mr. Chairman, as comprehensively as former Senator Kelly's report would have us do, it has not happened. On the other hand, a number of steps have been taken. One of those is the prime minister's creation of the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, OCIPEP. That is an indication of the seriousness with which we view the situation.

They have received some funding for training and for coordination with first responders. They are registering their interest and receiving some additional funding to do this. They are working their way through a review of the National Counter Terrorism Plan with the provinces and municipalities to move in that direction. Some steps have been taken, but certainly not as comprehensively as former Senator Kelly would have suggested.

The Chairman: Who decides what information comes across your door? Are you asking for information or are people volunteering it? What is the system to determine what hits the committee that you chair, or assist the clerk in chairing?

Mr. Fadden: The information is in two categories. My colleague, Mr. Greg Fife, is the Executive Director of the Assessment Staff. He has a regular series of product that come our way. He scans the universe as best he can; he knows what is in the newspapers; and he knows if the PM is travelling. That would come to us as a matter of routine. I might send the information on to the clerk or the PM It is the regular flow of information. We have indicated, over time, things that are of particular interest and that would be included.

The other category of information would be something that, for example, relates to this crisis. In such a case, I probably see ten times more information than I might have usually, if not more. The inclination is to try to provide us with a sense of what is in the system. There is no way that I could physically do my job if I saw every piece of information that is being produced. If there are five or six pieces that suggest, to use Senator Nolin's example, there will be an attack on Los Angeles, they might give me one as an illustration of what it is like. I pass a fair number of those to the people upstairs.

The Chairman: I am curious about the structure of the Communications Security Establishment, CSE. It is located in the Department of Defence, but it reports to you rather than to the Deputy Minister of Defence. You then report to the Minister. Why is it structured in such a way?

Mr. Fadden: That is a good question, and I asked that same question when I was given these additional duties. I believe that, in large measure, it is historical. At the time the defence minister was given responsibility for CSE, it was judged that CSE had a mandate that went beyond defence. The Prime Minister of the day wanted to ensure that it carried out its mandate in a way that took into account the preoccupations of the RCMP and of foreign affairs. He gave the Secretary of cabinet of the day responsibility for plans and operations. Some years ago, it was decided that that would be delegated down to my level. It is largely to ensure that it is not taken over by defence and that military signals and intelligence become its sole raison d'être.

The Chairman: Earlier, a question was asked about further funding, and you suggested it would be three to six years before it would effect any change. Aren't you being optimistic? Would it not take longer?

Mr. Fadden: It would depend on what. For example, if Parliament were to increase the appropriation provided to CSIS to hire more agents, it would take five to six years to train a new agent, I am told. If, on the other hand, we were to receive funding to do a broader job on the assessment staff, it would be relatively easy to find an academic or specialist or two, hire them and put them to work. On the CSE side, for example, a large chunk of what they would need would be better, more modern technology.

It is hard to simply say that there is a time frame and no other. For some it is a long haul, and for others, the return would be faster.

The Chairman: What have you learned about your system, your structure and your people, since September 11?

Mr. Fadden: On a positive note, in almost any situation, people pull together very hard and very well in a crisis. I have been struck by the fact, quite honestly, that where we might have had an interdepartmental debate for three weeks on an issue, because of the crisis people have moved along much faster and we have tried to resolve problems. People have demonstrated their ability to work hard and to work professionally.

On the other side of the coin, crises have a way of putting in sharp relief difficulties and challenges. That goes back, to some degree, to Senator Wiebe's question about the number of organizations and about the sharing of data. We are doing quite well. Are we doing it fast enough? We have seen a couple of examples that would indicate that that is not the case.

When there is a real crisis, and you are dealing with another country, they want information right away. We are trying to work our way through new operating procedures to ensure that people can be "put into automatic." When there is no crisis, you develop an approach. You share information and you solve problems on the basis of ongoing relationships.

In a crisis, you need quickly. It is like driving a racing car. You have to be able to move into fifth or sixth gear quickly. I have found a couple of instances where it would have been better had we had more standing operating procedures that could have been clutched in right away.

The Chairman: On behalf of the committee, we are grateful to you for your presentation. We recognize how busy you have been and greatly appreciate your setting aside time for us this evening. Thank you for your presentation. We look forward having you back before the committee before too long.

Our second witness this evening is Professor Douglas Bland, who is Chair of the Defence and Management Studies at the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University in Kingston. Dr. Bland retired from the Canadian Armed Forces as a lieutenant colonel in 1990 after more than 30 years of service. He held command appointments in Canada and Europe and staff positions also in Europe and the Canadian National Defence Headquarters. In his research, Dr. Bland has concentrated in the field of defence policy and management at the national and international levels.

His work has also focussed on the organization and functioning of defence ministries and civil military relations. Tonight we have asked Dr. Bland to give us his views on the elements of the national security policy. Please proceed.

Professor Douglas Bland, Chair, Defence Management Studies Program, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University: Thank you for the invitation to be here tonight and for the challenge to try to sketch out something that I will call the "elements of national security policy."

As you might expect, I will take an academic approach to this topic. The brief notes I have provided today are meant to be a vehicle for discussion around what policies might be, how structures might be built or amended to manage these policies, and how the combination of departments or agencies have an effect on the outcome of policies.

I will begin by saying that there is a great deal of confusion in my field, at least over what is meant by the term "security." It has many applications in many fields, and it has a wide scope embracing personal, security, military, social and environmental policies; and various other policy fields. The first concern for policy-makers in Canada, who might be writing a national security policy or drafting a "white paper," is to try to work out what the term will mean for Canadians.

I would like to talk about some concepts and factors that I think will affect the way policy is formulated, managed and administered, and the types of security that derive from it. When I talk about policy to my students and to other people, I take "policy" to mean "sets of decisions taken by people of authority." In the case of national security, those sets of decisions are about what is to be secured from whom and what, and how "security" itself is to be achieved. They are the essential kinds of decisions that need to be made.

