Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 14 - Evidence - Afternoon meeting
OTTAWA, Monday, April 7, 2003
The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day
at 2:05 p.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy
Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.
The Chairman: It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Standing Senate
Committee on National Security and Defence. Today, the committee will hear
testimony on coastal defence and security.
My name is Colin Kenny. I am a senator from Ontario, and I chair the
On my immediate right is a distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Senator
Michael Forrestall. He has served the constituents of Dartmouth for the past 37
years, first as their member of the House of Commons and then as the 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 left is Senator Joseph Day. A successful lawyer and businessman,
Senator Day was appointed to the Senate in 2001. He is the deputy chair of both
our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and the Standing Senate Committee on
National Finance. He also sits on the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and
Communications and the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. He
has currently been elected as director of the Canadian Branch of the NATO
Senator Tommy Banks, from Alberta, is well known to Canadians as one of our
most accomplished and versatile musicians and entertainers. He was appointed to
the Senate in 2000. Senator Banks is the chair of the Standing Senate Committee
on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, which is currently studying
nuclear safety and control.
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, which was tabled in February 2002, examined the
major defence and security issues facing Canada.
Then the Senate asked the committee to examine the need for a national
security policy. Thus far, we have released three reports on various aspects of
national security: ``Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility,''
which was published in September2002; ``For an Extra $130 Bucks....Update on
Canada's Military Financial Crisis: A View from the Bottom Up,'' which was
published in November2002; 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. As part of this work, the
committee has been holding hearings on the federal government's support for men
and women across the country who respond first to an emergency or disaster.
However, the committee has decided 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 September2002, which found Canadian
coastal defence efforts to be largely ad hoc and fragmentary.
This morning, we heard from officials from the Transport Canada and from
National Defence. This afternoon, our first witnesses will be Superintendent Ken
Hansen, the Director of Federal Enforcement, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Superintendent Hansen is accompanied by Corporal Denis Caron, a reviewer/analyst
with the RCMP drug section. We will also be hearing from Mr. Charles Gadula, the
Director General of Marine Programs, Department of Fisheries and Ocean, who is
accompanied by Mr.Tim Meisner, the Director of Policy and Legislation for Marine
Welcome to the committee. Could you please qualify yourselves for the
committee, and then we look forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Ken Hansen, Director of Federal Enforcement, Royal Canadian Mounted
Police: I am responsible for a wide variety of national programs, including,
as of September 2001, the RCMP's marine security program. I am also the director
of the national ports project. I have been the RCMP representative on the
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group since its inception.
Mr. Denis Caron, National Support Arrangements Coordinator, Coast and
Airport Watch National Coordinator, Organized Crime Branch, Royal Canadian
Mounted Police: I am with the support arrangements unit within the organized
crime group at headquarters in Ottawa. My role is to coordinate all military
assistance to drug and other criminal operations. I am also responsible for the
national coastal watch program.
Mr. Charles Gadula, Director General, Fleet Directorate, Marine Services,
Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: I am
currently the Director General, Marine Program, Canadian Coast Guard. I am
responsible for all Canadian Coast Guard marine programs. Until February of this
year, I was the Director General, Coast Guard fleet, responsible for all vessel
Mr. Tim Meisner, Director, Policy and Legislation, Marine Programs
Directorate, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: I am the director
ofpolicy and legislation for the Coast Guard's marine programs. In that
capacity, I am responsible for the marine security file. I also sit on the
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group.
The Chairman: We understand there are two opening statements. Who
would like to proceed first?
Mr. Hansen: I will spend a few minutes summarizing the RCMP's
responsibilities concerning marine security. Our mandate includes enforcement of
federal statutes in such areas such as customs other than at ports of entry,
illegal immigration, drugs, counterfeit goods and national security.
Applicable acts include the Customs Act, between ports of entry, the Criminal
Code, where the RCMP is the police force of jurisdiction, the Controlled
Substances Act, the CopyrightAct, the Security Offences Act, and so on. This
includes conducting armed shipboarding for reasons under the RCMP mandate.
The ports police disbanded in 1997. Until 2002, the RCMP had no on-site
presence at major ports. The RCMP was not the police force of jurisdiction at
the major ports in Canada. The police force of jurisdiction is responsible for
the Criminal Code as well as provincial statute investigations.
Transport Canada and Port Authorities are responsible for physical security
and security clearances of employees at ports. The RCMP and CSIS will conduct
criminal records checks on behalf of Transport Canada.
Of course, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is the front-line department
forinterdicting contraband and security threats at ports of entry. CCRA will
target and examine high-risk vessels and advise the Solicitor General of any
vessels that pose a threat to national security.
Although there are many who would consider the national security risk for
ports to be low, organized crime has a significant presence in all ports. Both
terrorists and organized criminals use similar methods.
There is a three-tiered approach for marine security. This approach includes
control programs overseas, including interdiction, to prevent a recurrence of
incidents such as occurred in British Columbia about three years ago involving
four ships with illegal migrants; intercepting, boarding and inspecting a ship,
its cargo and crew as it enters Canada's contiguous zone; and investigating and
prosecuting those engaged in security or criminal offences that fall under the
With regard to our jurisdiction legally, the UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea provides general principles and reflects customary international law.
Although Canada is not yet a signatory to this convention, our best legal advice
is that these are general principles that would generally reflect customary
international law in terms of taking enforcement action.
Zones include the territorial sea, which goes out to 12 miles, and to which
all Canadian laws apply, the contiguous zone, which is 12 to 24 miles, in which
Canada can prevent infringement ofcustoms, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws,
as well as the 200-mile exclusive economic zone, EEZ, in which Canada can
generally only intercept and board vessels with permission of the flag state, or
if there is a national security concern, or if the police are in fresh pursuit.
There are several MOUs in place: with DND concerning armed shipboarding, with
CSE concerning illegal migrants, and with the Coast Guard concerning use of
their vessels as platforms. A draft national policy framework for shipboarding
at sea for reasons of national security is currently under review at the
The events of September 11 forced all government departments to review
security, including marine security. Recognizing that there is a significant
organized crime presence in the ports, in 2002 the RCMP began the national ports
project to implement intelligence-led integrated teams at the ports of
Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax, funded partially through temporary secondments
and program integrity funds. This involved the creation of local management
teams at the three major ports, involving key players such as CCRA and the
police force of jurisdiction. Their mandate includes national security,
organized crime and other criminality. The teams are currently in place. Each
team also has an intelligence component to it. Additional intelligence is also
supplied from our Integrated Border Enforcement Teams, IBETs, our Integrated
National Security Enforcement Teams, INSETs, in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and
Ottawa, and other government departments such as CSIS.
Our criminal intelligence directorate has also begun a strategic intelligence
report on the ports, and this is available on our national crime database.
The RCMP headquarters has also restructured to reflect our concern about
border integrity. Customs and excise, our immigration passport branch, the
IBETs, and federal enforcement, which is my branch, are all now under the
umbrella of border integrity. The purpose of this was to help break down some of
the stovepipes within the RCMP and to ensure there was a sharing of information.
The RCMP also joined the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group, led
by Transport Canada, at its inception. The mandate of this group is to identify
gaps in marine security and to recommend ways of addressing these gaps.
The RCMP received $750,000 from the marine security working group contingency
fund in 2001-02. We used these funds to purchase additional equipment and to
increase our capability to conduct armed shipboardings.
As I am sure the committee has heard, the working group resulted in a
memorandum to cabinet. Cabinet approved it in 2002, a total of $172.5 million
over five years being dedicated to marine security. The RCMP will receive $11.5
million of this, over five years, for three full-time equivalents, FTEs, to
conduct criminal records checks, which I believe to be adequate, more training
on armed shipboarding, which is also adequate; as well, there will be eight FTEs
investigators for the national ports project, which we do not feel are
Each major port is also currently preparing a business case for additional
resources. These resources may have to be reallocated from other programs.
The RCMP has five commissioner-class vessels that are approximately 17 to 19
metres in length and have open- water capability. Basically, these vessels are
floating detachments. As well, the RCMP has over 300 smaller vessels over 9.2
metres in length. Four of these larger vessels are on the West Coast and one is
based in Newfoundland. A sixth vessel has also been ordered for the Atlantic
region, and it is expected to be built within the next year.
In British Columbia, which is E division, there is a marine detachment based
out of Nanaimo, which has a satellite detachment in Prince Rupert.
Any terrorist incident would result in the immediate activation of our
national operations centre, as well as our divisional emergency operations
centres. For example, within 30 minutes of the attacks of September 11, this
operations centre was fully activated. Within 24 to48 hours, the RCMP had
redeployed 2,000 police officers to security duties.
The challenges we continue to face include the following: a lack of
capability to conduct armed shipboarding in the St. Lawrence Seaway, although
the new funds will give us the capability on either coast; gaps in smaller ports
in terms of resources, particularly where we are not the police force of
jurisdiction; and obtaining sufficient resources for investigators and crew for
the new landing patrol vessel. Our final gap is improving communication and
sharing of intelligence in marine security.
The Chairman: Thank you. We will now proceed with the representative
of the Coast Guard.
Mr. Gadula: Mr. Chairman, briefly, I would like to cover the mandate
of the Canadian Coast Guard, its legislative responsibilities, who we are, what
the Coast Guard does and does not do and our role in security.
Our mandate as an essential component of Canada's sovereignty is a national
institutionproviding service in maritime safety, protection of the marine and
freshwater environment, facilitating maritime commerce, support of marine
scientific excellence, support of Canada's maritime priorities — basically,
the red and white hulls and helicopters of the Canadian Coast Guard being a
visible sign of Canadian sovereignty.
Our legislative mandate is covered in four principal acts. The Constitution
Act provides federal power to legislate in relation to beacons, buoys,
lighthouses on Sable Island and generally with respect to navigation in
shipping. Under the Oceans Act, the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean is assigned
powers, duties and functions for all Coast Guard services and stipulates that
certainservices are provided to support the safe, economical and efficient
movement of ships. There is ministerial authority to perform icebreaking and ice
management services and to provide ships, aircraft and other marine services in
support of other government departments.
The Canada Shipping Actprovides the legislative and regulatory framework for
most Coast Guard services. Examples would include search and rescue, SAR, the
receiver of wreck, lighthouses, buoys, beacons, Sable Island, vessel traffic
services and pollution prevention and response. The Navigable Waters Protection
Act provides the federal power to approve works or remove obstructions to
navigation. It triggers the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and ensures
that obstructions to navigation are charted.
When we speak about what we do, during the last appearance of the Coast Guard
before this committee, Mr. Meisner provided some details on the various Coast
Guard programs. Briefly, I will hit on the key areas. They include search and
rescue, boating safety, icebreaking and route assistance, communications and
traffic services, aids to navigation, environmental protection and response,
navigable waters protection, shipping channel safety, support to conservation
and protection in science, and support to government programs and other
When we refer to ourselves as a national institution, we are talking about
4,500 employees and 5,000 auxiliary members in the Canadian Coast Guard
Auxiliary. We have five regions and a national headquarters. There are more than
260 light stations, approximately 18,000 fixed and floating aids to navigation,
104base fleet vessels, including three hovercraft— two on the East Coast and
one on the West Coast. We have 27 helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft.
At this time, I should like to correct some information that was sent to the
committee subsequent to our last hearing. That document indicated that we had 28
helicopters. In fact, we have 27. We lost a 212 in Newfoundland a year and a
half ago. We have only four 212s rather than five.
Our presence is in all parts of the country. We have approximately 1,000
people on the Pacific Coast, 550 in Central and Arctic Canada, 780 in the Quebec
region, 860 in Newfoundland and about 960 in the Maritime region. Headquarters
is composed of some 340 people.
I will now turn to what the Coast Guard does not do. Our Coast Guard is not a
paramilitary organization; Canadian Coast Guard personnel are not armed. Coast
Guard personnel have neither peace officer powers nor enforcement authority,
except with respect to the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
The Coast Guard has no authority to stop or board vessels caught in the
performance of illegal acts at sea, except for the authority granted to
pollution prevention officers by Transport Canada. The Coast Guard does not have
a mandate for surveillance of the Canadian exclusive economic zone.
Our marine security role can be described as one of support. Canadian Coast
Guard provides support to marine security. It is an organization that is well
positioned to provide a cost-effective, value-added contribution to marine
security. Canadian Coast Guard has the infrastructure, assets and personnel and
a 24/7 capability to incorporate marine security applications into some of our
We also have an operational readiness culture that can link search and
rescue, oil spill response and navigation safety capabilities directly into
marine security demands for surveillance and information.
The Coast Guard is an efficient collector and collator of maritime traffic
information. Post-9/11, the Coast Guard increased its legal of support to other
government departments and agencies to help enhance marine security.
Let me briefly speak to the four categories of marine security activities
related to coastal defence used to classify initiatives within the
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group. The four categories are as
following: domain awareness, which goes to surveillance and awareness,
responsiveness, which is the ability to intercept and apprehend, safeguarding,
which is to deny access into Canada and to the marine transportation system, and
collaboration, which is the coordination of activities and information sharing.
When we look at domain awareness, marine communications and traffic services
centres area key information source for the development of maritime intelligence
by the entire security community. Information-gathering and vessel-tracking
ability will increase with the implementation of the AIS shore infrastructure
and a long-range vessel identification capability.
Minister Collenette announced funding for this surveillance project in
January of this year. Coast Guard vessels have an observe, record and report
role for submitting vessel contacts to Canadian Forces and to the RCMP Coastal
Watch Program. On request, Canadian Coast Guard vessels and aircraft can provide
positive identification of a vessel of interest and track the vessel's progress.
