Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 14 - Evidence - Morning meeting


OTTAWA, Monday, April 7, 2003

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 10:15 a.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. My name is Colin Kenny. I am a senator from Ontario and I chair the committee. On my immediate right is our deputy chair, Senator Michael Forestall, the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia. Senator Forestall has served the constituents of Dartmouth for the past 37 years, first as their member of the House of Commons and then as their senator. Throughout his parliamentary career, he has followed defence matters and served on various defence-related parliamentary committees, including the 1993 Special Joint Committee on the Future of the Canadian Forces.

On my far right is Senator Banks, who is well known to Canadians as one of our most accomplished and versatile musicians and entertainers. Before his appointment to the Senate in 2000, Senator Banks was active in a number of musical events. Senator Banks is the chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. Currently, this committee is studying the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.

On my extreme right is Senator David Smith from Ontario. Senator Smith has already served as a councillor and deputy mayor of Toronto and as a member of the House of Commons and a minister of state. He was appointed to the Senate in 2002. In the Senate, he also serves on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and on the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

Beside him is Senator Cordy of Nova Scotia, an accomplished educator with an extensive record of community involvement before she came to the Senate in 2000. In addition to serving on our committee, she is a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology that recently released a landmark report on health care and is now undertaking a study of mental health.

At my far left is Senator Joseph Day of New Brunswick, a successful lawyer and businessman. He was appointed to the Senate in 2001. Senator Day is the deputy chair of both our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and the National Finance Committee. He also sits on the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications and the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

Our committee is the first permanent Senate committee with a mandate to examine subjects of security and defence. Over the past 18 months, we have completed a number of reports beginning with ``Canadian Security and Military Preparedness.'' This study was tabled in February2000 and examined the major defence issues facing Canada. The Senate then asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy. So far, we have released three reports on various aspects of national security. First, ``Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility,'' which was published in September 2002; second, ``For an extra 130 bucks... Update on Canada's Military Crisis: A View from the Bottom Up,'' which was published in November 2002; and, most recently, ``The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports,'' which was published in January 2003.

The committee is continuing its long-term evaluation of Canada's ability to contribute to North American security and defence. Part of the work of this committee has been the holding of hearings on the federal government's support of the men and women across the country that respond first to an emergency or disaster.

The committee has decided, however, to give priority to an ongoing evaluation of Canada's ability to defend its territorial waters and help police the continental coastline. These hearings update an earlier committee report, ``Defence of North America,'' published in 2002, which found Canadian coastal defence efforts to be largely ad hoc and fragmentary.

This morning we will hear from officials from Transport Canada and from the Department of National Defence. In the afternoon, we will hear from superintendent Ken Hansen, Director of Federal Enforcement, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and from Charles Gadula, Director General of marine programs, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Mr.Frappier, are you here today. You chair the joint departmental committee on this subject and we understand you have an opening statement that you are prepared to make to the committee. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mr. Gerry Frappier, Director General, Security and Emergency Preparedness, and Chair of Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group, Department of Transport Canada: It is an honour to be here this morning. I have two quick statements that I would like to make: One as the chair of the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group and the other to inform with respect to transport Canada and its activities.

The Chairman: Senator Forrestall wanted to interject briefly with a question.

Senator Forrestall: Why is the Department of Transport, a skeleton of its old self, chairing this when it has no resources and it commands no capacity to achieve what was undertaken? Would you know?

Mr. Frappier: I am not sure that I can answer that fully. You may want to talk to the minister on that.

Senator Forrestall: If you do not want to tell us, that is fine.

Mr. Frappier: I will mention that the Marine Transportation Security Act is a Transport Canada administered act that provides the authority for marine security. As for other modes of transportation, Transport Canada is the department responsible for coordinating and implementing security.

Senator Forrestall: Thank you very much.

The Chairman: Continue with your presentation, Mr.Frappier.

Mr. Frappier: I would like to give an update on the workings on the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group.

[Translation]

As you probably know, Transport Canada is the federal body responsible for the management and security of marine transportation in Canada. That responsibility includes the planning, development and implementation of policies, procedures, laws, regulations and standards for insuring security, developing emergency plans and managing crises.

The department is certainly not the only organization contributing to these efforts; protecting marine security requires cooperation from a wide range of partners: other federal departments and agencies, industry, public interest groups and unions, navigators, those operating ports and facilities, and the international community, in particular the United States.

[English]

I will briefly speak about the measures we have taken since September11, the workings of Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group, some of our main security commitments, our approach to marine security, and some of the new enhancements recently announced.

After September11, the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group was established. In Budget 2001, the government provided more than $60million over five years for marine security. There was an increase in Coast Guard surveillance flights and heightened short-term presence of fleet base. The Coast Guard required vessels arriving in Canadian waters to give 96-hours' notice.

Canadian customs also increased focus on container security. The RCMP enhanced their emergency response teams. The Coast Guard began to fast-track the automated vessel identification system. The RCMP temporarily assigned organized crime teams to Canada's three major ports. CSIS strengthened its threat related intelligence gathering and dissemination capabilities.

CIC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, strengthened networks of immigration control officers and intelligence liaison officers. There was enhanced screening of vessels entering the seaway system. Federal government proactive support of international commitments, in particular IMO requirements, has since been approved. Department of National Defence established marine control access zones around three naval installations.

The Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group was established in October2001. Its mandate is to coordinate federal response to marine security, analyze our marine systems for security gaps, and develop possible mitigation initiatives to address these gaps.

Sixteen federal departments and agencies are members of this working group. It is chaired by Transport Canada. The membership of the IMSWG is in the information provided.

There was a significant budget allocation. On page 8 of the presentation, I have given the information for Budget 2001. On page 9, we have outlined the budget assigned to the seven key theme areas, which I will address in a minute. I would like to point out that the total commitment of the government over the period of 2001-02 to 2007-08 is $197million.

How do we conduct the business of the Marine Security Working Group? First, to better identify and address security gaps, the marine sector was divided into four security zones: foreign, international waters, Canadian waters, and coastal land site areas. Each security zone has four activity areas of concentration. These main areas are: awareness, ability to respond, safeguarding and collaboration.

Following the initial review, we conducted a review to determine which activity areas and which security zones were of interest for further analysis. On page 12 of your presentation I have outlined the matrix of the areas that we pursued.

Once the level of risk was established, potential mitigation measures were identified and evaluated from which emerged a set of broad program initiatives. Finally, an order of priority was established to achieve a phased and balanced lowering of risk levels across all the key zones. Results of this process were then used to establish the policy recommendations that went to cabinet.

As a result of that submission, funding was provided. The Minister of Transport, David Collenette, announced the package on January22, 2002. This package provided up to$172.5million for initiatives designed to further enhance the security of Canada's marine transportation system and its maritime borders. Packages are being administered cooperatively by a number of federal departments and agencies, all of which are members of the IMSWG.

The specific themes are: increased surveillance and tracking of marine traffic, including near real-time identification and tracking of vessels in Canadian waters; the screening of passengers and crew on board vessels; installing new detection equipment in ports to screen containers for radiation; enhancement of the RCMP's emergency response team and the establishment of permanent investigative positions at major ports; enhancing collaboration and coordination among government departments and agencies; developing and implementing new international requirements; and continued improvement of port security through enhanced coordination and collaboration. You will receive more information on each of those themes from the people whom you have called forward from the various departments.

I will now give a bit more detail on the Transport Canada initiatives of those themes. We are the lead on a few of them.

[Translation]

Transport Canada ensures implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. The ISPS code was adopted at a diplomatic conference held at the International Maritime Organization headquarter in December 2002.

The participants at that conference adopted a certain number of amendments to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the most important being the addition of the new International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Among other things, the code requires implementation of security plans and the appointment of security officers for ships, shipping companies and port facilities, as well as the installation of ship alarms and automatic code identification systems on ships. The ISPS code will come into force July1, 2004.

Transport Canada is working with the marine industry to implement the code by that date. The Government of Canada is a signatory to the code and as the designated authority of the Government of Canada and under the ISPC code, Transport Canada is responsible for various activities including setting security levels, determining which port facilities require a security officer and a security plan, approving security assessments and plans and any subsequent changes to the assessment or plan, exercising control and compliance measures, establishing requirements for a declaration of security, and approving registered security organizations.

Another very important program is the Marine Facilities Restricted Area Access Clearance Program. Under this program, operators of marine facilities are required to establish restricted areas in order to protect essential infrastructure in the marine transportation system. This new program is intended to ensure the security of people in the port and prevent interference with the marine transportation system. It will be based on the Airport Restricted Area Access Clearance Program, and implementation will be done in consultation with various stakeholders.

The purpose of establishing restricted areas is to protect the security of everyone who needs to have access to those areas: passengers, crew, visitors, personnel and other employees such as those making deliveries. People wishing to have access to restricted areas in a port will go through a background check or will have to be accompanied by a responsible officer.

There are also customs control areas, and steps are being taken to ensure coordination and harmonization between our efforts and the CCRA customs control areas. The process for granting passes will be based on the system that already exists in Canadian airports. Anyone wanting access to a restricted area of a port will be the subject of a background check carried out in cooperation with the RCMP and CSIS.

The new Marine Security Coordination Program will start in 2003-04, and it will be managed by the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group. This program will fund one-time or limited-period projects to enhance collaboration and coordination among federal departments and agencies.

The next steps in this program are to resolve the main policy issues involved in implementing the ISPS code and the Marine Facilities Restricted Area Access Clearance Program; to work with marine stakeholders through the following mechanisms: presentations at national, regional and port-specific meetings— these presentations have already begun and will continue until early May— moderated regional and national consultations with affected stakeholders; hiring of additional dedicated marine security specialists; and, finally, establishment of a methodology for conducting security assessments of marine facilities. We will have to initiate regulatory and legislative amendments and establish a marine security oversight program to ensure that the legislation and regulations are properly implemented.

[English]

I am open to any questions you have.

The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Frappier. You have given us an excellent overview of the work that you and your committee have been doing.

Over the course of today's hearing and in future hearings, we will be trying to put some flesh on the bones that you have described to us. For example, you talked about a number of initiatives such as the new marine security enhancement initiatives or increased tracking and surveillance, enhanced screening of crew and passengers, installation of new detection equipment, enhanced capacity to respond to potential threats, and enhanced coordination and collaboration and continued improvements to port security. We are looking for some specifics in terms of exactly what you have in mind. The members of the committee will be trying to get as complete a picture as we can of how we are moving forward.

We view this study as an extension of our September report, ``Defence of North America: Canadian responsibility,'' where we focused principally on coastal issues. That report was a first step and we are interested in seeing how the government is proceeding beyond that.

