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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 12 - Reports


REPORT OF FACT-FINDING VISIT: 5-6 NOVEMBER 2001

MONTREAL

 

PREPARED FOR THE SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE
ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE


MONTREAL DORVAL AIRPORT

Staff Sergeant Charles Castonguay demonstrated an ion scanner, a small portable piece of equipment which can be used to detect the presence of explosives or drugs inside closed containers, such as packages or luggage. While ion scanners are heavily used by Customs officers, the RCMP is the first police force to begin to use them.

Racial or ethnic profiling is not used to screen travellers at airports; instead, travellers are evaluated on the basis of their responses to questions, their body language, etc.

ORGANIZED CRIME

The RCMP mandate at airports is focused on the activities of organized crime and enforcement of the federal laws dealing with contraband, drugs, illegal migrants, Agriculture Canada, the proceeds of crime, copyright and patents, controlled substances, etc. There are RCMP organized crime units at the largest international airports. The largest, with staffs of 40 police officers, are based on Toronto and Montreal, while a 20-person unit is based on Vancouver.

The organized crime units include officials from other federal government departments. The Montreal unit includes:

· 40 police

· 1 criminal intelligence analyst

· 1 prosecutor

· 1 food inspector

· 1 Customs intelligence officer

· 1 immigration officer

· Special equipment includes an X-ray truck and the ion scanner.

The most common illegal drug intercepted at the airport is marijuana, followed by cocaine and ecstasy.

According to the Staff Sergeant, the unit could use another 20 members

Mr. Pierre-Paul Pharand, Acting Vice-President, Airport Authority

Mr. Pharand began by noting that not much had changed following the 1999 report on airport security by the Senate Transport Committee; this was precipitated by 11 September attacks in the United States. Despite tightened security, two major problems remained:

· Control of restricted area passes – while employees needing a pass are subject to a background check, a pass could be obtained even by those with a criminal record;

· Screening of passengers and baggage.

According to Mr. Pharand, the Airport Authority is responsible for all security except screening passengers and baggage, a task which the airlines contract out to a private security firm. The best and quickest way of improving airport security would be to make the Airport Authority responsible for screening.

· Under the Airport Authority security officers could do screening one day, traffic control the next and then inside work. Rotation would ensure that the staff on screening duty was more alert;

· In Quebec the pay for security officers is $11.00/hr, a lot more than the $7.00 paid in Ontario

· More interesting work and better pay should help reduce staff turnover.

Mr. Pharand believed that Transport Canada should not be responsible for both regulating air safety and screening passenger and baggage screening. The airport Authority would find it much easier to discipline or fire security officers who fell down on the job. Any extra costs of increased security should be incorporated into the price of the ticket.

ISSUING AND CONTROL OF PASSES

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

· The chip in the pass that allows the holder to pass through locked doors can be de-activated;

· Employees of employers with high rates of employee turnover can be given a pass good for only 1-3 years instead of the usual 5 year;

· Flight crew must now pass through security.

Control of those who work in, or in the vicinity of aircraft, is still too weak.

· Conditions for these passes should be made more strict; and,

· Passes should only be given to these workers if they agree to be subjected to random searches on entering or leaving the restricted area.

PHYSICAL SECURITY

NAVCANADA is responsible for security in the control tower.

The Airport Authority is responsible for 1st Response in the event of an incident. The response would be controlled from a special room.

· Emergency Response Room

· Airport Authority

· Representatives of police forces with separate communications

· Health official

· Public relations official

Mobile Command Post – a special truck has been outfitted as a mobile command post complete with small kitchen and bathroom and desks/communications for essential staff.

The airport security/intelligence bureau works to identify weak points in airport security and to evaluate potential threats.

A special committee on safety/security meets regularly to co-ordinate the work of police, NAVCAN, airport authority, airlines, etc., to exchange ideas about security weaknesses and possible threats, etc.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MONTREAL URBAN

AND QUEBEC PROVINCIAL POLICE

The representatives of both the Montreal Urban police and the Sûreté du Québec praised the level of co-operation and co-ordination which existed between the three police forces. A RCMP Joint Task Force provided co-ordination and established the responsibility of each of the three forces in the event of different incidents/emergencies.

· The local district of the Montreal Urban Police had assigned officers to patrol inside and outside the terminal when the RCMP withdrew from policing in 1996. They enforced non-federal laws; the most common offences were possession of forbidden items and for making threats. (The costs of this policing and the costs of the additional policing made necessary by the attacks of 11 September, apparently absorbed by the Montreal Urban Community, seemed to be something of a sore point with the local police.)

· The role of the Sûreté du Québec was quite limited. It attached 6 officers to the RCMP Organized Crime Task Forces at the Dorval and Mirabel Airports and at the Port of Montreal. It also was responsible for patrolling the local highways leading to the airports and docks.

THE PORT OF MONTREAL

The breakfast briefing was given by Assistant Superintendent Mr. Pierre Droz of the RCMP with the assistance of criminal intelligence officers from the RCMP, Canadian Customs and the Montreal Urban Community police.

According to Superintendent Droz the most important policing was done by the small Organized Crime Task Force staffed by officers of the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec and the Montreal Urban police.

· Very little was being done to control crime since the Port Police were disbanded. Only Customs officers are now actively trying to prevent crime;

· Most criminal offences – theft of containers, theft of contents - were not being reported by companies, hence there are no statistics.

· Security guards provided by company hired by Port Authority unarmed, no power of arrest and no intelligence capability. Probably easy for organized crime to penetrate (previous company with the contract had links to the Hell’s Angels).

SOLUTIONS

· Develop a better understanding of crime in the Port

· Exchange information-intelligence nationally and internationally;

· Make an in-depth study of Crime and the Port

· Arrest and charge the leaders (i.e., the dominant crime family, many of whom work as checkers, or as inspectors, and even in security.)

· End union control over hiring, firing and assigning dock workers – stevedores and checkers. Checkers should not decide who unloads container. The union is "closed" to outsiders; applicants must be sponsored by insiders i.e., the dominant crime family and their friends, hence it is very difficult to infiltrate. At present about 15% of stevedores have criminal records, 36.3% of checkers and fully 54% of the employees of Urgence Marine, the company with the contract to pick up garbage, do minor repairs and to operate the tenders servicing ships moored in open water outside the harbour.

· Improve control at exits from the Port by having Port Authority re-establish check points to control truckers. At present it is too easy for Matticks family checkers to crowd a terminal in the early morning as a screen for the pick-up of contraband.

SUCCESSFUL TECHNIQUES

· Customs and police have tried inspecting a greater percentage of containers. By itself this does not necessarily work because criminals can re-route containers, and then conceal them until they have arranged to remove the contents or move the containers off Port property. All that is required is the complicity of two checkers – one to "loose" the container when it is un-loaded from the ship and before it is sent to the customs shed, and another to help get the "hot" or "targeted" container out of the Port before its disappearance is noticed.

· Must develop better intelligence – network of contacts – which takes time and which requires a regular police force with an intelligence capacity;

· Customs receives manifests 72 hours before ship docks. Customs targets about 15-20 containers for detailed checking per day, based on the profile of the shipping company, the exporter and importer, and the stated contents of the container.

· Must give smugglers longer prison sentences – at present, men sentenced for smuggling contraband are back on the docks within a few months. (This goes back to the problem of union control of hiring and assignment of stevedores and promotion to checker– those with serious criminal records or who associate with known criminals or criminal organizations should be banned from Port property.)

THE LAND FORCE RESERVES (MILITIA)

There was no formal briefing session with the officers and-non commissioned officers of the 3rd Battalion of the Black Watch, but members of the Committee were able to speak to a number of them. Some of the points raised were the following:

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

· Sending large numbers of a Militia unit to serve with regulars compromises the ability to train recruits and others;

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

· Why does it take longer to take on strength someone with previous experience in the Militia than a new recruit?

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


 

REPORT OF FACT-FINDING VISIT: 19-22 NOVEMBER 2001

VANCOUVER, VICTORIA AND WINNIPEG

 

PREPARED FOR THE SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE

ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE


 

NOTES: TESTIMONY HEARD

IN VANCOUVER, VICTORIA AND WINNIPEG

19-22 NOVEMBER 2001

19 NOVEMBER 2001: MARITIME FORCES PACIFIC (MARPAC)

In his opening remarks Rear Admiral Fraser said that his principal task as the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific was to prepare ships and men to participate in the war on terrorism. For this reason the Esquimalt base and the ships were under very high security as they prepared for the next deployment. A major step in the deployment was to screen about 700 officers and men to ensure that their training, mental and physical condition as well as family circumstances would meet the requirements for deployment abroad.

