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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 19 - Evidence, Afternoon Session


OTTAWA, Monday, June 9, 2003

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 1:25 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, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. Today we will hear testimony on Canadian coastal defence and security.

My name is Colin Kenny; I am a senator from Ontario and I chair the committee.

On my immediate right is the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Senator Michael Forrestall. Senator Forrestall has served the constituents of Dartmouth for the past 37 years, first as their member of the House of Commons, then as their senator. Throughout his parliamentary career, he has followed defence matters and served on various defence-related parliamentary committees, including the 1993 Special Joint Committee on the Future of the Canadian Forces.

On my far right is Senator Tommy Banks. Senator Banks is well known to Canadians as one of our most versatile musicians and entertainers. His talents and dedication have earned him a Juno award, a Grand Prix du Disque-Canada and many other honours. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991 and appointed to the Senate in 2000. Senator Banks is Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. That committee has just completed a study of the amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act.

Beside him is Senator Norm Atkins from Ontario. He came to the Senate in 1986 with a strong background in the field of communications and with work experience as an adviser to former Premier Davis of Ontario. Senator Atkins is a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and also the Standing Senate Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration. He also serves as Chair of the Senate Conservative caucus.

Beside him, from Dartmouth, is Senator Jane Cordy, an accomplished educator with an extensive record of community involvement. This includes service as vice-chair of the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Corporation and chair of the Board of Refugees for the Halifax Region of Human Resources Development Canada. She came to the Senate in 2000. In addition to serving on our committee, she has been a member of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology that recently released a landmark report on health care and is now studying mental health. She also serves as vice-chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

Our committee is the first permanent Senate committee with a mandate to examine security and defence. Over the past 18 months, we have completed a number of reports, beginning with "Canadian Security and Military Preparedness." This study, which was tabled in February 2002, examined the major defence and security issues facing Canada.

The Senate then asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy. So far, we have released three reports on various aspects of national security: First, "The Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility" was published in September 2002. Second, "An Update on Canada's Military Crisis: A View from the Bottom Up" was published in November 2002. Most recently, "The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports" was published in January 2003.

The committee is continuing its long-term evaluation of Canada's ability to contribute to security and defence in North America. As part of this work, the committee has been holding hearings on the federal government's support of the men and women who are the first responders across this country to emergencies and disasters. However, the committee has decided to give priority to an ongoing evaluation of Canada's ability to defend its territorial waters and help police the continental coastline.

These hearings update an earlier committee report, "Defence of North America," published in September 2002, which found Canadian coastal defence efforts to be largely ad hoc and fragmentary.

This morning, the committee heard from Mr. John Thomas of BMB Consulting Services and Assistant Commissioner Bill Lenton of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Our first witness this afternoon will be Dr. James Boutilier. Dr. Boutilier is a special adviser for policy at Maritime Forces, Pacific Headquarters, where he advises the commander on defence and foreign policy and maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Boutilier also served in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve from 1956 to 1964 as a navigating officer, and in the same capacity in the Royal Navy Reserve from 1964 to 1969.

Dr. Boutilier, welcome to the committee.

Dr. James A. Boutilier, Special Advisor (Policy), Maritime Forces, Pacific Headquarters, Department of National Defence: Honourable senators, I will speak from the prepared text with a few parenthetic insertions. As a Nova Scotian born and bred, I am particularly delighted to see the Maritimes, the Outer Hebrides of Canada, ably represented on this committee.

The Chairman: Wait until you hear about the Halifax Rifles. That will be coming up as soon as Senator Forrestall comes back.

Dr. Boutilier: No, I promise that this will be a Halifax-Rifles-free presentation. I am particularly pleased, honourable senators, to have this opportunity to appear before you. There are, as you know, five marine domains that require examination: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the St. Lawrence riverine system and the Great Lakes. While it could be argued that the first two oceans are roughly similar, the other domains are spectacularly different.

I intend to confine my commentary largely to the Atlantic and the Pacific for the purposes of this undertaking. I am subject to certain constraints as an employee of the Department of National Defence. Nonetheless, I will try to answer your questions with as much candour as possible, drawing, where appropriate, on comparative examples from the Asia-Pacific region, which is my particular area of expertise.

We need to ask ourselves what our goal is. A good many of the speakers who have appeared before you have emphasized the overarching importance of delineating a clear, comprehensive and achievable design for ensuring Canada's coastal security. To this end, I would like to address six broad themes: definitions, contexts, intelligence, cultures, structures and education.

Let me turn to the first — the definition of "security." Definitions have multiplied over the years. Canada denominated her security largely in economic terms in the early 1990s. More recently, and certainly in the post 9/11 era, the nation has come to embrace a more traditional vision of security, one predicated on the exercise of military power and political influence. Whatever the case, security is, and must be, seen in more comprehensive and less parochial terms. Thus, the concept of security has expanded simultaneously along vertical and horizontal axes.

What are the contexts in which we might consider the question of coastal defence? I begin by looking at what I consider to be some major developments at the global level. Initially, maritime issues will become more important, complex and contentious in the future. The vision of oceans as the world's last great common, owned by everyone but the responsibility of no one, is drawing to a close. Jurisdictional pressures will mount as nations seek to extend their maritime boundaries farther and farther to sea. Global warming will transform oceanic conditions, particularly in Arctic seas.

Fish stocks will come under greater pressure as the world's population grows at a rate of 60 million per year for the next 50 years. The disappearance of fish, and related organic foodstuffs, will generate serious domestic and international tensions with security implications.

Mercantile traffic will grow dramatically. Container ships carrying 1,000 TEUs, that is to say, 20-foot equivalent units or containers, made their appearance in the 1960s. So-called "Malacca-max" vessels carrying 18,000 containers or TEUs are now on the drawing board.

More seagoing trade will be focused on fewer ports, the so-called "megaports." These will handle between 45 and 60 per cent of global container traffic, representing 60 to 70 per cent of world trade. Door-to-door service means that maritime security now extends farther and farther inland. Megaports can be easily crippled by attacking their computer ganglia.

With 98 per cent of global population growth over the next half century scheduled to occur in the Third World, osmotic pressures on the boundaries of the First World in the form of illegal migration — a portion of which will come by sea — will mount.

There will be an uneasy dialectical tension between the dismantling of global barriers to travel, communications and money flows — all of which facilitate transnational illegal and terrorist activities — and the rise of technical solutions aimed at addressing these problems. The former will, no doubt, outpace the latter.

In the continental context, the United States and Canada are on the verge of revisiting the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, with a view to possible ratification. Ratification will impose a particular burden on Canada since Ottawa will have 10 years in which to delineate the nation's maritime claims definitively. Experts on the Arctic predict that commercial trans-Arctic shipping may be only a decade away. The Arctic sea route reduces the Northern Europe- Northeast Asia voyage by roughly 4,000 nautical miles. Increased merchant traffic will have an impact on Canada and the United States. Homeland Defence, still a rather inchoate concept in the United States, will draw Canada and the United States together in the defence of the North American island.

At the national level, virtually all of the organizations involved directly or indirectly in maritime security appear to have significant capacity problems. The escalator phenomenon prevailed during the 1990s: fewer and fewer dollars chasing greater and greater responsibilities. All too frequently, efforts were made to disguise the capability gap by recourse to arguments that more was being accomplished with less. Indeed, the proliferation of hyphenated terms — cost-effective, multi-role, multi-task, et cetera — appears to have been in inverse proportion to genuine capacity.

Part and parcel of this relentless erosion of national capability was the decline in Canada's maritime awareness, as highlighted by Vice-Admiral Garnett, Ret'd., on behalf of the Navy League. Similarly, marine scientific expertise and shipbuilding capacity declined. In the Australian case, Canberra sees a robust shipbuilding industry as an integral and vital, and not a negotiable, element of the nation's security.

At its simplest, real resources, sustained by a consistent, long-term vision, will be required if Canada is going to be serious about maritime security. The more the nation does, the greater Ottawa's room for manoeuvre will be in dealing with the United States. Maritime security must be seen as an important subset of a larger, national oceans management strategy.

Let me turn to the question of intelligence. There appears to be widespread agreement that a critical component of national and continental maritime security is a detailed and comprehensive — or recognized — picture of what is happening to Canada in its oceanic approaches, and also in its rivers and lakes. There are, however, differences in opinion as to how to arrive at that recognized picture, made up of radar contacts, automated vessel tracking, intelligence reports and so forth — and what to do with the information that is derived.

Professor Wark, for example, suggested enlisting Canadian officials overseas to provide mercantile intelligence. His vision is a throwback to the 1930s, when British shipping agents who worked in shipping offices in places like Yokohama and Shanghai had access to detailed information regarding manifests, sailing schedules and so forth. The challenge is far greater now. The Internet notwithstanding, intimate waterfront knowledge is considerably more difficult for trade commissioners and others to acquire.

What Professor Wark's testimony highlights, nonetheless, is the inestimable value of "humint" or human intelligence. One of the principal lessons of the post-Cold War era is that despite the evolution of more sophisticated and elegant electronic sources of intelligence, the Western world has been severely impeded by the lack of quality humint in places as disparate as Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Indonesia.