We are concerned generally about trying to narrow in broad statements. The pass system is a good example. You made a number of comments about how you will improve the pass system and make it similar to the airport system that you have now. When we were in Vancouver a little over a year ago, we asked the port officials about what sort of pass system they had. They described what seemed to the committee as being a pretty good pass system.

Then we asked how many people it included. Their answer was that it includes the 127 people who work for the Port Authority, but it does not include the 30,000 other workers at the port. Yet,when we first received the information, it sounded like 30,000 people had this pass system in place.

As we go forward, when we are talking about the pass system, we want to know how it will work and who it will cover; whether it will be the narrow group that just worked for the Port Authority or whether it will include the checkers, longshoremen and others who work in the port environment.

That will be the nature of the inquiries we have. I wanted to put that in context for you.

Senator Banks: Does the working group have in mind a definable plan that would represent maritime security across the board? I ask is because no one has ever confirmed that this is the specific object in place. Is that the end that you have in mind?

If so, how far away do you think such a clear policy might be?

Mr. Frappier: I do not believe there is an end point — a report or a product — and then we say that the work is done.

We believe that marine security will always involve — as it always has — many departments doing different aspects of their mandates. It is important to ensure the Government of Canada has a coordinated view of what is occurring and what should occur in marine security.

The first step is to ensure policy coordination. Much of that effort was done in preparation of the memorandum to cabinet that has gone up. The recent announcements of up to $172.5million were a product of that, if you like. There is an ongoing need to ensure that coordination at the policy level is in place and is happening.

Senator Banks: Is it better to coordinate a number of different policies, which is what you are saying, or to have a policy to which everyone adheres?

Perhaps it is cynical of me to ask that question. We are talking about security. We used to be able to say, here is a question that is about military security; here is another one that refers to immigration; and here is another one that has only to do with trade and commerce. That is no longer possible, and everyone knows that. You know it better than we do.

Could you answer the question about the logic of there being a bunch of different policies — I think the answer is 17 different policies or however many there are— and try to coordinate them in some way, as opposed to having a model that says, ``Here is our maritime security policy. Everyone do that. Here is how you fit into that.'`` There is a difference.

Mr. Frappier: If you could isolate all the other things that public policy has to handle, it may make sense to put together a policy document or a policy organization for marine security.

The fact is that, as in many areas of public policy, the complexities of what is at stake and the complexities of the mandates of different departments mean that you will always have more than a couple of players involved in things.

On the marine security side, we have things such as how does organized crime fit into it or not. That is an interesting area. You cannot lump it in, but you cannot ignore it completely either.

On the Customs side, there are all kinds of issues with respect to contraband. We do not want to have a policy for inspecting containers from a national security perspective and then another set of policies that will look at it from a contraband perspective or a Customs and Revenue perspective. They all have to fit together. That is basically the fundamental role of the working group.

As to whether it will produce a document that is the policy, we have not decided on that. There will always be other departments involved and there will always be a need to ensure that the policies are coordinated on the different subject areas.

Senator Banks: We have been, concomitant with this study,doing one that involves questions of first responders in unhappy scenarios and various different situations — not only in ports but also in cities and towns and villages across Canada.

We found that in some places, there is a plan in place that would seem to us to work. In other places, where there are problems with communication and the sharing of information and the sharing of priorities and of budgets and everything else between various agencies and organizations that might be involved in response to an event, there are difficulties.

In the event of an eventful problem of some kind — likely one that is new and unforeseen and innovative and, to use the military term, unsymmetrical — with respect to maritime security, who drives the bus? Who is in charge? Somebody has to be in charge.

For example, when it comes to search and rescue, the Department of National Defence is in charge from the centres from which they direct search and rescue. They have at their disposal access to information and communication with all of the various other people who might be involved, such as the Coast Guard, Transport, Fisheries, whomever. The Department of National Defence is driving that bus.

If a Canadian were to ask, ``Who drives the bus?'' on the subject of an event that would have to do with maritime security, the answer would seem to be, ``Well, it depends.'' We have yet to find an answer to that question.

To be a little cynical, you used the phrase ``administrative cooperation,'' in that it would be administered cooperatively by the various government departments. That is frightening to me.

Mr. Frappier: We were talking about policy coordination. There are also operational roles. For example, if you take a specific example of a known terrorist activity about to occur in a maritime environment, it is clear that the National Counter Terrorism Plan kicks in, and the Solicitor General's office and the national operations centre of the RCMP are driving that bus.

They would then operationally have at their disposal the assets and capabilities of all the other departments. Our job now is to make sure that there is a policy coordination, but also that operationally those things are smooth so there is no confusion or question of whether they can get support of a Coast Guard vessel or the JTF2 out of National Defence as they require.

I think there are ways of ensuring that there is a good response if there is an event. It is important to use some of the operational capabilities that are already in place. For instance, you need to involve your local first responders — particularly the local police and so forth.

The RCMP already have capabilities to do that in emergency situations, so we want to ensure that capacity is used to its maximum, because these events will not happen every day or every month or every year. You want to ensure you are using operational systems that are in place.

If the question is what is going on out there, where are the ships and which ships, clearly the Department of National Defence is keeping a view of the current situation of the maritime environment and where vessels are.

Senator Banks: We will find that out later. However, I am not sure they are. That is what I am talking about.

If an event happened on a container or tanker ship 25 or 50miles out to sea, and if it were determined that the RCMP was going to be involved, how would they get there? They have do not have a ship or any kind of vessel that would take them 50 miles out to sea.

Are you looking at the question of communication and command and control in that event with whoever is making the determination? How will the RCMP get there, or JTF2 or whoever it has to be? If there is a Coast Guard ship five miles from this event, there is nothing they can do about it because they have not even got peace officer status. Is that communication among the things that your working group is looking at, and how are we doing?

Mr. Frappier: It is certainly part of what we are looking at. Certainly, if the RCMP needs the support of larger vessel, they can call upon the Coast Guard or they can call upon the Canadian forces and bring their assets to bear.

For every specific scenario, as to where the ships are and so forth, it would be better to make reference either to DND or to the RCMP as to how they would respond if they were 50 miles away and the closest is the Coast Guard. From our perspective, it is important to generate some of those scenarios so you can work through the details of exactly how it would work. It is definitely important to ensure we have the capabilities to do those things that are deemed necessary.

Senator Forrestall: I am not a very happy camper, to tell you the truth. My earlier question might have been some indication. I was surprised that Canada's Department of Transport, which, together with the coast guard, literally does not exist. If it still exists, it is on paper, virtually only. Have you read this?

Mr. Frappier: I have seen most of it and gone through it. It was one of the primary documents used as we put through our policy deliberations as to where we suggest the government should go.

Senator Forrestall: When did that happen? When was this discussed in the group?

Mr. Frappier: Throughout the fall, but we started our deliberations in the summertime. I believe your report came out in September, so it was timely in that sense because we did have working groups looking at different analyses of gaps and whatnot. As well other sources of information, it was thrown in the mix of our analytical work.

Senator Forrestall: That is a good place to start. One of the primary concerns of this committee is the security of Canadian ports — the coastline in this regard — and other marine-related matters.

Another thing we talked about in our report was a viable, acceptable and understandable coordination with the United States— once upon a time, dear friends,but not lately. Have we achieved that? Has that been a matter of discussion? When might we expect to hear how that happens?

I suppose I should have asked this question earlier: How much autonomy and authority does your committee have? Can you make a recommendation and reasonably expect it to be adopted and implemented? How are we getting on working with home security in the United States?

Mr. Frappier: There is an extensive set of contacts with the United States, as in many other areas, both nationally and at the local area. Customs has a program working with U.S. Customs and they have exchanged officers at different ports as part of the container security and security of incoming goods.

Between Transport Canada and our counterparts at the Transportation and Security Authority in the United States, the TSA, part of Homeland Security, we have many protocols with respect to sharing of information on vessels of interest and people of interest.

The CIC have quite a bit of work with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services, INS. That question that would get some interesting answers from each one of the people presenting to you over the day.

Senator Forrestall: Would there be some specific answers?

Mr. Frappier: Yes, I believe you will get the information that you seek.

The United States Coast Guard is a major player down in the United States and so we at Transport Canada have quite a few interrelationships with them with respect to intelligence sharing and also in ensuring there are appropriate protocols for the seaway.

Locally — both on the East Coast and on the West Coast — there are coordinating groups meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard. There is a lot of dialogue and understanding, but there is definitely room for more. There is always a need for a more discussions. They certainly have a different approach from ours.

Senator Forrestall: It has been nearly three years since September 11. Among the things that the committee recommended last September was the establishment of a Canadian-U.S. joint operational planning group that would include representatives of the Canadian Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard— what is left of them— the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard. We had suggested approximately 50 people.

Fifty people should be located at Colorado Springs, in proximity to NORADand their planning staff. Have we achieved that?

Mr. Frappier: Yes we have. In that particular, it is not exactly as you just laid it out but there is a planning group. I expect that the Department of National Defence would be a much better entity to explain that. They have the lead on the planning group that has to do with both NORAD and with respect to military cooperation.

There is a strong linkage with the civil authorities. Our marine security working group is a point of contact for us to have further discussions on how to support that planning group that they have put in place.

Senator Forrestall: What about the two operational centres that we had on the Canadian side — one at Halifax and one at Esquimalt? Have we moved towards that concept, or is that for some reason set aside and if so why?

Mr. Frappier: We have activity occurring on both coasts. Are you talking about an operational working group between Canada and the United States?

Senator Forrestall: I am talking about an operational control centre.

Mr. Frappier: I am not 100percent sure on the exact control centre, but in respect of information coordination, there are working groups on both coasts that areassociated with ensuring interdepartmental coordination of the operational side.

The Chairman: Transport Canada has been tasked with the policy coordination of this maritime security piece. Is that a fair statement?

Mr. Frappier: That is a fair statement.

The Chairman: Senator Forrestall's question leads us to wonder whether the navy in Halifax and Esquimalt have been entrusted with the operational coordination of that part of the policy that you are developing.

Mr. Frappier: With respect to information and understanding of the current state of play of vessels and vessels in the system, yes. However, with respect to operational aspects, the answer would be ``not completely.'' For instance, customs would be doing their own set of things and the RCMP would be doing their own activities.

Those can go on independently, although they know of each other and, as I said, there are operational working groups now to ensure that people are meeting regularly to ensure that they do have a good line of communication.

The Chairman: Of the witnesses we will hear from today, who is best to describe to us that there are not gaps between these groups on an operational level? Are you the best person to describe that, or is someone else better able to do so?

At the end of the day, we do not want everyone to be pointing in a different direction.

Mr. Frappier: I am probably best to explain it from an overall policy perspective. That is an area that we have identified that needs more work. It is an area in which the ministers have agreed to put together a better operational coordination centre so that we are certain with respect to how things will stay coordinated.