Captain (Navy) Harrison outlined the mission and capabilities of Maritime Forces Pacific and its 4,000 military and 2,000 civilian personnel. Their mission is first, to generate, employ, maintain and sustain balanced, combat capable, multi-purpose maritime forces and second, to provide Search and Rescue service in the Victoria Search and Rescue Region.

1. The core of the multi-purpose forces consists of a naval task group of up to three combat ships and a replenishment ship, supported as necessary by maritime air support and/or a submarine, capable of being deployed anywhere in the world.

§ The task group would be drawn from a force of 5 Halifax Class frigates, one Iroquois class destroyer, and one Protecteur class replenishment ship. In late 2002, a Victoria class submarine is expected to join the fleet.

§ 1 Canadian Air Division allocates 6 Sea King helicopters and 5 maritime patrol craft (Auroras) to support of the Maritime Forces Pacific. The helicopters can fly off the decks of the destroyer and frigates.

2. With these resources Maritime Forces Pacific carries out a number of roles and operations, including

§ surveillance drawing on its own naval and air resources (the Aurora aircraft can only afford 2-3 patrols a week) as well as reports from the U.S., civilian ships and aircraft, remote sensing, etc.

§ Support to other government departments (30 ship days to Fisheries and Oceans, 60 ship days, 25 Sea King and 800 Aurora hours to the R.C.M.P. as well as support to Immigration and to Customs).

§ Asia-Pacific Engagement: even year deployments to the North Pacific, odd year, to the South Pacific and /or South East Asia. Deployment in support of UN sanctions against Iraq, peacekeeping in East Timor and the war on terrorism.

§ Naval diplomacy. Visits by naval ships are used to develop diplomatic and trade as well as military relations.

§ Search and rescue

3. Although the Victoria Search and Rescue Region, which includes British Columbia and its coast and off shore as well as the Yukon, is the smallest of the three (the others being Trenton and Halifax) in terms of physical size, it generates the largest number of missions and twice as many of the most serious missions (about 850 Category 1 missions, the most threatening to life, as opposed to about 400 cases for each of the other regions). Available for search and rescue are the following forces:

Maritime:

§ Canadian Coast Guard Ships and Auxiliary

§ Ships of Maritime Forces Pacific

§ U.S. Coast Guard

§ Vessels of Opportunity

Air:

§ 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron with 3 Labrador helicopters and 6 Buffalo aircraft

§ Civilian air search and rescue volunteers

§ U.S. Coast Guard

§ Aircraft of opportunity

Questions

· Current deployment to Arabian Sea expected to be for six months, but may be longer for some ships. Muslims/Pakistanis would be included if they formed part of the ships’ complement.

· Search and Rescue Cormorants: the two already in Canada should be operational sometime in 2002. Reason for delays in delivery: there is a problem with the contractor about incomplete maintenance documentation.

· Interoperability. Canadian ships are can be integrated into a US Battle Group and frequently participate in joint exercises and missions. They are controlled by the Commander of Battle Group within the rules of engagement established by the Canadian government. The Commander assigns missions based on capabilities of Canadian ships and the parameters set by the government. Only Ottawa HQ can amend permissible missions, rules of engagement.

· Not all ships have their full complement of officers and men. The ranks of junior officers are particularly thin; some technical trades are very short-staffed.

· The current recruiting drive is going well, attracting potential officers; the signing bonus of $10,000-$20,000 is attracting the interest of technicians. Traditionally, very few Asians respond to recruiting drives, but there is no specific plan to recruit them either.

· While women are increasingly common shipboard and serve as junior officers, no woman is in command of a ship – it takes about 22 years to train an officer for promotion to Captain in the Navy.

· Search and rescue at sea is very expensive but unlike land missions, no effort is made to recover costs from those whose reckless behaviour has got them into trouble.

· When the Navy aids other government departments, it offers the ships and/or aircraft, crews and training to board and take control of a ship from the sea or air, but its officers have no powers of arrest. Operations tend to be complex. They might start as a search and rescue mission and later involve immigration (migrants) or the R.C.M.P. (drugs).

The Committee toured HMCS Algonquin and was briefed on the combat capability of a task group.

Command and Control of the Task Group is exercised by the Commander and a staff of about 31 on board the destroyer Iroquois which has a complement of 280. The Commander and staff must plan on a world-wide basis and integrate the work of the destroyer, two frigates and a replenishment ship plus the helicopters and possibly a submarine.

Air War: the Task Group is equipped with radar and missiles capable of engaging aircraft at a range of up to 80 Km.

Electronic War: the Task Group is equipped to locate enemy vessels and aircraft, to jam their electronic systems, and to mislead and draw off their missiles;

Anti-Surface War: the deck gun has a range of about 8 Km while the Harpoon missile has a range of about 70 Km.

Anti-submarine War: the Task Force is equipped both to work with and to hunt submarines with a combination of sonar locators and torpedoes.

Sea King helicopters and the Auroras act as the eyes of the Task Group extending its defensive zone and allowing it to engage targets far beyond its normal range.

The Task Group also plays an important diplomatic role and a role in the environmental policing of the oceans.

Since the Navy is short about 1,000 officers and men, its personnel must spend more time at sea- 60% at sea and 40% on land - than other NATO Navies which split their time 50%-50%.

Questions

· The ships of the Task Group are designed to resist Nuclear, bacteriological and chemical warfare

· The Navy has a one-in-three-system of deployment, one deployed, one preparing for deployment, and one being outfitted. As a result, a ship’s crew are not supposed to deploy in the year following their return.

· The Navy only budgets for enough fuel for 60 sea days a year, other NATO countries spend 125 days at sea. Next year, however, it might spend as much as 240 days at sea.

· Only 60 % of the fleet can be kept at the highest level of readiness.

Captain Pile briefed the Committee on the role of the Reserves in manning the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels of which there were 6 on the West coast and 6 on the East coast. With the exception of two Regular Force technical experts, these vessels are manned and officered (38 Reservists including the Captain) by reservists from across Canada who are on 3month-3 year contracts. They are very versatile and can be easily given different configurations i.e., they can be equipped with weapons, to conduct Route Surveys and inspection of objects on the sea floor, and as the Ready Duty Ship for Search and Rescue.

The Navy has implemented the Total Force concept, expecting the same standards, expectations, level of leadership and professionalism from Reservists and Regulars alike.

Questions

· Three levels of Reserve pay: Class A for those serving an evening a week and the occasional week-end; Class B, manning coastal vessels on contract; Class C, on full-time call out doing the job of a regular. In April 2002, deployability will distinguish between Classes B and C. Those who are deployable will receive 100% of the Regular pay, as opposed to 85%.

· There are two reasons for delays in taking on Reservists: if the applicant has a criminal record and where the applicant has previous service and the records must be searched before an offer is made. Cutbacks have reduced the staff available to search records.

· Generally Captain Pile, like other officers, is opposed to US style legislation governing Reservists: major employers will give time off, even "top up" Naval pay, but smaller employers might be disinclined to hire Reservists if they had to hold the job open.

· Major problems: shortage of staff – could only man 5 of the 6 vessels; training; lack of at sea time for training. Most at sea days are allocated to training officers.

QUALITY OF LIFE

The recent pay increases and the adoption of an allowance for Post Living Differentials have done a lot to improve morale.

The tempo of Operations is now the major source of complaint instead of pay and allowances. It is having an impact on morale, stress (individual and family), physical health and group cohesiveness. The 60%-40% time-on-ship to time-on-shore shore ratio does not apply to navy reservists who spend much more of their time at sea.

Generally speaking, the Reservists spoken to had high praise for their training and for life in the Navy. Newcomers found family housing very expensive.

Visit to 443 Squadron, Esquimalt

443 Squadron is supposed to have 6 Sea King helicopters to support Maritime Forces Pacific, but one is unavailable.

§ The mission of 443 Squadron is to provide a "helidet" or helicopter detachment to each high readiness ship. On the West Coast there are therefore three helicopter detachments each consisting of a serviceable helicopter, two crews of 4 personnel, and 11 maintenance personnel.

§ Because of its age and the way its electronics were designed and installed, the Sea King requires 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight.

407 Squadron, Comox

The Committee was briefed about the responsibilities of Squadron 407 which operates Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft out of Comox, B.C. The Aurora aircraft are being upgraded one-at-a-time, a project which will give them state-of-the-art electronics and which should be finished by the end of the decade.

§ Aircrew, not contract workers, are responsible for maintaining the Auroras. This is considered more effective and efficient and is also good for morale.

