Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 15 - Evidence, March 1, 2005 - Evening meeting - Town Hall


VANCOUVER, Tuesday, March 1, 2005

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 6 p.m. to examine and report on the national security policy for Canada (Town Hall Meeting).

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are very pleased to be here in Vancouver. We have held hearings in this room throughout the day. We have come from Victoria, where we had an opportunity to visit the base at Esquimalt. We have had good hearings in Vancouver and an excellent town hall meeting last night where we heard a wide range of views that we felt represented the community rather well.

Before I commence the meeting, I will take a moment to introduce the members of the committee to you. On my immediate right is the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Michael Forrestall. He served the constituents of Dartmouth for 37 years, both in the House of Commons and in the Senate. While he was in the Commons, he served from 1966 to 1976 as the Official Opposition defence critic. He is also a member of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Beside him is Senator Michael Meighen, who is a lawyer from Ontario. He is a member of the bar of both Ontario and Québec. He is Chancellor of the University of King's College. He is the past chair of the Stratford Festival. He has honourary doctorates in civil law from Mount Allison and from the University of New Brunswick. He currently chairs our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and he is also a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

On my left is Senator Joseph Day, from New Brunswick. He is the deputy chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. He is a member of the New Brunswick, Ontario and Québec bars. He is a fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. He is also the former president and CEO of the New Brunswick Forest Products Association.

Next is Senator Tommy Banks, from Alberta. He is the chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, which recently released a report entitled The One-Tonne Challenge: Let's Get On With It. He is well known to Canadians as a versatile musician and entertainer. He provided musical direction for ceremonies at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and he received a Juno Award.

Our committee is the first Senate committee mandated to study security and defence. The Senate asked our committee to look at the need for a national security policy. We began our review in 2002, with three separate reports: Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, in February; Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility, in September; and An Update on Canada's Military Crisis: A Review From the Bottom Up, in November.

In 2003, the committee published two additional reports: The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports, in January; and Canada's Coastlines: The Longest Under-Defended Borders in the World, in October.

In 2004, we tabled two more reports: National Emergencies: Canada's Fragile Front Lines, in March; and our most recent report, the Canadian Security Guide Book, 2005 edition.

The committee is currently reviewing Canadian defence policy. During the next few months, the committee will hold hearings in every province and engage with Canadians to determine their national interest, to see what Canada's principal threats are and how Canadians would like the government to respond to those threats.

The committee will attempt to generate debate on national security in Canada and to forge a consensus on the need and type of military Canadians want.

Before I turn the microphone over to our moderator, I wish to say that we are here to listen to you. The purpose of us travelling around is to hear what Canadians want to tell us about how they would like their military to be structured and how they would like our defence policy to function.

We have tried to design a format that allows us to hear from a large number of people. This is really your meeting to tell us what message you would like us to carry back from Vancouver.

I also wish to introduce retired Admiral Ken Summers, who has undertaken to be the moderator for this evening. Admiral Summers, I wonder if you would be good enough to go through the ground rules for the evening.

Rear-Admiral (Ret'd) Ken Summers, Naval Officers Association of Vancouver Island, Moderator: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you everyone for coming here tonight. The ground rules are simple, but strict. If you are making a presentation, that is not to exceed three minutes. The clock here will show your remaining time, so you can sneak a look from the microphone to know how much time you have left. When the red light comes on, you will know that your time is up. One member of the committee will then be asking a question of you and he will not take more than 30 seconds to ask his question and I have been asked to be as strict with the senators as I am with you. You will then have up to a minute and a half to respond to the particular question.

When you come to the microphone, the committee requires that you identify yourself and perhaps the appropriate organization that you are with.

As this is a parliamentary proceeding, we are required to have an accurate record of your presence here. On the way to the meeting, you were given a registration card. As you come up here, that card should be given to the two clerks sitting in the corner chairs by the microphones. If you did not get a card, there are more at the back of the room.

Finally, the meeting is being interpreted in both official languages and receivers are available at the registration desk.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, Admiral Summers. We will proceed.

Ms. Lois Jackson, as an individual: Honourable senators, Delta, British Columbia, is a community of about 105,000 people. I have been on Delta council for over 26 years and I wish to tell you about why I think we have to do something in British Columbia and I am hoping you gentlemen can help us.

Some people ask me what is the best national defence strategy we have in British Columbia, and I tell them it is the United States of America. I have seen your reports, however. They are good, but they need some major action and they need some money and they need something to happen quickly. I know you have been working on this for a long time and I really appreciate that and I appreciate the opportunity to be here.

In Delta we have Roberts Bank Superport. Do not get it mixed up with Vancouver Port that is downtown. We are out on the coast here. We have 900,000 containers coming in this year; we will be up to 3 million containers in about three years. I do not have to tell you the problems of that port.

We are looking after that port with our local police, Delta Police, not RCMP. As well as our port in Delta, we have Surrey Fraser Port, which is on our northern border, and it is growing like Topsy.

We have a southern border with the United States at Point Roberts, and that brings peculiar problems with it as well, including Boundary B Airport. It is a small airport; however they have the most takeoffs and landings of all small airports in Canada.

We have two major Fraser River crossings, the tunnel and a super suspension bridge. We have B.C. Ferries, where hundreds of thousands of people land and take off in a year.

We have many things that we are concerned about here. On September 11, I was mayor. Our first lines of defence for everything that went on here — and Delta was one of the top targets in Canada — were our police force and our fire service. That was it. To get somebody to come from Edmonton or Calgary was a long way away. I said to everyone, "Guess what, it is the police department and the fire department and maybe some of our cadets that we have.''

If you can, in your wisdom, I would ask you to recommend the location of an army base in British Columbia, particularly for the 2.5 million people who live south of the river. We need to train and equip the reserves to a far higher standard.

The Coast Guard needs some major help along with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. They are great folks, but they need help, money and training.

The police coverage in my community is not the RCMP. Please do not do that to us. The City of Vancouver is not the RCMP. We have local police forces out here and, unfortunately, we are not funded to the same degree.

We are very concerned about the security of our port; the dangerous goods that come through there are not monitored, in my opinion, the way they should be.

We have a lot of water around here. The coast is so vitally important. We have many things that we have to look at. We really hope you can do that for us.

Senator Meighen: We will not only need the army, but some naval presence as well.

Ms. Jackson: We do. I promise to get you a written brief. We found out about this meeting quite recently.

The Chairman: Please do, we would be happy to receive a written brief. Thank you very much.

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret'd) Victor A. Coroy, As an individual: Honourable senators, I have a synopsis from a paper that I have provided to the clerk of your committee.

I wish to voice a view about the degraded state and continued neglect of the defence of our nation. Our men and women in uniform are dedicated and serve at our call with unlimited personal liability. They do Canada proud.