Having said that, both customs can give you an excellent precis of what is happening today in the ports with respect to coordinating between intelligence and the inspection of goods coming into the country.

I would suggest that officials from DND would give you a good understanding of how their individual control centres on the East Coast and West Coast are coordinating overall information about what is happening on both coasts at present.

The Chairman: Bluntly put, Mr. Frappier, what concerns us is that when something goes wrong we see your policy here and we can say if the policy was not right we know we can come back and talk to you about it. However, if something goes wrong on an operational sense we do not know who to go to. It seems to us that the RCMP will be pointing at Customs. Customs will be pointing at the navy. The navy will be pointing at the RCMP.

At the end of the day, no one will be carrying the can on the issue. We would like to pin that down. Do not be surprised if questioners come back and try to clarify that. If, at the end of the day, we have not had that clarified, we intend to pursue that issue.

Senator Forrestall: Do you care to respond?

Mr. Frappier: I believe that your committee will look into the areas that you think are appropriate.

Without being able to be a bit more specific as to what it is we are actually looking for, I am not sure that it is very easy in an operational sense to say exactly who is responsible. As I mentioned, if what we are looking at is a terrorist event and how we will respond to it, I do not think there is any confusion in the system. I do not think anyone will point at anyone else. I think you will find that the RCMP is responsible.

The Chairman: Mr.Frappier, if it is clear, could you come up with a matrix or a chart for the benefit of the committee that would outline each of potential incidents you anticipate off the coast? Could you tell us what organization would be in charge and who would be assisting it? Perhaps you could also tell us how it would relate to the policies that you have here. If you could do that, that would save this committee an awful lot of churning around. You have probably gathered we feel it is unclear right now. That matrix would probably satisfy the committee. We could then look at it and say, ``Yes, that looks good to us'' or ``That looks complicated to us. Can it be simplified?''

Mr. Frappier: I will certainly take that on.

Senator Forrestall: Could you include in that document whether or not the role of the Department of Transport would be statutory/regulatory as opposed to security/operational?

Mr. Frappier: Do you mean which legislation and which regulation governs whatever the scenario is?

Senator Forrestall: It has worked very well on the air side for a long time. Do you envision something similar to that? If that could be included, then the matrix would demonstrate where the authority to do something and the resources with which to do it could be found.

The Chairman: We are saying that when an activity takes place, which legislation or what regulations govern it, and then who has operational responsibility to deal with it? Presumably, it would go through a dozen different threats or 20 different threats that would be coming forward that you have anticipated in your planning process. What Senator Forestall has said is: Tell us the piece of law or the regulation that applies to it. What I have said is: Tell us who has operational responsibility to implement that piece of legislation and will be ultimately responsible for the successful conclusion of that.

Is it possible to do something like that?

Mr. Frappier: We will certainly take a stab at it. I am hesitating because of the various pieces of legislation and the regulations. In the context of the senator's question as to why Transport Canada, many of the regulations in place to ensure that there is security at and throughout the transportation system are a responsibility of Transport Canada. Transport Canada will put those things in place.

What you have mostly talked about this morning is a response to an incident. If we are talking about the responseyou put a scenario together and ask who will be in charge of responding to that, then that is one set of things. There is a great deal of legislation and many regulations associated with how to ensure there was an infrastructure in place so that the lead agency that is trying to respond understands it is in place.

For example, once this pass system is put in place we will know the workers who have been given security clearance by Transport Canada. Thus, when the port's responding lead agency responds to a specific incident — whether it has to do with people who have passes or not — they will attack it a little differently because they know there is information available in one case.

The legislation and the regulations are a little bit more complicated. If we keep it to responding to the incident, I do not think there will be as much difficulty.

Senator Forrestall: In the broad sense, from what you are saying, I am still uncertain. Transport Canada would certainly be the lead agency with respect to any changes in marine regulations or, indeed, government policy or the implementation of it. With regard to the RCMP, would that be the Department of Solicitor General? Does that continue to be their responsibility — that is, the development of policy, and then it is moved to someone else for its implementation? Is that what you are suggesting?

Mr. Frappier: No. I do not mean there is movement. I mean that there are multiple sets of departments with acts and regulations that work together. Knowing that that infrastructure is in place, there is an ability to respond. For instance, the RCMP clearly has the ability to respond to a criminal act. However, they can, perhaps, count on certain things that are in place. For instance, when there are new regulations concerning the requirement for automated identification systems on vessels, or requirements that are in place for ships to identify themselves and to announce themselves.

They can access a lot of information immediately because they know that that information is available.

Senator Forrestall: Would you handle provincial statutory authority the same way, that is, where provincial laws come into play?

Mr. Frappier: I would not handle them.

Senator Forrestall: How would you handle a potential infringement on a provincial law or statute? The shorthand method of asking the question is this: Is the appropriate departmental cabinet minister responsible for provincial matters a member of your working group?

Mr. Frappier: Several departments have relationships with the provincial side of things. The Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, OCIPEP, out of the Department of National Defence has extensive relationships. They are part of our working group. They often bring to the table issues with respect to how the provinces will act, or react, or what sort of legislation and things like that that they have in place.

Senator Forrestall: I will pass for now, Mr. Chairman. I am concerned about resources and money.

Senator Cordy: You spoke about a security zone, an authorized zone, a regulated control zone and a maritime security zone. Are all those terms interchangeable?

Mr. Frappier: No. There are zones associated with how we analyze to develop a layered approach to security. Therefore, we split the world, if you like, into different zones. With regard to the ones you mention, senator, there are also restricted access areas, which are specific regulated areas that are predefined and which have certain requirements around them.

There are Customs controlled areas which, similarly, are regulated, have a mandate and a defined sort of structure. To analyze the security environment that we are in and where we want to go, we use zones such as foreign, international waters, Canadian waters and coastal landside.

Senator Cordy: Is the Port of Halifax a controlled access zone?

Mr. Frappier: No. As we move forward, we will define certain areas of the Port of Halifax as a marine restricted access area. Once we have defined the restricted access area, there will be a regulatory requirement for the port authority to ensure that anyone who enters that area will require an appropriate access pass or will be escorted by someone with such a pass. To get that access pass, one must have security clearance from Transport Canada.

As that is put in place in the Port of Halifax, the areas defined as key from a security perspective will be protected in the sense that people cannot just come and go as they please. Only people who have a legitimate purpose for being there and have security clearance will be permitted entry. Those people include checkers, longshoremen, supervisors, managers and truck drivers.

Senator Cordy: We spoke last spring to port officials in Halifax and they talked about bringing in a new pass system. My understanding at the time was that it would bear a photograph and signature. Are you looking at something with biometrics or codes that would allow people access to only specific areas of the port? I understood, when the idea was new, that it would only be a photographic pass. Do you foresee various different passes for different areas of the waterside?

Mr. Frappier: There will be an evolution. Several ports have introduced a pass system that is photo identification. They have different rules with regard to who is required to have them. This is being done in an effort to get into a position to be able to respond to the regulations and requirements the Government of Canada is starting to put into play. The current systems will need to be upgraded and are not yet suitable for controlling a restricted area. For instance, there is no requirement for a security background check before the pass is issued.

A big part of the forthcoming consultation process is to understand the implications of the regulations that are being put in place in order to ensure that they can be enforced operationally. We will certainly be discussing the extent to which we need biometrics on the access cards.

On the air side we are moving toward biometrics as a requirement, as the minister announced a few months ago. Something similar will probably be required on the port side. That has not yet been decided and it will be part of our consultations.

Senator Cordy: So you are working toward a national system so that the Ports of Halifax, Vancouver and Montreal would all have the same security requirements?

Mr. Frappier: Yes, the national system will apply to all designated ports.

Senator Cordy: We discussed access to the port by land. What about access by water? I am thinking of pleasure crafts in Halifax Harbour.

Mr. Frappier: How we should address the water side is currently a problem and requires more work. Currently, as a minimum, the restricted area begins if a boat comes to the shore. However, we have yet to figure out exactly how we will handle the waters around the ships in the harbour.

The Chairman: Do you have fencing around the ports on the landside? Is all of Halifax covered off? Is all of Montreal covered off?

Mr. Frappier: Certainly a restricted area will have to have the capability of restricting access, and fencing seems like the obvious answer. I am not sure whether they are all in place now. The three major port ports— Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver— are in pretty good shape.

The Chairman: Do you believe that there is a complete system of fencing covering all three ports as of April 7?

Mr. Frappier: No. I am not sure there is a complete system of fencing because I have not asked that specific question. However, as the restricted area requirements come into place, that will certainly have to be looked at.

The Chairman: When will that be?

Mr. Frappier: Currently we are looking at spring of 2004.

Senator Cordy: I want to talk about tracking of marine vessels. I do not have a good sense of the difference between the American policy and the Canadian policy in terms of notice that vessels must give before entering Canadian or American waters. I think they must give notice 96 hours before they enter Canadian waters.

Mr. Frappier: That is correct.

Senator Cordy: In American waters it is 24 hours before loading?

Mr. Frappier: I believe they also have a requirement for 96hours before entering. As in Canada, there is a requirement for entering the waters and also a requirement with respect to coming into port, which are two different things. Therefore, in addition to the customs requirement, there is also a requirement with respect to times. As a ship approaches, there is a series of waypoints at which they must communicate.

There is a layered approach with respect to surveillance. As we implement the recent enhancements, that layering will get stronger. A high frequency radar system will be in place so that ships coming in cannot hide; they will be spotted on the radar. We will have both the long-range vessel identification and the automated identification system, AIS. Ships coming in will have to have an automated system that allows us to see who they are and to track them.

Those two systems work together. If a ship entering does not have the automated identification system, for whatever reason, the radar system will still pick it up. A ship not using AIS, as it is required to, will obviously be a ship of interest. Air surveillance capability can be brought into play, from either the Coast Guard or the Canadian Forces, which can get more information on that ship of interest.

The layering approach allows for ships to enter Canadian waters to conduct business and ensure that trade is happening; while at the same time provides us with valuable information on anything that could be a security issue.

Senator Cordy: Therefore, the ships must give notice 96 hours notice before they enter Canadian waters and then identify themselves as they approach the port?

Mr. Frappier: There is a requirement that a ship announce itself via radio 96 hours in advance, or by some other means if they are not yet at sea. That is standard communication. The AIS system is different. That system is on the ship and it is more like a transponder. It is continuously, in a regulated way, sending out information about who it is, its directions and so forth. Those will be received by the Coast Guard system, independent of whether anyone on the ship decided, ``It is time to call in our location.'' Those two will work together.

Senator Cordy: Is the AIS system the law now or is it being implemented?

