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
Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Mr. Frappier: Yes, the national system will apply to all designated
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
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
Senator Cordy: Is the AIS system the law now or is it being
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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?
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
The Chairman: Could the RCMP officer enforce the other pieces of
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
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
VAdm. Buck: Shearwater, the dockyard, a number of the anchorage
positions in the harbour, and some of the other installations out in Major's
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
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
VAdm. Buck: The mandate that is given to the admirals on both coasts
relates primarily to surveillance within the resources and assets assigned to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.