Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 18 - Evidence, March 10, 2005 - Afternoon meeting


WINNIPEG, Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 2:05 p.m. to examine and report on the national security policy for Canada.

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

[English]

The Deputy Chairman: Good afternoon. Before we do anything today, the members of the committee and Senator Kenny, our chair, would like me to extend to those involved in this day of national mourning our deepest sympathies, our prayers, and our best wishes for the forces.

This morning, this committee had the privilege of laying a wreath at the founding home of the Northwest Mounted Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Regina. God rest them.

We have as well an item of business that Senator Atkins might want to move.

Senator Atkins: I would move that Senator Meighen act as chair for this evening's meeting.

The Deputy Chairman: Is it agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Deputy Chairman: My name is Mike Forrestall and I am from Nova Scotia. This is the first permanent committee to be named by the Senate of Canada for the purpose of looking into security and defence matters.

I should like to introduce the other members with us. To my immediate right is Senator Jim Munson from Ontario, a trusted journalist and former director of communications for Prime Minister Chrétien, before he was called to the Senate in 2003. Senator Munson has been twice nominated for Gemini awards in recognition for his excellence for journalism, both here in Canada and virtually around the world.

To his right is Senator Meighen, a lawyer by profession. He is the Chancellor of the University of King's College in Halifax, and past chair of the Stratford Festival in Ontario. He holds honorary doctorates in civil law from Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick, and currently is the chair of our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. He is also a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.

To my left is Senator Norman Atkins, also from the Province of Ontario. He came to the Senate with some 27 years experience in the field of communications. He served as a senior adviser to former Federal Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield, Premier William Davis of Ontario, and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He is also an active member of this committee's principal Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

As I mentioned, our committee is the first committee of the Senate to be mandated to examine security and defence.

The Senate has now asked this committee to examine the need for a national security policy.

We began our review in 2002 with three reports, Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, in February, Defence of North America: A Canadian Responsibility, in September, and Update on Canada's Military Financial Crisis, A View From the Bottom Up, in November.

In 2003, the committee published two 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 recently, The Canadian Security Guidebook, 2005 Edition.

This committee is 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 interests, what they see as Canada's principal threats, and how they would like the government to respond to those threats. The committee will attempt to generate debate on national security in Canada and forge a consensus on the need and type of military Canadians want.

Today, we are pleased to be in Winnipeg, and to hold the first of three panels, concluding later this afternoon or early this evening with a town hall meeting.

Panel number one, the defence policy review, is what you would call big picture items. Professor James Fergusson is a director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, and an associate professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. He teaches a range of courses in the areas of international relations, foreign and defence policy, and strategic studies. He has a particular interest in Canadian defence policies and ballistic missile defence, in particular.

Lieutenant-General, Retired, Ray Crabbe, is known certainly to everybody he met in panels right across the country, so far, sir. He is the president of the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1963, and served in a variety of command staff appointments, including a tour of duty with the United Nations in Cypress, and a native tour of duty in Germany.

He was promoted to major-general in 1994 and posted in the former Republic of Yugoslavia at the height of the Balkan War as the Deputy Force Commander of the UN Protection Force, and Commander of the Canadian contingent.

He commanded land forces in the Atlantic area from August 1995 to August 1997. In September 1997, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, and served in this role until his retirement from Canadian Forces in 1998.

Lieutenant-General Crabbe is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Staff College in Kingston, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto, and the United States Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

Gentlemen, thank you for coming. I understand that you have introductory statements. Which of you would like to lead off?

Lieutenant-General (Retired) Ray Crabbe, Royal Military Institute of Manitoba (RMIM): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and members of the Senate committee.

First, let me thank you for the opportunity to appear before you on behalf of the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba. Let me also express my thanks for the outstanding work the committee does and continues to do on behalf of the men and women of the Canadian Forces, and on behalf of Canada for your genuine interest in national security and defence.

We received your written submission from the Military Institute, and my introductory remarks will consist of some comments on the key issues addressed in that paper. Since the paper was presented to the committee, two significant events have occurred that will impact on the paper, and I would anticipate will impact on the discussions to follow. I will touch on those in the context of our submission.

First, of course, the government of the day has presented its budget, including a planned infusion of $12.8 billion into the Department of National Defence over the next five years. Deciphering government budgets and determining what is a real increase, recirculated money, or previously committed funds is always difficult at best. However, given the competing demands and priorities for government funds, the budget has given reason for optimism that the government of the day has listened to the people of Canada with regard to its military, and a need to address some serious resource issues and capabilities that have existed for some time.

The funds earmarked for defence are a good start on the road to recovery, but must not be regarded as a panacea for restoring all the shortcomings and serious deficiencies of the Canadian Forces. Understandably, the majority of these funds are not planned for until the fourth and fifth year of the budget period, thus making the funds vulnerable to the survivability of the current minority government, and indeed to other factors.

Second, the government's announcement on ballistic missile defence, we find, as do so many other Canadians, most puzzling, and in our view shows a clear lack of concern for the real defence and security of Canada. Regrettably, the decision to not participate in ballistic missile defence, BMD, was based on political expediency and not on the defence needs of Canada. Particularly, participation in BMD is not an appeasement program toward the United States, but rather a necessity for Canadian defence and sovereignty.

There are times when unpopular and controversial decisions must be made in the best and long term interests of the nation. We do not believe this to be the case with the decision on BMD, as was clearly stated in our submission.

The essence of a written submission, Mr. Chairman, was the identification of a need for a comprehensive, clear and unequivocal defence policy that is closely aligned with Canada's foreign policy, because the two are inextricably linked in light of the troubled world in which we live. It is only on this basis that a realistic and practical development of the structure, and the very nature of the Canadian Forces can be achieved. Defining the roles and priorities of the Canadian Forces is required before an intelligent and logical acquisition of weapon systems, equipment, infrastructure, and, of course, force structures can occur, commensurate with the operational roles and the pace of such operations, and the ability to sustain the forces.

In simplistic terms, it is critical to have a coherent, long-term and stable strategy and policy on which to base the structure and nature of any military. The relative assurance of the long-term funding and resource levels will allow, in turn, the logical and progressive force structure and capital acquisitions that are so critical to Canada's military. It must begin with the complete and thorough understanding of the roles and priorities of the military, and precisely what the government expects the Canadian Forces to be able to do.

The second issue is the deployability and sustainability of the Canadian Forces. As mentioned in our paper, since the end of the Cold War, Canada's military has become extensively an expeditionary force, but with no expeditionary capability. The force cannot deploy rapidly and in a tactical sense because our military does not have the strategic aircraft or ships to deploy the troops and their equipment. Having deployed them, it has no means of sustaining them in an operational area, wherever that might be in the world.

We have borrowed and begged from our allies in the past, and used commercial means. Given the critical nature of these capabilities, there is a definite requirement for them within the Canadian Forces. It remains, in our view, one of the most critical elements of Canada's military needs.

The good news is that the new Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, views this as a priority for the forces as well.

The interest of our institute is in a strong, capable, lethal, deployable, and properly trained military that can respond rapidly to meet our national and international obligations and commitments. The purpose of a military is to fight the nation's wars, whatever form those wars might take and wherever they might occur.

It is a great responsibility of the government of a nation to commit its forces to operations, and in doing so place the military in harm's way. That responsibility extends to ensuring that the government has mitigated that harm in every way possible before making such a fundamental decision. A strong, well-equipped, well-structured force, with a clear mandate from the government, will go a long way to accomplishing this.

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my opening remarks, and I look forward to our further discussion on these and other issues raised in our submission, or indeed other aspects of national defence and security of our nation. Thank you.

Mr. James Fergusson, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba: It is a pleasure to be here and have the opportunity to testify for you today. I will keep my opening remarks brief and at a general level, primarily concerned with the relationship between policy and, of course, capabilities; that is, the relationship between government interests, national interests, national security, national defence, and the capabilities found in the Canadian forces to advance and meet those interests.

Notwithstanding the recent decisions that have been made, including the budget, which places, I would suggest, the Canadian Forces in further difficulty, these decisions tell one a great deal about the likelihood that this government is serious about defence and restoring Canada's reliability and credibility amongst all of its allies. In this regard, two important considerations should be kept in everyone's mind in evaluating the state of Canadian defence policy and the Canadian Forces.

First and perhaps most importantly, current decisions regarding defence are not about today, they are about the nature, function, role, missions and capabilities of the Canadian Forces 10 to 15 years down the road. All governments are tied to the here and now of the election cycle. In the Canadian case, this reinforces the likelihood that defence decisions will be overwhelmingly rhetorical, lacking long term substance and commitment. However, the decisions such as the recent Joint Supply Ship, whatever it may be in the end, new ideas of medium-lift helicopters, 5,000 additional troops or people to do something, and other decisions about to be unveiled in the defence review will create the Canadian Forces of 2015 to 2020, not today. With the likelihood that this and future governments will not fully fund the Chief of Defence Staff's visions of the future, the situation exists for a truly dysfunctional Canadian Forces. In this regard, it is time to avoid visions reminiscent of the 1987 White Paper and look closely at reality and what is predictable.

Second, the current expeditionary vision from the Chief of the Defence Staff, the army, and I would add, not the joint side of the house, appears to represent the triumph of the past. A long standing critique is that militaries and governments prepare to fight the last war. The visions of expeditionary forces appear to clearly fit this mould, one guided by Iraq, Afghanistan, and a host of other missions over the last decade. For the government, the vision is simply harkening back to the myths of Canada's golden age as seen through the lens of Canada, the good international social worker, evident I would add, in the truly Canadian idea, legitimised now by the Pentagon's three-block war concept. In effect, the military, as led now by the army, wants to buy the force structure of the 1990s for 2020, and the government wants a capability of the 1950s for the world of 2020. In this world of strange bedfellows, the common assumption is that the problem for the last decade of Canada is simply one of resources or capabilities. If Canada could have done more in Somalia, Bosnia, East Timor, and Afghanistan, then all would be well. In other words, the loss of Canadian influence and prestige and its marginalization over the past decade or more, internationally, is simply a function of resources. More of the same is the panacea.

However, it is difficult to see how more troops deployed or more of the same capabilities are going to change much. Not only is the world going to look different in 2020, Canada is going down a path of a niche capability, which will likely marginalise the nation even more. Perhaps this is all Canadians truly want to do, and are satisfied with believing our own press. However, do not be surprised if, 15 years from now, Canadians wonder why the nation has become more marginal and irrelevant, except in our own minds.

Not only has there been an across-the-board failure by all the actors to take a hard look at Canada and the Cold War assumptions that still guide Canadian security, foreign and defence policy, but the gulf between the government and the Department of Foreign Affairs on one hand, and the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces on the other, is becoming more and more pronounced. Simply, the former's desire to turn to the military as an option for Canadian presence overseas as a means to establish Canadian identity and distinctiveness from the United States, confronts the latter's desire to demonstrate value and credibility by working closely with the United States overseas. This may mean much for the Canadian Forces in direct relations with the U.S. Armed Forces, but it does not translate into significant influence with the United States and others at the higher levels of international relations. Simply, the navy may benefit greatly from being the only nation to integrate into a U.S. carrier task force with the U.S. navy, but this does not translate into political value at the government-to-government level, which in turn translates into influence, status and relevance on the international stage. Similarly, the Chief of Defence Staff's vision of the Canadian Expeditionary Force may have value for U.S. Central Command, but unless the political situation changes, and I would add here, political thinking changes, it will not translate at the higher level.

Notwithstanding the damage done to Canadian credibility and reliability from the missile defence decision, the core problem is both actors, government and the Canadian Forces, prefer to focus overseas as the defining environment for investment. Doing good overseas meets the Canadian political myth and serves domestic value in an isolationist, self- absorbed and juvenile society, and Canada fights its wars overseas.

Of course, the government has devoted rhetoric and resources since 9/11 to the domestic security mission, and the apparent future establishment of a Canada command — as much for image as function — is to be applauded. However, I doubt that, at least when it comes to defence, that the government-approved Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, vision will result in many resources for the domestic North American mission when compared to the overseas mission. What does Canada really need medium-lift helicopters for in North America except for search and rescue, which the nation already possesses? However, a nation the size of Canada does need strategic lift and not primarily for the overseas mission. This is a capability for Canada that can be applied to the overseas mission.

It is not only the need to place the Canada/North America mission as priority number one for resources that is important and will have greater payoffs where it matters, it is also the need to rethink a range of other factors regarding the Cold War legacy, in light of being fiscally realistic. For example, Canada still possesses a Cold War base structure that is much, much too large. Cold Lake and Bagotville may have made sense to intercept Soviet bombers, but they make little, if any, sense today given the types of air-breathing threats of direct concern to Canadian national security.

A final point worth considering is the future. Domestic capabilities must serve the basis for the type of capabilities available for overseas missions, rather than the old Cold War idea that these capabilities can be derived from overseas mission requirements. When one starts to contemplate these relative to the nature of threats likely to require the Canadian Forces, CF, the size of Canada and its national sovereignty mission, and the changing nature of warfare, Canadian requirements should be driven by intelligence, surveillance, rapid reaction, and strategic lift. These in turn are part of the new emerging technologies many of which, in the future, will be space-based. They are also part of the high technology sector, and are always in high demand overseas, even from our core ally to the south. It is these, to use the U.S. term, high demand/low density capabilities that will facilitate greater Canadian relevance on the international stage. They also represent a strategy of the future, not only for the Canadian Forces, but also for the Canadian economy and high technology sectors that will see added spinoffs for the nation. This is not to suggest that Canadian defence should be driven by economic considerations; rather it is to suggest that Canadian defence should not and cannot ignore the economic dimension.

I may be wrong regarding the vision about to be released to the Canadian public. If so, my remarks should simply reinforce the vision. If I am correct, I applaud the Chief of Defence Staff and government for at least making a choice about the future, notwithstanding concerns about whether the resources will ever be sufficient to bring it to fruition.

However, it would be unfortunate, but entirely predictable and explicable if the vision is simply a reflection of the past decade. It will illustrate that nothing has truly changed, not least of all because Canadians are not prepared to look at themselves in the mirror. I look forward to elaborating on my views.

The Deputy Chairman: Before I call on Senator Meighen to start the questioning, earlier I had suggested that this was a day of national mourning. I was awaiting the arrival of one of our senior staff advisers, an inspector with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but he is otherwise detained.

Might I call on you now to rise for a moment and remember what has happened.

(Moment of Silence)

Senator Meighen: Thank you both for two very provocative and interesting papers. It is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps I can begin with Professor Fergusson, just to set the context. It seems to be an impossible challenge for us, as Canadians, to in the first place define our national interests, and then act upon them. We seem to have trouble with that.

As I understood you, you indicated that you did not hold much belief for the priorities of the past, as stated in the 1994 White Paper on Defence, and that those lingering Cold War influences should be discarded now in favour of a new role. I want to try and get some precision here for me, because I did not quite understand it. I do not think you approved of General Hillier's vision, perhaps because of cost reasons, and I wonder if you could repeat, as I say for me principally, what you would advocate as being the philosophical underpinning of Canadian defence in the next 25 years?

Mr. Fergusson: I do not disagree at all with the priorities established in the 1994 White Paper, the 1987 White Paper, the 1971 White Paper, or the 1964 White Paper, and I can go back further. They are all basically the same. They have given priority first to the defence of Canada; second, to the defence of Canada in North America; and third, to the defence of Canada on the international stage, or internationally.

It is not the problem of priorities. It is the problem of evaluating priorities relative to where investments have gone in the past, particularly in the past decade, and more importantly where it appears they are headed. Again, to be fair to General Hillier, I have not seen the visions, so I am picking what I see in the press, and I am very sensitive that the press gets it wrong a lot of times, and misses parts. Every time I have mentioned this, I have been told there is a significant domestic dimension that is not getting out, but the only term that ever gets thrown about is Canada command.

During the Cold War, it made entire sense to structure the Canadian Forces for the primary defence and security mission, which was effectively in central Europe on the central front, as part of a contribution to the alliance, and as part of a central contribution to North American security. With the second aspect being, of course, the air-breathing threat from the north, and subsequently the ballistic missile threat, it made entire sense to do that and I have no disagreement.

The problem, of course, was from the 1960s on where increasingly successive Canadian governments of both political stripes were unwilling to fund defence. As a result, you had ad hoc cuts, as necessary, to try to do the best to manage a difficult fiscal situation.

That brings me to my first point of concern. If we look at the history of Canadian defence spending, and we look at it through the past decade, or decades, and we project this to the future, one seriously has to question the vision. As far as I can put the package together and as much as I would be able to price it, is it something that this government and successive governments will fund, independent of, or dependent upon, the economic situation facing the government and the nation?

Evidence in the past tells us that the probability, short of a major cataclysm in the international system in which systemic war is likely, the answer is no.

The first point I would make is, before we go down the path of this vision, because when it is put into practice it will be put into practice by whichever may come first in the order of projects, a variety of different factors explain what one procures, what structure begins, leads or follows, and you are going to end up potentially getting a piece here and a piece there.

General Hillier's vision, as far as I understand it, is a nice package. The problem is, if the whole package is not likely to happen, then what will we be left with? We will be left with bits and pieces. That strikes me as a dangerous path to go down, given the realities that we know. I happily would like to believe that I am dead wrong about this, that the government is serious, that the money in the out years will be there, and that successive governments will realise that it is important to invest and create these capabilities. However, we should not base policy on investment decisions. That is my one major concern.

The second, and it relates to that, is that part of the Cold War image has always been, as I said, which made sense strategically for Canada in the Cold War, to define the requirements and capabilities necessary for the Canadian Forces overseas. In the post-Cold War era, that is no longer the case, and particularly in the post 9/11 era. We start to look at the threats facing Canada, the ones that we can put some meat to, if you will. Those threats and the capabilities we need, the resources we need, to meet them are not those I think which will be funded in General Hillier's vision. We do not need expeditionary forces to deal with the threats to Canada and North America. We do not need joint supply ships to deal with the maritime threats to Canada and North America. Overwhelmingly, the threats to North America, and the threats to Canada as they relate to the role of the Canadian Forces, are those to ensure the full surveillance of our territories, maritime approaches, air approaches, and space approaches. They are the potential of air-breathing threats, whether they are in the form of 9/11-type threats, or potential air launches from maritime vessels. Cruise missiles are of a deep concern. They are ballistic, and increasingly they will become space-based. That has not gone away. If all the proliferation indications that I see are accurate, they will increase over time. All these things tell us that those areas of surveillance, reconnaissance where a large national territory of aerospace is involved, and maritime- related threats, are where the priorities of the Canadian Forces should be placed.