Mr. Frappier: Is it not yet the law. It has been announced that we will make it the law. That is done in cooperation with all the other countries of the international marine organization. It is a large group. It will come into effect betweenJuly2004 and December2004.

Senator Cordy: On another topic, you have a subcommittee on sharing of information. What is the goal of this committee? What are you looking at?

Mr. Frappier: Several subcommittees have been put in place. With the diverse departments and their mandates, they have an ability to collect various amounts of information on vessels and on people on those vessels coming into Canada or within Canada. We are looking at the ability to share that information between departments. The Department of Justice is helping use extensively with that activity. We must ensure that the information gathered was gathered for an appropriate reason and, if it is shared, that it is permissible to be shared. That subgroup, in particular, helped us sort through several legal issues with respect to sharing information.

Senator Day: Mr.Frappier, thank you for your comments and your background material. In the document that youjust referred to, at page 9 there is reference to ``high frequency surface wave radar.'' There was an announcement last week in relation to that particular project. Is the$43million that has been allocated sufficient to provide for the type of radar surveillance that is necessary?

Mr. Frappier: The Department of National Defence will be able to provide you with better detail. However, it is important to know that the Department of National Defence started that particular program a while ago with respect to some leading edge research. That research has led to some pilot installations. It is a modular system. As a radar system, it can cover a certain area. The more systems you put in place, the better the coverage you get.

Through their research and development program, they have established a couple of locations. The funding that we provided here will put another five or six locations in place. That will be enough to cover the main traffic lines into both the East Coast and the West Coast. However, they need more than that to cover the entire coastline of the country. We provide enough to cover the areas that we know are the primary areas where the ships are coming in.

Senator Day: Is this the amount and was the five or six that will be installed the recommendation of your planning group?

Mr. Frappier: Yes. Everyone would love to cover off the entire coastline, but there are certain trade-offs that must be made, in particular, for fiscal reasons. The committee had to ensure that we at least had coverage of the areas where most of the ships are coming in. That is a busy area and an area on which we need more information to have complete domain awareness.

It is a very different situation between having a ship that you did not even know was there coming down the St. Lawrence towards Montreal versus having a ship that is up on the coastline somewhere where there is no city or port. It is still problematic but different.

Senator Day: On page 13 of your document, you give us a good understanding of your approach. You talk about your approach to analyzing what is necessary from a marine security point of view and a systematic, high-level analysis. You said your planning group was balancing between the ideal and the practical requirements. I would have thought that your planning group would have said, ``This is really what we need'' and leave it up to cabinet to determine what we could afford.

You are suggesting here that you determine what we can live with, but we know that we cannot get the ideal. You were making an assessment for less than the ideal here through your planning group. Am I reading that correctly?

Mr. Frappier: Not quite. With respect to the practical — namely, what funds are available — that is not our area. That is a cabinet decision. However, between the ideal and the practical, we are saying that you must have a system that would, for instance, still allow trade to occur. A system in which every container coming into any port in Canada will be opened and searched, is ideal from a security perspective. That is a very good system but it is not at all practical. You could never do that with all containers without shutting down international trade. We are looking at the ideal from the perspective of security and not worrying about anything else versus balancing that with the proviso that it must work operationally as well.

Senator Day: I understand your example. However, in respect of the radar covering all our coasts, if all the technical experts say that to do this properly we need 12 and you get six, are we doing half the job because you decided that the cabinet would not agree to the cost of the ideal or the necessary?

Mr. Frappier: No. In that particular case, several options were put together. In most of these areas, it was put together by saying, ``If you give us this much, this is the sort of thing we can do. Here is a program that requires more funds but we do more.'' An easy example is the one you mentioned, namely, radar systems. We could do more with respect to them. That was put together into a memorandum for cabinet and then cabinet makes its decisions.

Senator Day: I was pleased to hear you say that you were familiar with the report of our committee dated September2002. On pages 13 and 14 of our report, we have outlined a number of recommendations. You have touched on some and some you have not.

We were pleased with the minister's announcement in Halifax a few months ago. We felt that if he was not responding to some of these recommendations, at least we contributed to the debate. We confirmed that some of the recommendations of your interdepartmental group were needed and the minister did it, so we are all ahead as Canadians in that regard.

I would like you to tell us if there are any areas where there is still some work to be done. You have talked about some of them. Concerning item one, adoption of a layered approach, unless you feel you need to talk further about that, I think you have dealt with that with Senator Cordy's questioning.

Could you go through these recommendations and tell us where you are making progress, where you are not, which recommendations cannot possibly be done and which ones were way off the mark? Can you help us with that?

Mr. Frappier: As I said, this document was viewed as an important document. We would certainly like to thank the Senate for pulling the package together. I did not go through each recommendation, but the working group probably went through it, as well as other documents. I am not sure I can address each of these in full detail

At page 13, we talked about the layered approach to reporting and monitoring. I believe that this recent announcement makes a step forward on that.

Second, the primary purpose of this working group is to ensure that we have greater coordination of all Canadian resources both in terms of policy and operational doctrine. There is always room for improvement. This a complicated area but we are making important steps forward. I would suggest that our working group responds to that specific area.

Senator Day: To clarify, you indicated that your working group is more concerned with coordinating policy than operations. Did I understand that correctly?

Mr. Frappier: That is what we have been doing. Cabinet, in its January decision, gave us a mandate to look atoperational coordination. We are moving into that stage now in a more wholesome way.

We are not involved in what is happening right now on the east coast or when there is an event that requires the RCMP to go into action. Different departments have different roles and they do not need our working group to approve their actions. We will be ensuring that there is coordination between the operational groups.

Senator Day: Will you have an oversight role in implementing the regulations that are coming forward next year? For example, will it be your group's responsibility to ensure that the security fences are put up around the various ports?

Mr. Frappier: It is not the working group's responsibility to enforce all the regulations. That particular example would be my responsibility because that would be a Transport Canada requirement. However, Customs would have their own requirements and their own enforcement apparatus will ensure those regulations are met.

Our working group will be looking for progress. If some major issue arises, I expect we will know about it and perhaps we can compensate. Perhaps some regulations will not be developed as fast as expected. If a certain regulation is not yet in place and therefore there is a gap in the system, then we will figure out how the departments should react.

Senator Day: Where does the buck stop with respect to a specific regulation that deals with this overall security package that you are recommending? Your working group is ensuring that the regulations are developed but they are not then ensuring that they are implemented?

Mr. Frappier: You are correct. Each minister has that responsibility. The Minister of Transport, for instance, will be responsible for all the regulations under the leadership of Transport Canada. If there are issues between ministers, they will be handled through the cabinet and cabinet committees.

Senator Day: That probably clarifies your relating to the joint operational planning group. If you have anything to add to help us understand, that will be fine. If you have told us what you feel is important for us to know, that is fine as well.

Mr. Frappier: Based on my knowledge of this operational planning group, it is not exactly as you have it here. Again, our friends at the Department of National Defence can answer that better.

We talked a bit about coordination of monitoring resources and the layered approach. We want no holes between them. In coordination, we are making sure the information is moving around properly.

As Senator Cordy mentioned, we have a subgroup looking specifically at inter-operability between information sources. We are also looking at improvements to the telecommunications infrastructure. We want to use the network between departments to move information around in a more efficient manner.

Senator Day: For clarification, I will use a practical example. We seem to think in terms of container ships and freighters coming into our ports. Fishing vessels off of our coast, though, would be a Fisheries or Coast Guard responsibility. Will they have an automatic information system sending a signal out? Will Fisheries ensure that? How does that information get coordinated with Coast Guard and Department of National Defence or the police? How does the fisheries-type information get coordinated?

Mr. Frappier: All the fishing vessels must meet Transport Canada requirements with respect to the Canada Shipping Actand various things like that.

Right now, the requirement for AIS will be on IMO-registered vessels of a certain size. As time goes on, we will see whether it is appropriate to apply that to other vessels. That is part of the consultation process that is going forward right now. We are not yet sure whether fishing vessels will be required to have AIS. The size of vessel covered by that requirement has not yet been determined.

We talked about operational centres.

Senator Day: That was Senator Forrestall's question.

Mr. Frappier: That is correct. With respect to analyzing shipping intelligence and providing a combined operational picture, both of those are in place.

Senator Day: We felt they were not in place when we gave this report a year and a half ago.

Mr. Frappier: A lot of work has been done over the past year and a half; much of it has been centred on better coordination between departments and information systems. As we go into the actual operation, there are still some areas that have to be ironed out. We are moving in the right direction.

Item 4 refers to reciprocal arrangements with other vessels. This has been a main activity since you last met with respect to the IMO process.

The Chairman: Excuse me, Senator Day. This is useful work that you are doing here. I note that we are 10 minutes past our time and we have our next set of witnesses waiting.

Mr. Frappier, would it be an imposition if we asked you to look at the recommendations in our February2002 report, as well as the September 2002 report? Both reports dealt with port security and the security of our coasts. Could you reply to us in writing with comments on where our recommendations have been addressed by your department?

As much as we would like to have the response on the record here, I think it is in the best interests of getting through our witnesses today to ask you to provide that to us, Mr. Frappier.

Mr. Frappier: I will look into that, for sure.

The Chairman: We look forward to that. After we receive that, we can make a judgment about whether we need you back to further elaborate on those answers. Thank you, Mr. Frappier, for providing us with some helpful information this morning. We have a continuing interest. We look forward to having your assistance in our future examination of these issues.

Mr. Frappier: Thank you for the opportunity.

The Chairman: We will next hear from Vice-Admiral Ronald Buck, Chief of Maritime Staff. He is accompanied by Captain Peter Avis, Director of Maritime Policy.

Welcome to the committee.

Vice-Admiral Ronald Buck, Chief of Maritime Staff, Department of National Defence: It is a pleasure to appear before you today to provide a brief on coastal defence as it pertains to your examination.

[Translation]

As you will probably recall, I last appeared before this committee in August2002, when I discussed coordinated maritime surveillance and operations in Canada's maritime approaches as well as with our U.S. allies in their adjacent areas of operation.

[English]

Accompanying me today is Captain Peter Avis. He is a key participant within the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group. This group, as you heard from Mr. Frappier, has examined Canada's marine security and provided recommendations to close certain vulnerability gaps.

Much has happened regarding domestic security in Canada since September 11. Security bills have been passed in Parliament. Memoranda to cabinet have been passed on the Canada-U.S. planning group and maritime security, and an Order in Council has been passed on security zones. Moreover, the domestic side of military preparedness has changed dramatically for many countries, including Canada.