We are deeply concerned over the failure of successive governments to adequately provide for our defence and security. The current defence review must be a fully-funded policy, not like the last. Our government's first responsibility is to keep the citizens of this nation safe and alive. We are not a poor country. We cannot continue to provide for our security on the cheap. Canada must regain its stature as a visible and active supporter of the UN, NATO and NORAD. The failure to agree to the ballistic missile defence is a mistake driven by political expedience. This is trifling with our lives and safety and is an instance of the lack of commitment to the security and sovereignty of our nation.

We cautiously applaud the defence funding of the federal budget. However, defence funds are like snow flakes in Vancouver: They quickly disappear — to misquote Granatstein.

The continued skimping on funding adds to the degradation of our military forces. The funding for additional personnel underlines the low priority set for bringing our military capability to acceptable levels. This further hinders Canada from having a capable military as the cornerstone of a credible foreign policy.

Our military is a force of last resort, to protect our way of life and to nurture stability and prosperity. This is the heart of our democratic society and social order. The military has to be operationally ready and capable of protecting our values.

The need to replace obsolete ships, vehicles and aircraft is urgent. In principle, Canada must plan, equip and implement the capabilities required to execute military operations commensurate with our national wealth. The navy must have the ships and personnel to deliver a maritime presence below and on all of our coastal waters. Our air force must be able to defend and control Canada's air space. These capabilities are fundamental in exercising our sovereignty.

The high operational tempo and the inadequate manpower levels of the army have led to the burnout of our field force. It is a travesty to allow force levels to be degraded to this extent. The legion of problems arising from neglect suggests that our society is gravely flawed when it is prepared to send troops into combat without adequate preparations and support. I petition this committee to help redress this travesty.

Canada has a responsibility to help bring stability to those areas of the world that are inherently unstable. At the same time, we must protect our nation from those that would do us harm. We must all realize that the cost of effective armed forces is the price of doing business in the modern world. We acknowledge the devotion and outstanding professionalism of the Canadian Forces. We must support these men and women who are prepared to face adversity at our call. It is essential that we do the right and decent thing and not let them down by skimping on the tools that they need to do the jobs. To do otherwise is an unforgivable breach of trust.

Senator Forrestall: Will you apply the same enthusiasm and positive vigour to Canada's reserve forces, navy, army and air?

Mr. Coroy: Absolutely. The statements we have made apply just as much to our reserve forces as they do to our regular forces.

Canada has severely neglected our reserve forces. They have lost their footprint in the communities across the country. We do not see soldiers on the street any more and we do not see our reservists who serve this country extremely well.

Mr. Ron Wood, as an individual: Honourable senators, I wish to change the direction of the discussion somewhat. Rather than discuss defence issues, I prefer to discuss security issues, particularly as they are involved with the 2010 Olympics.

For those of you who know the geography, you will know that West Vancouver is a community of 43,000 people on the North Shore. We will be a venue community for two Olympic events. The highway to Whistler actually bisects our municipality. West Vancouver will host the aerials and the snowboarding events, two of the most highly watched activities in the Olympic Games, because people can actually go and watch the contestants perform.

To give you some idea of the crowds we anticipate, we were advised that for most of the 17 days of the Olympics, they want to move between 80,000 and 90,000 people a day to and from Whistler. We have been advised that one option to move half that number, about 40,000 people, is to have a convoy of 800 buses going up to Whistler in the morning and back in the evening. How they will get the other 40,000 up there, I do not have the faintest idea.

In a community of 43,000, we have our own police force. The crowds we are anticipating are well beyond the capability of our local police force. We will need some security assistance, hopefully from the military, similar to what they experienced in Salt Lake City.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments, and I remind you that the Olympics are a little less than five years away. It is a serious issue for West Vancouver. I have a minute left, but if you have any questions I would be pleased to try to answer them for you.

Senator Day: Thank you for your comments, your worship. Could you tell us what type of contingency planning is going on now? We are all very excited about the Olympics being held here. Those of us from the east feel that we are a part of this as well. We were watching the news last night where some of your constituents indicated that they are not happy about the blasting going on to repair the road during the evening. There are some growing pains that are going on here, but could you tell us, please, what type of planning from a security point of view is going on? Is your local police force dealing with the military, the RCMP and other security forces?

Mr. Wood: I would tell you if I could, but, frankly, I do not know. There has been some staff involvement at the local level, but what will actually transpire here, I do not have a clue. That has not been expressed to us. As mayor I also chair the West Vancouver Police Board, and we have no specific information at all as to how they will address the security issues. This is a real concern.

Senator Day: Is there no planning going on at this time?

Mr. Wood: There must be some planning somewhere. I hope there is, but what it is and what it comprises, I could not tell you.

Senator Day: Is your local police force not aware?

Mr. Wood: They are meeting with the RCMP, locally. I have forgotten the numbers that they actually had in Salt Lake City, but I think they had 100,000 National Guard people in Salt Lake City. We will require a similar number, because we will have thousands and thousands of people coming into this community.

Mr. Jim Bell, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a retired military officer of 40 years service. I spent a significant amount of time in Dartmouth, so I have followed Senator Forrestall's political career with some interest.

I wish to thank you for this opportunity to speak this evening to express my concerns regarding the state of Canadian defence policy and the state of the Canadian Forces. The reality of the Canadian Forces today reflects their cold war role rather than a planned, practical response to current requirements.

The two main contributing factors demanding a change to defence planning are the collapse of the Soviet Union and the terrorist attack of 9/11. The reduction of the threat from the Soviet Union and the lack of any other obvious large- scale military threat to Canadian interests mean that the requirement for large forces with a large recruiting base is no longer present.

At some future date, not foreseeable at this time, the requirement for standing forces with a large recruiting base may re-emerge. The dramatic rise in terrorism has placed new demands on sovereign countries such as Canada. The organizations involved are not national and they operate wherever they feel they can further their causes. Diplomacy is not an option for this kind of dispute resolution.

The new type of threat has created the need for armed forces with the following capabilities: rapid reaction, rapid deployment, flexibility, highly trained, highly technically equipped and the ability to operate in conjunction with other forces in any part of the world. I consider that Canadian foreign and defence policies have not yet recognized these dramatic changes.

The government must clearly state where Canadian interests lie in light of the new world realities and must respond to the requirement with a review of the Canadian defence policy. My recommendations would be to consider defence tasks in order of priority: first, defence of Canadian sovereignty, including a focus on terrorism at home and abroad; second, defence of North America in conjunction with the U.S.A.; third, participation in UN tasks; fourth, participation in alliances such as NATO; and, fifth, aid to the civil power.