Once you set that box, we look that in box and say, what can we acquire in that box that meets the fundamental priorities and needs of the nation? What can one then take overseas to contribute significantly to coalitions of the world? I think that is the way we are going, and what I mean is, we are still existing. I am not suggesting that things have not changed in the thinking of the forces; they have. Capability-based planning, a great deal of developments, things have changed. The whole structure is changing. I just think we are going in the wrong direction.

Senator Meighen: Thank you. That is very helpful. Let me pursue that a bit and make sure I understand. Within whatever funding envelope we have, let us do the best job we can in terms of the spacial, maritime, and Arctic, et cetera, defence of North America. That would not philosophically, in your view — I am putting words in your mouth, and tell me if I am wrong —necessarily then prevent us from having an expeditionary capability that fit within the first box that we have just described. One can make the argument that this is rushing around the world in places where we may or may not be welcome. Let us say we are welcome, or at least our allies think we should go, it may or may not be in Canada's best interests. Is it in our best interests to go to Rwanda, Afghanistan, Darfur or wherever, on the basis that we are making a significant contribution to world stability. Some people say yes and some people say no. We could say no and then you do not have to worry about it.

Mr. Fergusson: A lot depends on what your image of expeditionary is. I will use the example of strategic lift. Strategic lift is important for Canada. We are a big country. We had to rely on the United States to move generators across this country for the Montreal ice storm. General Crabbe would know better, but I would suggest that our ability to move forces support efficiently to the Winnipeg floods here was hampered because we did not possess strategic lift.

We can have an expedition or we can have a national requirement for this type of capability, and I think we do in this nation, whether you want to lease it from someone or procure it, but that gives you a certain expeditionary capability as well. The problem is, when people talk expeditionary, we have an image of the Canadian expeditionary force that landed in England in 1915, or the Canadian expeditionary force that landed in Britain in the Second World War, of soldiers going overseas. The second point about world stability and the debate about what it is and what it is not, we can debate these things to the end of time in many ways. Those missions are all discretionary to us today. That is the fundamental change since the end of the Cold War. Whether we go to the Rwandas, the Afghanistans, the East Timors of the world is discretionary. The North American mission is not a discretionary mission. It is one that we must do, and that is why I think the priorities are upside down.

Senator Meighen: General Crabbe, what in your view are the likely military consequences of the government's decision on BMD? I am thinking obviously of the renewal of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, in 2006 and the likelihood of an extension of NORAD in a maritime and army context.

Lt.Gen (Ret'd) Crabbe: First of all, I am not sure from a Canadian Forces point of view if there will be that much impact on the BMD decision. I think the essence of the decision will rest with our relationship with the United States, secondary, of course, to the fact that we will not have any defence against ballistic missiles, period.

Senator Meighen: American defence will be there.

Lt.Gen (Ret'd) Crabbe: Let us be clear here now, the Americans are going to deploy it.

Senator Meighen: As they wish, when they wish.

Lt.Gen (Ret'd) Crabbe: They will overcome all the technical problems they are having now. They put men on the moon, they will put ballistic missiles in the air. Having done that, given my understanding of the primary routes of these missiles coming essentially over Canada, the United States is going to protect the United States, whether we like it or not. A seat at the table would at least allow us some degree of influence perhaps, or perhaps not. I think that is arguable but having a seat at the table and being part of BMD would at least give us a say in things, as it does with NORAD.

With the renewal of NORAD, as you know, the whole issue of NORAD and its connection with ballistic missile defence is somewhat unclear in what role United States Space Command will play, and so on. However, it is just another chink in the armour of wearing out our welcome with our closest ally. Because we did not have strategic lift capability, my staff was able to call friends in the Pentagon and get that lift. We did it during the ice storms, we did it during the Red River floods, and we did it when we deployed aircraft to Aviano in Italy. Without that we would not have been able to fulfill the government's commitment on those particular roles at the time. That welcome is being worn out very quickly, and this is just another chink in the armour.

Senator Meighen: I agree with you, but a lot of people do not. Putting yourself in the American mind, is this decision likely to have a negative impact on the possibility of a renewal of NORAD, and of an extension of NORAD? There are a lot of arguments in favour of extending NORAD to cover, for example, the maritime sector. The Americans may say, if you are not prepared to cooperate with us on BMD, then maybe we should forget about NORAD too.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: My understanding of the command and control of the air space in Canada and the United States, as it is executed by NORAD, is completely intertwined, and inextricably so. It would be in the United States' best interests to keep that Canadian region alive and well for their good, as well as for Canada's. Yes, I think NORAD will be renewed; I do not think there is any question that it will. The parameters under which we then operate within NORAD may change to our detriment.

Senator Meighen: Do you have anything to add, Mr. Fergusson?

Mr. Fergusson: I have several things to add. Let me talk about the defence position that General Crabbe mentioned. One of the dilemmas always with limited military resources is how you distribute those resources relative to potential vulnerable targets, and who makes those decisions about that distribution of resources? You can think back to the distribution of air defence assets, for example, in the United Kingdom during the battle of Britain, and subsequently to the bombings of London — how you moved anti-aircraft there and interceptors, et cetera.

Let me give you a scenario, which is not a pleasant one, and the probability may be near zero, but it is still something to consider here. There are ten warheads launched against North America, and there are nine interceptors. Who is going to decide what is not going to be defended? In the case of the United States President, he is in the unenviable and unacceptable position where if, for example, three of those targets happen to be Canadian cities, he has to make a choice about what cities will be defended and what cities will not be defended. He will phone up the Prime Minister and say, sorry to tell you this, here are three cities. Which one do you not want? That is simply unacceptable, when there is an opportunity to defend ourselves, even if the probability is .01. That is a fundamental abdication of our sovereign interests.

Let me talk about NORAD renewal and expansion. On the one hand, the silver lining is that within Canada there will be a much greater willingness to expand NORAD now, on the part of many officials, to demonstrate to the United States that in fact we are reliable and credible. I am confident now. Exactly how the arrangement will be structured relative to NORAD, U.S. Northern Command, and the new Canadian Command will be interesting to see. I do not think we will have a great gnashing-of-teeth debate about losing our sovereignty over maritime integration and then land integration. With NORAD renewal, and notwithstanding the immediate damage that has occurred because of the way the decision was made, which has been very damaging, the United States, within their own context, will further develop missile defence capabilities and other new and future strategic technologies. As they do this, they will wonder if there is a role for Canada in this area because Canada does not want a role here. What may happen is that the early warning mission assigned to NORAD may be potentially on the chopping block.

People talk about the early warning mission as one in which we agree to allow the Americans to use NORAD. Let us be realistic here. That mission is supported entirely by American assets. We provide nothing. The United States allows NORAD to be the conduit to that mission and they, within the context of the internal struggles between Strategic Command, Northern Command, Pacific Command, the Missile Defence Agency, the Pentagon, the Defence Department, and Congress, which are all at play in this, can readily move this wherever they want. That would mean that NORAD, on one hand, would expand maritime and land cooperation. The United States knows very well, no matter how annoyed they are with us, that they cannot defend North America without us. They cannot leave geographically, as we cannot leave. On the other hand, NORAD will slide away from that strategic aerospace world. When we slide away from that strategic aerospace world, we will turn NORAD into a continental-only arrangement, whereas in the past, by virtue of that arrangement, we had a window on the global world. To do that properly, we had to know all about, for example, Soviet nuclear capabilities, and tracks of Soviet submarines with potential launch points. We had to know about how many, what strategies, and a whole host of things. Along with that, the Americans had to tell us where they might go in the future. That is an immense amount of irreplaceable, valuable information to the Government of Canada. We lose all of that. We have self-marginalised ourselves in that sense as well, and that is not in Canada's interest.

Notwithstanding, one final point I want to make, 9/11 will recede into memory eventually. When it does, the fear of pre-9/11 about NORAD and missile defence will rear its ugly head again. Somebody in Congress will say, why are we funding this and what is it doing for us? Who is north of us anyways? That is down the road, but we have to be concerned about that as well.

Senator Meighen: This question is for General Crabbe. We probably do not have time to get into details, but maybe I will give you a quote from one of your friends and admirers, General Walker, last night, who asked me to bring you his greetings. Also, we got on the subject of the reserves, and I am sure you have done a lot of thinking about that. I may or may not have General Walker's point accurately in my mind, but as I understood it, he said, let us make the reserves a mirror image of what we have. If we have an armoured regiment, then we have an armoured reserve regiment, so when augmentation is required a seamless integration is possible. If you were absolute monarch and you had an ability to wipe the table clean and start afresh, how would you structure our reserves, or would you have any?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: I do not have time to answer the question completely because it is an issue unto itself, but let me be perfectly frank here. The structure of Canada's militia, and I can talk in detail only about the army, is a holdover from World War II. Regiments that exist, exist because our Honorary Colonels spoke louder than the others. There is no fundamental reason for the concurrent structure of the reserve, the militia in Canada, none, zero.

Senator Meighen: Did you tell that to your Honorary Colonel friends?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: I have told them that many times but they do not listen. I think the fundamental issue with the reserves is that, unfortunately, and this is not a knock on the reserves, it is not their fault. It is a volunteer organization and they contribute very little to the operation or effectiveness of the Canadian Forces because of that. Until the country is prepared to do something about that, in other words, make their service compulsory, if you like, then I am not sure that any restructuring of the reserves is going to be fruitful for adding to the combat capability of the military.

That is in contrast to the American reserves and the American National Guards, who are subject to the President of the United States issuing a mobilization order, and off they go, no questions asked. That is not the case with Canada's militia. They must volunteer to serve on operations. Until we overcome that hurdle, quite frankly, any restructuring of the reserves is of little value, in my view.

Senator Meighen: Thank you.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: And I wish Walker would quit saying I am his friend.

Senator Meighen: I would like to pursue that but it is another senator's turn to ask questions.

The Deputy Chairman: General, it is worth a couple of hours, there is no question about that.

Senator Munson: With our positions on Iraq and BMD, what will it take for Canada to be seen as a partner with the United States?

You have the gist of the question — the whole idea that we made these decisions and now we have to move on. I assume from your perspective that something has to be done to repair what you see as damage; political damage or otherwise.

Mr. Fergusson: The first thing to be done, if you take the comments of Ambassador Paul Cellucci over time, is to invest seriously in the forces. The second thing is to demonstrate very clearly, not just rhetorically but very clearly, that the North American mission is a serious mission for Canada, and it will not be affected or undermined by the politics of the day. That requires a much clearer articulation on the part of the government of why it wants to do things, and why it does not want to do things. Two serious damages of the missile defence decision, the way it was made, is one, a year ago if you asked anyone, the betting odds would be 99 to 1 that Canada would be in. We did an about-face very quickly and we surprised everyone. I think most people in this country, including the critics of missile defence, I would add, were surprised, and they were especially surprised in the United States. That shows inconsistency and blowing in the political winds, responding to the political winds, which I think were badly misread.

The second is to articulate a reason why Canada did it. To this day I have no understanding. There is no explicit explanation by the government. Pierre Pettigrew's statement in the house and subsequent statements by Paul Martin provide no expansion on why Canada did what it did. I think it would go a long way to improve relations if the government was to make it very clear why it did what it did, in rational, reasonable terms.

One key thing is to become consistent in our policy world, rather than inconsistent.

Senator Atkins: I think you can draw one conclusion; it is government by polls. If you poll the public today and you ask Canadians if they want to join in the ballistic missile defence, you would not get a positive response. We have done a number of town hall meetings across this country, and the people who want BMD are generally ex-military or they have military connections. The rest of those people, with the odd exception — say they are just concerned Canadians — think the government made the right decision.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: I do not want this to be taken in the cold, crass way it is probably going to sound, but I have no other way of saying it. I think what you are hearing is the great unwashed out there, because they do not understand ballistic missile defence.

As I said in my opening remarks, there are times in national history when governments need to make tough, difficult, controversial decisions that are in the interest of the country despite, unfortunately, from time to time, what the majority of Canadians may or may not wish. Ballistic missile defence is in the best interest of this country, full stop.

Senator Atkins: Leadership is the issue.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: You call it leadership; I have a better name for it.

Senator Munson: Sorry, but did we not as a nation, or as political and defence leaders, have responsibility to explain it a little bit better over the last while?

Mr. Fergusson: I would add two things. One final part of my answer to your question just popped in my head. I use this phrase, and I do not want it to be misinterpreted. Let us leave the public out of this. The reason I say that was if we wanted the public in this, then one wonders why a year or so ago, and in fact for the preceding decade prior to a year or so ago, the Canadian public was fully in support of missile defence. The numbers were in the 70 percentile range in repeated public opinion polls. The government did not act. It chose to act this time. I think it tells us something else that is dysfunctional other than public opinion, because governments will pick and choose the public opinion battles they want to fight, and the ones they do not want to fight. I am not sure what went on in the back room of the Prime Minister's Office. As far as I can figure, this is a decision that went on in PMO; this was a PMO issue.

To go back to what we can do, I think the most important thing we could do with the United States right now is the bi-national planning group report. If Canada stood up quickly and said we endorse this fully, and we are going to move to implement this, this would have a significant impact in the United States. The U.S. would still be sceptical about how reliable we would be on this, but I think it would go a long way to putting a stamp on the NORAD renewal. Remember, for the United States, even though they are over-deployed, overstretched overseas, the number one mission is defence of the homeland. Homeland defence is more than just rhetoric in the United States.

Senator Munson: That is consistent with your theme. Professor, you had one statement, pretty strong words, and I would like to ask General Crabbe's view on it: ``Doing good overseas meets the Canadian political myth and serves domestic value in an isolationist, self-absorbed and juvenile society, and Canada fights its wars overseas.'' Do you share that view, general?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: I am of the view that, as Jim has rightly said, the number one priority for defence needs to be the homeland, Canada itself. In all the succeeding White Papers, of course, that was the number one issue.

That being said, Canada has chosen for years, of course, to fight its war away from Canada at the source of where that conflict might be, and I think that is probably going to continue well into the future. The requirement, therefore, for an expeditionary capability —

Senator Munson: I was going to get into that because you had mentioned that in your brief, how you see expeditionary forces working in a more efficient way.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: Yes, I am not advocating that. I think the military institute is advocating expeditionary forces, in a sense; expeditionary capability that gives you the lift capability, if you like, to move strategically from Canada to trouble spots in the world. Those are the essential ingredients. What form that takes, whether air lift capability or sea lift capability, is something that General Hillier will determine.

Senator Munson: For both of you, how do we address the armed forces of today? Professor Fergusson, you said in your opening line, defence decisions, including the budget which places the Canadian Forces in further difficulty, you seem to believe, along with a lot of people, that perhaps in the year 2010 or 2015, maybe things will be better. Specifically again, for the record, what do you think should be done, or what more should be done? General Hillier got up the same day, surprisingly to some people, and said, I like this budget. I like what I got. Some thought he should not have said that, and some were happy he said that. I am trying to pinpoint, right now, what can be done realistically to make this a more efficient and better armed forces?

Mr. Fergusson: In terms of the specific answer to that question, why I find the budget problematic and why it is dangerous to me, the government, as far as I can understand the numbers, has provided an additional $500 million to the Canadian Forces for this year, and an additional $600 million for next year. It is my understanding that the Canadian Forces in the past year has been running a shortfall of $1.6 billion. That is a number that I have heard floating around, and these shortfalls have been cumulative.

The Deputy Chairman: What was that number?

Mr. Fergusson: The number I heard was $1.6 billion of things have been squeezed, that affect what they do. I am not sure what exactly goes into that hopper, but if that is the shortfall in terms of keeping up with the investments that are needed to maintain what we have, and that is my understanding — shrinking training hours, problems with personnel, operations and maintenance, infrastructure, and all of these things that are declining — $500 million does not get you further. It puts you further behind. There seems to have been no recognition in the here and now, in a very favourable budgetary situation. This is what really concerns me. In the past several years, when the budget has been ideal, the government has not done much to deal with these problems. That makes me not very sanguine about the future.

I agree with General Crabbe and others who have said in the past that the forces could not spend all the money in the out years right now. You are right, they could not spend it. I do not disagree on the capital procurement side, because there are a lot of review decisions that have to be made. There still needs to be a much great injection of capital just to hold the line for the next several years. Remember, all the money to be spent in the out years is to buy things that are going to be 10 years down the road from there.

Senator Munson: Numbers make headlines: 5,000 new troops, that makes headlines. It makes Canadians feel good. In the meantime, it is going to take five years perhaps to incorporate them, general, right? There is no place to house them. They are all going to the army, but nobody seems to know what they are going to be doing yet because we have not seen that review.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: First of all, the notion of creating a peacekeeping brigade, thank goodness, has gone away. That was a dumb idea and thankfully, it did not get implemented. My understanding is that those 5,000 folks will be put where they are needed, and that is in the current units, and by the current units I mean the current structure largely of the army, to bring them up to their authorized and established strength.

As I said in my paper to you, the history of the armies being chewed away and eaten away is largely driven by the fact that we have had under-strength units, and those units happen to be jammed together, taking three of them to create one, to send off in operations. Any military man will tell you, that is the worst thing in the world that you can possibly do, from a morale point of view, from an operational integrity point of view and so on.

That 5,000 addition is a good start on the numbers issue. However, again I go back to the basic premise that the government needs to come clean on exactly what the expectations are of its military before we can talk about structures, numbers, weapon systems and so on.

I think General Hillier, from my very short discussion with him, has started that process in anticipation of what the government direction to him is going to be. I can only gather that he has gotten some okay to move ahead on some of those issues.

To go back to your previous point, senator, if there is anyone who can, military to military, patch up that kind of link it is General Hillier. He has had the kind of experience and the kind of contact with the Americans that is needed, both in Afghanistan and Bosnia, but more importantly perhaps in Fort Hood, Texas, where he was stationed for a couple of years and ran their preparation program for all their overseas deployments. He is very, very well known and very well appreciated by the Americans, and I think he can patch up that military-to-military contact. However, as Professor Fergusson points out, it is really the political issue that is going to chew away at us.

Mr. Fergusson: Can I add just one more point to the money? I am not an economist or a finance guy, but I look at the numbers as a political scientist, and I raise the point, $500 million this year. My understanding is that the Canadian Forces are getting a pay raise retroactive to last year of six per cent?

The Deputy Chairman: Eight per cent.