Partly it is resources. The Japanese, for example, operate 130 maritime patrol aircraft from their home islands, which have a land area equal to 38 per cent of the province of British Columbia. Partly it is divisions of labour. The war on terrorism has demonstrated that it is possible to develop encyclopaedic data banks on commercial shipping, but the task is a daunting one and entails, ideally, contributions from a number of nations.

Earlier testimony embraced a debate as to whether there should be bicoastal operations centres collecting data or one inter-agency centre in Ottawa. My own feeling is that there should be both. The two environments are different but complementary. Halifax and Esquimalt have a feel for regional maritime conditions that a centre in Ottawa is unlikely to have. Conversely, an operations centre in Ottawa will operate in a "political" environment, able to bring together information from both coasts, assemble it, analyze it and disseminate it at the highest levels.

Professor Wark was quite right when he emphasized the collection, analysis and distributional aspects of maritime intelligence; but that, self-evidently, is only a part of the picture. The other elements are appropriate and timely decision making and the ability to respond to your intelligence cues. Knowing that there is a vessel of interest in your maritime zone is an academic matter if you cannot track or intercept it.

In a word, our speed of response must be inside the enemy's curve.

Like the Jindalee Over the Horizon radar system in Australia, Surface Wave Radar is likely to provide an important increment to our maritime awareness. So also is CSI, the Container Security Initiative administered by the U.S. Customs Service, which ensures that containers bound for U.S. ports from eight different Asian locations are pre- screened. Despite such safeguards, however, only 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the millions of containers arriving in North American ports are likely to be subject to examination.

Turning to the subject of cultures, while there were discussions several years ago about integrating the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard operations more effectively, this has not come to pass. Nevertheless, in the post 9/11 era the two services have been working the issue of collaboration "particularly hard," according to recent testimony by Admiral Tom Fargo, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command.

The U.S. Coast Guard has received a considerable infusion of cash since 9/11, but according to Fargo is still "really overtaxed." There are, in practice, two U.S. Coast Guards: The first engaged in armed constabulary work against drug runners, smugglers and other dangerous characters on the seas; the other dedicated to the prosaic, though important work of replacing navigation markers, undertaking search and rescue activities, et cetera.

If the differences between the former, often referred to as the world's third most powerful "navy," and the U.S. Navy are considerable, they are far less profound than those separating the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Navy.

The core of the navy consists of sophisticated, armed, long-range surface combatants. Frigates and destroyers are operational, war-fighting machines, though they certainly can and do perform a variety of non-war-fighting roles. By way of comparison, the Canadian Coast Guard is a benign, unionized merchant service, strongly opposed, according to Mr. Adams, to being armed or involved in "taking down" ships at sea.

It strikes me that, for the moment, the Canadian Coast Guard is unable to fulfil even its existing mandate, let alone take on additional roles.

In Singapore, the Police Coast Guard is armed. Similarly, the Japanese Coast Guard, recently relabelled, in English, from the Maritime Safety Agency, is also armed.

The Australians are currently engaged in a debate about the establishment of a coast guard. They have a robust defence culture and spend nearly 2 per cent of their GDP on defence. The coast guard, however, will likely entail a further $500-million expenditure and will constitute a stand-alone organization, distinct from the Royal Australian Navy.

Turning to the subject of structures, there appears to be a good deal of uncertainty in the United States regarding the nature of the homeland defence architecture. The spatial, functional and contextual relationships between the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy are still being hammered out. While the Canadian Navy has an extraordinarily intimate working relationship with the U.S. Navy, and the Canadian Coast Guard has many ties with the U.S. Coast Guard, we need to ask: What will be the impact on the Canadian services of changes in the functions and procedures of their American counterparts?

A significant number of U.S. agencies have been drawn under the homeland defence umbrella with a view to enhancing coordination and achieving greater clarity in terms of roles and responsibilities.

The Americans, of course, are not alone in having a multiplicity of agencies concerned with maritime security. India and China, for example, each have 14 different organizations responsible for aspects of maritime security.

Turning to education, one of the biggest challenges associated with achieving an effective and dynamic coastal security regime will be educational.

Senior officials, political and bureaucratic, will need to have a far greater knowledge of what other departments do and what the various dimensions of maritime security are. When otherwise knowledgeable individuals refer to the inappropriateness of dispatching Canadian "battleships" to Asia, we have our work cut out for us.

In conclusion, the oceanic world surrounding Canada will become more complex, contentious and confrontational in the future. Major organizational, cultural, educational and intelligence-related challenges lie ahead. Real and sustained resources will be needed if we are going to be serious about enhancing our coastal defence.

On the one hand, there must be far greater coordination of effort, and on the other hand, far greater clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of the organizations contributing to coastal security.

Ad hocery is not an acceptable course of action, despite its reputed pedigree.

The Chairman: Perhaps you could clarify two points relating to pages 11 and 12. At the bottom of page 11 you pointed out that the Canadian Coast Guard was a benign, unionized merchant service. You quoted a Mr. Adams.

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, from earlier testimony.

The Chairman: Is that also your view?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes. Well, it is my view of the Coast Guard as it currently stands. Whether the Coast Guard should be armed is another issue that we need to explore.

The Chairman: It was not clear whether you were quoting him for the record or whether you were quoting him as someone who agreed with you.

Mr. Boutilier: No, I am simply citing his vision of the service that he heads.

The Chairman: Then on the next page you comment that the Coast Guard is unable to fulfil its existing mandate, let alone take on additional roles. Presumably that statement applies to every other department of government unless given additional funding?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, I think that is probably the case, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman: Therefore you were not singling out the Coast Guard as being unable to take on other roles, it is just whoever takes on this role needs a packet of cash to do it. Is that fair?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes. Earlier in my presentation, I suggested that virtually all of the agencies that are involved directly or indirectly in this question of maritime security are probably at their limit in terms of their capacity.

The Chairman: Would that also be the reason why the hole, the problem, exists, because no one has the funding to get there?

Mr. Boutilier: It is much more than a question of funding. It is a question of coordination and integration.

The Chairman: Would it also involve political will?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes.

Senator Atkins: On page 5, you say that the United States and Canada are on the verge of revisiting the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Can you explain that to me?

Mr. Boutilier: The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was passed in 1982, as you know. Neither the United States nor Canada, to my knowledge, has ratified that convention. It has been subject to repeated revision. My understanding, from talking to authorities in the field, is that the Canadian and U.S. governments are working towards possible ratification of that convention.

Senator Atkins: You say Ottawa will have 10 years in which to delineate the maritime claims.

Mr. Boutilier: That is my understanding. When it comes to contested areas, for example in the Arctic, where boundary lines lie, what constitutes straits, international straits and so on, there will be a 10-year limit in which Canada must state its case.

Senator Atkins: Does that apply to the 200-mile perimeter?

Mr. Boutilier: No, not to my knowledge.

Senator Smith: Mr. Boutilier, you said that real resources would be required to improve maritime security. I am not sure that you really prioritized what you think the main two or three would be. What would be your two or three highest priorities in improving maritime security?

Mr. Boutilier: Assets, quite clearly, are a priority. If we look at the figures from earlier testimony on the number of vessels available in the Coast Guard, for example, we see a dramatic diminution in that asset base. This also applies to personnel.

We have heard from RCMP testimony, for example, that they believe that they have an inadequate supply of personnel with respect to port security. There would also be costs involved in greater levels of coordination, of information sharing, et cetera.

I would priorize the top three as assets, personnel and intelligence.

Senator Smith: When you are involved with the government there is no shortage of supplicants making the case for limited public dollars. Of course, we hear many submissions about health care, education, the environment, technology and such. To make the case that maritime security should be a top priority, let us take the West Coast, with which you would be particularly familiar. You are still based there, are you not?

Mr. Boutilier: I am.

Senator Smith: What difference to the lives of West Coasters would several more ships make?

Mr. Boutilier: We could look at the availability of Coast Guard resources with respect to search and rescue. On a number of occasions, there have not been sufficient vessels to provide uniform and adequate coverage.

The Coast Guard, as I understand from press reports, does not have sufficient vessels for a Swissair-111-style event in approaches to Vancouver International Airport. We also know that there is an issue with maritime surveillance. Do we have sufficient assets and airtime available to provide a uniform, recognized maritime picture? There are those who would argue that these are not available.

Senator Smith: The Coast Guard had a problem with an accident in the Georgia Strait some time in the last year or two. There seemed to be a ship in the area but the problem was whether the crew knew what they were doing. My recollection of it —

Mr. Boutilier: I have only press reports to go by, but it appeared to be an interdepartmental issue. There were different visions of what the various departmental staff had authority to do.

Senator Smith: There have been several occasions of boatloads of illegal immigrants from the Far East. By and large, were they not intercepted? Are you aware of large shiploads of illegal immigrants meeting with success, only to be found out?

Mr. Boutilier: The principal episode occurred in 1999, when I believe some six ships appeared, probably from the Fujian coast in Central China. One of the ships was found sinking and deserted. We can only presume that it carried illegals. That implies that there was some kind of coastal cooperation. Otherwise, there would have been 150 bedraggled Chinese somewhere on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island.

