Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 4 - Evidence, June 19, 2006

OTTAWA, Monday, June 19, 2006

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 10:05 a.m. to examine and report on the national security policy of Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the chair.


The Chairman: Before I move on with the usual introductions, I should like to note for the record the passing of our friend and colleague, Senator Michael Forrestall. He was a stalwart member of the committee since it was founded. He was vice-chair of the committee. He was devoted to issues relating to the military and to the security of Canada. We observed a moment of silence for him at our last meeting and also in the chamber. A remarkable number of senators flew to Halifax for his funeral together with the Prime Minister of Canada to honour a man who had devoted over 40 years of service as a parliamentarian both in the House of Commons and in the Senate. We miss him very much. It will be an adjustment not having him sitting right here.

On behalf of all members of the committee, our condolences go out to his family.

I should now like to introduce the members of the committee who are present. On my far right is Senator Poulin from northern Ontario. She is a former deputy minister in the Government of Canada and a broadcast executive. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.

Beside her is Senator Moore from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a lawyer with an extensive record of community involvement and has been a member of the board of governors of St. Mary's University. He also sits on the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and on the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations.

To my immediate right is Senator Atkins from Ontario. He came to the Senate with 27 years of experience in the field of communications. He served as a senior adviser to former federal Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield, to Premier William Davis of Ontario and to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

To my left is Senator Campbell from British Columbia. He was Mayor of Vancouver from 2002 to 2005 and is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His experience as chief coroner inspired the Gemini-award- winning television series, Da Vinci's Inquest. He is also a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples and the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries.

On my far left is Senator Banks from Alberta. He is chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. He is well known to Canadians as a versatile musician and entertainer. He provided musical direction for ceremonies at the 1988 winter Olympic Games. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Juno-award-winning recipient.

Before us today, colleagues, we have Alain Jolicoeur, President, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). He has been president of the Canada Border Services Agency since December 2003. He has been with the public service of Canada since 1973 and has served in a number of different positions with Environment Canada, the Department of National Defence and the Treasury Board Secretariat. In July of 1999, he became Associate Deputy Minister of National Revenue and Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. In December 2002, he was named Deputy Minister of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, a post he occupied until assuming his current position.

Mr. Jolicoeur is accompanied by Barbara Hébert, Vice-President, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency. Welcome to both of you. I understand you have a brief statement, Mr. Jolicoeur.

Alain Jolicoeur, President, Canada Border Services Agency: I am pleased to join you today. It has been about eight months since my last appearance at your committee.

I would like to thank you for your support in passing our legislation. As you know, this has given the CBSA the legal authority necessary to continue forward with our modern border management agenda.

I am happy to share with you some of our progress that we have made since last October and some of the key priorities currently facing our agency.

We are moving ahead and further refining our three basic approaches — with their accompanying tools and technology — to manage, control and secure border operations; collect advance information and turn that information into intelligence; and expand our pre-approval programs to expedite legitimate travel and trade at the border.

Examples of progress include the Advance Passenger Information (API) and Personal Name Record (PNR) agreement that we signed with the European Union. As well, the Advance Commercial Information program, which has been operational in the marine mode since 2004, will be fully implemented by this summer for the air mode. We have integrated training programs for new recruits so that new border services officers can operate technology, work with newly implemented systems and better manage risk. Thus, they will be better able to keep pace with the evolution of our business. We ran successful NEXUS air and marine pilot programs. We continue to invest in research, development, and the acquisition and deployment of radiation-detection technology. The first units were installed in Saint John where testing is taking place. Further deployments are planned for 2006 in Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver. Once fully implemented, our radiation-detection program will allow us to screen virtually 100 per cent of incoming marine cargo immediately upon its arrival in Canada.

We continue to deliver on our plans to provide enhanced connectivity for remote ports and we have made significant progress to connect unconnected sites. Most sites are now connected with only three seasonal sites left to fully connect by the end of summer 2006. We are replacing the existing Primary Automated Lookout System files with an updated system to ensure that border services officers have access to the information they need. We will continue to invest in building a smarter, more secure and trade-efficient border that relies on technology, information sharing and biometrics.

The CBSA will receive $239 million over the next two years to help fund some of the highest profile initiatives under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). These initiatives include NEXUS air, e-manifests, business resumption planning, partners in protection, and the passenger name record program. We are moving to the next generation of smart-border management. These SPP initiatives will improve border security by complementing our existing risk-management strategies. They demonstrate innovative measures to ensure the free flow of trade and travel across a secure border.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is the most important bilateral border issue currently facing Canada. We share U.S. security objectives and want to work with them to ensure that both countries continue to streamline the movement of low-risk traffic in both directions. Prime Minister Harper and President Bush discussed the issue earlier this year and agreed to appoint Public Safety Minister Day and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff as the leads to discuss this matter. They created a working group led by me on the Canadian side and by the head of the US-Visit program and the new Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Ralph Basham. This working group will examine issues and develop proposed solutions for discussion at the ministerial level. We have had a number of meetings and conference calls to date. Minister Day and Secretary Chertoff met in April and plan to meet again this July.

Specifically, as part of the SPP, we are now actively engaged with our U.S. counterparts to identify jointly acceptable document security standards that will help us to identify other alternative secure documents in addition to the passport and the USPASS card, already announced as acceptable. The CBSA will receive $100 million over the next two years to begin the process of providing frontline border services officers with side arms and of ensuring that they are no longer required to work alone. We plan to arm approximately 5,000 officers, not only at land border crossings but also at marine ports and, in some cases, inland. We plan to have the first group of officers armed by the fall of 2007. We are actively engaging the union in our implementation planning.

I am committed to broadening our intelligence networks and to ensuring that CBSA staff are well trained and well equipped. We must constantly invest in new and modern tools, adopt innovative approaches and capture the benefits of the best science and technology. The CBSA has built strong partnerships within the security community, as was made clear by our participation in the investigations that led to the arrests earlier this month of the 17 terrorist suspects in Toronto.

We continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to maintain the security of Canadian society by removing individuals that might pose a danger to the public or to the national security of Canada. We are investing heavily to ensure that our intelligence networks and tools are the best. We recently moved detainees under security certificates from provincial remand centres, where all high-risk immigration detainees are held, to the newly operated Kingston Immigration Holding Centre to improve conditions of detention for our security cases.

This is an overview of the progress since October 2005 when I last appeared before the committee. As senators are aware, I am committed to the CBSA evolving into an innovative science- and technology-based learning organization. Achieving security and prosperity simultaneously is an enormous responsibility and a constant balancing act between security and facilitation that requires diligence, innovation and flexibility. Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to your questions.

Senator Banks: We are pleased to hear your reference to improvements made since you last joined us at committee, Mr. Jolicoeur. We are in the process of developing a report card of the recommendations we have made to the government in those respects. Your visit here is timely. Almost one year ago, this committee issued a report called Borderline Insecure to which we drew the attention of the government and all Canadians to some of the issues you mentioned.

The first one is the connections that you said have been made with respect to land border crossings and to the central intelligence capacity with the computer system. I understood you to say that they have been connected except for three seasonal posts. Are the connections via high-speed access? Could you tell us why those three seasonal posts are not connected yet?

Mr. Jolicoeur: When CBSA was created, 110 offices were not connected. You have asked me on other occasions to report on the status of those offices. During 2005, we connected an additional 31 offices, which leaves us with work to do on 21 offices. The three remaining seasonal offices that are not connected are small but I agree that it could be a problem. We have asked Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to secure a contract for CBSA for satellite connection for these three offices. They are working hard to obtain that contract for us. I am not sure why but there has been an administrative delay. We are confident that these offices will be connected through satellite before the end of the summer. It should have been done by now, but it is not done yet.

Senator Banks: Has anyone explained this to you? If you and I wanted a high-speed connection from the middle of the Gobi Desert, we could get it in very short order. Why is this delay happening?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Procurement in the public service is something that can be problematic on occasion because of the challenges and rules.

On a different note, we have spent a year and a half trying to obtain new uniforms for our employees. We are approaching the end of the process and will finally be getting our new uniforms. It is a complex process. Those questions may be better directed to PWGSC. We are approaching the end of the process and these offices will be connected.

I want to refer to another 18 offices that have been connected for some time. We are not comfortable with the high- speed connection or wave-length aspect, the space sufficient for them to obtain all the services other offices are getting.

We are planning to first analyze how the connection works with these three final examples. If satellite connection provides us with everything we think it will, that will probably be the solution for the other 18 offices that are not sufficiently connected.

Senator Banks: At the moment, let us talk about the three examples that are absent. We will take this to Public Works and Government Services Canada. We see the minister every day in the Senate and we will ask him those questions.

I can understand why you must get competitive bids on which uniform manufacturer to use. However, matters directly related to national security, particularly at these times, seem to be able to leapfrog those considerations in some way.

With respect to those three "offices'' as you call them, I am presuming they are small and are probably manned by an officer at a given time. Is that a reasonable presumption?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, they are small. They are probably one-person offices.

Senator Banks: How does that person get information about an emergent event? How is that person told that a truck driving up to their office might have something wrong with it, might contain something that ought not to be there, or has people in it about whom they should be careful? How are they notified?

Mr. Jolicoeur: If there is advance intelligence about something such as a vehicle, a person or an event to be aware of, we can always contact those offices.

Senator Banks: By what means?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We would speak to them directly by phone.

Senator Banks: In the event there is something untoward based on advanced intelligence, would you be able to get additional people to that office in short order?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I could not tell you right now how long it would take to get a person to these three offices but I can look into that. If there was such a need, we would send someone for sure.

Senator Banks: This is one of the questions addressed in our report.

If that vehicle drives through the land border crossing and does not stop, and there are a number of instances of that happening, can you tell us about the recordkeeping in that respect? How many instances were there in Canada last year of vehicles that just drove through a border crossing and did not stop? What is the percentage of those vehicles that were likely to have been found after the fact? Do we have that information?

Mr. Jolicoeur: You recommended to us and we agreed that we needed to start measuring and reporting on that, which we have done. I do not have the exact number but we started reporting last year.

If you recall the first time you raised that issue with us, the number used the year before was 1,600 across the country over a year. So far, for the six months of this year, we have a number in the 300 range. There has been a significant reduction of those occurrences.

They are reported, and that reporting has lead to about 70 people being arrested. I do not have the exact number but I do have that information if you want it.

Senator Banks: Will you please send that information to the clerk of the committee?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes.

Senator Banks: I think most Canadians would be surprised, shocked and unhappy to learn that 300 vehicles in half a year drive through the border, are not stopped and get away with it, at least for a while. Whomever or whatever they have in their trunk could be let out in fairly short order.

In a case such as that, the policy of CBSA now is to notify the police. The police may or may not be able to do something about it. We have had other issues about how quickly the police are able to respond to that, and it has not been good news.

Will that policy change when your border officers at those land border crossings are armed? When there is an armed and dangerous person known to be coming to the border, or when a vehicle crosses the border without stopping, will that policy change when your officers arrive?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The policy in terms of what to do when someone crosses the border without stopping will not change when our people are armed. Our policy will be similar to that of the U.S. They will not be allowed to use their guns to shoot at a car that passes through or anything like that. They will advise the police when someone runs the border. That policy will remain the same.

Senator Banks: We will still have to rely upon a police response, and sometimes they are too busy or cannot get around to it. Will CBSA officers have an added capacity to pursue a car or truck that has crossed the border without stopping?

Mr. Jolicoeur: No, we have no means to pursue; we are not foreseeing situations where we will need the means to pursue those cars ourselves. We will continue relying on the police.

Senator Banks: In that case, we are interested in receiving information about the number of vehicles that are somehow intercepted and how long it takes to find them. They could have offloaded whatever it was they had — which is presumably the reason they ran the border — in 20 minutes.

Mr. Jolicoeur: I agree. However, I should point out that we have reduced those numbers significantly using signage and different methods. We need to continue reducing that number.

At the end of the day, yes, we are dependent upon the police to capture the remaining offenders.

Senator Banks: We have already heard from CBSA officers that the police sometimes cannot respond and when they do it takes a long time.

If I drive a car across the border with a 20-minute head start, there are a lot of places in Canada I could go where you would never find me again. Is that right?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is true at the moment. The solution is to reduce the number of people crossing without stopping and to get quicker service from the police. There may be alternative solutions in areas where it is difficult to obtain that service rapidly.

The Chairman: I have a supplementary question on that, Senator Banks.

Just so we are clear, Mr. Jolicoeur, you said that 300 vehicles ran the border in the first six months of this year?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The number is roughly 300 vehicles over six months.