In the international literature and the defence literature, there are scores of definitions of what "national security" might mean. Some of those definitions are narrow, some are broad, and some are unreadable. As one prominent scholar suggested that the term "may not have any precise meaning at all." Only an academic can say something like that.

If a broad definition of "national security" is taken, there is a danger that there will be no obvious limits to policy. Policy may become impractical in many specific ways, especially for people who are trying to implement it.

Security also works in different frameworks. There is personal security, national security, international security, multinational security and, as Lloyd Axworthy popularised, but did not invent, "human security." The term can be meant to encompass everyone in the world. The difficulty with these types of definitions is that they make it difficult for people to write practical policies.

I have sketched out for you a definition of "national security" that was current at the National Defence College in Kingston when I was there, before its untimely demise. At the National Defence College, defined "national security" as:

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.

I offer this suggestion, not because it is the answer, but simply because it is homegrown and has been well considered over many years, and because it was particularly useful in the context that we used at the National Defence College. The essence of the definition is that national security is aimed at preserving a way of life as defined by Canadians. It is a flexible notion in the sense that the definition of "national security" can change as Canadians redefine what they think is an acceptable way of life.

As an aside, you can see that in function now. Two months ago, the kinds of security policies that are now suggested in Parliament and other places might not have been acceptable to Canadians. From what I have read, many of the proposed policies might be seen by some Canadians as too timid. As the situations change, the definition of "national security," in a practical sense, changes when you link it to what Canadians think is an acceptable way of life.

I do not need to explain to anyone here that trying to define "an acceptable way of life" for Canadians is a difficult task that is, essentially, a political task. That involves conversations with Canadians.

The various definitions of "national security," when boiled down, result in a context about which we are speaking today - to policies and systems that will preserve people, political systems and institutions from unlawful harm, armed attacks and violence. It is the degree to which people in the United States are secure in this context. Although it does raise another controversy as to whether we are securing ourselves against threats or against fears. That is a problem that people need to address.

In my view, the concept of national security and the debate around national security, are too often hindered by a close focus on threats. If you read the papers and listen to conversations and commentators, the focus of attention is almost always on identifying the threat. Why did you not understand the threat? What about the threat? What happened?

I am a firm believer in the notion that threats are ambiguous and are not apparent. Too much focus on the threat scenario in trying to identify where the threats are and what they are can diminish the time spent in building a national security policy. We need to think beyond threats. In our assessments of national security policy, we need to think about vulnerabilities.

In other words, someone can threaten us as much as they like, if we are not vulnerable to the threat, then we do not have as big a security problem as the simple threat might indicate. As an example, if a terrorist group were to threaten to cut oil supplies to Canada, policy-makers might not be too alarmed if Canada had, beforehand, developed a means to ensure a domestic supply of fuel in a crisis.

All threats are not equal and not necessarily to be addressed as though they were equal. You cannot, in my view, understand threat to national security without understanding, at the same time, whether we are vulnerable to the particular type of threat.

That kind of construction takes us down another road to provide another way to look at building a national security policy and a national security agency practical means. A national security policy should concentrate on the means to mitigate threats and to redress vulnerabilities, at the same time.

Threats tend to be diffuse and outside national control. You cannot do much about people in a far away country who threaten Canada. However, threats can be reduced by using a variety of traditional tools and approaches, including diplomatic negotiations, treaties, redressing legitimate grievances, and so on.

National vulnerabilities, on the other hand, are much more concrete. They are susceptible to national policies and national means of redress.

Thus, a national security policy ought to be aimed at developing the means to identify threats and vulnerabilities, and at stipulating responsibilities for managing those threats and for reducing vulnerabilities. That brings me to the question that I was asked to address: What are the bare elements of a national security policy, as I see them?

The first part of such policy must be a clear description of what is to be secured, from what, from whom, and how that is to be organized. I suggested a definition based on various works, including the National Defence College. A Canadian definition of "national security" might be "the preservation of a way of life acceptable to the Canadian people and the security of people, national institutions, and freedoms from unlawful harm, armed attacks and other violence."

Central to this kind of national security policy as an introduction are three principal frameworks: deterrence against attacks; defence against those attacks that you can identify; and then a credible ability to defeat attacks on our national security. This will necessarily involve the linking of federal, provincial, municipal and private spheres of responsibility.

A policy "white paper" might have the following types of sections: First, as I have just discussed, it should have a statement of purpose. What are the objects of national security policy and what are the main elements of a conceptual framework for such a policy? Next, would be a statement of responsibilities. This section should clearly state that, although national security is primarily an obligation of the federal government, achieving and maintaining our way of life is the responsibility of every Canadian and necessarily must involve cooperation among provinces, municipalities, non-government organizations and private enterprise.

The policy should clearly identify a specific federal authority, preferably a cabinet minister, who would be accountable to Parliament for the management and direction of the national security of Canada. Some may say that it is the Prime Minister's responsibility to fulfil that function. In these more complex times, that is not a proper answer.

Furthermore, I think the policy should identify the departmental or agency structure that would assist this minister in his or her duties.

The third important statement would be a statement of what they like to call around this town the "machinery of government," related to national security. Here I think it is important that we have a comprehensive and effective national security system, which necessarily will involve the coordination of many agencies across governments and between governments, as I think your previous speakers made clear.

No matter the sophistication of a new ministry or agency for national security - or the rejection of that idea - it is still necessary to construct a single mechanism capable of collecting and collating information that can be used to produce intelligence. Subsequent tasks would be organizing, planning and conducting overt and covert security operations; processing and managing security-related judiciary matters; managing international security affairs; and, finally, machinery to assist ministers in reporting to cabinet and Parliament.