§ The Auroras fly surveillance patrols lasting for 6-8 hours to counter smuggling of contraband, to monitor shipping for compliance with environmental regulations, and to report the location of driftnets and their mother ship.

§ The Auroras are also responsible for Northern Patrols, but the frequency of these patrols has been reduced to save money.

§ The Auroras play an essential role in Search and Rescue missions because of their ability to search vast expanses of ocean.

Questions

· To ensure the interoperability of aircraft and crews – their ability to work with allies –some training has to be conducted in other locations.

· Because of budgetary restrictions, the pilots of the Auroras fly only 400 hours a year, close to the minimum number of hours necessary to maintain their competence and confidence.

· The shortage of airworthy helicopters limits pilots to 300 hours flying at sea and 150 hours on shore.

TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2001

VANCOUVER PORT

Brian Bramah, Regional Director, Security and Emergency Preparedness, Transport Canada, outlined the provisions of the Maritime Transportation Security Act which governed operation of cruise ships with 100 and more berths. At Vancouver Port there were memoranda of understanding with the Port Authority and cruise lines governing:

§ establishment and composition of a security committee;

§ security training;

§ the exchange of information.

Chris Badger, Vice-President of Operations, Vancouver Port Authority outlined the importance of the Port of Vancouver, the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America, and the mission of the Vancouver Port Authority which was only established in March of 1999. Unlike the Port of Montreal, for example, which has a continuous waterfront, the Port of Vancouver has separate locations for terminals handling bulk or loose cargo, Cruise Lines, container ships, etc. While responsibility for policing the Port of Vancouver is divided between a number of police jurisdictions, the Vancouver City Police is the most important.

The Port Authority has relatively little responsibility for security in the Port. It operates a system of closed circuit television cameras which monitor the various parts of the Port 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has acquired a mobile scanner that can produce an image of the contents of a 40 foot container in about 40 seconds, hence it is possible in theory to screen 100% of the containers moving through the Port. The Port Authority also pays $250,000 a year for increased security patrols around the perimeters of the Port.

Questions

· The cruise lines are responsible for screening all the passengers and baggage boarding their vessels.

· The Port Authority has established a small intelligence unit to co-ordinate the work of the 8 municipal police forces with jurisdiction over Port territory. There is general satisfaction with the status quo which is considered an improvement over the Port Police because there are more officers on patrol and because they have a mandate beyond Port property.

· The Port Authority claims not to have any knowledge about the activities of organized crime in the Port. (Customs officials report tactics of intimidation as they inspect containers and say that the Hell’s Angels is the dominant criminal influence within the Port.) This is the responsibility of the provincial Organized Crime Agency.

· The Port Authority subjects its employees to security screening, but it hires only 121 of the 27,000 persons working on Port property. Companies which lease Port property are free to screen or not screen as they choose. In conjunction with the private companies the Port Authority is trying to develop an identification card system common to all port employees.

· The British Columbia Marine Employers Association hires and trains dock workers, but workers are dispatched to their assignments through a hiring hall.

POLICING ARRANGEMENTS – PORT OF VANCOUVER

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

They discussed with the Committee the public interest in policing private property and the problems that arose. There is an agreement with the Attorney-General of British Columbia to cover police activities on Port property, but compensation for the policing is a sore point with local municipalities.

A large number of municipalities are involved in policing Port property, not to mention the involvement of provincial and federal police forces, departments and agencies, and private security companies. Consequently, there is seldom a clear division of responsibility. Nevertheless, the police officers were satisfied that policing was co-operative and effective through:

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

§ the private security company responsible for closed circuit monitoring of Port property functioned as the eyes and ears of the teams;

§ modern communications helped to unite the various forces and agencies involved in Port security.

An Intelligence Analyst from the British Columbia Organized Crime Unit noted that all the elements of traditional organized crime were involved in the Port, as well as the more modern Asian Triads, Russian Gangsters, and Narco-Terrorists, etc.

The range of criminal activity was much the same as in the Port of Montreal. Motorcycle gangs are very active and visible, linking criminal activities in the eastern and western ports. The various elements of organized crime tended to have specialities, but they all participated in the import/export of illegal drugs as the most common and lucrative activity. In addition, Asian and Russian gangs exported stolen luxury cars; the Russian gangs were also active among chandlers; and Mexican and Columbian gangs were involved in narco-terrorism.

In conclusion, the witnesses noted that federal and provincial expenditures on controlling organized crime were completely inadequate in terms of the proceeds of crime – the $4 million the governments spend represents a minute fraction of one percent of the proceeds of crime.

Questions

The Vancouver police are very satisfied with the co-operation they get from the Port Authority and the private companies who lease the terminals, as well as with the provincial and federal agencies involved. They not only patrol, but undercover officers also circulate, and the private security officers call in the detachment to investigate anything suspicious.

The responsible police officers decide the issue of who is responsible for security on a task-by-task basis – that is, the nature of the crime and the nature of the security operation determines the lead agency.

The insistence that the Ports Authorities established by the legislation act on a strict commercial basis may impede public security:

· the systematic checking of containers and cargo causes delay and irritates importers and exporters alike;

· all parties have a financial interest in expediting traffic; security is expensive and time-consuming.

There was no agreement that making one authority responsible for Port security across Canada would be an improvement:

· about 5 federal departments have to enforce laws or regulations in the Ports;

· each Port is different and the one-police-force-fits-all model is not appropriate;

· the different viewpoints of the various forces and agencies are both valuable and valid, and are worth the extra hassle involved in co-ordinating their work;

· must have three level policing to match the interests of the three levels of government in the Port; the Joint Forces model draws in those operations/individuals with expertise or an interest in an issue and the waterfront teams include representatives from all the police forces.

Asked about legislative issues, the witnesses noted that in the United States, access to the docks was controlled by Customs law, and expressed concern about court enforced disclosure of police sources, techniques and informants.

Canadian Ports have to be brought up to the level of security that exists at major airports:

· employees must be security screened and access denied to those with relevant criminal records or known criminal associations;

· movement on, into and out of Port property must be controlled;

· there is no central reporting of theft of containers and their contents because 300-400 separate insurers are involved

IMMIGRATION

Rob Johnson of Canada Immigration gave a very brief description of how illegal migrants were handled at the Port. Their enforcement priorities are:

§ terrorists, war criminals and criminals;

§ removals of those persons previously deported, those who have failed to appear as directed for proceedings, and failed refugee claimants.

Despite a few very high profile attempts to land large numbers of illegal immigrants from offshore ships, the number of ship jumpers and stowaways discovered each year is relatively low, ranging from a total of 60-83 per year over the past six years. Immigration depends on the officials of Canada Customs to decide whether they should investigate a passenger or crew member.

In response to questions Mr. Johnson noted that illegal migrants rarely choose ships as their means of gaining illegal entry; potential terrorists are identified by intelligence sources, their response to questions and their background.

CANADA CUSTOMS AND REVENUE AGENCY

Danielle Evans, Chief of Marine Operations, Vancouver, told the Committee that she had 60 full-time equivalent staff with which to interview passengers and crew and to inspect containers and general cargo. Her personnel were the primary inspection officials for a number of federal departments and agencies.

Her crews have the best interdiction record on the west coast, a record substantially better than their U.S. equivalents. Their success is built on

§ superior intelligence and Canadian and international contacts which allow them to target the area from which a ship comes, particular importers/exporters and particular ships and containers;

§ interviewing skills;

§ technology; they use a "Mobile Vacis," a Gamma Ray scanner which gives them a two dimensional image of the contents of a container within a minute;

§ vessel "rummaging" or inspection;

§ training and the exchange of information about successful techniques.

The major challenge they face is the number of locations they must cover and the number of entry points to the Port of Vancouver. They use a number of techniques to check for contraband:

§ the pier or tail-gate inspection of a container by officers assisted by dogs;

§ vessel rummaging, or a thorough inspection conducted by 2 or more customs officers and taking up to 6-8 hours;

§ before 11 September, selective boarding of vessels to determine whether they should be "rummaged." Since 11 September, every vessel is boarded and its crew interviewed;

§ technology.

Given the extra demands placed on her crews since 11 September she requires additional technical and personnel resources to prevent burnout.

MEETING WITH CUSTOMS OFFICERS

An informal meeting with some customs officers gave an insight into some of the pressures and problems of their job. While there had been a marked improvement in the quality of their uniforms and personal equipment, and management had recently begun to issue flak jackets, much of the clothing and equipment had not been designed and sized with women in mind.