The Chairman: Only 70 of those vehicles were apprehended?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, I think it is about 70.

The Chairman: Is it correct that there are 230 vehicles in the country about which we have no clue?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is true. I would like to point out that it is a very significant reduction over the previous number and it is our belief that the vast majority of cases where people run the port is by confusion. People are confused about signing. The vast majority think they have gone through the whole process when they have not.

The Chairman: If that is the case, why do you not have a barrier? It is easy to raise and lower a barrier.

Mr. Jolicoeur: We could put barriers everywhere. This will slow the process considerably, but it is a possibility. There is also a cost to that.

The Chairman: There is a barrier when you go into a parking garage and, when someone wants to leave, it is a matter of someone pushing a button and saying, thank you very much, have a nice day and they drive off.

Mr. Jolicoeur: We could have barriers everywhere. I would point out again that our process is measured by seconds. There are cases where it might be a problem, but that could be a permanent solution.

The Chairman: For people running the border, why not have something farther down the road, not by the post, that incapacitates the vehicle? We see police dragging across spikes and it would be an easy matter to automate that and have the vehicle incapacitated 200 metres farther down the road, not at the post.

Mr. Jolicoeur: There are locations where this could be considered. I am not sure it would be applicable to all locations because of the width.

The Chairman: I agree. It is not applicable to all. I am not hearing you say we are really concerned about the 230 that are getting through.

Mr. Jolicoeur: I am concerned, and this is why we have moved from 1,600 to a much smaller number. We need to keep on reducing that by using different techniques, and one of them might be, at the end of the day to bring it down to zero, to consider what you are suggesting.

The Chairman: I am surprised that I am suggesting them to you. I am surprised that you are not saying, I am sorry to report that 230-plus folks made it into the country, but here is our plan: One, we are going to put up a barrier to stop the ones who are just doing it accidentally and, two, we have figured out a way to stop the other vehicles. You seem passive about these issues and I do not understand why you are not coming before us and saying — here are the problems and, by the way, we have solutions that we are working on. We will test some of these and have some in place by this date. You come and say, well, Public Works is slow putting in equipment and we are also having problems with uniforms and, by the way, 230 vehicles with maybe more people snuck into the country, but I do not have anything to tell you about the solutions to stop that.

Mr. Jolicoeur: Let us take this problem one by one. We are flagging the port running and the difficulty we are having with port running. The last time we discussed that with you, we were collectively unhappy with the number of port runners, which was at 1,600. The plan that we discussed and implemented was to work in the area where that was most prevalent. We flagged two areas where we had some difficulty — one port in B.C. and a secondary commercial one at Windsor. We have worked on both and this is why we have progressed a lot.

I am not saying we are finished, but I am saying we have progressed a lot and we will continue to do so. If we do not find a better or more practical way to bring it close to zero — it is never going to be zero — we will use barriers. However, sometimes this occurs when our ports are closed. We get information about some people crossing the border point when the port is closed.

Senator Banks: That is not okay. How is it possible to say in this day and age, with everything that is happening, that if a criminal finds a border post that is closed, he or she can just drive across it? It is not okay that we have made progress in these things. Following the chairman's point, at each and every land border crossing in Canada, there is a road that vehicles have to drive down before they get to the fork in the road or the maze of streets or the other highways. There is a choke point, to use your language, by the use of which, the numbers of vehicles that drive into Canada without having been stopped and inspected, could be zero. You know better than we do what they are. There is a hydraulic mechanism in the road that stops the car or a set of teeth that come up and ruin tires, which half the parking lots in the country use.

Are you planning those kinds of things? Are you going to install those things so that the next time we talk to you the number of cars coming into Canada without having been stopped will be zero? Making it better is not good enough days, is it? Does it not have to be zero?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I understand your frustration and I would also like this to be zero, but as you know and as I have reported, we have many roads that are unguarded between Canada and the U.S.

If I take all of the former border crossing points and turn them into fortresses, at some point there is a limited return on the investment because —

Senator Banks: Is that the consideration — it costs too much?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The governing consideration is if you have a chain and you try to strengthen three or 15 of the links to make them better, it does not make your security any tighter because of the other ones. So, at some point we have to live with the reality that we have this huge border and there are many places where people can actually go through.

Senator Campbell: With all due respect, you are copping out. I am new here. I cannot believe this. I just cannot believe what I am hearing here. Are we serious about taking care of terrorism and people crossing our borders here? You cannot cop out by saying there are hundreds of places you can cross in this country. I know there are hundreds of places. You are responsible for the crossings. You came here in October. At that time you said there was no log being kept that would tell you how many people were jumping the border. Now we have a number of 1,600. Where did that come from?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The number of 1,600 was not a formal number. It was a number that was captured by, if I remember, employees across the country that reported on these things. Now we are —

Senator Campbell: There was no formal process of keeping it so the number could have been 3,200 for all you know — correct?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is correct.

Senator Campbell: And so now we know that there are 300 in half a year.

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is correct.

Senator Campbell: You say there are lots of places to cross. You are responsible for making sure that people do not cross that border. Is that correct, at the crossings?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We are responsible at the crossings. We will reduce that number of 300 in six months.

Senator Campbell: This is not good enough.

My second question is — you cannot tell me that you should not have a pursuit vehicle at those big crossings. You simply cannot tell me that. It does not make any sense. What you are telling me is a joke. If someone runs the Vancouver crossing, chances are they will probably get popped because the Surrey-White Rock detachment is there. If someone runs North Portal in Saskatchewan, you do not have a prayer unless you have a helicopter there.

Either Canada is serious about this or we should stop telling the public that we are. I look at all of this and it does not make any sense. Let us go to a single officer at a crossing. How many of them do we have?

Mr. Jolicoeur: In the last budget, we received resources to double up in all of these areas. We will need 400 new employees to ensure that in each single-officer location, there will be two officers on each shift.

Senator Campbell: How many places are there?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I believe there are 138.

Senator Campbell: In 2005 there were 139, so we have taken this seriously. Why do we not forget about the new uniforms and put two people at the border so that they are safer? This is simply not acceptable. What are your priorities in order here — new uniforms? Last year you said you would do something about this. You pledged $101 million to begin arming the border officers and eliminating work-alone posts. How many of those work-alone posts have you eliminated? One, according to these figures. What is the timeline for eliminating them? When are we going to not have single officers sitting in the middle of Saskatchewan, Alberta or Manitoba?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Do you want me to speak to the question of single officers?

Senator Campbell: I do.

Mr. Jolicoeur: In Budget 2006, we have, for the first time, money to deal with work-alone posts. Now, we have to hire people and train them for which we have a plan. I admit that it will take about three years before we have no work- alone posts in Canada. That is the time it will take to complete the recruitment and training, given the space we have at our training centre. However, this problem is being resolved.

Senator Campbell: If this is so important, why are you not sending trained and knowledgeable people from the big border crossings to be the second officer and then putting a rookie into the big offices where they could be trained? There had better not be someone killed at one of these work-alone border crossings during the next few years. There is a way around this. I understand about bringing in more officers and the training. However, simply take 139 trained officers from the big offices across Canada and put them into these smaller, work-alone posts. My biggest fear is that someone working alone will be hurt at one of these crossings. Worse, the fact that there are 230 vehicles wandering around likely has nothing to with their missing the signage, as you suggested. If you cannot read the signage at Windsor, then you are coming across with something to do something. This is not acceptable.

Senator Banks: Is the principal constraint money?

Mr. Jolicoeur: For what?

Senator Banks: Doing all of these things, such as ensuring that no sign at a border crossing indicates "Closed for the night. Come back later,'' which is kind of silly.

Mr. Jolicoeur: If we want barriers, rules and a system that prevents people from crossing illegally then, yes there is a money consideration.

Senator Banks: Has that money been requested? Does CBSA have a plan for which it has requested the funds to reduce these numbers to zero? This committee argued with the previous government about it not providing sufficient resources. We will not change our minds on that simply because the government has changed. The previous government was deficient in providing the necessary resources for these jobs. However, you need a plan to take to the government in order to secure the appropriate funds to fix the problem. You need to tell the government how much it will cost. Have you made such a plan?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We make requests to every federal budget for additional resources for CBSA. This year, we received over two years $365 million for two improvements to security across Canada.

In the last budget, our request included a piece specifically dealing with running the port. No, I did not have a piece there. We of course were asked to prioritize all of our requests. No, there was not a specific request for that in the last budget. If we were to consider all of the areas where we could strengthen the border then, you are right, the amount requested to fund all of them would be very high. It would take a significant amount of money to add the number of people we would like to have at the borders and consider the areas between border points and post-border points — much more than we are talking about now.

Senator Banks: Most members of this committee believe that most Canadians would think that that would be money well spent. Aside from the specifics of border crossings, it would have a great impact on relations with our neighbour and the things that they suspect are happening in Canada. We argue against some of those suspicions when we send people to Washington to argue the incalculability of the costs. It is not only the fact of those 230 vehicles whose locations we do not know, but also the impact of that on our overall situation. Most Canadians would be extremely supportive of the necessary funding to ensure that we do not have "closed for the night'' signs on our border crossings.

The Chairman: Mr. Jolicoeur, you just described a plan that you have laid out in order of priority. Could you make a copy of that available to the committee, please?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Do you mean in terms of the funding in Budget 2006?

The Chairman: No. We know those figures. We would like to know what you did not receive in that budget and we would like to see your list, in priority, of issues that you want to address across the spectrum. For example, are barriers on your list? Do you have a list of other deficiencies? We are anxious to know that you are on top of the job, and we do not want to be unreasonable in terms of our criticisms of what you are doing. If you have a plan in place that is not being funded, we would like to see what that plan is. We would like to have a look at what you have been arguing for so that we can see that you have a system that will resolve some of these problems. Failing that, we have to assume that you are not focusing on some of these issues.

It would be much fairer to you and to the agency if you were to provide us with what you think you need and what you have on your lists for material, equipment and devices, et cetera, to ensure that the border crossings work in the way that we expect them to work. Can you provide us with that?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is fine. Yes.

The Chairman: Thank you.


Senator Poulin: Safety has become a major concern for Canadians because of a bad experience in the United States and also during the past few weeks. The quality of our relations with the United States is important to us. Since you are responsible for managing our border posts along the longest border in the world, could you tell us how many border posts there are and over how many kilometers?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The border is about 8,000 kilometers long. Along the land border, we have 119 border posts. When one talks about the border, one should not forget that it refers to all the points of entry into Canada. In addition to the land border, we have a number of marine ports. The three major border posts in importance for the number of containers are Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver.

Senator Poulin: We only have three?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Those on the largest ones. We also have marine points of service which are not always open.

We also have small marinas which open occasionally. There are also 200 airports that are used as points of entry into Canada.

Senator Poulin: What is the annual budget of the Canada Border Services Agency?

Mr. Jolicoeur: It will be between 1.2 billion and 1.3 billion dollars next year.

Senator Poulin: Considering the environment we have been living in since 2001 from the point of view of security, have you developed a plan identifying clearly the black holes? You have referred to long sections of the border without any post. What would be the solution to this problem and how much would it cost?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, but I was referring to the management of the border as a whole. Our responsibility is limited to entry points. Despite that, we have discussed the possibility to create something equivalent to what the Americans have, which they call the Border Patrol and has a responsibility between the official points of entry. In our case, this responsibility belongs to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Senator Poulin: Are you saying that the responsibility for the border is shared between two agencies?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Indeed I am.

Senator Poulin: Does that not create problems for needs identification?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Obviously, especially since 9/11 but it had started earlier. The agencies work in close cooperation. We have common groups with staff from both organizations who cooperate, among other things, on the «high belt» concept, in an integrated manner, with all the safety agencies and U.S. agencies. We are wondering now if it would not be better to have one single agency at the border instead of two. It is an open question.

Senator Poulin: I was a bit surprised to learn that the new government has given only 101 million dollars in the last budget for an issue as important as border post security. We are informed that this budget should allow us to eliminate single agent posts. The other objective was to provide weapons to officers at the border. You stated of while ago that even if the officers were armed, the present policy would not change. Why give them weapons, then?

Mr. Jolicoeur: In the 2006 budget, the first objective of the 101 million dollars was to give weapons to our staff. That was not the only amount for our organization. In total, for the first two years, we got $ 365 million. So there are many other important projects that have been financed in the last budget. The plan to give weapons to our officers was not specifically aimed at resolving the problem of people running the border but rather to give some tools to our employees when they are faced with dangerous situations at the border. In those cases, our operational policy will change because, if our officers are armed, they will be called upon to intervene more directly in those situations whereas they could not do so in the past when they had no weapons.