We can provide helicopter support to the enforcement community to provide
surveillance capability and to move personnel around. Operational funding would
be required to institute a formal fleet marine security patrol program.
Under the responsiveness category, the Canadian Coast Guard provides marine
platforms and crews to the RCMP, CCRA, CIC and Transport Canada for routine
vessel interceptions and boarding. The Coast Guard can provide crew to operate
seized vessels to ensure safe transit of that vessel into a Canadian port. The
Coast Guard will provide backup vessels to Canadian Forces or the RCMP for armed
interception at sea, providing search and rescue capability and transit for crew
It is important to note that the Coast Guard is not funded for these roles
and responds on an ``as requested'' basis, giving this the priority it requires.
With respect to safeguarding, denying access into Canada and the marine
transportation system, the marine communications receives pre-arrival reports 96
hours and 24 hours prior to vessel entry into Canadian waters. We will notify
the appropriate agency of vessels and ships on the particular interest list that
is requesting clearance. The Coast Guard fleet provides deterrence to terrorist
and criminal acts through a clearly identifiable federal presence and the
visible symbol of Canadian sovereignty within the Canadian EEZ, shared waterways
within the U.S. and in the Arctic.
Collaboration is a key area to which we can contribute. Collaboration
involves the coordination of activities and information sharing. The Coast Guard
is strongly supportive of the interdepartmental approach to marine security, as
it has evolved within the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group.
Maritime traffic data uploads to intelligence agencies willsignificantly
increase with the implementation of AIS and long-range vessel identification and
tracking projects. The Coast Guard supports the Interdepartmental Marine
Security Working Group initiatives to improve the flow of marine security
information and intelligence among federal departments and agencies.
Our goal is a coordinated, fully interoperable surveillance detection and
response system that meets Canada's needs.
That concludes the Coast Guard presentation, and we would be pleased to
answer any questions.
Senator Day: Could you explain the RCMP Coastal Watch Program, Mr.
Hansen? How does that tie in with the non-full-time Coast Guard?
Mr. Hansen: The two programs are totally separate. The Coastal Watch
Program was designed in 1987. It was created to help use the public and other
government departments out on the water as the eyes and ears of the police to
assist in drug interdictions. The program consists of training other government
departments on the water, such as the Coast Guard, fishermen, pleasure boaters
and so forth, on things to watch that may be suspicious. For example, one should
watch for vessels travelling without lights and small vessels coming out from
shore and offloading onto a larger vessel. The program tells them what to do
when activities such as those are observed. There is a 1-800 number available 24
hours a day.
The program is national in scope. Since September 11, the program has
expanded the training to include offences other than drugs. Obviously, suspect
vessels could be bringing illegal migrants or other things besides drugs.
Although it remains under the drug program in terms of administration, its
mandate has expanded beyond that.
Senator Day: What about the reserve Coast Guard?
Mr. Gadula: Under the international SAR organization, coast watching
is a key element. Anyone living near the coast would keep an eye out and feed
information into the search and rescue system. When we first had the coast
watching system amongst the auxiliary or stations on the coast, it was more eyes
on the world that could make the SAR system aware of an incident directly
related to search and rescue response.
Mr. Hansen: The programs were different. Theirs would involve,
perhaps, someone in distress; ours would involve suspicious activity.
Senator Day: You have two programs. You are interested in knowing what
is happening in areas where you do not have a regular presence. Would it not
make sense to combine these efforts and have the same 1-800 number for the two
Mr. Hansen: If we received information about a vessel in distress,
certainly we could; we would obviously pass that on to the Coast Guard. There is
a line of communication.
Senator Day: Has it never occurred to you to combine these two
programs, so you have all these people out there performing the two intelligence
functions for you?
Mr. Hansen: The mandates of our departments are different, in terms of
what we would be looking for. For example, the Coast Guard is not looking for
vessels without lights, et cetera; it is looking for vessels in distress. I know
what you are getting at here.
I will let Mr. Caron expound upon that.
Mr. Caron: They are included in our mandate. The Coast Guard joins us
in routine patrols, and our members are allowed on-board those ships — or at
least they were. The awareness program is extended to include all aspects now
— boat security, drug importing, immigrant smuggling. They do include the
Coast Guard in their day-to-day routine patrols, on the awareness side.
Senator Day: We have made the point on that anyway. We will look
forward to hearing any announcements from you in due course as to how these two
programs can be better integrated to better use your resources.
Superintendent Hansen, I know my colleagues are interested in this point.
When you were talking about the national security risk for ports, you referred
to those who think national security risk for ports is low. Who is it that is
telling you that national security risks at ports are low?
Mr. Hansen: I have seen articles in the press, quoting politicians and
so on, that have said that. Historically, there has never been an incident in
port; nor has there ever been a direct threat against a port. I can understand
why someone may take that stance, but I would not want that to be taken out of
context. Certainly, there is a potential there. I think we have to take any
means we can to address it. I would not want someone to assume that the position
is that there is no risk in the ports.
Senator Day: You go on in your comment to suggest some activities,
criminal activities and otherwise, which would suggest to me that you think that
security issues can be significant at ports.
Mr. Hansen: Certainly. The methods used by organized criminals are the
same methods, essentially, used by terrorists. For example, regarding the
hijackings on September11, passengers on three of the four aircraft likely
assumed that the hijacking took place for criminal reasons rather than political
ones, which is why they did not attempt to stop the hijacking. In the fourth
aircraft, they knew it was political; they knew the aircraft would be used as a
weapon, so they took action.
The same thing applies with the ports: You do not know what is in a
container; it could be drugs, illegal migrants or weapons of mass destruction.
Therefore, the same type of methods would apply. Also, if there is an organized
crime presence in the ports, there is more possibility of corruption.
Senator Day: You do say that there is extensive organized crime in the
Mr. Hansen: Yes.
The Chairman: If I could touch on that, your comment is of
considerable concern to us, superintendent. It is a concern because, on its
face, it runs contrary to the testimony we have received from your colleagues in
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax, where they have gone out of their way
to draw to our attention that where organized crime exists there is fertile
ground for terrorism. They made the connection for us. It is not politicians
making this connection; it is members of the RCMP testifying before this
committee that have made it. We want to make sure we have a good understanding
of the most current position of the force. If it is changing, then we would like
you to tell us that it is changing. If it remains that, where there is organized
crime, you have real concerns about terrorism, we would like to hear that as
Your written information that came in advance has left us puzzled because it
appears to be at variance with what your colleagues have told us previously. If
things have changed, we would like to know.
Mr. Hansen: No, I think you are absolutely correct. As I said earlier,
any organized crime presence in a port will increase the potential for terrorist
attack, because there is the possibility of corruption. Again, you do not have
control over what is in the containers, where the port workers are, where the
containers are put, and so on. I am saying, essentially, exactly what you are
saying; that is, that if there is an organized crime presence in the port this
is dangerous from a national security perspective also.
When I say the risk is low I am saying that, historically, the risk has been
low at the ports. There has never been a direct threat or an incident. That is
all I meant by that remark.
The Chairman: The testimony we have received from your colleagues has
gone further than that. They have listed numerous groups.
I believe in Vancouver — Senator Day, correct me if I am wrong — we heard
that there were seven different organized crime families. At Toronto airport,
Inspector Landry listed four or five different organized crime groups he knew
were active. We have not been to a port yet where a member of the RCMP has not
come and listed off the names of the groups. In Montreal, they talked about the
West End Gang and various motorcycle clubs.
It is not ``if'' there is crime in these ports; the testimony we have had
from your organization, sir, is that there is extensive organized crime and
there are multiple groups. Is that still the case?
Mr. Hansen: That is exactly what I am saying, sir. It may not have
been clear, but that is what I am saying. There is organized crime in the ports
and I think that is very clear.
The Chairman: Do you also believe that organized crime is fruitful
ground for terrorist activities?
Mr. Hansen: That is correct. All I was saying is that there has not
been a direct threat against a port, nor has there been a terrorist attack,
which is why some people may consider the risk to be low.
The Chairman: How do you consider the risk?
Mr. Hansen: Of a terrorist attack on a port?
The Chairman: Yes.
Mr. Hansen: I think the possibility is there. It is certainly not
non-existent. I would not call it a high risk, but I would be careful, because
of the organized crime involvement, in particular. As I said, the potential is
The Chairman: Given the number of containers that come into Canadian
ports daily, can you suggest a place that would be a higher risk than a Canadian
Mr. Hansen: A Canadian airport, perhaps.
The Chairman: Canadian airports and Canadian ports would be.
Mr. Hansen: Those are definitely high-risk locations. There are over
2.5million containers coming through the main ports every year.
The Chairman: I am not trying to lead you, through my questioning. The
reason we are concerned is that we have the impression that what you are saying
is at variance with what we have heard before. We have heard that the ports are
the most troublesome and worrisome piece of the puzzle. Do you support that?
Mr. Hansen: I would support it to the extent that the most vulnerable
area of Canada for a terrorist attack would probably be a port.
Senator Day: Thank you for that clarification. We thought it was
important to clarify the record. I think it is clear now.
My next series of questions will be with respect to the Coast Guard again.
Mr.Gadula, the Canadian Coast Guard has gone through various evolutions, if I
may put it that way, over the past 10 years. Just so we have this in
perspective, can you tell me how the number of ships — the number of assets
that the Coast Guard has now — compares with 10 years ago?
Mr. Gadula: Ten years ago, we had approximately 190 vessels. I am
going here by studies that were done by Mr. Osbaldeston for his report, ``All
the Ships That Sail: A Study of Canada's Fleets.'' Around 1992, the total number
was around 190. Some people say 198; it depends where you cut it off. Currently,
we have 104operational vessels within the Canadian Coast Guard, which is the
civilian fleet for the Government of Canada.
Senator Day: Was 190 the most in recent years, in modern history, that
the Coast Guard had? I picked 10 years. If I went back 15 years, would you say
Mr. Gadula: I am going back in my memory to 1992, and the number is
The Chairman: Could you refresh the committee as to the thrust of the
Mr. Gadula: It was put together to look at an amalgamation of all the
government fleets. The conclusion, at that time, was that they not be
amalgamated but that there be a trading where excess capacity could be
identified and various departments could use that excess capacity. Subsequent to
that, it was decided to bring the fleets together.
In 1995, the Coast Guard was moved from Transport to DFO. At that time, we
had an amalgamation of fleets. If memory serves me correctly, we were down to
about 160 vessels around that period of time. Since that time, with the greater
amalgamation of fleets, we are down now to approximately 104.
The number fluctuates a little because we are in the process of replacing the
lifeboat fleet at the moment. You get some new smaller boats in and not as many
larger boats out, so the number will fluctuate probably between 104 and 110.
The Chairman: Given the age of the fleet, does the government still
view the Osbaldeston report to be current, or is it in need of updating?
Mr. Gadula: You must continuously examine the government civilian
fleet and take into consideration all of the demands from all of the
departments. The way it is currently set up and funded, the DFO is funded for
the programs it delivers. There are other interdepartmental demands for the same
fleet, so funding must be allocated for that. It is an ongoing iteration, one
that is probably done on an annual basis, under the current regime.
In response to the Auditor General's study on fleet, we are in the process of
putting in place a method of doing planning that takes into account all of the
demands on an annual basis and developing it into one fleet plan. It would be
operated on a zonal application, so you will get more effective efficiencies out
of the units but you will identify every program demand from every department so
that you can feed it into that matrix. To answer your question, there must be a
regular ongoing study of it.
Senator Day: Of the 190 vessels back in 1992, did that include
fisheries and oceans vessels?
Mr. Gadula: Yes, it did.
Senator Day: In terms of the age of the fleet, have there been any
major fleet replacements? You talked about the lifeboat fleet replacement
program. Apart from that, what are the ages and the state of repair of the Coast
Guard fleet of approximately 104vessels at this time?
Mr. Gadula: The majority of the vessels are past their mid-life. Some
are approaching the point of replacement. In an examination of the fleet, we
have determined that we will require about$350million capital investment to
replace those vessels that have reached the end of their useful life.
However, let me quality that by saying that many vessels can be extended
through a life-extension program. Clearly, we are at the point where, over the
next five to ten years, it will be time to reinvest in some of the capital ships
in the Government of Canada's civilian fleet.
In the last budget, we received $47million, over two years,$47million each
year. We are putting that into bringing the fleet up to a baseline, doing the
essential refit and repair. In addition to that, we will continue to work on
identifying the actual needs for vessel replacement.
There will be a change, I think, in the fleet mix that the Government of
Canada will require as we move into the next 20years. An original look at this,
and it is only at the preliminary stage, would indicate a greater capacity for
patrol- mode vessels, to multi-task various departmental requirements, and
probably less single-purpose ships. That seems to be the direction we are going
Senator Day: Are the ships you now have used for interdiction purposes
— that is, coming alongside a suspicious ship and boarding?
Mr. Gadula: The capability is there. We are willing to provide
platform support to our colleagues, such as the RCMP. We have trained people to
do it. We have done joint operations in the Great Lakes and the coast, but it is
not part of the core duties at the moment. It is a support role. We have roughly
31 patrol-mode type vessels capable today of carrying out that role. Many of
them are fitted with davits and fast rescue craft, which are the normal tools
used by these types of teams. It is very much a nice fit between the job in the
offshore of a search and rescue cutter and a conservation and protection patrol
cutter. It is a nice fit between the two.
Senator Day: Are the new vessels that you described previously as
having multi-task capabilities being better equipped to perform interdiction?