Mr. Fergusson: It strikes me that the pay raise will absorb most of the money. The forces are in trouble and have been in trouble for years now, so it seems the answer is not in the money. It does not make me very sanguine about the commitment. The out years, that is fine, but I guess the old phrase from the movie is appropriate, ``show me the money.''

Lt.Gen Crabbe: The $1.6 billion that the forces is short each year, and has been for some time, is a fair number. From way back when I still was serving, it was less than that, but nonetheless it was a deficit. Most of that, of course, was being directed to operations so we could maintain the operational pace that the government was in, in those days, at the expense of capital procurement. Most of that $1.6 billion today is equipment replacement programs that have not been implemented because the money was diverted to operations, pay increases and so on.

That is still not the right way to do business with the military, for the reasons that I stated in my openings remarks, and it is in the military institute's submission. Again, the point that Professor Fergusson raises is absolutely right.

The Deputy Chairman: As to the intervention I was going to make, I am not sure whether it is $1.6 billion or $1.4 billion — it depends on what you want to include — but when you pick up the shortfall and readjust the annual betterment for the forces, the budget was a hindrance, not to long-term planning, but to getting up tomorrow morning and going to work.

The other aspect of it that takes it even further out of focus is that if we were to add just 5,000 to the strength of General Bruce Jeffries' new army, for example, which is where I think it should go, we will need another 3,000 permanent forces to support those 5,000. Otherwise we are not creating 5,000 new soldiers, we are just adding 5,000 people to the payroll. However, without getting into it, we are torn with this dilemma of whether we should comment on the budget, because a few short moments ago somebody was talking about the difficulty of the Canadian public comprehending what is happening. Who has the responsibility to advise and lead? It is not just the government. Indeed, that government would probably be number two or three on the list of advising and putting the facts on the table. There are others. It is a real challenge. I think we should be talking about 125,000 overall civilians, and the sharp end of our soldiering effort supported by the necessary trades that we need, and that could be a mixture of reservists and additional full time.

Senator Munson: I have one more point, and I am really intrigued by Professor Fergusson's statement. It sounds a lot like homeland security in a way, when you talk about intelligence, surveillance, and so on. I am curious how you change the mind set, both in the military and in the public eye, and with new recruits coming in that they are joining a new armed forces that is focusing on this new hi-tech defence of the country, and they can be just as proud to do it that way as opposed to in the old days marching off to war. I think that is a big leap to sell that military job. I find it intriguing and very positive.

Mr. Fergusson: There are a variety of arguments, theories if you will, about how you move an organization to change, fundamentally transform an organization and the way it thinks. In my own view, from the research I have done on this area, and it is really work done by a variety of different scholars, I have come to the conclusion that the key is organization leadership. Several studies, for example, looking at the situation in the end-of-war period, are somewhat analogous to today, over the adoption of aircraft carriers and amphibious craft, or amphibious warfare — all those things we took for granted after World War II, which, of course, were radical revolutionary technologies and ideas in the end-of-war period. In several studies done on what was the factor, the key, to picking the winners and losers, the answer always ended up as senior leadership, the willingness of senior leaders. This is one of the things I give great credit to General Hillier for, as much as I think I will end up disagreeing with where he is going, but I give him credit. It is the duty of senior leadership to demonstrate that this is actually going to happen because the junior officers corps, the ranks, see this as something that is germane to their careers and their future. As long as you have that leadership, the organizations can make dramatic transformational changes.

As soon as the whiff gets out that, in fact, this is going to stall, then old socialized paths of career development, old socialized ideas of the regiment or the squadron, or what have you, will all re-grip themselves and the organization will then stall.

The answer is a commitment of the senior leadership. I think the strongest answer is the commitment of the senior leadership to say this is where we are going, and the government has to buy into this. Usually the government, when it comes to defence, is not overly concerned at the end of the day, as long as it can, when it needs to, pull something to send it somewhere. Governments are happy because the image is good for them. However, at the end of the day, the devil is in the details and the details are by and large left to the services and the department to decide.

Lt.Gen Crabbe: Part and parcel of that leadership responsibility is, of course, the explanation to the troops as to what is going on, and that needs to be constant. The military, certainly in earlier years, did not do a good job of that at all. Any transformation or any major change within the military was not well done. I will caution again, in the sense of hi-tech, gee whiz, Buck Rogers stuff out there, and it is going to be out there under General Hillier's vision, it still takes soldiers to stand on the ground and win the war. We must not fall into the trap of pretending that we can buy hi-tech equipment and replace soldiers. You still need soldiers to man, operate and maintain it. In fact, you often need more because these things are so sophisticated you need more people to maintain it, so you have to be very, very careful here. I have heard this in government circles before when I was a serving member, that we will go out and buy a bunch of hi- tech stuff and get rid of the soldiers: very, very dangerous thinking for sure. It does not work that way. You still need someone standing on the ground with the rifle in the hand to say I own it.

Senator Atkins: I just want to correct that it is 8.9 per cent that the military are getting in increase, just so you are aware of that.

But the other thing is, it is awful to think that the military is getting $500 million this year, because there is an expenditure review, and in the expenditure review there is a clawback of somewhere between $150 million and $200 million.

One of the interesting things we have experienced with this committee is when senior military people appear before us, and we have asked them if they had so much money, how would they spend it? You would be amazed what some of them say to the question, if you had $500 million, could you find a way to spend it? They would tell you no. I can tell you from our experience crossing this country, I could pick out very quickly the way we could spend $500 million in the first year. It would not even be a question.

It raises the question, is this budget too little, too late, number one? General, what would be an acceptable level if we were to try and catch up and put the military back into a position where it was effective, and it had the personnel and equipment it needed?

Lt.Gen (Ret'd) Crabbe: Yes, as I have been trying to emphasize, the structure of the military, in terms of manpower, equipment, weapons systems, and infrastructure cannot be determined until there is a very decisive explanation as to what the roles of the military are.

If you assume that the roles of the military, the three of them that we have talked about, and all the tasks that go with those roles, are going to be essentially status quo, which I do not think is possible, but that aside, then I can tell you that at a force level of 85,000 we were hard pressed to meet the commitments. It went to 60,000 over a period, I think, of eight or nine years. The operational pace at that time was going this way, and the manpower was going this way. That is why today we have soldiers who are burnt ou, mentally and physically incapacitated, because what was occurring on behalf of this country militarily overseas was being done on the backs of the men and women of the Canadian Forces, not through the good grace of government, that I can assure you.

The proper level of manpower, again, will only be determined once there is a concise review of what the defence policy of the nation is going to be. I would think that a force of 85,000, where we were, was stretching it. You could make ends meet. We could do the operations that the government expected of the forces in those days, and do all of the things domestically and externally, internationally, but you sure cannot do it with 60,000 or 65,000.

Senator Atkins: Were you surprised with our report where we came out with an increase of $4 billion and 75,000 troops?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: No.

Senator Atkins: You were not surprised?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: No, I was not surprised at all.

Senator Atkins: Professor, you were talking about the white papers and the design of the military based on the fact that we knew who the enemy was. Now we are in a situation where we have no crystal ball. When General Hillier comes out with his joint operational capability, can it be designed to fit some of your concerns?

Mr. Fergusson: It is hard to know the answer to that question. To dovetail it to an argument that General Crabbe made and an argument that I hear all the time, you still need boots on the ground. In 1919, people said you still need boots in stirrups. We do not need boots in stirrups anymore. You still need soldiers, but what the soldier of 2015 and 2020 will look like, relative to dramatic changes in technology — as with any other nation, Canada really does not have much choice, at least in terms of the template that Canada has to respond to. It is not threat per se. I can speculate about the recovery of the Russians, Chinese strategic modernization, the continued linear growth of India to a great power with relatively large-scale nuclear capabilities, or the structure of a different world in 2020. It is hard to know. It is a bit of a game to guess what that is going to look like. One thing I do know it will look like, depending on what happens to al Qaeda and the terrorists and the failed states of the world, is that the United States, by virtue of the decisions it makes about where it invests and where it does not invest, will largely determine how everyone else responds; friends and foes.

I am not suggesting that we have to build an armed force relative to what the United States is building to plug and play with the United States. In a generic sense, you cannot help but build an armed force that relates to where they are going to drive this beast, if you will.

When I look at that, I look at the investment in the United States in non-lethal capabilities. I look at the American way of war, which has now become the Western way of war. I look at what they call the revolution in military affairs. There is one phenomenon that I see that is a historical phenomenon, in General Hillier's plan, whatever it looks like at the end of the day — again I have not seen it, so there are things that maybe I am putting words in his mouth, which is completely and utterly unfair — when you look at the future of all these things, the United States has been driven by a desire to remove as far as possible the human being from the battlefield. We have moved further and further back to get the precision in the application of force for political ends, historically. The United States is moving further and further back. What it means to be a combat-capable force in 2020 will not be what it means to be a combat-capable force today. We are in a dramatic cusp of a fundamental change. I used to not agree with this argument, but increasing as I keep thinking about it, the more I end up at this point.

We will always need soldiers, if we want to do the mission of going into failed states to reconstruct societies. However, is that the type of soldier I really want to invest in, in Canada? There is no shortage in the world out there of boots on the ground, even in the future. Is that where Canada wants to invest, boots on the ground? That is where we get into a dangerous trap, and that is why we are in a bit of a trap of the past, rather than trying to project. It is a gamble to project into the future; I admit it is a gamble.

Senator Atkins: However, you would want the boots on the ground?

Mr. Fergusson: We would, but they do not have to be our boots. We can provide combat capability thousands of miles removed from a battlefield, from a failed state. We can do things which have great value added, which has political benefit, on the basis of capabilities we acquire for our domestic and North American missions. We can do those things without putting boots on the ground. Boots on the ground is a conscious choice that we are going to make. We have to ask ourselves, why do we want to make that conscious choice over other choices within a fixed limited physical environment?

Senator Atkins: Do you have any comment, general?

Lt.Gen Crabbe: Yes. I do not agree with Dr. Fergusson. I think that no matter how you fight warfare, warfare consists of manoeuvring a force to concentrate a force, to bring fire to bear on the enemy, to destroy his weapons and equipment, to kill his soldiers, and defeat his will to continue prosecuting the war. That is what armies are paid for. That is what armies are raised for. You can only do that if you can stand there with a rifle in your hand and say I own this piece of ground. All the precision bombing and all the other good stuff, and all the other hi-tech information- gathering and information-dominance and so on that is occurring, it is absolutely critical to allow the soldier to do that.

However, in the end if we are fighting a war and prosecuting a war, you must have the soldiers there to say, I am the winner. Otherwise you have not won anything. All the hi-tech stuff and the standoff, let-us-not-take-casualties kind of approach, are all fine and dandy, but in the end you need ownership, and that only comes with soldiers.

Senator Atkins: General, you were mentioning that General Hillier has a pretty good relationship with the U.S. military. That was obvious in his swearing in. Some of the American senior officers who were friends of his that he served with were there that afternoon. However, I want to be the devil's advocate for a minute. Using your example of the nine missiles versus the ten, do you really think, even if we had agreed to the ballistic defence program, it would really affect the way Americans make decisions? You are talking two levels: military and political too. It is the politics of this thing: do you think they really care?

Mr. Fergusson: If the goal on the part of Canada, in my mind, was to have the mission of ballistic missile defence, at least the ground-based interceptors in Alaska, that component assigned in order to command, to have that mission assigned to NORAD, then the process of that as part of the agreement negotiated with the United States would — otherwise why would we do it and why would the United States do it — Canadian and American officials would have to sit down together and decide priority use of defence. This would have to be done jointly, if it is a function of a joint command. The reason that it all has to be figured out beforehand is that we are talking about minutes in terms of launch to initial release of interceptors. There is no time, distinct from the strategic nuclear retaliatory relationship, where the president had 30 minutes — pardon me, once given the assessment of under attack probably had about 15 minutes — to make a decision, and had to make the decision before strategic nuclear weapons were released. In this case, there is no time to go to a national command authority.

Once you sit down and start to talk about these things with the Americans, and that is the whole point of it, you then have to come to an agreement between the two. There is a political element to this between the parties about priorities — capital cities, cities of 5 million or more, and this over that — because those choices have to be worked out, and the work built into operational software so the system all works effectively.

If you give that mission to NORAD, then the logic is that the boundaries from the military perspective, in my view, disappear, and North America becomes a single target list. In the absence of that, the boundaries now are national. It is American priorities first, then we will think about Canada after the fact, in how we will try and figure that out.

When people ask, why does the United States want us there, I think one of the fundamental reasons is they want us in this decision-making process because this is a decision they do not want to make. They do not want to decide for us what is and is not important, much as they do not want to decide for the European allies, the Israelis, or the Japanese, what is and is not important to defend. That is why the United States is going down the path it is going, looking for cooperation. It is not altruistic, it is out of the fact that they do not want to do this. That is what we lose I think.

Senator Atkins: In terms of North American defence, they have to consider us as part of the overall picture, and it is not totally against their interests, regardless of whether we have an agreement with them or not, to give some consideration to their decision-making process.

Mr. Fergusson: You are correct, it is in their interest. The old saying is, the United States will defend us whether we like it or not. The answer has always been, that is nice, but let us make sure they defend us the way we want to be defended, rather than them having to make those decisions. They will consult with us. I am sure there will be some quiet consultations about this. However, at the end of the day, if we are not in, we do not need to know any of these things, and I do not think that the United States is going to tell us any of these things.

I will give you the best empirical example, one of the few. In 1985, when Brian Mulroney decided that Canada would not officially participate in the Strategic Defence Initiative research program, but allowed Canadian companies to, there was all this gnashing of teeth: What would happen to the relationship? Nothing really happened, except when you got down to the military-to-military relationship around NORAD and U.S. strategic planning. Suddenly, even in the air side of the equation, and Canada was modernizing the North Warning System at the time, even in American thinking and planning about that and where they were going, Canadians were thrown out of the room. We were not allowed to participate because we had basically said no to this.

This was something that the administration did not tell those levels in the services to do. It is something I do not think the Secretary of Defence even said. It is just the way, under the principles of ``need to know,'' these things played out. That is what is going to happen to us.

The Deputy Chairman: I am sorry, but we have another panel and forum later on this afternoon. Please allow me, on behalf of the committee and the chair, to extend our deepest appreciation. You have given us much to think about. Sometimes it is good to come back to the beginnings of certain propositions as a reference to where we are. I can only assure you that this committee will listen as we go across the country, and write from what we believe to be a prudent position, having tried in our own lay way to interpret what you have told us, and the enthusiasm with which you support your positions. Lest that scares the hell out of you, believe me that we have very competent professional people with us: captains, generals and research people galore.

Thank you very much for participating in our hearings.

Our next witness is Major-General Charles Bouchard, who as a member of the Air Division, joined the Canadian Forces in 1974. He is a helicopter pilot by trade. He served in a variety of staffing command positions in Canada, Germany and the United States, including commander for both the 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Lahr, and Commander 1 Wing in Kingston. He recently completed a tour of duty as the deputy commander of the U.S. NORAD region at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, and was there during the 9/11 attacks.

He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Staff School, Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and the National Strategic Studies Course. He assumed command of 1 Canadian Air Division in 2004.

Colonel Steff Kummel has been Wing Commander 17 Wing in Winnipeg since July of 2003. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1979, and began his career as an air navigator. Upon promotion to major in 1991, he took up flight commander duties at the Canadian Force Air Navigation School in Winnipeg. In July of 1997, he assumed command of the school. In July 2000, Colonel Kummel took over the duties as deputy wing commander at 17 Wing Winnipeg. In July 2003, he was appointed to his current position and was deployed to Operation Athena. He then assumed command of the third support element, Camp Mirage, until December of 2004.

Gentleman, we welcome you and I understand that you have some brief openings comments.

General, would you care to commence?

[Translation]

MGen J.J.C. Bouchard, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division, National Defence: Mr. Chairman, it is an honour for me to speak to you today. It is with pleasure that I will give you an overview of 1 Canadian Air Division, the operational arm of the Air Force.

During the next minutes, I will talk about the challenges we are faced with. I will briefly discuss the measures that are underway to meet them and prepare ourselves, as the Canadian Forces and the Department are going through a transformation period.

[English]

At 1 Canadian Air Division I work directly for the chief of the air staff and I am responsible to him for the day-to- day generation, maintenance, direction of combat capability and multi-purpose air capabilities to meet Canada's demand anywhere in the world. As commander of the Canadian NORAD region, I am responsible to the commander of NORAD for the effective employment of their assets for the defence of North America to deter, detect and, if necessary, destroy air-breathing threats to Canada and North America. This includes both traditional and asymmetric threats to this country. It is clear that our post 9/11 world has brought significant changes in the way we conduct business in NORAD.

[Translation]

As commander of the Trenton search and rescue region, I report to the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (DCDS) for the appropriate use of search and rescue resources in a vast area which includes part of Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, the Yukon, the North West Territories and the Nunavut. On average, approximately 2,700 search and rescue operations are carried out each year in this region.

As commander of the Prairie Region cadets, I report to the VCDS, and I provide leadership and direction for the region's cadet program. This region includes 214 units and approximately 9,000 cadets.

[English]

My approach to commanding the air division is based on three pillars: conducting safe, efficient and effective operations, bridging into the future and taking care of our people. Our major task is to provide air power in support of the Canadian Forces and other agencies as directed. This translates into operating aircraft to project power, move people and cargo and to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support within the funding and resource envelope.

Aging fleets, insufficient national procurement funding, shortage of spare parts, shortage of qualified technicians, limited numbers of air crew, aging infrastructure and competing priorities all limit our ability to provide the support.

While the statistics for each fleet varies, the result in aircraft availability rate is roughly one-third when it should be approximately two-thirds.

[Translation]

The measures we have taken to modernize some of our fleets are being carried out. We will have CF-18's and Auroras that are much better adapted to their missions in the new security context, both in Canada and abroad. Despite a temporary reduction in aircraft availability, these measures will pay off in the long term.

In spite of the problems we had with the tail rotor of the Cormorant, this aircraft has proven to be excellent for search and rescue. Finally, the choice of an aircraft to replace the Sea King, the search and rescue aircraft replacement program, as well as the promise of having new medium-lift helicopters and light transport aircraft for the North all augur well for the future.

However, modernization efforts should also include the renewal of our fleet of specialized vehicles, which are not numerous but whose cost is high, such as fire-fighting trucks, supply vehicles, and ramp-clearing equipment in our airports.

[English]

On the infrastructure front, the air division is responsible for approximately $5.2 billion in realty assets, much of which is over 50 years old. Current annual funding falls below the recommended level for recapitalization, repair and maintenance, thus accumulating a backlog that must be addressed in the next few years.