The primary obligation of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces is to defend the country and its citizens from military threats to Canada. While it is critical for the Canadian Forces to maintain a military capability for the defence of Canada, Maritime Command — the navy — also contributes to domestic security against terrorist threats to both Canada and North America. In domestic situations, Maritime Command does this by employing its military capabilities in support of civilian law enforcement agencies and through complementary surveillance of the maritime approaches with other government partners.

One thing we have learned over the last year about domestic security is that the terrorist has changed the battle space. By coming from nowhere and striking at civilians, using civilian means of transportation as weapons, and thus also from a military perspective, the terrorist has altered the way we think about domestic security. Before September 11, it was easy to separate military concerns from civilian security concerns. This is no longer the case. The various branches of government have been thrown together out of necessity.

[Translation]

Canada has the world's longest coast line, covering three oceans, and the water transportation mode extends into the heart of the continent through the St.Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. Over this vast area move vessels carrying cargo and passengers as well as research, fishing and recreational vessels, all essential to Canada's economic well-being.

[English]

Through the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group, IMSWG, 17 federal departments and agencies have worked in a collaborative manner, using a risk mitigation methodology, to identify vulnerabilities to Canada's marine security and provide recommendations on the closure of these gaps. In January of this year, the government announced a series of initiatives to address the closure of marine security gaps. Based upon established areas of jurisdiction and responsibility, various departments and agencies have the lead on particular initiatives; all contribute to Canada's marine security.

As well, our own force protection — that is, the force protection of the Canadian Forces installations across the country — has been enhanced. From a naval perspective, a key element of this is the designation of controlled access zones in the harbours of Halifax, Esquimalt and Nanoose.

[Translation]

Maritime Command's contribution to marine security has been an improved collaboration and enhancement to our maritime surveillance capability. This has benefited both domestic marine security as well as continental security.

[English]

As an IMSWG initiative, the Canadian Forces has recently obtained results of an independent study that examined the requirement for a Maritime Information Management and Data Exchange, called MIMDEX network. Through this network, IMSWG partner departments and agencies will share and exchange information more effectively. This report has only recently been written and we have not had an opportunity to examine its conclusions and recommendations. The IMSWG will review the report and make a decision on whether to press on with this collaborative initiative by the end of this month.

I am encouraged by the collaborative approach to marine security that I have observed at the regional levels throughout the Eastern CanadaInterdepartmental Marine Operations Committee, the Pacific Interdepartmental Marine Operations Committee and the St.Lawrence Seaway Vessel Screening Committee. These three groups communicate with the IMSWG to share ideas and pass policy.

[Translation]

As we discussed in August, the North American continent has been divided into Canadian and U.S. areas of responsibility. Each country's military organizations are aware of the other activities in their respective areas and continuously exchange information on vessels moving through those areas.

[English]

From your discussion with MGen. Daigle and Col. Williams on March 17, you are already aware of the Canada- U.S. governments' establishment of a bi-national planning group to enhance military cooperation for the protection of North America. In January, the Canada-U.S. bi-national planning group completed its mission analysis session in Colorado, and will soon embark on the production of bi-national plans to improve our ability to work in the domestic bi-national context from the national perspective.

I am pleased to report that RAdm. James Fraser, currently in command of Maritime Forces Pacific, has been appointed as liaison between the planning group and Northern Command. No one is better placed to understand the facets of marine security than RAdm. Fraser.

Subordinate to the Canada-U.S. bi-national planning group is the Maritime Plans and Surveillance Working Group that will concentrate on bi-national maritime security and surveillance. This group will collaborate with groups like IMSWG and the NORAD Maritime Surveillance Working Group to create military plans that operate through the unique lens of bi-national military cooperation.

With respect to surveillance, the January government announcement on new marine security projects highlighted National Defence's initiative to increase surveillance of high-traffic areas in the eastern and western maritime approaches to Canada. This will be done through a network of five or six high-frequency service wave radar sites. This will give us capability out to approximately 200 kilometres. While there is government agreement for this initiative, project work remains to refine the proposal presented to Treasury Board for funding approval.

[Translation]

Through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' lead, our maritime operational surveillance information centres in Esquimalt and Halifax will obtain additional maritime surveillance data from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' Conservation and Protection Branch maritime air surveillance flights.

[English]

Work is also ongoing to examine the potential of a number of additional initiatives to further close marine security vulnerability gaps. The IMSWG is examining Canada's terrorist threat reaction process and the requirement for national fusion and security coordination centres. The Canadian Forces is looking at technology to further automate the fusion of maritime surveillance data, including that from the high-frequency service wave radar network.

[Translation]

The Canadian Forces are participating in a working group of federal departments and agencies to establish a Canadian secret information network. This would facilitate collaboration, within security communities of interest, along both horizontal and vertical lines of communication.

[English]

The Canadian Forces has representation on the NORAD Maritime Surveillance Working Group, which is examining the requirement for a North American maritime surveillance plan. The IMSWG continues to look at opportunities in closing the gaps in our maritime surveillance picture over waters under Canadian jurisdiction, whether in the Great Lakes, the Gulf of St.Lawrence, the Arctic or other areas not covered by the high-frequency surface wave radar network.

The IMSWG also is looking at developing a domestic marine security plan. This plan could eventually be used as the foundation of a national maritime security strategy.

[Translation]

In closing, the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been a catalyst to critically examine marine security vulnerabilities and have therefore resulted in a number of improvements to our marine security, including the establishment of a process to continue examining Canadian marine security vulnerabilities.

[English]

That concludes my introductory remarks. Both Capt. Avis and I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Senator Forrestall: I am very concerned about resources. I have some reservations about security planning being left to the Department of Transport, which has been so badly cut back, as indeed has the Coast Guard. I wonder about its usefulness for anything other than regulatory purposes. That is to say, I get a little concerned when the Department of Fisheries starts managing military matters — I think with reason.

Can I ask you about our fleet? In order to make this work, you have to either re-engage the Halifax Rifles and defend our coastline or we have to do something about our vessels and about the Coast Guard. We have already committed roughly one-third of our major fleet to other activities.

Where do we find the minesweepers for this coastal surveillance and protection role? Do we move up a grade to your frigates? Where do we go to find the resources? If you do not have them, what would you ideally describe as the resources you would need to satisfy our American friends with respect to coastal security and defence?

VAdm. Buck: The whole issue of a cohesive and consistent whole to maritime or marine security rests on a few tenets, one being what I call ``surveillance'' — I think referred to by this committee as ``domain awareness.'' First and foremost, it is ensuring that we actually have the required ability to monitor. In many cases, wide-area surveillance is either done by fixed-wing air platforms or fixed radar installations.

Ships themselves are not the optimal surveillance platform; they have significant limitations. They are, however, excellent vehicles to conduct interception, interdiction and to bring to conclusion whatever threat it is you are trying to deal with.

You asked me whether in fact this was a role solely for maritime coastal defence vessels. In Canada's fleet, we have both major warships: largely frigates, destroyers, and to an extent submarines, but also the coastal defence vessels. Historically, and as it remains true today, we provide a balance of those vessels to do the role that is required. Differing vessels have differing capabilities.

You have commented that we have about one-third of the major warship fleet deployed. As we speak today, three ships are on duty in the Arabian Gulf, and two are returning from there. The remainder of the fleet is, by and large, engaged in activities that are in both oceans off our Atlantic and Pacific coast.

It is not a case of one particular vessel class necessarily. It is a compendium of assets.

In addition to Canadian Forces assets or naval assets, we also draw upon some Coast Guard assets that are available, either providing search and rescue stations or doing other more routine Coast Guard activities. In fact, a series of capabilities are brought together to provide a holistic capability.

One key area upon which we have focused since September11 is trying to get the surveillance piece accurate and more complete, and to exchange more effectively the information of what is happening in our ocean approaches and then best utilizing the government vessel fleets available to effect the interception or interdiction.

Senator Forrestall: Is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in that respect, better suited than National Defence?

VAdm. Buck: I will not, nor should I, speak for DFO or the Canadian Coast Guard. Their mandate is quite different from security interdiction. That is not, except in certain legislated areas, their mandate.

Senator Forrestall: They remain the only vehicle that has the authority to arrest, for example.

VAdm. Buck: No. It depends on the issue. If it is an immigration issue, the authority rests with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If it is a constabulary issue — more crime related — it would be the RCMP. The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, CCRA, also has authorities. The authorities, depending on what the incident is, are vested in a number of other government departments or agencies.

Most often, when there is a major issue, it is a Canadian Forces vessel with individuals from the appropriate department embarked who actually effect the interception and ultimately arrest, but the authorities are vested in a number of government departments depending on the specific issue.

Senator Forrestall: The navy remains the principal thrust, not Department of Fisheries.

VAdm. Buck: The navy is the principal source of providing the ships, if you wish, to effect the interdictions, largely because of the capabilities of larger naval warships, which basically give them high speed, long endurance and significant organizational and other capabilities.

Senator Forrestall: What resources, to your knowledge, does the Coast Guard have? Perhaps I should wait and ask the Coast Guard these questions. What resources can you call upon from the Coast Guard to assist you in carrying out your responsibilities?

VAdm. Buck: On a day-to-day basis, it would vary. Certainly, in the Pacific, the Coast Guard maintains relatively large vessels on search and rescue stations that can be made available and a wide range of other vessels. It really would be very incident-specific: In building a plan on how one would deal with a particular issue, it would depend on what that issue is, where it is, weather conditions, and ultimately what vessels the Coast Guard might or might not have available, given that this is not their primary mandate.

Senator Forrestall: You suggested that your destroyers and frigates are not the best vehicles for ocean surveillance.

VAdm. Buck: That is correct, but they are very effective in bringing an issue to conclusion, albeit they are an expensive platform.

Senator Forrestall: Would they be enhanced had you a 101 or a Sikorsky on the back of them?

VAdm. Buck: As we all know, we are looking forward to the replacement of the Sea King.

Senator Forrestall: I hope it is within your service time, sir.

You dealt with the West Coast. What about the East Coast in terms of Coast Guard? What is your responsibility on the river end and in the lakes?

VAdm. Buck: Most western navies do not have jurisdiction in internal waters, and at the moment, that is the case in Canada. On the rivers and in the Great Lakes, the navy has no jurisdiction.

Senator Forrestall: What about the East Coast?

VAdm. Buck: In the Atlantic, our jurisdiction is largely for surveillance, and then when tasked by government with the appropriate authorities — that is, the RCMP or Immigration Canada, we would provide a vessel to effect intercept but using those other government department authorities, not our own.

Senator Forrestall: What I am after is what resources of the Canadian Coast Guard can assist you in that?

VAdm. Buck: The Canadian Coast Guard has a fleet of over 100 vessels of varying shapes and sizes, but their primary mandate is not in this particular area. If a plan is built interdepartmentally and they have resources available, they generally will provide vessels, but it is very incident specific.