Senator Banks: — or drowned.

Mr. Boutilier: — or quite possibly drowned. This is an issue that Australians have wrestled with because people were accused of sinking their own ships so that they would be rescued. Other episodes included ships that we succeeded in tracking and intercepting. The departments worked together quite efficiently in bringing them to shore and holding them for health and immigration reasons.

However, we see that the purveyors of illegal migrants are extraordinarily adept at measuring the weakness of systems. Almost immediately after we intercepted those vessels, they began to reposition the flow of migrants to other parts of North America or to Europe.

Senator Smith: We heard this morning from another witness that by and large, maritime security should be dealt with by the Coast Guard rather than by the navy. One of the arguments was that the cost saving was perhaps as high as a factor of 10. In other words, the Coast Guard could be outfitted with a fast 37- to 39-foot boat with a crew of 3 that could handle most of these situations. However, if you were to use a frigate for the same purpose, you would have to multiply the cost by about 10. Do you agree with that? Do you have a view on that?

Mr. Boutilier: I do not know the operating costs of a hypothetical Coast Guard vessel. I would say in response to your proposition that increasingly, our navy's strength lies in long-term deployments. As I said in my presentation, we can no longer denominate our national security in purely parochial terms. More and more we will be obliged to use our naval assets, which are fairly scarce, in distant waters. It is probably inappropriate to utilize such highly sophisticated vessels in such a way. The actual dollar value difference between using the frigate for an interception and what may happen in the future with more purpose-built vessels operated by the Coast Guard is another thing.

Senator Smith: My last question was asked of an earlier witness and concerns making the case for more resources for the Coast Guard, in particular. I could not help but think back to my days in former Prime Minister Trudeau's government. When people had an idea with a great deal of merit that would cost money, you would have a conversation with them to try to find other areas in which to save money. If you did not balance that with some money-saving ideas, particularly in your own department, the conversation often did not last long.

Do you have any ideas about things that would fall into that category, of resources currently being spent that might be questioned, and savings realized that might be switched?

Mr. Boutilier: No, I do not, sir. Certainly, in recent days there has been an expectation that the Department of National Defence effect savings; and this is being done. I am sure that greater levels of coordination between the departments could achieve some degree of saving.

The Chairman: Mr. Boutilier, the vessels that we heard about earlier today were relatively small, similar to the supply boats that are used for offshore drilling. They were described as capable of 20 knots or so and as being sufficient to intercept most vessels. They were described as easily armed and utilitarian. Giving you a more specific example, would you agree that there is a shortage of those vessels, whether run by the navy or by the Coast Guard, to provide this kind of interdiction off our coasts?

Mr. Boutilier: One thing works in our favour, in the sense that with the exception of the drug trade and illegal migrants, many of the vessels of interest must per force pass through certain choke points, and that narrows the field of surveillance somewhat.

Travelling at 20 knots would certainly be more than sufficient, I would imagine, for most merchant ships. As for assets available in the Coast Guard, I do not know, for example, which vessels could make 20 knots.

The maritime coastal defence vessels, which are largely inshore and training vessels, do not operate at that speed. That immediately moves us up to another level. Frigates and destroyers operate in excess of 20 knots but they would be most inappropriate for this sort of activity.

The Chairman: It is ironic that the Coast Guard is not guarding the coasts and the coastal defence vessels are also not guarding the coasts. We need to find new names for the department.

Senator Banks: That is exactly right. Australia is a maritime country and a continent. They are looking at a Coast Guard, rather than at the navy, for precisely the reason that you mentioned.

To use a land analogy, it seems silly to ask the army to bring a tank over because there has been a break and enter at a drug store when we could send a car. At the moment, when some enforcement capability is needed, the Australians and we have to call someone else because the Coast Guard cannot do it.

The Coast Guard presently does not have any enforcement capabilities. A Coast Guard ship, at that choke point to which you referred, could not force, oblige or cause a ship to stop, because it has no authority to do so. It might if fishery officers were on-board. It could ask a ship to stop, but it cannot oblige a ship to stop.

In some aspects of coastal security, the bad guys would be aware of that fact, with which we need to be concerned to some degree. We are looking at, among other things, the quickest, dirtiest, cheapest and most practical, short-term way to bring some enforcement capability to the littoral, the continental shelf water.

We know what the navy does. It has warships. As you say, they are increasingly being dispersed widely. At the moment, there are no ships that can enforce Canadian sovereignty and perform a constabulary as opposed to a military function within 150 miles or so of our coast. The coastal defence vessels cannot go that far. They are not fast enough. The navy, for the most part, cannot be there.

My argument, and that of some others, is that the provision of an enforcement capability, not a military one, must be considered for the Coast Guard. Do you think that, in the main, that should be considered?

Mr. Boutilier: That is certainly the way in which more and more governments in the Asia-Pacific region are heading. In the Australian context, there was mounting concern about the utilization of the navy, in the words of one observer, to "punch holes" in the ocean in search of illegal migrants, of which there were 15,000 in 1999, compared with about 650 in 1999 on the West Coast of Canada.

Senator Banks: That we know of.

Mr. Boutilier: That we know of, yes indeed.

The Australian navy has much larger issues with which to deal. They are planning to have an armed coast guard.

I should draw your attention to the fact that that debate in Canberra is along party lines. The current party in power, of Mr. Howard, is not in favour of an armed coast guard. The Labour Party is in favour.

It is difficult in part to reach a conclusion because there are a vast number of variations in the Asia-Pacific region. Some have gone with an armed coast guard, some have not. It would appear in this case that the Coast Guard has the ability to carrying officers able to perform an arrest to sea, but getting all the officers and players in the right place at the right time does seem cumbersome. I would have thought, despite Canadian Coast Guard reluctance, that the U.S. model should probably be looked at, in the sense that it has the capability to work both sides of the street and deal with heavy-duty issues. It can also perform all of the more mundane tasks with respect to navigation, pollution and so forth.

Senator Banks: We would be talking about adding a constabulary and enforcement capability to the other things that are equally important.

Mr. Boutilier: Certainly. Based on my analysis of emerging coast guards, and indeed coast guards have come of age throughout the whole of the Pacific, that is the route that more and more nations seem to be taking.

Senator Banks: With respect to flying the flag, we have, at the moment, over 100 vessels of some capacity in the Canadian Coast Guard. You talked about the likelihood within the foreseeable future of practicable shipping navigation in the Arctic waters. Among the things with we will be concerned, if we do ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is in which direction do the borderlines go when we are extending jurisdiction? Alaska and the Yukon are examples. The same thing will be true on the East Coast.

In the main, Canada has always claimed sovereignty over the Artic waters. Everyone concedes that a greater presence of some kind there would contribute to the likelihood of our being able to continue to claim sovereignty.

If we sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which I understand begins the process under which we will begin to apply, if that is the right word, to extend our jurisdiction out to the edge of the continental shelf, what is the conflict between that and the freedom of the high seas for shipping?

That question has been raised in the North. You have a historical view of that and it has to do with sovereignty. What are we looking at there? Will a nation be able to claim that we do not have jurisdiction in these inter-island waters in the Arctic because they are the high seas?

Mr. Boutilier: That is certainly my understanding. My colleagues who work in the Arctic maintain that it is simply a question of time before there will be commercial trans-Arctic shipping. All of the evidence I have been able to deduce is that our presence in the Arctic has been largely fictional.

You must always bear in mind, which I know you will have taken into account, that when you look at any fleet, probably only a third is available at any one time. When we look at 104 ships for the Coast Guard, as reported in the testimony before this committee, 30 or 35 ships available at any one time would be the norm. If you begin to move them along the East Coast, West Coast and into the Arctic, you would have a pretty tiny spatial presence.

I can certainly see there being disputes in the North. Americans, and the U.S. Navy in particular, are extremely concerned about creeping "jurisdictionalism." It sees the gradual pressures in many cases.

For example, the Chinese are looking to extend their territorial control out to the 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit as a result of the downing of the EP-3 surveillance aircraft.

This is not acceptable in international law but there are more and more people arguing for it. The Americans will fight that at every turn, because they see the oceans shrinking in terms of the movement of their naval assets. They will certainly contest it if we claim that the Artic waters are national, as opposed to international, waterways with two different regimes that apply. Some cases regarding George's Bank, and elsewhere, between Canada and the U.S. have gone to international courts.

We are certainly looking at a future in which Canada's claims in the Arctic could be challenged. There will be an expectation that we will need to have a presence.

Senator Banks: When those come before The Hague, the questions of whether that presence is fictional or real and whether there has been a demonstrable capacity to exercise sovereignty is part of the process of determining jurisdiction.

Mr. Boutilier: That is my understanding. That has been the case, for example, in some recent jurisdiction claims in the South China Sea.

Senator Forrestall: I have been faced with something of a dilemma in the context of maritime security.

You have just suggested in your remarks that the growth in the world's population, most of which will be in a fairly highly identifiable geographic area, will be about 60 million or 70 million a year, depending on how active our programs are with respect to that.