You are aware of the success of our NATO flying training program in Canada. There are senior venturists to train international military officers here at Winnipeg. We also have launched an aggressive transformation program to address the shortages in the air technician trades. The long-term objective will see an increase in the availability of trained technicians from 61 per cent to over 80 per cent of the total effective strengths. We are making great strides to prepare ourselves for the future. We are actively engaged in the development of an air expeditionary force construct supported by the air force support capability project. We are also developing a robust air personnel readiness verification process that will allow us to ensure that we can meet the vision recently expressed by the chief of defence staff and espoused by the chief of the air staff.

The aerospace expeditionary forces, AEF, construct is centred on the provision of packets of aircraft covering all corps capabilities of the air division, be it CC-130 Hercules, Auroras, CF-18s, Sea King helicopters or Griffin helicopters, capable of deploying overseas and conducting sustained operation. This will require a four-to-one person ratio to sustain the deployments. A strong support capability will be critical to the success of this construct.

[Translation]

Taking care of our personnel is the third principle I apply in Division command, because without personnel, we cannot fulfill our mission. I am always amazed by the energy, ingenuity and resourcefulness of our employees. They are the reason for our success.

Maintaining our qualified personnel is always a challenge. As the economy fluctuates, they are attracted by other employers. Many of them are highly educated, have had good training, and have experience in areas where the private sector is avidly recruiting. The challenge is to implement processes to recognize the efforts of our personnel and to show them we are aware of their value and encourage them to stay and pursue a rewarding career. Although salary is not always the problem, the last raise had a very positive impact on the morale of the men and women of the Air Force and concretely showed them we appreciate their passion and dedication at work. We also want to recognize the efforts of our personnel in other, non-financial ways.

[English]

We demand a lot of our service personnel, and we also demand a lot of their families. In return, we must make sure that they and their families are looked after. Given the acute shortage of general practitioners throughout Canada, the ability to access and secure family doctors for military dependents has grown increasingly problematic. The frustrating cycle starts new at every posting. Few doctors accept new patients, and choices are very limited. The stringent nature of the military life necessary for career development and skill training of our people is disadvantageous for military dependents. Some initiatives to open military-dependent family clinics are underway, and we need to remain dedicated to finding a solution to this problem.

[Translation]

In closing, I would like to remind you that the success of air operations is the direct result of the ongoing efforts of the men and women of the Air Division who serve proudly and are committed to excellence.

[English]

At this time, Mr. Chairman, I will hand it over to Colonel Kummel.

Colonel Steff J. Kummel, Wing Commander, 17 Wing Winnipeg, National Defence: Mr. Chairman, honourable members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege for me to present an outline of the commitments, successes, and challenges for 17 Wing Winnipeg. 17 Wing Winnipeg provides command and control or logistic and administrative support to 114 units of the Regular Force reserves and cadets from Thunder Bay to the Alberta/ Saskatchewan border and northward to Yellowknife. This support consists largely of administrative, engineering and fiscal expertise, as well as environmental stewardship and safety oversight.

Of these 114 units, I have direct command and control over three flying squadrons, two flying training squadrons and three ground training schools. The 17 Wing is the sixth largest employer in Manitoba and a major contributor to the economy within the greater Winnipeg area. Throughout 17 Wing's region and area of responsibility, there are approximately 2200 regular force, 600 reserve force and 800 civilian personnel. Including immediate families of the members, this accounts for 8,000 to 10,000 people.

With the move of 2nd Batallion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 2 PPCLI, to Shilo last summer, 17 Wing has undertaken a major wing consolidation plan, with the ultimate goal of vacating all buildings on the old Kapyong site and relocating required base support personnel to the north site. As part of this consolidation, several new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facilities have been constructed and will greatly enhance our operational and support capabilities.

I also have command and control over numerous flying units such as 440 Squadron in Yellowknife, the only light utility transport squadron located in Canada's North. They provide support to Canadian Forces northern area operations and support to ranger and junior cadet operations with the four Twin Otter aircraft.

435 Squadron located at 17 Wing heads a search-and-rescue area of responsibility that covers the Prairies and Canada's North, extending to the most northern reaches of the Arctic. In addition, 435 Squadron is the only tactical refuelling squadron supporting Canada's CF-18 fighter aircraft. Not only do they handle these roles, but with only six aircraft they also support cargo transport duties in support of CF missions worldwide.

17 Wing is the home of Air Force training and education. It encompasses the Canadian Forces Air Navigation School, CFANS, which produces all air navigators and airborne electronic sensor operators. Due to the outstanding product at CFANS, the international demand continues to grow for Canadian air navigation training. One of our navigators training eight foreign students, as an example, has a revenue of approximately $2 million.

In addition, I am responsible for three Canadian Forces flying training schools, which is the initial training for all pilots in the Canadian Forces, and produces to wing standard 80 per cent of the Canadian Forces pilots. These schools continue to function at peak capacity as prime-force generators for the air force.

In addition to these flying schools, 17 Wing also includes a Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies, CFAS, and a Canadian Forces School of Meteorology, CFS Met. CFSAS conducts technical, specialty course and all professional officer training for the air force, while CFS Met produces all meteorologic technicians for the Canadian Forces.

The Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training, CFSSAT, located at 17 Wing is responsible for all aeromedical and high altitude doctor training for the Canadian Forces. In addition to these duties, CFSSAT also conducts survival, evasion, resistance and escape training for air force personnel who will be deployed throughout the world in support of assigned missions. CFSSAT is also responsible for ground search training and the hyperbaric chamber used for aeromedic training.

17 Wing personnel are extensively involved with the local community. Personnel are actively involved in numerous charitable activities such as the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, we assist and interact with legions, armies, veterans associations, police forces and the like on a weekly basis. The 17 Wing's community service record is enviable as evidenced by the formidable volunteer efforts of hundreds of military personnel in coaching, mentoring, judging and educating activities. 17 Wing personnel are firmly integrated into their surrounding community.

With the largest Canadian Force base jurisdiction, expansive support mandates, critical force generation priorities and core operation of functions, 17 Wing has in the past been particularly affected by budget cutbacks, personnel shortages and resource freezes.

The wing also contributes its fair share to operational missions with 50 to 100 personnel deployed, returning or training to depart at any one time.

The fact that no essential support or operational activities are compromised is testimony to the outstanding dedication and professionalism of all personnel on the defence team. However, this is exacting a long range cost in terms of workplace frustration and fatigue.

The consolidation and construction of new infrastructure, however, has made an immediate and positive impact on the morale of personnel as concrete evidence of reinvestment in the Canadian Forces.

Currently 17 Wing has almost 600 permanent married quarters, PMQs, dispersed over three sites in the city of Winnipeg. Our plan for the future is to rationalize these married quarters, incorporate recapitalization and reinforce the strong sense of community in reach of support while pursuing a modern medium density housing complex. This facility will include our mechanics, insurance personnel, barber shop and post office, all of which are in serious need of replacement, in addition to the requirement for an expanded fitness facility.

The future is extremely positive for 17 Wing. With renewed infrastructure and world-class air crew training programs, the 17 Wing is well positioned to meet future force generation needs of the air force. As the only urban flying base, 17 Wing continues to build close relationships with a myriad of organizations, institutions and associations to further strengthen community ties and support.

Senator Atkins: In our travels we have heard that the number of the flying hours available to pilots has been reduced as a result of limited funds. Can you comment on that?

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir. The number of hours over the years, if we compare from 20 or 30 years back, has definitely been reduced. At that time, there were sufficient hours to do what each pilot needed to do as a minimum, and also additional hours to provide services and support to customers or to associated and appropriate organizations. Over the years, however, the number of hours available to fly, and thus the number of hours available to each pilot, has been reduced. It has really been caused through a series of inter-related events, especially the availability of aircraft, the number of hours that can be generated of the current aircraft that we have, and also the number of technicians that can create and generate these hours. The important point to remember is while the number of hours are reduced, we have also set a certain amount of minimum hours that we believe are required to provide for the safe and efficient conduct of air operations for each of these individuals.

Senator Atkins: What is the minimum?

MGen Bouchard: The minimum varies from one group to another. A CF-18 pilot could be around 160 hours to 180 hours. A helicopter pilot may have a different requirement than the search-and-rescue pilot. It will vary on each of these aircraft. These are established, in fact, based on the number of sequences, manoeuvres and events that needs to be conducted by a pilot on a regular basis. However, the problem at the end of the data wheel, or the challenge that we have really, is one of how many hours can I generate to get these individuals to fly the hours that they have. We have a minimum number of hours required for each of these pilots to remain safe. We have that but we have very little more than that right now. The reason is mainly the inability of producing or generating more hours, given the other challenges we have.

Senator Atkins: One of the other things we have heard quite a bit about is the ground crews, the maintenance personnel. My question concerns two things; the training of them on the one hand but also whether you are running short of key personnel that are qualified to service the aircraft. Do you have any comment on that?

MGen Bouchard: Certainly I do, sir. In fact, if you allow me I would like to take you through some of the problems that we have. Obviously, as we went through downsizing efforts in the 1990s, we accepted as part of this downsizing that it would be giving incentive for individuals to depart from the forces early, and for those who wanted to stay we would thread on a normal basis.

Having done so, we ended up for quite a while, for a five- to ten-year period, doing very little recruiting because we had sufficient technicians. At the same time, we went into a restructure because of the downsizing of the number of technicians we required. These early days, things were going well because we had technicians that were trained and capable of doing their job.

As this group of technicians starts to enter retirement, along comes this new group of technicians that need training, and not only need to be trained at the basic level, but also trained at their unit and to conduct operation. At the same time that these pressures have taken place, and I am sure you have heard it before, the operational tempo has also increased for overseas operations, which draw away from home base into the deployment overseas as necessary. We now find ourselves with a group of relatively young, in terms of experience, technicians that are trying to come out of the basic training, go through their technician training, and find themselves in a situation that the supervisors to help them are either deployed or rather limited, to make sure we continue to fly the aircraft back home. We have this period of time from four to five years to qualify a technician from apprentice to journeymen level, and this is causing some difficulties. We need to address that.

We have put a plan in place and our goal here is to address all these steps, if you wish. If someone takes the first step, the school at Camp Borden, first of all, we train the technician with a certain basic level of knowledge, then we send the individual to the unit, and the unit has an apprenticeship program that is required to bring the technician to assignment capability and proven capability. First, we found we were transferring, or sending, a lot of the burden of qualification training to the flying and operational unit. We said we will use the school to increase the base training of the individual. They will spend more time at the basic level so the flying operational units will not have this burden of training. We will provide greater training at the basic school.

Second, in computer based training, we will provide better training technology, better training aids and more recent training aids to give them a more up-to-date qualification. Rather than spending a year, we may spend 17 months, 18 months or 19 months. In this way we reduce some of the burden of the operational unit. That does not mean we are shrinking the time it takes to qualify the technician, but we are transferring the load of training to the school, rather than giving it to the operational unit that has other things to do. That is the school.

At the units themselves in 17 Wing that are accepting these individuals, we now have an individual who has basic skills that are better than before. Rather than having a technician that now as an apprentice is waiting for an aircraft to break to do certain things, we also said we need to focus this training. Rather than doing this on-the-job training as an event occurs on the flight line, perhaps we can focus this training of this individual. This way, rather than having a lot of young technicians being supervised by the master corporal or sergeant working on the flight line, perhaps these young individuals could focus their energy into training teams or training organizations at the organization level themselves, the wing itself. Rather than taking it on the job as events happen, there is also a more structured, focused training program at the wing level, which focused their part. What we have done in addition to that to help them become more knowledgeable on their own aircraft, is in a lot of the wings we have used older aircraft that we are no longer flying, and we used them as training aids. We have a Sea King. We recently took one of the Aurora aircraft and will use it as a training vehicle for our technicians.

We have tried to release some of the pressure of the operational flight line by giving a better training at the school, a more focused training environment, which would allow us to concentrate and hopefully reduce the amount of training, and at the end of the day provide a flight line technician in a faster and more focused way. At the current stage, we stand about plus or minus a couple of per cent, but we stand around 60 per cent of technicians available — that is our total effective strength, the others being in the trainees department. Our objective is to reach 80 per cent, because each of our organizations is tailored to accept a certain amount of trainees. Not 100 per cent obviously are capable, we understand that, but we want to be not at the 39 per cent rate or 40 per cent, but rather the 15 to 17 per cent rate.

Senator Atkins: Do you contract out any of the maintenance responsibilities?

MGen Bouchard: Some training from start to finish is contracted out, and some is provided by the military. At Camp Borden, at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering, we use a mixture of civilian and military instructors. At the organizations themselves it is probably more focused on military itself, so we have the mixture, sir. Obviously some fleets have considerable maintenance as well, which I am sure you are aware.

Senator Atkins: What about air force personnel who retire, are you hiring them on contract?

MGen Bouchard: We are hiring some of them, definitely. In fact, if you go around Camp Borden, around our Cormorant sites, and also around Moosejaw you will find quite a few of the technicians that have been hired by these companies are ex-military and retired military. These are technicians that knew the job, wanted a little more stability in their life and perhaps were approaching retirement, so, yes, sir, we do provide some of the hiring. However, obviously we contract to a company that does their own hiring.

Senator Atkins: In that case, would they get their pensions plus a contract for their services?

MGen Bouchard: My understanding is that their pension is totally separated from their civilian employment, that is correct, sir. They have their own pension or annuity, and after that they have whatever the contract from the company offers to them.

Senator Atkins: Is it hard to keep these personnel in the air force when they come up for pension?

MGen Bouchard: Sir, my perspective is, we have some of the best technicians in the world. They are an attractive asset to any company. That is the first part. We have these highly trained, capable individuals. Their ingenuity is their trademark. It is a response to the industry.

Senator Atkins: It is competitive?

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir, it is competitive. It is cyclical, but it is competitive as well. I would like to mention that, because I alluded to it in my openings remarks. Obviously, the latest pay raise announcement was welcome. However, it is more than pay. It is also recognition of these individuals that is important. This is not about being mercenary and doing it for salary. You do it because you love what you are doing and you love the air force. It is about making sure that these people get public recognition and recognition from our own in the military, from their peers to leadership, and also from the public alike. I know you have done some work to help us in that effort, and it is appreciated. I want to make sure that it is understood that it is not only about money, sir. It is about loving what you do and having it recognized.

Senator Atkins: How many women pilots do you have?

MGen Bouchard: Sir, I do not know the exact statistics on that. I will get back to you and provide that. I could not even hazard a guess of the number of women pilots we have at this time, sir. I will find out. We have a number across all the fleets. My executive assistant, in fact, who is here today, is one.

Senator Atkins: She was smiling when I asked the question.

MGen Bouchard: Yes, we have them in all of the communities, sir. We have them in transport, maritime, tactical helicopters and fighters.

Senator Atkins: Can you comment on the changes being made in the air force to address the new threat environment?

MGen Bouchard: It is a threat that is important when I look at my task and what I have to do, and it is the provision of air power really. In what I do, we have to stay relevant: relevant to the threat, relevant to the expectation of our government, and true to ourselves. When I look at the changes, I see that we are adapting to it. Post 9/11 has lead us into that. It has lead us from the former central European scenario to a threat now where even at home you may have to use force to prevent what happened in New York State on that day, or in any other place in the world.

The other thing too is that the international threat also has changed from this bipolar Warsaw pact, if you wish, against the NATO environment to a more decentralized one, where the threat really is in the stability in the world, in failing states and failed states. If we look at the Balkans and many of the other crises that we have been involved with, these are about failed states or failing states. Haiti is another example.

We have to adapt to this as well. We have to make sure we prepare for that threat as we go along. It requires some shift in the way we do business but it is one that we have to be prepared for. We cannot stay static in one place. We have to change. The threat has definitely moved from this high-level central European scenario to a more decentralized lower-scale level essentially where we need some capabilities — some the same, some may change and maybe also added capabilities.

Senator Atkins: You are a helicopter pilot?

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir.

Senator Atkins: You mentioned the Sea Kings.

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir.

Senator Atkins: Are you happy with the decision of the new helicopters that will be coming on-stream and furthermore, would you have any input into what is required in those helicopters?

MGen Bouchard: All of us are pleased that the decision has been made and that we will be moving on with the replacement of the Sea King. We welcome that decision. We look forward to working with the Cyclone aircraft, Sikorsky.

We have teams, and of course, I am a helicopter pilot, but we also have helicopter pilots with that kind of background on the team as well to make sure that the right systems will be on it. I am satisfied that we will have the right influence to make sure that the needs of this aircraft will be met, and the demands will be met.

The Deputy Chairman: Senator, one more question, please.

Senator Atkins: What would you view as the essential core capabilities of the air force?

MGen Bouchard: The essence of the Canadian Air Force to me is three-fold. One is to project power when power is needed. Second is transport, to move cargo and people around. Third is reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence.

Having said that, let me turn to certain capabilities. Obviously, the CF-18 is suited for power projection. We need to assess what requirements we have for the CF-18 to continue to meet this power projection requirement, because some targets may well have changed from a former Soviet or Russian bomber to a totally different target now. Perhaps we need a focus also on air to air, to one of supporting our land forces in their mission, so that is the projection of power.

In terms of movement, we have the range of air mobility requirement, be it from strategic long distances, large cargo and long legs, long distances, and large equipment, to more tactical-level requirements which include the CC-130 Hercules in the transport. It is my understanding that you will be going to Kabul so you will have a chance to witness firsthand this tactical side of the airlifts. We also have various requirements in Canada, be they in the North, domestic issues, or search and rescue. I can extend this aid or air mobility requirement to helicopters. These are core capabilities.

The third part is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. We have three oceans, a long border, a lot of coastal waters and a lot of coastal land to survey. It is important that we be able to provide this capability, be it from helicopter or fix-wing, and be that fix-wing a manned vehicle or, in the future, a non-inhabited vehicle.

When I look at the core capabilities in what we have, I look at the CF-18 as being a core capability, I look at our air mobility capabilities, I look at our surveillance in terms of Sea King helicopters, and I look at our surveillance in terms of maritime patrol. Obviously they have other roles as well, and I look at that as well. I look also at helicopter support. These are the core capabilities.

I would like to have one more point, if I may, sir. My approach is one that is effect based. If you need something surveyed, looked at or identified, because it is on the ocean does not mean only an Aurora should do it. I think we should look at what needs to be surveyed in what amount of time. The solution may be a CF-18 pilot looking at it, or a helicopter deployed onboard a ship. We look at it not in terms of stove piping capability, but rather what effect do you wish to have. My job is to turn the capabilities I have into the desired effects.