To put that in context, we talk to our American colleagues about their level of comfort with our strategies and with what we are doing. It is important to underline that we continuously compare our operational methods and our effectiveness to those of our American friends and that they are comfortable with them. Improvement is continuously made on both sides on the border as we go along.

Senator Poulin: Do American officers have weapons?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, since the seventies.

Senator Poulin: Will our officers receive training on carrying and using weapons?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, we are working with the Police Institute in Nicolet and with the agency training American officers to develop a course that will last about three weeks. That course will ensure that our people have the proper knowledge and training to use their weapons.

Senator Poulin: This is roughly what this committee had recommended a few weeks ago.


Senator Atkins: While at airports, one gets the impression that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has all the personnel it needs and then some. Can you tell us how many personnel you have increased by since the last time we met?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I do not know the exact number of increase but we will have about 13,000 employees within a year. It has been a gradual increase since we started.

The difficulty in reporting an exact number is that CBSA was not created in one shot. It was created gradually by adding pieces. Our numbers have been increasing steadily since our creation.

Senator Atkins: Getting back to the barrier question that the chairman addressed, if someone arrives by plane and goes through immigration, they see an officer who interrogates them and are then given a card in order to be put through another process where that card is examined.

Is there not a simple way of implementing a system where you could avoid having vehicles go through the border without examination, such as by having some form of barrier that could not be broken unless they provide evidence they have been examined?

Mr. Jolicoeur: If you are relating to the point raised by Senator Banks and Senator Campbell, to develop a physical means of completely preventing people from racing through the border, the answer is yes, it is certainly doable. There is significant cost related to it, but it is doable.

Senator Atkins: Would that process require more personnel?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, more personnel and more capital to build infrastructure.

Senator Atkins: Have you any idea of the number of people or the amount of capital needed?

Mr. Jolicoeur: No, I do not have an estimate on that.

Senator Atkins: That would be helpful.

Do you have a waiting list of people applying to be members of your service?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes. Every time we open a competition, there are many applicants. However, our budget allows us to hire only a certain number. At the moment, the real challenge is to schedule training for these people through our institute at Rigaud. It is fully booked for at least a year.

Senator Atkins: With regard to the infrastructure for training, can you handle the increase of personnel or will it require serious adjustments to your training process?

Mr. Jolicoeur: There is no question that we need additional financial and human resources on the training side because of what I just described. We obtained additional resources in the last budget specifically for the new training aspects that are coming with the arming of employees. There will be a requirement for additional space and expertise due to that. We received the resources and have a plan to deploy that over the coming years.

Senator Atkins: I understand that you are extending the training period.

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes. It is a bit more complicated because now we are one organization. Our employees are coming from three different organizations. We have created a new integrated course that includes all the expertise that was covered by three organizations in the past.

Senator Atkins: What are the three?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and customs. We have created a new program that is currently being tested that is more integrated.

Senator Atkins: Is three weeks long enough to train a student?

Barbara Hébert, Vice-President, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency: The training we give our students covers the requirements they have to carry out their assigned responsibilities. Our students do not fulfil the full range of responsibilities that a regular border services officer would have.

Earlier you expressed interest in the air mode. Using that as an example, even full-time indeterminate officers would receive three weeks of training if they were to work in the air mode. A student who is to work in the air mode would also receive three weeks of training to do primary processing. From that perspective, they are quite compatible. If a student were asked to do more than that in the example I just gave, additional training would be provided.

Senator Atkins: Do you have the facilities to provide that training?

Ms. Hébert: The students are trained locally and regionally. They do not go to our training facility in Rigaud. That facility is for our indeterminate officers.

The Chairman: Are the students on land crossings fully trained?

Ms. Hébert: The students who work at the land borders also receive three weeks training. They receive the training required to carry out the responsibilities they are assigned.

The Chairman: That is a vague answer. Are there times when students are working alone and unsupervised?

Ms. Hébert: No, Senator Kenny, they are not.

The Chairman: What would you say if we produced examples of that happening?

Ms. Hébert: I would like to have that information because it is the policy that they should not be.

The Chairman: This is a policy that you monitor and that you are certain is in place?

Ms. Hébert: I can assure you that I regularly raise it with my management team.

The Chairman: Do they monitor it?

Ms. Hébert: I believe they do.

The Chairman: How often do they tell you that it is not observed?

Ms. Hébert: I have had this conversation with them no less than once every quarter in the last year, and I believe that any discrepancies have been corrected.

The Chairman: You are telling me that on a number of occasions in the past year you have found that students were in charge of a border post?

Ms. Hébert: No, that would not be an accurate statement.

The Chairman: Clarify for us, if you would, what you meant when you said that any discrepancies were corrected. You need not correct something if there is no problem.

Ms. Hébert: Students are never left alone at a port. I was referring to the latter clause of your sentence. Students would not necessarily be only at the port of entry.

The Chairman: My question stands. Have instances been reported to you of students being alone?

Ms. Hébert: Instances have been reported, as a result of appearances before this committee, and I have taken action to deal with my management team as a result of those representations.

The Chairman: In the past year, how often have you found that there were students working there alone?

Ms. Hébert: I am not aware of any student in the last six months who has been working alone. You asked about a year. Off the top of my head I am not aware of any, but I do not want to mislead the committee. However, I am sure about the last six months.

The Chairman: You can be assured that every time you appear before us that question will come up. If you could, double-check before your next appearance.

Ms. Hébert: To be clear, I believe that we have no students working alone now and have not for some period of time.

Senator Banks: Some students have done wonderful work.

Ms. Hébert: I agree.

Senator Banks: A student is not a bad thing. However, the policy is that students are always working under the supervision of an experienced officer, most of whom I assume would be indeterminate officers.

Exactly what does "under the supervision of'' mean? I know that if a student is in a booth at a border crossing, there will not be an experienced officer sitting beside him in the booth. How far away is the supervision under which that student is working, and what exactly does "under the supervision of'' mean? Is the experienced officer at a different place or at home where he could be reached by telephone, or does it mean that there is sight contact with the supervisor?

Ms. Hébert: You are absolutely correct about a student working at a primary inspection line (PIL) booth. There will undoubtedly be people working in the office or at the commercial primary inspection line. The supervisory presence to which I referred could be in another booth or inside the actual facility at the port, but would absolutely be on site.

Senator Atkins: With regard to PIL booths, it has been suggested to us on other occasions that there is an unofficial time allotted for the processing of a car. Is that a practice that is implemented by your senior people?

Ms. Hébert: We have statistics that indicate the average processing time for the average traveller over the course of history.

Senator Atkins: What is that?

Ms. Hébert: I believe it is 30 seconds.

Senator Atkins: I believe we heard that it is 20 seconds.

Ms. Hébert: I would generally use 30 seconds. That is certainly the average time history has shown us. Having said that, I am not aware of any instance where we direct officers that they shall take no more than 30 seconds or, in your example, 20 seconds.

Officers are expected to exercise discretion and process the traveller until he or she, being the officer, is satisfied that that traveller can be admissible to Canada. Some processing might take 17 seconds; some might take much longer than that.

Senator Atkins: Therefore, they would not be penalized if they are slow in their operation?

Ms. Hébert: That is correct.

Senator Atkins: How is CBSA working with the RCMP to combat organized crime in the ports?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We are working at different levels, but the main instrument we are using is the IBET, the integrated border enforcement teams we have across the country. They are led by the RCMP but with participation of our agency as well as others. We also share intelligence regularly at different levels and feed that intelligence through our national risk assessment centre to the local level when it is important that the information be available. We are working as teams.

Senator Atkins: Could you describe the experiment in Saint John?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Are you talking about RADNET?

Senator Atkins: Yes.

Mr. Jolicoeur: RADNET is a system that we have developed in house to measure radioactivity that might be present in containers. We first deployed RADNET to Windsor. It is a sophisticated way to discriminate between radiation readings that would be problematic and related to something illegitimate and the radiation readings that you get regularly from products that properly contain radiation. We have that system in place. Every container is basically screened or read by the readers and the information fed into our risk-assessment system TITAN and compared with the information we have on the importers and carriers, et cetera. A decision is made on the system as to whether or not there is a need to flag a concern and trigger an action by our officers locally. It is a more-advanced system than what they have in the United States for making that decision and will be deployed to other ports this year.

Senator Atkins: I am surprised you would pick Saint John because there is not that much container traffic there.

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes, but when you test a system and deploy a big machine, a big system, you want to do it in a secure way. You do not want to create havoc so the decision was made to start there for that reason. It could have been somewhere else.

Senator Moore: I want to follow up on what Senator Atkins was asking. In your opening statement, Mr. Jolicoeur, you have mentioned at the bottom of page one that once fully implemented our radiation detection program will allow us to screen virtually 100 per cent of incoming marine cargo.

When do you anticipate the implementation to be complete?

Mr. Jolicoeur: This calendar year, I believe.

Senator Moore: By the end of December 2006?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes.

Senator Moore: Senator Banks was asking at the beginning about the type of technology used in the connections of the various posts. You mentioned there were three unconnected posts but you were waiting for a contract to be procured and there are 18 others that you may upgrade to that type of new technology. Will all 21 be via high-speed Internet?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is what we are aiming for. That is why we want to continue with those 18 to bring them to the level of high-speed Internet but it is a separate line. I could not describe more precisely than that but it is at that level, yes. It is the same level that the others have.

Senator Moore: When you started out there were 110 not connected and now you have it down to three, but 18 you want to upgrade. Are all the others connected via high-speed Internet?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I would not call it high-speed Internet but it is that standard or better. We have our own network.

Senator Moore: It is not dial up then?

Mr. Jolicoeur: The others, no; they are not dial up.

Senator Moore: I am interested in the Canada-U.S. border Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. We had your colleague, Andrea Spry, before our Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce on June 8. On that day we also heard from U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter from the state of New York. We were talking about access, moving people, equipment and goods across the border but primarily part of that discussion focused on tourism. When Congresswoman Slaughter crossed the border she was told she had to have a passport. When Ms. Spry gave her presentation she said that was not required. I am wondering where the idea came from whereby the border officers required that visitor and her staff to provide a passport. Are we now moving towards implementation of passports only, or are we using photo ID and citizenship or birth certificates?

Mr. Jolicoeur: At the moment the passport is not required. It may be that some officers have asked for that but our direction at the moment is that a passport is not required. It is not required in the air mode when you go to the U.S. either and they are asked all the time. However, it is not required.

Senator Moore: How often does the working group that you chair meet?

Mr. Jolicoeur: In the last two months we have probably had three meetings. The U.S. is presently into a rule-making process where they have limited ability to communicate on WHTI while decisions are being made about the specifics of the requirement for the air and marine modes at the moment.

The Chairman: What is the WHTI?

Senator Moore: That is the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. It is referred to as WHTI.

The air and marine crossings have one date. What is their date when a card or some other type of identification will be required?

Mr. Jolicoeur: January 1, 2007.

Senator Moore: Is land the following year?

Mr. Jolicoeur: That is correct.

Senator Moore: We heard evidence that there are 123 million crossings each year of people going back and forth between Canada and the United States. We are aware that the United States Senate has passed an amendment to the immigration bill extending the implementation dates by one year, and that the House of Representatives has not.

Do you have any information, in terms of your meetings with colleagues in the U.S., on the likelihood of that one- year extension being put in place?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Everyone is planning on the basis that those target dates will remain the same. There may be some changes at the end; first, the immigration bill would have to pass in the House of Representatives. People do not think that the date will be changed and there will be an amendment in place that will effectively change those dates. If there is a change, it would come close to the end. There is no question that both sides feel we have to plan for those dates to remain in place at the moment.

Senator Moore: Is there any possibility that the provisions with respect to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative would be carved out of that immigration bill and, perhaps, dealt with separately or do you think we are locked into that bill?

Mr. Jolicoeur: At the moment, I believe they are part of that bill and their survival is linked to the survival of the other bill.

Again, there could be other amendments introduced in the future. There could be some changes. We do not believe we will see, certainly before the end of the calendar year, a change in the official implementation date.

Senator Moore: You do not think there will be a change?

Mr. Jolicoeur: No.

Senator Moore: That is certainly the position of Secretary Chertoff a little over a week ago. He said they are sticking by those dates and they think they can do it. What do you think will be the card or document of preference here, given that only 20 to 24 per cent of U.S. citizens have a passport, and they do not think they would support a NEXUS card, for which I understand the application fee is $100?