Some, if not all, of these functions are now carried out by the machinery of government in Ottawa and in the agencies and in the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces amongst others. However, they are scattered entities. The preferred system for managing the scattered entities is to form ad hoc committees and these are usually formed and operated only under duress and difficult situations. They may be quiet entities in peacetime - rarely meeting until there is a crisis. We have seen that demonstrated now.

The next important piece in such a policy is a statement of resources - a general idea of the resources necessary to produce a national security system. For any political leader, that will be a very difficult undertaking: to wrestle from government and from existing departments and agencies the resources that will be necessary for some new player in the field. If it were simply left to one minister to try and define the resources necessary for this program, it would be difficult to bring it into being.

Next, the policy should contain a statement of the need for international control and coordination of national security planning. As we heard this evening, many of those activities now take place. They need to be tightened up, not just with our allies, but also within our own departments. As I understand the national counter-terrorism plan, it was written to counteract isolated instances of terrorist operation, the hijacking of an aircraft and so on. I think I can see some of the practical difficulties that the plan faces because it is facing functional departments.

For instance, I am told that if an aircraft is hijacked in Canadian air space, it is the Solicitor General's responsibility to handle it. If the hijacking takes place outside Canadian air space but is approaching Canadian air space, then the Department of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the incident until the airplane passes into Canadian air space and then it passes to the Solicitor General. When the hijacked airplane is on a taxiway at a Canadian airport, it is a Transport Canada problem. People working in the system tell me that they feel they have a grip on how they would manage such a situation. That is just one example of a security problem.

In another example, we have the oft-repeated scene of illegal aliens approaching Canada in a rusty old boat. It is credible that the tracking of the vessel begins with intelligence operations overseas - say in China or Hong Kong, It then involves Canadian forces operations, Coast Guard operations, and police operations. When the vessel reaches our shores, it involves Immigration, Canadian forces, police operations and so forth. There is no central agency for managing that. We depend upon the agencies and the people in the field, particularly, to ensure that all the operations are joined properly together and coordinated.

In our present environment, with all respect to officials and members of the Armed Forces and the police agencies and so on, they are working as well as they can within this somewhat cumbersome organization. They are working against terrorist organizations and others that are single-minded, singly commanded, properly directed toward their mission with little confusion. If we are to combat those kinds of organizations, then we need an agile, centrally controlled properly resourced institution to combat them. I do not think we can do it the way we are doing it now.

In another field, we have noticed these same kinds of coordination problems between foreign and defence policies. Many of you have been aware the difficulties, over the years, in trying to get defence and foreign policies working on the same track. Getting national security policy working on the same track will be even more difficult without some significant changes.

We need to include a statement of continental security. This is important for us and for the United States' sense of security. The Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence might wish to look at the Permanent Joint Board on Defence - an instrument that has been around since about 1940. It is a sometimes active, sometimes less active institution. However, it has been the principal means by which members of Parliament, senators and officials from both sides of the border get together to discuss, in a rational and constructive way, the needs for national defence. It would be worth checking to see if that board could be expanded to include a broader sense of national security as well. That type of agency could be important.

A Canadian national security policy and a national security system ought to be constructed on a foundation of decisions about ends and means. It must address the location of political responsibility and accountability. It must address the methods for national coordination and control. It must address how we will act in the face of international terrorism and how we will best bolster our continental security with the United States.

With those brief remarks, Mr. Chairman, I am ready for any questions.

Senator Banks: Mr. Bland, I like what you said about needing to have an agile response. I have been trying to place myself in the shoes of those who attack. We must not - as has become common to say - fight the last war. You also said we must have in place a defence system.

Would you agree that having a national line type of defence system, or its equivalent, which would concentrate on how to respond if someone tries to fly an airplane into a tall building, is a waste of time? We will not, in the foreseeable future, be attacked in the old-fashioned conventional sense by infantry with bayonets or by an identifiable air force. If we must now guard most carefully against terrorist attacks, we must remember that the nature of terrorism is to attack next in a way entirely unlike anything done before and entirely unlike anything described in the newspapers as being expected.

As you say, we need an agile response - the ability to improvise and be creative. There is a very good probability that the next attack will be something that we did not think about, that no one contemplated. If terrorists of any stripe or nefarious point of view want to do harm, it will be in a way that is completely unexpected. Do you think that that is true?

Mr. Bland: That is a first-order question. Perhaps the safest way to begin considerations of national vulnerabilities is to look at where we might be surprised. I do not believe the terrorists are 10 feet tall. I do not think they are all that smart, actually. They have just set out and noticed, for instance, that we do not lock the doors of airplane cockpits. If we had locked those doors, we may not have had these problems. If I had been spent a year scouting out American airplanes to find some way to attack the World Trade Center, I would have noticed that the doors are always open and that is a vulnerability.

We do not need people to anticipate exactly what will happen - because I do not think they can do that. However, we need people who are alert enough to spot our national vulnerabilities and to address those. We also need a system in which someone is directly accountable for doing that. It is an important political accountability to keep the system on its toes, to be acting on those vulnerabilities.

Imagine if, one week before the September 11, all airlines in North America were suddenly ordered to lock those cockpit doors. The terrorists would have been thrown off for another year or two as they were forced to decide on a new plan.

Analysis of our own vulnerabilities comes first. We then need an agile organization that can quickly recognize problems, quickly get them to the attention of people in authority, and quickly take action so that issues do not fall into a committee process. I do not mean to misquote the earlier witness, but I think he said that, before the disaster, interdepartmental committee meetings were held on intelligence issues. We need a system that can react much more quickly than that. In my experience, central control of decision-making helps to speed things up.

Senator Banks: Even with the greatest expertise and the greatest expenditure of funds, is it possible to have a plan that could take into account every conceivable contingency, vulnerability and weakness?