Senator Atkins: I understand that to be a helicopter pilot you have to be a regular pilot first. Does that mean that helicopter pilots are more effective, more efficient and more skilled than regular pilots? I ask this question because I know that General Stu McDonald would love to hear the answer.

MGen Bouchard: Senator, without a doubt.

Senator Atkins: Thank you.

MGen Bouchard: Actually, sir, I did that for General McDonald.

Senator Atkins: Good answer.

MGen Bouchard: Every one of those aircraft and helicopters require special capabilities and everyone is special sir, every one of them.

Senator Atkins: All right.

The Deputy Chairman: The ad says a heck of a bunch of men and women doing a heck of a job.

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir.

Senator Meighen: Welcome gentlemen.

[Translation]

General Bouchard, I see you were born in Chicoutimi. So it's a true ``bleuet'' who is speaking to us today.

MGen. Bouchard: Yes, sir.

Senator Meighen: Good.

[English]

In the committee, and we are not experts by any means, we have heard a lot of reference to air expeditionary units and the fact that they need to be deployable, supportable and sustainable. Could either one of you or both expand on this concept? I am thinking specifically in terms of given the strength of our air force today, what is the approximate number of personnel that we can sustain overseas on a continuing basis, and what, if any, is the surge capability that we have?

MGen Bouchard: First of all, I am going to say that being from Chicoutimi I find it difficult to say these three words together. The AEF construct it is a construct to provide this deployable capability on short notice. However, it is made of more than airplanes, and I am going to talk about these packages; six CF-18s, two Auroras, two Sea Kings, six Griffin helicopters, and two C-130s — essentially a force package that goes out the door, but it is more than airplanes.

Senator Meighen: Is that what they call a six pack?

MGen Bouchard: Six pack, yes, sir. That is correct, in our terms. It is more than that. It is about pilots and technicians. It is also about the support capabilities that come with it. Depending on where you go, it could include everything from military police, cooks, postal clerk and engineers.

We have this capability. We have that deployable force. We have the technicians and support capability, and this is all supported by a commanding control capability that puts it together at the end of the day.

These capabilities, these six packs, two packs, or whatever, the aim is to be able to deploy these in relatively short notice and to sustain them. The sustainment part is an interesting issue, obviously. You asked me about sustainment and yet surge, and I will offer to you this example perhaps, if I may.

The C-130 Hercules fleet, as you know, is deployed in the Middle East in support of Kabul and the commander. Colonel Kummel was there before Christmas commanding the force. This force is a sustained force. It has been there for a while and we have the ability to support it. In fact, if you look at our AEF construct, the two pack if you wish, the two C-130s that we have are there on a sustained basis, and we will rotate people through it. We have this capability to do it right now and, in fact, 8 Wing Trenton, which I believe you visited already as well, has been given the task of supporting it.

When we looked at the options and said, what surge capability do we have, then we looked at all the C-130 assets in the air force, we knew we have C-130s here in Winnipeg, 435 Squadron. This is where the surge capability could be. On one side, 8 Wing Trenton sustains and supports the operations in the Middle East, and we have a search capability should we need it for a relatively short duration. There is a cost to that, senator. We cannot do all the things that we do at the same time. If they do a search capability somewhere else, they are also tasked to do air refuelling and search and rescue. If I had to employ them in a search capability somewhere else, I would have to use them for a period that is relatively fixed unless we accept the fact that they are going to be gone for a long time, I would suggest to you 90 to 180 days. We would then have to take appropriate measures to provide backups using other assets to do search and rescue, and accept a certain reduction in capability in terms of air to air refuelling, for example.

Such capability exists pretty much in all the fleets but each fleet has its own requirements in terms of operators and technicians, and it is based on each of the fleets' particular help.

You are asking me, sir, the number of people, and it is a bit difficult. I do not think we are quite there yet, to be honest, sir, in the development of this area of construct. If I were to hazard a number, I would say around 800 perhaps. When I look at 800, we are using a four-to-one crew ratio: one deploying and four back home in terms of support. If you say 800, then we are talking about 4,000 people to support them. That 800 is out the doorway. I have one extra plane to go, one relaxing and two others, and we must make sure that not all our people are deployed to a country and come back just to turn around again. We also have a requirement capability back home. For the air force, force generation and force employment is linked.

It is very difficult, with all due respect to my army colleagues. There are certain things that an infantry battalion cannot do in Canada, but when we come back home with the C-130s or the helicopters, there is still work to do. I have to keep the home front going and I have to support the flying op. The numbers that I have given you are some of those.

Senator Meighen: Could you do with fewer wings and still accomplish what you are tasked with? Could you consolidate the three or four, and maintain the capacity that you have?

MGen Bouchard: My task and my mission is to do the work that I have with the structure that I am given. To look at various other options in terms of restructuring, would probably be best left in the field of my boss, General Ken Pennie, the Chief of the Air Staff. We have capabilities that we have to support, and we do the best we can with what we have.

Senator Meighen: We, the committee, had the privilege of visiting one of your new Cormorant helicopters in St. John's, Newfoundland last month. Needless to say, we were impressed with the dedication of the personnel we met there. They did, though, indicate that there were operational restrictions on that aircraft. Can you tell us what the state of those restrictions is and how soon they might be lifted?

MGen Bouchard: As you well know, the major restriction of the Cormorant is caused by cracks in the tail rotor system. The first time the crack happened, and it was a relatively serious crack, it caused us to assess the situation with this aircraft. One of my roles as the commander of the air division is also the operational airworthiness authority. If it flies in Canada, I am responsible for the operational airworthiness of this aircraft. When we first discovered the cracks and analyzed them and discovered that the cracks were quite deep, we assembled a group together to conduct a risk assessment, which is really a disciplined process to get us to a definition of what the risks are and how to look at them. Having looked at them, the first restriction we put on it — at the end of the day I was the one that signed the restrictions — was some air speed restrictions in the higher speed, and also rates of climb. These were based on engineering data that showed us the higher level of frequency took place at higher speeds and higher rates of climb.

The problem with the cracks is we do not know what is causing them right now, and that is the essence of it. I do not know what is causing them, and we have a lot of technicians and a lot of engineers looking at this. Having said that, we went into this in a disciplined manner and said, let us mitigate all those areas that we believe we can mitigate — reduce these high frequency areas — and we have done that. The first restriction in the first 30 days was to operations, actual operations, because the mandate is an important one.

Senator Meighen: You cut out training?

MGen Bouchard: In the first 30 days I cut out training, and that includes basic training and also recurrent training. After one month of having looked at all of the parts, we analysed, we sliced it, and we put X-rays on it and did quite a few tests on it. Then we started to look at it and say what can we do or what is the rate of the development of this crack. That is the other problem. Some cracks occur at 10 hours, some cracks occur at 400 hours, so there is no set pattern. I cannot say after 200 hours replace the part, because it is almost a random. Not only in terms of hours, but also in terms of the crack itself, we cannot accurately show that this crack will develop in a certain direction in the air in a logical manner. Again, that is difficult.

The next thing was to put an hours restriction on it; other than restricted operation we restricted the time between inspection to two hours. The reason we did that with the technical authority is we strongly believed and still believe today that we can find the developing crack before critical failures. That was the restriction that we have. That is operating within my personal envelope of the things that I can do to mitigate the risk. I had no choice but to either do that or to completely cease flying operation. That was the second step after 30 days, and we put back recurrency training. This took place in mid-November. Then by January, we reopened the basic operational training units and the like.

At the engineering level, the Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management, DGAPM, is responsible for discussion, third-level maintenance, and factory and company-level maintenance. We are discussing that, and we brought technicians from Westland Helicopters to Ottawa to discuss that. We attended the steering committee with them last December, and we continue. In fact, I will meet with the company test pilot on Monday next week to discuss some of these issues, so we continue the dialogue here as well.

At the end of the day, what we have right now is the current limitation, and I do not see changing these limitations until we have either pinpointed the cause exactly, or at best looked at either a remanufactured or redesigned aircraft. In the interim, the company is working on a remanufactured one, and we can give you the technical detail, but it is a different approach to manufacturing and procuring. I believe we should start getting some of these parts starting next summer, which may well lift the restriction, but I will have to see. In the long term, the solution may well be a redesigned tail rotor. I have to be cautious about looking into the future because I am not a company engineer so my outlet is current restriction, a new remanufacture by this summer and ongoing work with the company.

Senator Meighen: The Aurora support mission into the Mediterranean in the fall of 2004, if my information is accurate, that lasted about three months: Why was it cut short?

MGen Bouchard: If I take too long to answer I am sure you will advise me.

Senator Meighen: The chair will have to deal with that. I am a kind-hearted soul.

MGen Bouchard: I have to look at all the requirements we have. We have a fleet of 18 operational Auroras. Two of them are also pilot trainers; they do not have the electronic suites in the back end. In fact, this is one example of an aging aircraft that needs repair.

Senator Meighen: That is what I thought you might say.

MGen Bouchard: As you well know, in a normal fleet you would have one third in maintenance and two-thirds available, and adapting to the serviceability rate. Then I would have enough.

Senator Meighen: It is the reverse?

MGen Bouchard: It is the reverse, sir. Right now we are operating five, six or seven aircraft. What we did additionally, and the senator asked me about how we transform and look at it, we decided as we were looking through the Aurora Incremental Modernization Program, AIMP, to look at an increase in ability through the electro-optic instrumentation, EOI.

The Deputy Chairman: General, those acronyms may cost you a small fortune because the public have to read these reports. You better be careful. We tell them to bill the acronym user.

MGen Bouchard: I apologize, sir. We wanted also to install two electro-optics on this aircraft, and it caused one more aircraft to go on the line for the installation. To retain our ability to do our missions in Canada, to also generate the forces — training new pilots and new crews — we opted rather than to also have deployment, to put that aircraft on the line to be equipped so that some time next year, earlier than forecast, we would have better electro-optic surveillance capabilities.

Senator Meighen: However, you had to end the mission earlier?

MGen Bouchard: The mission was 60 days in the first place.

Senator Meighen: It was?

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir, when we came in, the briefing that I was given and the time frame I was given was 60 days.

Senator Meighen: You did more than 60 days?

MGen Bouchard: It was 60 or 90 days. Again, I need to confirm that but it was split in half: Greenwood did one half of mission and Comox did the other half. We terminated that mission, sir, based on the time we had undertaken. We did not cut the mission short.

Senator Meighen: Thank you.

Senator Munson: Colonel Kummel, if my 17-year-old son was reading your four pages here, the quote he would use is, ``Dad, it is all good.'' He would always say, ``Dad, it is all good, everything is good.'' You use words such as outstanding product, outstanding dedication and professionalism, and extremely positive. This is an opportunity when you are talking to us — we are looking, as well as for the positive things, which is always good, for what might be going wrong in some small parts. You did say that Wing 17, in the past, has been particularly affected by budget cutbacks, personnel shortages and resource freezes. Is that just in the past or is that still continuing today, and what can be done to alleviate some of your problems?

Col. Kummel: The shortages we face today are, for me in 17 Wing, primarily on the personnel side. As alluded to earlier, there are obviously some in the technical fields, such as the technicians, which are in short supply. However, we have a training program which is taking advantage of some of the operations that we do to get them up to speed as well and as fast as possible. Some of the other limitations that present an issue for us are in the total defence team, the total force concept that we employ, where we have reservists helping us fill positions. When there are occasional requirements because of fiscal restraints or deficiencies to cap reserve employment opportunities or full-time reserve employment where we do not have necessarily the regular force personnel to carry that out, this becomes an issue of making sure that we have the right people to do the jobs.

This is where, as I mentioned, we really start to stretch the line a little bit with the folks. They are putting in the extra effort, the extra hours, and their dedication is something that, yes, we can count on it. It is a surge type of effort, but in the end when you look at it day over day it becomes a more urging of the future, in that this should not become the norm where people are working on the weekends regularly and things like that.

For us in 17 Wing, as I also mentioned, we have enjoyed a consolidation from the south side, that allowed us to build, for instance, our new logistics building, which is a unique purpose-built facility that incorporates efficiencies by putting our electrical-mechanical engineering, transport and supply all under one building. On the south side, it was three buildings. When we have those investments, we enjoy some excellent benefits, which I know some of the other wings would dearly love to have. That is the balance. As I say, we have some excellent examples of progress as well.

Senator Munson: You say people are working 365 days of the year. What is the exact number of the personnel shortfall?

Col. Kummel: The number is in terms of work force. It varies, I would say, monthly. It is not that everyone is working 365 days a year but there are people who are putting in longer weeks than we would like to have. We always strive to have a pretty standard 40-hour workweek but there are surge situations, especially during posting seasons, where we lose a lot of experience.

We did mention a bit about some of the air crews, where we lose aircraft commanders and we get first officers back in, and the remaining aircraft commanders have to work some extended time until the new personnel get up to speed. When you are already meeting just the bare minimum, then that becomes an added challenge.

Senator Munson: You mentioned reserves. What future role do you see the reserves playing?

Col. Kummel: I think we are pretty close in today's age. If you told me I did not have the hiring restriction in the envelope that I have now, we could do an awful lot. I see them as very much the total force where they are working shoulder to shoulder with us. We have an aging workforce. When people retire from their active duty or their normal service, there is a tremendous skill set there that we are going to need — in my estimation, obviously being in the training game — for some years to come. Some reserve employment and opportunity to keep them working with us is an added benefit, and some reserve employment allows us to do that for at least a couple of years.

Senator Munson: Earlier, we heard testimony from a Professor Fergusson, and I was interested in his comments about the battlefield in the new age being closer to home. He talked about new technologies. It interested me that the days are gone of the original way of fighting wars and so on, although people recognize the fact that there have to be rifles and boots on the ground, and that sort of thing. With the air force, with maybe both of you in this new hi-tech age, where do you see a new enhanced role in dealing with what the professor said. I do not know if you heard his testimony; it had ballistic missile defence, radars, and you name it.

Col. Kummel: I can tell you quickly how we approach that in our School of Aerospace Studies. There is a full battle.net lab, which is very much an information-centric approach to training where our junior officers are exposed to this type of thinking and technology early on in their careers. It gets developed and the seed is planted so they have the abilities to think three-dimensionally and with a coalition-force type of concept, and they can take that to the front-line positions that they occupy.

From an educational development perspective we are starting to invest in that and have been over the last few years. We work with people such as the strategic centres in the University of Manitoba and Dr. Fergusson to help us along those lines.

MGen Bouchard: I think it is across the board, you are right. It is in the cockpits where we have beyond just the basic steam-driven aircraft to a more computer-driven, computer-based technology. It is about linking technology where aircraft controllers command and control what I would call a supported unit; the navy or the army are all linked electronically together to conduct that. It is about using some of the space-based systems such as satellites for surveillance, communication, command and control, and this new technology as well takes us into the future. Really it is about being network-centric, and also to have centres of information that are fused where all have access to a pool of data and we can all work as one. I think these are probably very attractive. I hope they are attractive to our new people.

Senator Munson: I have a nuts-and-bolts question dealing with spare parts. In our travels across the country, we have heard stories about aircraft being unable to fly because of lack of spare parts. I remember as a reporter at CTV in 1995, 10 years ago — it went by too fast — I did not recognise the pilot when he got off the plane or helicopter because he had so much oil all over his uniform. That was ten years ago. Has it gotten any better, for gentlemen like this, in civilian language?

MGen Bouchard: Spare parts are an issue in terms of having sufficient national procurement support for them. I think it is quite clear, and it has been made clear on a few occasions, that national procurement funding is insufficient.

Senator Munson: Is insufficient?

MGen Bouchard: We do not have enough to have sufficient parts. Also the availability of these parts is also an issue. These are older aircraft: the 40-year-old C-130s, the 42-year-old Sea King aircraft are causing difficulties more and more, to buy and acquire parts, especially when we discover a new problem developing on an aircraft because of age.

For example, from the time you order a part to the time you receive it may be one to two years, as was seen to receive certain parts for the C-130 Hercules fleet. Also, cost is associated. The older the aircraft are, the more often they break and the more parts are required, so there is a spare-parts issue definitely.

Senator Munson: I know we Canadians love symbols. Can we afford the Snowbirds?

MGen Bouchard: I am quite proud of the Snowbirds, like every other Canadian. I believe they play a great role, not only for the military, but as a Canadian icon and for Canadian identity as well. When one looks at Snowbird affordability, I think one has to look beyond just the air division, to what we as a country want. Do we, as a country, want the Snowbirds?

Senator Meighen: There is only one area that we did not touch on and that is the role of the reserves.

Senator Munson: Air reserves? We talked a bit about that.

Senator Meighen: I am sorry, I apologize. It is a question that comes up not only with respect to the air force but the other two arms as well. Not everybody has the same opinion as to what we should do. There are those that think we should go back to the drawing board and look at the whole question again, and also deal with the question of the basic proposition that the reservist does not have to show up for duty.

MGen Bouchard: It is an interesting question, given my background. I spent three years working for reservists, the National Guard, and my bosses in the United States for three years were reservists. It is how we approach it.

Senator Meighen: They have to show up if the president issues an order?

MGen Bouchard: Under a presidential order, that is correct, sir. After 9/11 they were called for service. In our case, we should look at reserves not only as a one-for-one replacement if a certain person is sick, or we have a certain vacancy, but we also should look at sub-units' and units' integrity of the reserves as well, because there is cohesion in the core and team spirit that develops out of that as well. I truly espouse both sides of it. Whether it is all one or the other, I think, is a balancing act that we do there.

However, it is also about making sure that our processes, and we continue to adapt there as well, can also support the reserve. We need to recognize them as a great asset, the level of experience they bring and additional flexibility they give us, but also some of the limitations that may come with them as well. We have done that in certain places. In many places, in fact, rather than looking for six months deployment for an individual, maybe we should look at a shorter deployment tour. It will definitely depend on the role of the mission, what is being done and where it is being done, but it is about having that flexibility of response that we have.

Also, on the national scene I think it is truly important and critical that we continue to work with them, because I think they have quite a role to play there as well. I think they are part of the team. It is an overall team that we have, and they provide us that flexibility that we require.

Senator Meighen: From your perspective, how are you doing? How is the air force doing in reducing the incredible delays that have occurred in some instances when one wants to transfer from the reserves back into the regular, and vice versa?