Senator Forrestall: I know what you are saying, but it is somewhat misleading to say you have that available to you. You did not suggest that there were 100 vessels.

VAdm. Buck: That is not what I am saying. I said they have a fleet.

Senator Forrestall: A fleet across Canada.

VAdm. Buck: Correct.

Senator Forrestall: Including the lakes and rivers. I had asked the question in the context of the East Coast. I understand the different nature of the West Coast. I understand the East Coast. I am wondering what you have available to you.

VAdm. Buck: As I say, that is a question you would need to pose to the Canadian Coast Guard, because on a day- to-day basis the answer to that would differ. I am not knowledgeable of the operational planning constraints on the Coast Guard as an organization. I do know that on occasions where we have requested vessels, generally speaking, vessels have been provided.

Senator Forrestall: What about calling into play the commercial fleet that plies the waters and may be there from time to time? Do you have the authority to call upon their assistance?

VAdm. Buck: Generally speaking, in North America, including the U.S., the requirement of merchant marine to cooperate from a naval perspective would be limited to search and rescue.

Senator Forrestall: Does that not include surveillance?

VAdm. Buck: Surveillance would be on a voluntary basis only. Mariners are, as a matter of course, requested to report things that they notice that are not normal, but there is no mandatory requirement.

Senator Forrestall: How active is the voluntary sector, such as fishermen?

VAdm. Buck: Generally speaking those reports do not directly come to the department of defence. They would come through other government departments so it would be better for those departments to speak to that than me.

Senator Forrestall: Are you comfortable with access to the information that is derived from those reports?

VAdm. Buck: We have a wide-ranging input of information from a broad range of other government departments, agencies, our allies and a variety of other sources, both classified and unclassified. Our job is to take all of that information and distil it, effectively, in Halifax or Esquimalt, in two of our operational centres to produce what we call a recognized maritime picture.

Senator Forrestall: Finally, could you comment on the role of the reserves in this broader mandate?

VAdm. Buck: I am very proud of Canada's naval reserve. It is just under 4,000 strong and it has a number of roles that relate directly to coastal defence, surveillance, and maritime security generally. Specifically, the crews of the maritime coastal defence vessels are drawn from the naval reserve. Naval reserve divisions also have effective port inspection diving teams that are trained, as do they have an effective port control arrangements. All that of is relevant to maritime security specifically and in general, not just in terms of maritime surveillance but also capabilities within our various ports across the country.

Senator Forrestall: Would you have any great objection if we asked the admiral if we could go down and have a look at the reserves on the East Coast, in Halifax?

VAdm. Buck: No, not at all.

The Chairman: I have a brief addendum to Senator Forrestall's questions. Do you have a vessel that is continually on station off each coast? Is that a 24/7 reality for Canada right now, or are the deployments that we have in the gulf and elsewhere making that impossible?

VAdm. Buck: Historically, even when we were not conducting operations, such as we are conducting today in the operational theatre; we would never propose to maintain a 24/7-vessel presence. We do maintain a 24/7 ready duty ship capability, which always has ships ready to respond. That has not changed post-September11. The key again is to ensure you have the best surveillance. The more surveillance you have allows you to position vessels much more effectively — particularly cost-effectively. For example, the United States Coast Guard is mandated to do this. While they will have undoubtedly vessels moving all the time, is there full area coverage off the United States, 24/7, 365 days a year? No.

The Chairman: Could you push a button today and have a ship making steam within a couple of hours?

VAdm. Buck: In fact, it would be underway probably in half an hour, because we do not have to make steam any more.

The Chairman: I was trying to sound nautical, VAdm. Buck. You have to give me a bit of licence, and with this crew here I have a tough time.

As per your description, you provide a platform to deliver the appropriate authorities to get to the right spot. Do you always have the right authorities on a vessel? What do you if it is a fisheries problem and when the vessel started off you thought it would be an RCMP problem? From the sounds of it, you have to have a customs official there if there is a customs problem, you have to have an RCMP officer if it is a national security problem, and you have to have a fisheries officer. Do you take all three automatically when a vessel goes? What do you do when one of them is not on board?

VAdm. Buck: Generally speaking, again, it will be incident specific, but when are you dealing with a specific incident you have very good intelligence as to what are you dealing with. Normally, there will almost always be an RCMP presence in conjunction with the appropriate other government department authority.

The Chairman: Could the RCMP officer enforce the other pieces of legislation?

VAdm. Buck: No. They have a general arrest authority and mandate. In some cases, they act as the authority in conjunction with Fisheries and Oceans, or whoever it is.

The Chairman: If you did not have an official from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans there, is there sufficient authority vested in the RCMP officer to carry out that duty and enforce those laws?

VAdm. Buck: No. The appropriate government authority to delegate that authority to whoever is on board would be sought— either through the RCMP or directly through our own forces.

The Chairman: In fact, if you had a vessel at sea, you would only need a message some sort saying you have been deputized and that is sufficient authority to act?

VAdm. Buck: Yes.

Senator Cordy: Our previous witness spoke to us about security zones and you also mentioned these in your opening comments. The layered approach to monitoring vessels that are entering Canadian waters, and while they are in Canadian waters, certainly was one of our recommendations and certainly seems to be an efficient way of doing things.

How do government departments coordinate this monitoring? Does it depend on what the ship is — whether it is a fishing vessel or a cargo ship — or does it depend where it is located in the Canadian waters?

VAdm. Buck: The answer to your question, senator, is, to an extent, all of the above. To be more precise, there is a vast amount of information about vessels that are moving, whether they are fishing vessels, commercial traffic, whether they might be something else. Each of the respective organizations has that information and a number of information sources. We try to bring together all of the information that is available— there are some privacy issues but on secure systems that is less of an issue— in Halifax and in Esquimalt through our operation centres. Therefore, we can pull all of the information together and have a complete a picture of what is moving out there and what is relevant to a particular ship that is moving.

The key here is not so much that it is just a ship, it is what is abnormal about the ship and what is happening inside the ship. That information would help us develop a more detailed surveillance plan that would probably be specific to that vessel. We would directly monitor it on an ongoing basis, such that if there was a need to arrest or to intercept the appropriate resources— in this case, ships — could be positioned to do that with the appropriate authorities at the appropriate point.

Senator Cordy: You spoke about surveillance of high traffic areas on the eastern and western coasts and about high frequency surface wave radar sites. What is that?

VAdm. Buck: Simplistically speaking, it is a radar unit that from its base station — two of which are on the East Coast — that has a capability of looking out to sea for 200 kilometres. The government has approved an expansion from the current two— which are not fully operational yet but DND is making them fully operational— to five or six at what we call ``choke points'' on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. We will then have ability on the busiest parts of the coast to look out 200 kilometres. We will have a picture of all the dots, if you will, which are the ships that are moving.

We also have many other sources of information, whether it be vessel traffic management reports, reports from a number of our allies— it is called ``white,'' or commercial, shipping— that would all come into our operational centre, along with this data. It would be keyed to other information we have so that we would have a real-time picture of actually what is moving. That is a capability we do not have today.

However, again, the key is knowing there is something abnormal in one of those ships. For example, intelligence might be given that it could be an illegal migration issue, or some other form of asymmetric threat. It is when you get specific information that you would narrow the search and say, ``That is a contact. Now I want to put some ears and eyes on it,'' which, in this case, would probably cause us to then commence a surveillance plan using fixed-wing aircraft. In that way, you could precisely track it and know exactly where it is such that if a decision were taken to arrest or intercept you could do so at the appropriate point as it was coming out of international waters into either Canadian waters directly or the contiguous zone as it is known, which is another 12miles.

Senator Cordy: When you have all this information you said the forces is currently looking at technology to further automate the fusion of maritime surveillance. Is that the fusion of surveillance that DND has gathered or is that the fusion of surveillance information from various departments such as the RCMP or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

VAdm. Buck: It is the fusion of all data that would be available, not just DND data.

Senator Cordy: Is the Port of Halifax a controlled access zone?

VAdm. Buck: That is correct.

Senator Cordy: How will the Port of Halifax be different because of it being declared a controlled access zone?

VAdm. Buck: The controlled access zone is appropriate and applied at the moment only in Halifax, Esquimalt and Nanoose. It is specific to providing protection for Canadian naval ships or visiting naval ships.

The whole of Halifax harbour is not a controlled access zone. However, around the naval dockyard — around Shearwater and around certain of the mooring points we use in the harbour — there are, by Order in Council, zones which, depending on the threat level, we will allow either limited access into or no access into. Effectively, this is giving the military authority to protect its own ships from the water. Previously, there was no such authority. That authority was vested in the RCMP.

If you were to think of the dockyard in Halifax, something extending about 200yards out generally would become the exclusion zone.

Senator Cordy: To clarify, is that at Shearwater and where DND moors its ships?

VAdm. Buck: Shearwater, the dockyard, a number of the anchorage positions in the harbour, and some of the other installations out in Major's Beach area.

Senator Cordy: This extends out into the water?

VAdm. Buck: Yes, from the shoreline. The problem that we are trying to prevent is exactly what happened to the USS Cole. It was attacked from the water side. We have the authority in international waters to do that. However, we never had that authority in our own waters, which is what these controlled access zones provide.

The Chairman: Are there similar regulations in place for the Coast Guard that is on the Dartmouth side where they keep their vessels?

VAdm. Buck: Not to my knowledge.

The Chairman: Is it still an RCMP responsibility?

VAdm. Buck: That is correct.

The Chairman: You have described how the system seems to work in Canada. You talked about a layered approach. You talked about the value of the navy as a platform to carry people out and the usefulness of aircraft and radar to identify what is out there.

There seems to be a gap along the littoral. In the United States, this gap is filled by the U.S. Coast Guard, which has a totally different function from the Canadian Coast Guard. It has vessels that are light and small and which can be quite close to the coast. It has much larger vessels that can move a significant distance off the coast. It has a police capability, a military capability and the capacity to interdict drugs, illegal immigrants and anyone who is a threat close to the coast.

How are we addressing this gap in Canada? The RCMP has some patrol vessels. Obviously, you have some blue- water ships. However, it does not appear to be seamless. What is your comment on that?

VAdm. Buck: First, I would draw you back to the mandate that you described for the U.S. Coast Guard, which is absolutely correct. Effectively, inside the U.S. Coast Guard there are two elements. There is part of that Coast Guard which effectively does the role and mandate as our Coast Guard currently does. There is also a constabulary mandate that extends up to and including something called ``high-endurance cutters.''

While they do have some constabulary authority, they as well, however, draw on their equivalents of immigration, fisheries officers, et cetera — just as we do. In that context, it is not that much different.