Mr. Bland: No, of course not. That is an administrator's delusion. There is no perfect system that can produce perfect answers. I do believe, however, that there is a great deal of military science in history and in police operations that will help us catch many of these actions before they happen and put the perpetrators off guard. The idea is to make the terrorist's job very complex.

Senator Banks: That applies to criminals, too?

Mr. Bland: That applies to criminals and internal subversives, whomever these people may be. We need to make their jobs so difficult that they are apt to make a mistake. If we make it very easy for them to act, we are just asking for trouble.

In Canada and in most of the western world, we feel secure most of the time and so we have developed very vulnerable societies. We need to look at that, but we will not be able to anticipate every action. We may be able to forestall some activity, frighten away some people, and deter others to a soft target. If we are a hard target, they will go some place else. We might also be able to reduce some of the damage created by these kinds of attacks.

Senator Banks: In regard to intelligence as it relates to security, it seems we no longer need highly sophisticated electronic surveillance for gathering intelligence because the current threat, it seems, does not employ that stuff. Using cell phones is about as sophisticated as these people get. It was suggested that if we want forewarning of people like Mr. Rassam, then we must get back to using plain, old-fashioned spies. We must subsume the interests of people and put spies in likely locations where these threats might arise. That change in our attitude was suggested to us. Have you given any thought to that kind of question?

Mr. Bland: I have not thought about that in any kind of disciplined way. We must obviously use all possible overt and covert methods to collect information that can be turned into intelligence. Bolstering our abilities in overseas posts to collect information is important. I do not know how many military attachés we have now. We have cut back because of spending reductions. Those gentlemen had many important duties, one being to take photos of other people.

The U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan and around the world is trying to make the world unsafe for terrorists. The more we can have them looking over their shoulder and worrying, the better off we will be. You might not catch them all, but you will make them worry about what they are doing.

President Bush's statement that you are either for us or against us has made some odd kinds of partnerships. Iran is saying these days that America is its greatest friend. When you make the world unsafe for terrorists, you make the world safer for us. If they think they are being spied on, listened to or followed, if they become paranoid, it is all the better for us, in my view.

Senator Wiebe: I would like to go back to your paper, Mr. Bland, and the elements of security policy. You have suggested on page two a definition of "national security" from the former Canadian National Defence College; I see nothing wrong with that definition. I think it is an excellent suggestion.

To apply my interpretation, the definition is problematic in how the way of life might be determined. It is debatable. In this country, with elections every four years, the electorate in this country will dictate to the government what way of life they would like to see for themselves. Would that not be a natural way to determine a particular way of life for our country?

Mr. Bland: Yes, I think so. That is what is going on right now in the debates about the security bills and so on. It is the kind of conversations we have all the time about building defence resources or police resources or more courts and so on and so forth. It is a discussion about the way of life Canadians want to live.

Perhaps that accounts for some of the shock that may be out there in the public's mind. They thought they were living one kind of life and found out rudely that it is not as secure as they thought it was.

Senator Wiebe: When we talk about security and a way of life, would it be necessary to have security of economic values? I do not think so. What about weather, for example, and food supply? Should we be looking ahead at five-year weather forecasts to determine whether we will be capable of producing the food that is required? This comes to mind now because right across this country we have experienced a drought. It is not dramatic, but it did result in a 28 per cent reduction in this country's normal production. Should that be considered as a security matter as well?

Mr. Bland: That is an important question. I mentioned in my opening remarks that the term "security" has become broader in academic areas and policy fields to the point of perhaps becoming a difficulty. People will tell you that the greenhouse effect, the attacks on the environment, and the reason we are having droughts in Saskatchewan and better winters in Kingston than in Ottawa is because of global warming. Lake Ontario is warmer. We have nicer weather down there. People will say that a very important national security problem for Canada is global warming and, therefore, we better have a national security policy that embraces that sort of thing.

You can go into every policy field or perhaps every endeavour of human life. I might debate that with some people. I do not think that what is important in the context that we are talking about now - and in a traditional context - that a national security policy needs to or would be useful if it embraced everything. There is a very clear need to look at the degrees of insecurity and the consequences of insecurity. The immediate consequence of insecurity is many dead people on the ground and perhaps attacks on our institutions and so on. I would think that a national security white paper would be useful if it was concentrated in an area where we are talking about violent harm to Canadian people, to our public institutions, and to our essential values like our Constitution and so on. That is what I think is important.

Senator Day: Mr. Bland, I would like you to expand on your thesis in relation to the machinery of government, if you would. Can we agree that the collection of information could continue from many different sources and would not necessarily have to come from one particular agency?

Mr. Bland: It would be advisable to educate our officials and people who work inside and outside Canada - not that they are not educated- to highlight the need for them to be alert to information that might be dangerous to Canada's national security. They ought to be encouraged to submit it and use it. That is important.

Many of the agencies that deal with national security - whether it is the security establishment or National Defence or the police - have developed functional responsibilities for their aspects of security out of a long history of different problems, and they are dealing with one problem and so on. Now we are dealing with a more concentrated problem. It is essential to collect information broadly.

It is critically important that the information collected be processed centrally, not that only one view of the information or one analysis would be done. However, if you are going to have an agile system, you need to have a source to go to in order to find the collective answer. You should collect broadly, analyse centrally, and then disseminate quickly from that source.

Senator Day: You see some analysis done for specific application purposes by the RCMP or by National Defence, but you would also see a broader national security analysis done of some of that analysis. Is that your thesis?

Mr. Bland: I believe so. You need technical analysis. You need the people who know about the capabilities of weapons systems that opponents might have; people who know about the operating systems of certain terrorist organizations, and, people who are very familiar with the culture in this or that country. These are technical people and they are a valuable national asset that needs to be supported and financed and developed in the universities, government, and other places.