MGen Bouchard: Those delays are quite frustrating to the individual, there is no doubt. They are frustrating because it serves as a demotivator. From an air force perspective we have tried, or we have set our own team effort, to ensure that individuals that want to either come back in regular or reserve are assisted through our program. On the other side, some of the issues being encountered by individuals under this recruiting system that we have to bring them back in, are a result of certain limitations and certain challenges of the recruiting system. I know the Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Military), ADM(HR-MIL), is working as well to address these issues.

Senator Meighen: I am not being critical, but I said in another context if we had a nickel for every time we were told that people were working on it, we would be quite rich. This problem has gone on for a long time. The business of the fact, as you said, is that there is a recruiting procedure, protocol and whatnot, which does not seem to be able to react to a situation where you have already known everything about someone, and trained them in the recent past, and then to find their record and process them quickly, seems to be beyond the capability of the system. However, I am pleased to hear you are working on it.

MGen Bouchard: Sir, I am not working on it personally. The division keeps me quite busy.

Senator Meighen: If you can do anything to come to a happy solution within a relatively short period of time, I am sure it would be to the benefit of everybody.

MGen Bouchard: Yes, sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you, senator. Senator Atkins has a brief reply.

Senator Atkins: I am sure you have had the opportunity to think about the announcement of the government to increase the forces over the next five years by 5,000. If you had your choice, considering the fact that I think everybody concedes that the army is going to get the largest portion of those positions, have you thought about how many you think should go to the air force?

MGen Bouchard: I truly believe, sir, when I look at the 5,000 and the 3,000, of which a great majority will go to the army, it is the right decision. They require the support given the up-tempo that they have. I also believe that we need to continue to shape our force under this air expeditionary force construct to make sure that we have a sustainable force.

Somewhere along the way as well, however, we need to look at the shortages and the shortfalls that we have, to make sure that we properly put our efforts forward and clearly identify what numbers we have and what we need to sustain this AEF construct. We need to define clearly the number that Senator Meighen has discussed, and put that sustainable number forward once we put the package together and clearly identify the requirements.

Senator Atkins: If you had a choice to replace the C-130 Hercules, what aircraft would you like to have?

MGen Bouchard: Sir, answering this question one on one, I think, is not being truly fair to the air mobility issues we have. As I said, part of the air mobility we require, and I know we are doing the study right now under the leadership of the Chief of the Air Staff, is not about one aircraft, but rather what capability we require. We require long term to bring people and stuff long distance at a higher speed. We also need to move outside cargo for long distances. We also need the capability to do the tactical work. We also need capabilities to do search and rescue work up north. All these may not be replaced necessarily by one, because of their specific nature and technical requirements, and the specific requirements of each operation.

To say a one-on-one replacement may not be a fair assessment. Rather, we need to look at it holistically, which I know is being done right now at the next level. After clearly defining those requirements of long distance, tactical distance and short distances, both fixed wing and helicopters, then we need to really look at what options we have to fit in not only the C-130 replacement, but what is needed across the board.

Senator Atkins: I accept that but you mentioned earlier that the Hercules is a 40-year-old aircraft. Sooner or later, government will have to make a decision. Would you agree that the Hercules has done its job in its time?

MGen Bouchard: It served us very well and it continues to serve us well, sir. When we talk about a 40-year-old airplane, by now we have replaced a fair number of the parts onboard that aircraft. Not all parts are 40 years old. I know that you appreciate it is still a very safe aircraft to operate. To me, the question is not so much replacing this, but meeting all our air mobility requirements. The answer may not be one type, nor will the answer necessarily be ownership of that aircraft, or that type of aircraft.

Senator Atkins: That is true but I think also the air force is experiencing more mechanical problems as time goes on, and how long can they live with that?

MGen Bouchard: From my perspective, I will do the best that I can with the resources that I am assigned. My job is to keep them flying. At the end of the day, I know I have the people to make it happen, and the most important part through all of this is the people making it happen.

Senator Munson: Mr. Chair, I am going to say one thing. In June, we are going to Kabul. I have been there a few times. The committee will really enjoy the Hercules ride into and out of Kabul.

MGen Bouchard: You will enjoy it, sir, yes. I am a helicopter pilot, used to low level. I did know that the C-130 could behave in that manner. I was quite impressed. I assure you, senator, it confirmed my faith in both the aircraft and the capable people flying it.

Senator Munson: It is nice to know that 40 years and older you can still perform adequately.

The Deputy Chairman: I have a passport that is stamped Lucky Airways, so you know where that comes from. Talk about remarkable things. That is not what the aircraft are meant to do. God made us some pretty wonderful things in this world, but airplanes are not birds.

I thank you very much for coming. We have been, of course, to Winnipeg over the last year or two, and certainly we will come back again. As Senator Munson says, our work will carry on until we have finished visiting the forces and some of the various locations. We wish we could have seen the North a little bit more. We wish a lot of things. We wish we could have heard you tell us your aircraft are doing 30 sovereignty patrols a year instead of whatever you can manage but there is always tomorrow.

Thank you for doing, under trying circumstances, a superb first-class job. We appreciate it very much, and the chair would too, were he here. Our chair incidentally has risen to somewhere slightly below the angels level. At six o'clock this afternoon, Ottawa time, we would have run out of money. At five minutes to 6:00, Ottawa time today, just now, we have money so there is hope.

MGen Bouchard: There is always hope, sir.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you for that.

Before I leave the chair, we have a series of town hall meetings. We have had them pretty well across the country: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Kingston and St. John's. We have had a lot of them, and there is going to be another one here this evening. It has been well publicized and we are learning how to do that, including paid advertising and whatnot. May I thank the warrant order who, in addition to our own paid advertising, has carried the ad and notice thereof in the newsletter produced by the Saskatchewan Institute. They have done this at no cost to us, and it is in the promotion of the town hall meeting tonight, so you are all invited.

We have one more panel this afternoon, and as you all know, I am going to get on a plane right now to fly to Jakarta, so God bless and thank you for coming.

Senator Michael A. Meighen (Acting Chairman) in the chair.

The Acting Chairman: First of all, I want to say that you may think that our number of senators up here at the front is somewhat depleted. That is true. It has been an extraordinary and unusual day. Of course, a number of senators went to Edmonton for the memorial service. Our chair was in Ottawa ensuring that we could continue to operate past March 31, in the new fiscal year with some money, because as you know, no money, no operations. Our deputy chair has just left on official duty to go to Jakarta.

You are left, I can certainly tell you, with quality, if not quantity, chair excepted. Sitting up here we have two very distinguished senators. On my left, Senator Norman Atkins from Ontario, has a long and lengthy biography that I will spare you from. Suffice it to say that he, like the other senator, Jim Munson, also from Ontario, both of whom have their hearts in New Brunswick, come to the Senate with a background in communications. That will become evident as the meeting goes on.

We have a distinguished panel of two people so far who are going to assist us in looking into the question of assistance to local civil authorities. We have, of course, known to people in the audience here, the former Mayor of Winnipeg, Susan Thompson, who regrettably has to go to another engagement in about 20 minutes. With your indulgence, I think the best way to proceed is to ask the mayor to make her statement, and we will ask her a few questions. Then we will go on, hopefully, with the other panellists who we expect to arrive by that time.

I should introduce Major Michael Gagne who is here from Shilo. We do not want to you drive back under dangerous conditions so we may keep you for a while, if that is all right.

That being said, I do not think there are any other preliminaries required. Mayor Thompson, the floor is yours. We are looking forward to hearing your recollections and your recommendations.

Ms. Susan Thompson, Former Mayor of the City of Winnipeg: Thank you very much, senator, and to all members of the committee. Thank you for the invitation to be here this afternoon. It is the first time I have had an opportunity to appear before such a committee, so this is a new experience for me. Of course being the former mayor, I cannot help but say welcome to wonderful Winnipeg. You are in the heart of the continent and the centre of the universe, so enjoy.

If I may, I will read my presentation and then open it up to questions.

My understanding is that today you would like to hear some of my thoughts on the aid that the military provided to the civic authority during the 1997 Flood of the Century.

I was mayor, of course, at the time and during that period of time was honoured to lead the citizens of Winnipeg through a potentially dangerous disaster. It was indeed horrific, as anybody who is a Winnipegger and a Manitoban in this room, and indeed all of Canada will say, to watch the devastation that occurred in Grand Forks as the Red River moved up to Manitoba and to Winnipeg. It indeed reminded us of how dangerous and deadly the Red River can become. We, in the end, referred to the Red River as the Red Sea because it had increased in such volume by the time the water reached Winnipeg.

We certainly did not want to experience the same disastrous consequences in Winnipeg as had been experienced in Grand Forks, yet we knew we were facing an increasingly grave situation. As the crest of the Red River moved throughout southern Manitoba, the province declared a state of emergency on April 19.

As the peak of the river moved towards Winnipeg, and with the province continually changing the forecast of the peak of the river, we knew that the situation was growing more serious by the day. There was no longer any question of whether evacuations would occur; it was a question of when evacuations would occur and how many.

We needed to be able to respond in a way that enabled us to do everything necessary for the protection of property, and the health and safety of persons in Winnipeg.

For the committee's information, we made it clear to all our citizens that we were planning for the worst case scenario. Everything that we strategized or planned for was in the context of worst case scenario, and our mission was that there would be no loss of life. That would help you in terms of understanding our decisions and how we proceeded.

The City of Winnipeg declared a state of local emergency on April 22, and the Premier of Manitoba formally asked for and received support from the Minister of Defence through the federal provisions of assistance to the civil authority. Immediately following that declaration of the state of local emergency, our first mandatory evacuation was ordered. The next few days were particularly tense, as we waited to know and experience the consequences of actions being taken in southern Manitoba. If the Brunkild dike failed, for example, the implications for Winnipeg were huge. Many residents waited on 24-hour evacuation alert. Many more were exhausted as the efforts to fortify the dikes continued around the clock, and as new dikes were built to respond to changing scenarios.

By April 26, the extent of flooding in southern Manitoba and Winnipeg had exceeded original estimates, and the emergency control committee of the City of Winnipeg approved a motion to request that military assistance be enlisted to assist Winnipeg in its efforts to complete and fortify dikes. By April 29, 3,000 additional military personnel were deployed to Winnipeg from CFB Petawawa. Additional task forces consisted of infantry, armoured, military police, artillery, medical, and service units from the land forces; anti-submarine helicopters, which could land in the water; clearance divers and small boat units from the maritime command; and helicopter and transport units from Air Command.

Some of the tasks that the military assisted us with were to keep track of the flood's progress, evacuate the population, air-lift in engineering resources from across the country, handle movement control, control looting in evacuated areas, build and maintain dikes, and keep track of the integrity of the dikes.

The military's assistance was absolutely invaluable. Their presence was welcomed and embraced by the people of Winnipeg. We could not have achieved our objective of no loss of life without the very critical support of the military. As mayor at the time, I made several decisions that I think were crucial in partnering with the military's presence in Winnipeg. First, I invited the military to have a visible presence as they arrived in Winnipeg.

This particular statement really has nothing to do with protocol, or roles and responsibility, but common sense. The military was in what I understood to be a particularly sensitive time, coming off another mission. The only way I can describe them when they came into Winnipeg, or were anticipating coming into Winnipeg, was they were tight.

It was to be a dry mission, it was highly controlled, and they wanted to get in and do their mission and leave. However, they did not understand the history. I should not say they did not understand. What was present in Winnipeg was the history of the 1950 flood. Our citizens in 1950 were very appreciative of the military coming in and helping them through that crisis. When we knew the military were coming in, I was advised by my administration that they were to come in at night and I absolutely refused that position. I knew that my citizens were exhausted. We had been fighting this flood, even though the flood was on its way, the water was on its way, we had been fighting this for months. We had volunteers working on the dikes. People were exhausted. Combined with the tremendous relationship of the past with the military, plus the critical stage of the water and the flood, to have brought the military in, in the dark of night, was not what I would accept. Through discussions, the military came in during the daytime. Of course, it set the tone, it set the relationship, and it set the optimism that we would overcome this tremendous Flood of the Century, and that the military would assist us. They came in during the light of day, not during the dark of night.

It was a great relief to the citizens of Winnipeg at that particular time. They were here to assist us at a time when our citizens were emotionally and physically exhausted. Their arrival and visible presence provided a much needed emotional and psychological lift to the citizens of Winnipeg.

Mr. Chairman, when you made your opening remarks about Senator Munson's and Senator Atkins' specialty in communications, I rest my case. You can see in my presentation here, every rule, every authority, but the key that overrides it all is, how well are you communicating the situation?

We also celebrated and honoured the military as they left our city in the form of a parade that passed through our city and past city hall. One of the processes that we employed at the city was to invite them to centralize some of their operations right within city hall, and our emergency operations centre, as I said, was within city hall. It was absolutely crucial that the Canadian military work with our city police and our emergency services, to be a part of the team. To have them located at city hall sent a wonderful message, and contributed to efficiency, I might also add. It provided our staff with access to their expertise firsthand. The ability of the military to predict to a high degree and to analyse scenarios that may or may not occur was invaluable. It was an invaluable modeling experience for us to observe and participate in.

I will never forget my first briefing. I had never been to a briefing at 17 Wing. They had the entire map of Manitoba out from a satellite image, and the Red River was talked about in terms of an advancing army, but it was advancing water. The front every day was where the water was. Was the water at Emerson? Was the water at Morris? Where was it advancing? That was the kind of badly needed intelligence that was provided to us.

As you know, there was a General in southern Manitoba, and General Hillier was in charge of Winnipeg.

I was also instructed that the military would be part of our emergency operations, but that they would not be part of my daily press briefings, because when I referred to communications, the essential part of this was, of course, the military, our citizens, and everything that was involved by all levels of government, but it was the communications. I was advised that the military would not speak, which I did not agree with. When General Hillier attended the first press conference at city hall with me, he was seated in the audience, and I proceeded to ask him to come and join me at the table in the empty chair, because I again felt that the citizens would very much appreciate hearing from the Canadian military. Of course, it was the appropriate thing to do. General Hillier, upon his arrival, was able to communicate how pleased the military were to assist in Winnipeg.

I would like to offer several comments about lessons learned and the areas where improvement could take place. I found at the administrative level there was a fairly good understanding of rules and responsibilities, but at the political level, we were on a very fast learning curve. I again would encourage all opportunity to work as closely as possible with all persons at the political level before enduring such crisis.

The implications of the power residing in the civil authority, and the rules and responsibilities of each partner in this type of operation, needed to be more clearly articulated. Although we did learn very quickly, it would have helped to have it more clearly articulated.

The civil authority at the political level had a steep learning curve to understand what the military can and will provide under such emergency as we had. The assistance offered to us in terms of emergency preparedness was professional, efficient, essential and invaluable. I was very appreciative of the way the military did their briefings. The briefings were precise, structured, and quantifiable. In fact, I made a recommendation to our city administration that they adopt that model. They answered questions even before they were asked. They were done amazingly well, and every opportunity I had, I made sure that my staff were in the room to listen to the briefings.

I also value so much the relationships that were formed throughout this crisis. The military leadership worked in a personable, friendly, and tactful manner in conjunction with political leadership, civic administration, social services agency, and our citizens. The relationships and the friendships formed with our citizens, to this day, are very near and very dear to us.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that the military presence and assistance in Winnipeg during the 1997 flood was absolutely critical. The value in expertise that the military brings to these types of life threatening situations cannot be underestimated and it is greatly appreciated.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be with this committee. I wish you success in your deliberations, and trust that the recommendations you put forward will serve to improve the quality of service of the citizens for future crises in Canada.

Senator Munson: I think you get into a bit about lessons learned from this. In Regina yesterday, a reserve officer told us about paperwork taking a day and a half to get to the B.C. fires, and a day and a half to leave, and there were a lot of complications. I may be naive in asking this question. In lessons learned here, when there is a state of emergency, as mayor do you call up and say, we have a state of emergency, or does somebody in the national authority with the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, OCIPEP, which I had to deal with when I worked in the Prime Minister's Office, PMO, make the call? Who makes the call, and who should make the call?

Ms. Thompson: The protocol is such that the province declares the state of emergency, and then the city follows. If I had declared it, I would have been responsible for the $100 million bill that I had already spent. I was not going to do that. You may want to ask me about that at some point.

Senator Munson: Get it off your mind now. I do not have to ask. You seem to be quite assertive, in a good way, in a positive way.

Ms. Thompson: Obviously there was a protocol, there was an agreement on funding, all of these things. They have a history as well as the inevitable politics but I can assure you that we were ready to declare a state of emergency before it actually occurred. There was a hugely high anxiety area by not only the citizens of Manitoba, but the citizens of Winnipeg. In actual fact, I could not, as the mayor, responsibly declare an emergency until the province had declared, or I would have had that bill. Would I have wanted to declare before then? Yes, in my opinion it was absolutely essential, but it would not have been fiscally possible. It was really tough to go out to the residences and see people exhausted, and we needed the military in here easily ten days prior to when they came.

Senator Munson: Is the structure more simplified now?

Ms. Thompson: I do not know.

Senator Munson: I guess Mr. Sanderson wants to speak, but —

Ms. Thompson: If he has the answer, that is good.

The Acting Chairman: Perhaps you can give the answer later. Perhaps you can remember that and answer later.

Senator Munson: Is a full-time military liaison officer to the first responders required?

Ms. Thompson: It is always required when the crisis happens, so from my perspective, of course. Let me go back in terms of giving my opinion, which is what I am doing now, on the declaration of the state of emergency. Perhaps one of the lessons learned here for anybody is that decisions, of course, do not have to be naïve, that decisions are just based on protocol. I also put a phone call in to the Prime Minister's office, and I pleaded. I said help.

Senator Munson: I wish you were staying for the whole time because we could get a debate going with the others. I know you are not the mayor any more, but are you satisfied that there are proper protocols in place now, that would work a lot better than worked before? I know you are in praise of the military, but you used the word ``panic.'' I am just wondering, did the military show up in time?

Ms. Thompson: Did the military show up in time? What does that question mean?

Senator Munson: Should they have been called in before the province called a state of emergency, if there was a state of panic?

Ms. Thompson: Absolutely, we could have used them much earlier. Whatever decision was made, we had to live with and we had to be responsible on that. Once they arrived, there was not a single thing we could have asked for them to do more than what they did. Again, I will go back to the communications side. The decision to hold daily press conferences at city hall and at the provincial level was invaluable in terms of getting the message out, in terms of explaining. As the water rose, the anxiety rose, and it was a management issue between giving clear, concise information from all levels of government, from all areas of responsibility, and yet not to cross over the line to panic.