Mr. Gadula: As we move forward in replacing ships, we have the
advantage of technology. Technology should allow us to be more efficient and to
do a better job at interdiction. Clearly, speed will be needed. We have it in
the fast rescue craft that are now the auxiliary ship to a patrol vessel, but in
the future we would expect the patrol craft to have a measure of speed
commensurate with the duties they are asked to undertake.
Senator Day: In the future, would you see vessels armed with guns?
Mr. Gadula: That is a question for the minister or the machinery of
government to answer. In our current role, we do not have that armed capacity.
Senator Day: I understand you do not now, but I understand that
ministers respond to suggestions and recommendations by people who work for
them. If you were asked to make a recommendation, having in mind the future and
the growing role of security of our coasts, would you see the Canadian Coast
Guard evolving into, at least from the ship and interdiction role point of view,
armed vessels and, perhaps, armed personnel?
Mr. Gadula: I do not know if we have to go that far to be effective as
a partner in delivering the security requirements. There can be
interoperability. The vessel can be manned with those who are trained on the
enforcement side of it, at the same time, so it can be quite complementary.
I am not trying to avoid the direct question, but my experience of some 36
years in the Coast Guard is that the armed role is very different from our
traditional role. There would be a cultural significance in it. The way people
greet you would also be trying. It would have to be analyzed. That is where I am
personally on it at the moment.
Senator Day: Are the U.S. Coast Guard armed, or not?
Mr. Gadula: The U.S. Coast Guard is a full military branch. They are
fully armed and have a much broader role than the Canadian Coast Guard. They
carry it out very well. They have managed to merge their search and rescue,
enforcement, and environmental responses, along with a full military capacity as
Senator Day: When you say ``a much broader role,'' we are talking
about the future and the growing role for security enforcement for Canadian
Coast Guard. Is the role getting closer to a U.S. role?
Mr. Gadula: We have not had any change in role in the Coast Guard.
Certainly, I have been involved in many meetings where questions similar to
yours have come up. Is it necessary to arm the Coast Guard or is it necessary to
expand one of the other agencies that have the responsibility? I do not know the
answer at this stage.
However, if it were tried with the current Coast Guard I do not think it
Senator Day: It would not work with the assets that you have?
Mr. Gadula: That is right.
The Chairman: If I put Senator Day's last question in a different
context, do you see a naval role for them or a Coast Guard role for them?
Mr. Gadula: I see a multi-mission, multi-task role. It really would
not matter who delivered it. I do see the need to carry out search and rescue,
surveillance, conservation and protection patrols, and just being a presence out
there. I think they are interchangeable. In fact, if there is capacity and
another service to put a ship out at sea to carry out that multi-mission role,
there is no reason it could not be carried out as complement to that.
The Chairman: Could you provide the committee with a list of the
vessels you have, by type, capability and age?
Mr. Gadula: Absolutely.
The Chairman: The same for you, superintendent, if you could provide
us with a list. I must confess to a certain degree of puzzlement when we think
of the Osbaldeston report. We see the Coast Guard, the navy and the RCMP with
their own vessels there.
We are working around the question of whether we need to go another iteration
on Osbaldeston. The answer is not quite clear to us. Perhaps you could answer
this, superintendent. Why do you need to have your five or six vessels of 40 to
50 metres? Why are you not comfortable with a Coast Guard vessel providing
transportation to you? Why do you or why does the force see it as necessary to
have its own vessels?
Mr. Hansen: First, our vessels perform multiple roles, everything from
VIP security to transportation of members, for example, in B.C., to remote
detachments. Sometimes, the only way to get there is by boat. The vessels also
perform a good deal of work on the provincial side. A new vessel is coming out
to the Atlantic region; on that vessel, the workload will be divided 25percent
provincial, 57percent federal. This vessel will be performing tasks such as
looking for stolen vessels as well as support for incidents like those in Burnt
I do not think we can count on the Coast Guard for all of those uses. The
vessels we have now are fully employed. Obviously, the Coast Guard will assist
us if we need them, and we do use them for things like armed shipboardings.
However, I do not think we can count on them all the time, when we need them, to
be in the proper place.
The Chairman: We heard your colleague Mr.Gadula say hethought they
were very good platforms to deliver law- enforcement people wherever they wanted
to go. He said the Coast Guard had that capacity and was pleased to discharge
it. They are sailors by nature.
Mr. Hansen: So are our members.
The Chairman: I fully concede that. However, do we need the
proliferation of organizations in uniform and overhead and design? Can we come
to a point where there is a little more coordination and commonality?
Mr. Hansen: As I mentioned, the commissioner-class vessels are
floating detachments. They are mobile detachments with everything from CPIC
terminals to radio communications and so on. We would need to have the same type
of vessel in the same place run by the Coast Guard rather than the RCMP. If that
is the question you are asking, I guess that needs to be reviewed.
The Chairman: For example, the seafarers on your vessels —
Mr. Hansen: There are also police officers, and the Coast Guard are
not. Our vessels are crewed by four people— a captain, an engineer and two
investigators. Generally, the captain and engineer are also police officers,
usually at sergeant or corporal level. This is a role that the Coast Guard does
Senator Cordy: My first question has to do with the national ports
project. I understand that Halifax is part of that.
Mr. Hansen: Yes. As a matter of fact, I was in Halifax last week
dealing with that issue.
Senator Cordy: It is in place in Halifax, then. I understand the team
aspect. Would you go into more detail to clarify it?
Mr. Hansen: The national ports project basically involves the creation
of integrated, intelligence-led teams at the major ports, including Halifax.
Currently, in Halifax, the core team consists of a police-force-of-jurisdiction
member, one RCMP member, as well as one member from CCRA. Obviously, this is a
core, but other members are brought in as required for specific projects.
The Halifax Regional Police have a contract, for example, with the port
authorities to provide security for the Port of Halifax. The member that we have
on our team provides a liaison with that group. It is very easy to share
information back and forth.
Likewise, that team currently is working with our integrated metro
intelligence unit in Halifax. This is for the intelligence-sharing aspect of it.
Senator Cordy: The RCMP is the body that gathers the intelligence
Mr. Hansen: The RCMP puts the intelligence information through a
national crime databank, but the information can be from a variety of sources,
everything from the regional police to CCRA — anything that would be required
to be put into that bank.
Senator Cordy: The makeup of the team is fairly fluid, depending on
what you are working on; correct?
Mr. Hansen: Currently, the core consists of three full-time people,
but the team grows when it deals with a project. It is usually dealing with at
least one, perhaps two projects. Other members would come into that team as
Senator Cordy: They are from other government departments?
Mr. Hansen: Yes, as required.
Senator Cordy: You mentioned one of the challenges as being
information sharing. Coast Guard mentioned the same thing about information
sharing. We heard it this morning from our witnesses. It seems to be a
challenge. Has communication improved since September11? Also, what is the cause
of the challenge? Why is it a challenge? Is it lack of resources or a lack of
computers that are talking to one another? Are government departments taking
ownership over the information they have gathered and perhaps are not as willing
to share? Or is it that departments do not necessarily know what to share?
Mr. Hansen: I will answer your second question first, if that is all
right. We found two major issues in information sharing as part of our
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group. Both are legislative. First,
who can you share the information with domestically and internationally? There
are Charter issues and privacy questions. Sometimes, we receive information from
the U.S. authorities, for example, that will state very clearly on it that we
cannot share it with another law enforcement agency. Several agencies in marine
security are not law enforcement agencies. That is one issue.
Senator Cordy: So you can share it with another law enforcement agency
but not with another government agency?
Mr. Hansen: Generally, there is less of a problem with another law
enforcement agency, such as CCRA or a police force of jurisdiction.
The bigger problem is with non-law-enforcement agencies. The Government of
Quebec, as recently as last week, came out with instructions with regards to
information sharing between law enforcement and non-law-enforcement agencies.
The basic position of that government directive was to stop information sharing
with non-government agencies or non-law-enforcement agencies.
That is one issue we are trying to deal with. We have a subgroup formed
involving the Department of Justice to look at the legislative issues to see if
there is a way that we can legally improve the information-sharing function.
The second issue was touched upon briefly this morning by Captain Avis —
that is, is technology. Virtually every government department out there, and
private industry, too, has a database of information. These systems do not talk
to each other. We are trying to find a system that we can use as a backbone. We
need a technological system where the data can be entered once and where,
thereafter, anyone who needs it can access it. That system is not in place yet.
As Captain Avis mentioned, we are looking at CANMARNET. It is problematic
because of the different software being used.
Ideally, I would like to see a system that would allow us to query the name
of a suspect vessel in the databank. The response would include everything the
government has on that vessel. We do not have that right now. We have to do it
individually and basically by hand.
I think those are the two biggest issues with information sharing.
Concerning your first question, yes, communication has improved greatly. I
was quite impressed by the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group and
the cooperation that existed within that group. I have been involved in many
government groups, and many times there is not much cooperation. In that case,
the government departments put aside their individual agendas and were able to
work together to identify common gaps and means of addressing the gaps. Even on
that point, there has been an improvement.
The creation of local management teams has also helped the sharing of
information. People now physically work together in offices who did not do so
before. For example, we have customs people now working with all of our ports.
Intelligence people are working with our ports. The port authorities are
cooperating to the point that some of them are getting security clearance so we
may share investigational information with them.
There are couple of other improvements, including the coastal waters program,
the national crime databank project, in which bring all marine security
information will be gathered. That will help with information sharing.
Senator Cordy: Did you say Quebec has brought in legislationwhereby
you cannot share with anyone other than law enforcement agencies?
Mr. Hansen: I only saw an e-mail related to that last week, but it did
not talk specifically about what the legislation was. It simply said that the
Quebec government has now said that information is to at least be restricted
between law enforcement and non-law enforcement agencies. That is all I know
about it. It was in the form of an e-mail from our C Division.
Senator Cordy: Is there a movement in that direction, or has it been
only in Quebec?
Mr. Hansen: That is the only place I have seen it, and again I
emphasize it was only an e-mail. I do not know any more details than that. It
gives me concern, obviously, because our partners in many cases are not law
Senator Cordy: I am from Nova Scotia, which is just one province of
Canada. If you were to guard every access to land around Nova Scotia, you would
basically need to have people holding hands around the province. How do you
address the issue of security at small ports, or not even ports, but just
Mr. Hansen: I am familiar with Nova Scotia. I was stationed there for
12 years. It is my home province, in many ways. I was on the dive team, so I
know the coast well, too. The difficulty, of course, is resources. We simply do
not have the resources to guard all ports.
We have done some things to improve that. I did a presentation three weeks
ago to the national gathering of port authorities, where all the port
authorities of Canada came together. I told them what we were doing in the area
of marine security, not just the RCMP but the whole Interdepartmental Marine
Security Working Group. I encouraged them to work with the local police
The coastal watch program has also been improved across the country. I made a
presentation to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, not just the RCMP
but all major police forces in Canada, on marine security, encouraging them to
create similar teams. In some cases, that has already occurred. I know, for
example, that there are many ports where, although there is not a formal
management team, informally the people get together and discuss and resolve
issues. I also know that at many of the smaller ports, and I would rather not
mention them, there are both intelligence probes and investigations underway as
I think it is improving. However, it is still a challenge because of the
amount of coastline Canada has and the number of ports we have. We certainly
cannot guard them all.
The other concern could be displacement. If we start concentrating resources
on the three major ports, the criminals will become aware of that and start
moving to smaller operations at other ports.
Senator Forrestall: My questions will be related to the high Arctic. I
ask them with respect to planning for any fleet replacement program you might
Given climate warming and the changing nature of the North, as that occurs, I
would suspect that there would be a parallel change in commercial and other
activity. Among the mix that you are planning for, where it still freezes over
up there, whatconsideration have you given, at the rate we are going, to the
mid-term as well as the long term?
Mr. Gadula: Our current deployment for the Arctic, a deployment that
is basically restricted to the summer season, includes the Louis St. Laurent out
of Halifax, the Terry Fox out of Halifax, the Henry Larson, the
Desgroseillers and the Pierre Radisson out of Quebec, and the Sir
Wilfrid Laurier, which deploys up into the Western Arctic. This gives us a
six-ship coverage during a 90-day operational window.
In addition to that, we are in the process of bringing the Sir John
Franklin back into the mix. This particular vessel will be funded through a
science consortium, and they will do Arctic science work. It is one of our old
We believe that to keep the Arctic open, to assist shipping, a minimum of six
icebreakers in the 1200 or 1300 class is needed. They could be related to an
Arctic class 4 or class 3 type.
In terms of global warming, I expect that the Arctic ice pack will continue
to recede. As it recedes, there will probably be a greater need for icebreaker
support, not a lesser need. The reason for that is that multi-year will be
moving around, as a result of wind and current, and it is this moving ice, not
the Arctic solid pack, that is the major problem.
Our view is that there will be a greater need for Canadian government
icebreaker support in the Arctic, and we will need, in the capital replacement
of Coast Guard ships, to take this into account. The Louis St. Laurent is
one of our older ships. I was on it when it came out in 1969. It has gone
through a mid-life modernization. It has been to the North Pole and is very
capable. However, we will have to replace that class of vessel or make
arrangements to charter something commercially to provide that kind of service.
Clearly, we expect that there will be a greater demand for icebreaking service
in the Arctic.
We now have requests for longer seasons into the Port of Churchill, and our
current deployment does not allow it. We still have basically this 90-day
Others would indicate that, historically, the ice patterns have changed every
50 years in the Arctic, and there have been major freezes and major thaws.