The officers felt that their organization was both understaffed and that during peak periods in the summer they were too dependent on under trained students. Staff shortages had led to a reduction in the number of containers inspected and in the size of "rummaging parties" sent aboard vessels to interview the crew and conduct a search. Since a single officer was at risk, no inspection team of less than two persons should be sent on board a vessel, even a fishing boat or pleasure craft.

Back end inspections, which match manifests to goods actually landed, had been discontinued.

Customs officers could do a better and more efficient job with better equipment. The computer network was considered inefficient; it did not give them all the information necessary to "target" inspections or passengers, officers did not have terminals in their vehicles and had to return to the office to get information and file reports. There was a need for more state-of-the-art technology to allow them to inspect a higher percentage of containers and baggage. At some of the locations where they worked, particularly the terminal for cruise ships, a lack of Customs facilities made working conditions unpleasant.

At the airport officers felt they were increasingly being asked to do potentially dangerous work for which they had received little or no training – interview potentially violent passengers and crew, search baggage for explosives and chemical or bacteriological agents. They needed more training and better personal equipment.

While promotions seemed to be based on merit, the time allowed for appeals (7 calendar days) was too short. Frequent transfers and promotions in management caused stress and inefficiency among the staff.

In general, the officers felt their jobs had become more dangerous and that they were more at risk; consequently, they asked that they be given batons or mace for their personal protection. They also believed that there were not enough differences between their jobs and police work to justify the $15,000 salary differential.

WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2001-11-28

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Craig Richmond, Vice-President, Airport Operations, Vancouver International Airport noted that the Airport Authority already is responsible for most aspects of airport security, including:

§ hiring a private security company to control access to restricted areas and to patrol these areas;

§ contracting with the Richmond RCMP for policing -responding to security incidents and providing armed response to passenger screening points.

It was logical and desirable, therefore, that the Airport Authority assume responsibility from the airlines for passenger pre-board screening, acting as the agent of the Government of Canada.

The Airport Authority wants to see establishment of a national, non-profit government-industry organization to develop and oversee national standards for technology, training and delivery of passenger pre-board screening and oversee the management of pre-board screening at smaller airports. This would result in the following benefits:

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

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

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

§ local accountability within a national standard.

On behalf of Transport Canada, Brian Bramah gave a brief outline of the legislation and regulations governing the three programs of air safety: the safety of the flying public; the security of terminals and runways, etc.; and, the security of aircraft.

Questions

Before a pass to a restricted area is issued, the employee is subjected to a ten year background check. A red pass allows an employee to enter a restricted area alone while a blue pass means that the employee must be accompanied. The passes of foreign airlines are honoured, but crew members must pass through security screening.

About 28-40 individuals can ask that a pass be issued.

· The Airport Authority makes a preliminary series of checks on the applicant and then issues a blue pass.

· The request for a restricted pass is forwarded by Transport Canada to the RCMP and the Security Intelligence Service. Since work at the airport is seasonal, at times Transport Canada, the RCMP and the Security and Intelligence Service are deluged with requests and it takes months for them to inform Transport Canada of the results. On the basis of the information supplied by Transport Canada, the Airport Authority issues the pass or informs the applicant of the reasons why it has been denied.

· The program of security screening for restricted passes is national –the information made available to one airport will be available to all airports where an individual seeks employment.

Security guards at entry points to restricted areas have lists of invalid passes whose "chip" (which unlocks the door) has been cancelled because the pass holder no longer works at the airport or because the pass has been lost or stolen.

· A problem arises, however, when employers are negligent about reporting and recovering passes which are invalid. Penalties for these employers should be more harsh.

· There is also a problem recovering the passes issued to employees of airlines like Canada 3000 which have gone bankrupt.

· If lost or stolen passes exceed 3% of the total, Transport Canada must be informed.

The Airport Authority believes that all airports should meet the same standard of security, hence the involvement of the federal government in a joint industry-government body to regulate and oversee pre-board screening, but that airports should be allowed to meet the standard in different ways, hence the responsibility of the Airport Authority for delivering the service.

The system can be made both safe and effective:

· With a larger staff capable of conducting pre-board screening, the Airline Authority can open additional lines by drawing staff from other locations. This would help meet the service standard for maximum time in line without sacrificing screening standards.

The Airport Authority admitted that on very rare occasions when a large backlog developed at Customs, management was asked to instruct Customs officers to move passengers through the lines more quickly.

· Long lines could normally be avoided by improving communications with the airlines and getting accurate information about the next day’s passenger bookings.

The Airport Authority believed that the various departments and agencies with responsibility for security, such as the Airport Authority itself, the airlines, Transport Canada, Customs, Immigration, the RCMP and the private security company, worked well together and knew each others’ responsibilities.

The Airport Authority exchanges information on a routine basis with a wide range of U.S. and Canadian authorities. The small Transport Canada intelligence unit is in daily contact with the Security Intelligence Service.

POLICING

The RCMP is responsible both for enforcing federal law at the airport and, under contract, their local Richmond detachment is responsible for policing the airport.

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

§ Federal Enforcement (Plain Clothes), which currently is particularly interested in intellectual property crime involving the import of pirated copies of designer clothes, movies, software, etc.

§ Federal Enforcement (Uniformed) provides back up to other units, surveillance, and public re-assurance during periods of crisis;

§ Drug Enforcement, which works in close partnership with Customs;

§ Immigration, which works closely with Immigration officials and has a particular interest in the for-profit smuggling of humans, frequently for the purposes of prostitution;

§ Airport Integrated Intelligence Unit which normally monitors the travel of criminals, but is now heavily involved in counter-terrorism, interviewing and tracking the travel of passengers who have raised suspicion. This sub-section also draws on the resources of other agencies and departments (Customs, Transport, Immigration, etc.) with an intelligence component.

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

Brian Flagel, Director, Airport Operations, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. His staff of 232 Full-time Equivalents carry out three operations:

§ Traffic Operations operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week processing over 4 million passengers and their baggage through primary, secondary and rover interviews and examinations.

§ Airside and Special Enforcement Operations deploys a variety of special teams in the traffic, commercial and ramp areas, to interdict the movement of contraband, monitor exports for compliance with regulations, search aircraft and develop the intelligence necessary to target specific flights.

§ Air Cargo Operations processes international cargo, courier packages (including express mail and documents) and supervises sufferance and bonded warehouses as well as the duty free operation. It also clears small private, corporate, and charter flights on an on-call basis.

Airport Customs and Revenue Officers face a number of challenges, including:

§ Increasing public and business expectations for both safety and speed of service;

§ Increasing government expectations for controlling the movement of contraband, criminals and terrorists, preventing the import of disease contaminated food stuffs and products, etc.

§ Increasing sophistication of organized crime and terrorists.

Questions

The Airport Authority holds regular "table top" exercises to practice and develop emergency procedures. The Emergency Planner calls meetings and chairs the committee.

There are regular meetings of the Security Committee to co-ordinate the work of the Airport Authority, the RCMP, Customs and the security firm. Authorities from the US can also be called in, and there are meetings and conferences with US counterparts.

The Airport Authority cannot search holders of a restricted pass on entering or leaving the area, but Bill C-23 will authorize the early release of the passenger lists for flights.

The RCMP organized crime and airport security unit could use twice its current manpower. It is very costly to keep up with the capacity of organized crime to purchase new technology-false documents are increasingly difficult to detect, and criminals now use cell phones for a brief time and then throw them away to avoid having their calls monitored.

Customs is adequately staffed for the post 11 September volume of traffic. During the summer, 60 students are employed after a training course of 3 ½ weeks. When Customs is flooded by a combination of early and late flights, the order is given to expedite on the revenue side, not the security side of the Customs operation. The order to expedite was given about 4-5 times this past summer.

The Supervisor of Corporate Security for Air Canada spoke about the corporation’s approach to security. To improve security Air Canada had:

§ Placed a new, more strict, limit on carry-on luggage;

§ Required passengers to show proof of identity at the boarding gate;

§ Started to reinforce the doors to the cockpit;

§ Asked that an agency like NAVCAN be established to take responsibility for pre-boarding screening;

§ Supported the presence of "Air Marshals" on flights;

§ Supported the work of the Air Travel Advisory Group of government and industry representatives to institute seamless airport security and identify the best practices across Canada and throughout the world.

Questions

Security measures must balance facilitation and enforcement and their effectiveness should be subject to ongoing evaluation. The introduction of more technology on the ground can help, as can the use of Air Marshals on flights. 100% of baggage should be screened, but all of these measures would be expensive to implement and raise the issue of how to recover their costs.

Air Canada supports creation of a separate agency to implement and enforce a national system of passes to restricted areas. As a carrier, Air Canada wants recourse from a decision of the Airport Authority.