We have a concern about the security of containers and what might be in them that is harmful and dangerous, not just to ourselves but also to our friends to the south, the ultimate destination of some of them. Inasmuch as we receive them, we have an obligation to ensure they are safe going across the border into the United States. That is one problem. That is a conventional problem. Everything is focused on it, and I think we are getting close to a resolution of the mechanics, the process that will make that reasonably safe.

What we are not doing anything about is north of 60, and more important than that, what happens when human nature wants to spread its elbows? What happens when they are tired of two and three families bedding down in one structure, and they look at the vast expanse of a nation like Canada and decide, "I am going to Canada"? No matter how they come, what will we do with them? I would not want to be part of a nation that did not prepare for what could start happening in 15 or 20 years, when it is not just a few hundred or a few thousand. What happens when the first million people get onto whatever they get on and decide to come to Canada on New Year's Day? How will we help them in the approaches to Canada, should they get into dire straits?

Mr. Boutilier: Your earlier study would have revealed that the vast majority of illegal migrants come by air rather than sea.

Senator Forrestall: From that steady trickle you will not get millions of them, but you could by boat.

Mr. Boutilier: Interestingly, the Europeans recently established "Operation Ulysses," a five-nation naval blockade set in the Western Mediterranean and designed to prevent the flow of illegal migrants out of North Africa. The problem that we face, of course, is a larger one, in the sense that in the European context, there is only one country that is growing in population, and than is Muslim Albania. The rest of Europe is shrinking and will probably go from 350 million down to 240 million over the next 30 years, losing a population equal to the whole of Germany, Poland and much of Scandinavia. How do we maintain the vitality of our labour force without migration? We are faced, on the one hand, with much greater controlled migration into Europe and, to a somewhat lesser extent, into the North American islands, because the growth rates will be stronger in the United States than in most of Europe. However, we will probably be also faced with much greater levels of osmotic pressure from the developing world on both Europe and North America.

America and Australia are quite hard-nosed in their approach. They find them, and with few exceptions, they turn them around. Now, what the migrants have attempted to do is to create media situations where in fact the Australians, in one particular instance, had no choice but to rescue them, but they have been held under pretty draconian conditions and in many cases, attempts have been made to repatriate them.

I believe we will face a growing pressure in the form of illegal migrants coming by sea. Our ability, however, to surveil approaches will increase over that time, and the great advantage that we have is that the oceanic approaches are so vast compared, for example, with the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean. Therefore, it will not be as dramatic a problem for Canada as it will be, for example, for the southern tier in Europe, but it will be a problem and will involve more overflights and more intelligence sources such as we achieved in Minister Caplan's visit to China several years ago. We will need to work the problem from both ends, namely, greater human intelligence about the flows and greater interception capability.

Senator Forrestall: Assuming that in 30 or 40 years there is a greater capacity to use the passage, would that not be a preferred means of getting to Europe, should that open up?

Mr. Boutilier: You are referring, sir, to the Northwest Passage. No, I think that even the residents of coastal China are now moving by much more circuitous routes, through Central Asia, Southeastern Europe and into Northwestern Europe and the United Kingdom, for example. The people who move illegal migrants are extremely adept at measuring the low-pressure areas for population flows. I do not foresee the Northwest Passage necessarily becoming a route, or that people will fetch up in our northern climes if their ships sink.

Senator Forrestall: You do not think they will go to open space.

Mr. Boutilier: There is open space and there is open space. Their objective, for example, is not to end up in Northern Australia. They arrive there simply because that is the first place that they can land outside Indonesia. It is open space, but extremely inhospitable. In many cases, Canada is simply a transit point to more attractive destinations in the United States. My general thesis is that, over time, we will need to look to our maritime boundaries more and more in intercepting illegal migrants.

Senator Forrestall: This is what I was getting at, that wherever they are headed, whatever their destination, we are a port en route. I just think we are doing nothing to prepare for it. If people are thinking about it, it is in academia, not in the government. Given the length of time it takes to put these things down on paper and activate them, 15 years is a short period. If you do not start for the next 15 years, you could be in a time period in which I will not be around to worry about having caused some of the problems. I cannot be part of that solution, but that is the time when we will regret not having planned beforehand.

Mr. Boutilier: My thesis, of course, is that our oceanic realm will be a more difficult and challenging one to manage at almost every level, whether it is fish stocks, population movement, offshore resources and so forth or the changing jurisdictional regime.

Senator Forrestall: Finally, the Northwest Passage will be a divided jurisdiction, no matter how that is expressed or voiced. Would you share that view?

Mr. Boutilier: Divided in what sense of the word, sir?

Senator Forrestall: Well, divided in the sense that there will have to be ports, anchorages, ice control and on and on with respect to ship operation in the North. I do not think that we have more than 15 or 20 winter ships in our northern fleet. We cannot bring them south, but cannot leave them up there all winter. They will just freeze up.

Mr. Boutilier: That is certainly the case, and there are other issues; for example, the vast majority of all environmental challenges in the Arctic originated out of Russia. There is another jurisdiction and regime involved. It comes back to my earlier point that it has to be seen within the context of a large oceans management strategy. You are quite right, we will have a variety of jurisdictions, whether port authorities, coastal patrols or international waterways, but we will also have greater interstate challenges there.

Senator Forrestall: I refer to them as "Polar 8" and "Polar 10," that capacity for a very large vessel in the North, that, for example, had a court, an RCMP detachment, a library, a hospital and other facilities and could move back and forth, presenting or manifesting a Canadian presence in what we claim to be ours. I share the view you expressed in passing, that we have not done a lot to stake out our claim.

Mr. Boutilier: I think that the Arctic patrol ship Labrador, which was transferred to the Department of Transport in 1957, was the last naval capability, other than perhaps movements along the margins of fresh ice, much further to the south. We do not have reinforced hulls for Arctic operations. We have gone for 45 years without the ability to move major naval assets into the Arctic.

Senator Cordy: The first thing I would like to talk about is intelligence gathering by humans. You made reference to Professor Wark, who suggested to us that perhaps officials at embassies or consulates in other countries could do some of this. You said that perhaps this would be a little difficult. Things have changed over the years, it might not be as easy to do and officials who were not trained specifically for gathering intelligence may not be able to bring forward information that would be worthwhile.

You make reference to resources and division of labour, and then you talked about "contributions from a number of nations." I am not sure what you mean, how we would go about gathering it, keeping in mind resources and division of labour and finances?

Mr. Boutilier: You raise a number of interesting issues. In fact, I was thinking about this aspect of my testimony the other day when I was in the Canadian High Commission in Singapore. You can stand in the main office and look straight out the window across the road into one of the world's biggest container ports. They handle 90,000 ships a year with amazing efficiency.

The point that I was making in my testimony was that in the past, there were British nationals who worked in shipping firms and had a very intimate knowledge of exactly what was being carried on ships, when they were leaving and so forth. I think we would probably find that most of our colleagues working in the Department of Foreign Affairs as trade commissioners and political officers would maintain that they are already at full stretch in terms of their duties.

That is not to say, however, that they could not be perhaps trained to be more observant about particular aspects of the maritime world.

I think that it is easier, on one hand, to get information about when ships are travelling and when they are due to arrive. On the other hand, it is more difficult for many to gain access to port facilities now, for example, the port in Singapore, to get information about the contents of containers.

When I talked about a division of labour, I was really thinking of our recent experience in the Arabian Sea in Operation Apollo in the war on terrorism. There, we were able to achieve a fairly significant and impressive degree of intelligence mastery by virtue of a number of navies contributing information about vessels of interest. This is what I meant when I said that the task is daunting, because there are literally tens of thousands of ships at sea at any one time, and if you can achieve greater levels of information sharing with other countries — the United States, Great Britain and Australia — to pool information, that will help. There are already high degrees of information sharing, intelligence sharing, involving some of these states. We need to enhance the amount of information that we get about shipping.

That is within the realm of the possible, and it clearly benefits all of the recipients if the information is shared.

We can see, if we have enough research, that there are emerging patterns in the way ships move. We can focus more of our attention on certain ships and not on others, depending on the nature of the companies that operate them. One of the things that was alluded to is the fact that we are moving slowly towards a point where almost all major ocean- going ships will carry automatic identification devices. The International Maritime Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce has pushed this particularly hard because of the incidence of piracy — particularly in Southeast Asia, where approximately 75 per cent of the world's piracy occurs — where ships disappear, and now it will be possible to track where these vessels have gone. This will help us over time with the development of a composite and recognized maritime picture of where ships are. The problems lie in the expectation that these tracking devices will probably be on ships over 300 tons. A number of the ships that we are looking at, illegal vessels that are bought for $20,000 or $30,000, which is the amount that one illegal migrant will be charged for passage, could be below that threshold. The ship is completely expendable. It is a one-way vessel. These vessels will be more difficult to track because they are small. They do not necessarily follow normal shipping routes, and they will not be subject to international pressure to have these automatic tracking devices. There is room for greater collaboration on mercantile information.

Senator Cordy: It is a big waterway, is it not?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, that is right.