Mr. Jolicoeur: I think it is $80.

Senator Moore: Okay, $80 for a NEXUS card and I think there are less than 100,000 of those in existence — 75,000 to 100,000 have been issued. We are talking about millions of travellers. Practically speaking, given these dates of implementation, how will that be achieved?

Mr. Jolicoeur: First, I have said many times I do not think they will be ready, if we define ready as meaning that people will have cards to cross the border. I know the official administration position is that they will be ready.

Senator Moore: Practically speaking, I do not see how they can be but you are closer to it than we are.

Mr. Jolicoeur: I do not think they will be ready. In terms of what we are doing about it, we are trying to get an agreement with the U.S. administration on a standard under SPP — the Security and Prosperity Partnership — that could be met by different documents. If they meet that standard, then they would become acceptable under WHTI.

Senator Moore: Is this is part of your committee's working group tasks — to come up with some combination such as we have now, the photo ID plus your birth certificate to show citizenship? Is that one of your objectives?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Our objective is to have as many acceptable cards that are properly secured as possible.

The Chairman: May I have a supplementary on this? In June 2005, this committee recommended that cards be developed — that the standard should be tamper-proof, machine readable, biometrically enhanced and based on secure and reliable documentation. Are those the standards that you are pursuing?

Mr. Jolicoeur: There are three categories of standards that need to be addressed and which are being addressed. One is the robustness of whatever cards or documents are used to ensure that they cannot be modified or tampered with and so on.

Senator Moore: You mean secure?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes. Some have to do with the card itself. Others have to do with the information that you put on the card — that is, biometric, which one, et cetera.

The third category concerns how they are delivered. For example, is the infrastructure secure, can the blank be stolen or not? All of the delivery systems need to be secure as well. Those are the three things.

The U.S. is working on a fourth category, on which we will have to agree — namely, the exact formatting and technology that will be used to read those documents. We are working on the four areas and discussing them.

The Chairman: We are talking about a card that can be read by just swiping it like a credit card — is that correct?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Beyond that — it can be read at a distance.

The Chairman: What about the documentation that is considered to be secure and reliable — in other words, the very premise of the card itself? What will constitute satisfactory identification to get the card? How will you be certain that the identification that you are provided with is reliable?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We have a document integrity exercise that actually started in Canada. At the provincial and federal levels, we have an initiative to strengthen the base documents. We have offered the work we have done to the United States as being the first element of those standards that both sides would accept. What documents will be accepted finally and deemed to be secure, either as final documents to cross or as documents to be used to justify obtaining those documents, are decisions that have not yet been made.

Senator Moore: I have a further question. Do you want to ask a supplementary question, Senator Atkins?

Senator Atkins: Where do you draw the line on privacy?

Senator Moore: I was going to lead to that area next.

Senator Campbell: You are both reading each other's minds — so much for privacy.

Senator Moore: There has been some discussion that the cards may have certain personal information imbedded in them, and that not only could they be waved and read at a border crossing, but they could be tracked in terms of your movement within, in this case, the United States. To me, that would be quite a substantial invasion of privacy. Is that one of the issues you are considering in your working group to ensure that does not happen?

Mr. Jolicoeur: A big debate that we have internally and with the U.S. — and it is one of the reasons why we do not have formally approved standards for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative yet — is the question, which is linked to privacy, of whether we will go with vicinity cards or proximity cards.

Senator Moore: Could you explain the difference between these, Mr. Jolicoeur?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes. They define proximity cards as cards that would be read only within 10 centimetres.

Vicinity cards are the cards that we are using currently with the NEXUS program where you can flag them a few metres from the reader and they would be seen from a greater distance.

The debate is the following. From the perspective of the logistics of managing the border, we almost need to go to vicinity cards. One of the reasons NEXUS works well is that you do not have to stop every time and touch something or speak to something; you have been pre-approved, accepted as someone who is okay. The challenge with the vicinity card at first is whether it can be read at a greater distance. Other people can read it, too, if they have a mechanism to read the card.

The second question is — what do you put on the card? Do you put personal information? It is not required because we will have databases. Thinking of NEXUS, we have a database of people so it can only be a reference to the database, a number. A number does not tell much about an individual, so it is less of a concern.

However, the debate is not finished. The concern is that, even without knowing anything about you, if I can read your card illegitimately with a machine, just knowing your number gives me an advantage because I can more easily follow you in the future since I know that number is associated to you. We are looking at ways to protect that number so it can only be read when the person wants it to be read when crossing the border. The technological challenge here that is not resolved has to do with the privacy question.

Senator Moore: We are told that no more than 100,000 NEXUS cards have been issued. Do you know how many of those have been issued to Canadians?

Mr. Jolicoeur: It is probably close to half and half. I do not know the number. It is 95,000 for land and about 6,000 for air. However, we believe that, because of WHTI, many more people will want NEXUS cards.

Senator Moore: Is there a different card and a different application depending on whether you are a regular air or a land traveller?

Mr. Jolicoeur: At the moment, yes, but we are moving towards a one-card, one-enrolment process, and a card that would give you access to all services.

Senator Moore: To get one of those cards, do you have to go through an interview?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes.

Senator Moore: Where is the application made?

Mr. Jolicoeur: We have points where it can be done.

Senator Moore: I understand Toronto and Vancouver but are there more ports?

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes.

Senator Moore: Is there an office in the country where you can do that as well?

Ms. Hébert: You are correct that Toronto and Vancouver are the big sites. There are a couple more. They can be located either on the U.S. or the Canadian side. As you are aware, this is a joint bi-national process so it requires a comfort level by both Canadian and American inspection agencies that a candidate is acceptable to the program.

Senator Moore: Is your application reviewed by each side when you apply?

Ms. Hébert: You are correct. An interview is done with the candidate at those limited number of sites where the application is processed. We are pursuing having what we call "urban enrolment centres,'' so that people in key urban areas would have greater accessibility to the program. It is an evolving situation.

The Chairman: Regrettably, we have run out of time. We have about a dozen other questions we would like to put to you, Mr. Jolicoeur. I wonder if we could do it by letter and if you could respond to us in writing.

Mr. Jolicoeur: Yes.

The Chairman: I would be very grateful for that. We will put them to you and append them to the record of the meeting today.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank you both very much for appearing. These subjects are a matter of continuing interest to the committee, and we appreciate your providing us with the information you have this morning.

Our next witness is Jim Judd, Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) since November 2004. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1973 and has had a long and distinguished career serving, among other positions, as Secretary of the Treasury Board and Deputy Minister of National Defence.

Mr. Judd, this is your first appearance before the committee. We are pleased that you are here today and look forward to your responses to questions. We understand that you do not have a prepared statement.

Jim Judd, Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service: That is correct.

Senator Campbell: I can only imagine in my wildest dreams how busy you are. You are to be commended for taking the time to appear before the committee.

Our objective today is to gain an understanding of first, the threat posed by homegrown terrorists and second, the efforts made by CSIS to mitigate the threat of terrorism from abroad. The committee heard testimony from your Deputy Director, Mr. Hooper, and from Commissioner Zaccardelli of the RCMP. They gave us considerable insight into the difficulties of the current world and where Canada sits. In his testimony, Mr. Hooper indicated that CSIS does not have the capacity to properly screen all individuals who come to Canada from troubled parts of the world. I believe he mentioned Pakistan and India. We were taken aback by that comment. Could you comment on the issue and advise us of any efforts underway to address that problem?

Mr. Judd: As senators are likely aware, anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada or acquire refugee status in Canada is screened through the broader government system by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. On behalf of the government, CSIS undertakes security screening of a proportion of those people who seek to enter the country. Globally speaking, on an annual basis we would be asked to do security screenings on about 10 per cent of all those applicants. It is a risk-managed business in the sense that it involves a kind of triage assessment of individuals, initially by our partners. Based in part on their assessment and then our assessment, we conduct security screening on about 10 per cent of the total annual intake. CSIS regularly reviews screening levels of activity in different jurisdictions related to different nationalities in conjunction with our federal government partners, including the Canada Border Services Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Foreign Affairs Canada. We do an annual assessment of that to determine whether we are doing the right numbers in the right places.

My own sense, notwithstanding the comments of my colleague, is that we are not doing badly in respect of those countries, bearing in mind that it is all predicated on a risk assessment of the individuals concerned. Where the risk is determined to be out of the ordinary, we would then be asked to conduct a broader security screening of those individuals. CSIS does look at that annually to reassess and refocus both people and energy accordingly.

Senator Campbell: That clears up some of the question. I had been thinking that Canada could only manage 10 per cent but it would seem from what you are saying that countries comparable to Canada are also averaging 10 per cent per year. Their screenings are also based on risk management and the country of origin of the immigrants. I am sure you do not ever want to be in the position of screening 100 per cent of the people who come to Canada — or do you want that?

Mr. Judd: No. The fact is that many people who come to this country have quite legitimate, well-established and well-known backgrounds. Therefore, there is no need to have a system with 10 per cent screening. It would represent a substantial degree of overkill in the screening process, particularly since we already face a backlog in international applications of people seeking to immigrate to Canada.

Other Western jurisdictions that are net-immigrant-receiving countries probably operate on a similar risk-managed basis in terms of the screening. Certainly, from my discussions with international colleagues, I would say that Canada is doing it as well as any country in the Western world.

Senator Campbell: It was interesting that Mr. Hooper discussed the aspect of homegrown terrorism versus imported and then, shortly thereafter, 17 people were arrested and charged. Do you share this concern? Are you satisfied that CSIS and the other components of the security community are fully prepared to prevent and respond to the terrorist threat?

Mr. Judd: We are probably better known by our failures than by our successes. That is true of any intelligence service. With respect to the phenomenon of homegrown threats, I would say it is a rather globalized phenomenon these days. We have seen examples of it in a number of Western European jurisdictions, most recently in the London transit bombings in July 2005. We have seen it in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, et cetera. It is inherently more difficult to deal with because, historically, intelligence and security and police agencies tended to focus their efforts in the terrorism domain on individuals who were relatively recent arrivals to a country and who had a particular pedigree if you will — a known organizational link with a terrorist entity or a known experience in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia or other middle Eastern conflict zone. For example, there was the Algerian insurrection in the 1990s.

In a sense, those individuals were more readily identifiable because they had known antecedents after the time of entry. The phenomenon of the homegrown threat is more difficult to deal with because, in many cases, they are people likely to be citizens of our own country, perhaps born here or arrived in Canada at a very young age. These people were essentially raised in Canada. As we have seen in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands, for example, it is intellectually more difficult to identify such individuals ab initio.

Senator Campbell: I know this is one of those questions I always hated but can you ever be fully prepared? You can do the best you can, but do you ever get a sense that we are ready, or is it a continual growing process and a continual process of investigation and determination?

Mr. Judd: It is a continuing process. If you asked anyone involved in my line of work in the Western world what they worry about, they would probably say they worry about what they know and more about what they do not know.

In the case of the phenomenon of so-called homegrown terrorism, there has been much analytical work done in a number of jurisdictions, from Australia to the United States to the United Kingdom. A number of continental European countries have done a lot of work on it as well. There has been a lot of academic work done in some places, particularly in France.

My sense is, despite all the work that has been done, no one has come up with a single paradigm that provides for a definitive 100 per cent certain assessment tool. The motivations and the factors at play are diverse. While there may be similarities among individuals involved in this phenomenon, there is no single pattern that has yet been commonly agreed upon or identified.

The Chairman: I have a supplementary question.

In light of the fact you do not have a paradigm, what message do you give Canadians about the sort of assistance you would like in addressing this problem? Do you have anything you would like to say to Canadians about how they can help with this concern?

Mr. Judd: I would relay the same message that any police service would give to a community. Canadian citizens have civic obligations and responsibilities to ensure that the law is obeyed and the work of police or organizations such as ours is facilitated. They should be diligent in discharging that civic responsibility.

If you talk to people in the legal profession or policing business, they would say that no matter how well your courts or police function or how brilliant your laws are, if you do not have support from the community being policed, it is incredibly more difficult to do effective policing and upholding of the law.

The Chairman: In this case we are not talking about upholding the law, are we? We are talking about things that might happen a long time before the law is broken.

Mr. Judd: Yes.

The Chairman: What is your outreach? How do you address this issue? Is there a phone number that people should call? How does a citizen participate in assisting you with your mission?