As I believe you all know, the U.S. Coast Guard does not have just ships. It has ships as well as large aircraft, such as Hercules, which is their primary vehicle. In many ways, they have the same surveillance challenge we have. In fact, the United States does not use long-range naval maritime patrol aircraft to do that kind of surveillance. That is a Coast Guard issue.

My point is that the Canadian Aurora, which is a very effective surveillance platform, is actually far more effective than a Hercules. It is not seamless in the United States either.

The real issue, I believe, is ultimately we would wish to tailor fleets from a homeland security perspective to be the right fleets. First and foremost, you have to get the surveillance right, which will then allow you to better assess whether the existing fleets are optimized to play the role. The better surveillance you have, particularly the better specific airborne surveillance where you can actually know what that vessel is doing, the simpler it is to build a plan to arrest or intercept it.

The Chairman: What you seem to have told the committee is that the Americans do not have a perfect system. I accept that.

VAdm. Buck: That is correct.

The Chairman: You say they also have a gap in their system. I accept that.

What do you need in terms of assets to fill that gap so Canada does not have this problem? What do you need to take care of the littoral and ensure that Canada is well protected along its coast?

VAdm. Buck: First and foremost, we need the best and most cost-effective cohesive surveillance capability, which includes sharing the appropriate information effectively between departments, which is working very well. Once the amount of surveillance, the type of surveillance and the pieces of that surveillance— because it is not one panacea— is in place, from that, then you would stand back and ask: Are the government fleet resources adequate to do the role they need to play in this?

The Chairman: You say that you need the ability to collect the information, the intelligence. Who is responsible for that now? Are you responsible for that? Are the admirals who command each coast and report to you responsible for coordinating these assets? Who do we look to if someone slips through cracks?

VAdm. Buck: The mandate that is given to the admirals on both coasts relates primarily to surveillance within the resources and assets assigned to them.

The responsibility for coordination is not a formal mandated task of the navy. In practice, because we have the most effective operation centres to be able to bring this information together, we have performed that function. As work of the IMSWG unfolds, the need to bring this level of coordination into more formal structure is understood. What is now under discussion is how formal that needs to be.

The Chairman: When we reported in September, we talked about Esquimalt and Halifax as being the coordination centres. We were visualizing the very rooms we visited and we visualized the navy running it. It was just as simple as that. It is hard to understand why the navy would not be coordinating both the intelligence and the assets.

If I understand correctly, you are telling us that it is currently an ad hoc arrangement, that there is currently not a policy that directs you to do that but that you have assumed that role because you have these operational centres, and until someone gives you directions otherwise you will continue handling this coordination in an ad hoc way.

Does that summarize the situation?

VAdm. Buck: In your report you were suggesting that the current operation centres in Halifax and Equimault should be interdepartmentally staffed, as I recall. They are to an extent in the sense that the RCMP personnel are co- located there. Adjacent to them there are Canadian Coast Guard personnel. However, the formality of it always being coordination led by the navy is not in place, because it depends on the specific incident.

Generally speaking, if interception is required, and it requires one of our vessels, then de facto that comes to us to perform.

Senator Banks: I am looking for some comfort because the more we learn, the more we learn how little we know. I will play the role of confused cynic.

We have heard and read this morning that the Department of Transport has the authority for marine security. The Coast Guard will get the information from the Automatic Identification System. The Department of National Defence has operational centres in Halifax and Equimault and coordinates search and rescue. We heard this morning that terrorism is the responsibility of the RCMP.

We have the Bi-National Planning Group, the Maritime Planning and Surveillance Working Group, the Interdepartmental Maritime Security Working Group and the NORAD Maritime Surveillance Working Group. The confused cynic says that we are falling into the almost cartoonish trap of a Rube Goldberg machine — running very fast and doing nothing.

The point of our recommendation in our most recent report, to which you have referred, was that someone ought to invent a maritime security policy. Perhaps we are being overly simplistic in that. However, the confused cynic, who says that Canadians are very good at forming committees and working groups but are they actually doing something, is reflected in something you said this morning. You said that the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group is looking at developing a domestic marine security plan and that this plan could eventually be used as a foundation of a national maritime security strategy. I think we can infer from that that it might lead to a plan.

Can you give me some comfort that things are okay and that someone is in charge? The confused cynic — despite the certainty and confidence of the answers given to us by folks to whom we have had the opportunity to talk — at the end of the day must say, ``Yeah, but who is running it? In an event, will all of these things actually connect?''

Rather than trying to find a way to coordinate and ensure that there is interoperability, inter-transmitability and sharing of information among disparate organizations that have, in certain circumstances, responsibility for maritime security, is there a model that would stipulate who is in charge of maritime security, and that all other contributory organizations are subject to, report to and directed by one organization, such as your offices in Halifax and Equimault? That makes eminent sense to us. However, it does not seem to be happening.

Therefore, my first question is whether that model has been examined, and my second is whether there is some coordination in which I do not yet have confidence.

VAdm. Buck: First, in respect of mandates and speaking specifically to the mandates of Transport Canada, the RCMP, the military, the Coast Guard, CIC and so forth, those exist in virtually any western nation. It would probably not be possible or feasible for all those mandates to come together in any one organization because they are very different and have very different legislative requirements.

Senator Banks: With respect to maritime security, Secretary Ridge seems to have overall operational policy control and responsibility for the United States' maritime security. Everyone reports to him.

VAdm. Buck: Those inside the Department of Homeland Security clearly do report directly to Secretary Ridge. However, there are other departments and agencies of the U.S. government that still have pieces of the mandate and while they are not directly mandated to him they do coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security.

In respect of execution, I would agree that that is true, by and large, with regard to the U.S. Coast Guard. However, even under their current construct they need to draw on a number of other government agencies and departments to deliver. What has effectively been passed to Homeland Security is that everything from the shoreline to 200miles offshore will be done in a Coast Guard vehicle of some kind. That does not exist in Canada, but the reference to multiple mandates is a reality.

You talked about it all coming together in the operational centres in Halifax or Equimault. That happens de facto today, although it has not been formalized. The challenge is for the government and departments and agencies of the government to come together with the appropriate construct for Canada that works. While this may not be formalized, this works very well in practice and the daily cooperation between departments and agency is very effective.

The key comes back to a point I made earlier, that is, knowing that something is happening out there. If you do not know what is happening, it does not matter how well prepared to react you are, you will not have the information upon which to react.

Senator Banks: Do you have enough information today?

VAdm. Buck: In my experience, in the operations in which we have been involved, we have had the necessary information. Of course, we cannot say that there will never be a failure or that nothing will happen that we do not know about. No nation can say that, including the United States.

Captain Peter Avis, Director, Maritime Policy, Operations and Readiness, Department of National Defence: In respect of using what we have to try to bring this together in a more formal way, the IMSWG put together a memorandum to cabinet entitled, ``Addressing Vulnerabilities in Canada's Marine Security.'' This had an interdepartmental plan based on a risk management strategy and gives an excellent basis for the foundation of a strategy. There is currently a bit of a problem in that it is within this memorandum to cabinet, which is covered by cabinet confidentiality. We are working on that. We will bring the text out.

However, once it is out, it is very important that it be brought forward as a national maritime security plan and that we work hard to get some experts together to put it forward as a maritime strategy. We are in a window of opportunity where that can be done fairly simply

Senator Banks: I am not after a master plan that can be put in a neat little book. I want to be assured by you that all is okay and that everyone can speak to each other.

Incidentally, when I mentioned the Americans and Secretary Ridge, I was not suggesting that the way they do things is a model for us. It may not be. In fact, it is not.

However, as we occupy the same space on the earth, we do need to have a certain amount of coordination with them. There is a working group near Colorado Springs that has to do with maritime security, and I have three questions about it.

First, is there coordination between Colorado Springs, and Esquimalt or Halifax? Second, from Canada's standpoint, is it working and have you the people there that you need? Third, we understand from the United States' side, the people who are assigned to that coordinating group are all double-hatted — which is common in that context. The NORAD commander is double-hatted as NORTHCOM coordinator. Is that an impediment to doing the work that you need to do?

VAdm. Buck: Your first question was whether Colorado Springs is coordinated with what is happening in Halifax and Esquimalt. The answer is ``yes.'' The planning group is structured to report any plans jointly through the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff and me and ultimately to the two coastal formations. That is consistent and cohesive.

The planning group will be developing national level plans as opposed to coastal plans, which exist in our relationship between Canada and the United States at the moment. By the way, it is not only being coordinated at that level. Things maritime and naval are being coordinated in Canada with me and in the United States with the chief of naval operations, Admiral Vern Clark. He and I discuss regularly how best to ensure that it is cohesive.

Senator Banks: As we have heard and noted many times, the naval capabilities of the two nations are the most interoperable of any in the world.

VAdm. Buck: Exactly. This is an enhancement to something that is working well.

Your second point regarded our status in terms of the work. As I indicated earlier, the needs assessment has only recently been completed. From that, we will build an ability to better share information and develop consistent national plans to move forward.

Your third point related to personnel. You commented that many U.S. personnel would be double-hatted. The Canadian personnel, by and large, will not be double-hatted. The bulk of those individuals will be in place this summer, which is when the bulk of that work will commence in earnest.

From the perspective of the United States, having double-hats is valid. Most of what we are talking about, while it will have links to the Department of Homeland Security, will still in many ways have a military context in the United States. We need to ensure that the U.S. personnel tied to the planning group have the right operational links inside the U.S. government departments and agencies. It is not only the Department of Homeland Security.

For example, from a maritime perspective, it would not be helpful if we could not plug into the United States navy through the planning group. It would take a key piece that exists away. Even in the States, the need to have individuals who are plugged into other organizations is germane and relevant.

Senator Banks: You stated earlier that surveillance you need is not necessarily best gotten from ships, but that ships are an excellent means of interdicting and investigating.

We understand that there might be a gap in terms of where the significant ship capability is in the country. Can the maritime coastal defence vehicles be regarded as effective pursuit and interdiction vessels?

We heard this morning that there might be some places to which they cannot go because of their draft, I presume. Is that a ``fall through the cracks'' situation? Would not a bad guy find that out and say, ``Ha, they cannot go there. That is where I will go.''

VAdm. Buck: That is an issue in both the Pacific and Atlantic. Is there one vessel class that would be all things to all people? No. There are very few ports and bays into which a maritime coast defence vessel cannot go. It draws about 12 feet.

Our department has a project to design an in-shore vessel. However, such a vessel would have very limited endurance. It would also have limited ability to operate any significant sea state, because as soon as you move beyond two or three miles from our coast, you need something that has excellent sea keeping capability and endurance.

Are maritime the coastal vessels alone the optimal vessels to do all of the interdiction? No, they have a speed limitation. Their top speed is 16 knots.