Senator Cordy: I am wondering about coordination. You talked about coordination of effort and clarity between government departments. We have heard this consistently from witnesses who have appeared before our committee. What steps should be taken to ensure that there is greater coordination, because we have heard on other occasions evidence that this is still not happening, despite September 11, 2001? Even government officials who appear before us as witnesses are saying that we need greater coordination and clarity between government departments.

Mr. Boutilier: A number of steps have been taken; for example, your interdepartmental marine-security working group is a start in the right direction. My comments towards the ends of my presentation about education were not gratuitous; they were serious and heartfelt, in the sense that I think one of the things that may be valuable — I hope I am not insulting my professional colleagues — is more exchanges between agencies, so that people in the Coast Guard are spending a significant amount of time in another agency to see how it actually works. That is important. I have the greatest respect for my colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

From a purely naval perspective, the support we have received from them has been outstanding. I have met diplomats overseas who have little understanding of how the navy works, which is perhaps not surprising, but nevertheless the navy does intersect with our foreign policy on many occasions. That suggests to me that we may need to have interdepartmental secondments of some sort to create greater levels of awareness and, in turn, a greater appreciation of what is involved in maritime security. Many decision makers are probably not aware of the full extent of the challenges and threats that exist at sea.

Certainly, in reading much of the testimony that has been presented here, I get the impression, as you have, that within departments there are still concerns, let alone between departments. Whether this is a reflection of a sort of politics of denial, that yes, 9/11 was serious but it will never really impinge on us, therefore what we are going through is an academic exercise rather than a serious one, I am not sure. It would seem to me that there needs to be greater effort dedicated to trying to work out the lines of responsibility within departments.

Senator Cordy: You talked about exchanges and training. In fact, exchanges would come under the umbrella of training. Would that allow people to be a little more aware of what things are important in intelligence gathering? After the fact, everyone has 20-20 vision. We are all guilty of that. Do you think that exchanges and training would help people to come forward more often with information that they may have gleaned?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, I think so. Indeed, I found this exercise extremely useful and interesting. I spend most of my time thinking about Asian security, not about coastal defence. I found reading the testimony very illuminating in terms of the issues with which other government departments were dealing. That was one thing that encouraged me to make my comments about education.

I think there are certainly interdepartmental secondments and so forth. It would probably be very interesting to have some high-level seminars with the major decision makers from across the board. They could all be put in a room behind closed doors. They could have two days or a week in which they do nothing but look at all these different issues and how their departments impinge upon the question of maritime security. I think that could be quite illuminating.

Senator Cordy: Should there be a single department responsible for maritime security? There are a number engaged in parts of maritime security, should we have one department responsible for it?

Mr. Boutilier: There is an argument afoot that what you need is not so much a single department for maritime security — so many of these security issues are contextual. In other words, if you have a health issue, then clearly Health Canada is a lead agency in some respects — but some sort of supranational agency that brings together all the players, the equivalent of the National Security Council in the United States. Canada has a sort of ad hoc temporary equivalent for the moment, under Minister Manley's control. We need to look seriously at some sort of overarching agency that draws together all the players. Obviously, the responsibility of the departments under that umbrella will vary from context to context. I am not sure that there necessarily needs to be a lead department because the contexts change. However, it strikes me that there needs to be some serious thought given, and I think Professor Middlemiss may have alluded to this in his testimony, to a national security council, which is a concept that Canadians have been very loath to embrace hitherto.

Senator Cordy: This agency would have to be similar to Minister Manley's, with a lead minister who is a high- ranking minister, and a secretariat within the Privy Council?

Mr. Boutilier: I do not know about the actual structure or model, but it needs to be an agency that can bring together all the different themes or threads quickly and effectively. I do not know that we have necessarily had that before.

Senator J. Michael Forrestall (Deputy Chairman) in the Chair.

The Deputy Chairman: Senator Cordy has raised an interesting point. We are of the opinion here that perhaps there is a lot of merit in your suggestion. We have found some fault with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance also wearing this hat, which is just too much for any one man. We also agreed, and I would be interested in your comment, that whoever chairs it should bring to that work at least the prestige of a Deputy Prime Minister. Would you agree with that?

Mr. Boutilier: I am not really in a position to pass judgment, sir, but it strikes me that if we follow the U.S. model, we are certainly looking at someone of senior cabinet status in terms of the level of appointment.

Senator Banks: Out of curiosity, can you tell us who said "battleships"? It was not one of us, was it?

Mr. Boutilier: No, it was not any of you. It was an esteemed Asian colleague of mine who happened to spend some time here on the Hill. That was included as an illustration, but I am sure that in times past, the navy would have been delighted to have battleships. We have fallen about 50,000 tons short on almost every ship we have.

Senator Banks: Concerning intelligence, if you go into a room where some people are playing poker, you will see a table with a $2 limit and one with a $100 limit. If you want to play, you have to have something to put on the table. We have heard that the same is true with intelligence. If we want to play at the big table, we have to have something to put out by way of at least information or intelligence, or the capacity to analyze it. During the Second World War, Canada's fame, and the reason we got to sit at that table, was not because of our remarkable information-gathering capacity, but because of our remarkable capacity to analyze it and make intelligence out of information. We are no longer at the front of the line in that respect. Because of the shipping activity that goes on around all our coasts — what will soon be all four of our coasts — are we in a position to gather the kind of intelligence information that will make us welcome at that table?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, if you are prepared to put the resources into it. There are broad divisions of labour. For example, Australians produce very high-quality intelligence. Much of it is, of course, about Southeast Asia, which is a natural area for them to focus on. Thus, there are benefits to be derived. It could very well be that if we were to put the necessary resources into it, we could develop greater capability in maritime intelligence. I think it really is a question of resources.

All too frequently, it is the collection process that hampers us. We have plenty of data. For example, the National Security Agency in the United States is a huge, multi-billion dollar operation. They just spent $50 million on a building and put $100 million worth of equipment in it. When they found themselves into the al-Qaeda phenomenon, they did not have the analysts. They had tons of data, but no analysts who were Farsi or Dari speakers, for example. It is not just the information, it is who you have that can process it. This is one of the big challenges.

Certainly, you are quite right in the poker analogy. If you have the information, then you can play. It does give you leverage, there are no two ways about it. We have been very fortunate over the years in that we have probably had disproportionate amounts of information coming our way versus what we have provided. We have provided good quality information.

The point that I was making in my presentation is that the more we can do, the more room for manoeuvre we have.

Senator Banks: Since we are talking about security, in one way or another, all security derives from or relies absolutely upon intelligence.

Mr. Boutilier: That is certainly the case.

The Deputy Chairman: I thank our witness for his presentation today. He has brought an interesting perspective that has gone far in expanding our thoughts on these subjects. His knowledge of these issues will help us to move forward and complete our report.

We will now hear from Mr. Nick Mulder, who has had a 30-year public service career and is probably well known to most of those who closely follow our work. He has served as economic adviser to the Premier of New Brunswick and as federal Deputy Minister of Supply and Services, of Employment and Immigration, of Environment and, of course, of Transport. He is now President of Mulder Management Associates, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, change management and government relations, both here in Canada and internationally.

Mr. Mulder, welcome to the committee. If you have a short opening statement to make, please proceed.

Mr. Nick Mulder, President, Mulder Management Associates: Honourable senators, I wish to thank Ms. Reynolds, who contacted me about three weeks ago. When I said I was too busy and not up to date, she worked at convincing me. She is not only a very good clerk but also a very hard worker. Last Monday night at 10:00, we were exchanging e-mails. I told her it was time she went home and time that I got off the system and did something else, since I am supposed to be semi-retired.

It is a pleasure for me to be here. I am not at all an expert in maritime security, but I do know a fair amount about government policy, and certainly about transportation and the Coast Guard. I dealt with those issues for quite a while over my 30 years in government. I have also been out of the government for about six years, which is one reason Ms. Reynolds said that I should show up, since I am "out of the system." It also means that I am not up to date.

I am giving you a 747 view of the issues. I think the work the committee is doing is very important. However, if I look at the broader security issues facing the country, there are other things that are just as important, if not more so. I am talking about transborder security, aviation security, or even just day-to-day security across the country, and issues to do with immigration, refugees and so on. Whatever the recommendations of the committee, they will have to play off vis-à-vis other, broader security and defence issues.

I do accept that over the last few years, this file has not been getting sufficient attention. The threat is mounting and it is real. The government must have a better policy in place and allocate more resources to it. You have heard from many witnesses who are more expert on the details than I am, or ever will be. You have also produced several reports, not only in this area but also in others, that I think are very good material. I do not have any problems with the main directions in which you think this should be developed.

In looking at maritime security, you are talking about roughly 30,000 or 35,000 kilometres of coastline. I did a lot of work in Indonesia in the last few years. They have a similar coastline, but more in the form of islands than one half of a large continent. Still, Canada has a huge coastline. There are also the points of origin, the many hundreds of ports from which people or goods come, and probably hundreds of locations in Canada to which they go. Thousands of ships cross the oceans or our waters every year. There are millions of tons of cargo, and indeed, hundreds of thousands of crewmembers, passengers and so on.

You are dealing with a large amount of traffic in a broader sense. You also have many issues involved in maritime security — illegal shipments and illegal migrants, defence issues, illegal fishing, terrorism, pollution, health, et cetera. They come from many countries on many vessels, with many crews and cargo.