At the same time, you need a core of officials who can draw appropriate information and intelligence from these kinds of analysis. It is intriguing - in some of the histories of the intelligence organizations - to find that the reason there was unnecessary surprise is that one hand had a bit of information about what was going to happen in Pearl Harbour and the other hand had a little bit of the other information, but they never got together. They did not come together in any meaningful way. There were no appropriate methods of communication between these various agencies to bring the thing together rapidly.

When we are dealing with what seem to be well-organized, centrally minded, persistent organizations that are out to cause harm, it is difficult to respond to those with slower, traditional kinds of ways of doing things. Your premise is right: broadly collected, centrally analyzed.

Senator Day: Mr. Bland, you heard Mr. Fadden speaking earlier about trying to provide that coordinating centralized role and all the other departments, and analysis being fit in and mandated to be fed to the Prime Minister. Is your basic problem with what exists now that they are feeding in to the Prime Minister and there should be a separate minister responsible who has that as a central function?

Mr. Bland: I did not hear all of the remarks. I did hear the end, and I thought it was very interesting. Let me preface my remarks by saying that in my experience, mostly on the military side, the problem is not collecting and assembling and laying out a significant amount of intelligence. The problem is to get the commander to read the intelligence reports. You can produce all the stuff you want, but you cannot force it down their throats.

I am not saying that is what goes on in political circles, but it is frustrating for people in the intelligence world to keep saying, "Boss, come on, look behind the curtain, look what we found out." They have no time for that in the day-to-day work when these things are not so important.

The difficulty for a co-ordinator, who is not the authority but who is a co-ordinator of an activity, is that he or she does not have much to do until there is something to be co-ordinated. In other words, if the various elements of a unit do not want to talk to the co-ordinator then there is nothing to coordinate. It is difficult for a co-ordinator to go out and give orders to the various elements and say, "You produce for me by this time." The response will be "That is not my job, I am not answerable to you for that." The co-ordinator's job ought to be replaced by an accountability position, someone who has central authority and is accountable to Parliament for the state of national security, or at least the state of national intelligence.

With all due respect, and I have known many who have worked in the PCO and the intelligence side for many years, their problem is enforcing their coordinating role on departments that have other agendas and interests, and to force their findings up through the system. A minister who might have to answer to Parliament might solve some of those problems.

Senator Forrestall: I heard earlier something that I believe we have all known but really do not want to confront. That has to do with the funding of terrorism. There is sufficient evidence out there to warrant depositing of the statement - fully right or fully wrong is not really important - that much of the funding for terrorism comes from the profits of illicit drugs such as heroin. This involves hundreds of millions of dollars. This does not necessarily go to the source of present troubles in the world, but to many sources of potential terrorism and subversive activity.

I do not know whether this bears pursuit, or whether it is possible to pursue it or not, but I have been intrigued by the proposition that if you lifted the prohibition on the illegal use of drugs it would disappear as a source of profit. In other words, that which is produced for seven or eight cents at the farm gate and translates into millions of dollars in the streets, with the enormous profits that are attached, would no longer be available for the pursuit of terrorist activities. Do you have a comment on that?

Mr. Bland: I have a comment only in a general way, because that is outside my field. I have had some experience in conferences with Plan Colombia. You may know of this plan, supported by the United States, to try to accelerate the war on drugs in that country. Interestingly enough, if you went to academic conferences in the United States months ago and talked about the national security problem inside the States, drugs was a national security problem. That is what was destroying or, in some regards, damaging the acceptable way of life for Americans. Therefore, the war on drugs was launched many years ago.

I do not think that legalizing the use of cocaine, heroin and so on in our streets is an acceptable way to solve our problem. There must be another way. The consequences I have seen of the legal or illegal trade in drugs in Colombia, Panama and other states will not be overturned by legalizing drugs. You will still have huge problems.

The drug problem is changing its shape internationally. It is not just the kids in our high schools using these drugs that create a problem for us, but in many other states, such as Colombia, Panama and Guatemala, it is their own citizens who are the target. They are the people using the drugs. They are the people who are then susceptible to all sorts of criminal activities and so on.

Again, like global warming, the environment and other security matters, the drug problem is something about which Canadians ought to be concerned. I take a narrower view of the national security problem. I do not think that the war on drugs needs to be related to that for us to live in a secure country.

Senator Forrestall: Thank you for that. Certainly Canada is moving in that direction by itself. You would need to have those nations perhaps representing 2 billion to 3 billion people on the face of this earth to move in the same direction before it became effective.

Mr. Bland: Senator Forrestall, you are right. This country is a small player in this matter. I believe Europeans consume more drugs than Americans. These are huge problems that we might be able to redress somewhat, but not completely.

Senator Hubley: Mr. Bland, you made a comment, "I do not think we can do it the way we are doing it now." My question leads from that. Given your military background and the work you have done on national security, were you surprised by the events of September 11? Do you feel, in retrospect, that they were predictable, that it is something that we should have been able to address at that time? Are we moving in the right direction in our counter-terrorism efforts?

Mr. Bland: Yes, I was surprised. I was as surprised as anyone else at the immediate event, at its severity and its boldness. I was shocked at the consequences. I am not alone in this. The room can be filled with people who have been saying to the Government of Canada and to other governments, "We better watch out what we are doing here. There is a national security problem. The Cold War is over. We are not living in a dreamland. There are threats all around us and many things that need to be done." People have been saying to the Liberal government, and to the previous Conservative government, that buying a peace dividend on the backs of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the intelligence systems was a poor policy and that some day it would jump up and bite us. I believe that has happened.