Mr. Judd: We have done a lot of outreach activity across the country over the last while, including with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency, principally to give communities a better understanding of who we are, what we do, how we do it, what we do not do and so on.

The message we conveyed in those discussions was very much around questions of civic responsibility and the need for communities to be actively vigilant about misbehaviour, whether criminal or otherwise.

The RCMP has a tip line and we will be looking at sharing that tip line with them. We are also doing more in the way of public document distribution throughout the country as well as public speaking about who we are and what we do in order to demystify ourselves. In some instances, we try to allay fears that we are unfairly profiling or targeting particular communities, for example.

It is a rather broadly based effort. Whether we are doing enough and doing the right things are questions we are constantly looking at, as our colleagues in the RCMP are doing as well.

Senator Campbell: Both the commissioner and the deputy spoke to us about problems they have with regard to the collection, sharing and use of information between the two agencies. This is because there are different levels of threshold. CSIS requires reasonable ground to suspect and the RCMP requires reasonable ground to believe.

This is a two-part question. First, is there a solution to that issue? Is there a point where you can come together on that? Second, has the lack of this solution impacted negatively on security for the country?

Mr. Judd: I am afraid to say it is a more complicated situation than that. It is a situation that applies in most Western jurisdictions, and much of it relates to the issue of disclosure of intelligence information in the criminal prosecution and whether the intelligence information meets evidentiary standards of a court for criminal prosecution.

We have a good working relationship with the RCMP and municipal and provincial police forces, and we do work closely together with them. Generally speaking, we are in a world where some changes may be required with regard to how we do our work in terms of recordkeeping that would meet a criminal standard.

Since March or April of this year, we have been engaged in a trilateral discussion with the RCMP and the Department of Justice around disclosure issues. The Department of Justice has a group of lawyers working on how best to address this from a legal perspective and what it would mean for us and the RCMP in operational terms.

My guess is that if the lawyers come up with a legal response that fits the bill, there will be some consequential changes to how we do business currently so as to be able to meet evidentiary standards.

This is an issue that comes up certainly in my discussions with heads of foreign agencies as well. Some have more experience than we do. For example, the British Security Service, MI5, has been more routinely involved in criminal proceedings for, I think, the last 15 years. It has provoked a significant change in how they do business in order to accommodate the legal standards for criminal prosecutions.

The Chairman: Last year, you got an increase of around $15 million in your budget. Adjusted for inflation, that is about a 10 per cent increase or $10 per capita.

Mr. Judd: Your math is probably better than mine. I will take your word.

The Chairman: Our sense is that your funding is somewhat less than robust. Take us back a decade and tell the committee what happened to your funding and staff during the 1990s. Tell us where you are relative to that now.

Mr. Judd: That is perhaps easiest to do in terms of how many bodies we have. At the beginning of the 1990s, we had over 2,700 staff. In the mid-1990s, as part of the overall deficit-elimination program of the then-government, we had what was called program review. Significant reductions were made in government operations, including in my organization, to the extent that by, I believe, the year 2000 we had fallen to around 1,900 or 2,000 personnel.

Post-9/11, the federal budget of late 2001 — December, I believe it was — provided an infusion of funding to a number of agencies, including ours, that had some relationship to security and so on, as a consequence of which our personnel numbers are now up over 2,400 and projected to grow over the next several years as well.

All that said, my minister had asked some time ago that we undertake an assessment for him of our resource situation. We expect to have that completed by next month. There is one piece still outstanding in terms of an external assessment of our information technology requirements, and that would be the basis for discussions with the minister and others in government as to the way forward on the resource situation generally.

The Chairman: If I understand you correctly, five years after 9/11 you still have 300 fewer people than you had 10 years before 9/11?

Mr. Judd: Correct.

The Chairman: The people you are bringing into the agency do not have nearly the experience they would have had if you had not lost so many people in the 1990s.

Mr. Judd: It is partially that. Partially, it is by virtue of the fact that we are dealing with the demographic reality facing every public and private sector institution in the country, which is that the baby boomers are checking out. It is a preoccupation for us. The generational phenomenon is a preoccupation for our friends in the United States, Australia, Britain and some others, as well as the reductions of the 1990s. If you look at most Western institutions, after the end of the Cold War a number of defence and security establishments had their budgets reduced because it was the dawn of a new era, a new world order, as you may recall the phrase.

We are all now facing a significant challenge in bringing in many new people who, as you say, unfortunately, do not have the experience of the ones who are leaving but who, in many respects, are terrific people educationally and in terms of background and work experience, linguistic capability and so on.

If I were to take you to a class of our recruits, you would be quite happy with them, other than their youthfulness.

The Chairman: I will not take that personally. Do any of the countries you mentioned spend as little as $10 per capita on their intelligence apparatus?

Mr. Judd: Most other intelligence apparatuses do not tell people how much they spend.

The Chairman: Do you know?

Mr. Judd: Inadvertently, though, senior American officials in the intelligence community in the course of this year allowed as to how the United States spends something in the order of $44.5 billion annually on intelligence and employs in excess of 100,000 people in the business. That, of course, is spread over 16 or 17 agencies now.

I do not think our British colleagues publish a global number, so it is impossible to distinguish between what is spent on GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), MI5 or MI6. We could try to get that information for the committee.

The Chairman: We think it would be instructive.

How long is the lag time that it takes an analyst or someone working for CSIS to become effective? At what point do you normally find that someone is able to function on their own and when do you consider you have a mature and competent individual working for you? That is without taking anything away from the talent that you think is bright to start with.

Mr. Judd: It varies in terms of what we are expecting them to do. I could differentiate between three different kinds of jobs: an intelligence investigator who is out in a Canadian city somewhere working with the population at large, tracing leads, checking things and so on; someone in more of an analytical job; and someone who is shipped overseas for that kind of work. On average, my guess would be a minimum of five years. Some would say seven to 10, depending on the kind of job and the individual's temperament. It would be in those ranges.

The Chairman: When you are talking about the resources and the number of people you have, our understanding is that there are — plus or minus 10 — around 50 organizations of concern to CSIS in Canada and perhaps 350 individuals — plus or minus whatever per cent — but that is sort of the range.

How many people working for you does it take to keep track of an individual or an organization? Start with perhaps the most difficult, where you are trying to keep someone under surveillance for a period of time without them knowing it, and then move to the other end of the spectrum, generally staying current with what is going on in an organization.

Give us some sense of the number of people it takes to keep track of a person of interest, a potential problem.

Mr. Judd: Without getting into the details of how we conduct business, I would say that you could probably divide that into three or four parts. Physical surveillance, which is to say surreptitiously monitoring someone's physical movements, is extraordinarily resource intensive if you want to avoid having your surveillance identified. One individual in a major urban setting at any given time could require up to 20 people.

The Chairman: That is over an eight-hour period so would you multiply that by three for each shift?

Mr. Judd: We always hope that the people we are following are sleeping.

The Chairman: Those are referred to as "sleeper agents''?

Mr. Judd: You modulate it over the course of a 24-hour period.

Second, there are a variety of technological means of monitoring an individual. That, in turn, requires someone to effect the technology installation plus monitoring what comes out of it.

The third mechanism would be our reliance on what we call "human sources'' across the country — that is, people who monitor and are actively aware of the movements of some of the individuals we target.

The Chairman: You gave us a number for the first category but you did not give us a number for the second, which was technological monitoring and analyzing what you pick up from that, or the third. Can you give us some sense of the number of people needed to do those different tasks?

Mr. Judd: One off-installation would require as many as a dozen individuals. Depending on how many hours per day monitoring was done, that would probably require several individuals. On the human source side, we often have multiple human sources dealing with a particular group or target, so it fluctuates depending on how we judge the risk and degree to which we are successful in getting effective human sources on the target. It would be hard to give a precise number on that category.

The Chairman: If you have 2,400 employees, presumably a significant portion of them handle payroll, personnel and what I would call support administration. Assuming there are 50 organizations and 350 individuals of interest to CSIS, you do not have a lot of people to be focusing on the bad guys.

Mr. Judd: Again, it is a risk-management issue. We constantly assess and reassess our targets and adjust the resource levels that are thrown against them.

We are as good as anyone in the world on the technological side, although we do have challenges because of the pace of change in technology, particularly with Internet service providers and other communications means.

The Chairman: Are you including the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in this?

Mr. Judd: No. As you know, CSE does not do anything inside Canada so we are, in effect, the domestic signals intelligence agency.

It is constant triage, assessment, reassessment and change in the level of coverage that you undertake. In some cases, we may take an interest in an individual or group, conduct an investigation and then cast them off to the side because we find they do not really pose a threat. We discontinue investigations on individuals. Every month or two an assessment is made that someone is benign and does not merit further investigation. We drop them and move on to other things. It is constant juggling.

Senator Banks: To pursue the question the chair just asked about CSE, they do not do intelligence-gathering inside the country but both of you do outside Canada. Is your technological expertise and equipment of approximately the same standard as that of CSE? I know it is not the same "stuff.'' However, you have to do intelligence-gathering outside the country, too. Do you rely entirely on them or do you have your own discreet system? Are you roughly comparable in terms of capacity with CSE?

Mr. Judd: We collect intelligence overseas that is related to our core national security mandate. We do not collect intelligence overseas on the comings and goings of foreign governments or foreign intelligence in that sense.

We and CSE are in somewhat different businesses. Our organization is principally a human intelligence agency with a signals intelligence component that we use to supplement our human intelligence activity. CSE is a signals intelligence agency. They probably have technological and technical capacities that we do not have and really do not need because we are not engaged in the same activity that they are.

They are part of the broader security and intelligence community, and there is some exchange of personnel between the two organizations that helps keep us current about technologies that might be of interest to us in our work.

Senator Banks: When you need "stuff'' from them, do you get it without any problem?

Mr. Judd: I do not think we have had any problems with the organization.

Senator Banks: In our meetings with governments of other jurisdictions, it has been pointed out that historically Canada had a seat at the table when it came to the trading of security intelligence matters internationally which, particularly during the Cold War, was based not so much on Canada's capacity to gather intelligence — because that has always been limited — but rather on our particular expertise in the processing of intelligence. Intelligence needs to be processed in order to be made useful.

We were told at one point we had lost some of that capacity. Have we regained it, and do we have a good seat at the table now with regard to the exchange of security intelligence information internationally, or are we regarded as freeloaders?

Mr. Judd: As you say, historically we have been judged to have been on the short side in the collection of foreign intelligence and, therefore, seen as somewhat deficient in our capacity to share with our foreign partners. I think that today we are still a net importer of intelligence but I do not have the impression that we have lost a seat at the table, although the environment in which we function now is completely different than it was 20 years ago. These things continue to move. We have very good relationships with principal Western partners and a number of partners elsewhere in the world, but the bottom line is we are a net importer still.

Senator Banks: At one time there was not a committee such as this in the Senate; some of us are charter members of it. One of our first comments to one of your predecessors — actually it was a criticism I suppose — based on our knowledge, was that CSIS had limited knowledge with respect to operations and the gathering and collection of intelligence information outside Canada. I gather that has changed somewhat in that there are now more CSIS officers operating overseas, presumably in specifically targeted areas. In other words, we have not tried to spread the butter so thin on the toast that we have tried to cover the whole world but we identify things that are of particular interest to Canada.

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Banks: Without getting into any numbers or areas, to what extent has that proportion changed? Are you satisfied at the moment with that proportion of operations that you are able to stand up outside the country?

Mr. Judd: I do not have precise numbers but it is certainly my sense that the degree to which the organization is operating outside the country has been on the increase over the last five years.

We have more people now deployed on a full-time basis overseas than we ever have in the past. We also have more people operating from offices in Canada but assigned overseas on a part-time basis in pursuit of a particular case or investigation. It is not unusual for any of our given offices across the country to have someone in a foreign country for the purposes of pursuing an investigation related to a case here in Canada. However, I cannot give you a precise number. Certainly the sense is that we are growing.

In terms of where we are on a full-time basis, again, we are doing a reassessment of that this summer in order to try and determine whether we are actually in the right places or whether we can get out of some places and move to some other places that might be of higher interest to us. I expect we will probably change our profile over the course of the next year in terms of our overseas presence as a consequence of this review.

Senator Banks: We would never want you to tell us exact numbers or exact locations; that would not be a good idea.

We have noticed that you have been advertising in newspapers across the country for people in operational and support and clerical positions.

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Banks: "Recruiting'' would be the way to put it. Are you meeting with some success? You partly answered that question earlier. You have a quotient. Are you meeting it?