In addition, in breaking down the fundamentals of maritime security, you are dealing with a spectrum of policy issues, from intelligence gathering and dissemination, internationally and domestically, to surveillance and patrolling, partly outside of Canada's coastline, but certainly within the 200-kilometre zone for which we have responsibility. We do that surveillance by land, water and air. For example, port watch, or keeping track of what is moving close to the ports, it is just as important from land as it is from the water or the air. There is the whole question of response and interception, boarding and inspection. Finally, there are all kinds of enforcement and follow-up issues.

As a result, there are many departments involved: Privy Council Office, CSIS, Department of National Defence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Transport Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, CCRA, the immigration, health and agriculture departments, and the ports along our coastline.

One more comment to keep in mind — the departments involved are under-resourced, not only in this area, but also in many others. No matter what you want to do, these departments will never get the money that maybe you think they should get. Those are lessons I have learned over the years. There are many other priorities.

One thing is abundantly clear — the solutions are not simple, because you are dealing with a wide range of origins, cargoes, ports, agencies and issues. Whatever you or the interdepartmental committee looking at this recommends, it will take a lot of time to implement. It is not something you can do within a year or so. The third thing to draw from it is that it is very much an interdepartmental effort. To say that one agency will do 80 per cent of it will not work. It may be the lead agency. It may be the coordinating or driving agency, but 80 per cent of the activities will have to be done by other players. Also, as I have alluded to, updating of legislation and regulations or allocation of the resources, whatever is needed, may not happen. That does not mean that nothing should be done. Much more should be done than has been over the last five or ten years.

The model I have in mind is my own perspective from years in government, but also from having read a fair amount of the testimony from witnesses and so on.

I wish to stress again that my other comments should be kept in mind, that you cannot have one body that controls 80 per cent of the action. That does not exist in the U.S. either, as far as I know. However, the overall lead should be with the Department of National Defence/Privy Council Office. There used to be, and I think it still exists, a security and intelligence function in the Privy Council Office. That should be beefed up to give it more clout in terms of setting the overall standards and directions. However, DND should be the main instrumentation arm for maritime security. There should be other departments and other areas on aviation security, or whatever else.

DND ought to be in charge.

You have talked about a layered approach in committee reports, and in a sense, I am following that. The secondary role in terms of intelligence rests with CSIS, the Department of National Defence itself, and perhaps even with the Department of Foreign Affairs. It rests with whoever can gather international intelligence, bring it home and have it disseminated and combined with North American intelligence.

Those agencies and the RCMP all have a role to play in intelligence.

The lead departments on surveillance, interception and enforcement on the waters ought to be DND and the Coast Guard. I am one of the people who very much supported, and helped manage, the transfer of the Coast Guard to DFO. On balance, that has been the right move. The Coast Guard, while it has many responsibilities, could perform more of a role there.

Within DND, I am not sure that the Maritime Command has sufficient resource capacity. The RCMP used to have a maritime function. I believe they disbanded it in the 1970s. That ought to be revisited.

Backing them up, depending on the issues, are the ports and the RCMP, if there is an infringement. I assume when the boarding takes place it is not automatically with guns drawn or rifles aimed at people, et cetera. It could be just an inspection because you have a suspicion there is something on board. The Coast Guard could play that role. You might back it up with RCMP and with DND. If there is an immigration issue, you call in the Department of Immigration. If it is a customs issue, you call in CCRA. All those departments must have a presence and a back-up role in maritime security.

This is a broad model that I have in mind, and if you finally do it, the key point is that if there is not coordination, cooperation and joint operations, it will not work. You are talking about a function that probably includes about 12 different departments and agencies, and always will. Someone must have the lead role in making it happen and then ensuring that cooperation, coordination and joint operations. I have been through that before in other areas and it will be messy, there will be cracks here and there and things will fall between the cracks, but it is still very important to do more of it.

Senator Meighen: From what you say, it does not seem that there is much disagreement, you have just re- emphasized some of the important things we need to work on.

I accept totally what you say, that it is impractical to say a particular department should take complete charge of this, with nobody else involved, and run the whole show. We have to accept a certain amount of messiness when there are many chefs stirring the pot.

That is true across all fields in national policies. Have you found anything in your career that is likely to act as a catalyst for cooperation? What causes cooperation to happen? Is it the personalities involved?

Is it the fact of having a lead agency that acts just like that, as a lead agency, but not a sort of be-all, do-all, run-all agency? What can we do — at the same time understanding that there will be some messiness — to encourage a reasonably acceptable level of coordination among a variety of departments, human nature being what it is, with people who like to protect their turf and like to do the challenging work and step in before someone else, et cetera?

Mr. Mulder: From my history in government, there are three ways in which things can happen. First, lead from the top; the Prime Minister or cabinet ministers or the Privy Council Office decides that enough is enough; it is time that we took some action.

Certainly, the second one would be personalities. It could be either the leader or three or four key people within the political system or bureaucracy who decide to move on it. However, more often than not, it is a particular event that shakes the hell out of everyone. I am thinking of the major marine disaster off the coast of Newfoundland involving one of the oil rigs.

Senator Meighen: Irving Whale.

Mr. Mulder: The Ranger. That shook up a lot of people in terms of marine safety and standards, and led people like me to conclude that having four or five departments involved in search and rescue did not make sense. Consolidation makes sense, and that was one more reason to merge the Coast Guard with DFO. At least you reduce the number of players around the table. In the same way, September 11 shook the hell out of people in the U.S. Nobody thought there were people who would blow up those buildings.

Unfortunately, that happens quite often. Hopefully, the work of your committee and the interdepartmental committee, plus the concern internationally about the lapses and failures of maritime security and so on, might actually get people in the system here to find someone to take the lead and make it happen, without waiting for a calamitous event.

Senator Meighen: Is there a way to monitor the degree of cooperation?

Mr. Mulder: Yes, you can do it.

Senator Meighen: Can you evaluate it?

Mr. Mulder: Certainly, in certain areas. For example, when I went to refugee matters, where I spent three years on files like that, the degree of cooperation increased significantly as the number of refugees and the complexity of refugee movement increased. More and more, people were saying, "Look, we cannot afford to have this." We dealt more with CSIS and the RCMP on where refugees would come from, the whole question of processing or controlling them at the ports of entry, et cetera. Certainly, a way of keeping track of it is to make sure, through some lead among the three or four major departments, that people are actually cooperating more.

It is difficult. Based on my experience, there are probably 10 or 12 departments involved in this issue — some minor, others major. To have them all cooperate and exchange information — make sure there are no firewalls, no brick walls to stop the movement and exchange of information — will be very difficult.

It is not only in this country — it has happened all over the world — where security and intelligence agencies are loath to exchange information. We have a problem in Canada among the three levels of police forces, national, provincial and municipal. Just keep finding out.

Senator Meighen: The RCMP told us this morning that they have no problem sharing information.

Mr. Mulder: They probably are not allowed to admit it. I used to get intelligence information from deputy ministers in some departments. At times, you could read three-quarters of it in the Globe and Mail any day of the year. I am not sure how much real intelligence there is over and above what is readily available on the street, but I am becoming a cynic.

Senator Meighen: The Americans had well-documented difficulties in sharing information among their security agencies.

Mr. Mulder: Even if there is goodwill and cooperation, there can be a problem with the speed of dissemination — as the previous witness said, there is so much information available for you to tap into. How do you sort it out? What is important and what is not? What language does it come in? How relevant is it, how timely? How do you connect all the dots so that it actually amounts to someone doing something somewhere that is going to lead to the following? I do not know.

It is a very complicated exercise. That does not mean that more should not be done. Just because it will be difficult and coordination may be problematic and messy, that does not mean that a lot more should not be done.

Senator Meighen: You have argued that the DND should be the lead department. We have had testimony that the DND does not want to be involved in close-to-shore policing and what not, which is where I would think most of the action would take place.

Is it okay to have DND taking the lead role, in your view, if their only real responsibility is for perhaps a matter of national danger, like the suspicion that there is a nuclear device on board some ship that is approaching our coastline? Can they restrict their role to that and still be the lead agency for all the policing, from far out to right in close to shore?

Mr. Mulder: My model has DND responsible for three functions: First, to be the lead department, backed up by the Privy Council Office, in putting the overall maritime security policy in place and ensuring that things are being done; second, to be the lead with CSIS in terms of intelligence gathering and dissemination. That does not mean other departments, like Department of Immigration offices abroad or the RCMP, cannot contribute as well. It would be the one that would make it happen.

Thirdly, DND could play a role from international waters through to Canada's 200-mile zone, and then in closer to shore. I realize that DND does not have the vessels and the capacity to keep track of everything close to the coast. That is where the Coast Guard could be used more. It has both its Fisheries and Oceans vessels and its Coast Guard vessels, which are much more adept at going out at 25 to 50 kilometres, while DND is much better equipped to go further out and has bigger vessels. You could transfer the closer-to-shore role to the Coast Guard, to DFO and others, and perhaps the RCMP as well. I have no idea how many vessels the RCMP currently has that are capable of operating in rougher waters, as opposed to the lakes where I live, but it could have a role.