There should be a system for the "risk assessment" of passengers from the time they make a reservation, and more strict screening at the boarding gate.

In his opinion, given the level of risk to which Canadian passengers are exposed, the Canadian security program is, overall, better than the US.

THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2001-11-29

1 Canadian Air Division, Canadian Region NORAD Headquarters, Winnipeg

Major-General Steve Lucas gave an overview of the capabilities of 1 Air Division. These are:

§ Aerospace Control with Wings located from Comox, B.C. to Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador;

§ Support to Maritime Operations on the West and East coasts with Sea King detachments assigned to the Navy and maritime patrol aircraft;

§ Support to the Land Forces with helicopter squadrons based at Edmonton, Petawawa, Borden, St. Hubert, Valcartier and Gagetown;

§ Air Mobility with a squadron of transport planes based at Yellowknife, and Wings based at Winnipeg, Trenton and Greenwood;

§ Search and Rescue, organized into the Victoria Area (including B.C. and the Yukon), the Halifax Area (covering the Maritime provinces) and the Trenton Area (including the North and interior);

§ Air Training.

As Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, he is responsible to different headquarters for different roles. To the Chief of the Air Staff; to the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (for Search and Rescue), and to NORAD Headquarters in Colorado. The latter responsibility has been particularly important since 11 September, but he does not have to consult Ottawa about routine or agreed upon NORAD missions.

Questions

Cutbacks in funding have reduced every kind of training, whether individual, group, national or international. As a result, the general level of readiness has declined as only a small number of pilots is at the highest level of readiness and training for a number of missions has been discontinued.

· Thus CF 18 pilots no longer practice low level flying to partially compensate for the reduction in annual flying hours to 180 from 210; new simulators and the elimination of anti-submarine training has allowed a reduction in the flying hours of the pilots and crew of the Aurora patrol aircraft.

Generally satisfied with how contracting out of pilot training has worked. Bombardier supplies everything, including food and housing, as well as aircraft, simulators and software. The training is considered world class and many NATO pilots come to Canada for training.

Contracting out the maintenance of the Radar sites has also seemed to work. Somewhat wary about contracting out the servicing of aircraft because the air force must be able to service and maintain the aircraft when they are deployed abroad.

· In general, contracting out reduces flexibility – the contract workers and technicians cannot be assigned other tasks in an emergency or when under-occupied, and cannot be asked to work overtime except at punitive rates.

The Canadian Air Force lacks a strategic air lift capability and must depend on charters (when available) or on allies to deploy its forces rapidly. Lack of strategic air re-fuelling capability also limits the speed with which aircraft can be deployed abroad. Tactically, only US Navy aircraft can be re-fuelled by Canadian tankers because their air re-fuelling systems are the same "basket" style used by Canadian aircraft, and only some US tankers are equipped to re-fuel both "basket" and "probe" equipped aircraft.

Chief Warrant Officer Danno Dietrich briefed the Committee on the background of the "Flight Plan for Life" initiative to enhance the quality of life. It started as a Working Group in 1996-1997 whose objective was to seek out the concerns of airmen and their families and suggestions for improving morale. It undertook not to turn down any suggestion without a hearing and to respond to every concern and suggestion. To-day the Command Chief Warrant Officer acts as Chair of the Air Command FPfL (Flight Plan for Life) Advisory Committee which has representatives from the various units. Some successes include:

· The Military Family Resource Centre which offers spousal second language training, emergence child care and spousal employment assistance;

· Compensation and Benefits which include Post Living Differential allowances, compassionate travel assistance, and maternity and parental benefit improvements;

· Improvements to private married quarters while holding rent increases to 9% over 5 years (salaries increased by 28%);

· The 12V concept for deployments to Bosnia-Velika/Kladusa provides for a 12 month Squadron deployment with variable personnel tour lengths – 16 core personnel deploy for 6 months at a time while most remaining personnel serve two 56 day periods and a few serve three periods. This is not only less disruptive of family life, it makes it easier for reserve personnel to participate in the rotations;

· Adoption of a special uniform for work and deployment.

The tempo of operations and a shortage of critical personnel were the major challenges facing 1 Canadian Air Division. The new system of rotation had eased the pressures of the tempo of operations, but operations and staff shortages both impeded training, setting up a vicious circle.

Questions

The lack of training time was identified as the major source of stress. The airman had become "a jack of all trades, master of none." Retention was a more critical problem than recruiting because of the time required to train a recruit. Retention bonuses, if approved, should help to retain technicians.

The Air Force lacked the resources to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and had to establish partnerships with non-military clinics. There was still a problem getting airmen to come forward before their stress became chronic. Most commonly effected were those who had served with the Army and their problem was made worse by their isolation when they returned to their unit. The Israelis had had success with a program of repeatedly questioning soldiers about their experiences until they began to talk of their own volition.

Family violence had been reduced by the development of the family resource centres and a significantly reduced tolerance for family violence.

There were different kinds of drug abuse. The major problem remained alcohol abuse (prescription drug abuse was also a problem). Abuse of illegal drugs would end the career of the senior ranks, junior ranks would be given the opportunity of addiction treatment.

Visible minorities were hard to recruit because most recruits came from smaller communities rather than big cities.

Lieutenant Colonel Gord Reid, Commandant, Canadian Forces Air Navigation School, gave an overview of its operations. The School offers a number of aircrew training courses:

· The Basic Air Navigator course teaches the basic skills necessary to direct tactical missions and manage air navigation and communication systems;

· The Basic AESOP course develops the skills necessary to employ sensor and communication systems

· The Staff Air Navigator Course teaches aircrew to identify and document operational capability deficiencies, and to recommend solutions;

· The Flight Instructor Course trains qualified aircrew to perform both classroom and flight instructional duties.

Any excess capacity in the Basic Air Navigator Course is sold to airmen from foreign countries, including Singapore, Australia, Germany and Norway.

Lieutenant Colonel Bert Doyle, Commanding Officer, 402 Squadron, spoke to the Committee about the role of the Squadron and the "total Force" concept which it embodies.

402 Squadron conducts pilot training on de Havilland Dash 8’s and provides the aircraft which the Air Navigation School uses for training air crew. Regular and Reserve Force members work side-by-side to fulfill 402’s roles and duties – the only difference is that Regular Force personnel are used wherever they must be used, Reservists are used wherever they can be used. The major concern of the Reservists was their lack of legislated job protection during periods of service on operations or training.

Questions

· About 10% of the Reservists with 402 Squadron worked full-time. Reservists could benefit from their reserve status when Corporate-Reserve relations were good.

There was some reluctance to support the US model of legislation although it was noted that all provinces except Quebec had legislation allowing public servants to take time off for Reserve duties. The Federal Government had not adopted such legislation.


 

REPORT OF FACT-FINDING VISIT: 21-24 JANUARY 2002

HALIFAX AND BASE GAGETOWN

 

PREPARED FOR THE SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE

ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE


 

Report of the Fact-Finding Trip to Halifax and

Base Gagetown, 21-24 January 2002

Monday 21 January

Captain (N) Greg Burke, Acting Commanding Officer, Maritime Forces Atlantic, briefed the Committee on the Challenges facing the command:

· Financial budgets 26% less than 5 years ago;

· Reduced equipment and fewer personnel had led to tension about the tempo of operations and the quality of life;

· Force protection at home and abroad;

· Adaptability – the fleet had to move between Blue Sea and littoral operations;

· Maintenance of fleet impacted by shortage of some technicians – at the moment the shortage of technicians was more critical than the shortage of money;

· At present he was staffing two of three ships; the rotation planned for January will therefore impact on quality of life.

· It was normal for a sailor to be at sea 100 days a year, but the coastal patrol boat crews were at sea 120-150 days.

Captain (N) Christian Preece briefed the Committee on personnel and quality of life issues:

· The number of harassment complaints have dropped because of better training and more familiarity; and quality of life issues have generally been better handled;

· Formal clothing for female personnel well fitting, but operational clothing still needs work;

· 3 women have applied to serve on the submarines and will be assigned to the same one after their training, but lack of privacy and the occupational categories required still leads to a problem in recruiting women into the submarine service;

· The military housing in Halifax was substandard – the PMQ’s were built in the 1950`s to the standards of the 1940s. About 70% own their own homes in Halifax. There was not much demand for the smaller military apartments because of local market conditions, but there was still the need to make larger (3-4 bedroom) apartments available.

Quality of Life Issues raised by ordinary service personnel:

· The PMQ’s were not worth the rent charged which was more than the PIT on a house;

· The pay was generally O.K., but there were complaints about the pay and pension rights of retired staff on call out;

· There were complaints about the length of time it took to get needed equipment, and the mattresses on the frigates and submarines were compared unfavourable to those in jail cells – thin and hard.