Although I am not a scientist, I tend to believe that we are going through a
warming period and that as such we will need more ice breakers. Within the plan,
we would see replacement of the type 1200-1300 capability. We have only one 1300
ship in the Coast Guard fleet, and that is the most powerful icebreaker. The
1200s are the next level down, and we would have to look at replacing the 1300
much sooner than the 1200s. The 1200s are just past their mid-life. The last one
we build was in the mid 1980s. We probably have until about 2015 before we need
to begin replacing the 1200 type.
The Chairman: Can you translate the 1200 into a class 6 or 7
Mr. Gadula: The Henry Larson is actually an Arctic class 4.
The Chairman: Is that breaking four metres or four feet of ice in a
Mr. Gadula: Let me see if I have the actual specifics with me.
Senator Forrestall: You have forgotten them as well?
Mr. Gadula: We built these ships before the classes were defined, so
we have to relate them to the classes. An Arctic class 4 is extended operations
in all areas of the Arctic but restricted from winter operations. If we look at
some of the old missions, going by memory, I believe we were looking at
continuous progress between four and five feet of ice.
Senator Forrestall: I appreciate that. I also appreciate your comment
that perhaps we will have to rethink an even larger vessel. I have fond memories
of how close we came to putting to work in the Arctic a vessel that had not only
this capability, an escort capability, but had police capability, court
capability, medical capability and library capability. In other words, it was a
pretty multi-purpose vessel. I think it was only the money that shot it down
Mr. Gadula: It was the Polar Class 8 design.
Senator Forrestall: I do not know that we need to go to the Polar 8
for the next 50 years, given the melting. What about something approaching that
but embodying the concepts? I am sure the force would like to have a detachment
permanently up there, moving around. I am sure the pending new province would
love to have a court that could handle federal matters, moving around and so on,
not to mention the medical facility. Do you have any observation or comment
Mr. Gadula: As the Arctic continues to thaw and we have a greater and
greater operational window, the expectation and the requirement will be there to
provide ship support. Certainly, some of the items you raised are interesting
and would add value to the 25 Arctic communities that are spread all over the
Arctic. They could form an adjunct to the current fly-in services out of
One of the earlier observations when the Polar 8 was being discussed was that
it is probably an ideal forum for a coordination centre that would deal with the
Arctic operations, as well as delivering both air and land search and rescue
throughout that archipelago.
I would say that some of your comments are timely still.
Senator Forrestall: What happened to the United States? They had a
Polar 7 or two, did they not?
Mr. Gadula: They built the Polar Sea and the Polar Star.
I had the chance to sail in the Western Arctic, basically off Alaska, to see
what their operations were like. They actually required some assistance from
some of our Coast Guard ships while they were up there. I like to think it was
because our masters tend to have 10, 15 and 20 years of experience in the ice
while the U.S. Coast Guard takes a more rotational approach. They are good ships
and a complement both to their own work in Alaska and to the Canadian Arctic
when they are there.
Senator Forrestall: It is an area that I do not think we should
continue to neglect. We know that hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by
the private sector in perfecting the ice control facility there.
Let me turn to border integrity. In any of your conversations with Homeland
Security, has the question of the Arctic from a maritime point of view been
raised? If so, in what context has it been raised? Are the Americans concerned
about what we are doing in the Arctic?
The Chairman: And if not, why not?
Mr. Gadula: Thank you for that clarification. I will begin, and then I
will ask Mr. Meisner to jump in.
I go back to my past job as regional director, where I had responsibility for
the Arctic region. Through forums attended by industry and, on occasion, some of
the SAR forces from the U.S. Coast Guard, we shared our interest in the Arctic,
which is different from the rest of the country.
An area we probed at that time is one that is currently being probed by the
working group on security. It had to do with whether or not NORDREG should be
made compulsory. There was this issue around the Northwest Passage, the argument
being whether it was internal waters to Canada or an international strait with
the right of free passage.
My view then, and it still remains, is that if you want to increase security
in the Arctic region you should make those reporting systems mandatory, not
voluntary, for vessels transiting the area. This is a question on which DFAIT
has a different opinion. The discussion continues.
We have had occasion, and I cannot remember the specifics, where ships,
unbeknownst to anyone, suddenly showed up in the Arctic. They were sighted by
local inhabitants and reported to the Coast Guard, which information we passed
on. This tells me that as the waterways open up it will be easier for vessels to
go into remote areas where we do not have radar or satellite coverage.
Mr. Meisner: It is an issue that the Interdepartmental Marine Security
Working Group is looking at. There have been no discussions with the U.S. on it,
but there will be in the upcoming months, as we develop the position that
Canada, through DFAIT, wants to take on it.
Senator Forrestall: Until we settle the question of the passage, make
sure they pay their share, whatever it is.
I was interested in the comments that RCMP headquarters is restructuring to
move Customs and Excise, Immigration, IBETs and federal enforcement under border
integrity. I have never heard of border integrity before. Can you give me an
explanation of it?
Mr. Hansen: It was a decision made to put different branches with
commonalities together. For example, many of the areas under my program deal
with the border, including marine security, among others. Obviously, with IMP it
is the same thing. Sometimes, we are dealing with the same players. Yet, we
wanted to be sure there were no stovepipes within our own organization. Although
each branch retains its normal status, they all come under one umbrella,
reporting to one officer who is responsible for the whole area of border
Senator Forrestall: Is that a Canadianinitiative?
Mr. Hansen: It is not Homeland Security. It is only within the RCMP.
What we are seeing is the same structure being mirrored in some of the
divisions. Some of our divisions are putting the IMP and customs resources under
one shop. The idea is that they can be moved to wherever the greatest need is,
no matter what, as long as it involves a border.
Senator Forrestall: In this respect, would your planning have been
passed along to Homeland Security and Secretary Ridge?
Mr. Hansen: I know the director general of border integrity has met
with people from Homeland Security. He has made presentations in Colorado on the
structure of the RCMP, as well as to other groups down there. Certainly, they
are aware of it.
Senator Banks: Can you rent a big icebreaker? You said you might be
able to charter a big icebreaker.
Mr. Gadula: In the past, we have chartered vessels with an Arctic ice
capability. Often, these vessels are built by the oil companies. When they are
on the market, they are available for charter. We have done that in the short
Senator Banks: Superintendent, you mentioned in your opening remarks
that you were concerned about the lack of capability of the force to board and
inspect ships in the St. Lawrence Seaway. I guess you would not be able to use a
naval vessel because they do not go there. Why would you have a particular lack
of capacity to conduct an armed boarding in the St. Lawrence Seaway? Would not
the Coast Guard say, ``We will take you there''?
Mr. Hansen: It is not just a matter of getting a platform. We have
done 23 armed boardings in the last five years. All but one have been on either
coast. There has never been a need in the past to conduct them. Therefore, we
have not built that capability. We have some resources that are trained in
emergency response teams. In other words, they are trained to do assaults on
land. However, they are not trained in the central region, nor do they have the
equipment to conduct armed shipboardings at sea.
Senator Banks: If you wanted to do that, you would need to move
somebody from Halifax toMontreal, for example, would you not?
Mr. Hansen: There are several options, which we are still discussing.
One would be to bring people in from either coast, along with the equipment.
Again, it will depend on things like time.
As well, we are talking to the OPP and the SQ, although they do not have the
Finally, if it were serious urgent, there is also the possibility of JTF2.
There are some other options available.
Senator Banks: Would JTF2 have training to do shipboarding?
Mr. Hansen: Yes.
The Chairman: Why would it be any different from boarding a vessel on
the high seas? We are seeing people come from helicopters. We are seeing people
go out on Zodiacs. What is the difference?
Mr. Hansen: It is not much different, except we do not have the
resources, equipment or training in the central region as opposed to either
coast. We have not had the need to develop it.
The Chairman: Do you not have the capacity to get it from Halifax to
Mr. Hansen: We do, but it is limited because it would take time. It
would be a matter of the length of time that we had to respond.
The Chairman: If you said, ``Go today,'' could you not have somebody
there at six o'clock tonight?
Mr. Hansen: That would be pushing it a bit, but we could have somebody
there tomorrow with the equipment, depending on where in the St. Lawrence or
Great Lakes it was.
Senator Banks: You talked about the concentration of surveillance and
enforcement at our three major ports. That is the point behind the
recommendations made by us and others about layered surveillance and moving it
further out. I presume you would agree with that.
Given that, do you think that it would be a good idea to combine in one
agency that is easy to command and operate all of the agencies that are now
responsible for marine security offshore? Would that not be better than trying
to bring all these things together?
Mr. Hansen: It would be difficult because we have 16 different
agencies that are part of the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group.
Senator Banks: The tail is wagging the dog. I understand that all the
groups are different and they all have their own bailiwick, but we have to look
at the situation from the opposite end, identify the problem and determine to
solve it. It seems to me that the best way to solve the problem might not be to
say that we must ensure that 16 different agencies have, from time to time,
different responsibilities. That would not be an answer that would occur to most
rational people. Would it not make sense to have somebody in charge of offshore
matters and move that parameter out?
Mr. Hansen: With respect to the national security threat, the RCMP are
responsible under the Security Offences Act. I am familiar with what has
happened in the States with Homeland Security. You must to consider that there
are many players other than the 16 government departments. There are police
forces of jurisdiction and the port authorities.
Senator Banks: Let's say that the threat is 40-miles offshore. What
would happen? You are the police force of jurisdiction.
Mr. Hansen: It would depend on the threat. Once it is identified as a
terrorist threat, then our national operations centre would become engaged. It
would direct the operations and bring the key people on board from all
government departments including DND. The local Divisional Emergency Operations
Centre off the coast of Nova Scotia would also open.
Senator Banks: That is part of my question: When some weird thing
happens 10 or 15-miles offshore, we may not know what it is. We do not know
whether it is terrorists or whether somebody needs help. What we do not want to
happen is to have everyone saying, ``I don't know if it's my responsibility.
Whose responsibility is it?'' Should there not be one button to push?
Mr. Hansen: If there were any possibility that it could be terrorist
or criminal activity, then it would be the responsibility of the local emergency
team, whether it originated with Transport Canada or whatever.
I know that you are suggesting that the great unknown is out there with a
strange vessel. You have to decide what to do with the vessel. That actually
happens to a certain extent. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency targets vessels
all the time for further examination. The call on the vessel might come in from
Senator Banks: CCRA, according to what you said, is responsible for
interdicting, examination and identifying problem vessels, but they do not have
any teeth. They cannot push their way through a door.
Mr. Hansen: We would assist them. At the ports of entry, they are the
first response under the Customs Act. They are the first level of Canadian
Senator Banks: If we want to deal with the question of the number of
ports at which we do not have permanent people, and if we want to move that
fence out further into the ocean and interdict or examine, or at least identify,
people further away before they have a chance to get into a little port that is
unattended, one way would be to put somebody on board and do some inspections.
Mr. Hansen: You are correct. One way would be that. You are touching
upon the information sharing that we mentioned earlier.
Senator Banks: Is that happening?
Mr. Hansen: It is not happening as well as it should be.
Senator Banks: What is in the way?
Mr. Hansen: There are two issues. One issue is legal, and the other is
Senator Banks: The legal one has to do with privacy. What is the
Mr. Hansen: Currently, we do not have one data bank that communicates
with everyone. The CANMAR study will tell us if we could use it as a platform.
We are depending on people, working relationships and MOUs. I would rather
depend on both people and technology, if I could.
The Chairman: Things change. You are saying that you will run this
operation from an operations centre someplace.
Mr. Hansen: There are two op centres. There is a national operational
centre in Ottawa, the headquarters, and that is automatically activated. That
office has links to all the divisions and government departments. A second
centre called the Divisional Emergency Operations Centre, DEOC, would also be
The Chairman: Where is it in Nova Scotia?
Mr. Hansen: It is in Halifax.
The Chairman: Where is it in British Columbia?
Mr. Hansen: In Vancouver.
The Chairman: What about Esquimalt.
Mr. Hansen: It would not be there. It is run out of divisional
headquarters in Vancouver.
The Chairman: There will be situations which will be run out of
Esquimalt. Why do we have all these command centres when you could consolidate
them, bring all the expertise to one spot, share information around the same
table and have the decisions made by somebody there? You describe a model that
has a multiplicity of things. We are puzzled over the duplication.
Mr. Hansen: I am not sure that it would be considered duplication. Our
DEOCs have specialized equipment that is not easily mobile.
In addition, if there is an incident at a particular location, there will be
an incident commander. We will have resources on site.
I would not want to convey the impression that everything would be run from
Ottawa or division headquarters. That is not the case.
Senator Banks: The chairman is not asking that question. Here is the
situation. There a ship off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and there is
something suspicious. There is a Department of National Defence operational
command centre in Esquimalt. There is an RCMP command centre in Vancouver.
Mr. Hansen: That is right.
Senator Banks: Why? They are both concerned with the same information.
They are getting the same information about the same ship in the same situation.
We have a communications problem, because we have two command centres. No one
knows yet whose responsibility this incident will be, but there are two
communication centres creating a communications issue. That would not exist if
the blips on the radar or the information were coming into one place. Next to
you would be a sailor and next to him would be a CCRA fellow. That would be an
operational command centre instead of there a centre, here a centre, everywhere
Mr. Hansen: That is what happens. That is exactly what you have in
both the national and divisional centres. In the room, there is RCMP, DND and
everyone that is involved.
Senator Banks: In the one in Ottawa?
Mr. Hansen: In every division. In the national room, there would be my
counterparts from other government departments. In the divisional one, there
would be counterparts from DND or whoever is involved.
