Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 16 - Evidence (Afternoon meeting)


OTTAWA, Monday, May 5, 2003

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 2:30 p.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Honourable senators, I call the meeting to order.

Before calling upon our witnesses, I wish to introduce Senator Atkins from Ontario. He came to the Senate in 1986 with a strong background in communications and experience as an adviser to the former Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, and the former Premier of Ontario, William Davis. Senator Atkins is a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. He also serves as Chair of the Senate Conservative caucus.

Our first witness this afternoon will be Mr. John Adams, a former military officer and engineer who is now the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Mr. Adams, please proceed.

Mr. John Adams, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries and Oceans: I will quickly walk you through the document in front of you, and that will give us time for questions. I want to talk about what we are, what we are not, and what we are doing with respect to maritime security.

As an essential component of Canada's sovereignty, the Canadian Coast Guard, or CCG, is a national institution providing service in maritime safety, protection of the marine and freshwater environment, facilitation of maritime commerce, support of marine scientific excellence and support of Canada's maritime priorities.

[Translation]

What we do: 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 of science, support to government programs and departments.

[English]

The Canadian Coast Guard is not a paramilitary organization. CCG personnel generally have neither peace officer powers nor enforcement authority. CCG has no authority to stop or board vessels caught in the performance of illegal acts at sea except for the very special authority granted occasionally to pollution prevention officers by Transport Canada.

The Canadian Coast Guard is, however, well positioned to provide a cost-effective, value-added contribution to marine security. CCG has the infrastructure, assets, personnel, and 24/7 capabilities to incorporate marine security applications into existing programs. CCG has an operational-readiness culture that can link search-and-rescue and oil- spill-response capabilities to marine security demands. Finally, CCG is an efficient and effective collector and collator of marine traffic information.

[Translation]

Marine Communications and Traffic Services receives pre-arrival reports 96 and 24 hours prior to vessel entry into Canadian waters and will notify the appropriate agency of a vessel on the Ships of particular interest list requesting clearance.

Canadian Coast Guard Fleet provides a deterrence to terrorist or criminal acts through a clearly identifiable federal presence and a visible symbol of Canadian sovereignty.

Canadian Coast Guard vessels have an observe, record and report role for submitting vessel contacts to Canadian Forces and to the RCMP Coastal Watch program.

[English]

On request, CCG vessels and aircraft can provide positive identification of a vessel of interest and track vessel progress. The provision of helicopter support to an enforcement community for surveillance is also a possibility.

CCG provides marine platforms and crews to the RCMP, CCRA, Immigration Canada and Transport Canada for routine vessel interceptions and boardings. CCG provides crew to operate seized vessels to ensure safe transit into a Canadian port. Finally, CCG will provide backup vessels to Canadian Forces or RCMP armed interception at sea, providing search and rescue capability and transit for crew and passengers.

CCG is supportive of the current interdepartmental approach to marine security. Maritime traffic data uploads to intelligence agencies will significantly increase with the implementation of the Automated Identification System and any long-range vessel identification and tracking projects. CCG supports initiatives to improve the flow of marine security information and intelligence among federal departments and agencies.

That, Mr. Chair, is a brief overview of CCG, what we are, what we are not, and what we are doing with respect to maritime security.

Senator Forrestall: As you know, we are trying to envision the picture that future maritime policy might paint by way of aiding and enhancing the security of our ports and coastlines. Of course, we have the delightful mix of the navy, the Coast Guard and the Department of Transport — just to mention three, though I do not mean to exclude the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the RCMP.

You say quite a bit in your presentation about your capacity to collect, store and disseminate information. You are a good collator of the information that you pick up. At some point we must decide whether the CCG should take over the navy or the navy should take over CCG, and whether we should extend the rights of organizing labour to members of the Canadian Armed Forces or take it away from your organization. We are not sure what to do. We still have open minds.

Could you address the previous observations about your capacity to collect, collate and usefully pass on information? Do you view this activity in any way as an intelligence-gathering activity?

Mr. Adams: No. In that sense, we do not create intelligence. We simply gather information.

Senator Forrestall: Are you reporters?

Mr. Adams: We are reporters. We pass the information to what are sometimes referred to as data fusion centres — I would call them operation centres — on the east and west coasts. They collect the information from us and from others in a layered system, and they create the intelligence.

Senator Forrestall: Could you be specific? Is it someone in one of the departments who does the collecting?

Mr. Adams: In each region, we have a regional operations centre, a ROC. The first point of contact will be the regional operations centre. Anything that needs to be reported goes first to our regional operations centre.

Senator Forrestall: Where are those centres?

Mr. Adams: The most eastern would be in St. John's, Newfoundland. Another one is in Halifax. We have one in Quebec City, one in Sarnia, and one on the West Coast, in Victoria.

Senator Forrestall: Other than Sarnia, are there none on the upper Great Lakes?

Mr. Adams: Sarnia is the ROC for the Great Lakes.

Senator Forrestall: What about the Arctic?

Mr. Adams: In the summer time, when we are in the North, we operate out of Iqaluit on the East Coast. On the west coast, the reporting is done to the ROC in Victoria. There is only one ship there.

Senator Forrestall: Once information is brought in and the evaluation is made, to whom is the information relayed?

Mr. Adams: The ROC passes information to the Maritime Operations Centre in Halifax on the East Coast or to Esquimalt on the West Coast.

Senator Forrestall: If the classification of that information were to change in nature from collection to intelligence, would it be changed there?

Mr. Adams: That is where it would happen. At the same time as the information is passed to the operations centres, it would also come to us in Ottawa. The information does go directly to those coastal locations.

Senator Forrestall: What do you do when the information comes here?

Mr. Adams: We evaluate it and ensure it is forwarded to the proper centre, east or west, and that is about it. Our office in Ottawa is not an operational headquarters. The operations are decentralized to the regions. We gather the information simply to ensure a kind of a sober second thought process, if you will, to make certain that it makes sense.

Senator Forrestall: Do you store this information?

Mr. Adams: No, we do not store this as information; that is done at the ROCs.

Senator Forrestall: How long is the information stored at the regional centres?

Mr. Adams: As with any information that comes into government, it has a shelf life that would be reviewed after three and five years and be disposed of eventually, since storage is an issue.

Senator Forrestall: Is that a satisfactory arrangement for the Coast Guard?

Mr. Adams: Perhaps I could rephrase that and ask: Was it satisfactory? No. Is it satisfactory? It is getting better. Will it be satisfactory? Yes.

It was not satisfactory in the past, because the information was not always relayed to defence as quickly, effectively or as fulsomely as it should have been. It is getting better. Post-9/11 we are sharing far more information than was the case in the past. We are passing it on. We will err on the side of giving too much rather than too little. It will be better in the future, because part of the security package that the government put together and announced in Halifax in the January time frame included in the order of $16 million to improve the exchange of information among all of the agencies involved in information, including maritime information.

Even in our department there are sectors of the department that glean maritime information that they also pass to the two coasts, be it east or west.

Senator Forrestall: In regard to vessels that are targets of interest for intelligence gathering purposes, is the information passed along to you so that you know what to report? How does that come to you?

Mr. Adams: It comes to us through the security agencies, if you will. Some are targeted by immigration, some are targeted by the RCMP, and some are targeted by defence. They put a list together and that comes to us through the security organization that is coordinated here by Transport Canada.

Senator Forrestall: How often is that updated?

Mr. Adams: I am sorry, I do not know.

Senator Forrestall: I see no link other than that with the Department of Transport. We have Transport Canada officials here, we have you fellows here, and we have representatives of the navy here. All of you would cover inshore, midshore and offshore information.

Mr. Adams: A link from what point of view? We have the interdepartmental committee on maritime security, and that meets on a regular basis. We have memorandums of understanding between Transport Canada and ourselves.

Senator Forrestall: Does your information go to the Department of Transport or does it go to the committee?

Mr. Adams: The information I mentioned goes directly to The Department of Defence. I do not know what information we are talking about. I am a little confused.

Senator Forrestall: I am asking about information that is passed up to you or down to you from the ROC.

Mr. Adams: That goes nowhere. That stays with us. The information that becomes intelligence goes directly to the operations centres on the East Coast and on the West Coast.

Senator Forrestall: Would it be the military that would pass intelligence on to the interdepartmental committee?

Mr. Adams: If there were anything to pass on, it would seldom be done through a committee. However, if something required immediate action, they would pass it on. The key is to sort out the roles and responsibilities. Clearly, the operations centres on each coast must be quite clear as to who is responsible for what.

Senator Forrestall: That is what we are trying to get at.

Mr. Adams: To give you an example, in the past week we had two incidents. On the East Coast, there was an anthrax scare on an Egyptian freighter. Immediately upon it being determined that it was an anthrax scare, that became a health issue, so it went to the Department of Health. They coordinated what they required with us. They needed a platform to get them and representatives of the Department of Defence out to the location of the ship in order to establish the cordon around the ship that was quarantined offshore. The information went to Health and that was the lead department. They dealt with the coordination from there. That was on the East Coast. As far as we can tell, it worked very well.

On the West Coast, we had the SARS scare. A crewman was taken off a ship on Vancouver Island. He had symptoms similar to those exhibited with SARS. Again, Health Canada was informed and, in this case, the information came directly from us. Health Canada took the lead and we took it from there and decided where we would establish the quarantine, if it was necessary, and how we would choose it to ensure the quarantine could be observed, and so on.

It depends upon the amount of time you have. In the latter case, there was not very much time. It was coming down the coast, heading into Vancouver so they wanted to move fairly quickly. They knew who was responsible for what and it went very well.

Senator Forrestall: Am I correct in saying that the Coast Guard has nothing to do with passing this kind of information on to the homeland people?

Mr. Adams: In this case, our Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre gathered the information. They were in contact with the ship. We are, if you will, the air traffic controller for the sea and the 911 service for the sea. When we got word that this sick sailor had been taken ashore, we let people know. When we heard that the symptoms were suspicious, we passed that information on. That would have been our involvement. We alert others about what is going on and they take it from there.

Senator Forrestall: As I understand it, your organization is in need of funds.

Mr. Adams: The Coast Guard is hurting right now.

Senator Forrestall: We also have this other authority that will hook up with Secretary Ridge's organization on northland security and homeland defence.

How did the information on anthrax get to you from the ship?

Mr. Adams: The information initially went to our ROC in Halifax. That office is literally just across the corridor. They simply inform us. I then keep the minister informed, but not for operational reasons. As I say, the operations are decentralized to regions. They just share the information from among the operations centres.

Senator Forrestall: The vessel never did come in to port; is that correct?

Mr. Adams: No, it did not. It was stopped. We let those on board know what their limitations of movement were. We established, in conjunction with Health Canada, Transportation Canada, and Defence, where they wanted the ship to be quarantined. They then asked us if we could provide a ship to picket the quarantine vessel to ensure that no one could get off or on. We did that. Health Canada took it from there.

We also used one of our vessels to ferry people to and from the ship to do the swab tests to determine whether anyone who had been exposed or who showed symptoms did, in fact, have anthrax.

Senator Forrestall: I am trying to establish the importance of the Canadian Coast Guard, and whether or not you should be doing more or sticking to your business of dealing with safety, aids to navigation, icebreaking, flood control, and so on.

Do you have a full plate now, or is there room within your organization to take on expanded responsibilities?

Do you carry peace officers on board?

Mr. Adams: Only occasionally. We would carry fisheries officers on a fairly regular basis, mostly for the offshore, because they have their own program boats for inshore and midshore. If requested, we will carry members of the RCMP if requested. We will carry immigration officers if requested. CCG is the government's civilian fleet.

Do we have capacity to do more? No, not without more resources. We are occupied to our limit and we multi-task our vessels.

In order to do more, we would need more resources, or someone else would have to do what we are doing now. The safety of our waters, which includes everything from icebreaking to marine navigational services, as well as environmental response and assistance to science, conservation and protection, comprises a full plate for us. We are equipped and trained to do those tasks. That is the cultural and history of the Coast Guard. If we took on more, it would be a traumatic and dramatic change to what is historically the Coast Guard business.

Could we take on more? Not without resources and not without a considerable cultural and training change in what we do.

Senator Forrestall: If the navy assumed command and control of the Coast Guard without usurping any of the duties of traffic management, icebreaking, channel marking and safety in particular, would that pose serious problems? If so, what would be the nature of the problems?