My assumptions would be as follows: Canadian defence policy must support Canadian foreign policy. The Canadian Forces must be structured in the most cost-effective way to carry out the tasks assigned by government. The Canadian Forces will remain an important tool in maintaining Canadian sovereignty. The Canadian Forces will be called upon in support of Canadian foreign policy objectives, including peacekeeping, peace making, anti-terror operations, and participation in the UN and other alliance commitments and humanitarian assistance throughout the world.

My recommendations would include to write a new White Paper; to modify the existing force structure using the U.S. Marine Corps as a model; to reduce the existing three sets of senior officers and NCOs and infrastructure down to one, which would support a force of 50,000 to 60,000 which we have now; and to reshape the reserve forces from its traditional role of being a base for the expansion of the regular force into usable,task-oriented units such as transportation, military police, medical assistance construction engineers and air transport.

Senator Banks: Mr. Bell, I think you are the first person we have ever heard say that we should keep the Canadian Forces at about their present size rather than making them larger. Our committee has urged that they be made considerably larger.

The core of what you say has to do with specialization, against which we have heard many arguments. I would like you to talk more in the time that you have left about the Marine Corps kind of set-up that you espouse.

Mr. Bell: The U.S. Marine Corps members fly airplanes, attack helicopters, transports and everything. They go to sea in ships. They can respond anywhere in the world in a hurry and that is exactly what we need.

Senator Banks: Do you think Canada's land forces should be a function of and a part of Canada's navy, in effect?

Mr. Bell: No, I am not saying that the navy ought to be in charge. A marine corps general could be army, navy or air force, it does not matter which.

Senator Banks: The Marine Corps is a function of the United States Navy.

Mr. Bell: I do not think the commandant of the marines would tell you that.

Senator Banks: Thank you very much.

Mr. Bell: They do work on ships for sure and they are responsible to the navy and the navy hauls them.

Mr. David Hawkins, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a forensic economist with a particular expertise in the science of data fusion for C4ISR, at least for the oil industry. As you may know, C4ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

My focus as a forensic economist is on the procurement strategy used by the Canadian government to acquire military technology to equip its Canadian Forces. The strategy seems to emanate from groups inside the Privy Council Office and has been handed off to a procurement company by the name of Lansdowne Technologies, which was until December 2003 a subsidiary of Canadian Steamship Lines.

If you visit Lansdowne Technologies' website, you will see that it offers three very interesting products in the area of defence and security: first, communities of practice in disruptive technologies; second, SWAT teams, special weapons and tactics teams; and, third, physical and web-enabled or net-centric war rooms.

My research into this procurement activity suggests that it is very open to penetration by hostile forces. In order to put together an appropriate defence and security strategy in Canada, one must certainly ask the opinion of citizens, but, more realistically, one should try to profile the identity of the enemy and what weapons they have available and how they are deployed before you can put an appropriate defence strategy together.

I wish to suggest in the limited time available that our collective enemies began organizing themselves to penetrate the United States and Canada around the end of the 1980s. The planning took place in Geneva with two people, Barzan Ibrahim Hasanal-Tikriti, the former head of Iraqi intelligence and half-brother to Saddam Hussain, obviously disposing of huge amounts of Iraqi oil, later oil-for-food money; and a second gentleman by the name of Yeslam bin Laden, half-brother to Osama bin Laden.

There are records in French and Spanish of invoices showing that these people procured technology from three of the principal French weapons suppliers — Thomson-CSF, now called Thales; Dassault; and EADS. If I follow the technology through these procurement companies, I find that they have acquired Thales' beyond line-of-sight high frequency communications systems for Canada; Nortel Networks — which, as you know, is under a criminal investigation — for virtual private networks for the military; and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates of Richmond, British Columbia, which is providing physical war rooms. I believe that these companies have been penetrated by your enemies.

Senator Meighen: I presume our enemies are your enemies?

Mr. Hawkins: You can probably tell by my English accent that I am a British citizen. I am a permanent resident of Canada. I love it here. I believe until recently I could have sworn that Canada and the United Kingdom were allies.

Senator Meighen: I do not think I have enough time to find out what the recent event was that separated us in your mind.

Mr. Hawkins: Look at the papers.

Senator Meighen: Presumably you are not the only person to know this.

Mr. Hawkins: I am the founder of an organization called The Citizen's Association of Forensic Economists. I harangue Senator Kenny with emails that he probably finds — if he is getting them — very alarmist. I do have a network of citizens that I meet with on a regular basis and I have alerted them to what I think happened on 9/11, which I could share with you from my website or in person.

Senator Meighen: Is the point you want to leave us with tonight that the penetration that has in your view been achieved has been very easily achieved, or are you suggesting that this particular matter needs immediate attention?

Mr. Hawkins: I think it needs immediate attention. I do not know how easy it was, but I believe the corruption — if that is the right word — started in 1990 when the Treasury Board of Canada introduced alternative service delivery, which privatized key defence functions, including, around 1996-97, the privatization of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence to an outfit called Parisien Research Corporation of Ottawa, which provides English and Arabic speaking language services on the website. I find that absolutely incredible.

Senator Meighen: Thank you. I get your point.

Ms. Eleanor Hadley, as an individual: Honourable senators, I live in the west end of Vancouver.

I spoke against the U.S. nuclear missile program in 2001 in the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, at a conference put on by Lloyd Axworthy that included a panel of very important guests from all over the world. I spoke against nuclear weapons defence then, and I speak against it now.

I am here as an angry Canadian because I heard Senator Kenny on the radio on Sunday tell Canadians that they were stupid not to accept the U.S. nuclear missile program, which they are offering for free. I am angry. I have not heard anything so disgraceful by a senator. Of course, you are not elected. You were rude to Canadians when you made those comments. I ask you: Who appointed you?

I have been a voter in Canada for many years and have also been an activist concerned about Canada. I do not belong to any organization. I am proud to be a Canadian. I am not a member of this or a member of that. I represent myself and many Canadians all over the country who have complained about many things the government is doing.

For you senators to sit there and ask us what to do about the disgraceful state of our military defence and you, Senator Kenny, to tell Canadians that we are stupid for not accepting the American offer for free, really upsets me.

I do not have anything planned. I did not know that you were in town. I did not know this standing committee was here. I must remind you senators that you are all responsible for the state of affairs in Canada. You have the last word — almost the second last word — before you send it to Parliament.

Why have you allowed the military situation to get into this disgraceful state, where we cannot defend ourselves? We are told, "Oh, we should be lucky that the United States is next to us.'' Listen, you better read your history. The United States of America has been after Canada since long before 1867.

Senator Forrestall: I have a brief observation and a question. I am not even certain I heard the same program you did, but we heard it quite differently. I do not think Senator Kenny called any Canadian stupid. Not in the years that I have known him has he ever called anybody stupid. He has made references to ideas that may not have been filled with logic, rhyme or reason, but I have never heard him impugn the character of an individual.