Mr. Judd: We are being too successful. In the ordinary course of a year we would get thousands of applications on our website or in our offices. When we did the public advertising this spring the number jumped by approximately 3,000. I say that is a problem because it creates an issue in processing because, unfortunately, it takes a long time to get someone from the street into the organization because of the screening and security vetting processes that take place.

Senator Campbell: You do not want any good ones to go by so you have to do them all.

Mr. Judd: Yes. In that sense, it is a nice problem to have but it does create a bit of a bottleneck issue for us.

Senator Banks: Is it going okay, though?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Banks: Do you have specific requirements in the agency as to language skills? There are certain circumstances, surely, in which if you want to send someone to Italy you need someone who can speak colloquial Italian. Are you having success in that respect? Also, do you find that your agency, in terms of its overall complement, is becoming more reflective of the Canadian population demographically?

Mr. Judd: We currently have a linguistic capacity in the service that covers 85 or 90 foreign languages. It is a requirement for the service, as an intelligence officer, that one be bilingual before embarking on the job. On average, I think somewhere between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of our intelligence officer recruits over the last number of years have had a third or fourth or fifth language as well.

We do language training ourselves for languages other than English or French for foreign assignments. On demography as a whole, we are about 60 per cent anglophone, 40 per cent francophone. We are about 51 per cent male, 49 per cent female. In terms of employment of visible minorities, I believe we are around 11 per cent now, which puts us above the federal public service average.

Senator Banks: When you say it is a requirement that inductees into the organization be bilingual, do you mean French and English?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Banks: Would a francophone who also speaks Farsi be welcomed as well?

Mr. Judd: Yes. We provide the language training in official languages. If we see someone of interest to us who is, say a francophone and Farsi speaker but has no English, we would teach that individual English, or vice versa.

The Chairman: There has been a huge focus on terrorism since 9/11. It must have come at the expense of something. What has happened to the threat from espionage? How are you addressing that? Have you fewer concerns about that? Is that part of your job just seeing fewer resources?

Mr. Judd: The concerns are still there but they are fundamentally different from 20 years ago in the period of the Cold War. We do retain an interest and active operations in counter-espionage because there are, at any given time, a number of foreign governments who try to conduct espionage operations in Canada or, alternatively, interfere in the affairs of émigré communities in the country. We take exception to those kinds of things and try to actively monitor those activities and, where necessary, intervene to stop them.

Senator Atkins: Why do you want to demystify CSIS?

Mr. Judd: It is a common phenomenon among most Western agencies such as ours. It is partly because there is a view among agencies like ours that we are wrongly accused of conduct or activities that are detrimental to the interest of individuals or communities — issues around targeting, profiling and so on.

It is also reflective of the fact that intelligence agencies, for good or bad reasons, have been more publicly prominent over the past five or six years, in part because of so-called intelligence failures. You have seen in the United States, for example, a full-bore congressional inquiry into the intelligence business, followed by the 9/11 Commission, followed by the Rob Silverman Commission. Those sorts of things create an environment for better public understanding of what is going on.

You have seen the same thing happen in the U.K. as a consequence initially with the Butler Report — because of the decision by the British government to go into Iraq — and most recently by the parliamentary committee that investigated the July transit bombings last year. You have seen the same thing happen in Australia and some other Western jurisdictions.

In Canada, together with the RCMP and other federal agencies, we have been heavily involved in the O'Connor commission on Mr. Arar's circumstances. With Bob Rae's review of Air India last year and the inquiry that Mr. Justice Major is about to launch on Air India, willingly or not we are being dragged more into the public light. Both to address misconceptions that exist about what we do, who we are and so on, and also by virtue of having to appear before commissions of inquiry or parliamentary committees, we have been probably more front and centre with this committee or committees on the House side because of the anti-terrorism legislation review. There are a variety of reasons.

Senator Atkins: Can you win that?

Mr. Judd: I am an inordinately optimistic person so hope springs eternal for me, but it is a long haul.

Senator Banks: Some of us were part of an all-party committee of both Houses of Parliament that was examining parliamentary oversight in terms of security intelligence matters. Canada does not have any, in a sense. Even if this committee were to ask you certain questions — and most of us know not to do that — you would be obliged often to respond that you cannot answer that question here in these circumstances because we do not have the necessary clearance.

But the government is about to bring forward a version, at least of the previous government's plan to bring about security — the scrutiny by parliamentarians beyond ministerial scrutiny and oversight of security intelligence systems. Would that make you uncomfortable, in light of the fact that the U.K. has it, Australia has it and the United States has it in a degree that we have not even suggested here? Are you concerned about that at all?

Mr. Judd: I have no difficulty personally with the idea of a parliamentary committee in this domain. I have had the opportunity since I have been in this job to meet with the former chairwoman of the British committee and, more recently, with the chairs of the Senate and House committees in the U.S. Congress. I have also had an opportunity to talk to my colleagues in the United States and in the United Kingdom about their experience with committees.

My own view is that having a parliamentary committee engaged in this would be useful in terms of giving parliamentarians a better understanding of who does what, how, why and so on in this business. The only caveat I would add is that CSIS is currently probably the most reviewed entity in the federal government.

We are subject to review by all the agents of Parliament currently, from the Auditor General to the Information Commissioner. We are subject to review by the Treasury Board Secretariat in terms of how we spend money. We have two review agencies established in our own legislation — the Inspector General and the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

My hope would be that, were there to be a parliamentary committee, there would have to be some consequential recognition of a need to rationalize all of the various review mechanisms that we currently have in CSIS. The problem is a bit exacerbated for us at the moment because of Mr. O'Connor's and Mr. Major's inquiries, which imposed even further burdens on us. However, that is a more temporal circumstance.

The Chairman: The parliamentary review that Senator Banks is referring to looked at very different models. The U.K. and Australian models, to put it bluntly, are toothless. The House and Senate select committees in Congress have considerable resources and ability to derive a great deal of information. Are you comfortable with either model?

Mr. Judd: Based on my experience dealing with the U.S. Congress, it generally has much greater resources than any parliamentary system I have ever seen, be it ours or the British or the Australian. At last count, I think there were 25,000 staff working on Capitol Hill for committees, individual legislators and the various congressional bodies, which puts it in a completely different world than we are used to in Canada. I do not have an adequate sense of the functioning of the congressional committees versus the British committee to be able to give you an intelligent answer as to which I would prefer. Certainly, the British committee has been portrayed to me, both by its former chairwoman and others in the British system, as being a fairly effective body. Whether parliamentarians here share that view is open for debate.

The Chairman: It is staffed and is an adjunct of the Prime Minister's Office over there. The proposed legislation here was to have the staff for the Canadian committee staffed out of the Privy Council Office (PCO). That struck us as being a little unusual inasmuch as some of the folks in PCO would be the people of most interest to this committee — no need to comment.

Mr. Judd: I understand your conundrum.

Senator Atkins: When we met with the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we found out that he reported to the President every morning. Do you have a morning report or a system in which you report to the Prime Minister on a regularly scheduled basis?

Mr. Judd: We have a daily reporting regime that is shared with a number of decision makers in government at the political and bureaucratic levels, and face-to-face meetings and briefings are done on an as-needs basis.

The Chairman: Our clear impression — and I am speaking from our experience on the special committee to which Senator Banks referred — is that the system here is very much "push up.'' In other words, organizations like yours find themselves pushing information up as opposed to being in a pull situation where leaders are asking for information from you. There is inherently less interest in these sorts of issues in this country than there might be, and requests on you from prime ministers generally speaking — and I am going back over any number of prime ministers — tend to be certainly not on a daily or even weekly basis but could best be described as on an occasional basis. Do we have the right impression?

Mr. Judd: That is an impolite question, senator.

I have only been in this job for 18 months and have served under two prime ministers. My experience has been that the system provides a constant stream of material to them. Certainly to the extent that they generate an interest in an issue, that is satisfied as immediately as possible through personal briefings.

The upside of this is that it is probably a happy comment on our circumstance in Canada that political leaders do not have to be preoccupied with these issues on a daily basis.

The Chairman: That leads right to this question: Now that the 17 have been arrested in Toronto, can we all rest easy? Are things in good shape or are there concerns out there that, if they are not causing other people to lose sleep, are they causing you to lose sleep?

Mr. Judd: If they were, my BlackBerry would have gone off several times during the course of this hearing and so far it has not. I take that as a positive sign at the moment.

The Chairman: So for today things are okay?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

The Chairman: How about in a general sense? I participated in a hotline show a couple of weeks ago and, of 15 questioners, 14 said we did not have anything to be concerned about in terms of terrorist activity in Canada. The fifteenth said if we did have concerns, the Americans would take care of them for us. What do you feel about that? Do you sense that there is an "all is well'' view in the population, generally speaking, and that Canadians do not have a good understanding of the sorts of threats and risks that exist? Or do you have the impression that Canadians understand well what dangers may be facing them?

Mr. Judd: As a general proposition, I am not sure that the average Canadian understands many of these issues. Obviously, public concern has risen as a consequence of what happened in Toronto earlier this month. Comparatively speaking, we are in better circumstances than many other jurisdictions in terms of our national security circumstances. I suspect most Canadians are of a view that they pay us, the RCMP, law enforcement agencies and other agencies and services to ensure that things are maintained in a secure fashion in the country.

Assessing relative risk is always difficult. As you know, it can fluctuate from time to time but I am sleeping as well as ever of late.

The Chairman: Should Canadians be concerned or should they go to bed each night saying that things are okay?

Mr. Judd: I think Canadians should be conversant with these issues in the broader environment. I do not know that I would recommend Canadians go to bed and toss and turn all night worrying about these things.

The Chairman: Should they say a short prayer, perhaps?

Mr. Judd: Praying is generally seen as a useful daily thing.

Senator Atkins: I will follow up on that comment by asking you about industrial espionage. Is there an increase in concern with regard to the issue? Are we on top of it?

Mr. Judd: Are you referring to industrial espionage by foreigners?

Senator Atkins: Yes.

Mr. Judd: It is a concern here as it is, I think, in most advanced industrialized economies. Periodically, there are instances of individuals being apprehended with intellectual property that they should not otherwise have in their possession. It remains a concern here in Canada as well. We work with the private sector to try to apprise them of some of the risks they face on that sort of thing. We do have the odd investigation related to that kind of activity as well.

Senator Atkins: It is certainly out there, is it not?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Atkins: We heard this morning from CBSA about border security. How much of a concern do you have about the influx of weapons, drugs and those sorts of things that are coming through, based on the information we heard this morning? With regard to the proliferation of weapons, for instance, is that really increasing? Are the Americans right when they say that we are a zoo?

Mr. Judd: I do not know enough about that issue to give you a sensible answer. I missed Mr. Jolicoeur's testimony. I know there has been a longstanding issue in this country as to the origins of firearms in Canada, particularly weapons other than the usual automatic weapons, et cetera.

As to our success in dealing with their capture or identification at the border, I have no information at all on that.

Senator Atkins: This is not an area that you really concentrate on.

Mr. Judd: In some cases, we take an active interest but it tends to be focussed on specific individuals, if you will, in a particular investigation. Yes, there have been instances of our having concerns about that.

Senator Atkins: We found in our travels in the U.S. that there was a lot of disconnect between the different agencies. Are you satisfied that we have dealt with this in Canada and that all the different agencies which are responsible for the security and safety of the country are working together the way you would like them to work?

Mr. Judd: By and large, I think we are doing a pretty good job in Canada. My impression is that we are doing better than some other jurisdictions in the Western world on that front. I do not know whether we have achieved an ideal state, but we have certainly spent a lot of time in our organization trying to improve our operational working relationship with the RCMP and other police services, with the Canada Border Services Agency, Foreign Affairs Canada, the Canadian Forces, the Department of National Defence and so on. We have a good relationship with the people in those organizations, by and large, better than some other countries I have seen.

Senator Moore: Of the 2400 personnel at the establishment, what percentage would be involved in administration?

Mr. Judd: It is probably less than 10 per cent.

Senator Moore: Does the overseas complement include the United States?

Mr. Judd: Do you mean how many people?

Senator Moore: Yes, percentage-wise.

Mr. Judd: It is about 2.5 per cent.

Senator Moore: Does that include the United States?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Moore: Senator Campbell was asking about immigrants and screening. You mentioned that you were asked to check about 10 per cent of the total annual intake. What is involved with such a screening and who would ask you? Depending on what you find as a result of your investigation, who has the final decision as to whether the person should be recommended or should be denied? Is it just CBSA or Foreign Affairs Canada or Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that would ask you to do it? Does any other department or agency within government ask CSIS to do an investigation of an immigrant applicant?