Senator Banks: Could we do away with the DND operations centre in
Mr. Hansen: I would imagine that there are uses for that DND centre
other than marine security. There are other uses for our centres as well. For
example, NOC is used for incidents other than marine security. An example is
Senator Banks: I am not convinced that we would not be better off
without whatever communication shortcomings must exist between a command centre
in Esquimalt and one in Vancouver.
The Chairman: Does your command centre in Vancouver have redundancy?
If you have a problem there, is there a backup?
Mr. Hansen: I am not sure to be honest. I know that there is a back-up
for computer systems. Whether they could move from one centre to another, I do
not know. They would develop some capability I would imagine.
The Chairman: We have been to the emergency response centrein
Vancouver. It is a nice facility. They have it set up with 9-1-1. They described
to us a terrific backup centre in another part of town altogether. I would hate
to have to do an inventory of command centres in town.
It strikes us that an extraordinary amount of coordination goes on. We are
looking at this happening with the SARS epidemic. A certain amount of talk is
going on between the command centre here and Health Canada. A centre is being
run out of Queen's Park and centres being run out of each municipality. There is
also communication back and forth between the hospitals.
We visualize this happening whenever the balloon goes up just about anywhere.
We wonder why people cannot make some efforts to anticipate these sorts of
problems, and consolidate systems so there is a better focus, less redundancy
and easier communications.
We get feeling that the wheel gets reinvented with every crisis, and that
there is a perverse pride in this country that we will muddle through and be
okay. Perhaps that is part of the Canadian character, but it seems to us that,
every now and then, events like 9/11 give us a chance to stop and think whether
we can actually do it better. If we think about it in advance, could not we
consolidate some of these things and make them function? We are looking for
feedback from the system that says, ``Yes, we can consolidate some of these,''
and, ``Yes, we do not have to have our own system. We think ours can be
accommodated in a broader context, with all of our needs still being met, but in
a coordinated fashion.'' Do you see any opportunity for that?
Mr. Hansen: I certainly think that we need better integration than we
have. The command centres that we have are physical locations. They are there
basically for convenience, all the facilities and so on. They even have kitchen
facilities, so that if people have to stay there 24 hours, they can.
If that centre were not available for some reason, let us say there were two
crises on the go, we would be put in the position of using somewhere else,
whether it would be DND set up or something else. That is what we would have to
do. We would rise to the occasion. To have one command centre for all
eventualities, I think, would be difficult.
For example, the Coast Guard deals with situations that are different from
those dealt with by the RCMP or DND. If we were in a situation where their
facility was in use and we had a need for it, who would get priority? I
understand what you are saying, but I think it may be difficult to have one-stop
shopping, where there is one command centre for any eventuality.
Our is the lead agency in terms of a terrorist attack. Right now, this is
where the command centre is set up. If that needed to be changed, it could be.
Senator Banks: To revert to questions of planning, I am sure you have
had occasion to refer to our report in which we made recommendations about
having a national maritime security plan. This morning we asked the following
question of two different people, who are both members of the Interdepartmental
Marine Security Working Group, and we got two different answers. The question
was: Is there going to be a plan? In one case, we got the answer, ``No, that is
not the purpose of it,'' if I recall correctly; and in the other case, we the
answer we got was, ``Yes, we are working toward a plan.''
Before you answer the question, you should know that I have an inbred
cynicism about bureaucracy, not about bureaucrats, but about bureaucracy and the
tendency to say, ``If there is a problem, let's form a committee, or a study
group or a working group.'' We really have communications problems.
Is someone working toward what could reasonably be defined as a national
maritime security plan for Canada? If this were a trial, I would ask this
question of each of you separately to see if your answers were the same.
The Chairman: We will do this in order of rank, starting with the
corporal and moving to the superintendent.
Senator Banks: We will ask you first, corporal, because we want to
know the truth.
The Chairman: The truth will be in all four answers.
Mr. Caron: Very simply, we already have something in place that
answers most of those questions, and it is working very well. We have an
emergency plan in every province that allows the deployment of emergency
response teams for any type of incident. That is already in place.
Of course, my mandate was related to drug smuggling only, but we have
incorporated terrorism and smuggling of aliens and whatnot into that.
My answer is simply that there is a plan in place. We can make it better. It
is just a matter of getting people more involved and having easy access to the
assets of other departments. It is not a matter of just working around the
protocols and making it happen because it is already in place.
The Americans are helping a lot. I was in Riverside, California, a month ago,
where the Air and Marine Interdiction Division is located, and they have agreed
to assist us in the tracking of suspicious ships and airplanes. They have asked
that we supply or deploy two members on a permanent basis to analyze the
intelligence they have, and to further the information on our ports here in
I think it is matter of improving what is already in place; having easy
access to the assets of the different departments; and, perhaps, there could be
a little bit more training with the other teams on the DND assets.
The Chairman: I have a feeling he is going to make sergeant.
Mr. Hansen: That was a good answer. I can expound upon that a little
bit. I think the closest thing we would have to what you are asking for is the
National Counterterrorism Plan. That would be put into effect immediately upon
confirmation of a terrorist incident. As Mr. Caron mentioned, we also have local
contingency plans to deal with different types of disasters on site, but the
National Counterterrorism Plan would be ``the plan'' that we have right now. I
am not aware of anything dealing specifically with marine security.
Senator Banks: Is the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group
working at simply improving what is already there as opposed to looking for
Mr. Hansen: The group has done a great deal of work in the past year.
I think it has gone further than improving what was already there. In many cases
there was not anything there. The gaps that we identified as a group had to be
addressed. I would have been very uncomfortable, perhaps a year and a half ago,
appearing in front of this committee without the work that the committee has
done. We still have a ways to go, but we have taken a number of steps in the
Mr. Gadula: My view is a little different. I am relatively new to this
file, but we do have significant resources put into the Interdepartmental Marine
Security Working Group. We have all concluded that there are no turf wars in
this, that the only turf we are talking about is Canada and the waters
As I mentioned earlier, our goal is a coordinated, fully interoperable
surveillance detection and response system. This means there has to be a plan to
ensure that you have that. I will ask Mr. Meisner to tell you what the working
group is doing. My view is that there has to be a plan or we should not put all
the work into this.
Mr. Meisner: The Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group has
developed a Memorandum of Cabinet, an MC, which includes a security plan that
deals with the gaps and vulnerabilities. It lays the foundation of the next
step, which is fully assessing the initiatives that will be put in place, having
a mechanism to review them continually to see whether they are as adequate as
they are supposed to be, and developing a longer-term strategy. The guts of the
plan are already in that MC that was put together by the working group.
Senator Banks: We just have not seen it yet.
On the basis of your remarks about the Coast Guard, as someone on the
outside, I would like you to respond to that. I think the average Canadian would
say that, given the things you said about the Coast Guard, surveillance,
sovereignty, security, and so on, the fact that the Canadian Coast Guard ``has
no authority,'' to use your words, to stop or board vessels caught in the
performance of illegal acts at sea, except for very specific circumstances
having to do with pollution, is silly. Would you address that in light of the
answer you gave earlier about the practicality of having at least a peace
officer enforcement capability extent in the Coast Guard? You have 104 vessels.
They are out and about all the time. It seems a waste that there is not an
enforcement capability extant on any of those vessels.
Mr. Gadula: I would agree with the description you gave of an average
Canadian who might think about this. Under the current mandate, that is where we
Senator Banks: Should we not change it?
Mr. Gadula: There is room for exploring an enforcement role and what
it means in terms of training, resources and how it would affect the mandate.
The example I would leave you with is a little different from the broad security
measure we are talking about. If a citizen has a lifeboat in his or her
community and sees a recreational boater breaking the law, but has no power to
do anything about, it then that citizen is upset. That applies to the people on
a Coast Guard ship. The enforcement piece must be further explored. In the small
'e' sense, we have a draft enforcement policy that we are now considering to see
how far we can push that envelope.
Senator Banks: When would you be able to let us know about that?
Mr. Gadula: We are taking it to our board for discussion next week.
The Chairman: You can come back the week thereafter for hearings.
Mr. Gadula: We would like to have their comments. Then we will have to
look at the impact on resources and training. It is certainly not a secret, and
we would be pleased to share those results with you when we have something
definitive to put forward.
Senator Banks: We would be grateful. We may even remind you of that.
The Chairman: Gentlemen, I would like to thank you very much. It has
been an instructive afternoon. We have appreciated the information you have
shared with us. We look forward to receiving some information that we have
requested from you. You have assisted us in our studies a great deal.
For those of you following our work, in a few minutes we will be hearing from
Ms. Debra Normoyle, Director General, Enforcement Branch, Department of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and Ms. Maureen Tracy, Director, Policy and
Operations, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. If you have any questions or
comments, please visit our Web site by going to www.sen-sec.ca. We post witness
testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the
clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or
assistance in contacting members of the committee.
Senator Tommy Banks from Alberta has just jointed us. He is well known to
Canadians as one of our most accomplished and versatile musicians and
entertainers. He was appointed to the Senate in 2000. Senator Banks is Chair of
the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.
His committee is currently studying nuclear safety and control.
Welcome to our committee. Before proceeding with your opening statements,
please give us some background on your qualifications to provide testimony
Ms. Debra Normoyle, Director General, Enforcement Branch, Department of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada: I am the Director General of the
Ms. Diane Merpaw, Acting Deputy Director, Policy Development and
Coordination, Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada: I have been
an active member of the IMSWG, the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working
Ms. Maureen Tracy, Acting Director General, Policy and Operations
Division, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency: Although my day job, so to
speak, is Director, Policy and Operations, I am here as Acting Director General.
I have held that acting position for about six months now.
The Director General of Contraband and Intelligence for Canada Customs is
responsible for policy and operational support for the customs intelligence
program, both the strategic and the tactical programs. The DG is also
responsible for overseeing the contraband interdiction program and the research,
development and deployment of contraband detection technology.
Mr. Tom Kobolak, Senior Program Officer, Contraband and Intelligence,
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency: I, too, have been serving on the
Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group.
Ms. Normoyle: Honourable senators, I would like to take this
opportunity to share with you the mandate of Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
known as CIC, regarding coastal security. CIC's mandate is to prevent
inadmissible persons from gaining access to Canada via land, air and sea. Every
person seeking to enter Canada must appear for an examination to determine if he
or she is admissible to Canada.
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency conducts this initial examination on
behalf of CIC. All persons of interest are referred to Citizenship and
Immigration Canada for final examination and determination of their
admissibility to Canada.
Currently, CIC has limited dedicated resources that target and board vessels.
In most cases, inland investigations officers examine crews and passengers only
when called in by our colleagues in the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Due
to multiple priorities and a high volume of enforcement files, regional
management teams are only able to respond to these requests on an extremely
In the marine security package approved by the Government of Canada in
January of 2003, Citizenship and Immigration Canada proposed the passenger and
crew initiative which will enhance our ability to screen, target and examine
vessels, crew and passengers, and therefore enhance our interdiction capacity.
New immigration teams comprised of marine intelligence and enforcement
officers will be created in British Columbia, Quebec and the Atlantic regions. A
team of 8 full-time employees, comprised of one intelligence officer and seven
marine enforcement officers, will be implemented in British Columbia and the
Atlantic regions. The Quebec region will benefit from the addition of seven
marine enforcement officers. Our Quebec region has a dynamic intelligence
capacity today and will use this resource to assist the marine enforcement
officers to fulfil their responsibilities.
The intelligence officer will be responsible for gathering, collating and
analyzing information that will assist the marine enforcement teams to focus on
vessels of interest.
Furthermore, the intelligence officer will be responsible for developing and
maintaining effective intelligence networks with partner agencies such as the
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National
Defence, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada and CSIS.
In cooperation with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, the marine
intelligence and enforcement officers will identify and board vessels of
interest to examine crew and passengers with the objective of intercepting
criminal groups, terrorists and illegal migrants at ports.
This proposed initiative would further enhance the effectiveness of the
Immigration Control Officer Network, which has immigration officers doing
intelligence and interdiction work in 44 countries abroad. The Immigration
Control Officer Network has proved to be a valuable resource in identifying
patterns of alien smuggling as well as individual stowaways. Immigration control
officers also work closely with airline companies to identify possible
terrorists and illegitimate migrants.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is working with the United States and
other jurisdictions to implement the multiple border strategy, which involves
focusing inspection and interdiction strategies at all entry points along the
travel continuum from source country to North American and finally, the
Viewed as concentric rings on a bull's eye, the outer ring represents the
visa screening process. Moving inwards, the successive rings represent check-in
with transport companies, point of initial embarkation, transit, point of final
embarkation, international airports and seaports and, at the centre, the
Canada-U.S. border. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is focusing intelligence
and interdiction efforts at each of these checkpoints in order to keep
illegitimate, potentially harmful individuals as far away from North America as
The department is an active member of the Interdepartmental Marine Security
Working Group and its subcommittees. The department is working closely with
partner agencies to enhance collaboration and coordination within the parameters
of the Privacy Act and the Charter. Within the department, CIC has struck a
marine security working group with a mandate to develop standard operating
procedures and to effectively implement the regional marine intelligence and
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is committed to ensuring the security and
safety of all Canadians while facilitating the movement of bona fide people and
Ms. Tracy: I am pleased to be here today representing the Canada
Customs and Revenue Agency on the topic of marine security. Many positive
changes have taken place for us over the past 18 months. If you will permit me,
I will take a few minutes to tell you about them.