We are now in the difficult situation of trying to recover from years of inattention. If someone went to the Chief of Defence Staff this evening and told him to go to the treasury and take as much money as he wanted, the Canadian Armed Forces capabilities will continue to decline for the next four or five years, depending on the category of capability you are talking about. It takes that long to recover the capabilities that we will need in a variety of places.

Having looked at the data, our military equipment will be essentially worn out in the next seven, eight or ten years - things like helicopters and all other categories of machinery. We are in the difficult position of trying to recover from policies of past governments. It will take us a long time. I do not know the details, but I imagine that the same thing is happening to the RCMP. How long does it take to train a constable to a standard where a constable can be useful? How long does it take to train an intelligence person with skills to work as an intelligence analyst? How long does it take to build a machinery of government that will work?

We are trying to help the rest of our allies fight off terrorism while we are trying to build or rebuild the ramparts. We have a difficult road to hoe here. Throwing money at it will not solve it; it will just take time.

Senator Banks: We do have to throw some more money at it.

Mr. Bland: I agree absolutely, senator. In the defence field, the Auditor General said $1 billion a year was needed just to stay still, to keep the Armed Forces from rusting away. The comments in the Composite Defence Association's recent report on the state of national defence are beside the point.

There is not any defence analyst or commentator outside of government who would argue that the Canadian Armed Forces are in great shape, that they not only need money for new helicopters, but money and direction to rebuild Canada's military capabilities. That is not to say that military capabilities will solve terrorist problems, but building and maintaining an adequate national defence capability is part of a national security policy to deter, defend and defeat terrorists. We are just starting this process. Unless, of course, people think that what happened in September is just an event and it will be over, it will all finish and we will return to business as usual. We have had terrorist acts for 10 years in all sorts of different places. If people think that this is a continuous problem, then we need continuous policies and attention by Parliament to solve the problem.

It is not going well so far, but at least the intelligence officers and other people have the attention they need to bring the issues to the fore.

The Chairman: Professor Bland, your remarks tonight have been very interesting. There has been a heavy federal emphasis tonight - naturally, we are a federal body - but can you have a National security policy that is only federal or national?

Mr. Bland: No, you cannot. A national security policy will necessarily involve close cooperation with some kinds of agencies built within provinces. Obviously, there is a need for coordination and there is coordination within various police departments at the provincial level, the OPP, the Sûreté du Québec, municipal police and so on. Efforts with funding and discussions about how will we bring municipal and provincial leaders and institutions into this policy field will be important.

It is not clear now for officers in cities such as Winnipeg or in other towns how they as municipal police will actually work with what most of us perceive to be a national problem. I am addressing a national security system. I do not mean a federal security system, but rather a national security system.

The Chairman: You would see federal funding going to first providers like medical officers of health, ambulance systems or firemen, and so on?

Mr. Bland: I do not want to get into federal and provincial sharing of monies, but funds must be provided for these kinds of things.

I was in Winnipeg recently and they had the scare in the post office when someone found an envelope with white material in it. The chief fire department officer was complaining that few people on the fire department staff in that large city knew how to approach the problem. They had one set of suits and one small responder team. It was just beyond them, because it always has been someone else's problem.

We have a national biological chemical warfare team that is available for the Minister of National Defence. I think that includes 20 people.

The Chairman: I thought it was 14 people.

Mr. Bland: They probably have secondary duties as well.

A national security policy framework would include the kind of questions you are asking. How many means do we need to reach our ends? That is important.

Many of the vulnerable targets or points in this country, such as hydro systems, are under provincial legislation. Imagine how easy it is to turn off the lights in Montreal and northern New York by knocking down part of the line coming from James Bay to the south. You only need a tractor, a few pieces of rope and a couple of pieces of dynamite and you can knock out that system. We would have the ice storm situation all over again. That would be very easy to do. I do not know whether the federal government can insist that the Government of Quebec do something about that.

The Chairman: In your experience, what is the closest the federal government has ever come to developing a national security policy? Have there been efforts in the past?

Mr. Bland: I do not think we have ever had a national security policy to the extent that we are thinking about it now. That is, one that embraces defence and immigration law -an umbrella policy from which you hang these other policy areas. The closest we perhaps might have come to that would have been during the Second World War when the war cabinet - a small organization - directed everything. The minister of everything - C.D. Howe - ran the economy; the Prime Minister ran the relationships with other states. We had war production boards and so on. There was a comprehensive federal direction of the national security of Canada. Granted, Canada at that time was a smaller country, with a less complicated economy, with fewer people, although the threat was probably greater to most of us - a that threat was being managed mostly by our allies.

That would be the last time that we had such a thing. Senator Forrestall probably knows these events better than I, but after the war, that committee was dismantled. Even during Korea, I do not think we had anything akin to a national security committee of cabinet. Over the years since the 1989 period, national security has fallen off the political agenda except in functional areas like national defence and somewhat for the police. There is no central accountability evident in our national security planning.

The Chairman: In your outline to develop a national security policy - and I like your framework - are additional costs inherent in this proposal? Do you feel additional costs would fall out of doing the analysis?

Mr. Bland: The true costs will eventually fall out of doing the analysis. What I say from my safe haven in the ivory tower is that governments should spend what is needed for policy, not what is available for policy. What we have been spending on National defence, is what is available. People have been saying to the armed forces for many years, not just the last 10 years: "Here is $12 billion; go see what you can do with that. How much defence can we get for that? Do not come back for any more." The strategy is: "Here's what is available from the federal pie - the slice is $12 billion - to do something."

The other approach, of course, is for experts and politicians to sit down and come to a consensus about what is needed for national defence, and then fund it. People say that I am dreaming in that area, but it is true. In Australia over the last 10 years, they have set up such a system for national defence planning where the government meets with their expert advisers to tell them what it is they want. The experts then advise them of the cost and the government responds that it is too expensive. They then refashion the model and eventually reach consensus. Then you ensure that the officials and the officers who have agreed that that is what they need are held to the fire to make sure they produce what is required.