Mr. Adams: I would not use the word ``problems.'' It would be different. I am not sure what the advantages would be because we have little or nothing in common with Defence except that we both have ships.

Senator Forrestall: As I mentioned earlier, the navy would find it difficult to get in and out of Torrance Bay. You people can go in and out at will. You, on the other hand, run into difficulties in mid-water and certainly blue water because your larger vessels have certain requirements.

Mr. Adams: I do not know what you mean by ``difficulties.'' We have more vessels capable of mid-shore and offshore duties than the navy. We have 41 watch-keeping-type ships. What we do, however, is quite different from what the navy does; and what we would have to continue to do would not go away, whether it was with the navy or the Coast Guard.

Could we do more with those vessels? As I say, we are already multi-tasking those vessels. If the vessel is out doing fishery patrol, for example, it is also a secondary search and rescue vessel. If it were out doing search and rescue, it may be laying buoys as well. It might also have a fisheries officer on board to do fisheries patrols. Nothing would change in that respect, because all those things would continue to have to be done, so those vessels would not be available for much else.

You must also remember that our vessels are truly ships intended to do those types of tasks. If you ask them to take any form of aggressive action, you would have to arm both the crewmen and the ship in one way or another, which would mean a fairly significant cultural change. As one of your witnesses said some time ago, it would take one or two generations for that change to occur, because that is not the inclination of Coast Guard personnel.

You would have to remodel our ships to resemble Canadian Forces ships. They are weapons platforms. As well, the crew requirement would increase. A destroyer, which is about the size of the Louis St. Laurent, has 225 to 250 people on board. The Louis St. Laurent sails with about 54 personnel, because they are doing totally different tasks with totally different mandates and totally different people on board.

Senator Forrestall: With one engine?

Mr. Adams: One engine is down on the Louis St. Laurent. It is in for repairs now. It will have five engines when it goes North again.

The Chairman: Commissioner, perhaps it might help in terms of your responses to our questions if I indicated that the committee is concerned about gaps in the protection of the two coasts. We have a particular concern about the littoral area, perhaps reaching 50 miles out from the coasts. We are aware of the role of the Coast Guard. We understand how you function. If I had to summarize it, I would say that it does, partly, public works, it is partly a taxi business carrying people around, and it is partly search and rescue. I do not say that to belittle the work at all, but if one were summarizing it to someone who had no knowledge of the Coast Guard, that would give them a general sense of what you are about. I have not touched on icebreaking, which is obviously a big part of your function.

It is obvious that you would require to increase the number of crew to man a ship of war. If you had adequate armaments to stop a merchant vessel you would not need a whole lot of people. You might only need enough crew members to man a single gun. You might need a crew to use a Zodiac to board another vessel. It could be accomplished with as few as a dozen people. We can debate the numbers, but my point is that this function does not require the same crew as a frigate.

Mr. Adams: It would depend on what that suspect merchant ship might be planning to do. If it were a pure merchant ship, you would be right. However, if its purpose was to do something untoward — and bear in mind that you would not know what armaments it would have on board — you would have to be prepared. Inevitably, if you come with a pistol, they will have a rifle; if you come with a rifle, they will have a machine gun; if you come with a machine gun, they will have a missile. You have to be prepared for all eventualities, and that is the danger of calling it a merchant ship. It could be a merchant ship, but it could be armed to the teeth.

The Chairman: It could be, and that might be the argument for retaining the status quo.

We understand the culture you are talking about. We watch how the Americans, with quite a different culture and with a militarized Coast Guard, are addressing this area inshore, if you will. We are talking to you to get a sense of how best to address this area inshore and what contribution the Coast Guard can provide, other than what it is providing now, to the security of the inshore and whether you think it can be enhanced or whether the problem needs to be solved by another agency altogether. We do not know the answer, and that is one reason we asked you here today.

I had a sense, from your discussion with Senator Forestall, that perhaps the context in which we are looking at this issue was not clear to you. I hope that has clarified it for you.

Senator Cordy: How many vessels does the Coast Guard have?

Mr. Adams: At this time, we have 106 operational vessels.

Senator Cordy: What is the breakdown of their functions?

Mr. Adams: There are 41 lifeboats spread between east, west and centre. Of our capital ships, two thirds are on the East Coast and one third are on the West Coast.

Senator Cordy: You mentioned in your preamble that the Coast Guard does not have a paramilitary function. What do you do when you are on the seas and you unexpectedly come across a ship that is pursuing illegal activities?

Mr. Adams: We observe and report.

Senator Cordy: To whom do you report?

Mr. Adams: If it is on the East Coast, we report to Halifax. If it is on the West Coast, we report to Victoria.

Senator Cordy: How do you keep the ship from escaping to international waters?

Mr. Adams: It depends what it is trying to do, but we would take no physical action to prevent it from going to where it was going. We would simply report.

Senator Cordy: Would it be helpful if members of the Coast Guard were permitted to board a ship? Would you have to make changes?

Mr. Adams: You would want to be armed if you were going to take aggressive action to stop a ship. We would obviously need legislation, but that can be done. However, you have to be prepared to take whatever action needs to be taken to further your aim, which is presumably to stop the ship. If you are going to stop someone who does not want to be stopped, you either have to be bigger and tougher, or have bigger guns. It is not impossible, but it is not as simple as just saying, ``Stop!''

Senator Cordy: You stated that one of the roles of the Coast Guard is to observe, report and record, and that you in fact are reporters.

Many of our witnesses told us that intelligence sharing is a problem among government departments. Have you found that to be a problem? Are you the giver rather than the receiver of intelligence?

Mr. Adams: I am not in the intelligence business, but the sharing of information has been a problem. That is why I said to Senator Forrestall that the fact that we were not even exchanging information was an issue. We also found that this was not unique to Canada. Our neighbours to the south had the same situation. However, after 9/11, we now have a much better system of sharing. We have even coordinated the questions we are asking.

When our Marine Communications and Traffic Services officers received a report of an incoming ship, we had a series of questions we asked them. We have changed the questions to cater to things that Immigration Canada may have wanted us to ask, the Revenue Agency may have wanted us to ask, or the RCMP and Defence, for that matter. We have a different bank of questions and a different data bank of information that we then pass on to Halifax.

Yes, the sharing of information was a problem. The situation is now better. Is it perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but they are working hard to improve it simply by making sure that our communications systems are compatible so that we can pass on information without difficulty.

Senator Cordy: To whom do you give your information? Does it depend on what scenario you come upon, or is there a central agency?

Mr. Adams: If we get information that is of interest to Transport Canada, we pass it on to Transport Canada. If it is information that we are not sure about, we give it to Halifax or Esquimalt and they pull it together. A lot of the information is routine. It is about routine traffic on a routine run. If there were something untoward, we would immediately give that information to Halifax or Esquimalt, depending upon the coast.

Senator Cordy: How does the AIS, the Automatic Identification System, work?

Mr. Adams: It will be compulsory for each sea-going vessel, although there is a debate about how big the vessels must be. Now, I think they start at 300 tons gross. Each vessel would have a transponder and the transponder would send out messages in one form or another that would list whatever you wanted on it. Everything from the last port of call, current port of call, captain, crew, cargo and passengers, if any, would all be there. Shore-based receiver stations would receive that information and disseminate it. Initially, it will be based on line of sight but eventually it will be by satellite.

With respect to transponders, the current challenge is not technological, it is price. They are very expensive. Therefore, initially it will be limited to the larger ocean-going vessels. Eventually, like global positioning devices, they will become far less costly and they will be on all of our vessels.

We are even using these ``black boxes'' now in some of the fisheries. We have the transponders on the vessels so we can keep track of where they are and what they are up to. The price is coming down.

The Chairman: Can you tell us the price, please, sir?

Mr. Adams: The most sophisticated transponder at this moment costs between $30,000 and $40,000.

The Chairman: What would an adequate transponder cost?

Mr. Adams: I am not sure. They can be rented or leased, and that is what the fishing vessels sometimes do. I suspect the cost range would be in the 10s of thousands of dollars as opposed to $5000 or $6000. However, we are anticipating that they will cost under $10,000 within four to five years.

Senator Cordy: Do we currently have enough resources to monitor and to analyze the data? It is one thing to just record it, but to analyze it is something else.

Mr. Adams: We are not in the analytical business. At this stage, we receive it and pass it on to those who analyze it. Currently, we have not even got the ground-base stations to receive the information, nor do the vessels have the transponders, but they will become mandatory in 2004.

In fact, one of the chaps in this room has been writing the Treasury Board submission to access the monies so that we can start the work to establish the ground-based stations. As soon as Transport Canada makes them mandatory, the vessels will have to equip themselves with transponders; and by 2004, it will be a go. By that time, we will likely use the Marine Communications and Traffic Services people to man those stations. They will receive the information and pass it on to the data fusion centres in Halifax and Esquimalt.

Senator Cordy: Will that be at the beginning of 2004?

Mr. Adams: Yes.

Senator Cordy: When a ship approaches Canadian waters, who is responsible for monitoring it? Does the responsibility change or are you responsible from the beginning all the way through?

Mr. Adams: When the ship is 96 hours out, it informs Canadian officials that it is coming, and we ask a series of questions similar to those I enunciated earlier. Of course, we keep track of where it is, its course, et cetera. I believe some of your witnesses posed the question, ``What happens if they do not tell you?'' That might happen in some cases. What you would then have to do is survey the coast by other means to pick up the so-called ``people'' who are attempting to avoid you.

If they do not report to us, we do not know they are there. It is as simple as that. Although we do not know they are there, that is not to say there are not other ways of finding them with surveillance flights or, again, the observe, record and report method of our vessels out there. Of course, the RCMP has its coastal watch systems, et cetera; but we are the air traffic controller of the sea, and we bring them right into port. We pick them up on radar as well. However, the initial communication is voice communication.

Senator Cordy: If the RCMP were to sight a vessel, how would they know you were not aware of it?

Mr. Adams: They may not. They would simply report.

Senator Cordy: Would they report to the Coast Guard?

Mr. Adams: Not necessarily. They might report it to the ROC. They could report it to Halifax themselves.

Senator Day: I did not understand your answer to that last question. Could you clarify it?

Mr. Adams: The RCMP has its own system. Those officers report it up their own chain. If the RCMP were on board a vessel, we would be in communication with them. They could pass it to our ROC and we would pass it on, or they could pass it on directly.

Senator Day: Your regional centres collect information and just pass it on, is that correct? Is any analysis or fusion of the information done?

Mr. Adams: No.

Senator Day: You also mentioned something about using a satellite. Was that related to the use of transponders?

Mr. Adams: Yes.

Senator Day: You are not referring to satellite surveillance.

Mr. Adams: The satellite will be used in conjunction with the use of the transponders. I am not in the satellite surveillance business.

Senator Day: Is any satellite surveillance contemplated, or is it going on in our shipping lanes or at our coasts?

Mr. Adams: As far as I know, yes, but I cannot give you any details.

Senator Day: You are not involved in that. Would you be involved at all with National Defence's recent decision to establish a few more short-wave over-the-horizon radar devices?

Mr. Adams: We are involved to the extent that we are working together to ensure that our AIS coverage is compatible with their radar coverage. If there were any gaps, we would fill them with one or the other. The over-the- horizon radar was financed through the marine security package announced in January in Halifax. They have been working on that technology for quite some time. They are now at the point that they think they have taken it far enough and can field it on the coast. They are looking at that, but that would be for defence purposes.

Senator Day: With that radar in place, would your deep-water vessels perform fewer patrols?

Mr. Adams: We do not patrol, Senator Day. When we are dealing with conservation and protection or when we do a search and rescue, SAR, then we observe. We do not patrol for pure security. Immediately after 9/11, we were given an injection of funds to enable us to keep our vessels out longer, but that money has now dissipated. We are simply using all the sea time that we have and we are ``double-hatting,'' if you will, so that we are able to observe, record and report. However, we are not patrols, as such.

The radar will show all of the vessels that are out there. You can then compare those indicators with the reports we are receiving from our Marine Communications and Traffic Services centres. You could then focus on the differences.

Senator Day: You do not patrol routinely for fisheries, for example.

Mr. Adams: Not as such. The last thing you want to do with fisheries is be routine. You want to go when they are not expecting you and not when they would expect you. We regularly try to have a vessel with fisheries officers at the 200-mile limit. We are out there for that. The patrolling that is done on a kind of irregular but routine basis are the air patrols, the surveillance flights that Fisheries and Oceans fish management people do that are not related to Coast Guard. That is done as a Fisheries patrol. All boats, other than Fisheries' boats are recorded. All of the recorded material is immediately sent to Halifax or Esquimalt, depending upon which coast the boats are on. Those routine surveillance missions would be by air.