Before I start, it would probably be useful to outline the role of the CCRA
at marine ports of entry. As you know, in addition to their responsibility to
administer the Customs Act, Canadian customs officers perform the primary
screening function for a number of federal departments, such as Citizenship and
Immigration, Health, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. When potential
non-compliance with other government department legislation is suspected,
whether it relates to imported goods, international passengers or crew, cases
are referred to these departments for secondary examination. Customs officers
are in place and available to provide assistance with enforcement actions as
With respect to the administration of the Customs Act, we are keenly
interested in cargo that is being imported in marine containers, foreign vessels
that are arriving at our ports and the crew on board. The volume of goods
flowing into and out of marine ports and the need to ensure that the flow of
legitimate trade is not unreasonably interrupted has required us to take a
smart, risk-based approach to selecting containers for examination.
We have a very effective targeting program in place whereby Customs officers
review information on all shipments destined for Canada. These officers have
access to a number of public and law enforcement databases that assist them in
identifying shipments that require a closer look. Our targeting program also
extends to crew and the vessels themselves. Based on the targeters' work-up,
certain suspect crewmembers and vessels are identified for a secondary Customs
Customs officers working at marine ports receive extensive, specialized
training. In fact, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's Marine Centre of
Expertise in Halifax is held up internationally as one of the best schools of
At the Marine Centre, Customs officers are trained in targeting
methodologiesand techniques, container examination, the effective operation of
specialized contraband detection technology and vessel deep rummage. ``Deep
rummage'' means that the teams are trained to search vessels from top to bottom,
including holds, engine rooms and other confined spaces.
You are probably also aware that the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has
recently acquired a number of gamma ray scanner machines, better known as VACIS
machines. From a contraband detection technology perspective, this is probably
the most important gain we have made in many years. These gamma ray units now
allow us to scan entire containers for signs of security concerns or contraband.
This enables us to get a good look at what is inside without having to undertake
an extensive and time-consuming off-load examination. The gamma ray units,
therefore, enable us to examine containers much more effectively. We began
taking delivery of these units in late December, and already they are proving to
be indispensable to our operation. By August of this year, we will have 11 units
in operation at various locations across Canada.
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has also made considerable progress on
the radiation protection and detection side. All of our marine staff has
received training on radiation protection. The dosimeters now issued to our
marine staff will enable them to both detect high levels of radiation and
monitortheir own exposure.
In addition to our dosimeter program, a three-phase pilot project has also
begun at the Port of Halifax. We are testing larger-scale radiation detection
devices that can be set up in the container yard or even attached to gantry
cranes. When this equipment is in place, we will be able to scan virtually all
containers entering Canada for suspect signs of radiation.
On the international front, the CCRA has been one of the main players in
developing a number of initiatives under the Manley-Ridge Smart Border
Declaration. One initiative that we are particularly proud of is the Canada-U.S.
Joint In Transit Container Targeting Initiative. Since March of 2002, U.S.
Customs officers have been stationed in the ports of Halifax, Montreal and
Vancouver to assist in targeting suspect shipments that are arriving at Canadian
ports but destined to the United States. In the reverse, Canadian officers are
also in place at the ports of Newark, New Jersey and Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
to target in-transit shipments arriving at these ports heading north.
In these joint units, cargo manifests and other import documentation on
in-transit shipments are carefully analyzed by both Customs administrations,
using public and law enforcement databases from both sides of the border.
To further enhance this cooperative venture, the Canada Customs and Revenue
Agency and the U.S. Customs Service have recently implemented a program whereby
data on in-transit shipments is sent electronically into the United States
Automated Targeting System. This enables officers to do an automated first sort
of manifest information. This electronic sort saves valuable time for the
targetters and allows them to concentrate their work-ups on the highest risk
The CCRA's risk management strategy relies very much on an effective
intelligence program. The CCRA has in place some 300 intelligence officers
across Canada whose job it is to collect, analyze, and distribute intelligence
information to the front lines. Many of these officers are dedicated exclusively
to intelligence development activities centred on marine port activities, often
in joint-force operations with the RCMP or other police forces.
Our intelligence program is well established within the Canadian and
international enforcement communities and, as such, our officers have access to
an extensive network of contacts and information.
In summary, the CCRA has made very important changes to its programs at
marine ports that we are confident will have a positive impact on our ability to
address effectively any security risks that exist at our ports.
The establishment of the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group and
the deliberations that have taken place over the last several months have been
instrumental in insuring that our efforts are coordinated and complementary to
those of other departments and organizations that share our interest in Canadian
We look forward to continuing our ongoing work with the group and making
further important progress in our shared goal of maintaining and improving the
security of marine ports and in our international waters.
The Chairman: Thank you.
Senator Cordy: My first question is for the representative of
Citizenship and Immigration. When you have illegal aliens coming into the
country, when can you stop them? Once they cross into Canadian waters, does the
Charter come into effect? When does the Charter come into effect for illegal
Ms. Normoyle: For clarification, are you talking about illegal
immigrants who are suspected to be on board a vessel?
Senator Cordy: A number of year ago, there was a ship on the south
shore of Nova Scotia. A small community woke up in the morning, and a large
number of illegal aliens had arrived on the shores of that small community. In
Halifax, for example, we have people who arrive in containers. We know that once
they arrive on Canadian soil, the Charter of Rights kicks in and they have all
the right of a Canadian citizen. When can you turn a ship around, is my
Ms. Normoyle: There are different zones in the waters, and Canadian
laws begin to apply in what is referred to as a contiguous zone, which is from
12 to 24 nautical miles from our coast. If a vessel is within that range, within
our coast, at that point in time, our domestic laws and protections apply.
Senator Banks: So any person on that ship, notwithstanding that the
ship is still 20 miles from the Canadian coast, is entitled to the protections
of Canadian due process?
Ms. Normoyle: Yes.
Senator Cordy: At what point can you turn a ship around and say it
cannot land in Canada, or can you do that if you know that it contains illegal
Ms. Normoyle: The decision to redirect a ship is not a decision made
by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, so I am not in a position to respond to
The Chairman: Could we ask who is in charge?
Ms. Normoyle: Transport Canada would be the first point of contact.
The Chairman: On what basis?
Ms. Normoyle: I cannot speak for Transport Canada.
The Chairman: However, Transport Canada would not know there are
illegal immigrants on it, and you presumably would. You must communicate the
fact that you believe you have a problem on a ship and ask them to intervene.
They may go and look and find that there are illegal immigrants on board. If
that fact is established, then something must happen. What we would like to know
is does your department speak to Transport Canada and say, ``We have a
problem''? How does the system function?
Ms. Normoyle: All the intelligence information is shared between
agencies. When a vessel of interest is in our waters, some information is
received through our intelligence community. As the federal government,
depending on where the ship is, we take decisions as to the most appropriate
course of action, depending on the intelligence information we have.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not have authority to interdict
ships. Our responsibility is to deal with the people on board with respect to
their accessibility to Canada, if that ship enters our contiguous zone. I cannot
speak to the interdiction aspect of it.
Senator Day: Once they enter the contiguous zone, what is your
Ms. Normoyle: It is to deal with the admissibility issues related to
the people on board.
The Chairman: We understand that. We do not expect you to have all the
answers when you appear before us. However, if the department is seized with
information that there is a number of illegal immigrants on a vessel, we would
like to know who the department notifies and what the decision-making process
is, if in fact we turn back ships? Perhaps we do not turn them back. Perhaps
they keep on coming and we deal with them when they land. If that is the case,
we would like to know that. If it is not the case, we would like to know how the
system works in your particular case if you receive that information.
The answer to that may be provided to us at a subsequent date. A letter to
the clerk would be sufficient.
Senator Banks: You mentioned that that would be a Transport Canada
responsibility. As far as anyone knows, Transport Canada has no means of turning
a ship around. They have no assets. In your response to us could you assume that
Citizenship and Immigration learns that there is a ship with some people on it
who we do not want here and that it is 30 miles off the coast? Can you do
anything about that?
Ms. Normoyle: I will undertake to get a response to you.
For clarification, on the Transport Canada issue, the authorities and the
implementation of operational activities related to decisions taken by
organizations that have the authority, in this case Transport Canada, do not
have the assets, but they do not work alone. They are part of an
interdepartmental network. When we look at interdiction, we will be working
closely with RCMP, the Coast Guard, the CCRA, Transport Canada and the
Department of National Defence. Depending on the intelligence we have and our
assessment of that intelligence, we will make a decision as to which vessel will
be sent for what purpose. It depends on the information.
I should also mention that, over the course of the past several years, we
have been working on a national policy framework to deal with migrant smuggling
ships. I have it here. I will leave a copy of it with you.
I will undertake to get the responses to you.
The Chairman: If you could posit a number of situations, that would be
helpful. If there are different responses to different circumstances, give an
example of each of them, if you can. We are trying to understand how this system
works. If you could give us examples of how it would react in different ways,
that would assist the committee greatly.
Senator Cordy: We would also like confirmation of exactly when a
person may assume the rights of a Canadian citizen.
Senator Day: I would like a confirmation as to what you do in Canadian
waters. That is defined as the first 12 miles. There is also the contiguous zone
of 12 to 24 miles. Is there a difference at each distance? What happens when we
move out into the economic zone that takes us out to 200 miles?
Senator Cordy: I would like to talk now about intelligence gathering
and, more specifically, intelligence sharing. Every witness we have heard thus
far today has talked about intelligence sharing. Everyone says that it is of
great importance that you share. However, almost everyone will say that it is
certainly one of the challenges faced in any department.
You talk about the Quebec region benefiting from the addition of seven marine
enforcement officers. One of our witnesses this afternoon said that he had an
e-mail related to the sharing of information within Quebec. In fact, within the
Quebec region, they only want information sharing within law enforcement
agencies and not with other government agencies. How would that affect
Citizenship and Immigration? I assume CCRA would be considered a law enforcement
agency, would it?
Ms. Tracy: No. The way the Quebec government seems to havedefined
things is people who have Level 1 access to CPIC. Level 1 access is usually
restricted to traditional police forces, whether provincial, municipal or
federal. Both CIC and CCRA have Level 2 status. As such, they will not have
access to that information.
We understand— and we still have to look into it further — that there is
some flexibility on the part of the minister of public security to hear an
argument and a rationale from some of these Level 2 organizations as to why they
have to continue to receive the information or to have access. We are working on
that, as is CIC. There is some flexibility there.
Senator Cordy: In fact, government agencies will pursue that further.
If CIC and CCRA are left out of the loop, we will have many gaps in the system.
Ms. Tracy: I cannot speak for other organizations. The news is
relatively new. It is only a week or so old.
CCRA is actively working on a rationale and an argument for continued access.
I would bet that most of the other departments that have the same sort of Level
2 or 3 access are doing the same thing.
Senator Cordy: Ms. Tracy, I am from Nova Scotia. I know the joint
container targeting teams have been in place in Halifax for about a year. How is
this working out?
Ms. Tracy: Very well. We had a similar experiment that was started in
approximately 1995 whereby the ports of Halifax and Newark were exchanging
information on in-transit shipments. They did not have officers in place. They
were doing it by way of exchanges of fax, telephone calls and e-mails. There is
already a very good link at least between those two ports.
The impact of the Manley-Ridge 30-Point Action Plan breathed new life into
the project. I believe it was one of the first Manley-Ridge projects put in
place after the declaration in December2001.
It is a very positive initiative in all five sites. As I mentioned in my
opening remarks, as recently as four or five weeks ago, we implemented an
enhancement to it through the automated delivery of information into the U.S.
targeting system, which has further assisted the relationship.
Senator Cordy: When you talk about this automated targeting system,
are you talking about goods, the manifest?
Ms. Tracy: It would be the cargo control documents, the manifests for
shipments going into the United States would go into the automated targeting
system which performs a first sort of information. The system is programmed with
a number of indicators, which targeters use to determine the level of risk a
shipment or vessel will pose.
It does not replace the targeter, but it does a first bundle of information,
and it gives you a risk scoring on each of the manifests or the documentation
that goes in.
This enables the targeters to deal with the high risk ones and do further
work-ups through either enforcement databases or public databases. It does save
time, and it will be beneficial to the operation in general.
Senator Cordy: Does it give the originating country?
Ms. Tracy: That is a challenge. Sometimes, the cargo control
documentation has a nice track of the originating port of the container. Often,
it does not.
All organizations, including U.S. Customs and certainly the CCRA, are working
hard to improve the quality of data that we get. However, there are containers
that have a somewhat limited history.
Senator Cordy: What about the radiation detection equipment? There is
a pilot project in Halifax.
Ms. Tracy: It is a three-phased project. The first phase, which is
completed, was probably the simplest. It proved effective. We put a radiation
detection device in a ski carrier on the top of the customs vehicle. The monitor
was inside. It was switched on as we were doing our day-to-day business around
We found that it functioned well. The equipment was robust. It was able to
take the kind of beating that it might take in the container yards. That was a
very successful pilot, and we are in the process of writing up the report.
For the second phase, two vendors are providing us with equipment to test. It
is a portal system. We will set up a large portal so that a truck or a rail car
can be sent through it. The portal can detect on a much larger scale than that
of the mobile scanner.
The Chairman: When you refer to it as being a successful pilot, how do
you know? Do you know what level of radiation would be put off by a low-grade
dirty bomb? Can you measure it against that? What is your test for success?
Ms. Tracy: The test for success is that it has picked up radiation.
When we go in with the survey meter, which is the secondary tool that will
identify the type of radiation, it is always accurate when the off load is done.
It has not found a dirty bomb.
The Chairman: It is one thing to say that it has always found
radiation, but how do you know if it has missed radiation?
Ms. Tracy: That is a difficult question to answer.