Captain (N) Richard Payne, Commanding Officer Fleet Maintenance Facility, Cape Scott briefed the Committee about the importance of the facility:

· With 900 civilians and 200 military personnel, the maintenance facility was responsible for servicing the submarines and carried out running repairs to specialized equipment on frigates and destroyers;

· Civilian employees unhappy with pay because civilian employees on the West coast were paid 20% more;

· An effort had been made to keep military occupations so that Navy personnel could have shore jobs.

· With the cutbacks of the 1990`s the training program had been eliminated. The work force was aging and an apprentice program had to be launched.

Tuesday 22 January

Colonel Joe Hincke, Commanding Officer of 12 Wing Shearwater briefed the Committee on his command. He faced two major issues:

· The tempo of operations, especially overseas deployments, was placing tremendous pressure on the time available for personal training and family. In support of Appolo, or the war against terrorism, his wing had deployed 120 personnel abroad for 6 months to crew and maintain helairdets, a tempo that could only be sustained by reducing shore, training and family time. 24 of the 37 available pilots were deployed outside the country. When they returned they would require family time and time to refresh their knowledge of tactics they had not used on deployment. Some pilots and maintenance personnel would be forced to "jetty hop," move immediately to another assignment, when they returned. To a certain degree, however, a very high level of deployment was to be expected in his wing because after serving with it pilots would spend 4 years with a non-deploying unit.

· Deferred recruiting would lead to a severe shortage of specialized personnel until new recruits could be trained and had acquired experience.

Colonel Hincke was emphatic about the safety of the Sea King helicopter and about the ability of his technicians to keep it flying safely. Following cancellation of the EH 101 contract morale was low and there were shortages of spare parts for the Sea King as an effort had been made to run down inventory in anticipation of getting a new platform. Since then morale and confidence of pilots and maintenance crew in the airworthiness of the Sea King had improved.

Tuesday afternoon the Committee heard briefings from the union representing Customs officers and from the Regional Director of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

The Union representatives argued that the Customs Agency needed:

· More customs officers. Understaffing forced customs officers to work alone in isolated circumstances. Some border crossings were staffed with just one officer who was at risk because there was no nearby police back up.

· The right people. The union opposed the heavy use of poorly trained students and term employees on the primary inspection line. Permanent staff needed to take and pass an 8-14 week course, while students were given only two weeks of training;

· The right training. While the permanent customs officers received 8-14 weeks at the beginning of their careers, there was little training thereafter. Thus the Auditor General had found that 60% lacked adequate training in immigration legislation. They had received little additional training when the officers at 30 posts had been given the power to make arrests and detain people at the border for certain offences – suspicion of kidnapping, drunk driving, in possession of a stolen car, etc.

· The necessary equipment. The union representatives argued that at least some customs officers should be allowed to wear side arms, particularly those working alone and without back-up. US customs officers and State troopers wore side arms, as did the RCMP on the Canadian side. Only Canadian customs officers were unarmed.

According to the Union:

· 60% of the containers passing through Halifax are in transit to the United States and are not checked by Canada customs;

· On an average day customs would look at about 12 non-targeted containers. Containers are targeted on the basis of intelligence, but not all of those targeted can be checked;

· Union favours joint inspections with the US customs because it would be-more efficient not to check same container twice.

Customs and Revenue Agency

Their current pre-occupation is to implement the 30-point Action Plan for a "smart border." Representatives of the Agency will meet with their US counterparts to work out the details of the plan. The Agency, however, had no flexibility in its budget to make changes in the balance between term and permanent employees.

· In Atlantic region balance between term and permanent employees 40/60 to 50/50 depending on the time of year.

· Longest serving term employees –about 3-4 years. There is a training capacity limit at the school in Rigauld, Quebec.

· The 10 day training period made necessary by the new powers of arrest takes place in the regions, not Rigauld.

· IBETS Integrated Border Enforcement Teams include representatives from Canadian customs and immigration, RCMP and US border patrol.

Wednesday 23 January

Chief Superintendent Ian Atkins, Criminal Operations Officer, RCMP H Division outlined the various elements of the Port of Halifax, noting that the container terminals 1, 3, and 9 are the most prone to crime. He noted:

· The most common types of crime are the trade in narcotics, stolen vehicles, tobacco and alcohol, theft from containers and illegal immigration (ship jumpers-39 in the current year).

· His detachment is also responsible for covering a great number of small ports. His detachment is assisted by a civilian volunteer ‘coast watch’ which reports suspicious landings and movements along the coast. He estimated that about one half of the illegal drugs were landed on the coast and in small ports and harbours from small craft.

· The Police have done a survey of the backgrounds of dockyard workers. The results showed that a very high percentage of longshoremen had criminal records.

· In the Port of Halifax 187 of 500(39%) longshoremen whose records were checked were found to have criminal records. In Charlottetown 28 of 51 (54%) had criminal records.

· A 12 person integrated team monitored/probed organized crime in the Port of Halifax. There were links between organized crime in the Port of Halifax and organized crime in Quebec and Ontario.

Chief David McKinnon, Chief of Police, Halifax Regional Police Force briefed the Committee on the contribution his force made to port security:

· After the disbandment of the Port Police, the Port Authority contracted for a dedicated force consisting of a Staff Sergeant, an intelligence officer and 8 policemen. Intelligence collection was critical because it helped decide which of 250,000 containers to subject to inspection

· In his opinion, port security was understaffed and poorly equipped. There was a need for more police, more customs officers and more and more modern equipment to inspect containers.

John Fagan, Director of Intelligence and Contraband, Atlantic Region, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, briefed the Committee about the work of Customs:

· At Halifax, customs was already giving a complete inspection to 3% of containers and subjecting more to a "back end" inspection. This met the proposed national objective, and was a higher rate than in other Canadian ports and almost twice the US rate of inspection.

· Security weaknesses included inadequate security on the gates and no system of identity passes to control movement on the docks. There was growing cooperation with the Halifax police and the RCMP, particularly in the sharing of intelligence.

· Priorities were to improve targeting and to acquire a site at which containers could be quickly unloaded and their contents stored during a full inspection. A greater emphasis on intelligence might recover more of the stolen cars being shipped abroad through the port. Advance information about the crew and 138,000 passengers on cruise boats would improve immigration control.

· In his opinion the policing status quo is a great improvement over the port police – police are united in their efforts and work closely with Customs.

· The Hells Angels are the dominant organized crime organization on port property in Halifax. The problems on the wharves can begin in the office when it is infiltrated by the gang.

Halifax Port Authority

Representatives of the Halifax Port Authority outlined port security measures:

· There was a port-wide contingency plan under which the Halifax authorities, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard would coordinate their response to a whole series of emergency situations. These plans were regularly up-dated and exercises carried out.

· The Port Authority had plans to introduce a port-wide system of photo identity cards and to upgrade both the fencing and camera surveillance of the port. The Halifax Employers Association already screens new employees and the Halifax police will be called upon to assist in a security check, but existing workforce will have to be "grand fathered in." Stevedoring companies hire from a list of basic workers with the skills required, and only resort to union hiring halls for additional workers.

· They had no personal knowledge of the activities of organized crime on port property – they were just a landlord, but they nevertheless agreed that more security would enhance the business of the port and they would re-visit the concept of "in bond" shipments and pre-clearing shipments to the US.

Thursday 24 January

Brigadier General Mitchell and Colonel Barry MacLeod, Commander 3 Area Support Group briefed the Committee:

· There were about 4,000 personnel at Base Gagetown, some 3100 of them military. This community grew by about 2,000 during the summer with the influx of students and instructors.

They faced a number of challenges:

· There was a shortage of single rooms even in the winter and 200 had to live two-three to a room. In the summer, staff and students had to live in tents.

· The base infrastructure was rusting out and some buildings were actually dangerous.

· Medical services were lacking for the families of service personnel, particularly those facing problems with a spouse suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or children with special needs. The medical services situation for francophones on base was so bad that some refused the posting or did not move their families to the Base. Responsibility for medical treatment of families should rest with federal government because of growing disparities between provinces vis-à-vis medical care and availability of social services.

· The base training areas needed about $100 million of renovations for which there was no money.

· Since their training establishment was cut, they must augment their permanent staff with staff taken from the operational units across Canada. This robs these units of critical staff and denies training staff family time and time to pursue their own professional training.

· The Army lacks the personnel to both sustain the high tempo of operations and modernize itself.

· Cooperation with the Veterans Affairs liaison office on the Base was termed "fabulous," but there was little that could be done for Reservists returning from deployment – once they left the Forces they became the responsibility of the provincial health care authorities.