I wish to respond to you by saying that I admire the forcefulness with which you state the case with respect to missile defence and I just wish to ask you this question. You say you do not represent anybody. Are you part of a movement here in Vancouver that opposes missile defence?

Ms. Hadley: I told you that I represent Canadians. I do not belong to any organization, per se. I support others by attending their meetings and speaking to them if I agree with them, or I attend their meetings and disagree with them. That is my prerogative as a native Canadian without a label.

Senator Forrestall: With respect to being elected, I was elected on eight different occasions, so I know what it is to be an elected person.

Ms. Hadley: That is good. I have run and lost many times, but there is no disgrace in running and losing. There is some disgrace in winning and not doing what is best for Canada.

Mr. David Scandrett, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a private citizen and I am here tonight not representing any group. As the distinguished New Brunswicker Mr. Dalton Camp once said, it does not matter what they say as long as they spell your name right.

To get to the point, I wish to start off my remarks by saying that we constantly look to Europe for historical references. However, in our own country, the Huron Nation was wiped out for two reasons: disease and the overwhelming technology in the 1600s. There are perhaps parallel situations.

The Government of Canada's first duty is to protect the citizens of Canada. For example, I view with primordial fear the cutting of Health Canada's funding for infectious disease research, as this poses by far the greatest threat to Canada. A global pandemic would jump with supersonic speed past containment plans and be SARS writ biblically large.

Medical research now will pay off later and we will have a collateral defence benefit on the nuclear biological and chemical warfare front. The warnings are out there. We must act on them. Recent pronouncements by the World Health Organization reinforce risk management. We Canadians have become risk adverse in a very risky world.

We must prepare to bleed. We do that by sweating a lot in peace time and bleeding a little in war time. With that in mind we need to reactivate the national defence medical centre for search capacity for casualty handling. The Disaster Assistance Response Team needs to be funded and manned properly. One of the reasons that we do not deploy the DART is that the CF is bankrupt, over-committed and has no airplanes to lift and sustain it. Why is the DART not employed domestically, for example, to assist remote First Nations?

We blow our assets expeditiously on forces and efforts but leave little left for home. In the 1950s and 1960s, we built provincial warning centres and a national facility at Carp. In essence what I am saying is that you have to look at government continuity at the provincial and federal levels. I do not see any facilities in this country left to accommodate government come time of war or crisis.

The next war may not necessarily take place in Canada, but weather patterns and prevailing winds will dictate that response.

My last comment is cynical reality. Polls say that Canadians want better health care and education, so little if any of the above will be fixed, due to lack of political will on behalf of the Government of Canada, and it will be a classic example of too little too late.

Senator Day: Are you in favour of the position, expressed by a good number of people who have been before us in meetings like this, that we should concentrate on national security? You made a comment about Canada spending a lot of money on expeditionary forces, sending DART to Sri Lanka and our forces off to Afghanistan. Would you prefer to see a policy for the future of Canada where the biggest part of our efforts goes toward national security activities?

Mr. Scandrett: That would take me about an hour to answer but, yes, in essence. We have to have balance. We are fighting in an asymmetrical environment and we have to have reserve forces that are capable. They are incapable now. If 72 hours are needed to deploy a combat-capable infantry platoon, they cannot do it. No militia unit in Canada can do that. I would back that up with money if you want to wager.

Senator Banks: You would lose.

Mr. Scandrett: No, I do not think I would, senator.

Senator Day: You and I could discuss this. We will be hearing from the Seaforth Highlanders later this evening.

Mr. Scandrett: I do not mean to pick on them. I did not even touch the navy.

Mr. Tom Payne, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am here as an individual. I saw the notice for the committee and turned up for an interesting afternoon. I have a few thoughts.

Politically, we are in a very different environment in regard to military specifications than what our forces are currently configured for. We are back to the 19th century with anarchists throwing bombs. How does a highly organized force respond to that? I had some thoughts and they are simply these. We need high skill and high profession. It is better to be really good at a few very specific things than to try to be all things to all men.

Many advocates here today have said that we have to fund everything everywhere. We cannot afford that. Sorry, but this government has other priorities and problems. Funding all things to all men is not the answer; specialization is the answer.

Let us fix what we have. We have irons sitting in the field that could be repaired and employed. Fix them and get them in service. If they cannot be reasonably fixed, scrap them.

Let us focus on military support of civilian authority and infrastructure. In regard to the mayor's issue, the local cops and fire department are the guys who scrape up the hazardous materials spilled from a container.

In regard to visibility and effectiveness, we need to use the people we have that are effective and they should be publicly employed. The specialized force that went to Afghanistan acquitted themselves well; they did their task and left.

Canada is a water country. Admiral Thomas asked why we could not blend the Coast Guard and the navy together. I agree with that. We have too many bureaucracies in this country. The Welsh will have a choir, the Germans will have an army, and the Canadians will start a bureaucracy. Cut out the duplication of administration. End the conflict between the department and the services, eliminate as much as possible the duplication, and boil it down to good government and good policy with good forces reporting to those political drivers as they should. There should not be a huge department with 20,000 people in it; it should be a group of 150. There are too many distinct services stumbling over each other without detailed coordination, and that can be improved. Switch from far away defence projection to local, close-in defence, coasts, and signal intelligence, and ensure that those are performed well.

Senator Banks: I must make it clear that Mr. Payne and I are acquaintances of very long standing. My question will not be rude.

Mr. Payne, in respect of the last thing you said, can you not conceive of some incidents having to do with war that we would be better off dealing with further away from, rather than closer to, our shores? If that is so, and if we do the specialization that you are talking about — the same kind of thing Mr. Bell was talking about earlier — which aspect or function of the Canadian Forces would you do away with?

Mr. Payne: I do not think we have the choices any more of picking our field. If we are in a terrorism environment, people bring things to us and we are surprised by them.

What is the best that we can hope to do to stop something overseas? It is intelligence, signals, communications, emails and the information we need. With information then we know something is to emerge and we can then say, "Okay, how do we deal with that when it hits our shores?''

Senator Banks: In the case of Kandahar, for example, it is a matter of finding out where they are training those people and rooting out and destroying the threat, is it not?

Mr. Payne: The more specialty stuff we do like that, the better, but let us specialize in what we do. If we get it right, then our neighbours to the south and our friends overseas will look at us and say, "These guys are really focused in on one thing and they are better at it than anybody in the world,'' and they will look to us for talents.

Senator Banks: What is the one thing?