Those vessels were designed for patrol and mine warfare, which requires a relatively stable platform. The vessels are beamy, to use a nautical term. They will not go fast.

Bear in mind that the objective is to deal with this as far away as you within the limits of international law. The more sea keeping, the more endurance capability you need.

We have a plan to design other vessels that will be used primarily as training vessels, but they will also do inshore patrol. They will have a higher speed. Ultimately, you will still need ships of the MCDB size or rating to do the job. There are a number of hydrofoils used by a number of Canadian government departments. They are not effective beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast. They stand on their head, effectively.

Again, you need to have a capability to deal with the ocean conditions throughout — not just our littoral — but also the approaches. You need a stable platform for boarding amongst other things.

The Chairman: Roughly what size are these vessels that you say are in the planning? Are they designed? Have you the funding? Where are you in that process?

VAdm. Buck: They are in the defence services program. Theyare awaiting departmental approval and they will be in the 50-tonne range.

Senator Smith: Being the son of a clergyman, I could not help but sit here humming a hymn to myself: ``Launch out into the deep, oh let the shorelines go; Launch out, Launch out in the oceans divine, out where the pull tides flow.''

The Chairman: Could we have the tune as well?

Senator Smith: I could sing it if you want to hear it. Do you know that one? It is pretty good.

VAdm. Buck: I am also the custodian of the naval prayer.

Senator Smith: I like to go back to basics and fundamentals.

Are we launching out in ships, surveillance planes or the next round of helicopters? I would not mind hearing more about that. I know that is a favourite topic of Senator Forrestall's. Is there some role there? Even when those four submarines are operational, I find it hard to believe that they would be involved in that much.

Cost-effective choices have to be made. What is a reasonable plan, that is cost-effective and affordable and does what you want regarding these various components?

I know all about the search and rescue ones, but to what extent is the military aspect of the helicopters tied to the next round? There is a difference between collecting the information and doing the interceptions when you need to. I do not know to what extent they work in that capacity; but, in terms of distance and speed, they are hard to compete with.

VAdm. Buck: Certainly, the maritime helicopter will enhance surveillance capability of our frigates and destroyers, in the sense that airborne gives you a greater range. However, it would be used primarily in the final phases of an intervention.

As well, those helicopters would give us an enhanced capability to put folks in ships from the air, as well as from a boarding party, as it currently would be done. They have a role to play.

Senator Smith: What do they do— drop a dinghy?

VAdm. Buck: They would lower people by hoist, as was done when we rested the GTS Katie. It was not happily done with Sea Kings, but the maritime helicopter replacement will have a better capability in that area.

I would like to touch on your comment about the Victoria class submarines. From an acoustic perspective, submarines are effective surveillance tools. They are very cost effective to operate as well, because a destroyer has a crew size of 300, a frigate, 200, and a submarine, fewer than 50. Even our older Oberon class submarines have been effectively used in surveillance and interdiction.

Senator Smith: How does their speed compare?

VAdm. Buck: The key with the submarine is to place it in the right position so that, even with surface ships, you create a pincer movement. If you have one single ship — a destroyer or a frigate— chasing somebody, at end game you need to box the individuals in. Generally, it is better to have more than one platform so you can actually bring the event to closure without someone having to drive a ship into somebody. That is not a very effective way of doing it.

Another key point about submarines is that they were effectively used during the Turbot War a few years ago in terms of their surveillance capability and folks not knowing where they were. I am thinking more of a military threat than a commercial one.

Senator Smith: When you talk about a military threat, I am not too worried about a military invasion, but to the extent that there might be terrorist-related activities, we have to be sensitive to that.

VAdm. Buck: Clearly, we have a role to play in this. First, in designing the best system, the mandates need to be clear on who does what to whom. I believe that getting the surveillance piece right is critical. That is a cost-effective way of doing things. Once you know how much surveillance you are prepared to pay for or put in place, then you would look at how you would optimize existing fleets or modify them. To go at it from the fleet perspective first could be expensive.

For example, suppose you had no surveillance, or very limited surveillance. If you wanted to ensure that you had significant coverage of nobody touching your shores, you might be required to create a Maginot Line of ships up and down the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Obviously, that would require a significant number of vessels, and arguably, not be terribly cost effective.

The more surveillance, and the clearer mandate you have, the better you would be able to optimize existing or new fleets.

Capt. Avis: We often compare our efforts with similar activities that are going on in the United States. The U.S. Coast Guard is dealing with the same problems. We think of them as having enormous resources and, compared to us, they do. However, they still are confronted with the same problem. They cannot make a Maginot Line. They cannot have ships out 24/7 all the time. They are confronted with actually putting together the surveillance piece and the domain awareness piece first, and then using their physical assets in a way that interdiction is best done.

Senator Smith: Can we talk about the Great Lakes as opposed to the coastal areas, which probably are the greater challenge these days?

Out of curiosity, I have this house in the country at Cobourg, right on the water, about 25 miles from Trenton. Every now and then, you will see a plane come along low, close to the shore. Whenever you hear that somebody has fallen off a boat or something like that, and there is a search for the body, that will happen. Is that what they are doing? Do they reduce surveillance if they hear about a ``suspicious'' ship maybe coming over from Rochester with illegal goods? Can you enlighten me on what they are doing?

VAdm. Buck: I can attempt to, but I cannot be specific because this is not a naval mandate. The navy has no mandate in internal waters. There are Coast Guard assets, including aircraft, up and down the seaway system and the Great Lakes.

Senator Smith: These appear to be military.

VAdm. Buck: They could be flying out of Trenton; but any surveillance that is done out of Trenton is done primarily in a search-and-rescue mode. It is not done for other mandates.

Senator Smith: It is not security related.

Senator Day: This is for clarification. The Maritime Information and Management and Data Exchange program has the potential to enhance the exchange of marine security information and improve collaboration between agencies. That would seem to me to be a positive and worthwhile goal — exchanging information and coordination of the various departments that we have been talking about here all morning.

I understand that this interdepartmental group has already made a recommendation. Assuming that we are going ahead with it, would it be coordinated by the navy and would that work in conjunction with, or enhance the activities of, Esquimalt and Halifax?

Capt. Avis: This data exchange system is in its project form right now. What exists is a system called CANMARNET, which is a much less able system. However it was the foundation idea of how departments would collaborate in the maritime community.

From that, when we were putting together the Memoranda to Cabinet in the interdepartmental group, we saw that one of the main needs was collaboration. As you have pointed out, it would seem that an improvement on the way we do things in CANMARNET would be the way to go.

The interdepartmental group commissioned a study by an independent contractor to see how we might do this while respecting privacy laws and Charter aspects. They examined how we might better share information and all participate in a network for maritime concerns so that we could put together the domain awareness that the admiral has mentioned a number of times.

Right now, the study has been completed and will be presented to the interdepartmental group next month. When they make their finding on whether they go ahead, they will use funds that are set aside in a collaboration fund. Transport Canada is the purveyor of that. However, DND would remain the focal point for putting the system into place.

VAdm. Buck: It would enhance what is already there.

Senator Day: Would this entail creating a separate, coordinating physical place, or would we use the centres at Esquimalt and Halifax?

Capt. Avis: We would use the centres in Esquimalt and Halifax.

VAdm. Buck: This is data exchange. From our perspective, the analysis is done in Halifax and Esquimalt, although each other government department, depending on the source of the data, also has some analytical capability.

The Chairman: I have two short points to clear up. You mentioned the six high frequency surface radar sites, the two we have and the four that are coming. Could you describe to the committee what their capability is? Where do you plan to deploy them? When will they be operational? Where will the information from them be sent, and with whom will you share the information?

VAdm. Buck: This is a relatively major capital expenditure. I will not mention figures and things like that because at some point there will be a competitive, contractual part of this. As I have indicated earlier, it will give us the capability of looking outwards 200 kilometres, or 120miles, from where we place them.

The information that will flow is largely surface radar information as opposed to air. There is a limited air capability, but not a huge one. That information will flow into our operational systems and will be shared with all our operational partners.

In addition to the radar information, we have a number of other research and development activities that allow us to make better predictions on where, based on tracks, a vessel is going. There will be a number of information technology tools, and it will be added to that. It will be directly linked with our other operational information reporting systems. For example, AIS, when it comes into being, would do a comparative feed if it were enclosed. If we had other reporting through military nets on white shipping — which is commercial shipping — it would all be comparative. It will be a very significant enhancement to our current capability.

Where will we place them? At the current stage, which would see us having four or five incremental stations, we would largely be focused on the choke points. In simplistic terms, the additional ones on the East Coast will be covering the gulf area and the approaches to the gulf, and on the West coast the approaches to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, potentially up the Queen Charlottes and those kinds of areas.

There are plans as options that could grow the number of sites that would evermore give you ultimately full coverage in the Pacific and the Atlantic, but we are currently funded to focus on the choke points, which are the key travel areas.

The Chairman: Do other countries have high frequency surface radar?

VAdm. Buck: Australia is currently looking at establishing this capability. There is significant interest in the Canadian product from the U.S. and a number of Caribbean nations.

The Chairman: Under the current arrangements, would we be sharing this information with the U.S.?

VAdm. Buck: Absolutely.

Senator Forrestall: Does this augment or supplement satellite surveillance?

VAdm. Buck: Yes. The difference between a fixed shore-based system and a satellite is that a satellite is a relatively narrow look at something, whereas this would actually give us what is called a ``wide volume,'' allowing us to look at a big space of ocean, which is what we need to do. Therefore, it would complement the satellite surveillance.

The Chairman: The planning group in Colorado Springs formed in January is limited in numbers at the present time. Can you tell us how many people you have there now?

VAdm. Buck: Captain Avis has said approximately eight, but it will grow to in the 30 range.

The Chairman: It is our understanding there are no U.S. personnel permanently or totally dedicated to this group. Does the fact that the Americans only have part-time people as part of it affect the group?

VAdm. Buck: As I indicated earlier, I believe the key is ensuring that the U.S. people have as wide an entree into the various other organizations that we need to reach out and touch with that planning group. Therefore, in that context the double-hatting does not concern me. It is my understanding that a number of those double-hat residents will be co- resident in the Colorado Springs area with the team. I suspect that some will be geographically placed elsewhere. However, for the planning group to be effective in a U.S. context, it has to be able to reach out and touch realistically a number of U.S. authorities.

The Chairman: I would not be putting words in your mouth if I said you were prefer that they were double-hatted?

VAdm. Buck: There would always need to be a significant degree of double-hatting, yes.

The Chairman: Admiral, thank you very much, and Captain, we appreciate your assistance to the committee today. What you have had to tell us has been very useful, and we are grateful to you for coming before us. We hope to see you again before too long, perhaps in Halifax.

The committee continued in camera.