The Chairman: That is the only measure of effectiveness.
Ms. Tracy: If a dirty bomb is shielded very well, the sensitivity of
the equipment is of the utmost importance.
This is a new area for me. There is probably not much equipment currently on
the market that is that sensitive. That is what we are testing. We are testing
both in lab environments and in operational environments.
Senator Banks: Do you test it to see whether it will pick up radiation
that is well shielded?
Ms. Tracy: When we get the second piece of equipment, we will do some
lab tests. We will try to simulate a well- shielded radiation source and see how
it reacts to that and under what circumstances. We also have to weather
conditions and that sort of thing.
The Chairman: I will come back to this later. I am reacting to your
comment about the level of success being based on the fact that it indicated
that there were some radiation spots around. You checked that in fact it was
radiation. Until you can say that you are sure that you got all the radiation,
you have not achieved success.
Ms. Tracy: I understand what you are saying. I believe that the second
phase will have lab-simulated experiments whereby we will try to do just that.
We will shield a radiation source to the best of our capacity and see how the
equipment performs in that scenario. That will be the litmus test.
Senator Cordy: Is the intent to eventually scan all containers?
Ms. Tracy: The intent is to scan as close to all as we can,
The third phase of our project is mounting the radiation detection devices on
the gantry cranes. As the container is being taken out of the vessel, it would
be scanned. That way we could scan virtually all containers and detect the
radiation at the earliest stage possible. The challenge with the portal scanner
is that there is much activity on the dock before the truck or train drives
Ideally, we want to identify a piece of equipment that will be able to take
the beating that a gantry crane would give it. That would be the ideal scenario.
Senator Cordy: The container would be tested as it is lifted off the
ship; is that correct?
Ms. Tracy: Correct.
The Chairman: Would the gantry crane also test containers being loaded
onto the ships?
Ms. Tracy: Do you mean on the export side? There is no reason why it
could not. The plan has been on the import side.
The Chairman: If we are to ever have proper protection, we want to
move it away from the borders and enter into agreements with other countries
that they will scan what they are shipping to us. We would do the same in
By attaching it to the crane, we could provide that sort of outgoing
inspection and certify that that particular ship, at least when it left a
Canadian port, was radiation free.
Ms. Tracy: We could do that either with the gantry crane or with the
portal at the entrance point of the port. Thus far, our testing has been for
import containers. However, the technology would supposedly work on exports as
well as imports.
The Chairman: In your opening statement you commented that you have a
very effective targeting program whereby customs officers review information on
all shipments destined to Canada. How do you know that it is effective?
Ms. Tracy: We have had a number of successes on the narcotics side
that have been attributed oftentimes to intelligence information that we have
received from our own intelligence officers, the RCMP, others and international
sources. We have also had some good successes with cold-targeted shipments based
on the targeting criteria we try to keep, Evergreen. We have had some good
successes at the three major container ports
The Chairman: When this committee has asked police about drugs for
example, or when the Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs has asked police
about the prevention side of drugs, we have always been told that there have
been big busts. However, when we have pursued that and asked them how much they
are catching, we have been told that it is about 10percent.
Is that your level of success? Is it the 10percent level? If your example is
drugs, the police are saying that they think that they are only getting
10percent of what is coming into the country. Is 10 percent success to you? What
percentage do you consider to be a success?
Ms. Tracy: That is a hard question to answer. I do not know that I
could be any more precise than the police were. The 10percent number is what the
intelligence community, through their best analysis, is saying is being
I cannot say whether customs gets 10percent of the drugs coming into Canada.
When I call our targeting program successful, it is because it does have some
very successful large-scale hits. It is hard to estimate that in terms of a
percentage of drugs or general criminality that is coming into Canada.
The Chairman: We recently returned from Washington. Officials there
told us that their system is in worse shape than ours is. If either the
Americans or the Canadians tell the population how little we are able to stop,
they will come looking for us with a rope.
What sort of levels should we be shooting for as a government, as a country,
if we want to be comfortable about what is coming into the country? Clearly, no
one in this room thinks 10percent is good enough. You do not have to necessarily
come back and tell me it is 98.3percent. What we really want to know is what
plans are in place to improve the percentage. No one here would be say that
10percent is appropriate. because, obviously, it is not.
Ms. Tracy: We are constantly working to improve the targeting program.
The same thing applies to our intelligence program. We are constantly developing
contacts and working with other government departments, police forces and
international customs organizations to get good information to the front line.
However, in my opinion, what will get us further is where the CCRA has been
going with its non-intrusive inspection technology, the VACIS, the gamma ray
scanner. Last week, in Halifax, the CCRA scanned 599 containers with that
scanner. Not all commodities can be penetrated or interpreted, but a many of
In my view, where to go next from a customs perspective to is to focus on
technology to assist, not replace, the work that customs officers do on exams.
The Chairman: In terms of the order of magnitude, we have heard
testimony that the figure is just under 3percent of intrusive inspections, that
is back-ending or de-stuffing. With the 11 gamma ray units you have in place,
what percentage of containers are you able to handle? Are you moving up now past
3percent? Are you up to 7percent?
Ms. Tracy: We will be moving up past 3percent. We took delivery in
December, I believe. They were up and running in January in Halifax first.
Montreal was second. Vancouver had been going for some time with a port supplied
It is hard to say from our experience so far because I just quoted 599, which
is great for the first couple of months. I expect that number to go up.
The Chairman: Are you saying 599 in a day?
Ms. Tracy: In a week.
The Chairman: How many containers came into that port in the same
Ms. Tracy: If you do the math, it is still a low percentage. At
Halifax, at least, the VACIS machine is not fully operational on a two-shift
basis, but it will be soon. Once the officers get used to integrating it into
their way of doing business, I am sure you will see a significant number of
containers scanned. It will definitely complement our efforts on the off-load.
The Chairman: Presumably, using a VACIS machine takes more space. The
containers have to be spread around a little more because of the nature of the
machine it. Clearly, 11 units is a small number. Are there plans to have 22 or
44 or 111 units in place to do this?
Ms. Tracy: Currently, there is no plan in place to increase the number
we have. That does not mean to say that we will not. We have one in Halifax.
With some experience, we will be able to determine whether that is enough. We
will have two in Montreal, in addition to the one at the Port of Vancouver. We
can certainly expand the fleet, but we will start with those and see how they
The Chairman: You talked about targeting officers in Newark and
Seattle-Tacoma. Can you give us a list in descending orderof volume — and we
do not need it now— of where shipments to Canada come from? It strikes me that
Newark and Seattle-Tacoma are not the largest ports that ship into Canada. I do
not know. I wonder where Rotterdam and Singapore fit in.
Why do we not have targeters out in the ports that ship the most into Canada?
Why are we not working down the list in descending order?
Ms. Tracy: Part of the reason for going into joint targeting was so
that we could control and get good coverage of the marine containers coming into
Canada and the U.S. from abroad. In this way, we could continue to not impede
either rail or highway traffic in Canada and the U.S. That was one of the main
reasons that Canada Customs adopted the joint targeting unit idea. We did not
adopt the container security initiative idea, which the U.S. did, where they put
people in the ports. We do not believe that we need people at the foreign ports.
I am not certain whether you are aware of this or not, but on Friday our
minister announced that Canada Customs is adopting the 24-hour rule.
The Chairman: Are you referring to 24 hours before loading instead of
96 hours before arrival?
Ms. Tracy: That is correct.
The Chairman: That will make us consistent with the Americans, which
is good news. It is one less point of friction with them.
If your argument is that you want to find the problem as far away as
possible, I do not understand why the department is not actively pursuing the
idea of having targeters in major ports. I can understand why there is a program
that has gone ahead with Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Tacoma and Newark. That
is a confidence-building gesture. It is a test with the Americans. Everything we
have heard back from your department or your agency is that it is working.
If it is working, why do we not do it in a lot of places? In particular, why
do we not do it in the places that ship the most to us and protect Canadians
Ms. Tracy: The adoption of the 24-hour rule will get us electronic
information for targeting and intelligence purposes prior to the shipment
departing the country. The targeting can be done from Canada. We can alert the
authorities at the port of departure as to the fact that we either want the
shipment examined or we do not want it loaded. We do not believe it is necessary
to have an officer over there when can you do electronic targeting from home.
The Chairman: Are you announcing to us that you will take the people
back from New Jersey and Washington?
Ms. Tracy: No, I am not announcing that.
The Chairman: You just said you do not need to have them there.
Ms. Tracy: The beauty of having the people in the U.S. and our
Canadian ports is that we can use our systems to jointly target containers.
The Chairman: What I am saying is that it sounds like a bit of
terrific PR. It sounds like it is working well. Certainly, the Americans like
it. We heard from our opposite numbers in the States that they liked it a lot.
It begs the question: If it works well, why not expand it? I think your answer
was that you can do it from Ottawa, or from some place in Canada, but it still
works even better if you actually send people there. Have I heard you correctly?
Ms. Tracy: What I said is that the CCRA has not decided at this point
to station anyone overseas.
The Chairman: How about in other ports in the United States?
Ms. Tracy: Before we went forward with this, we did a study of the
major ports that receive shipments that go in- transit to Canada. By far,
Seattle-Tacoma and New Jersey came up as the highest. If that traffic pattern
changes, then there would be a consideration of change.
The Chairman: Are they the highest in North America but not the
Ms. Tracy: They are the highest in North America.
The Chairman: If you found 10 other ports in descending order in the
United States, perhaps you would look at it, or not. I understand.
Senator Banks: The ports of Newark and Seattle-Tacoma are where
containers are unloaded. In effect, those containers are being through shipped
Ms. Tracy: That is correct, by truck or rail.
Senator Banks: In the same sense, a large number of containers that
are offloaded at Halifax are going to Boston or Chicago; is that right?
Ms. Tracy: That is right.
Senator Banks: When Senator Kenny first asked the question about
putting scanners on gantry cranes, we were talking about the fact that it was a
good idea to scan, in that case for radiation, shipments which were bound for
Canada. Not that many people ship from Newark to Canada in the sense of the
shipment originating in Newark, or from Seattle-Tacoma to Canada. It would make
no sense. Antwerp, however, is another question, as is Hong Kong.
The logic says that, if our object is to try to keep inspection and
interdiction and problems as far away from our facilities and our infrastructure
and our people and our borders as possible, and if we accept the idea that it is
a good idea to have American security examinations on this side of the border
and Canadian ones on the American side of the border, then it would be a good
idea in Antwerp, too, would it not?
Ms. Tracy: In theory, I would have to agree with you. At this point,
the CCRA has adopted the 24-hour-prior-to- loading rule.
Senator Banks: Say that in Antwerp or in Hong Kong, someone says, ``I
am loading this container with 800,000 pounds of flour and it is bound for
Canada.'' Who in Ottawa knows that is in fact 800,000pounds of flour, and how
would you found find that out, aside from the container company or the transit
operator being under suspicion for having done something? With no information,
no scanning occurs.
Ms. Tracy: The person responsible for reporting has a prescribed
number of specific date elements that they must provide, for example, the
importer, the exporter, the type of goods, the weight, and so on.
Senator Banks: The exporter could tell you what it was, but you would
not know whether that was true.
Ms. Tracy: This is where the targeting comes in. If anything from that
shipment raises an alarm bell in terms of our targeting or intelligence, we
would request that the customs administration from the other country do an
examination of that shipment before it is loaded.
Senator Banks: Yes, but a dockworker, not the shipper of record, will
not say, ``By the way, I put some illegal substance in there.'' If the shipper
intentionally ships something illegal, he will not tell you that. No one is
checking that, are they?
Ms. Tracy: Do you mean on export?
Senator Banks: No one is checking the stuff being loaded into that
container to see if what they say is being loaded into that container is in fact
all that is being loaded.
Ms. Tracy: No, but if you look at the traditional way of doing customs
business, we get information from the same party or from the importer. We get
the same data elements and we go through the same targeting process. We have no
idea whether there is something in there until we look. We would not know to
look, though, unless we targeted it or we took it through a random VACIS exam.
Senator Banks: With respect to drugs— and, I presume in this case we
are talking about harder narcotics such as heroin— the success rate so far as
we know of the present system is about 10percent. That is how well that works.
Ms. Tracy: Yes.
Senator Banks: I will now turn another subject. I want to talk to CIC
about the new staff you are putting in place. One of the things you talked about
in respect of investigation officers is that regional management teams are only
able to respond to these requests on an extremely limited basis. What happens
when you get a request and you cannot respond to it? Nothing?
Ms. Normoyle: In those instances where the request has been identified
as a priority request, we have been able to identify resources to provide the
required support to CCRA. CCRA will do the first line of inspection. They will
call us in as they consider appropriate, depending on what information they are
The federal government has recognized that deficiency.
Senator Banks: What happens in the case of a deficiency? You are
saying that you are only able to respond to them on an extremely limited basis.
I presume that means somewhat less than half. What happens with the other half
of the cases?
Ms. Normoyle: We rely on our colleagues from CCRA to take the lead and
address the issues.
Senator Day: I would interpret ``extremely limited basis'' to be
something significantly less than half. Are you being kind, Senator Banks?
Senator Banks: I wanted to establish the largest possible parameter.
What is ``the passenger and crew initiative''? You said it will enhance your
capacity to screen substantially. How?
Ms. Normoyle: Through information that we gather from our intelligence
community and other intelligence communities, we will be able to work with our
colleagues in CCRA and other partners to identify vessels of interest and
vessels of interest where we may want to ensure that we do more substantive
Senator Banks: I understand that, but what, specifically, is ``the
passenger and crew initiative?'' What is that? That sounds like a program to me
where someone is sending information in advance, information which had not
previously been sent. Is it not that?