Thursday afternoon the Committee was briefed by Colonel Mike Ward, Commander of the Combat Training Centre, and by the Commandants of the separate infantry artillery and armoured schools. Their briefing was particularly candid and clearly expressed – in their collective opinion they faced a situation that was untenable and unsustainable:

· The equipment of the schools and the training of the instructors had to be constantly upgraded. The schools were short at least 300 permanent instructors, a shortage which had to be made up by augmenting from operational units. The demand for courses was constantly increasing. While permanent staff had been reduced by 25%, the number of students taking courses at the schools had increased from 1429-2342, while training days had increased from 50,000-100,000. Dealing with this increase in demand has forced the training schools to increase their augmentation from operational units of the Regular and Reserve forces from 350-2,000. The situation promises to get worse before it gets better because the newly recruited officers will require immediate training, and once the other ranks recruited finish their basic training, they will need occupational and specialized training at the schools.

· The dilemma of the Army was expressed clearly: "We have too much Army for the budget we’ve been given, but not enough Army for what is expected of it"

The final briefing of the fact-finding trip took place at the 403 Wolf Squadron which trains pilots to fly the CH 146 Griffon helicopter used to support the Army. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Black, outlined a list of "challenges" well-known to the Committee, including personnel shortages which forced him to rely on the Reserves for staff, a shortage of technicians which forced aircraft technicians to do the work of computer technicians, etc. Notwithstanding the problems, the hope was to modify the Griffon to give it some of the reconnaissance and fire support capabilities the Army needed.

 


Report on the Fact-Finding VISIT: 4-7-february 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C.

PREPARED FOR THE STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON
NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE


 

Report on the Fact-Finding Trip to

Washington, February 4-7, 2002

 

Monday, 4 February

In the morning the Committee was briefed by officials from the Canadian Embassy. The material presented was brief and succinct. It covered the following topics, among others:

· Canadian activities since 11 September with a particular emphasis on Canada’s contribution to the war on terrorism and on the steps that both countries have agreed to take to increase security at the border and to focus attention on the people and shipments that might pose a security problem. The theme of this part of the briefing was that Canada was not part of the security problem of the United States, but part of the solution. Nevertheless, there remains a well-embedded image of Canada as a weak link in United States security.

· Security of energy. The United States is aware of its dependence on off shore energy. It is not well-known that Canada, not Saudi Arabia, is the largest supplier of energy to the United States market, nor is much known about Canada’s vast energy reserves – the tar sands, gas fields and untapped hydro potential.

· Trade irritants, such as softwood lumber and steel exports.

· The mood on Capitol Hill was described as tense with a strong bipartisan consensus on security issues and prosecution of the war against terrorism. Beyond these issues, Congress was narrowly divided and its work had been disrupted for three months by the anthrax incident.

· Defence expenditure will rise quickly and Canadian-United States relations will be dominated by security issues involving: security at the border, the Missile Defence System, and Homeland defence. The build-up of United States conventional forces will be powered by technology and will exacerbate the problem of interoperability with its allies.

· The United States is appreciative of Canada’s role in accepting 30,000 stranded travellers and of its military contribution to the war on terrorism. This balances questions about Canada’s low expenditures on defence, the "wide open border," "hundreds" of terrorist organizations, etc.

· Missile Defence has been voted a large increase this year by Congress. Administration officials understand the non-committal position adopted by Canada, but are irritated by it.

On Monday afternoon the Committee heard presentations from Commander Steven Flynn, United States Coast Guard and Senior Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and from Dr. Jane Alexander, Deputy Director of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

A. Commander Flynn

Over the past several years Commander Flynn has become very concerned about the security problem posed by maritime cargo containers. In 2000, 11.6 million of these containers passed through the United States border inspection systems. The vast majority of these containers, however, were never inspected. Very little is known about many containers – their cargo manifest has only sketchy information about the contents and may include no information about the original sender or the ultimate customer.

Roughly 2% of the containers are subjected to some form of inspection which usually just involves opening the back-end and looking inside rather than actually unloading and inspecting the contents. Choosing which containers to inspect is too frequently based on a simple study of documents rather than on intelligence about the shipper, the shipping line, the ports-of-call or the ultimate customer.

Anything which caused United States authorities to stop the movement of containers to inspect the contents of each one would have a devastating impact on Ports like Halifax which receive and forward thousands of containers whose ultimate destination is the United States.

Commander Flynn presented a plan to the Committee to separate the vast majority of containers which are low risk from the 2% which must be subjected to careful inspection. Most of the world’s overseas trade passes through a handful of mega ports such as Long Beach, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hamburg, Antwerp and Rotterdam. If these ports agreed on common standards for security, reporting, and information-sharing for operators, conveyances and cargo, these standards would become universal almost overnight. The standards would require that containers be loaded in approved, high-security facilities, that they then be equipped with high-security seals and sensors to determine whether the seal had been tampered with. The movement of containers would be monitored to and from seaports and onward to their final destination by the global positioning system.

B. Dr. Jane Alexander

Dr. Alexander briefed the Committee about the work of the United States’ main research and development agency. DARPA has a budget of more than $2 billion to fund the search for "radical" solutions to technological problems that might arise 10-15 years in the future. Its investigation of the technological aspects of biological terrorism, for example, began 8 years ago – as a result, while the United States was not completely prepared for something like the anthrax incident, its preparations proved adequate. In the same way, a project has been underway to determine whether and under what circumstances a particular group might engage in acts of terrorism and what kind of events might trigger an attack.

In a discussion of the growing technological superiority of the Unites States Armed Forces over their allies, including Canada, Dr. Alexander noted that problems of interoperability exist within the US forces as well as between them and their allies.

Tuesday, 5 February

On Tuesday morning the Committee met with the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Kenny, Chair of the Canadian Committee began by noting that Canada considered the attacks of 11 September to have been an attack, not just on the United States, but on North America as a whole – Canadians had also died in the World Exchange Centre. He further noted that Canada was not part of the security problem facing the United States, but part of the solution. Both Canada and the United States had to work together to enhance border control and improve their intelligence cooperation.

The United States members expressed their appreciation for Canada’s friendship and co-operation, particularly the cooperation of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in identifying the terrorists of 11 September. The Canadians pointed out that each country had to work on unifying the product of their intelligence agencies –at present there was a high risk that vital information would not be passed on in a timely fashion, and hence could not be shared internationally.

Both parties agreed that good intelligence and the sharing of intelligence were key to both improving security at the border and to ensuring the free flow of goods and persons. To achieve both free trade and security, means had to be found to identify the 98% of low risk border traffic. Discussion turned to some of the technology – biometric means of identifying persons – and the possibility of a single inspection system for containers and joint border patrols that could make the border both more secure and more efficient.

The members of Congress asked for a briefing on the Canadian anti-terrorist legislation and discussed how the two countries would treat potential terrorists. Members of the Canadian delegation brought up the issue of refugees passing through the US on easy-to-get tourist visas and then applying at the Canadian border for refugee policy – interest in the US reluctance to agree to a 3rd country safe haven to stop "shopping" for a country of refuge. The differences in US and Canadian treatment of refugees were noted.

Tuesday afternoon the Committee heard briefings from Michael O’Hanlon, a Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies with the Brookings Institute and Joseph Cirincione, Senior Director of the Non-Proliferation Project of the Carnegie Foundation.

Mr. O’Hanlon analyzed the recent $48 billion US increase in the United States defence budget, noting that the latter will increase from about $350 billion US this year to $450 billion by 2007. Procurement had dropped as a percent of the budget, but would rise from about $60 billion to $70 billion.

· Questioned by the Canadians, he admitted that the issue of the treatment of the Taliban and Al Queda prisoners had become a public relations disaster – the Taliban met the criteria of POW, the Al Queda prisoners did not.

· In terms of Missile Defence he noted that both Iraq and North Korea had Scud missiles and were working to develop longer-range missiles nuclear missiles. Initially allies were strongly opposed. Value of a ballistic missile much greater than the threat of a suitcase bomb as an instrument of blackmail. Canadian participation would be useful in both Homeland defence and Missile Defence because of NORAD.

Mr. Cirincione noted that he Bush Administration was turning away from the arms limitation treaties of the 60’s and later – non-proliferation, the ABM Treaty, etc, in favour of the 1950’s Eisenhower policy of export controls on technology. Bush Administration believed too many countries were cheating and not observing the treaties.

· Russia sold nuclear technology to North Korea, which diverted fuel from power plants to weapons production.

· Iraq known to have violated chemical treaties and non-proliferation.