Senator Day: Did I correctly understand your evidence earlier when you indicated that the Department of Fisheries maintain their own ships for inland or coastal water duties?

Mr. Adams: Yes, inshore, they are what we call program boats. Those are vessels that can be sailed by you and by me. You need not be certified. Any vessel that needs certification in accordance with Transport Canada's standards is our vessels. The patrol boats — the program boats — are Fisheries boats, and they have quite a number of those. I would guess that between 60 and 100 of those boats are doing inshore fishery patrols.

Senator Day: Even though the Canadian Coast Guard, CCG, is part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, they still have a number of people who drive boats just as you have.

Mr. Adams: I have all of the certified mariners and they have fisheries officers who drive boats just as police officers drive cars.

Senator Day: Of course, there are also RCMP officers who drive boats.

Mr. Adams: There are some of those as well.

Senator Atkins: What happened in Shippegan, New Brunswick, on the weekend? Were fisheries boats involved in the incident?

Mr. Adams: No, the boats that were burned were fishing vessels, not DFO vessels, or program boats. The fishing boats were in our hands. However, I do not have the details of all those that were burned.

Senator Atkins: Were they owned by the Government of Canada?

Mr. Adams: Yes. They could have been boats purchased as part of our package to reduce the number of fishers in the business. However, I do not have those kinds of details. They were fishing vessels.

Senator Day: It is my recollection that five or six years ago when we reviewed the Canada Marine Act, there was a great deal of discussion about cost-recovery for your various operations. The decision was made that icebreaking, for example, would not be a cost-recovery activity. That is my recollection.

Mr. Adams: That is wrong. It is a cost-recovery activity. We recover for marine services and icebreaking and for dredging, if it is for private gain.

Senator Day: Does that cost recovery come from the operators of the various ports who charge fees for dredging, for example?

Mr. Adams: Yes, as well as from shipping companies.

Senator Day: If you are asked to do something on behalf of the RCMP, for example, or for Environment Canada, is there a cost recovery element, or is there an interdepartmental transfer of funds to you?

Mr. Adams: There sometimes is journal vouchering of funds, yes, assuming that money is made available for a so- called special case. It would have to be a fairly large amount of money. To give you an example, there was supplemental money for Swissair after the disaster. We received a portion of that by way of recompense for the work we did in support of the recovery operation. Generally speaking, there is no exchange. We are funded to provide that kind of service on a normal basis to other government departments. There is no exchange.

Senator Day: That is what you would call the ``platform activity.''

Mr. Adams: That is correct. That is the government civilian fleet in support of other government departments. We are mandated and funded to do a certain amount of that. A major disaster, such as Swissair, would generate disaster relief funds and we would receive a portion of that. The same would occur in an ice storm.

Senator Day: I have the sense that much of the activity offered by the CCG with respect to security is related to the gathering of information and then passing that along for analysis.

Mr. Adams: I think that is fairly true. We will provide platforms, but we have to be careful because our mariners do not even have flak jackets for self protection Thus, they are very hesitant to take their vessels into an area where there may be even small arms in the possession of the crew of a vessel that is being approached. We will provide platforms, but we have to be sure that we are not going anywhere near live arms. That is not our business. This relates to the cultural issue that I mentioned earlier to Senator Forestall.

Senator Day: That is very important to note, if we are to make a recommendation for increased security. Part of our security might be information gathering, which you can do and you continue to do, and your presence is very important in terms of dissuading terrorist or criminal activities. However, if we want other types of interdiction activities, then someone else would better do them, having in mind the culture and the funding available to you.

Mr. Adams: That would be my thinking. However, as I said to Senator Kenny, there are a number of different options. My inclination is that the first people who would be harmed were we to arm our CCG personnel, would be Coast Guards because they are not inclined to be aggressive. Having said that, during the turbot war, we mounted 50- calibre machine guns on a couple of our vessels that were out at the 200-mile limit, and we trained our people to do boardings, et cetera. Nothing is impossible, as long as you have the resources and the training capacity to do it.

You would have to get, in many cases, different mariners than those we have today. Our mariners are very much merchant mariners.

The Chairman: What was the result of putting the two 50-calibre guns on board?

Mr. Adams: It scared the living daylights out of the Coast Guard. I think they fired them once over the bow, but I am not sure. They could not get the guns off the boats fast enough. I think we still have the mounts so that we could put them back, if required.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility. However, you have an armed force with all the training and the culture, and I would be inclined to look at Defence. If there were something else that we could pick up that would not be so appropriate for the Department of Defence, then that would be another option to consider, senator. I am not prejudging what might be the best option.

Senator Day: I have one other question. I refer to an article that I read in the Montreal Gazette on Friday. You may have seen that article, which states that the Coast Guard is considering cutting its fleet of helicopters by six. It went on to state that a paper released under the Access to Information Act says the badly underfunded helicopter service with 27 aircraft must shrink if the Coast Guard is to live within its means. It also noted that the November paper proposed that the remaining 21 helicopters would have to increase their flying time in order to meet their commitments with the fewer aircraft. Was the information contained in that article factual?

Mr. Adams: No. They gained access to a discussion paper. The Coast Guard, as with most institutional parts of government, are constantly looking to be more cost effective and to see if we cannot get a bigger bang for our buck. I have left no stone unturned in that regard, including the helicopters.

It is simply fleet optimization. We are doing the same thing with our vessels. I want to see if there are smarter ways to use our fleets in order to achieve the same level of service more cost effectively, with fewer resources. The discussion paper to which they referred was a discussion paper that went to our fleet executive board for consideration.

Frankly, it is one part of a multi-faceted review of Coast Guard, and now of Fisheries and Oceans because the minister mentioned this past week that he has mandated the department to do a departmental assessment in order to do an approach similar to that which I initiated in 2000. We called it the ``Coast Guard Modernization Initiative.'' It was a partial departmental assessment, and now it is a full assessment to review all of our programs.

I wish to make a distinction from program review. It is to review our programs for our benefit, not to write down the deficit, which is what program review was all about, to see if we can be more cost effective.

This article refers to one aspect of it. However, no decisions have been taken until we have discussions at a higher level. It will be taken in the context of departmental work that is going on.

Senator Atkins: I understand that you got an increase in the last budget.

Mr. Adams: Yes and no. We got several sunset programs, programs that are terminating, so we lost money in that sense because, once they sunset, you no longer receive the money. We got $47.3 million over at least two years. We are pushing to put that into our ``A'' base to keep it.

Senator Atkins: Does that mean you are upgrading your equipment?

Mr. Adams: Yes. Some of the equipment to which I made reference here in support of the Marine Communications and Traffic Services organizations will be improved. Some of our vessels will be upgraded and improved. You will appreciate that you do not buy many vessels with $47 million. In fact, we have no intention of buying vessels with that money, and the government does not expect us to buy vessels with that money. However, we will improve and upgrade some of our vessels as well as some of the land-based equipment, the communications equipment, with that money.

Senator Atkins: What about helicopters?

Mr. Adams: They are not in the plan at this point in time, no.

Senator Forrestall: I can find a fleet you can have.

Mr. Adams: The Sea Kings? No thanks.

Senator Atkins: Even though your crewmembers would not want to be armed, why would not they be equipped with flack jackets?

Mr. Adams: Normally, we do not go into those circumstances. If we did, we would have to scramble to get them because we do not have them. In fact, Defence only recently upgraded their flack jackets.

Flack jackets are bulky and heavy. We do not put our people in harm's way. If we ever have to do that, we will get our flack jackets from Defence. However, that situation has never arisen in the four years that I have been there.

Senator Atkins: Given the mandate of the Canadian Coast Guard under the present legislation, is it located in the correct government department?

Mr. Adams: You could make arguments in that regard. The current legislation we fall under is the Oceans Act. The minister responsible for that act is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The Canadian Coast Guard was in Transport Canada at one time. You could make arguments on either side. You could even put forward an argument that it should be an independent agency.

Is it doing what it is mandated to do? Yes. Is it doing it in the most effective way? That is a different question. We can be more effective where we are or we might be more effective in another place. That is not for me to say.

At the same time that they transferred Coast Guard from Transport to Fisheries and Oceans, they amalgamated the three fleets. Fisheries and Oceans had two fleets. They had the grey fleet and the white fleet — the science fleet and the fish management fleet. We pulled those fleets together.

We did reduce the number of vessels required. We went from a rough order of magnitude of 190 vessels down to the 105-106 we now have. We did not make the savings that we were hoping to make because we were working the vessels harder by multi-tasking them. However, we reduced the overhead costs by reducing the number of vessels. That was one aspect of the transfer.

Another aspect is that much of our work is in support of Fisheries and Oceans. Science and fish management are big clients. Being co-located gives us a closer contact with that particular client group.

The challenge with the change now lies in our relationship with the commercial sector. It is more difficult for them. That would be one of the down sides of being where we are. The commercial sector now has to deal with two ministers — those of Transport and Fisheries and Oceans. When we pulled the Coast Guard out of Transport we left ship safety with Transport. Before that it was under the Coast Guard umbrella within Transport Canada. That would be a downer for the commercial sector.

Apart from that, you could argue it both ways.

Senator Atkins: When you amalgamated, did you share responsibility as far as navigation is concerned?

Mr. Adams: We pulled that all in with us. We run the Marine Communications and Traffic Services. Our technical support people are responsible for the technical support to the Fisheries' boats, including program boats. We are getting into that as well. Yes, we pulled it all under the same technical services support group.

Senator Atkins: Have you cut back on any navigational commitments, particularly in the inland waterways?

Mr. Adams: Do you mean the buoys?

Senator Atkins: Yes.

Mr. Adams: We will only mark channels that have been surveyed, and we will only mark channels that have multiple users. Generally, we will not mark uncharted waters and we will not mark waters that are intended for private use, such as near cottages, even if the water is charted. If they are multiuse channels, we mark them. We do very little inland work, if you will. We do charted waters.

Senator Atkins: Did you used to do more?

Mr. Adams: Yes, we did. It is a question of priorities. We only have so many resources, and they are spread thin. We are doing less in some areas than in others.

Senator Atkins: In your opinion, how should Canada address the overall marine security within approximately 200 kilometres of the coastline?

Mr. Adams: I have to be careful. I have a minister with whom I have to work as well, and he makes policy.

Senator Forrestall: He is not listening.

Mr. Adams: What we are doing is not bad. I take the approach that you want to focus your efforts as far offshore as possible. Once they get into the inshore, they can do irreparable damage quickly.

My focus was offshore, and that is why I like the approach we have taken with respect to surveillance, that is, to observe out as far as you can with both air and maritime resources, and use the AIS to detect ships out as far out as is humanly possible. We should also try to improve our radar coverage so we know what is out there.

Generally speaking, the honest guys will want you to know where they are. The Automatic Identification System came into being as a collision avoidance system. It was not intended to be a security system. When I said that we can adapt some of our activities to security, I was referring to the fact that we have made that type of adaptation. The Automatic Identification System was intended to be ship-to-ship so that all ships knew where they were in relationship to one another. We have now added the ground station so that we will also know where they are. They will know where one another are, but so will we.

The AIS will locate the honest guys, but radar will give you the total. You subtract the honest guys from the total, and then you focus your surveillance flights, whether they are DND or our provincial airline flights for fisheries patrol, on the radar signals that are not reporting in. Frankly, that is a good system.

On the inshore, I agree with the senator. There are some concerns with respect to once they get through that — if they get through, and you hope they do not — and how you will deal with them inside the littoral waters, or perhaps 15, 20, 30 or 45 miles off shore. In that case, you will obviously need vessels or resources that can react, because presumably they will tip their hand one way or the other.

Once ships are in port, that raises another issue. Then, if they have malice on their minds, they can deposit something into a container and we would end up in the hurt locker. Container security must extend to the offshore and you must insist that the sender has systems with which you are satisfied. That is where the international maritime organization is headed. I talked to you about the protocol or code changes that have been made. The onus is being put on the dispatching ports. They have the authority to inspect and make certain they are doing everything in their power to ensure that what is in containers is legitimate. If you try to do it on this side, it is probably too late. It is already in our port and it can do irreparable damage.

Senator Atkins: Who reviews the manifests of the containers on these ships?