Mr. Payne: Signals, intelligence, specialized niche forces like our forces that were in Afghanistan that can deal with a terrorist cell somewhere. You have 1,000 guys and they are gone. We give them the iron that they need, whatever that iron is; let them figure it out. They will know the iron they want and get off-the-shelf stuff. Rather than the ISTIS jeeps, they would be better with a four-by-four one-ton Ford with some boiler plate on it.

Mr. P. J. Appleton, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a former reservist, but I am also in political life. I am a Conservative Party member and the president of an EDA in New Westminster—Coquitlam. As such, I am bringing a policy statement to the convention floor on March 17, and I would like to tell you a few brief points. This is not doctrine; it is more a general speech on what should be the focus in terms of having a credible defence policy that recognizes the scopes, roles, duties and responsibilities of the military.

This policy includes the defence of our national territory and adjacent waters, disaster response capability, aid to civil authorities, contributions to collective security, and the conduct of overseas missions in support of our nation's foreign policy through participation in peacekeeping and peacemaking missions. It includes being able to monitor and control our sovereign air space, lands and waters in concert with the Canadian Coast Guard, fishers and RCMP vessels and other civil authorities; providing our citizens with an expanded search and rescue program that can be deployed in all of the provinces and territories; ensuring that the military has a credible combat capacity to deal with any threat to our nation, whether that threat is from terrorist attack or from foreign powers; and appropriately structuring the military so that it is sustainable and sufficiently flexible to support our defence obligations to our allies, NATO and NORAD under treaty obligation.

To meet these objectives, Canada must support its military by returning its organizational structure, manpower and equipment to appropriate levels with a budget of a minimum of 2.1 per cent of GDP, which is essential in order to ensure that our armed forces can successfully protect and serve our nation. Our current position is just above that of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; it is a nice country, but there are only 900 people in its army.

Senator Meighen: Mr. Appleton, you are better at math than I am, I am sure. A figure of 2.1 per cent of GDP would work out to how much? Where did the figure of 2.1 per cent come from?

Mr. Appleton: The figure of 2.1 per cent of GDP is the average of what all NATO countries spend. In terms of dollars, I cannot tell you right now. I think it is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $18 billion.

The Chairman: It is $26 billion.

Mr. Appleton: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Meighen: You are involved in political life.

Mr. Appleton: Guilty as charged.

Senator Meighen: You are well aware of the challenges and the importance of convincing the public of the stands you espouse; is that correct?

Mr. Appleton: Absolutely.

Senator Meighen: How do you account for the fact that, notwithstanding the outstanding efforts of our armed forces in Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Gulf, and the unfortunate loss of life of some of our soldiers, according to opinion polls, the support for policies such as you advocate is not very strong or has not increased very much within the Canadian public. Is that from a lack of leadership on the part of our political leaders or is there some other reason?

Mr. Appleton: There are two reasons. There is a lack of leadership on the part of a certain political party. There is also a lack of education amongst the population in general. Most Canadians have not travelled outside of their own country and are not as aware as they should be of the political realities of the world today.

Unidentified Speaker: Speak for yourself.

Mr. Appleton: I think that is what I was doing.

The Chairman: That is the point of the evening, ma'am.

Thank you very much, sir.

Mr. Michael C. Hansen, as an individual: I live in the downtown East Side. I used to live in Delta, B.C. As a matter of fact, I ran in the civic election against Mayor Lois Jackson and we all know the outcome of that. Strangely, I did move from a beautiful place like Tsawwassen to the downtown East Side. However, I am doing research in the downtown East Side.

National security is just that: securing the nation. If we have a border that is breached on a steady basis with guns and drugs, which destabilizes and terrorizes our neighbourhoods, we do not have sovereignty. Sovereignty means controlling our borders. Other countries are fighting for their sovereignty right now. We can sympathize with other countries, but right now I believe our responsibility is in Canada. Our national defence must concentrate on Canada and on securing our borders.

I moved to the downtown East Side to do research. I see the damage done by the drugs that are being smuggled by what I refer to as "terrorists'' because they bring in implements of terror into my sovereign country, guns and drugs that terrorize the neighbourhoods. There is not enough done. This problem has been going on for years.

I lived in North Vancouver when I was 15 years old. I used to go to the Army & Navy store in downtown Vancouver to pick up fishing tackle. I would see the problems. They were not as evident as today, but they were there in that alley back then. I am 50 years old, so that is not that many years ago.

Neil Young penned a song 34 years ago with the line "I saw the needle and the damage done.'' Damage is being caused by our lack of secure borders. There is a lack of compassion for the ones suffering from the lack of our security. We will send troops to other countries to help secure their nations, but we will not secure ours first; that is a travesty. We will assist other nations to attack sovereign nations, for what reason I do not know. The one example I will give is Afghanistan. Before 9/11, there was pretty much zero opium coming out of Afghanistan. Now Afghanistan produces 75 per cent of the world's opium. Thirty-six years ago Colombia was deemed a problem by the U.S. government; I think 20 to 30 tons of cocaine came into America then. The American demand for cocaine is now 352 metric tonnes. Control seems to be a problem; they do not seem to have control of drugs in these foreign countries, so how can they help us? How can we turn to these people for help? They have been involved in wars for the last 50 years, and I do not believe they have won one yet.

Senator Forrestall: I do not really know enough about the importation of drugs and Canada's influence offshore with respect to growing and distribution.

I am curious about the notion, which I believe is correct, that our sovereignty is stolen from us when we allow people to come with the wrong intentions; we must be vigilant and ever alert with respect to that.

Could you make a couple of suggestions on the use of reserves?

Mr. Hansen: We had the Snowbirds flying at each other at 400 or 500 miles an hour just to see how close they could get in case they were in a dog fight. If the Snowbirds used that fuel to fly over the 49th parallel to look for illegal activity with their high tech equipment, they could notify someone of such activity and help us out that way instead of flying around doing private air shows.

DART, God bless them, went to Asia after the tsunami to help out after the 200,000-plus people died in that disaster. In Africa, 200,000 people die every day, but nobody visits central Africa, so it is not a place of any concern for people. That is just one example I can come up with. We are reaching out too far.

This is what happened before 9/11. The American government reached out way too far and they had operations in all sorts of areas around the world, but their back door was swinging in the wind. NORAD could not even tell that these planes were flying in opposite directions toward strategic centres, but this Christmas they knew exactly where Santa Claus was and they were encouraging children to get on to the NORAD website to follow Santa Claus. God bless them for finding Santa Claus, but they sure did not do a good job on 9/11.

Ms. Shelley Alana Tomlinson, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a private citizen who was born and raised in Canada. I participated in Katimavik and I have travelled across the country and I am a proud Canadian. Unfortunately, I am not proud of the Canadian military. We need equipment.

Last week I was reading in the paper that we do not have enough boots for new recruits. My father, who is an American, jokingly told me that, if I ever join the Canadian military, after basic training he would buy me some boots as my present.