· Iran suspected of violating biological and nuclear treaties.

He characterized the nuclear status of the three members of the Axis of Evil as North Korea, closest to becoming a nuclear power; Iraq had a plan, but lacked material; Iran had neither plan nor material.

Late Tuesday afternoon the Committee met with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Attention was drawn to the difference in US and Canadian expenditure on their Armed Forces with US expenditures approaching 3%. Canadian level of expenditure based on different level of security/insecurity.

The Canadians noted the importance of improved security to the future of ports such as Halifax, to the fact that the anti-terrorist legislation had sacrificed a degree of individual rights, and to the necessity of each country to unify communications within their own agencies as a prelude to exchanging information internationally.

The Americans raised the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities and missile defence. The Canadians responded that Canadian support for missile defence/widening the war in Afghanistan would be based on convincing arguments, but that Canada would approach the question with an open mind. Treatment of the Taliban and Al Queda prisoners was raised.

In terms of Homeland Defence, it was noted that Canada likes the NORAD model with its binational command structure. The proposal that would be placed before the President would include Canada, but little was known about it.

Wednesday, 6 February

The meeting the Committee had Wednesday morning with the House Armed Services Committee was extraordinary. It was attended by both the Chair, The Honourable Bob Stump, and the Ranking minority member, The Honourable Ike Skelton, as well as by a number of other members.

In his opening remarks Mr. Skelton spoke of how in good times we all tend to take our friends for granted; nevertheless, when we really need them, they are there for us. Discussion then turned to a number of different issues such as: the need to work together to meet the terrorist threat; border issues and the need to ensure the safety of containers; reductions in defence expenditure by NATO allies; the Missile Defence System and how any "weaponization" of space would set off alarm bells in Canada, etc.

A member of the United States committee then proposed the establishment of direct committee-to-committee relations – a binational ad hoc or permanent task force on terrorism which would meet on a regular basis to discuss anti-terrorist policy and tactics and to ensure that the United States committees developed a sensitivity to the concerns of the Canadian and European allies of the United States. Members of both the Canadian and United States committees agreed that regular meetings would be very useful.

At the end of our discussion with members of the House Armed Services Committee, defence Secretary Rumsfeld joined the discussion. He opened his informal remarks by saying he still remembered the role Canada had played in protecting Americans during the Iranian hostage taking incident and then thanked Canada for its support since 11 September. He outlined his current thinking about the creation of a unified military command to include North America and to complement the civilian homeland defence organization being put together by Governor Ridge.

Secretary Rumsfeld noted than any proposal put before the President would be sensitive to Canadian concerns about command structure, particularly of NORAD. The latter’s command structure would continue to be binational and to respect the sovereignty of each nation. Within the new command it would be possible to have both United States and Canadian air and naval units because they were already accustomed to training, exercising and fighting together. With regard to interoperability he noted that NATO budgets had been in decline as a percent of GDP and that even the United States’ expenditures were down from the 6% level of the era of President Eisenhower. Other than increase defence spending, he suggested increased specialization: within a broad range of capabilities, each country should choose something – air lift, special forces, etc. – to do exceptionally well.

At the end of the discussion the Committee was invited to listen the Secretary Rumsfeld’s opening address to the hearing. Once again, at the hearing a warm public tribute was paid to Canada for its friendship and assistance.

After its meeting with the House Armed Services Committee, the Committee was also warmly received by the officials of the Canadian section of the State Department’s Western Hemisphere Affairs. The officials went out of their way to say that no country had responded to 11 September as well as Canada and that they had excellent relations with Mr. Manley and his staff as well as with the Canadian security organizations, particularly the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP. Defence cooperation was described as "fighting shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan." The officials were also open in saying that in terms of the negotiations over security issues, they did not see a "deal breaker"; joint facilities/inspection, integrated border patrols, refugees, the NEXUS pilot project (whose expansion was considered almost certain once agreement was reached on a biometric identity card for frequent border crossers), everything was on the table.

With regard to defence issues, the officials noted that all the NATO allies had to develop their capabilities and increase their expenditures. This having been said, they acknowledged the large increase in Canada’s expenditure on security and that in certain respects the Canadian air and naval forces were the most interoperable among the allies.

Following its briefing at the State Department, the Committee met with Major General Dunn and defence officials at the Pentagon. General Dunn began by asking the members of the Committee how they saw the future of the Canadian Armed Forces. The response was that while Canadian public opinion saw the need for increased expenditure on security, it had yet to be convinced of the need for major increases in defence spending. In terms of homeland defence, the new command would pull together into a command military units and establish links to the Coast Guard and the separate National Guard forces. Certainly, Canadian air force units could be integrated into this structure, but the United States Department of defence was also open to expanding NORAD to the sea and land. The Canadian response to this was that Canada had to have a clear idea about the "architecture" so it could be put before public opinion.

Wednesday afternoon concluded with short briefing sessions on the United States view of NATO expansion, the Missile Defence System and Homeland Defence.

Dr Crouch seemed to suggest that the Baltic countries, perhaps Bulgaria and Romania as well were closer to admission than Slovenia and Slovakia and that Macedonia and Albania were definitely not ready. Expansion would make reaching a consensus more difficult and would exacerbate the problem of the existence in the alliance of different levels of interoperability. The challenge will be to move toward greater interoperability.

The Missile Defence System was represented as a turning away from a strategy based on offensive nuclear weapons which would be systematically reduced, and toward a strategy of building a limited defensive capacity to intercept the handful of missiles that rogue states might develop within the next decade or so. The implications of this for Canada were that neither missiles nor their nuclear/biological warheads would respect borders.

The new command for homeland defence was presented as a way of pulling together air defence capability and of establishing more clear lines of communication with the Coast Guard and National Guard to position the Department of defence to better assist the civil authority with emergency preparedness. Although in theory emergencies are dealt with first at the local level, then at the State level and finally, the State Governor asks for federal assistance, in practice the Department of defence becomes involved very soon as local commanders react in anticipation of a request for assistance.

The Committee met for a second time with the United States House Committee on Intelligence Wednesday evening at the request of its Chair, the Honourable Porter Goss. He began by noting how important Canadian sympathy and support had been to the United States, psychologically just as much as materially. He also expressed pleasure that Canada had substantially increased its expenditure on its security forces, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in particular, because the backbone of the anti-terrorist campaign had to be intelligence.

His Committee had been warning for years that United States intelligence was being underfunded. He characterized intelligence cooperation between the United States and Canada as being excellent and noted that as federal countries we shared many of the same problems, in particular, the flow of information from the local to the federal level, and the difficulty of overcoming the culture of secrecy and turf wars.

He claimed that the Taliban and Al Queda prisoners were well treated – he had made a surprise visit to the compound – but had to be interrogated. He also claimed to have access to classified information that justified the references to the "Axis of Evil." In response, members of the Canadian delegation pointed out that Canadian public opinion was turning critical of the denial of prisoner of war status to at least the Taliban captives and that a public case would have to be built against each of the countries considered to be a threat – North Korea, Iran and Iraq before Canada would consider any expansion of the war.

Thursday, 7 february

In the morning the Committee met with members of both the Senate and the House Judiciary Committees. It was noted that terrorists exploited Canada’s more liberal immigration laws and that if Canadian and US refugee and immigration laws remained un-harmonized, the US might be forced into a more restrictive policy. Suggested formation of a joint Canada-US joint task force to catch Bin Laden. In response the Canadians noted that other than Ressam there was no record of a terrorist entering the US from Canada and that 20,000 were turned back at the Canadian border with the US. Both countries had to put more resources into the border.

The US will put $50 million into the border, about equal amounts into technology and more personnel. At the same time the Canadian anti-terrorist legislation was praised.

The US legislators raised the question of at least overseas airlines sending their manifests ahead and recording the number of a traveller’s passport before the plane left for the US.

Discussion turned to the project for a smart border and the necessity of improving security at ports. It was noted that Canada was inspecting a higher percentage of containers and that almost 40% of refugees crossed from the US. Pre-clearance works, but more has to be done to integrate data from various sources.

Substantial discussion of 3rd country refuge. Very strong expression of frustration of US legislators with their immigration service, its backlogs and inability to remove those ordered deported. Different figures for the rate of acceptance of refugees in each country, suggestion that more should be done to harmonize refugee determination process. Agreeing to 3rd country refuge would be a problem to the US because the administration sets quotas.

The Committee completed its fact-finding with a briefing on homeland defence from Frank Miller, the President’s Adviser on Military Matters and Ambassador John Maisto. They fleshed in some details of the remarks Defence Secretary Rumsfeld had made.