How do you do that? How do you behave responsibly? How do you lead responsibly? How do you give truthful, accurate information, and not allow speculation and rumours? I can tell you that I dealt with more rumours — the floodgates were going to break down, the pumping stations were going to crash, Brunkild was not going to hold, and hell had opened up on us.

You have to understand, we were not fighting one front. We were not just fighting the water in the Red River. We were not just dealing with the floodgates and the capacity or the strength of the gates, or that our pumping station had only been tested to 19 feet, and they were going to 24 feet and a half. If those pumping stations failed, we would have had 100,000 homes with six feet of sewer water; forget about the river. All of these, the Brunkild dike, all of this kind of thing, it was unbelievable the magnitude of the fronts we faced, and everybody rose above and beyond.

Senator Munson: I know you have a timetable. Are you satisfied today that all mechanisms have been put in place to deal with anything of this sort again?

Ms. Thompson: I cannot say that because I do not know. I know we recommended improvements. I know improvements were accepted at city hall. The other levels of government and the other areas will have to speak to that but I can certainly tell you that it is my understanding that the emergency preparedness committee uses Winnipeg as a model in terms of communications in emergency preparedness.

Senator Atkins: Did the province drag its feet at all before it made the request to the federal government?

Ms. Thompson: Not to my knowledge, absolutely not.

Senator Atkins: The pressures would have been as extreme on them as they were on you, would they not?

Ms. Thompson: Yes.

Senator Atkins: You wanted to ask the question about funding, which I am very curious about. How did the funding break down, and did the federal government come through, in terms of when the assessment was made, with their share without dragging their feet?

Ms. Thompson: The original formula, as I understood it, and again I must preface it with that because I wish I had saved every note that I ever had, but it was eight years ago. The original formula in national emergencies, as I understood it, was once the federal government declared a state of emergency, 90 per cent of the costs would be taken care of by the federal government, and then 10 per cent would be absorbed by the province and the municipalities.

As the waters advanced, I received briefings that there was not necessarily agreement on what the formula would be. As I understood it, when the state of emergency was declared, we had no agreement on what the final funding would be. As I understand it, because of course bills get paid way past when the crisis is over with, the city was satisfied that the obligations were met. That is my understanding but it was a very unpleasant, difficult circumstance to be fighting to save your city, with a state of emergency declared, and you were not sure what your bill was really going to be. We had already spent $100 million.

Senator Atkins: Of the 10 per cent that was the responsibility of the province and the municipality, how did that break down? What was the municipality's share?

Ms. Thompson: Sorry, I do not recall, but I would be pleased to get that for you.

Senator Atkins: You do not have a percentage?

Ms. Thompson: In the end I do not, because as I said, the bills come way after, but I am sure we can get them for you.

Senator Atkins: Following along on this line, what was the formula that was applied to citizens who were affected by the flood?

Ms. Thompson: What do you mean by that?

Senator Atkins: In terms of compensation? How did you assist them?

Ms. Thompson:, Again to my recollection, the City did not have a formula in terms of compensation. The City had powers to move in, for instance, I will give you a concrete example. On Kingston Row and Scotia Street where people had built swimming pools, decks and things like this, the dikes could not get across. If we had to remove somebody's deck or something like that, then people applied afterwards for that to be replaced. It is hearsay, but I understand from persons who were affected they were very pleased with the replacement because it was very generous in terms of replacement.

Senator Atkins: The police and the fire department were under your jurisdiction?

Ms. Thompson: Yes.

Senator Atkins: How did they coordinate with the military?

Ms. Thompson: There is a protocol that is again established. Our former deputy fire chief wound up being the fire chief in Ottawa when the ice storm hit. I will never forget him calling me saying, one of the best structures was the fact that Winnipeg had gone to an amalgamation, so there was only one mayor, one fire chief, one police chief, et cetera. In a crisis when you have to deal with other levels of government and other entities, you do not have to spend a lot of time around a table deciding whose jurisdiction it is. In the ice storm it was a nightmare, because there were 13 fire chiefs, 15 police chiefs, 13 mayors, and a lot of discussion around who had what authority.

When you ask, how did our police, fire and emergency services coordinate, I do not recall a problem. I recall a team, and a respect, and a coordination, and if something was wrong and cooperation was not going on, I would have heard from citizens. I must say our citizens. It was probably 30 days of when we all got along.

Senator Atkins: How long was the military here, and did they assist throughout the cleanup?

Ms. Thompson: I do not have the exact number of days, again, that the military were here but let me give you a perspective. It was at least three weeks and no, the military left and the cleanup, from my recollection, was done by municipal and provincial workers and volunteers.

Senator Atkins: That must have been a horrendous challenge.

Ms. Thompson: It was interesting because it was projected to be horrendous. We had 8 million sand bags which were equivalent to a line from Winnipeg to Vancouver if you put them end to end. I can remember the day in November when I said to my administration, how many sand bags do we have on hand? We had 50,000 sand bags on hand, and I said would you order another 100,000? We had had another horrendous snow fall, and by December of '96 we knew we were in for a big one. I got one of those interesting looks that I can only describe that women understand perfectly.

By February, I believe it was, we had ordered 500,000 sand bags, and by the end there were 8 million. It was projected that the sand bags would collapse the banks and all this kind of thing but somebody had a great idea, and they backed in the trucks that have those conveyor belts. I think it took us 30 days. It was unbelievable so it was highly efficient in what we foresaw as two-year problem. It was just amazing and so interesting that it did not turn out to be that big of a problem.

The Acting Chairman: I am going to have to cut this short, I am afraid. I know it is important for to you leave now. I want to thank you on behalf of the committee and express our appreciation to you. Please, do not forget to tell the people at your next engagement that you are late because of us and it was not your fault at all. We wish you the best of luck in your responsibilities as chief executive officer of the University of Winnipeg Foundation. I hope that everybody in this room will be a contributor and a supporter of your efforts.

Ms. Thompson: Thank you very much for this opportunity. It has been interesting, because I have not been asked since then for any feedback on the flood, and you are the first group that has asked me. It is most appreciated.

The Acting Chairman: Senators, we will continue with the remaining members of our panel. Perhaps I should introduce them. Going from left to right, Mr. Chuck Sanderson has been with the Manitoba government in various senior roles since 1989. In April 2002, he was appointed Executive Director for the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization. In this role, he has managed to coordinate a response to the June 2002 flood in southwestern Manitoba, the train derailment and evacuation at Ferndale, Manitoba, and the TransCanada Pipeline explosion at Brookdale, Manitoba.

Moving along the line, Colonel Mike Capstick has served in a number of operational and doctrine-related appointments in Land Force Command Headquarters, National Defence Headquarters, and in Land Force Western Area. His overseas service has included commanding a regiment in Cyprus and the Canadian contingent of the NATO stabilization force in Bosnia. He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and is currently Director Land Reserves Management at National Defence Headquarters. During operation assistance, Colonel Capstick served in operations for Land Force Western Area.

Last but certainly not least, Major Michael Gagne is currently the officer commanding administration company, 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Shilo. He served overseas in Croatia and Bosnia, studied at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, and completed a combat team commander's course. During the 1997 flood, Major Gagne served in the French Canadian mechanized division group headquarters task force liaison office, I am sure there is an acronym for that Major Gagne, with the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

I should note for you in particular, Major Gagne, that yesterday we did not meet your brother, but I gather that Drew is a helicopter pilot at 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron in Edmonton, which we visited.

Those are our distinguished guests this evening. We have almost three quarters of an hour. I gather that most, if not all, of you have a short statement. Perhaps you would proceed in whatever order you prefer, and then we will open the floor to questions.

Will you go first, Mr. Sanderson? We will start from left to right.

Mr. Chuck Sanderson, Executive Director, Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization: Thank you for the invitation to come here. My opening remarks are going to be rather short, mostly because we have been doing a lot of pre-flood planning at Manitoba EMO in the last few weeks, and so I do not have anything prepared. Also, as you heard from my résumé, I was not the director of EMO in 1997, but have been since 2002. My knowledge of the 1997 flood comes from my activities as Deputy Fire Commissioner, where the fire commissioner's office was involved with the water rescue activities in the flood plain, so we saw the activities of the overall operations. Also, the fire commissioner sat on many of the planning committees with the Emergency Measures Organization. Lo and behold, I am now the director of EMO.

I am gleaning a lot of information from post-1997 flood reports. The understanding that I have of the purpose of this panel is to find out the relationship between the military and the province in terms of the 1997 flood, and future flooding as well.

I will start by saying that what we saw in general, and what we experienced in general, with military involvement was fantastic in 1997. From my experience since 2002, it has been even better. I think the relationship we have with the military right now in Manitoba is second to none.

However, I will talk about some of the key issues that I saw floating through the post-1997 reports. I want to make sure that I am saying what I am reading and not what I experienced personally. There were issues at the municipal level, not so much, I understand, in Winnipeg, as the previous mayor has eloquently put it, but at the rural municipal level. I do not know if it was a breakdown in communications or an issue of who is in charge at the time with the military. There were questions such as: is the military operating independently; is the military operating in conjunction with the municipalities; or is the military working for the province and in cooperation with the province? What the realities were, I cannot really speculate on, but I know that theme runs through the post-1997 reports.

Another theme seems to be that at a certain level there was dialogue between the military and the political masters within the province. That was fine, but it was done in isolation of the operational activities that were ongoing at the provincial and municipal level, and that caused friction. I understand that ultimately the relationship created some friction between the political entities and the military itself. Again, I am just going through newspaper reports and other things,

Right now as we speak, we have indicators of potential flooding in Manitoba so we wanted to make sure that lessons learned from 1997 were actually put into practice. This was one of my main concerns. I wanted to make sure we all knew our roles and responsibilities if we get to a point this spring of needing military assistance. On that issue, military assistance is requested by the province from the Department of National Defence through Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, PSEPC. That is the protocol. That to me appears to be well-known and understood.

We recently had a fantastic meeting with Major-General Stuart Beare, and we talked about all these issues, and I am confident that the relationship between the military and the provincial EMO is very clear and concise on the role the military would play in future flood events. I can articulate that if you want, but we have an agreement on that.

Those were the key areas of concern, I firmly believe, and I guess the proof will be in the pudding if we ever get to that, but I am very confident that when we need to call upon the military, we know how to access them. The military knows how they will be accessed, what their role will be, how to do their role, and who they will answer to in this scenario. Answer to is the wrong word, because the military does not answer to anybody; they do their job the way they do their job, but they will not be doing it in isolation of the overall picture of the emergency plan.

Those, I would say, were the key issues that would summarize my understanding of the relationship we have now, which I do not think could get better, to be perfectly honest.

I have some information on the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement, because EMO administers the program, so if you would like some information on that, I can do that as well.

The Acting Chairman: Thank you very much, Mr. Sanderson. I am sure there will be questions, but let us get the opening statements on the record and then we can open up the floor. Next I think is Colonel Capstick.

Colonel Mike Capstick, Director, Land Personnel Strategy, National Defence: Mr. Chairman, honourable senators, good evening. I would like to begin by thanking you for the invitation to appear this evening. My aim is to provide you some insight into the Canadian Forces and the Land Force Western Area response to the Manitoba floods in the spring of 1997.

I believe you have had a little folder handed to you with a few slides in it. Later in the presentation I will just refer you to them, because I do not think we need to get into the day-by-day chronology that I prepared.

To situate you and give you a bit of context, I will begin by describing my role in the planning and execution of this response. At that time, my appointment was G3, or senior operation staff officer in Land Force Western Area, LFWA, headquarters in Edmonton. As you will recall from your session with Colonel Jim Ellis about last summer's forest fires, LFWA headquarters is responsible for all domestic ops in the Province of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

In the spring of 1997, Major-General Bruce Jeffries was the area commander. As G3 I was the senior staff officer responsible for the planning and conduct of domestic ops, as well as generating and mounting the forces for international ops.

For the domestic ops functions, I had a small but very professional staff in Edmonton and little detachments in each of the four provincial capitals. Major Mike Gagne was at that time a captain, and he was parachuted in here as a representative to the Province of Manitoba, because his predecessor got out on us real fast. I guess he must have assumed the water was coming or something.

At that time, in the spring of 1997, LFWA was particularly busy with international tasks. In January that year, 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group stationed in Winnipeg in Kapyong Barracks was deployed to Bosnia. We were preparing Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) battle group to replace them in June. Each of these organizations involved about 1,000 soldiers from the area and several hundred from other land force areas and across the CF.

This rotation was, in fact, the focus of our activity from December of 1996 to the summer of 1997. Again, just for context, the positioning of forces in the area was slightly different then than it is today. First Battalion PPCLI was still in Calgary. They had not moved to Edmonton yet. Second Battalion PPCLI, as I just alluded to, was still in Winnipeg. They moved to Shilo only last summer.

There were about 100 soldiers left from the battalion in Kapyong Barracks; we traditionally call them the rear party.

To the floods, again: This is from my perspective in the area headquarters and from my individual seat as the G3. Our dedicated domestic ops staff was fairly small. However, we do have a pretty aggressive approach to information gathering, and we began monitoring this flooding situation in the United States very early on in the season. As the former mayor alluded to, there was a lot of snow that year. It was getting pretty obvious that it was going to get wet here.

My main planner, Captain Rick Brown, who is now retired and an emergency planner in the Province of Alberta, developed a solid information plan, and we began to advise National Defence Headquarters, NDHQ, of the situation on a weekly basis starting in early March. In fact, it was probably a bit earlier that than. Because of this constant monitoring, General Jeffries became convinced that the people of Manitoba would at some point require military assistance. As a result, he authorized staff planning to begin, so that we in the army would be ready if and when the call came.

An integral part of that planning was a series of meetings with Emergency Preparedness Canada, which is now subsumed into Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. They are responsible in any disaster to coordinate the federal response to any provincial request. At the same time, Major Gagne now but then Captain Gagne was in daily contact with the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and other agencies in town here.

In early April, we began with a series of meetings with these groups to determine the availability of federal resources, and to determine also if any other federal departments needed help. We were surprised with the amount of stuff in the Province of Manitoba, if you will, in terms other federal agencies, offices, et cetera.

At this point in the process, it was still not really clear how bad things could be if the worst-case scenario came to pass. One of the most important things that helped convince everyone was a presentation at one of these meetings by two engineers from the Manitoba Department of Highways who had developed maps. They could tell us for every foot in the rise of water how much road they would lose, which gave a pretty good idea of what Lake Manitoba, or the Manitoba Sea, would look like by the end of the piece here.

As the flood moved northwards, and we could track this thing from the mid-southern United States up the Red River, preparations intensified. We had some fairly precise plans in place.

Earlier I mentioned, if you recall, our preparations for international operations. Basically, the plan was that the Strathcona battle group of over 1,000 soldiers was busy forming up in Wainwright, Alberta. They were going to do the pre-deployment training for Bosnia. At the same time, the remaining one brigade unit, 1PPCLI, was getting ready for battalion exercise in Suffield, Alberta. General Jeffries decided to ``lean forward.'' He redirected both those training activities to the training area in Shilo, mostly on spec that we would get a request. The timing could not have worked better. By April 17 or 18, most of the brigade was here in Manitoba, in Shilo, and we had a small element of the brigade headquarters deployed in Winnipeg.

To start off, the brigade commander would be the on-scene military commander and General Jeffries would remain as the joint force commander still in Edmonton at that point.

As we finalized these measures, the scenes of Grand Forks, North Dakota, flooded and on fire at the same time, began to appear on news. That is the third slide on my deck here. This was, in my opinion, a tipping point in terms of our understanding of the flood. When I say ``our,'' I mean the general public, the people in Ottawa, and the people in Western Canada.

As an aside, the young officer who works for me is an immigrant from Bosnia, and now a member of the Governor General's Foot Guards in Ottawa. He saw that picture and said, That looks like home. That really shocked people. No one, including the army, wanted to see any Canadian town suffer the same kind of tragedy that Fargo did.

On April 19, the formal request from the province came in. We responded immediately by deploying the 2 PPCLI rear party to the town of St. Adolphe, and then moved in the other 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, CMBG, units from Shilo. By April 23, the brigade was fully deployed and in operations. That is, the fourth slide of the deck has a timeline there. I will skip through the rest of this, except to say as part of the planning process with the other federal departments and the provinces, at one of the meetings we started counting boats. We determined that the RCMP had boats, we had boats, the native reserve had boats, the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and a whole bunch of provincial agencies had boats. Now retired Captain Brown had the bright idea that we should get a naval control of shipping unit deployed in land-locked Manitoba, and we did from Esquimalt naval reservists. That was pretty good.

By the time the third week of April arrived, it was clear that we would need more than basically the two battle groups of soldiers that we could provide. The deputy chief of defence staff, DCDS, in Ottawa had warned off people, and elements from the other two brigades started deploying to Manitoba.

Because of that, we deployed what is now the Joint Operations Group. It was then the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment from Kingston. They came in, established the command and control structure, and General Jeffries moved from Edmonton and took over as the joint task force commander here in Winnipeg.

By about May 1, we had almost 8,000 soldiers, sailors, air men, and air women, providing disciplined groups of people with integral command and control systems, and a fairly strong degree of logistical self-sufficiency. These teams organized into a fairly large joint team, brought a broad mix of generalist and specialist skills to this operation. In short, our troops did everything from filling sand bags to managing some fairly highly technical construction on the Brunkild dike. Most importantly, they brought a 24/7 work ethic, and the understanding that this mission was vital to Manitobans and Canadians.

As in any operation there were problems. Early on, all agencies involved had to educate each other, and I think Mr. Sanderson referred to that, on our respective capabilities and limitations. Aggressive combat arms leaders had to learn that issuing orders to municipal authorities was not always the best approach. In turn, civilian officials had to learn that when given a mission, military organizations are single-minded in executing it. All of us learned quickly that there is probably no such thing as too many liaison officers, and that constant liaison and consultation will overcome most problems. Essentially that is our drill. If there is a fire department, a police department, two Mounties, and postmaster, we will send them a liaison officer and hopefully get one in return, because that is the only way you are going to keep the communications going.

As an aside, all these lessons were to prove valuable to the Strathcona battle group a few months later in Bosnia. I commanded that contingent and I cannot tell you how many of our junior officers and noncommissioned officers, NCOs, told me that the floods provided some of the best training they had for dealing with civic authorities and non- governmental organizations.