A couple of years ago I took a tour of CFB Esquimalt. I had a tour of a frigate and a travel-class destroyer. I phoned up my step-brother, who is a former U.S. Marine and said, "Hey, I got to take a tour of a frigate.'' He said, "What is a frigate?'' That is how old our equipment is. He did not know what a frigate is. We have 30-year old equipment. We do not have enough boots. We do not have enough equipment for the soldiers.

Recently I read a quote that said that if we do not want to harm soldiers, we should send Boy Scouts. At this point, we are sending Boy Scouts. I think we need to send soldiers and support the soldiers. That is all I have.

Senator Day: I am a fan and great supporter of Katimavik. I am glad to meet you. Are you aware that in the Katimavik program for part of the time you can take the military option?

Ms. Tomlinson: When I was in Katimavik that was not part of the program. That was before my time.

Senator Day: Have you talked to anybody about that experience? Was it considered by any of your colleagues to have been a desirable option? If that option had still been there, would it have expanded the understanding and appreciation among young people of what the Canadian Armed Forces is and does?

Ms. Tomlinson: The people I spoke to who were there in the 1970s said that they appreciated the lifestyle of the military much more and the sacrifices that the soldiers had to make.

Mr. George Pereira, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a private citizen. I represent myself, my wife and my two daughters.

When I was a kid I saw something very cool on the CBC. I still hold the memory in my mind of seeing pictures of the Avro Arrow fly. It made me proud to be a Canadian. I am proud today to be a Canadian, but I am not so proud of where our military has gone.

If you were to start a country today, the first thing you would want to do is secure it. If you cannot secure your country, what will you have left? You will not have a country. We have three coastlines that need to be secured and they are not.

Once the coasts are secure, then great, we can go on our way and make the people feel better through health. Then after that, once they are all well, we can educate them. Those are three important premises of government. Still, the military needs to come first, though not in the sense of a warring nation, because Canada has never been a warring nation, nor do I ever believe it should be.

Canada should have a military with the primary objective of preserving our three coastlines and our southern border. Canada's GDP could sustain a military force of approximately 180,000-strong, and at present our forces are 50,000-plus, if I am not mistaken. Our present force could not fill BC Place, let alone protect the City of Toronto. How will it protect this country? Put in that perspective, there is a huge vacuum.

A secondary objective for the military should be peacekeeping. That is a noble thing that Canada has done and should participate in. When two people are fighting with guns, you do not give other people knives to go between them to say "stop it.'' That does not work. We need to have a fully functioning military. It will not happen overnight, but we need to start somewhere.

My personal opinion is that Canada is at a crossroads. We either give what sovereignty we have left to our friends south of the border, or we start standing on our own two feet and become a great military nation. Once, when we were called up, we were there. I believe that Canada produced more machinery than any other country during the Second World War. Women were doing it. We produced great warriors who fought for this country and fought for your freedom. All we have done in the last 50 years is urinate on them, as far as I am concerned.

Senator Banks: Representing your family is the best thing on earth that you could represent; thank you for that.

Most of what you just said our committee has already stated clearly that we agree with. There is a problem, however. It is expressed often in the idea that Canadians get the military that they want. The view that you have expressed, which I am sure you understand would involve spending more money than we presently do, is espoused by a very small minority of Canadians. Would you help us out by telling us how we can convince Canadians that you and we are right?

Mr. Pereira: I would recommend educating people. I willbe 38 years old. When I was in high school, I did not learn much about Canada's military history. When I got out of high school, because I wanted to know, I started to learn and to read more. I cannot get enough of this subject now and I want to know more.

My parents were immigrants. I was born and raised here. I want to know that I can pass on to my kids and say, "Look, these people came before us; do not desecrate the freedom that they have given us. Respect it.'' The way you respect it is by being a guiding light to the rest of the world. You protect your people, you educate them, but first there is always protection.

We should educate our kids in school about our military history and the great things we have done. The Arrow worked. Many people say it did not, but I disagree. It was a start and we should have been proud of it. We spent $200 million on that and subsequently spent over $500 million for something that did not work and that went south of the border. Made-in-Canada should also be tied in with this.

Mr. Peter Cross, as an individual: Honourable senators, I do not see many other teenagers here, so I guess I represent most of them.

I would like to bring up a couple of issues. Initially, I would like to instill pride in Canada's past and present. If you were to ask most teenagers about Vimy Ridge, I do not think they would know much. If you asked them if they knew that Canada sent troops to Korea, I do not think they would.

In the 1970s, Prime Minister Trudeau said that we should increase our percentage of foreign aid to GDP to 0.7 per cent. That has not happened. I believe that the percentage of funding for foreign aid should be directly tied to military aid, and military aid should be seen as an extension of our foreign policy.

We need to increase our UN peacekeeping commitment. That is one of the best things we can do with our military. We need to create a rapid reaction force, so that when UN leaders ask, we can support troops in the field, send them to Sudan or Rwanda. What we are doing in Afghanistan right now is excellent. We have one UN advisor in Cyprus. I am sure he is doing a good job, but I am not sure what he has to do there.

People are moving to urban centres these days. The UN said that pretty soon half of the world will be living in urban centres. What steps is the Canadian military taking to ensure that we will be combat-capable in urban centres? How will we protect our troops in urban combat?

If we want to have a rapid reaction force, how will we get those troops where they need to be? What happens in times of crisis, as we saw in the tsunami? Everybody needs transport. How will we get our hands on airplanes when we have to send our troops to places that need them?

Senator Meighen: There are some interesting thoughts there. I have one question about peacemaking or peacekeeping. You say we should support UN peacekeeping efforts. What if the UN cannot or will not make a decision? Do you see any instances where we, in conjunction with perhaps NATO allies, should go in and take the initiative in place of the UN? I am thinking, for example, of Darfur. Would we be justified in disregarding the fact that the Government of Sudan has not invited us, but nevertheless go in to try to alleviate the suffering that is going on there?

Mr. Cross: If we did that, uninvited, that would be an invasion of a sovereign nation.

Senator Meighen: That is right.

Mr. Cross: We do not see blue helmets in Afghanistan right now. However, we are there as part of an international security assistance force. What we are doing there outside of the UN is great. It did take a significant amount of debate to get our troops there, but now that they are there, they are doing something. There is a certain leeway in acting outside of the UN, but the primary commitment should be to supporting the UN.

Mr. Bijan Sepehri, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am from North Vancouver and I am here on my own behalf.

I have followed much of the talk about our defence and security arrangements for many years. Rather than talk about specific things to do with Canada's military's equipment or things like that, I would like to raise the fact that it seems that very often we do not have in this country well-defined or long-term strategic objectives.