Mr. Judd: No, it would be Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CBSA. We would do the screening which is, as I say, about 10 per cent annually.

The length of time and the degree of complexity of the screening process would vary by individuals, country and circumstances.

I will double-check the figures and communicate back to the chair formally, but I think we probably do several hundred negative briefs annually out of those numbers. The decision is ultimately not ours. It is the decision of the immigration minister.

Senator Moore: Is Citizenship and Immigration Canada the lead department in these situations?

Mr. Judd: Yes.

Senator Moore: What is involved when you do a screening of an immigrant applicant?

Mr. Judd: We would try to conduct background trace checks on the individual through local law enforcement or security agencies.

Senator Moore: Would that be of the country of origin?

Mr. Judd: Yes, it would. If we got particularly excited about someone, we might check the individual out with other agencies outside that country to see whether there was a history there, particularly if you are dealing with someone who is rather migratory in his or her life.

Senator Moore: I would like to confirm that it is Citizenship and Immigration Canada in the final analysis. That department will take whatever evidence your people provide but it is their call. CIC does not necessarily have to take your recommendation and follow it?

Mr. Judd: That is correct.

The Chairman: Yes. When you provide a negative report, are you advised in each case if your recommendation is not accepted?

Mr. Judd: That is a good question. I do not have the answer. I will get it for you.

The Chairman: It would seem to us that if your recommendation is not accepted, you suddenly have another person of interest in the country.

Mr. Judd: I want to be absolutely sure about my answer, so I will check with my folks and communicate back to you later today.

Senator Banks: My question is about persons of interest. Refugee claimants in this country are often released into the population before a determination is made about the success of their application, unlike other countries who detain them until a decision is made. Is it the responsibility of your agency or CBSA to try to keep tabs on those claimants for refugee status? I am assuming that, in some cases, if there has been some kind of flagging, it might be yours. Are you involved in that?

Mr. Judd: The broader responsibility would be that of CBSA. Again, depending on the circumstances of an individual case, we might take an active interest in the individual as well and supplement whatever CBSA was doing in the monitoring of the individual.

Senator Banks: We would have to ask CBSA, but I think it has limited resources in terms of following those folks and keeping track of them. Would it be the case that CBSA would notify you if it had lost track of someone of particular interest who had fallen through the system? Would CBSA tell CSIS that that person of interest is somewhere in Canada? Would you assist them in tracking down that person?

Mr. Judd: I believe that is the case, yes.

The Chairman: Recently there were reports that officials working for you had been in contact with the families of some of the people arrested in Toronto earlier this month. An effort was made to persuade them to assist you or cooperate with CSIS. How is the trade-off done between seeking out that sort of support and assistance and tipping off individuals who may be problematic? How does the organization make judgments of that nature?

Mr. Judd: It is done pretty much on a case-by-case basis. If someone could be convinced to put his or her energies into some other endeavour — be it academic, professional, sports or anything other than being a risk to national security — we would be happy if those individuals chose that route. However, the assessment, monitoring and investigation done by our folks are on a case-by-case basis.

Often, people will be interviewed by our personnel in an investigation directly and will have some awareness that they were of interest to us to begin with.

The Chairman: If they clearly have an interest, is it then a question of persuasion as opposed to disrupting or blocking?

Mr. Judd: Where our staff makes a judgment that some individual might be deterred from proceeding further down the path and redirecting his or her energies into something more productive, they would be prepared to take a shot at that, including getting the family involved as a kind of pressure mechanism on the individual to change their ways.

Senator Moore: If there were 200 or so negative reports in a year, how many actual investigations would you do?

Mr. Judd: Let us say ballpark that there are 250,000 people coming into the country then we would do 10 per cent, which would be 25,000. It would be less than 1 per cent.

The Chairman: How many field investigations would you do for people being hired for sensitive jobs within the government?

Mr. Judd: In total — and I am going on memory now — for the last fiscal year we were approaching half a million clearances — immigration, refugee and employment in the federal government where a security clearance is required. We also do clearances for those kinds of individuals in the province of Alberta, the province of New Brunswick, the nuclear industry and some other so-called "sensitive'' sectors, for example, truckers who have fast access over the border.

Senator Moore: The provincial government would contact your agency and ask you to provide that service for them for security-sensitive positions?

Mr. Judd: That is correct. Two of them do that now.

The Chairman: When I refer to a "full field'' investigation, what sort of resources does that involve?

Mr. Judd: All of our offices in Canada have full-time screening investigators who do nothing but screening. Some of the work tends to be cyclical. We do screening for the military. If the military is moving into a major overseas operation and all of a sudden we have 5,000 to get done, we will bring people back on contract if need be to help expedite the clearance process. Our population of screeners varies over the course of a year in response to the screening level at that time of the year.

The Chairman: What is the lag time between request and product?

Mr. Judd: It varies. I can get more precise data and communicate that back to you. It depends on the category of screening but we have standards to meet in terms of how fast we do the turnarounds. I think we have data on that which we can provide to you.

The Chairman: You are talking about 500,000 screenings and you have a staff of 2,400.

Mr. Judd: We also have contractors, when required. We might add another 200 over the course of a year as part- time contract staff.

The Chairman: Shifting the questioning briefly, where is the line or what are the bounds when you are involved in a blocking or disruption solution with individuals who are problematic? Where do you find yourself getting close to the edges of what the law permits?

Mr. Judd: I think we do operate within the law on everything that we do. We have at least two agencies as part of our legislation that spend most of their time reassuring Canadians that we do operate within the law, in addition to our own justice department legal team in CSIS which helps us deal with legal issues, warrants and so on.

The determination on that kind of intervention, in terms of trying to deter someone going further down the path, would depend in part on how far we thought they were along; in part on how interconnected they were; and in part on what our overall sense of comfort was about understanding their connections, domestically or internationally. A package of factors would go into that.

Senator Banks: You said that, among the security checks you do, you include members of the Armed Forces who are going overseas. What are the circumstances in which that would happen?

Mr. Judd: We respond to the military. The military have certain standards that they deem necessary for their personnel who are in operational environments.

Senator Banks: For example, would personnel going to Afghanistan be subject to a security check before they leave the country?

Mr. Judd: Probably, but we are just responders to the Canadian Forces.

The Chairman: Your predecessor, Ward Alcock, said that it was not a question of if Canada will be faced with a terrorist attack but a question of when. Do you subscribe to that? Do you believe that statement is still accurate?

Mr. Judd: If you look at what has been happening in the world over the past five or six years, the level of terrorist activity globally is on a constant increase. We have seen in a number of Western jurisdictions now, starting with the United States and 9/11, Madrid, Spain, London, the Netherlands and other Western European countries, plots and conspiracies that were actually realized, and in a number of jurisdictions plots and conspiracies that were apprehended before they could be realized. I do not know that some of the underlying causes that are promoting terrorism in the world today will be disappearing in the near term. I would like to be more optimistic than my predecessor and say that it is certainly possible, but if it all works out the way we hope it works out, we would be successful in averting any such kind of incident in this country.

However, as you know, over the course of the last 25 years, we have had some tragic circumstances in this country starting with the Air India bombing and activities by Armenian terrorists directed at Turkish diplomats and diplomatic missions here, and so on. We are by no stretch of the imagination immune or isolated from the world around us. It is still a possibility. We are still one of the six countries listed by al Qaeda as a preferred target and we are in the interesting situation of living next to the number one target of terrorists in the world today.

The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Judd, on behalf of the committee. We appreciate your appearing before us today and look forward to receiving the additional information you have undertaken to provide. Today has been very instructive for the committee. We are grateful to you for your assistance.

The committee continued in camera.

The committee resumed in public.

Our next witnesses are from the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. Mr. William J.S. Elliott, Associate Deputy Minister, is relatively new to his position, having taken on his role in May of 2006. Previous to that, he served as National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister in the Privy Council Office. Mr. Elliott's last appearance before the committee was in December 2002, in his capacity as Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security Group, Transport Canada. The focus of our discussions at that time was airport security. We welcome him back before the committee today and look forward to his testimony.

Accompanying Mr. Elliott from the Policing, Law Enforcement and Interoperability Branch are Diane MacLaren, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Patricia Hassard, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister.

Mr. Elliott, please proceed with your opening statement.


William J.S. Elliott, Q.C., associate deputy minister, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada: Mr. Chairman, Senators, I am pleased to appear before you today.


I only recently joined the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada as Associate Deputy Minister. However, during my time at the Privy Council Office, I had ongoing dealings with some parts of the department and of the public safety portfolio, so, therefore, I might be in a better informed position than my six weeks on the job might otherwise suggest.

My colleagues, Patricia Hassard and Diane MacLaren, and I will do our best to provide you with information that we hope will contribute to the committee's important work.

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, or PSEPC, together with the agencies that make up the public safety portfolio, has a total annual operating budget of about $6 billion and employs more than 55,000 people across Canada. The portfolio includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Services Canada and the National Parole Board. Each of these organizations has a specific mandate. I understand that the committee has already heard today from my colleagues Alain Jolicoeur and Jim Judd at CBSA.

PSEPC's mandate is to provide leadership and coordination within this complex public safety portfolio and to work with the provinces and territories, with foreign governments and international organizations and with key stakeholders in the private sector to advance public safety for the benefit of all Canadians. In today's threat environment, it is critical that security organizations share information and work in a coordinated and integrated manner. The job of the department is to help facilitate that mandate by building and implementing national policies for emergency management and national security and by working with our allies including — and very important — the United States. We must carry out our important responsibilities in a way that fully reflects and supports key Canadian values of democracy, human rights, respect for the rule of law and pluralism.

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada is not a first responder. That responsibility lies with law enforcement agencies and other emergency response workers, the majority of whom are not federal public servants. It is essential that we work together to prepare to respond to threats and emergencies, whether they originate from terrorists, natural disasters or pandemics. A prime example of our efforts in support of first responders across Canada is our chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training courses that are offered at the Canadian Emergency Management College in Ottawa. The college is operated by our department.

I would like to touch on a number of recent developments, including some recent machinery of government changes, that impact the public safety portfolio.


First, on June 1, 2006, the Privy Council Office made Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada responsible for the working group dealing with border services.

Then, last month, government announced that the Canada Firearms Center would now come under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


The government made a number of commitments relating to public safety in the Speech from the Throne in April of 2006. Helping to protect Canadians and to build safer communities has been identified as one of five main priorities of the new government. Budget 2006 provided for significant additional resources to fight crime, improve border security and strengthen Canada's emergency management capacity. These investments include $161 million over two years for the RCMP to begin recruiting more officers and for federal prosecutors to focus on such law enforcement priorities as drugs, corruption and border security. Federal agencies that combat money laundering and terrorist financing will receive $64 million.

As senators have no doubt heard from the Canada Border Services Agency, the government will invest $101 million over the next two years to begin arming border officers and to eliminate work-alone posts; $303 million over two years for low-risk trade and travellers within North America while helping to protect Canadians from security threats; and $19 million per year to PSEPC to enhance our capacity to deal with catastrophes and emergencies. These and other investments will enable the department and portfolio agencies to build on some of the gains that have been achieved on the national security and emergency management fronts. We are continuing to address the issues of concern to this committee and to Canadians.

PSEPC has responsibility within the federal government for exercising national leadership and emergency management. The department is doing this, in part, by supporting the work of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for emergency management. Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada led the establishment of a forum that brought ministers together for the first time in more than ten years in January of 2005. At that time, ministers established an eight-point action plan. Deputy ministers responsible for emergency management met in Ottawa about three weeks ago to receive a status report and to discuss the next steps in implementing that plan. Ministers are scheduled to meet again in September of 2006 to continue this work.


Your committee has probably followed the efforts made to reform the legislative framework relating to the management of emergencies in Canada.


Bill C-12, the proposed emergency management act, received first reading in the House of Commons on May 8. Its aim is to provide the Government of Canada with a strong legislative platform to meet the challenges of emergency management in the 21st century. The proposed legislation reflects the elements of modern emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and critical infrastructure protection. A key goal of the bill is to strengthen coordination for emergencies. For example, the bill recognizes the minister's leadership role in improving the coordination of response plans between PSEPC and our federal partners, the provinces and territories and the private sector. The bill would promote standards and information sharing and would protect sensitive information provided in confidence to the Government of Canada.