Mr. Adams: Generally, the revenue agency.

Senator Atkins: Is that working well, in your opinion?

Mr. Adams: As far as I can tell, and in view of the exchange of information that we are embarked on now, I think it is a good system, because the revenue agency knows things that we do not know. Our interest is safe passage. The revenue agency has information about what is coming into the country, as do the Customs and Immigration people. One of the challenges for Canada as a country is illegal migrants. Immigration tracks that. They know where the source might be and how those people might be getting in. We are now exchanging information in a far more effective way, but still not as well as we should be.

I mentioned that the security package they announced in January included several million dollars to enhance that exchange of information, the data exchange, the methodologies and the hardware to do it. With all of that, the system is pretty good, as is the interdepartmental approach we are taking.

I know there is concern about not having one designated office of primary interest all the time. That is an option, but what we are doing now is not all bad either, because we designate a lead minister or lead ministry in accordance with the circumstances that may be coming our way. If the concern relates to migrants, the lead ministry would be Immigration. If health is the concern, the lead ministry would be Health. All of us are there to support and respond as necessary. It depends on what the intelligence tells you to expect.

At this time, this government has decided to take an interdepartmental approach, and it is working for us. Is it the best way to proceed? I think improvements could be made to that approach. It might be better to have a full-time office of primary interest to coordinate it, but not necessarily. You could make an argument for both approaches.

Comparing where we are now to where we were post 9/11, the difference is dramatic. Some areas could be improved, and your committee is focused on one area. If they get through the outer defences, what do you do when they are in? That could be an area that warrants some concern. At this point in time, there is no indication that what we are doing will not give us sufficient information, that we will not be in a position to react if need be or if there is some suspicion once a threat is closer to shore. I am fairly satisfied with where it is from a Coast Guard point of view.

Senator Atkins: What procedures did you implement as a result of 9/11, if any?

Mr. Adams: The major difference is that we are talking on a regular basis. Of course, the government established Minister Manley's ad hoc group of ministers to ensure that it received ministerial attention, and the interdepartmental group meets regularly.

Probably the most effective things we have done are enhanced communication, enhanced the exchange of information, and we have designated Defence as the recipient of that information. They will do a lot of the initial analysis, so all of that has made a tremendous change.

We have also talked at length with Defence to make absolutely certain that we are complementing one another with respect to their radar and our AIS. We have talked with and worked with the departments to ensure that the AIS will do what they need it to do.

We also spent a lot of time with the international maritime organization to attempt to improve the international approach. In record time, we hammered through dramatic protocol changes respecting container traffic, ships security officers, company security officers, et cetera. A lot has changed. It has not all happened yet, but it will.

Senator Atkins: Were significant changes made respecting the upgrading of equipment?

Mr. Adams: To this point, no, because you simply cannot do it that quickly. However, procedurally, we have changed tremendously. We now have the necessary procurement initiatives to improve our acquisition of equipment that will support us in a more complete fashion.

Senator Forrestall: Had Senator Banks been able to be with us today, he might have wanted to ask, among other important matters, about the usefulness of your means of communication. Do you have the capacity on board your vessels to communicate with the RCMP onshore?

Mr. Adams: We have the capacity to communicate with anyone who has radios on our frequency bands, yes. We have emergency bands that they could use, and yes, we could communicate with the RCMP. However, that is a band. That is the 911 band, if you will.

Senator Forrestall: Channel 16.

Mr. Adams: Any mariner can talk to any other mariner. Over time we will improve our capacity to communicate with one another.

Senator Forrestall: What improvements do you envision? We know that vessels were passing north, south, east and west between Newfoundland and Cape Breton, and going up into the river and they had no means of communicating with one another unless they went way out of their way to do it. Communication has been a problem.

Mr. Adams: I will have to dodge that one because I cannot get into Transport Canada's mandate.

Senator Forrestall: I took you into it. Do not worry about it.

Mr. Adams: The obligatory carriage of communications about what vessels carry and do not carry — other than for safety — lies with Transport Canada. Few vessels will go anywhere without having communications capacity because they are taking their lives in their hands if they cannot communicate. Most vessels will have communications means, even if they are only hand-held. What is missing is the obligation to communicate.

Senator Forrestall: Is equipment compatibility among the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Transport, the Coast Guard and the military an issue?

Mr. Adams: I do not believe that compatibility is the issue with communications. We can all get on the same band lengths. The problem is whether we exchange the information; whether we share the information. Previously we were not doing a lot of sharing, but that has improved.

Senator Forrestall: Is it correct to say that better communications will extend even the amount of sharing?

Mr. Adams: Yes.

Senator Forrestall: We have had lots of problems with first responders. On occasion, the police have been unable to communicate with hospital or ambulance personnel, and sometimes they were not sure where to find the fire department personnel. It is my sense that that same kind of confusion is found in other fields. There must be more direct communication with the party you want to contact.

Senator Day: Do you have a Coast Guard auxiliary?

Mr. Adams: Yes, we do.

Senator Day: What, if any, role does the auxiliary play with respect to the security aspect we have been talking about today?

Mr. Adams: The Coast Guard Auxiliary is limited to search and rescue and boating safety, but anybody on the water will observe, record and report. Therefore, they have been included in that aspect of security. It is surveillance.

The vast majority of our auxiliary is focused inshore and they are mostly fishers on the East Coast and recreational boaters on the West Coast. They have far more vessels inshore than we have. There are 5,000 auxiliary members and I would guess they have 300 to 500 vessels. The vessels are privately owned in some cases. In some cases they are community vessels. They fund raise and buy community rescue type vessels, but many times they use their own vessels.

We supplement them by paying any out-of-pocket expenses associated with a search and rescue. Often, particularly inshore, they are the first vessels on the scene of a search-and-rescue situation because they constantly monitor the radios. That is the nature of that business because none of us swim that well, particularly in Atlantic waters because it is so cold. They monitor their emergency bands at all times and that is why communications on the water is pretty good, if you want it to be. If you do not want it to be so good, then you can turn your radio off. We have no way of knowing whether you are there or not unless you tell us.

Senator Day: Would these privately owned auxiliary vessels all have communications equipment and go through some level of training from the point of view of recognizing vessels that should not be there?

Mr. Adams: Yes, indeed, we do that type of training. We are just starting to get them involved because we have enhanced our responsibility with respect to observing, recording and reporting. We distribute to our auxiliary members information on the vessels that we want to be monitor. They are most conscientious about their responsibilities, and I count on them. They are a great resource and the vast majority are skilled mariners and interested in supplementing and complementing anything we are doing.

The Chairman: Thank you, Commissioner Adams. We appreciate your enlightening us on aspects of the Coast Guard that we were not aware of before. I expect we will have further questions that we will forward to you in writing. We also look forward to having you back before us at some point if we can find a convenient time.

This afternoon, we have Mr. William Elliott, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Safety and Security Group of Transport Canada. He practiced law in the private sector until 1988, when he joined the office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He served as head of legal services at Indian and Northern Affairs from 1992 to 1998, and in 1998 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Coast Guard. He assumed his current post in the year 2000. He is accompanied today by Mr. Brion Brandt, Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness with the department. Welcome to the committee. I understand you have a short statement to make.

Mr. William Elliott, Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security Group, Department of Transport: Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the committee today to discuss transportation and security.

[Translation]

I will be brief today since you have received a letter from the minister of Transport about the progress made and being made in strengthening avion safety.

Also, since my last meeting with the committee, you have heard the detailed testimony of representatives of the Department of Transport and of other members of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Marine Safety. These witnesses have described to you the progress made in marine safety and the initiatives the government has announced in January 2003 to support the marine safety program.

[English]

To follow up briefly on Transport Canada's testimony before this committee on April 7, 2003, I can advise you that the key government departments in the Marine Working Group are working together on a variety of initiatives to effectively monitor and report on marine activities, share information and coordinate responses.

I understand that the interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group has undertaken to provide the committee with additional information regarding coordination in responding to operational scenarios. With the committee's indulgence, I will highlight some of the key elements included in the minister's recent correspondence regarding many of the actions that have been undertaken and progress in aviation security.

[Translation]

On the subject of aircrew training, we should mention that officials of Transport Canada and of other federal departments, representatives of groups of stakeholders have discussed and developed a preliminary version of requirements and guidelines to enhance crew member training in order to bolster the safety of civil aviation in Canada. After the consultative process, guidance material will be finalized by June 30, 2003. We expect that the revised requirements regulations will be available as soon as September 2003.

In order to implement the enhancements, air carriers will update their programs and may need to bring crew members off-line for training.

[English]

The minister states that that for security training for other groups of employees, including personnel working close to aircraft, Transport Canada has started stakeholder consultations to further enhance security requirements and guidance material. He goes on to say that changes will follow the same kind of development and consultative process followed for crew members' security training.

The Chairman: Excuse me, I would point out that we have read the minister's letter and it is available for anyone to see. Perhaps we could spend our time more productively. If you have material in addition to the minister's letter, we would welcome hearing about that, but we have all been in possession of the letter for some time now and have read it.

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, I would now be happy to respond to any questions you may have for me.

The Chairman: For the record, if there anyone in the room who needs copies of the minister's letter, we would be happy to circulate it so that people are familiar with it.

It is our intention, Mr. Elliott, at some time, to go through all of our recommendations and look for responses to them. This hearing was precipitated by a recommendation made by this committee that, by April 1, guidelines be in place to allow airlines to train the aircrew in appropriate behaviour and action in the event of a terrorist endeavouring to take over a plane.

That recommendation was forthcoming after we heard testimony from flight attendants and from pilots who told us that they had received no instructions since 9/11 to deal with such matters. They were still working with the same set of ground rules that were in place prior to 9/11.

It seemed to the committee that, given the urgency of the matter and given the changed status of the terrorists who had shown willingness to commit suicide in the process of taking over a plane, the pilots and the flight attendants had some reason to be concerned. We inquired about why the airlines did not proceed with their own training programs. We were told that they were concerned that, no sooner would they go through an appropriate training program, Transport Canada would come forward with slightly different, or perhaps completely different, guidelines. They would then have to retrain their crew.

My question to you is this: Why is it taking so long, given the enormity of the tragedy on 9/11, for Transport Canada to issue new guidelines for the airlines involved?

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, in my opening remarks, and as the minister referred to in his recent correspondence, I referred to the progress that is being made in that respect. I can provide an update in that the draft guidance material has been circulated to stakeholders, which includes air carriers and unions representing pilots and other flight crew.

There is a meeting scheduled for stakeholders. It is one of a series of continuing consultations on the subject. It is scheduled for May 28. Some changes have been made to the operations and procedures manual since September 11, 2001, to reflect two things: first, the relatively new requirements with respect to fortified cockpit doors on aircraft; and, second, changes that reflect the presence of on-duty RCMP officers on board.

With respect to the broader guidelines, as I indicated, we are in the process of consulting on those. The draft material has been provided and it is anticipated that those materials will be finalized by this June.

The Chairman: We understand that. We will come back to air protection officers and the cockpit doors in a moment. You are confirming for this committee that no directives have gone to aircrew as to how to behave differently in the event of an attack on their aircraft. Is that correct?

Mr. Elliott: That is not quite correct, Mr. Chairman. There are a couple of pieces to the picture of training. Transport Canada has requirements and guidelines with respect to how carriers meet those requirements. Carriers do, as I understand it, update their training periodically, absent changes in the prescribed standards. We are currently in the process of revising the prescribed standards, but the timetable is as I have indicated.

The Chairman: When did you commence the revision of these standards?

Mr. Elliott: There has been ongoing work on the revision of the standards for quite some time. However, the specific material that is now in draft form has been under development for the last few months and was only recently provided to stakeholders.

The Chairman: Why would this not have happened one year ago?

Mr. Elliott: I have no answer to that, senator, other than the fact that we have been advancing on many fronts with respect to enhancing security, not only with respect to aviation, but also with respect to other modes of transportation.

The first priorities were as outlined in the minister's recent testimony before this committee. The matter of training is a complicated one. There are many stakeholders, and we have had discussions with all of those stakeholders.

The Chairman: I understand that it is complicated. I am simply curious about the fact that, given the seriousness of the problem, you only began to create the document and consult with the stakeholders four months ago. It seems incredible to me that it would not have started a couple of months after the attack on 9/11 — that people would not have sat down and quickly realized that it is a different world for flying. The terrorists do not want to go home for dinner; and they are prepared to die. Perhaps we should do something different.