What worked well? The area of domestic operation structure was crucial to this operation. The full-time use of provincial domestic operations, Dom Ops,``` detachments allowed us to plan early and helped us establish a network of people who actually did the work in terms of putting the plans in place, and making sure that they were properly executed.

What did not work well? The biggest weakness in my personal opinion was the reticence of a variety of institutions to react earlier on in the season, perhaps because the Canada/U.S. border was in those pre-9/11 days a barrier to communications and information. We depended on the news and weather services for information about the flood's progress in the U.S., coupled with a perceived reticence on the part of the local authorities to request military support until they were absolutely convinced that the flood would be beyond their capacity to handle. Most of us in the army felt that we might have been a little late.

That said, the CF learned the lessons of operations assistance and applied them less than seven months later during the ice storm in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, and again in operations as diverse as the G8 meeting in Kananaskis in 2002, and the B.C. fires last summer.

In closing, again, I would like to thank the committee for your invitation and for your attention. I will try to respond to the committee to the best of my ability, with the caveat that the eyes are going and the hair is getting grey, and some of these things are fading a little bit in the memory.

The Acting Chairman: Thank you very much, Colonel Capstick. We understand the problems of the eyes and the hair, so you are among friends.

Major Gagné, you have a presentation I know. It is before me. If you could deal with it as expeditiously as possible, we can get to the questions.

Major M.K. Gagné, Officer Commanding Administration Company, 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, National Defence: Mr. Chairman, honourable senators, I would like to thank you for inviting me to speak to you this evening. The purpose of this statement is to help outline my involvement in Operation Assistance, the Canadian Forces' response to the 1997 Manitoba floods. I wish to qualify comments by drawing your attention to the fact that my involvement in Operation Assistance was in a liaison capacity with the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and Emergency Preparedness Canada. I was aware of the general troop dispositions for 1CMBG and some of the planning efforts between the task force and the province. I was not intimately involved in any liaison with the City of Winnipeg specifically.

In 1997, I was a captain and was temporarily assigned to be the Land Force Western Area Manitoba domestic operations officer. I traveled to Winnipeg in the third week of March for a brief handover with the outgoing officer, who elected to leave the army by the end of the month. I formally arrived in Winnipeg at the beginning of April, a couple of days prior to the blizzard that was to heighten the flood forecast and contribute to the problem.

By April 19, I was closely linked to the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization, MEMO, and had made necessary contacts with the EPC and other federal agencies.

Land Force Western Area Headquarters was aware of the situation and had been represented by key staff officers in a series of meetings in Winnipeg with the province and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

On April 19, I assisted the Emergency Measures Organization with drafting a formal request by the Province of Manitoba for military assistance. At the time the 1 Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group headquarters had anticipated this, and the rear party company from the 2nd Battalion PPCLI Winnipeg was ready to react in fairly short order. Of note, the MEMO staff were somewhat guarded in their request, partly due to, I am sure, a lack of knowledge of what capabilities the military could bring to the table in practical terms, and partly due to a lack of understanding of what type of assistance would be provided through Operation Assistance.

It was a proud moment for the Canadian Forces, as air, sea and land forces worked jointly and in coalition with the various federal, provincial and municipal partners to prepare for the flood, to react to the situation as it developed, and to establish the protocols for the recovery phase.

This concludes my statement and I will be happy to answer any questions as they arise.

Senator Atkins: Colonel, you are very thorough in your memory of what took place. General Jeffries deserves a lot of credit for anticipating what took place, and that is what leadership is all about.

Lessons learned: since the flood and other emergency operations, has there been a rewrite of the manual in how things are done? I am thinking about OCIPEP, the interchange of information and how things would take place.

Col. Capstick: I am not in the operations side of the house now. Public Security and Emergency Preparedness Canada is pretty new. I know that there are standard operating procedures and arrangements between them and the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff group. In general terms, the basic law and policy in terms of both aid of the civil power and assistance to the civil authority — and this was the latter, assistance to the civil authority — have not changed. The steps are about the same. In both cases it is in the province's court as to whether they call for federal assistance or military assistance or not.

Senator Atkins: I understand that but I wondered in terms of lessons learned, have you read the new manual in terms of the operations of any kind of disaster we might face?

Mr. Sanderson: What I can add is, because we work closely with our PSEPC federal partners, what has changed recently is that PSEPC has adopted a thing called the National Emergency Response System, NERS, under the National Emergency Management System, NEMS. That is basically an incident command structure for the federal government to be able to bring to provinces whatever the provinces need when they are called upon. That did not exist before. It was, of course, something that the provinces, who were already set up in kind of an incident management system, were always looking for from the federal side, which is, you will come to the aid; how are you going to do that? I am very pleased to say that the PSEPC recently has announced NERS, and now we have to practice with the federal government to ensure that they link seamlessly with our operations.

The Acting Chairman: You mentioned that there is a potential even this year for a problem in flooding. Is there, within this area, a warehouse where there would be a million sand bags?

Mr. Sanderson: Yes, there is.

Senator Atkins: You know where it is?

Mr. Sanderson: We know exactly where it is.

Senator Atkins: Have you been there?

Mr. Sanderson: I have been, and we know exactly how many sand bags are there. We know that they are actually dry and not rotten. We know where the sand bag machine is and where it is being housed, in a lovely Quonset. We know how to get incremental when we need it. We also know that some of the sand bag suppliers that were in existence in 1997 are no longer there, but there are five or six other ones that are there. I heard the media talking about lack of sand bags. There is no lack of sand bags; there is a lack of suppliers.

The Acting Chairman: Sand.

Mr. Sanderson: No, there is no lack of sand either. If you have an outdated list of sand bag suppliers for a company that has gone under since 1997, perhaps you better be looking at your list. The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization keeps an updated list, but we expect our municipalities to be vigilant on that. In fact, I just came from our disaster management conference, which we have every 18 months, and my presentation was on the preparations provincially for this potential flooding that may occur. Of course, that is all encompassed in municipal emergency plans.

Senator Atkins: Before 1997, there were a lot of these things that were not available to you, and now they are in supply. I am thinking not only of sand bags, but of all kinds of different materials and equipment.

Mr. Sanderson: There is a cornucopia of things out there if you coordinate it correctly. There is no lack of expertise and equipment. As you mentioned, when you started to inventory the federal resources that were available and you coupled those with the provincial resources that are available, you have a tremendous asset base. But if you do not know where those are and they are not coordinated in any way, shape or form, then you have a problem. That was a lesson learned from 1997. Nobody is going to say that they have it licked yet, because it is a constant improvement but we certainly know how to access resources much better than we did. I cannot say that, because I was not there in 1997. I am just saying that I have a good confidence level that we would access resources in a much more effective way.

Senator Atkins: The reason why I ask this question is that we have asked this question in other areas where they did not know where the supply was.

Mr. Sanderson: That is a really good point. As the EMO director, I think that is what I am supposed to know. That is what I think the municipal emergency coordinators should know. Municipal emergency coordinators are proliferating, because pre-1997 there were very few municipal coordinators because it was not necessarily considered that big a deal. They do know, and it is our job to make sure they know, and to train them for that, so that is a big improvement.

Senator Atkins: I just had two other questions; one is on communication and how, from the 1997 experience, that whole process has been improved, not only between the different organizations, but between the organizations and the public? The other question, colonel, is what did you take from the experience of the floods that you could use in Bosnia?

Mr. Sanderson: It is terrible to have to go through 1997 in order to learn lessons that sometimes are obvious, but from 1997, when I became director of EMO I knew that I wanted to make sure that there was going to be no question about who did what in an emergency, or what was the protocol for accessing federal resources and who does what.

Senator Atkins: Were you on the same frequencies?

Mr. Sanderson: Totally, which was fantastic. Everybody learned lessons on both sides, provincially and from the military side. You wait with bated breath to make sure that you are on the same page. This meeting occurred only last week with Brigadier-General Beare. Simpatico would be the word; we are speaking the same language totally.

Senator Atkins: Would you be on the same frequency with the Americans?

Mr. Sanderson: I cannot say.

Senator Atkins: If you needed to be?

Mr. Sanderson: We are working on that, to be perfectly honest. Manitoba is creating a mutual aid agreement with North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, based on the working mutual aid agreement that exists in Eastern Canada called the Atlantic Compact. If we are not completely now, we certainly will be in the future.

Senator Atkins: Do you want to tell the same thing about the relationship between the organizations and the public?

Mr. Sanderson: When you say the public, what do you mean?

Senator Atkins: I am talking about the relationship with the communication organizations, the radio stations and TV stations?

Mr. Sanderson: I think things have improved significantly in Manitoba. Again learning from 1997 and also taking a look around, and you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out, there needs to be alerting capabilities. I am very pleased to see that national alerting has hit the national agenda for a national alerting system for all of Canada. Knowing that, in Manitoba we took a crack with the Broadcasters Association of Manitoba, and we created a mutual memorandum of understanding that Manitoba EMO can put out messages through the Broadcasting Association, unfettered, unchanged, verbatim, within 15 minutes of their receipt of it. We are very pleased with that. That is one more tool in the communication chunk that is going to help us out, and that is for addressing imminent threat to life and limb.

Senator Atkins: So it would be a coordinated —

Mr. Sanderson: Yes, it is coordinated through EMO communications in Manitoba, right through to the Broadcasters Association, faxed to them, then they put it verbatim on the air, and we have tested it twice.

Senator Atkins: That is good to hear.

Mr. Sanderson: Yes, we are really pleased.

Senator Atkins: I have not heard from the colonel.

The Acting Chairman: We only have a certain amount of time. One more question. Colonel, go ahead.

Col. Capstick: I will pick up on your second question, I think there were two things that were learned. The first was command and control, and that we could apply in Bosnia, in fact. Junior officers and senior NCOs learned they could operate independently without their chain of command looking over their shoulder, and their chain of command learned that they could trust them to do that. The second one was just the basics of dealing not only with civilian officials, but aid groups and those kinds of things. If you cannot issue orders to the municipal official in Morris, you are probably not going to get away with it in Bosnia so, a lot of valuable lessons learned.

Senator Atkins: That is very good to hear.

Senator Munson: Things worked very well, I understand that, but what additional equipment did the Canadian Forces require to borrow from units across the country? I understand there were some problems. Did you have to borrow equipment from the United States, and how was the equipment transported to the scene?

Col. Capstick: I do not recall us having to borrow equipment per se from either the United States or from other parts of the army. The units that came from 2 brigade, and 5 brigade in Valcartier brought their own stuff. That said, our basic structure and organization is not optimized for fighting floods or forest fires; it is optimized for the conduct of combat operations. For example, an infantry battalion, and especially an infantry battalion today that is equipped with light armour vehicles with a 25-millimetre chain gun on it, LAV IIIs, we would probably not bring those vehicles into certain kinds of operations because they are not suitable for the operation.

To compensate for that, in the 1997 operation, you would have been hard pressed to rent a sports utility vehicle, SUV, anywhere between Thunder Bay and Vancouver, because we had them all. And you would have been hard pressed to lease or buy a cell phone between Thunder Bay and Vancouver because we had them all.

That is a function, though, largely of the fact that we are equipped primarily and structured primarily to fight, and these other kinds of tasks are secondary, if you will.

Senator Munson: Has that structure changed at all because of the predominance of national disasters? Has the military become equipped to be a bit more efficient in that regard?

Col. Capstick: No, it has not, sir. The basic structuring and equipping policy, if you will, is we equip for war fighting, and then we use what we can for these other operations.

Senator Munson: In Ottawa there seem to be a lot of groups proposing all these plans with first responders and so on, and dealing with terrorism. I am wondering, here in Winnipeg and elsewhere — amongst the military, paramedics, firemen, doctors, police, you name it, all of the police forces —are there ongoing training programs that take place in Winnipeg or other centres, an operation pretending there is a flood or a forest fire?

Mr. Sanderson: Yes, EMO, for example, in February 2004, did a replication of the 1997 flood. We did it in conjunction with the municipalities up and down the Red River Valley, specifically to go over the lessons learned from 1997, so there is that. There is training for new and exotic things.

Senator Munson: You are working with the military?

Mr. Sanderson: We are working primarily with PSEPC on things such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, CBRN. There is a CBRN program where monies have been made available to the provinces to buy CBRN equipment, and the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College is providing training.

There is a demand for training that far exceeds right now CEPC's abilities to deliver, and the provinces and territories want to get on to the next levels of CBRN training.

However, there is interconnectivity of urban search and rescue. Urban search and rescue has come to Manitoba, federal money has come, provincial money has come, and training is ongoing so, yes, there are all kinds of good initiatives going on there.

Senator Munson: Would it not be a good idea to work with the military in a training program?

Mr. Sanderson: Funny you should mention that. The military for the high end on CBRN happens in Suffield, Alberta, which is a military establishment, and that is for the very high-end CBRN training, so there is a link between CEPC and the training.

Senator Munson: I was thinking along the structural or liaison line because I had an earlier question: Is a full-time military liaison officer to the first responder required? We seem to have so many natural disasters in this country. A full operation of say 1,000 men and women from the military, the Winnipeg Fire Department, paramedics, and police in a two-week exercise — I am thinking off the top of my head — that would not be a bad idea.

Mr. Sanderson: There was an idea or a proposal that reservists be assigned to municipalities in terms of liaison officers, and that was floated a few months ago. We think generally that is a wonderful idea, so long as it happens through the already established emergency management command and control process that exists in the province. Let us not have liaison officers wandering off to Binscarth, Manitoba, and starting to work with that municipality in isolation of the overall system.

Senator Munson: One other small question: In Regina, we talked to reservists. This may not be a fair question to you folks, but the reservist officer was really upset, because it took a day and a half of paper work to get people from Alberta or Saskatchewan to the B.C. forest fires and a day and a half work to get them out. They had to sign paper, waiver after waiver, insurance, next of kin, and all of that sort of thing. I know you have full-time military here, but is that an issue?

Col. Capstick: It obviously was an issue for at least that particular unit during that operation. What they are supposed to do is have most of that stuff done in advance, all of the time. However, as with a lot of things, it costs resources to do it: money, time, soldiers' pay, and reserve soldiers' pay. At times, other priorities take over. I do not think anybody thought that they would end up deploying as many reservists as they did to the B.C. fires. People do not normally predict on that scale.

I am not going to say we are working on it. We are really attempting to streamline these procedures, but I think what needs to be kept in mind is that there is a cost to them all. For example, if you spend a half day's reserve pay for the guy from some small town to go to Regina to get a medical, that is a half day's pay that has to come from somewhere. Even if you have the half day's pay, the real reservist part-time soldier only has so much time that he or she can spend on the reserves. It is a balancing act. You spend the time and effort on training. Yes, I can see the frustration of filling in all that paperwork. I guess I am more acculturated, being a full-time soldier, to the hurry up and wait thing, but I can tell you it is a lot better than it was in 1992 when I took 127 reservists to Cyprus with me. It was an administrative nightmare from the start. We have come a long way. We have more work to do.

Senator Munson: Two short little unrelated questions: What is happening on the weather front now? The statement was made that we had to rely on the U.S. I assume that is a lot better now that we can rely on Canadian forecasters, or get news and information. The other question: With the rural municipalities, do they know who is in charge now? I know they are not here, but has that been cleared up?

Mr. Sanderson: I am glad you asked because that was the opening statement in my presentation at the disaster management conference. Yes, I know who is in charge, and I told them that I know who is in charge. The municipalities are in charge. The municipalities are responsible for emergency management and response within their municipality. The only time a province would get involved is if the event became so huge that a provincial state of emergency was declared. Generally those are done to, again, augment and support the activities at the municipal level, so, yes, that is good.

Senator Munson: The weather?

Mr. Sanderson: The weather?

Senator Munson: The colonel had talked about depending on the news and weather information on the flood's progress in the U.S.

Col. Capstick: Basically, I think it is probably still the same. It was, especially in terms of monitoring the rise in the water, and we do not have any military-to-military contact across border at the tactical level. That occurs elsewhere. Again, dealing with the U.S. National Guard is very different. Our regular army counterparts in the States do not get involved in this kind of thing at all. It is against the American law, the Posse Comitatus Act. Until the National Guard is federalized, there are a million different National Guard organizations, so it was CNN.

Senator Munson: Major Gagne, you wanted to say something?

Maj. Gagne: I feel the issue was not depending on them for weather forecasts, but the inability at the EMO level to get detailed information about the cresting of the water; where, when, and how. They knew it was coming, but the water management people at the province were depending on exact data, and it was just a little difficult getting that. It was not a military issue but rather us as Canadians trying to figure out what was going on; as if there was a line across the map that you could not see through.

Mr. Sanderson: Could I add one thing? There has not been great improvement in Manitoba's ability to predict that. Post-1997, Manitoba Water Stewardship created a program called MIKE 11 which predicts water levels. Of course, it is now based on history. You unfortunately have to go through those things, and they did their water mapping and they can now project where water actually will go through this MIKE 11 project. Lots to do again, but Manitoba Water Stewardship is considered a leader in that respect, and in fact was asked to go to the Czech Republic and train them on their processes.

The Acting Chairman: I am afraid that I will have to bring this to a close, as fascinating as it is. I have a question myself with respect to our friends south of the border. To your knowledge, in addition to any greater sharing of information, have they taken any steps to improve the control of their water, which after all is water that crosses the border and comes up here? I am sure they have not created a floodway. I do not know where it would go, but if there had not been a floodway in Winnipeg, heavens knows what the situation would have been. Devil's Lake and all that business: is there any change in their control abilities?

Mr. Sanderson: I am not going to wade into that one, pardon the pun.

The Acting Chairman: It is just an idea that I floated out to you.

Mr. Sanderson: Follow the newspapers in Manitoba and you will see a lot of issues on Devil's Lake. That is not within the EMO.

The Acting Chairman: No, I am not meaning the Devil's Lake issue.

Mr. Sanderson: In terms of the mitigation activities in the Fargos of the world?

The Acting Chairman: Mitigation, yes.

Mr. Sanderson: Yes, there have been significant improvements there.

The Acting Chairman: That presumably would enable them to deal with more water and, therefore, mitigate the effect upon the province of Manitoba?

Mr. Sanderson: Yes.

The Acting Chairman: Thank you to the three of you. We appreciate you giving us the time and information that you have. It was an encouraging report, due I am sure in large part to the abilities of the organizations that you represent, not to mention your own. This is probably a lesson for other places in Canada, and I was intrigued with the way it could impact on the operations of the military abroad, and maybe some of those lessons could have been usefully applied in places like Iraq, but that is another question.

The committee adjourned.