It is an obvious point, which many people have raised, that a primary objective must be to protect our own sovereignty and territory. Another point is that we should very much focus on protecting Canadian interests. In many cases we need a change of attitude. There are those who would increase the size and power of our military and security forces and there are others who think that this is not much of a priority.

Some people seem to be missing the point that the public does support the Canadian military. The public does support seeing the military become stronger and be more effective, but we have some scepticism about what objectives it is serving. That is where you see the support decline. For many decades we have been tied to the objectives and outlook of the United States. What the public wants is to see a military that serves our interests primarily and that is not dragged into things that are not necessarily in our interest. We need to be realists when it comes to looking at the situation.

When the United States looks at things, they are certainly realistic. They are not defending Canada when they look after North America; they are defending their own interests. They have every right to do that. We should not confuse our need for greater vigilance over our own territory with simply having our defence policies dictated to us by the needs of another power.

Canadian and American needs are becoming increasingly divergent as the years go on. We need to combine our military intelligence and our diplomatic thinkers and get them creating serious, long-term, strategic objectives that serve Canada's interests. Once those interests are defined, then you will have an idea of what kind of forces you need. Then you will have an idea of what kind of missions you will be going on. Until that happens, much of the work being done here will drift off as it has done before.

Senator Forrestall: We have asked why Canadians are not openly and enthusiastically interested in defence spending. You have offered a partial response.

The impression you give me is that we do not talk about these needs or the need to defend those interests that are purely Canadian. Did I understand you correctly? Could you elaborate more on how we can educate the general public?

Mr. Sepehri: We talk about our need to defend ourselves against certain threats in the world, and it is obvious that there are real threats out there. There is a big difference between what the common orthodoxy in the Ottawa establishment thinks are these threats and what the public perceives these threats to be. It is not that the public is simply wrong and ignorant. They do support that our military should be stronger. They understand that military strength has been overly depleted. Maybe more attention should be given to the fact that we need to be more ruthless and mercenary in safeguarding our own interests instead of letting others define what those interests are.

Mr. Paul Cook, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am a private citizen. I am a former member of the CF. I am a member of CCS21, the Council for Canadian Security in the 21st Century, and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. I am also a proud member of a family that had members serving in every service in World War II. Since then, one of my favourite uncles served on one of Canada's carriers, HMCS Magnificent. I have had alife-long interest in things military, although I did leave the military some years ago.

I could speak at length about the manuscript I am just finalizing. It is over 400 pages and relates to the challenges and problems facing the military in Canada.

I could speak about the fact that on September 11 the majority of Canadian cities had zero air cover. The South Korean aircraft that was thought to be hijacked and was going to the Yukon had to be intercepted by U.S. fighter jets out of Alaska because the two Hornets that we had were shadowing a Russian aircraft at the time.

I could talk about the lack of air-to-air refuelling capability. I could talk about the waste of money on those MCDVs, Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, that could not outpace a grandmother's yacht.

I could speak to the severe problems to do with the military in terms of manpower; in 1962 we had a force of approximately 126,000 and now, with a population of over 31 million, we cannot even sustain 60,000, as inadequate as that number is.

This Senate committee has done marvellous work in identifying the problems. You know what the problems are. I will throw out a challenge. I would like to see you continue the same non-partisan approach to your activities and in particular in attacking the current charade of the recent budget.

You asked why most Canadians are disconnected. If a financial institution were to produce the kind of lies and misleading statements that the government is now giving concerning the military budget, the people who ran that company would be charged with fraud. The budget will not see that $12.8 billion until years four and five.

Senator Day: Mr. Cook, you will appreciate that each one of these questions is really to draw out and understand your primary message. I understand your primary message, so maybe we can work on the secondary one.

We do not disagree with you that the budget statement is extended out over a long period of time. Do you see any value in testing and conditioning the public by making a statement that the government's commitment is to spend this amount of money? We do not have it all now, but $12 billion over the next five to 10 years will be spent on the armed forces. Is there any value in signalling that kind of commitment?

Mr. Cook: There is value when the truth comes out. If you ask most people about the budget, they will say that $12.8 billion is great. Poll after poll has shown that the public is ahead of the government in its support. That has caught the government off guard.

The reality is that the public is being sold a bill of goods. I am asking you honourable senators to do what you have done so marvellously in the past, which is to pull away the smoke and mirrors and tell the people what is really going on.

According to the estimates, $137 million is all that the forces will be getting in the first year. That will probably be the maximum term of this government, which is expected to last 18 to 24 months. For them to promise something for the future and not during the period of time when they are expected to govern is misleading in the extreme; it is negligent for the government not to front load that funding into the first year and then go from there and increase the GDP percentage.

Major-General (Ret'd) Guy Tousignant, as an individual: Honourable senators, my claim to fame is having had to replace Gen. Dallaire in Rwanda, if you remember.

Honourable senators, you must realize that your format is a little unfair. Each member of the public here this afternoon has three minutes to give you our real opinion about the state of the armed forces. At the same time, I hope that you guard yourself against retired generals or retired military historians and their wish lists. We are so proud of our glorious past that it is really what we would like to see today if we could afford it, if it actually met the needs of Canadians and if it was supported by Canadians.

I will make an exception about listening to a proposal of retired generals and speak perhaps on behalf of my colleagues. I think the general public might relate to what Admiral Bell had to say about having one commander with access to air, naval and land assets to respond to the tasks that the government outlines.

The government gives the military tasks that Canadians would like to see us involved with. I believe that Canadians support the UN and are supportive of humanitarian military intervention.

Present foreign policy asks our soldiers to be at a higher risk than when I was in the military. This type of training will be absolutely unique. We must be able to send them there quickly, extract them quickly, and make sure that they can do the job safely.

What is good about a well-equipped soldier is also something that Canadians can relate to on television. A soldier can relate to a response in Canada, to flooding, fire fighting or something that is visible.

Admiral Bell said to cut the superfluous. Senator Banks asked what we should cut, what we should keep, how we should direct ourselves to the new future of the Canadian Armed Forces, but I think we owe such a policy to our Canadian soldiers.

Senator Banks: There may be a semantic argument going on. I will assume that you have read about the proposal that General Hillier made, which is that we can deploy, under a command that commands air, sea and land forces at one time, two separate 1,000-person task forces that can be sustained indefinitely, with every couple of years a capacity for a third such force.

What General Hillier has proposed is close to what you are talking about, that is, not fighting last year's war, but having a combined — not unified — force that is capable of all those things. Do you think that we are getting close to that with this proposal?