My simple question is: Why is it taking so long?

Mr. Elliott: Senator, I guess the only thing I can do is assure you that people in the department and in the industry have been working diligently. We certainly wish that more things could be done sooner. We have been busy doing a variety of things that the committee is familiar with, and it is a time-consuming process.

The Chairman: The way the picture looks to us now, you will finish your first round of consultations and then you will move on to a broader set of consultations. You are hopeful that by September 1, 2003, you will have a firm set of guidelines. Is that the plan?

Mr. Elliott: Perhaps I could clarify that. We are in the process of consultations now and we hope to finalize the package of changes by the end of June. We anticipate that those will require some amendments to the regulatory support for the process.

However, the guidelines and materials should be settled by the end of June, according to our current timetable.

The Chairman: In the third paragraph on the second page, the minister's letter reads:

A much larger group of stakeholders also will be consulted on the regulatory changes with the objective of having revised requirements in place by September, 2003.

Have you found a way of doing it earlier since the letter was written?

Mr. Elliott: The different timelines refer to two different but related processes. The regulatory process itself, that is, the passage of regulations, and the passage of other instruments, security measures, involves some consultations. Those regulations and measures will be to implement a set of training objectives and guidelines. It is the training objectives and guidelines that we hope to finalize by June. We will then implement them through these other instruments. The processes to do those other instrument do involve some further consultation.

Substantively, airlines and those who work on aircraft will know what training objectives and guidelines we will be implementing.

The Chairman: Would you be encouraging airlines to go ahead with their training in June, or would you tell them that they should wait until September when you would have the authorities all in place?

Mr. Elliott: We would encourage carriers, as we have been, to update their training as we move forward.

The Chairman: The answer to the question is what?

Mr. Elliott: The answer to the question is, yes, we would encourage them to move forward with training.

The Chairman: In June or in September?

Mr. Elliott: Carriers could do a number of things now. We certainly would encourage them to move forward with that.

The Chairman: Could you tell the committee what those things are, please?

Mr. Elliott: In the broadest of terms, as you have indicated, Mr. Chairman, the perceived and potential threats with respect to what might be done with an aircraft has changed since the events of September 11. In the past, we would have been much more inclined in a hijacking situation, for example, to have people in the air try to cooperate to the extent possible with those involved in a hijacking. They were encouraged to rely on the people and systems on the ground to deal with the situation on the aircraft.

That is not a reasonable response if the objective of a hijacking is not simply to divert an aircraft from one destination to another destination, but to use that aircraft as a weapon. One of the top priorities has been to take steps to prevent the takeover of aircraft by, among other things, requiring the installation of reinforced cockpit doors.

The Chairman: You have gone from training to cockpit doors. Perhaps we could leave the subject of cockpit doors until we get to it. I would like to know what exactly an aircrew is expected to do differently now.

Mr. Elliott: Never give up control of the cockpit.

The Chairman: What should they do to never give up control of the cockpit?

Mr. Elliott: They should not unlock the door.

The Chairman: You are suggesting that airlines should send notification to all of their pilots not to unlock their doors; is that correct?

Mr. Elliott: As I said earlier, Mr. Chairman, there have already been changes to the operations and procedures manuals of carriers that reflect the requirements regarding cockpit doors. It is a requirement of air carriers to train their pilots and flight crew with respect to those procedures. My understanding is that such training has been done.

The Chairman: In terms of the additional training that presumably would take place either in September or June, and it is still not clear to me which of those two dates —

Mr. Elliott: We do not envisage that our mandatory requirements will be in place until September.

The Chairman: As of September, when the mandatory requirements go out, how long will the airlines have to complete the training of all pilots and all flight attendants? Our concern, as I am sure is yours, is when will the changes take effect in the air? When will we have trained crews who have a better sense of what to do if one of these terrible things should happen? When will the training be finished if they will only receive the instructions in September?

Mr. Brion Brandt, Director, Security Policy, Security and Emergency Preparedness, Department of Transport: Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that, once they have that material in place, much will depend on how much they have upgraded their training to that point in time. They may be required to undertake extensive training. They may be required to take people off duty for a period to train them. We are anticipating that by the end of the year, roughly December of this year, the revised training requirements should be in place.

The Chairman: Will that date be mandated? Will there a point in time when the airlines will have to sign off and state that all current staff are trained and any new staff coming on will be trained before they get on a plane?

Mr. Elliott: I believe that there will be a mandatory date.

The Chairman: Could you tell us what it is, please?

Mr. Elliott: I do not have a better answer than to say that our current thinking is that the training would occur before the end of the year.

The Chairman: When you do have that date, could you inform the committee?

Mr. Elliott: I would be happy to do that, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman: Just as a footnote, since you and the department are aware that we are interested in these matters, we found out about the circulation of information to some of the interested groups through an informal route. Is there some reason that, when these steps are being taken, the committee could not be routinely informed?

Mr. Elliott: I do not really have an answer to your question, senator. I would be very happy to relay the request to keep you routinely informed of developments. I can relay that request to the minister.

The Chairman: In his letter, the minister writes:

Transport Canada will continue to work with its partners and stakeholders to address transportation security issues on a wide variety of fronts. I believe that security of the travelling public and the transportation system will benefit from thorough, considered and balanced assessments of the current security regime, ongoing improvements and challenges ahead. With this objective in mind, we look forward to continuing to support the work of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.

One way that you could support the work of this committee would be to keep us informed when are you making changes or when you are undergoing consultation.

Mr. Elliott: Certainly, Mr. Chairman, the department and the Minister of Transport are anxious to support your ongoing work. The question with respect to when and how information should be provided to the committee is a matter that I should properly raise with the minister.

The Chairman: I have no difficulty with that. However, under the current circumstances, we are finding out about your consultations from flight attendants. It would be more appropriate to find out about them from you.

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, the only thing can I indicate is that the minister's recent letter to you is in furtherance of the minister's indication that he is certainly very happy, in fact anxious, to provide information to the committee. He did provide that information in his recent letter to you.

The Chairman: We would ask you to get back to us after you consult with the minister and advise us if you intend to provide this information on an ongoing basis. In other words, we would like an answer yes or no that you will tell us as things go forward or you will not tell us as things go forward.

Mr. Elliott: As I said, Mr. Chairman, I am very happy to raise that matter with the minister.

The Chairman: Will you come back to us with an answer after you raise this matter with him?

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, I do not want to sideline this important conversation onto subjects that are not helpful. My only reluctance is I want to ensure that the proper way of providing information to the committee is followed. My current understanding, consistent with the way information was provided to you most recently, is that it is the minister who will respond to your requests for information. That is my only hesitation, and I do recognize that I am hesitating. It is not because I want to be uncooperative or because I want to do anything other than be helpful. I just am reluctant to answer specifically who will be getting back to you without raising the matter with the Minister of Transport.

The Chairman: I understood that, and I accept that you should check with the Minister of Transport on this. My question simply was, after you have checked with the Minister of Transport, will you tell us what you and he have decided as to whether or not to get back to us on matters on this?

Mr. Elliott: I can assure you that, after I speak to the Minister of Transport, you will hear from either us or from the minister.

Senator Forrestall: That was the point. It is the minister who obviously denied us access to information — not denied it, but by his actions or lack of actions, not knowing the correct procedure, you acted in a way that resulted in no information coming to us. It was widely known throughout the industry that it must be the minister who denied our access to this information.

Mr. Elliott: It might be helpful if I indicated what I understood about what has transpired with respect to your request for information. I certainly cannot agree with the suggestion that the minister has been reluctant to provide information or has withheld information.

The committee, through the clerk, wrote to me requesting information. I raised the matter with the minister. The minister indicated to me that he would respond directly to the chair of the committee. I wrote to the clerk of the committee to indicate that I understood the minister would be responding to the chair of the committee. The minister wrote to the chair of the committee.

Senator Forrestall: Perhaps my suggestion is to the chair. Invite the minister, on matters such as this, to write directly to us, or to instruct or advise the witness that it is appropriate to tell the committee of matters that are in the public domain.

Mr. Elliott: I certainly have never received any indication from the minister contrary to that. I think perhaps we are off on a tangent. I have no reason to believe that the minister will not be happy to provide you with information. He certainly has been in the past. I just want to make sure that I am doing things in the proper way.

The Chairman: Mr. Elliott, I am sure you are doing things in the proper way. We valued your testimony in the past. In fact, we made reference to how much we valued it in our last report. I do not know whether that hurt you or helped you in your career in Transport.

I am conveying to you the intention of the committee to deal with every recommendation it has made, not just in this report but also in the previous reports, and it is our intention to have a response back that deals with each of these recommendations.

It is the prerogative of the department to accept or reject any recommendations it receives. The wording is that they are ``recommendations.'' However, we do not intend to have people ignore them. We expect a specific answer to each of the points we have raised with the department. We will keep asking questions until we get those answers. We would not have gone to the trouble of writing the report and making the recommendations if we did not think they had some merit. If it turns out that the department cannot meet the deadline that we put in the report, we expect a response to the effect, ``We cannot meet that recommendation because we do not have the facilities to do it,'' or, ``We think it is a bad recommendation,'' or, ``We think that it is something that is better done after we do certain other things.''

We are quite prepared to get into that sort of discussion with you or the minister, if he would prefer to come. We would have been happy to have Mr. Collenette here, had he chosen to come today. He is welcome to appear before this committee at any time. However, we understood that he wanted you to come, and you, of course, are also welcome to appear this committee.

If we can move on, the minister, in his letter on page 2, the top paragraph, refers to the double-door cockpit protection. This committee was of the view that Canada should proceed with the design of a double-door system by June 30 and that the double doors should be in place by December 31, 2004. We were of the view that that was a useful idea because it would significantly reduce the need for aircraft protection officers and diminish the demands by pilots to carry handguns. In fact, we have not had a witness appear before this committee, or in our discussions in fact- finding meetings, who has not spoken in favour of having a two-door system.

I go farther than that. Even with the existing single-door system, those of us who travel often see pilots on the other side of the door as it were, that is, on the passenger side of the door. It drives home the point, every time you see a pilot having a chat in the galley or waiting to use a rest room, that a second door would be of value and would make the plane significantly less vulnerable.

The question I have for you today is: Why is the department not moving faster to provide leadership to set up a second-door system?

Mr. Elliott: We have had a number of meetings and discussions on the subject of double cockpit doors. We raised this matter with our colleagues in the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States of America. We also raised the issue at ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, but there is been no decision by Canada or the Americans or others that I am aware of in the international aviation community to mandate double doors.

The Chairman: I understand that. What is the position of the department? Do they think double doors are a good idea or not?

Mr. Elliott: There are certainly merits to the double-door system. I think the question is one of balancing cost, among other things, with the enhanced security. At the moment, there has been no decision to proceed with mandating that requirement.

The Chairman: I understand that. We do not have to move in lock-step with the Americans. They have a different approach to things. For example, the Americans have passed legislation permitting pilots to carry weapons. We do not think that is appropriate. Therefore, we can see a difference between how things are developing down there and how things are functioning up here.

You agree that the double door is a useful protection. Why would Canada not proceed and move with it, particularly since we are not in favour of having pilots armed?

Mr. Elliott: I agree that a double cockpit door system would enhance the level of security on the aircraft on which it was installed. I am not certain that the costs for doing so justify the increase in that level of security.

The Chairman: When you talk about cost benefit, could you describe for the committee how you go through a cost benefit analysis on this? Do you cost it off against the price of the aircraft protection officers, or do you cost it off against the price of an aircraft that has been captured by terrorists and taken down?

Mr. Elliott: With respect to cost-benefit analysis, I will say a couple of things. Cost-benefit analysis at the best of times is complicated. We often get into cost-benefit analysis with respect to regulatory making, both in relation to security but more often in relation to safety requirements.

One of the difficult areas with respect to transportation safety and security is that cost-benefit analysis is based on the notion that you can quantify and apply a dollar value to benefits. Cost is the easier part of the equation, but certainly a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis would look at all of the costs and all of the benefits, including the costs to which you have referred.

The Chairman: Is the department in the process of undertaking such an analysis?

Mr. Elliott: No, not to my knowledge.

The Chairman: Why?

Mr. Elliott: It really comes back to a policy question, which is whether the Government of Canada should mandate double cockpit doors. I have indicated that there has been no decision as yet to do so.