Ms. Normoyle: I think it is just receiving that information and doing
some analysis around that it such that we are in a better position to identify
vessels of interest to us. We would then identify a team to go and board that
vessel. We have not had that capacity in the past.
Senator Banks: How do we get it now?
Ms. Normoyle: We will have to recruit people and train them, and we
will have to work with our colleagues who have experience doing that.
Senator Banks: You state that the passenger and crew initiative will
enhance your ability to screen, target and examine vessels, including
passengers. I assume that we are not talking about Cunard or The Love Boat.
We are talking about some steamers that coming from the coast of South America.
What is the means by which you will achieve getting the information on the
passengers and crew of that ship, which has not been in place until now and
which will now be in place because of that? Is that part of the 24-hour or the
Ms. Normoyle: I will ask my colleague from CCRA to talk about the
information that we receive, and then I will talk about what we aim to do with
Ms. Tracy: We receive the names and passport numbers and other
documentation numbers for the crew, I believe, 24 hours in advance of the ship
arriving, but I would have to verify that. I think it is 24 hours in advance.
The CIC initiative will complement what Customs is doing by bringing its
officers, expertise and databases into the targeting units.
Senator Banks: One of the new 96- or 24-hour requirements is to tell
you who is on board a ship, ant that did not exist before; is that correct?
Ms. Tracy: We are getting advance notice of who is on the ship now.
The 24-hour rule is not a change to that. It will still remain 24 hours for the
crew list. I would like to verify that, if you would permit me.
The Chairman: Send us a letter.
Senator Banks: I do not think we used to get that information. I think
freighters just used to arrive in port.
Ms. Tracy: We have received that information. I do not know for how
long, but at least for a few years. We have the information well in advance. We
have enough time to do a workup.
The Chairman: Is the information that you get on ship passengers the
same as is currently being provided on airline passengers, namely, how they
bought the ticket and who is involved? Let the record show that she is shaking
her head no. I will give you a chance to answer in just a second.
If the information is not as much in depth, why not? A moment ago, Senator
Banks implied that it was only tramp ships from Casablanca that we checked out,
but in fact Cunard or The Love Boat would be checked out, as would any
boat. There is no exemption if you are sitting at the captain's table. Could you
tell us what information you do gather. Why is it different from that that we
share on airlines and, if it is different, why it is different? Why do we not
need the same information?
Ms. Tracy: There are two types of things happening on the marine mode.
There is the crew list which has the name, nationality, passport number,
seafarer paper number and that sort of thing. That is the extent of it. Of
course, they would not have travel agencies, visa numbers and that sort of
API/PNR, the Advance Passenger Information/Personal Name Record, is the
system we are developing initially for airlines, but that will broaden out into
the marine cruise ship mode and ferry terminal mode at a later date. We do not
have it now because, in the API/PNR project, we have capitalized on the
information that the airlines already have in their systems which they can
provide to us for targeting.
Senator Banks: Do cruise ships not have that?
Ms. Tracy: I understand cruise ship lines have much morelimited
information. Their personal name records are not as well-organized in terms of
the circumstances of travel. We are working with them. However, we are trying to
get it up and running on the airports first. We will be talking to the cruise
ship industry and, if possible, the ferry operators, to get a similar if not the
same process going in that mode.
Senator Banks: Thank you. Please let us know what happens.
For which of your agencies will the marine intelligence and enforcement
officers be working?
Ms. Normoyle: They will be working for CIC.
Senator Banks: They will intercept criminal groups and terrorists and
alien smugglers. Will they be peace officers?
Ms. Normoyle: We have not created the position yet. This will be a new
type of officer who will be working for us and those officers will work with the
teams that are in place today who do interception and the boarding of vessels.
We have not yet developed the program, but it was presented based on proposals
contained in the broader marine security package. The program is under
development as we speak.
Senator Banks: Is there a plan that those marine intelligence and
enforcement officers will be peace officers?
Ms. Normoyle: I do not know. I will have to get back to you on that.
Senator Banks: Please let us know about that. I am asking because they
will be charged with intercepting criminal groups, terrorists and alien
smugglers. Those are not nice people. I would not want to send someone onto a
ship, however many miles out, to face those people without some authority, other
than legal authority.
Senator Day: Senator Banks' question about legal authority raises the
question as to whether they will operate within the 12-mile limit. We may need
some analysis on that issue. The legal-authority issue is an interesting one,
but I will not pursue that further now.
You have already demonstrated ample change, significant change, since
September11. Although much of this was in place beforehand, there have been
significant changes in relation to security, marine security in particular,
since September11, 2001.
You talked about increasing intelligence. As Senator Cordy has pointed out,
we have heard all day about how important intelligence is in balancing risk
analyses and determining where you should target your limited resources. Several
departments are now creating new intelligence officer roles. Citizenship and
Immigration Canada, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, the RCMP and Agriculture
Canada, all have intelligence officers now. Where will this stop? We are
creating coordination problems with all this intelligence. Has anyone ever
suggested having one organization— RCMP, CSIS, one organization—
coordinating all of the intelligence and then feeding that intelligence to all
Ms. Tracy: One good thing about having intelligence officers in a
number of different organizations is that each organization brings its own
expertise and its own knowledge of its own legislation. It brings the issues
that it faces into the fold. A generic or centralized intelligence organization
would have some difficulty doing that. I do not know that it is a big a problem
to have a number of different organizations with their own intelligence
officers, provided there is cooperation and communication.
Senator Banks: There needs to be a willingness to use it.
Ms. Tracy: Cultural barriers must be broken down, and they have been
broken down significantly since September11, both between government departments
and with police. I think the important thing is not the number of different
uniforms that are sitting in the office but the fact that they are all sitting
in the office and bringing their own expertise and means of communication to
their own particular front lines.
Canada Customs participates in a number of joint-force operations with the
police, whether it be for money- laundering, drugs or any number of things. They
have actually valued our in-depth knowledge of the Customs Act and of the issues
that we face. In turn, we appreciate the kind of information that they can
provide so that we can feed it back to our front lines.
In summary, I do not think it has as much to do with the number of uniforms
around the table. It has more to do with every group understanding its role and
working as a team.
Senator Day: In any event, the decision has been made that each
department will develop its own intelligence- gathering group.
Ms. Normoyle: The intelligence capacity in each of the departments has
been in existence for some time. In the case of our passenger-and-crew
initiative, we are adding an additional body to work with marine enforcement
officers to bring some information to the table from the marine front. I would
emphasize that each of us has expertise. Depending on the task, we will need to
work together and bring all perspectives to the table to have a complete
In CIC, for example, our intelligence community brings information that helps
us decide whether to impose a visa requirement on a certain country. That
community also brings assessments of intelligence information that allows our
minister to decide whether to stop removals to a certain country, depending on
the conditions in that country. That intelligence specifically allows us to
exercise our responsibilities within the mandate of Citizenship and Immigration
in an area which is specialized in our domain.
We are required to support those activities while, at the same time, we are
obliged to share information with our other partners around the table. This
process has been significantly enhanced since September11, in particular through
the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group. It is important to
Senator Day: We have heard about that Interdepartmental Marine
Security Working Group quite a bit today. It sounds impressive. You spoke about
your intelligence network people sharing with Customs, RCMP, CSIS, the
Department of National Defence, Fisheries and Oceans, and Transport Canada.
Perhaps, naively, I was saying that there may be some expertise in the
gathering of intelligence, as opposed to saying that the expertise should be in
knowing what the departments need. Is there a generic approach to going out and
gathering the intelligence that anyone can find?
Ms. Normoyle: I am not an expert in intelligence. I have been a member
of the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group both as an employee of
Fisheries and Oceans, or DFO, the Canadian Coast Guard, and now as part of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
DFO, for example, provides information to the intelligence community. It does
not have the capacity to analyze the information, but it brings forward
information that the intelligence community can analyze. Transport Canada does
the same thing; it does not have, per se, an intelligence capacity resident in
the department. It relies on the intelligence community to support its
activities. Each of the organizations has different capacities, and by bringing
all of that together that we have a complete picture.
Senator Day: Who is doing the analysis for immigration issues?
Ms. Normoyle: We have an intelligence branch.
Senator Day: Does your intelligence branch do the analysis of all the
information it gathers from the different sources?
Ms. Normoyle: Yes, for our purposes.
Senator Day: I was distinguishing between the interpretation of the
intelligence and the gathering of the intelligence.
Ms. Normoyle: Yes.
Senator Day: There are a few other areas I would like to touch on,
areas where our viewers might have some misconceptions, and perhaps you could
clarify those for us. Since we are on a roll with Immigration, let us deal with
a couple of issues related to that department.
We have visited a few border points. At one, an international bridge, refugee
status claimants were sitting in a room. We were told that so many were coming
from the United States. We were first told that there was a significant number
of refugee claimants coming through the United States, and then we were told
that a safe third country initiative might be implemented in the future. Could
you comment on where we are with respect to that?
The second issue relates to the fact that refugee claimants were being
released on the basis of contact at a certain telephone number, but many of them
were never at that number. They could not be found after their release, and that
has resulted in a large number of refugee claimants within our country who
cannot be found. What initiatives are you taking in relation to those two issues
that some people perceive as problems?
Ms. Normoyle: I am sorry. I cannot provide you with responses today,
but I can undertake to get those.
Senator Day: That would be a start. Unfortunately, our viewers at home
who are watching this on CPAC will not have a chance to get the answer. We will
try to get that information communicated in due course.
The Chairman: We could post it on our Web site.
Senator Banks: Just to interrupt, did I understand correctly that you
do not know what the state of the safe third party agreement is at the moment?
Did I understand you to say that? It has been signed by both countries. If
Immigration Canada does not know about the implementation of that program, I
cannot imagine who does.
Ms. Merpaw: The questions posed by Senator Day related to the number
of refugees arriving at the land border, I believe, and claiming refugee status.
Senator Day: I had three questions. A significant number of refugees
are coming from the United States, and the safe third country agreement would
solve that. These are refugees who find it easier to get to the United States
but find it difficult to get refugee status there, and therefore they pass
through United States and come into Canada.
The first issue is, therefore, to confirm that that was a problem. The second
is to confirm the implementation or not of the safe third country agreement; and
then the third relates to the tracking of the refugee claimants. We have read
and heard about possible cards being issued for those individuals, but I have
not heard of the implementation of that. Where are we with respect to those
issues? I presume you cannot answer any of these questions here and now.
Ms. Merpaw: At the present time, no, but we will get that information
for you. It is not my area of specialty. We do have a safe third country
agreement. I am not sure as to the implementation date, so I will get that for
you. We will also get the information with respect to the refugee claimants at
the border coming in from the U.S. We will address those issues for you.
Senator Day: My other question relates to the Customs side of things.
I do not want to say that you were resisting the suggestions from my colleagues,
and that might be because of dollars or because it will take a while.
We were talking about dealing with containers at their source, that is, where
come from. The closer you can get to when those containers are packed, the more
likely it is that only safe containers would arrive here in Canada. We also
talked about containers in large ports such as Amsterdam. If we can examine the
containers before they leave their port of origin, that would be even better.
Some of our witnesses talked about using technology to ensure that those
containers were sealed and could not be tampered with. You could go back to the
plant when they were packed and know that they were clean when they were packed
and then sealed. Then you could have a geographic positioning system that tracks
that container. Our witnesses told us that it could all be done easily with the
technology that exists today.
Where are we in that thinking? Are we resisting that because we cannot
implement it? Our witnesses pointed out that some companies do a lot of
shipping, and they would cooperate in relation to that kind of system if they
could have a faster flow of their product through the ports when they arrive in
North America, which seems to me to be a good incentive. Everyone would want to
sign up if it would speed up the passage of their product.
Ms. Tracy: The federal government has taken a lead on the e-seal
projects, and you have probably heard of ``Operation Safe Commerce'' type pilot
programs that are going on with Transport Canada. It is the Smart Transportation
Systems Directorate, I believe, that is leading it.
Having said that, we have gone to a number of meetings with safe commerce
people, and we have talked a lot and done a lot of research into e-seals.
E-seals and GIS are very effective, to a point. In Customs, we still have a
concern, and we need to look at the kind of technology out there, but we still
have a concern that you can beat an e-seal. You can get into a container without
disturbing an electronic seal.
We are very committed to working with these various pilot programs and to
seeing how far the technology can go and how useful it can be, but we do have
that lasting concern about the capacity of the e-seals to assure us that a
container has not been tampered with.
Senator Day: Is that what is holding everything up?
Ms. Tracy: No. Transport Canada can answer your question better. I
know they have had a number of discussions with the safe commerce people and
with the various ports, Halifax and Vancouver particularly, but perhaps Montreal
as well. They would be able to provide you with more information of exactly
where the federal government is in those discussions.
Senator Day: The fact that it is with Transport Canada means it is
still in the thinking or policy stage as opposed to being at the implementation
stage with the real doers out there such as your departments.
Ms. Tracy: You would have to talk to Transport Canada about the
The Chairman: I thank our panel of witnesses for appearing before us.
Your information has been helpful to our study, and we hope to have you back
before us again before too long. We find that we have a continuing appetite for
information relating to both Customs and Immigration and the security of Canada
and our borders.
To our viewers, if you have questions or comments, please visit our Web site
by going to www.sen-sec.ca. We post witness testimony as well as confirmed
hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by
calling 1-800- 267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting the
members of the committee.
This portion of the public meeting of the committee is adjourned.