Major-General (Ret'd) Tousignant: General Hillier was only a young major when I was the comptroller of the army. What I know about General Hillier is that he has been in those tough situations that I have described. If he does not know what he needs to do the job in response to the call of our government, which says to act under those circumstances, then we are missing the boat completely. The man is a professional with experience of the moment. We are getting close to that. This committee should take his proposals seriously and not be afraid to perhaps offend some of our sister services, because we may find that we have to ask them to perform a given function in a different way or in a different mode. I do not have the answer for that. The function must remain. At the moment, what General Hillier is asking for is in harmony with our foreign policy and with the expectation of Canadians.

Mr. John Carten, as an individual: Honourable senators, I am with the Canadian Committee for Constitutional Courts. I want to speak about Canada's relationship with the United States, but first I wan to talk briefly about the comment made by Mr. Hansen about the war that is going on in Canada regarding drugs.

We found the remains of 60 women in Port Coquitlam on a pig farm. Another 200 are missing. That is war. Those murders were a crime against humanity that happened in Canada. Where was our national defence when that happened? They were not to be seen. It was known to the leaders of this province, the mayor of the town and the premier, that women were going missing and they ignored it. Where was our national defence? We have a serious problem. You people can turn your mind to that, because I do not really care about people in the Congo, but I do care about my friends and neighbours and their children. That is where national defence begins; it begins at home. Where were you people when those murders were taking place? They are still going on. In Edmonton, 12 girls have gone missing and they have not found the murderer yet. You fellows pay attention to that.

What I came to talk about is a little less serious. It is this charade that is going on between Mr. Martin and the Americans. We will not join the missile defence shield because we are a sovereign nation. Mr. Bush will phone up one day and say to Paul Martin, "Mr. Martin, there is a missile headed for Toronto, what do you want me to do?'' Mr. Martin will say, "Just a minute, I better check with caucus.'' Then he will go to caucus and they will say, "You better check the polls, Paul.'' Then Paul Martin will talk to his staffers and say, "Well, how many members do we have from Toronto and how many opposition members are there from Toronto? Will we still hold power if Toronto goes up in smoke?''

What is that all about? Canada and the United States are integrally related. They are our neighbours. They are our friends. We are part of their economy. We have more influence on the world if we influence Washington than if we stay away from Washington. If we are not at the table, we are not there. Canada can be a conscience for Washington. We have a great history in this country; we have many smart people and we can influence Americans and their policies around the world if we are at the table with them. This notion that we should go off by ourselves is nonsense.

Senator Meighen: You have raised two points, and I only get one question. I will start with the first point raised, which was the crimes in Port Coquitlam and Edmonton. You asked where we were.

It seems to me those crimes fall under the jurisdiction mainly of police rather than of national defence. If that is so, would it be fair to say that you subscribe to the idea, which has been voiced by a number of people, that we should put more effort not only into the military, but also into our first responders, into our civil defence and into people who are on the front line charged with dealing with emergencies that arise within our communities?

Mr. Carten: National defence is an issue of protection. It does not matter whether it is an issue of a police force or an army. It is called protection. That is what the duty is. You cannot just keep marching around a parade square.

Senator Meighen: My question was this: is it not the immediate responsibility of the police force rather than soldiers?

Mr. Carten: I agree with you, it was the responsibility of the police force, but there was a failing there. There is a war going on in Canada right now with these drugs coming in and ruining the community.

Senator Meighen: Do we need to put more resources into first responders, which include police, fire and the civil defence authorities?

Mr. Carten: The national defence outfit could be out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean looking at boats coming into the country with drugs. That is one thing they could do. They could use their intelligence forces to penetrate the web of money laundering and drug trafficking that goes on in this country. That is part of the function of national defence.

Mr. Rhys Griffiths, as an individual: Honourable senators, I live in Langley. I have lived in Canada for some 45 years or more now. I am a Canadian citizen. I was a British army officer for about 14 years before I came to Canada. I was a military instructor at the Royal Military Academy in the U.K., where we had cadets coming from many countries around the world. One of my specialities was in communications, which somebody was talking about a little earlier on today. I have been involved with communications ever since.

I wish to respond to a previous comment. I was responsible for a contract in NATO a number of years ago. It was the first contract that our company had obtained in consulting and engineering. I was not getting anywhere with follow-up jobs. I was the director responsible for that. Finally, I was taken aside by one of the locals and told not to waste my time, because I would not get on a bidders list. I asked why. He said that Canada had already had its ration, meaning my job. He said, "You got a three-year job and that was it.'' It is related to the support that Canada gives to NATO as a contributor. I asked where we stand. At that time, there were 14 countries in NATO. This chap said that we were number 13. Number one was the Americans. Number 14 was Luxembourg. That is where we were rated.

A significant number of years prior to that, when I was in Germany, I was responsible for communications with the Canadian brigade right next door to us. We chased one another up and down the Russian border and all that sort of stuff after the war. I was jealous. Canadian equipment was better than ours. Their wireless equipment was better than ours. Their soldiers on the whole were certainly a lot smarter. In many cases, our conscript army had many questionable enthusiasts in it. The Canadian brigade was a highly professional organization.

Warfare has totally changed. We are only half ready to fight the almost invisible enemies we now have. We have starved the military for decades. There are too few people, inadequate equipment and too many commitments.

My concern is really the lack of political guts in supporting the guys up at the sharp end of our military. Do we really train them adequately and give them the right tools to carry on a very complex existence in many strange lands, in strange situations? There are different languages and clothing. Everything is different in so many places that they are expected to go.

I am all for cutting back on the brass. It also worries me that when I see photographs of the Canadian military, everybody is a corporal. Are there any guys who do not have a rank? It goes on for everyone.

The recent political discussion about opting out of theanti-missile program is unfortunate. It was clearly our responsibility to have a national presence to exercise some control over our destiny and we have lost the opportunity. Our trade with the U.S. is 80 per cent of our GDP. Are we blind? Do we not know what will happen now? We have just seen the first of it in the newspaper the other day.

The militia should be reinforced, strengthened and given support and encouragement. Somehow we need to make the military an honourable profession in all aspects of its life. If you want professional guys at the top, you have to train them when they are young.

The Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. Every time we have a meeting like this, it is an education for us. We have had a range of views tonight, which is very helpful. We appreciate the fact that you took the time and trouble to come here to share your views with us. We recognize that no format is perfect, but we are grateful for the number of people who did come up to the microphone to speak.

There are questionnaires on chairs for people who did not choose to come forward. Anyone is welcome to leave a paper with us or to correspond with the committee. The address is the Senate of Canada, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa. We will get your letters.

On behalf of the committee, thank you very much. This is an interesting and difficult task. We are going across the country and talking to people in every province. We will be visiting our neighbours to the south and talking to our allies in their headquarters in Brussels. We will end up in Kabul at some point as well. We are grateful to you for including us and for sharing your thoughts with us this evening. On behalf of the committee, thank you very much.

The committee adjourned.