With respect to the indication earlier that we do not have to do things in lockstep with the Americans, I certainly agree with that. Generally, however, with respect to physical requirements for aircraft, there is a great advantage, and therefore a great tendency on our part and on the part of our civil aviation partners, to try to do things in a cooperative way.

With respect to the requirements that became effective April 9 of this year in terms of locked cockpit doors, for example, we did that in lockstep with the Americans and, in fact, with the world community.

Certainly, requirements of that kind, when you have aircraft flying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is better, all else being equal, to have a consistent approach. I would suggest that in not all cases is all else equal.

The Chairman: I agree that it makes sense where you can to work together with the Americans on design matters relating to aircraft. My point is that you have indicated, as a representative of the department, that you are in favour of double cockpit doors. Every other witness that we have seen has indicated that they are in favour of double cockpit doors. In fact, I have not heard anyone say they thought it was a bad idea. It seems to me a bit strange that there is not a decision-making process in place that will arrive at a conclusion that we should move ahead with cockpit doors or not.

My question to you is this: Why is there not some timetable that says that by such and such a time we will have a decision on cockpit doors, and the respective committee will come back to you and say whether they are on or off, whether or not it is too expensive and, if so, at what price they would be prepared to put them on.

Mr. Elliott: Perhaps I can clarify an earlier answer. With respect, I did not indicate that I thought cockpit doors were a good idea. I indicated that having a double cockpit door system would be a security enhancement. However, since I am not certain, as I indicated, that the cost would justify the expenditure, that really amounts to me not saying that I think they are a good idea.

The Chairman: I apologize if I put words in your mouth, and I accept your explanation.

Perhaps now you could describe what the decision-making process will be regarding double cockpit doors?

Mr. Elliott: Perhaps I could refer to the decision-making process that took place with respect to the installation of fortified doors now mandatory on Canadian-registered aircraft.

I do not have the specific dates and timetable, however, the issue of locking cockpit doors in fact arose prior to September 11, 2001. It arose in the context of growing concerns over the number of incidents of unruly passengers. There was some preliminary work done and some preliminary discussions among our department, the FAA and the international aviation community at ICAO. I cannot say there was a decision not the proceed, but there was not a decision to proceed with such modifications I believe largely based on costs and based on the perception of risks.

Certainly, our perception of risks — and I think the real risks — are different now from what we perceived them to be prior to the events of September 11. The question was re-examined after September 11.

Regarding cost, I understand that, for example, on a wide-body aircraft the cost to make the modifications we have mandated amounts to $93,000 per aircraft. We had discussions with the FAA and at ICAO in Montreal. We consulted with stakeholders. We made a recommendation to the Minister of Transport, who subsequently made a recommendation to his cabinet colleagues, and the Governor in Council passed a regulation.

The Chairman: In terms of the public's perception and this committee's perception with respect to the time involved from 9/11 until a decision was made on the doors and from that decision to the installation of the doors, the impression this committee had and the public had is that you moved expeditiously. You saw a problem, dealt with it, and very quickly the doors were in place. It was impressive. No one denies that.

We are wondering though whether we will have the same expeditious process, or will it take another event to create more action? If I understand you correctly, you say you considered it before 9/11, decided the risk did not require it, however, post-9/11 you changed your mind, moved swiftly and we saw good results.

The question that this committee is asking you today is this: Will you have in place a decision-making process to decide yes or no about the doors, or had you already decided no about the second door, and if you have please tell us? If you have not decided about them, please tell us when you will?

Mr. Elliott: There has been no decision with respect to double cockpit doors, and I do not have a time frame to offer as to when such a decision might be made.

The Chairman: When would you expect to have a time frame?

Mr. Elliott: I can raise this matter with the minister. Our preliminary discussions with the FAA and with others at ICAO would indicate that there is not widespread support in those organizations for moving immediately forward on this matter.

The Chairman: The committee is looking for you to come back and say, ``There is no widespread support. If the other countries are not moving, we do not want to move either,'' and then we will go on from there. However, without some sort of response back to us on these questions, we are left with just asking and asking. I am trying to say that we do need some sort of a response.

If I can go on, the minister, on page 3, in the third paragraph of his letter, commented that there would be an expanded and enhanced program of screening non-passengers entering restricted areas at airports. This was an area of considerable concern to the committee. We had testimony from the RCMP, and from others, that there were organized criminals active air side at most airports. We noted that the workers — and by this we are talking about the groomers, the baggage handlers, the refuelers, the people who are working on the ground side — were not being searched, whereas passengers and aircrew were being searched.

At the time, we were told that this was too expensive an exercise to get into, and too complicated and difficult. Do I take it from the third paragraph that we are going to see ground-side workers being searched when they come to work each day?

Mr. Elliott: Yes, with an explanation. As the minister announced in November, and as I discussed in my earlier testimony before this committee, the program being established will see random and targeted searches of airport workers, not the searching of all airport workers every day.

The Chairman: So is the answer, no, all workers will not be searched every day going to work, like all passengers are searched? You do not have random and targeted searches of passengers.

Mr. Elliott: That is correct. We will not have universal searches of airport workers under the program we are developing.

The Chairman: Will it still be possible for airport workers to bring in whatever they want in their rucksacks or lunch pails?

Mr. Elliott: They will not be subject to screening on a daily basis.

The Chairman: Conceivably, people could be carrying weapons or knives or other things in their lunch pails or in their trucks and you will have no way of knowing that; correct?

Mr. Elliott: As we have talked about before, there is a variety of mechanisms in place with respect to security at airports, including background security checks of individuals, access control systems and, increasingly, the screening of airport workers.

The Chairman: Increasingly — a 20 per cent increase of zero is still zero.

Mr. Elliott: As we indicated before, prior to September 11, there was no regular searching of airport personnel. We had a system in place with respect to security checks of workers; as well, there is a number of other mechanisms in place with respect to security at airports, including intelligence and policing programs.

We are establishing screening on a mandatory basis. There has been the searching of non-passengers, that is, airport workers, at three airports today. Two of them — Calgary and Thunder Bay — participated in operational trials of the new program that we are establishing, and there is also searching being done by the airport authority at Pearson.

The Chairman: That is four airports out of how many?

Mr. Elliott: Three airports —

The Chairman: Is Pearson the third?

Mr. Elliott: Yes. There are 89 airports under CATSA's jurisdiction. There are more airports than that in the country, but there are 89 airports in Canada, more or less, where passenger screening occurs.

The Chairman: Of those 89, there is a partial and random inspection at three, to determine whether workers are taking things in or out of the airport they should not.

Mr. Elliott: As the minister announced in November, we are developing a program. As he indicated in his letter to the chair, it is anticipated that that program will be operational at major Canadian international and domestic airports by the fall of this year.

The Chairman: When it is operational, will it include some percentage of the people going to work?

Mr. Elliott: Yes.

The Chairman: Will that be 2 per cent, 50 per cent?

Mr. Elliott: I do not have that figure.

The Chairman: The committee is struck with a certain incongruity, that the people who are actually going to be on the aircraft are searched and searched thoroughly. While I am at it, I should say that it is the experience of the committee that we have seen a significant improvement both in the quality of how passengers are treated and in the thoroughness of the searches. It has made airport travel more pleasant for those who are doing it.

Having said that, knowing that there are organized criminals on the ground and knowing that they have the capacity to bring weapons to the aircraft when it is not attended is of great concern to us. When the department comes to us and says that it will have a program in place in another six months, 26 months after the events of 9/11, that it will start to check some of the people on the ground who are working around the plane, that seems like a long time and a very partial answer. What do you say to that?

Mr. Elliott: It is the only answer I have to offer.

The Chairman: Does it seem like a long time?

Mr. Elliott: It is 26 months.

The Chairman: The minister in his letter commented on enhanced cargo security controls. He went on to say that recent enhancements have included requirements governing air carrier assessment of cargo and prevention of unauthorized access to aircraft, vehicles and facilities.

How do you go about preventing unauthorized access to aircraft, vehicles and facilities? I am on page 3, the second paragraph.

Mr. Elliott: There are several mechanisms and procedures that are and have been used. The first I would cite is the whole system of establishing restricted areas at airports, which include requirements with respect to fencing and access, both the number of access points and security relating to those access points, and requirements for security clearances of workers. It also includes requirements relating to the issuance and monitoring of passes, the verification of identification of people having access to aircraft and the establishment of further restricted areas within the restricted area so that special permission is required with respect to access to those zones.

The Chairman: For example, would a baggage handler have the right of access to where passengers sit in a plane?

Mr. Elliott: I think, generally, the answer to that question is no.

The Chairman: The pass of a baggage handler would have the same appearance as the pass of a groomer, for example. Would that pass look the same as a pilot's pass?

Mr. Elliott: I am not 100 per cent certain of the answer to that question but we are certainly looking at it in context of the other announcement that the Minister of Transport made on November 5, 2002, about improving a number of security procedures relating to restricted areas at airports. Those improvements include the notion of different kinds of passes tied to an electronic means of guarding access to certain areas of airports — links to biometrics.

The Chairman: At what point would you anticipate this system being in place?

Mr. Elliott: The enhanced system for passes is referred to in the minister's letter. We anticipate phased implementation beginning this summer. That process has included working with airport officials with respect to improved access controls.

The Chairman: When will it be completed?

Mr. Elliott: Our objective is the end of calendar year 2003.

The Chairman: By December 31, 2003, all of the airside passes will have biometrics and all of the airside passes will be programmed so that the individual has to swipe the pass in a certain place so that he or she may enter that area?

Mr. Elliott: I should like to provide you, through the committee clerk, with a more specific answer in respect of the timing for passes with biometrics, unless Mr. Brandt has more specific information for you.

Mr. Brandt: I do not think the date is clear for the new pass system to be rolled out in all airports. The phased implementation will begin this summer, and we will move as expeditiously as we are able to. We will find out a great deal of information from the ongoing trials, to ensure that our efforts make sense and that the system can be implemented in a logical way and in a variety of facilities.

The Chairman: These trials are at Calgary, Thunder Bay and Toronto. Is that correct?

Mr. Elliott: The two trials, Mr. Chairman, have been at Thunder Bay and Calgary.

Mr. Brandt: On that point, the Thunder Bay and Calgary trials are related to non-passenger access, Mr. Chairman. I would have to check on the sites for the test beds for the pass program. There are different trials: one for non-passenger access and one for the pass program. Once we have information back from those test bed projects, we will pick that up and roll as quickly as we can, with the idea of phased implementation beginning in the summer. I do not have an end date when that will be implemented.

The Chairman: Mr. Brandt, when is the end date for the analysis of the Calgary and Thunder Bay trials?

Mr. Brandt: They are in the process of looking at that information now, as we speak. I would have to get back to you with the date of completion of the analysis.

The Chairman: Thank you. On page 3, paragraph one, of the letter, the minister comments that progress continues to be made with respect to baggage screening in Canada and is well on its way to meeting the civilian aviation organization target of January 1, 2006. We have discussed this before, and the question that we have for you, Mr. Elliott is this: Why are we taking so long? Why do we not have a more aggressive timeframe so that passengers can be comfortable with the knowledge that the baggage on board their planes is bomb-free and safe?

Mr. Elliott: I am afraid, senator, that I do not have any further information to provide you than I had the last time I appeared before the committee.

The Chairman: The concern continues that there are some jurisdictions that seem to be moving ahead of us faster. We are curious as to why they can accomplish this. Are we choosing not to move faster on this or is it for technical reasons that we cannot move any faster?

Mr. Elliott: I believe, senator, that we are moving as expeditiously as possible.

The Chairman: Are finances a limiting factor?

Mr. Elliott: Again, senator, I would refer to earlier testimony before this committee, including the testimony of the minister. I believe the minister indicated that finances were not a factor.

The Chairman: I am sorry?

Mr. Elliott: My recollection, when I appeared with the minister before the committee last December, is that the minister was asked whether finances were a limiting factor and he indicated that they were not a factor.

The Chairman: If finances are not a limiting factor, is it a lack of will? Do you simply choose to go at a slower rate?

Mr. Elliott: We certainly do not choose to go at a slow rate at all, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman: I said slower; I did not say slow.

Mr. Elliott: We are proceeding as expeditiously as possible.

The Chairman: The committee remains puzzled that, in the United States, they have decided to move ahead with this quickly, and you have told us that funds are not a limiting factor. If funds are not a limiting factor, we would like to know why we are not proceeding quickly. This is 2003. It remains a puzzle why it will take another three years before we have a full level of confidence in the handling of baggage.