In drawing up a national security policy, people ought to concentrate on what is needed. Once that has been decided, decide where to get the funds to provide what is needed.

Senator Banks: We have had appear before this committee, senior members of the armed forces, who certainly do not imply that everything is wonderful and they do not want any more money. However, they also say that it is fine. This is analogous to what you said earlier. You said that an analyst or a commentator cannot be found outside the armed forces who will say that everything is fine. Would you comment on that dichotomy?

Mr. Bland: Yes, I will.

Senator Banks: I ask the question because you just said that politicians should sit down with military experts and find out what they need. We sat down with them, and they told us they were fine.

Mr. Bland: The leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces are, in my view, always in a difficult spot in a parliamentary democracy, unlike their American counterparts who have, under the law, a requirement to serve two masters: the President and Congress. In the American system, what is needed can always be brought out in different ways. The chief of defence staff in Canada has one boss, Parliament of Canada - the government - and he must tow the line. In my view, over the last number of years many senior officers have decided that there is more to be gained from co-operating publicly with the government than in arguing with the government publicly.

Senator Forrestall: Amen.

Mr. Bland: I know these people; I respect them very much and I understand the difficulties that they deal with every day. They are simply being pragmatic when they say they can gain more by working with the government on many issues than they can gain by arguing against them. It goes beyond the constitutional notion that the chief of defence staff, obviously, cannot disagree with the government in public.

There is a bizarre argument going on, with the usual supporters of the defence establishment arguing with the people inside the buildings. The people inside the building are arguing with the people outside the building - the so-called "old generals" are arguing with their colleague inside the building about the state of the armed forces, not now and not in the past, but in the future. That is critical - where we will go and how things will improve or not improve.

The problem rests almost entirely on funding for the future force and how we will get there. It would not surprise me if some of the people who are now speaking about the present state of the forces in a positive way, will say something differently in a few years after they have left the force.

In concrete terms, people outside the Department of National Defence are almost unanimously critical of the country's defence policy and the former conservative government's defence policies during the late 1980s when the Cold War seemed to be ending. They warned the politicians that if they did not do something in a few years, we would have difficulties. The public statements by members of the armed forces have indicated that things are difficult but okay.

However, the recent report by the Conference of Defence Associations contains evidence they have collected from inside the Department of National Defence Headquarters that is called, "The Level One Business Reports of the Senior Leaders." They are talking about the generals and admirals who are in charge of the armed forces - more bureaucracy level ones. In their business reports, they are required to report to the chief of defence staff and the deputy minister on what they have been told to do, what they have been asked to do, what they have been given to do those tasks and the shortfalls.

Those internal reports - they are in the Conference of Defence Associations report - contain a long list from the commander of the army, especially, the commander of the navy and the commander of the air force saying that they cannot meet government policy or sustain the commitment in Bosnia or keep the people in the field. The list goes on. It is not just the people on the outside saying these things, but it is also the people on the inside saying these things to themselves.

Perhaps that message is not getting through, but I have great faith in the paper produced by the CDA, and I think it is worth reading.

The Chairman: Earlier in your testimony, Mr. Bland, you talked about the desirability of having someone at the political level, other than the prime minister, in charge of the show. You have just described to us some of the differences between our system of government and the American system, for example. Our Prime Minister has infinitely more powers available to him, by the system's design, than a President of the U.S. could ever have.

Given the fact that prime ministers, historically, have jumped in every time the balloon has gone up, why are you suggesting that it should go to someone else?

Mr. Bland: I am suggesting that for two reasons. As an aside, Mr. Hugh Segal, Executive Director of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, IRPP, and I organized a conference last December in Montreal around these kinds of questions. The IRPP produced two journals with a collection of papers by academics, practitioners and military officers addressing some of these questions. I recommend them to you, and I will give the clerk the references later.

The difficulty here is somewhat contrary. Why would the Prime Minister's Office not be the obvious place from which to run these things? In one respect, the crisis is not severe enough. There are other things going on. There are all the other national policies to run and they are not necessarily all linked to the current crisis in terrorism. There are other things going forward.

As well, it will be difficult to sustain interest in some of these matters over the next months and years as this thing goes along. There will be high periods; there will be very boring periods for some people. I do not think that the Prime Minister's Office is the right office to handle these things. It is much more important to have someone who is 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.

I do not recommend the American model where they have appointed a secretary to cabinet as homeland defender. That idea is rather horrific for us to contemplate. We have enough problems of coordination now, why invent another co-ordinator to take over these types of issues? The favourite device in Ottawa is to have a commissioner to oversee these types of things.

My short answer is that 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. I think that is the Minister of National Defence. Within the National Defence Act, there is provision to appoint an associate minister of National Defence at the political level. We could have three of them, if we wished.

We have done that in Canada before for different kinds of issues. It would be appropriate to appoint an associate minister of National Defence for operational security and to have then two voices in cabinet talking about these issues.

The minister of National Defence already has the makings for a national operational centre down the street. He has a large number of trained staff officers who are experienced in this field. The minister of National Defence already controls our world-wide and nation-wide communication system for talking to military people, and it could be used for all sorts of other things. He controls, in some respects, the national security establishment through the Communications Security Establishment. The minister of National Defence already has most of the resources that would fall to these kinds of responsibilities.

It is very important that you always try to match responsibility with the resources. If this national security responsibility fell to someone else, what would they be doing? They would be writing memos to the minister of National Defence asking for six helicopters, use of communications systems and so forth. We would return to interdepartmental committee work trying to solve these kinds of things.

Within our present structure, it is a good idea to concentrate responsibility and accountability where the resources already lie and then to supplement them. As an example, it would be a good idea to build a national security operations centre. The one in the Department of National Defence is a military operations centre. It is a fine place. I am sure you have all had a chance to visit it. However, it does not have located inside it, routinely, RCMP officers, communications people or CSIS people. You need to build a central national operations and intelligence system under one minister.