When you get very close to the coast, not only the Coast Guard, but also ports could play a role in a number of areas. There is a kind of a layer. However, as I said, DND would have those three roles: the lead department, the overall lead with CSIS on intelligence, and international surveillance when it gets closer to shore.

They have the capacity to do that, not only by water but also by air. The Coast Guard has no capacity to do things by air. Well, they can within the limited range of their helicopters, but most of them are dedicated to environmental matters, ice monitoring and all that, and search and rescue. You cannot get them to do the kind of surveillance of which DND is capable.

Senator Meighen: If your view did not carry the day in some circles, would your second choice be DFO as a lead agency?

Mr. Mulder: Not at all.

Senator Meighen: Who would be your second choice?

Mr. Mulder: I do not know, perhaps the RCMP. DFO, with all of its functions, is a resource department, concerned about the environment, resource management and all that. It should not be involved in intelligence. I am sure they are very intelligent, but they are not in charge of the kind of intelligence we are talking about. I would not give it to them. I would find some other way — perhaps create an agency, a combination of CSIS, RCMP, DND and so on.

Is there a possibility that DND would not take it on? When you heard from them, did they say, No thank you, next, please"?

Senator Meighen: If it comes, as you mentioned earlier, "from on high" and they are told to take it on, I am sure they will be more than happy.

Mr. Mulder: And if they get the resources.

Senator Meighen: That applies to other areas as well, but we will not go there today.

We had a witness this morning, Mr. Thomas, who argued persuasively for the para-militarization of the Coast Guard. In other words, give them some serious firepower to deal with serious bad guys. Do you have any problem with that?

Mr. Mulder: When he said "serious," what did he mean?

The Deputy Chairman: Enforcement capabilities.

Mr. Mulder: The U.S. model.

Senator Meighen: No, not as far as that — a power to enforce and to provide security, a peace officer type of enforcement. They could arrest someone.

Mr. Mulder: That is why I asked the question about how far the "serious firepower" would extend and the capacity for sidearms.

I would assume that the Coast Guard would be the first level of interception if there were suspicion that something may be wrong. I am not sure that they would go in there with guns blazing or shooting across the bow of a ship. You will not win many friends or influence too many people that way. Much of the time, the intelligence gathering may not be accurate or nothing may be found to warrant an interception. The Coast Guard ought to be the friendly cop who knocks on the door with the search warrant and requests boarding. Later, the RCMP and DND may determine that it is a serious threat because the vessel would not stop or because they actually found something. Again, there is a layered approach.

I would be concerned about the Coast Guard and DFO being extensively involved in that kind of function, but perhaps I have different value judgments.

Senator Cordy: My questions are all follow-ups to those of Senator Meighen. The Coast Guard currently looks at safety, navigational aids and search and rescue, which Senator Meighen touched on. You said that it could be possible for the Coast Guard to be armed. Should the kind of constabulary or paramilitary functions that Senator Meighen talked about be part of the Coast Guard's duties, or should we leave them alone to perform their current functions? Should we perhaps make smaller ships available to DND or the RCMP, or should we add that function to the Coast Guard?

Mr. Mulder: In principle, I would certainly support the notion that the Coast Guard have some of that capacity. The question is how far to go with it. The Coast Guard certainly covers much more of our waters than any other agency of the Government of Canada, both through its fishing vessels and the former Coast Guard vessels. The Coast Guard has much more capacity to intercept people than anyone else in Canada. While it could have limited capacity, the notion of the friendly police officer knocking on a vessel's door causes me concern in terms of how far it would be taken. It is also a question of how far the Coast Guard should go in the whole interception role, because they have functions such as ice breaking, environmental, safety, inspection, search and rescue, and a sovereignty role in the North. How many functions and roles would it be wise to burden the agency with before realizing that it is breaking down? I would give the Coast Guard a role in surveillance and as the first point of contact for many vessels that might come close to the Canadian shore.

Remember, many vessels that come through our waters are on the way from Europe to the U.S.A. and do not stop here. How often should the Coast Guard try to intercept them?

Senator Cordy: We have heard evidence that the Coast Guard may be overtaxed with its current responsibilities.

Mr. Mulder: I would agree with that. Not only before, but also since 1995, many of those departments, including the Coast Guard, have not had much in the way of resources. Fleet reconfiguration and realignments have been done, but both the quality of the vessels and their onshore facilities would indicate an immense need for new vessels.

Senator Cordy: You made reference to how extensive the Canadian coastline is and the problems in guarding it properly.

Mr. Mulder: Yes, and the number of places whomever you are concerned about might come from.

Senator Cordy: Yes. I want to ask about coordination and cooperation among departments. We have heard evidence that computers in one department cannot "talk" with computers in another department. It seems that we have a way to go in terms of coordination.

Mr. Mulder: Yes. I would agree with that, but again, sometimes it happens by design that departments operating computer systems are not allowed to talk to one another. During my days in the Department of Employment and Immigration we tried to link Employment Insurance and student loan data with that of Revenue Canada. Perhaps you were among the Canadians who said that it could not be done — those systems could not be mixed and matched. Thus, departments were told to ensure that their computer operations could not talk to other departments. You could not mix and match data; and intelligence gathering may have the same problem. It may not simply be by default, but at times by design, that those systems have firewalls.

If you want to set up this kind of function, obviously CSIS systems ought to be able to communicate with DND, but how often? Should it be all the time on every bit of data or are certain data more important than other data? There are big operational issues there. As well, there is the issue of information security concerns on the part of Canadians.

Senator Cordy: Yes, and who would determine what information is shared?

Mr. Mulder: For example, why is my RCMP data showing up in a CSIS file?

Senator Cordy: You also mentioned to Senator Meighen that the overall lead agency should be DND. Dr. Boutilier, who appeared before you, said that it should really depend on what the issue is as to who should take the lead. You said that DND would do 80 per cent and the remaining 20 per cent would go to the department in charge. Is my understanding correct?

Mr. Mulder: I was talking about the overall set of issues. There should be a lead agency for maritime security on many fronts. Whoever takes the lead in terms of the day-to-day operations would need to do a relatively small part of it. I have a model in mind: If you work through it all the way from international intelligence to domestic surveillance, interdiction, interception, enforcement, inspections, follow-ups, et cetera, there would be about 12 departments involved. I would think that while DND should have the overall lead role, it might only do 25 per cent of the operations. The Coast Guard could do much of it, and the RCMP, Department of Immigration and so on could look after other parts.

Senator Cordy: It would depend on the circumstances.

Mr. Mulder: You had one witness who talked about recent SARS cases on a vessel. That did not involve DND, but it did require limited Coast Guard involvement. It was a Health Canada issue, especially when it came to onshore treatment or follow-up.

Senator Cordy: I am wondering about a government agency. We currently have an ad hoc committee under Finance Minister Manley. Would it be helpful if that committee were permanent?

Mr. Mulder: I am not completely familiar with Mr. Manley's activities. I thought he was largely involved in domestic and transborder security. Is he involved in airline security, rail security, marine matters and all these things too? Or is he in charge of everything? He is the Tom Ridge of security?

The Deputy Chairman: He is our Tom Ridge.

Mr. Mulder: From what I gather from the newspapers, he seems to be doing a good job; and the Americans like what we are doing.

Senator Cordy: Okay.

Mr. Mulder: What happens down the road when other issues come along? Do you still keep your Deputy Prime Minister involved when it becomes day-to-day and mundane?

The Deputy Chairman: This next point is rather interesting. It seemed to the committee, in a general way and without being judgemental about it, that it would be difficult to be the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the minister responsible for security, all in the same breath. Minister Manley has carried this extraordinarily well, but something has to suffer. The committee is of the opinion that there should be a chair of a committee that embraces representation from the principal departments involved, with a mechanism to bring other departments or agencies in from time to time, as needed. I would put this to you: It is sufficiently important, I think, that the chair should be of the highest calibre, perhaps a deputy minister or a deputy prime minister. Second, the position should at least be filled by a senior deputy minister with no other responsibilities than the matter of our security.

That was what we had envisioned, which departs a little from what you are suggesting but does not impinge upon your suggestion that the lead department be National Defence.

Mr. Mulder: I am talking about maritime security, not all security. I assume that by "the committee, the minister and the deputy in charge," you meant all security, not just maritime security.

The Deputy Chairman: In the absence of the chair, I am so bold as to say that when it comes to land security, perhaps it is good to have the Department of National Defence on board that committee. We might then have someone who understands the militia in this country, so we could reactivate the very first security providers, the Halifax Rifles. How is that for getting it in?

Senator Meighen: Subtle as a brick.

Mr. Mulder: I know this is a running joke in this committee.

The Deputy Chairman: Seriously, maritime security is what we are dealing with, but it was that type of a structure. Senator Cordy's point was that you cannot overburden this type of an overall board of directors or chairman and CEO with too much more than immediate concerns.