Mr. Elliott: Again, Mr. Chairman, I refer to the previous testimony of the minister. I believe the record will indicate that the minister indicated that we were proceeding as expeditiously as possible. It is our hope and expectation that we would be ahead at the date agreed to at the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, which is 2006.

The Chairman: Do you still anticipate being ahead?

Mr. Elliott: I have no specific information on that.

Senator Day: Mr. Chairman, I have a point on that.

The Chairman: Of course.

Senator Day: Mr. Elliott, the minister's letter states that the target date is January 1, 2006, for screening all checked baggage on international flights. Is there a separate schedule for domestic flights in the checking of baggage?

Mr. Elliott: The short answer to the honourable senator's question is, no. Our requirements and commitment are the same with respect to international flights and domestic flights. Our agreement is with the International Civil Aviation Organization because it deals with international air travel and relates to international flights. We are implementing the same screening domestically. We are supportive of the notion that is growing in favour at ICAO. Similar provisions should be put in place by jurisdictions by both domestic and international travel.

The Chairman: Mr. Elliott, what can you tell us about mail? When the committee looked at the question it did not appear that either Air Canada or Canada Post was checking the mail. I believe you confirmed that in your testimony to us. Since you appeared before us last, what progress has been made in ensuring that mail going on board aircraft is safe?

Mr. Elliott: I would link mail to other cargo. There are mechanisms in place for screening. Part of the discussion we had the last time I appeared was about the mail. I guess I have appeared on a number of separate occasions, if my memory serves me correctly. However, I do know on which occasion we spoke to the issue of mail.

We have talked about mail, and we have talked about provisions around the mail. For the most part, security provisions around the handling of mail have to do with the tracking of who is shipping cargo and mail as well as measures with respect to preventing the direction of cargo and mail to specific flights where there is not the case for the searching of cargo, either by X-ray or physical means, and where generally speaking there is not widespread searching of cargo except for cause.

That continues to be the case today. We are in the process of looking at developments elsewhere with respect to security of mail and cargo, including in the United States. However, we have not as yet developed any further changes to the regime except for some temporary changes that were brought in at the outbreak of the conflict in Iraq.

The Chairman: You are telling us that as of now you do not have any plans to address the issue of searching mail?

Mr. Elliott: Our work plan at the moment calls us for us to deal with stakeholders and others on these sets of issues beginning in the fall of this year.

The Chairman: Is there some reason why you would not be talking to Canada Post and Air Canada today or this week about it, rather than in the fall?

Mr. Elliott: We have had some discussions with those stakeholders and others. However, given our work plan, the time period where we anticipate sitting down and rolling up our sleeves on this issue is the fall of this year.

The Chairman: We discussed this previously. We made recommendations regarding aircraft protective officers. The question revolved around whether they would make themselves known to the aircrew or not. This committee recommended that it would be appropriate for our aircraft protective officers to make themselves known to the aircrew, in a manner similar to the air marshals in the United States who brief aircrew before a flight.

Has the department had an opportunity to consider this?

Mr. Elliott: We have raised the issue with the RCMP, who certainly are aware of the committee's report and recommendations. There has been no decision to date to change the current practice and requirements, but this is a matter that is the subject of discussion in the context of the consultations that I mentioned earlier with respect to the training of flight crew.

The Chairman: I heard you but I did not exactly follow you. Perhaps you could reword that.

Mr. Elliott: At the outset of this meeting, Mr. Chairman, we talked about training. I indicated that we are in the process of consulting with stakeholders with respect to revised training and issues around aircraft protective officers, including who knows what and in what circumstances.

The Chairman: The committee was of the view that it was appropriate that all aircrews continue to be searched. We have been getting anecdotal information since then that that is not always the case. Can you confirm that aircrew are searched every time they go on aircraft?

Mr. Elliott: No. I can confirm that aircrew are not searched every time they go on aircraft.

The Chairman: That has been a policy since when?

Mr. Elliott: It has always been the policy to my understanding. Aircrew are subject to our restricted area pass program. They undergo security clearances. The practice has varied from airport to airport and from time to time.

Aircrew will be included in the program to which I referred earlier that the minister announced on November 5, 2002, when he announced he was assigning to CATSA the responsibility for the screening of non-passengers.

The Chairman: For the first several months after 9/11, we all witnessed aircrew being searched every time they boarded a plane. Then a date arrived when different entrances were provided for aircrew to move to the secure part of the airport. It was from that date on that they were not regularly searched. Is that correct?

Mr. Elliott: I am searching my memory banks, Mr. Chairman. Certainly, after September 11, we took steps with airports to limit the number of access points to restricted areas. In the immediate period following September 11, most aircrew entered restricted areas through passenger screening points.

My earlier indication was based on the belief that we did not mandate that aircrew access restricted areas through passenger screening points. That certainly is the case today. That is, there is no Transport Canada requirement to require aircrew to access restricted areas through passenger screening points.

The method of access is up to the airport authority at the moment. Most airport authorities are allowing flight crews with valid security clearances and valid restricted area passes to enter restricted areas of airports without undergoing screening.

With respect to the program that we are in the process of establishing, CATSA personnel will be searching flight crews on a random and targeted basis.

The Chairman: Would Pearson be one of the exceptions?

Mr. Elliott: Pearson's program at the moment is a program initiated by the airport authority, not under the direction or authorization of Transport Canada.

The Chairman: Pearson is inspecting the aircrew?

Mr. Elliott: That is my understanding, yes.

The Chairman: The department does not think that Pearson's policy is a necessary one?

Mr. Elliott: The Minister of Transport and the Government of Canada have indicated that an appropriate program is one of targeted and random screening.

The Chairman: What about the evidence that the committee received about uniforms being readily available and about the ease of duplicating passes? Until the biometric passes are available and functioning, are you still proceeding with checking the number on the pass and looking for cancelled passes?

Mr. Elliott: That is the practice in place at the moment at airports, as I understand it.

The Chairman: Given the logic that a forged pass will never appear on a cancelled pass list, why are you not inspecting for active passes?

Mr. Elliott: There are a number of practices in place with respect to maintaining the physical integrity of passes. There is a recognized need to improve the integrity of those passes, both with respect to the process for issuing passes and with respect to linking biometrics and technology to ensure that passes are valid and current, otherwise they will not do anything for the holder of the pass. I am afraid I have lost myself here, senator.

The Chairman: You said the policy continued to be checking for numbers of passes that had been withdrawn or cancelled. Given that a forged pass will never make it on to a cancelled list, why are you not checking for active passes rather than cancelled passes?

Mr. Elliott: I think at the moment there are practical limitations to our ability to verify passes, which is why we are bringing in a system, which will be supported by centralized data banks, that will allow for the tracking, issuance, verification and cancellation of passes.

The Chairman: By what date will that system be in place, please?

Mr. Elliott: Again, as we discussed earlier, it is anticipated that the phase-in implementation will begin this summer. I believe we undertook, and if we did not, I so undertake, to provide you with further information regarding our anticipated timelines with respect to that program.

The Chairman: The committee expressed its concern in our last report about what we referred to as security shortcuts relating to known shippers. Our concern regarding known shippers really had to do with the likelihood that they would be targets for terrorists to single out, and also that, while the known shipper would be desirous of maintaining his or her bona fides with you, there was no capacity to provide security checks of the employees of known shippers. Where does the department stand on this now, please?

Mr. Elliott: This is an area that I would include in the context of cargo security more broadly. As I indicated, we anticipate that we will be consulting with stakeholders on that issue in the fall of this year.

The Chairman: The committee commented on private aircraft, passengers going on board private aircraft, and recommended that they receive the same screening and checks that passengers boarding commercial aircraft receive. Has the department had an opportunity to consider this further?

Mr. Elliott: There has certainly been some consideration of that issue, both as a result of the committee's recommendations and otherwise. So-called fixed-base operations are an area of concern to the department. We have not as yet brought forward requirements with respect to fixed-based operations; however, we anticipate addressing this area in the fall.

The Chairman: The committee expressed concern about aircraft from small airports, those airports not part of the 79. Aircraft were departing from and landing in airports that were included in the 79 and coming into the secure area of those airports. What steps have been taken to deal with those aircraft?

Mr. Elliott: I believe, senator, you are referring to the 89 airports under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Transport Security Authority. There are requirements in place for passengers on flights from airports where there is not passenger screening, because there is the possibility that you could have a flight, for example, from a small airport in the United States that was not screened fly into one of the 89 airports. There are restrictions and requirements with respect to passengers on those flights. In short, it is prohibited for a carrier to allow those passengers access to the restricted areas of airports unless and until they are screened.

The Chairman: The committee recommended that background checking of people who are issued with passes take place every three years. We were aware that the past practice had been five years. Our concern was that a lot could happen in an individual's life that would move them from being a good security risk to something less than a good security risk in a five-year period. Consequently, we recommended a three-year check. Why is the department not adopting that recommendation?

Mr. Elliott: The current practice, as the minister indicated in his letter, is for those checks to be done every five years, and that is consistent with a number of other programs, both in Canada and in other countries.

We have, however, made steps to improve the clearance system in a number of ways, including through a program called the Transport Canada automatic fingerprint identification system, TCAFIS. That system basically allows us to take applications for clearances and process criminal record searches electronically. We take both a photograph of the applicant and record digitally their fingerprints. This will also allow us to work with the policing agencies to have updates relating to criminal record checks of existing pass holders.

For example, if I were in possession of a restricted area pass and was convicted of a criminal offence, I, therefore, in my example would not have had a criminal record at the time I applied for and was granted a pass. If at any time in the intervening five years I committed a crime and obtained a criminal record, we have procedures in place for that, once it enters into the system, to be flagged to Transport Canada so we can review the security clearance even before the expiration of five years.

The Chairman: That sounds like a very positive step. Could you briefly outline how it works? How does the information get from the courts to Transport Canada?

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, it would not come from the courts but from the CPIC system. We are a participant with the RCMP with respect to CPIC. I am not very knowledgeable in this area. I believe the RCMP is the owner and maintainer of the system, if I could put it that way, but the Director of Security and Intelligence for Transport Canada, who is also the director responsible for the clearance program and for TCAFIS, certainly could answer your questions. I would be happy to undertake to provide you with information through your clerk.

The Chairman: That would be very helpful. One of the recommendations of the committee was that the Auditor General of Canada should conduct audits of the security expenditures of the federal government at the 89 airports involved. Right now, the airports, to our knowledge, at least, do not all receive audits from the Auditor General of Canada. Is that correct?

Mr. Elliott: That is my understanding, senator.

The Chairman: In terms of the security expenditures, how will Parliament be able to keep track of the expenditures and ensure that people are receiving value for money of these expenditures, if we do not have the Auditor General making these audits?

Mr. Elliott: There are several parts to the answer to that question, Mr. Chairman. I could identify those parts, although it may well be that others within Transport Canada would be in a better position to answer your questions with respect to those parts of this answer that I am about to refer to that fall within other parts of Transport Canada.

First, with respect to the Auditor General, as I believe the committee is already aware, the Auditor General and her office is in the process of conducting a value-for-money audit with respect to the Government of Canada's expenditures, which I believe total some $7.7 billion, as announced in the December 2001 budget. The Auditor General is the auditor of CATSA and will be reviewing their expenditures on an annual basis, and that will be in the context of their annual budgeting and reporting to Parliament.

With respect to airport authorities, as I believe I indicated when I was here late last year, the administration of airport leases is under another assistant deputy minister of Transport Canada, Mr. Ron Sully, who is the ADM for programs and divestiture.

There has been a development with respect to the accountability of airport authorities since I last appeared before you, and that is the introduction of Bill C-27, the proposed Canada Airports Act. My understanding is that that bill will be examined in due course by the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications and has a number of provisions with respect to accountability of airport authorities. From a departmental perspective, the bill is actually under the responsibility of Ms. Christine Burr, the Assistant Deputy Minister for policy.

Finally, I wish to refer to the ongoing review of airport rents, which is also under the part of the department headed by Ms. Burr.

The Chairman: When you made reference to the Auditor General being the auditor of record for CATSA and reviewing the expenditures made through CATSA, the Auditor General when she appeared before this committee expressed grave reservations about her ability to properly conduct such an audit. She was not sure that the appropriate terminology would be used consistently throughout the system, and she was not certain that she would have access to the information necessary to report back to this committee in an accurate and fulsome way.

Has any progress been made in assisting the Auditor General to conduct these audits?