Senator Banks: I will play the devil's advocate for a minute. It seems that you have presented an argument against what you earlier suggested when you asked why we would add another team to one that is already difficult to coordinate. Such a person already exists in the Privy Council Office. There is a co-ordinator there.

Whoever has the responsibility must report to the Prime Minister in any event. We would not want to suggest superseding that parliamentary authority. The Prime Minister is the leader; the Prime Minister is responsible. Whoever it is would report to him. That now exists. There is a co-ordinator of all of the ministries that are involved.

Please respond to the argument that we ought not to add another team to make things more complicated and get in the way of speaking directly to the Prime Minister who is the ultimate authority in any case. He must be.

Mr. Bland: Senator Banks, I will try to be clearer. I am suggesting that you enhance the structure that is already available. The Department of National Defence has great capabilities within the system, the people and its training structure and communications structure that can be used to construct a national security system.

I am not talking about the minister of National Defence being the co-ordinator in the sense that a bureaucrat is a co-ordinator. I am not talking about a bureaucrat without parliamentary authority or statutory authority. I am talking about a politician being the co-ordinator - a politician who is accountable to Parliament for national security and would have to stand up and talk about it. That is a quantum leap from being a bureaucrat who is a PCO co-ordinator for a few years trying to get attention. It is critically important that national security policy be located in some political office that would, of course, report to the Prime Minister.

The Chairman: I want to test your theory further. How often do you think that the chief of defence staff gets to talk to the Prime Minister one-on-one?

Mr. Bland: I researched that when I wrote a book on the chiefs. The CDS would meet with the Prime Minister about three times in his three- or four-year term. One meeting was upon taking the job; another was on some sort of issue, and one to say goodbye. That is not to say they do not meet occasionally in cabinet and other times.

In the last number of years, because of operations in the Gulf War, Bosnia and so on, the CDSs have had more time with the minister and with the Prime Minister - but not routinely.

The Chairman: How often do you think Mr. Fadden meets with the Prime Minister?

Mr. Bland: I would hazard a guess. I would say, not too often. I would think that he probably meets with the clerk more than with the Prime Minister.

The Chairman: I think that is true. The clerk meets with the Prime Minister once a day. If Mr. Fadden meets with the Prime Minister once a week, he is doing much better than the CDS is.

Mr. Bland: We could debate that.

The Chairman: I am trying to make the point that the system is structured so that the Privy Council Office controls the documents and the agendas. They vet the material that goes forward. They are the people who present it to the Prime Minister. You are suggesting a structure where the responsibility falls into the hands of folks who see the Prime Minister on television from time to time and are not in the same room very often. Why do you like that sort of structure?

Mr. Bland: I would not think that everything would stay the same, except change. I would imagine that if we were to develop a model organization, we would include in it some sort of mechanism for more consultation. The fact is, you might have an associate minister of National Defence at the cabinet table who has primary responsibility for national security operations. That would be important.

However, one of the criticisms of the present system is that people in the security world - in the Privy Council office or other places - still have a very hard time bringing these issues forward. I do not imagine that the clerk brings intelligence details to the Prime Minister every day. The records of meetings of cabinet meetings on national security or intelligence security have been weak, as I understand it.

The Chairman: Since September 11, the focus has been, largely, on intelligence and counter-terrorism. What thoughts do you have for the Department of Defence post-September 11 in terms of how their priorities should be shifted?

Mr. Bland: There is a need to be careful here. The CDS and the Deputy Minister of National Defence have been careful about trying to ride the security problem for new funds. We must be careful that people do not begin to think that because we have this immediate problem of individual, small groups of terrorists flying airplanes into buildings that we should now shut down our Hercules replacement program to find the funds to address that problem.

I would hope to see an enhanced program to rebuild the Armed Forces to an acceptable level, and then, to add funds and capabilities as necessary to deal with some of these other issues.

We are dealing on the inside with essentially policing matters through support to the police from the armed forces. We need to look carefully at building that capability to support the police within the armed forces without attacking other programs that are already on the books.

Perhaps we need to look at the JDF concept to build it up. Perhaps we need to rebuild the concept that we had in the Canadian Airborne Regiment. I am not a supporter of the Canadian Airborne Regiment, but the capability of that unit is required. When the minister disbanded the Canadian airborne regiment, he disbanded the capability of having a rapidly deployable, large-sized Canadian unit that could go some place. We could use that capability today.

It would be important to rebuild this rapidly deployable force that we once had. Those kinds of things are important.

I emphasize that it is critically important not to say, "everything else that we were planning to do is now passé," and take money from this program and that program to build something to address this immediate problem. That would be an uncoordinated way to do things. We need a national security policy overtop of a national defence policy.

The Chairman: Professor, you have made it a very interesting evening for us. We know that you made a special effort to come here. We are grateful to you for doing that. I can say, on behalf of the committee, that we would very much like to have an ongoing communication with you. We hope to see you back before us again soon. Thank you very much for a helpful presentation.

Mr. Bland: Thank you for the frank questions. I will go back to the ivory tower and start working on the answers.

The Chairman: This Senate committee has been part of our survey of major security and defence matters facing Canada. This evening, we have focussed on the coordination of the security and intelligence function in our federal system. We have also heard about elements of the national security policy.

The committee will continue its work next week when it travels to Montreal, Quebec for a look firsthand at security operations at Dorval Airport and at the Port of Montreal. In addition, we will meet a distinguished militia unit.

To those of you at home following our work, please visit our Website by going to www.senate-senat.ca/defence.ca. We post witness testimony as well as committee hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting members of the committee.

The committee adjourned.