Mr. Mulder: I would certainly agree that Minister Manley has had three or four roles for a considerable period of time. It does not work. At the same time, I have some problems, having seen deputy prime ministers like Don Mazankowski, Allan MacEachen and Sheila Copps also in charge of operations. While they may play the lead role in putting the policy in place and ensuring people pay attention to what is happening, at some stage, it is important to say it is enough and someone else ought to be in charge day in and day out. If it is concerned with security matters and departments need an overall coordination and senior officials in charge, I would agree with that, but not a deputy prime minister.

Senator Banks: I will continue on exactly the same line of questioning that Senator Meighen and Senator Cordy have embarked upon. I will just be a little argumentative with some of the things you have said, and you please respond. Devastate my argument.

Senator Banks: First, we make the careful distinction between militarization, on the one hand, which is a term that was used this morning, and on the other hand, the constabulary. Our problem is that the littoral around our country covers, more or less, the continental shelf, and we understand that the navy's principal function is to work in the deep open sea on things that have to do mainly with war. That can include the kinds of things they are doing in the Strait of Hormuz, but they are war-oriented, that is, operating almost a blockade.

On the other hand, there is this inshore area, and we know who looks after the ports. I am talking about the policing in the ports. We are not convinced it is as homogenized as it should be, but there is policing in the ports to a degree, notwithstanding the Halifax Rifles are not there yet. However, there is this space in between, namely, the shallower water or the littoral, in which no one seems have a clear responsibility for law enforcement. It is not DND. As we understand it now, the Coast Guard per se does not have any interdiction capacity, unless it happens to be carrying some Fisheries and Oceans officers, RCMP officers or soldiers on one of its ships. It may not stop a ship by force. It has no enforcement authority. It is not just that it does not have guns, but no one on a Coast Guard ship is, in the ordinary sense of the phrase, a peace officer. No one can arrest anyone, or interdict a ship or stop it. We are concerned about that function and the hundreds of miles around our coast before the role of the navy kicks in away from the land.

Now, if I can draw a land-based analogy, to me, the suggestion that we should place that job in the hands of the DND — and here comes the argument — is the same as saying in my city we should place first response, which is what we are talking about, in the hands of the army. In other words, when there is a break and enter at a drugstore, we should call in the army because it has vehicles, but they are tanks and armoured vehicles. We could send a car. We do not have a car at the moment to send to that littoral, continental shelf area. We have a fairly big fleet of red and white ships that fly our flag. However, no one on any of those ships can, in ordinary circumstances, when he or she sees something going wrong, stop it or arrest anyone or, to use your words, bang on the door and say, "Hello, I am your friendly neighbourhood cop. I am the beat cop. We are not going to sink your ship, but we would like to have a look at it, please."

They cannot do that right now, and I would like to argue, first, that the Coast Guard ought not to be militarized, but made into a constabulary, or there should be within the Coast Guard a constabulary capability to carry out that function, because that is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to get some policing or constabulary security where none exists now. To have that made a function of the Department of National Defence would be roughly analogous to saying, "We will call a tank out because there has been a break and enter at the drugstore."

Mr. Mulder: I agree, Senator Banks, with the outline of your questioning. When I was talking about DND in the lead role, I did not mean in terms of interception. I meant the department has overall responsibility for making sure that all the pieces fit together. It would have responsibility for the offshore, say 100 kilometres out, and also would take the lead with CSIS on intelligence. When it comes to the interception, I would agree that it ought to be the Coast Guard. I am wondering — and you are probably quite right — about the incapacity of the Coast Guard and DFO to intercept. I certainly know that, by regulation, the Coast Guard and DFO have the capacity, if someone is fishing illegally, to stop that person. If they think there are illegal shipments on board or smuggling going on, they can go on board. If they think it is carrying refugees or stowaways that should not be allowed in, they have legal authority.

Senator Banks: I think that is true if they have DFO officers on board.

Mr. Mulder: If they think that there is contraband or goods being smuggled into the country, I am sure they can stop them before they get to a port.

Senator Banks: Our understanding is the Coast Guard cannot. They could if they had DFO officers on board or some other constabulary.

Mr. Mulder: They can stop them for pollution, for safety reasons and, at times, if they think crews are being mistreated because they have had a report. It may be that legally they do not have the authority, and I would agree that it ought to be fixed.

Then the question is whether they should play a constabulary role, the friendly cop at the door. I would say, in principle, yes. The question is how far do you go — and how does it fit in with some of their other functions — in having Coast Guard officers who can stop a vessel and ensure that without too much opposition, they get a chance to get on board and inspect the vessel, the crew or whatever.

Senator Banks: You would agree that in some circumstances some members of the Coast Guard on a given Coast Guard ship should carry sidearms?

Mr. Mulder: Right. Often, if the intelligence is good, they can say, "We are going on board a vessel where we think there is something serious and there might be problems, so let us ensure the RCMP is on board now," or, "the DND vessel is five kilometres away." We did the same during the illegal fishing issue in Newfoundland not long ago, where the Coast Guard and DFO vessels did all the interceptions but DND was there just in case anyone took off.

Senator Banks: Those Coast Guard ships had 50-calibre machine guns mounted on them temporarily.

Mr. Mulder: There you go. The principle has been established. All you have to do is organize it.

Senator Banks: That is true. One other point, you said that you think that the Coast Guard ought properly not to report through DFO, if I understood you correctly.

Mr. Mulder: No, it would be part of DFO.

Senator Banks: I thought I heard you say that they should report through DND.

Mr. Mulder: Immigration, customs, the ports authorities and all those agencies should follow the lead role of DND when it comes to maritime security. That is the organization that should query why something is not being done and tell them to get on with it.

Obviously, DND could deal with a deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans because he or she is responsible for the Coast Guard, among other things.

Senator Banks: You are not uncomfortable with the Coast Guard living under DFO.

Mr. Mulder: I would not move it over to DND, much the same as I would not move the immigration people.

Senator Atkins: Were you the deputy minister at the Department of Transport when they moved?

Mr. Mulder: Yes.

Senator Atkins: You thought that was a good idea?

Mr. Mulder: Yes, I still do.

The Deputy Chairman: I did not think it was a good idea, but what do I know?

Mr. Mulder: You cannot have abortion retroactively. Sorry, senator.

Senator Atkins: I apologize for not hearing your opening statement.

Mr. Mulder: That is all right. You did not miss a great deal, Senator Atkins.

Senator Atkins: If we go the route that Senator Banks is suggesting, where the Coast Guard has a sort of a semi- military function, would you leave it in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

Mr. Mulder: I use the term "Coast Guard" loosely at times because it could include the DFO vessels as well, which are partly integrated with the Coast Guard. The DFO vessels are on the Grand Banks looking for someone fishing illegally or doing something else illegally.

If someone says that there is a ship 10 kilometres away with which there might be a problem and the closest vessel in Canadian waters is from DFO, it should go and look after the matter. DFO should be sure to tell the Coast Guard what is happening if the DFO vessel gets close and says, "I think there is going to be a problem because this ship is speeding up and does not want to cooperate." Perhaps you say, "Let's keep track of it, but let's bring in some more firepower."

Then you call on someone else, such as a bigger Coast Guard or DND vessel. However, the first point of contact could be any Canadian government-owned vessel — a DND, RCMP, DFO or Coast Guard vessel.

That has nothing to do with the merger. The merger was done for integrity reasons for search and rescue and environmental problems, as well as saving resources. At that time, there were 34 places in Canada where both DFO and the Coast Guard had onshore facilities with vessels.

I once went depth sounding for one month up and down the St. Lawrence River. DFO were doing the same thing with similar vessels. Why were two departments doing depth sounding in the St. Lawrence River? That does not make sense. Coordination of search and rescues and fisheries patrols was being done by both parties; therefore, it made sense to integrate.

I still think that it is a good idea. Do you expect me to say anything else? No.

Senator Atkins: Would you arm some of the personnel?

Mr. Mulder: I would have no problems with their having a limited capacity. It is being done increasingly all over the place, so why not do it on the waters.

Ensure that they are well equipped and know when to use it. Ensure that they are properly trained so they are not a bunch of cowboys. Excuse me, Senator Banks.

Senator Banks: I took no offence to that. I understand. The police/army distinction is important because what is now the RCMP was at first to be called the Northwest Mounted Rifles. They decided against that. They decided to call them a police force. That is the reason that Sam Steel came to the border with two men to deliver Sitting Bull and his people to a regiment of United States cavalry.

The Deputy Chairman: Militia have always augmented border defence and security. This has to do with the ongoing debate about reviving the Halifax Rifles to undertake this work. I have become quite serious about it because no one else seems to want to do it.

If there are no further questions, I will say that it has been pleasant to have you with us this afternoon and to have access to your wide-ranging experience with the Government of Canada and many of its agencies. Over the years, you have been frank and had some concept of telling the truth to those in power when addressing members of Parliament and standing committees. I always appreciated that and am pleased to say that to you today.

The information, as I have indicated, will further our investigation into how the federal government can make Canadian territorial waters and coastlines more secure.

To those who are watching, if you have any questions or comments, please visit our Web site at www.sen-sec.ca. We post witness testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting the members of the committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our hearings for today. We will convene again next Monday at 9:30 a.m.

The committee adjourned.