Mr. Elliott: We have met on a number of occasions with the office of the Auditor General, both before and after my appearances in November and December, and we are certainly eager to assist her and her officials with respect to the carrying out of their important responsibilities.

The Chairman: Should we invite her back in the next week or so? Would you expect that she would tell us that from her perspective the majority of these issues have been resolved and that she is now in a position to conduct a full and fair audit of CATSA?

Mr. Elliott: I would anticipate that that is what she would tell you. I would add, though, Mr. Chairman, that as I understood the Auditor General's concerns they were broader than CATSA's expenditures. My understanding from her officials is they are pleased with the cooperation they are getting from Transport Canada, including the group for which I am responsible. I am not in a position to speculate as to what she might advise you with respect to other concerns she raised that do not relate to the responsibilities of Transport Canada.

The Chairman: One of the concerns this committee had with the Air Travellers Security Charge related to the revenue finding its way through to CATSA and being spent to provide for enhanced security. Is there some way you can assure the committee that that is the case?

Mr. Elliott: That is a somewhat complicated situation, which, if I might speculate a little bit out of my areas, may be part of the reason that the Auditor General raised some concerns. On the one hand, the government is collecting revenue, which is being done by CCRA, and those revenues are going into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. On the other hand, CATSA is making expenditures, and those expenditures are based on money provided to them through parliamentary appropriations.

My part of this equation has to do with the expenditure side, not the revenue side, but, if I might speculate, there has been some progress with respect to transparency relating to the revenue side. The current and the immediate-past ministers of Finance had indicated that reviews would be conducted on an annual basis of the Air Travellers Security Charge. Such a review took place prior to the most recent budget. Minister Manley and his department did publish information with respect to revenues and expenditures to date. The Auditor General was involved in that process. We worked with the office of the Auditor General on part of that review.

My understanding is that the plan is to have this review occur on an annual basis — and, again, it is my understanding that the specific publication of the revenues under the Air Travellers Security Charge will be part of that review.

Senator Forrestall: In terms of the minister's response, the department would appear to have adopted the least demanding possible deadline in terms of implementing screening of all checked baggage to January 1, 2006, and in this respect only for explosives. There is no deadline at all for screening other packages and containers shipped in the holds of aircraft. That presumably would include mail.

Why does the department tend to postpone the explosive screening?

Mr. Elliott: Transport Canada began in the fall of 2001 to acquire and to bring on explosive-detection equipment. That task is now the responsibility of CATSA, and they are continuing, and have been continuing since their creation in April of last year, to buy and operate explosive-detection equipment.

As indicated earlier, the minister had indicated the hope that that can be accelerated to the extent that 100 per cent screening occurs prior to the date agreed to at ICAO.

Although we talk about explosive-detection screening, in fact many of the tools used to detect explosives are also useful with respect to detecting other materials that may be a threat to security, or which may otherwise not be allowed on aircraft or transported into the country, or whose possession may be illegal.

Senator Forrestall: What steps have the department taken to screen for bacteriological and radiological materials? Where does that stand in terms of the time?

Mr. Elliott: There is some work underway, not by Transport Canada but by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, but I do not have any details.

Senator Forrestall: Are you not in the loop? It is not important for you to know?

Mr. Elliott: The work being done by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency relates in part to your earlier question, and that has to do with the importing of goods and people into Canada. Certainly, we are interested in what they are doing. I am interested in what they are doing. I do not have the details of that at my fingertips at the moment.

Senator Forrestall: Does not the department have a deadline for screening containers or packages? When, ultimately, will you feel safe about getting on an airplane or confident that everything on that airplane is clean? Is there a date in the back of your mind you are optimistic about?

Mr. Elliott: I feel confident about getting on airplanes in Canada now. In fact, I did so last week.

Senator Forrestall: I do it every week, sometimes twice a week. What does that mean?

Mr. Elliott: I do not know that we will ever get to a day where we will say everything has been done. Certainly, we have a very long list of serious issues and areas where we would like to make significant improvements over the near term.

Senator Forrestall: Let me ask, to be clear: Is the delay because there is a shortage of adequate or proper equipment for screening for explosives? Is that part of the reason?

Mr. Elliott: Again, it is not Transport Canada who is now acquiring explosive-detection equipment; however, based on my knowledge and discussions with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, there has been no difficulty with respect to the availability of explosive-detection equipment. There was some fear about that earlier on, but as I understand it, that has not been a problem.

With respect to the some of the other concerns that your questions raise, there are serious issues with respect to the availability of technology to screen containers, for example, in a way that would not significantly negatively affect traffic volumes and speed of traffic.

Senator Forrestall: I had the privilege of chairing a committee doing parallel work a couple of years ago. While in Europe, we were treated, on two occasions, to demonstrations of that equipment. It was working well and swiftly. It is for that reason that I am curious. The technology is available to us and has been for a long time. If you are suggesting that there is some other reason, that may very well be. I would suggest that the sooner, the better. You have issued an open invitation, by suggesting that much of this stuff will not be in place for another several months, a year, two years, to anyone who wants to abuse the process.

Mr. Elliott: With respect to the screening of containers, there have been significant investments both by the Government of Canada, through the CCRA, and by certain ports, including, for example, the Port of Vancouver, to buy and install VACIS equipment to screen containers. There has been a lot of work done with respect to screening of containers destined for the United States by rail.

Senator Forrestall: Do we screen cargo going to Washington by air for explosives, as well as for bacterial and biological content?

Mr. Elliott: Cargo is not routinely searched, except for cause.

Senator Forrestall: Except when there is reason to believe there is a target issue, is that way you are saying; otherwise, you do not do it?

Mr. Elliott: An example of cause might be — and this came up at an earlier session with the committee — a request or an attempt by an individual to direct cargo to a specific flight.

Senator Day: My question is one of clarification. In respect of the chairman's question related to the Air Travellers Security Charge, you were talking about an audit being done. The security charge has been reduced since we did the report. Was that a result of the partial audit?

Mr. Elliott: That was as a result of the review undertaken by the Department of Finance, as originally promised by Minister Martin and actually carried out under Minister Manley.

Senator Day: Was the reduction a result of that?

Mr. Elliott: Yes.

Senator Day: Coinciding with the security charge reduction was an increase in the airport improvement fee at a number of airports. Does Transport Canada, through its licences or leases with respect to airport facilities and authorities of various airport operators, control that fee in any way? Or is that entirely up to each airport authority as to how much they will charge?

Mr. Elliott: As I indicated earlier, this area of responsibility is really out of my bailiwick. I understand that issues about accountability and transparency with respect to fees is one of the matters that gave rise to the minister introducing legislation dealing with Canadian airports.

Senator Atkins: In dealing with your stakeholders, in view of the financial squeeze on some of them, has it been difficult for you to deal with them on certain issues?

Mr. Elliott: Well, yes and no. The financial health or lack thereof of carriers has been a real issue — and it is ongoing because whenever we talk about implementing changes, carriers raise issues about costs. It certainly would suggest that, in some instances, they are having a difficult time meeting security requirements placed on them. In my experience, those are more to do with things like the systematic provision of information, including passenger information.

I would say that we have had excellent cooperation, including throughout the downturn in the airline business, from all of the carriers with respect to security issues. I think that, without exception, carriers, pilots' unions, unions and individuals of other flight crews all take seriously the issue of security. They worry about their own safety, the safety of their employees and their members.

We have had excellent cooperation with the industry on all fronts. We certainly have not always agreed with one another, but we established good, open relationships and communication, and I anticipate that that will continue.

The Chairman: Mr. Elliott, you raised the question a moment ago about containers coming through seaports. In its February 2002 report, the committee recommended a full review of fencing at entry and exits and security systems in place at Canada's significant ports. Has this review taken place?

Mr. Elliott: There has been much work undertaken by port authorities. We are in the process of having such an assessment conducted at a number of facilities, but there has not been a national comprehensive assessment of all such facilities.

The Chairman: Do you anticipate that one will take place in the near future?

Mr. Elliott: We anticipate doing this in stages. We are in the process of contracting for assessments to be done at a number of facilities. My colleague, Mr. Brandt, may be able to enumerate which facilities they are. Those facilities will provide us with a template and experience for the assessment of other facilities yet to be done.

Mr. Brandt: We are looking these as representative facilities, Mr. Chairman, of the industry of port facilities. They include the ports of Vancouver and St. John's, Newfoundland, the ferry service between Yarmouth and Bar Harbour, Maine, and the St. Lambert Locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

We are beginning with those facilities to do a comprehensive review. That will be instructive as to how we should proceed with the work of assessment.

The Chairman: We made this recommendation in February 2002, which was 14 to 15 months ago, a long time, in terms of starting a pilot project.

Mr. Brandt: I do not have much more to say than that. We are in the process of carrying out the work and we are hopeful that it will be carried out as expeditiously as possible — working with port facilities and the other facilities.

The Chairman: In the same February 2002 report, the committee recommended the introduction of compulsory background screening at significant ports, to identify, among those employees or candidates for employment, persons who were identified by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, CSIS, as posing a security risk. Is that taking place?

Mr. Elliott: The minister announced in January 2003 that such a program would be instituted. We are in the process of consulting with stakeholders with respect to the implementation of that program.

The Chairman: When do you anticipate the consultation to be completed?

Mr. Brandt: The first round, which they are starting this month, should conclude by the end of June.

The Chairman: Will this cover all employees, or just the employees of port facilities?

Mr. Elliott: The expectation is that it will cover many more employees than just those of the port facilities. We need to work out the exact dimensions of the program. We are talking about a program similar to our program at airports, where it is certainly not just the employees of the airport authority that are required to have security clearances and passes. It is required of all who work in restricted areas.

The Chairman: You would anticipate that, after the checks take place in the seaports, workers would wear passes with some form of photo identification and some form of biometric identifier as well?

Mr. Elliott: That is correct — that is correct.

The Chairman: Would you have such a process in place before or after all of the ports were completely fenced?

Mr. Elliott: The question of fencing at ports is an interesting and complicated one, given the nature of ports. We will certainly have mandatory requirements with respect to the fencing of restricted areas at ports.

The Chairman: Our experience has been that some ports have some fences, some ports have a great deal of fencing, and no ports have any fencing on the waterside. It seems to us that there is a huge gap. The perimeter of the port that is most often on the waterside amounts to a significant portion.

Mr. Elliott: I agree with that, Mr. Chairman. Certainly, it is our belief that we must enhance security at ports. As I said, we want to build on our experience with airports and institute similar requirements and programs in place.

The Chairman: In the February 2002 report, the committee called for a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act to be established as soon as possible. Its mandate would include, amongst other things, a major review of overall security at ports and the development of a national approach to recruiting, training and retention of security personnel. It is clear that there has been no inquiry under the Inquiries Act, but what is the department doing in respect of the recruiting, training and retention of security personnel in the ports?

Mr. Elliott: I am a bit uncertain about the principal responsibilities with respect to security. Security means different things in different contexts. I must confess, Mr. Chairman, that it has been a while since I read that report and that specific recommendation.

The Chairman: If you care to, Mr. Elliott, I will not ask you any more questions on that. If you would care to refresh your memory and advise us of your responses to recommendations 8a, b, c, d, e and f, we would be happy to receive your comments in that fashion.

I can understand that we are covering a broad field and that you cannot be expected to know everything all of the time.

Mr. Elliott: At the risk of delaying these proceedings, I would refer to the first part of our discussion. I would be happy to raise those specific recommendations in a response with the minister. You will certainly hear from the minister or from me on those issues.

The Chairman: I should like to say that we were most encouraged to receive the letter from the minister — we found it helpful. When you are talking to him, I hope you will convey our thanks. We particularly appreciated the comment that he looks forward to continuing to support the work of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. We think that this meeting and that letter have been a step in that direction. We are grateful to you, Mr. Elliott, and you, Mr. Brandt, for attending here and assisting us in this regard.

As you know, these issues are of great concern to the committee and we intend to continue to work on them. Given the enhanced cooperation we are seeing in the letter and your appearance here today, it is our hope that we can gain a better understanding of security in both the ports and the airports. Ultimately, the people of Canada could have confidence that the system is working well and that the necessary adjustments post 9/11 are happening in a timely way.

To those of you in the public who have comments or questions, please visit our Web site by going to www.sen- sec.ca. We post witness testimony and confirmed hearing schedules. You may also contact the committee clerk by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or for assistance in contacting members of the committee.

The committee continued in camera.