As I mentioned, PSEPC is not a first responder organization. Canada's emergency management framework places primary responsibility for emergency management and response with the provinces and territories which, in turn, place primary responsibility with municipalities. The federal government works with and through provincial and territorial governments to support local efforts during an emergency.

The Government Operations Centre, established in 2004, plays a key role. The centre is housed within our department and provides 24/7 coordination on behalf of the government to emerging or occurring events affecting the national interest. It facilitates the coordination of response and communications among federal departments and agencies, with provincial and territorial governments as well as with non-governmental organizations and with industry. To enhance federal, provincial and territorial emergency response cooperation, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has been leading the development of the national emergency response system.


This approach aimed at government as a whole facilitates communication, cooperation and coordination between all stakeholders in order to ensure a quicker and more harmonized federal and provincial reaction to emergencies, whatever they may be.


Initial work focused on developing the federal component of the system. We are now working with our provincial and territorial colleagues to develop the federal-provincial-territorial interface and coordination mechanisms to support common emergency response processes. Our goal is to ensure that the federal system is harmonized with, and complementary to, the existing provincial systems.

The Department of Public Safety also participates in the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre — or ITAC — housed within CSIS since 2004. Staffed by members of Canada's security intelligence and law enforcement communities, ITAC assesses risk, identifies potential threats and, if an event occurs, contributes to the government's response. It develops and shares threat assessments with key partners in the intelligence community and with other government departments and, through the Government Operations Centre, with provincial and territorial partners who, in turn, share the information with first responders such as police and fire departments.

The United Kingdom's response to the London bombings in July 2005 illustrates the importance of exercising and establishing an effective emergency management system. I am pleased to report that the Department of Public Safety's National Exercise Program will now include an additional rail and urban transit exercise series that will partner with key jurisdictions and stakeholders to carry out complex inter-jurisdictional exercises including tabletop, command post and full-scale live exercises. These exercises are essential in preparing officials at all levels of government as well as infrastructure owners and operators, first responders and law enforcement for their roles in emergencies. Delivery of these exercises will be supported by a budget 2006 commitment of $8 million.

In the meantime, two recent exercises, Exercise Maritime Response, or EXMR, in March and Ardent Sentry in May of this year, tested provincial and federal government response protocols, lines of communication and cooperation in responding to various terrorist scenarios, such as attacks using radiological dispersion devices, aircraft hijackings and threats to critical infrastructure. As well, Exercise March Forward, held in Alberta in March 2006, has advocated the development of protocols and cooperative arrangements for the development of heavy urban search and rescue teams to rescue victims from major structural collapse or other entrapments.


The Public Safety Department also plays a leadership and reinforcement role.


For example, we combat cross-border crime through Integrated Border Enforcement Teams — or IBETs — made up of RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and local police, working with American agencies and law enforcement personnel. We now have 23 IBETs working in 15 regional locations across the country.

With our U.S. counterparts, we have led the cross-border crime forum, which addresses the law enforcement and national security elements first expressed in the Smart Borders Declaration. The forum brings together senior officials from Canada and the U.S. to develop joint solutions to common cross-border crime issues, including organized crime, human smuggling, firearms trafficking, mass marketing fraud, cybercrime and terrorism. There is also good cooperation between the RCMP and the U.S. Coast Guard to secure inland border waterways.

The committee may be familiar with a pilot project called Shiprider, which took place in 2005. This pilot supported the work related to the Super Bowl held early this year in Detroit. These two events are good examples of truly integrated law enforcement operations between Canada and the U.S. We believe they can serve as a model for future cooperation.

Shifting focus somewhat, I know the committee is interested in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will implement new document requirements for travellers entering the United States from within North America and the Caribbean. The Government of Canada is working collaboratively with the U.S. to consider the feasibility of documents other than a passport or the USPASS card to meet identity and status requirements at the Canada-U.S. land border. Our aim is to ensure that new requirements are implemented in ways that address the security needs of both countries while facilitating the flow of legitimate travellers and goods across our shared border.


To ensure proper implementation, we will have to find travel documents that are easy to obtain and are secure, and to set up at our border points the required technology to process them in a quick, secure and efficient manner.


In these brief remarks, my goal has not been to provide an exhaustive update on everything the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is doing to strengthen public safety, national security and emergency management. I have tried to highlight some key areas of activity that respond to issues raised by this committee and others. We will continue to work to fulfill our leadership and coordination role.

My colleagues and I welcome the opportunity to be here, and would welcome any questions you may have.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, Mr. Elliott.

Senator Campbell: My first question has to do with the flow of responsibilities from federal to provincial and down to municipalities. What role does the federal government play in this whole scheme, given that it is a provincial responsibility and the federal government has made it clear that any funding for municipalities must flow from the provinces?

Mr. Elliott: Mr. Chairman, I guess the answer to that is multifaceted. I will begin, and my colleagues may add their comments.

There are several roles that the federal government can, and does, play. Certainly, one thing we provide for is training. I mentioned the college here in Ottawa. There is a program — the JEPP program — which provides funding for first responders to acquire equipment.

Senator Campbell: Is that funding direct to the municipality, or must it go through the province?

Patricia Hassard, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Emergency Management and National Security Branch, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada: The funding goes to the province. The province is the body that makes the request.

Mr. Elliott: In many instances, where those employed by municipalities are the front line of response, many of our dealings with municipalities is through their provincial or territorial governments. That certainly is in recognition of the constitutional responsibilities of provinces and territories. The current government has certainly been very clear in its instructions that the responsibilities of provinces should be reflected in how we engage on these issues.

Ms. Hassard: If I may add a thought or two, in the emergency management community we are all after the same thing, which is seamless delivery of services to the victims of disaster. Whatever jurisdiction is involved, we do not want that to show to the victims. If one jurisdiction is overwhelmed, then the other jurisdictions will pitch in with whatever resources are available.

From the federal point of view, we are trying to put in place the framework that will encourage and facilitate that seamless delivery. We are doing that through our emergency management doctrine, so that we have a common language and a leadership role for the minister. Although it is mostly a coordinative role, on occasion the federal government must act if there are national security events, and there are many such occasions.

We have also developed an emergency management doctrine in collaboration with the provinces and territories. All of our programs do recognize the role that the federal government has in interfacing with the provinces, and the provinces interfacing with the municipalities, so that even in our contribution programs, if the municipalities do want funding under our joint emergency preparedness program, which supplies them with equipment and training, they must put that request through their province, which helps them prioritize their requests. However, senators should be aware that 90 per cent of that funding does go to the municipalities.

Senator Campbell: Can you provide our committee with an appreciation of how government intelligence requirements are established and communicated to the agencies involved in collection, analysis and enforcement? How does it all fit together: the RCMP, CSIS, the Canada Border Services Agency, Corrections and the National Parole Board? How does that fit into a space where you receive information and determine its accuracy and the enforcement process that must take place?

Mr. Elliott: The question is multi-layered. Dealing first with the establishment of intelligence priorities, if I take the question to refer to collect priorities — that is, to identify areas where intelligence should be gathered, or subjects in relation to whom intelligence is required — there is an interdepartmental exercise that brings together both those who collect intelligence, which would certainly include, from our portfolio, CSIS. There are other important collectors of intelligence, of which the Communication Security Establishment is one. However, that is not part of the Public Safety portfolio, but attached to the Department of National Defence.

Depending on how you define the word "intelligence,'' there are certainly a number of other departments and agencies that gather information of interest to Canada in relation to a wide variety of national interests, not only in relation to security but also in relation to other interests. The Department of Foreign Affairs certainly is a significant gatherer and provider of information. The RCMP and others gather criminal intelligence.

There is work across those departments and agencies to establish priorities on an annual basis. That is done at the highest levels. Throughout the year, there is further interdepartmental discussion on an ongoing basis with respect to actually translating those priorities into more specific activities.

The question also raises issues with respect to the assessment of intelligence and the making of value judgments with respect to the quality of intelligence. Again, there are a number of players associated with that role — some in our portfolio, and others not. The primary assessors of security intelligence are at CSIS. When I was speaking about priority-setting for collection and the collection of intelligence, I failed to mention National Defence and the Canadian Forces in addition to the Communication Security Establishment, which is affiliated with National Defence and is within the responsibilities of the Minister of Defence. The forces themselves have significant intelligence-related activities, both in the gathering and assessment of intelligence.

My opening remarks included a reference to the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre. This is a relatively new entity that was established following the release by the previous government of a national security policy. It is presently headed by a senior member of the RCMP. It is part of CSIS but is staffed by officers from across the federal security and intelligence community. Our department, for example, is represented, as is the Privy Council Office, National Defence, Foreign Affairs, Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP, and I believe there is also a representative of the Ontario Provincial Police.

There are many issues that touch upon the intelligence provided to us by our allies. Canada, through various departments and agencies, has a number of long-standing relationships with our more traditional allies. That would include, obviously, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. As you may have heard from my colleague Mr. Judd, CSIS also has arrangements with a number of intelligence organizations literally around the globe. I might also speak to what happens after you come to assessments, but perhaps I will leave that for the moment.

The final group I will refer to is the Privy Council Office. There is, within that part of the Privy Council Office that comes under the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, an intelligence assessment group referred to as IAS. They are quite active, both in work to establish priorities and in assessing intelligence and information relevant to Canada's interests.

The Chairman: If I may, the question really was this: How are government intelligence requirements established? You have given us a list of who collects intelligence and who analyzes it. The question was about how the requirements are established. We know they start with a cabinet meeting that takes place on an annual basis, but the question was: How are they dealt with on an ongoing basis?

Mr. Elliott: Yes, there is an annual meeting of ministers to review and approve intelligence priorities. That is traditionally done on an annual basis. That stems, in part, from the requirement for CSIS's priorities to be approved annually, which is as a result of a ministerial directive. On an ongoing basis, those priorities are reviewed and updated, and decisions are taken with respect to intelligence gathering by a number of interdepartmental groups chaired by the Privy Council Office and not by my department or the portfolio. There is a requirements committee chaired by PCO, and there is also a process to approve foreign intelligence activities of CSIS.

The Chairman: You are saying that these two committees determine the requirements for the intelligence community on an ongoing basis?

Mr. Elliott: The priorities for the community are established by ministers.

The Chairman: Do they meet just once a year, and that is it? Once they have done that, they are finished?

Mr. Elliott: Ministers who have responsibilities for security and intelligence organizations certainly have much more of an ongoing role. There are several roles, for example, for the Minister of Public Safety. There are various intelligence-gathering activities that require a Federal Court warrant, for example. The Minister and the Deputy Minister of Public Safety have responsibilities with respect to the approval of those warrants.

The Chairman: Yes, we are aware of that, but again, you are describing activities, and really, the question that was put was: How are the intelligence requirements established? After the initial meeting, if there is a determination that, six months later, the requirements are different, what is the process for those judgments to be made?

Mr. Elliott: The requirements at the very beginning of the cycle are that one needs to first identify Canada's strategic interests, and secondly, in relation to that, assess both threats and sources of threats. It is on those assessments that proposals with respect to intelligence are made, and then direction is provided to the security intelligence community by ministers. If there was a significant change requiring an adjustment to the priorities as approved and directed by ministers, then another discussion would occur with them.

The Chairman: I am sorry, I do not understand. Did you just say that if there were a specific change in the direction that was approved and decided by ministers, then there would be another discussion?

Mr. Elliott: I am sorry. If that is what I said, I did not quite mean to. Circumstances evolve during the course of a year. As you have referred to, and I believe I have confirmed, in the normal course direction is provided by ministers on an annual basis. However, certainly there is recognition that the situation can change other than on an annual basis.

If activities needed to be carried out as a result of, for example, the emergence of a new threat and the gathering of intelligence in relation to those activities which were not consistent with the direction provided by ministers, then departments and agencies would go back to ministers, brief them on developments and ask for further directions.

The Chairman: Has that situation happened?

Mr. Elliott: The short answer to that question would be yes. There were certainly lots of briefings and direction provided by ministers of the day in the wake of the 2005 bombings in London, for example.

Senator Banks: Good afternoon, Mr. Elliott. It is nice to see you again. Ms. MacLaren, it is nice to see you again. Welcome, Ms. Hassard.

Mr. Elliott, on various occasions you have talked about the potential oversight by parliamentarians of public safety as well as security and intelligence matters. There have been reports in the newspapers within the last few days that Minister Day proposes to bring into Parliament new legislation that would create oversight by parliamentarians as opposed to committees, by which I presume he means an all-party committee from both houses. You and I have discussed that. I will get very specific. Some of us on the committee studied the question by way of examining oversight by legislators in other countries, and came back and made recommendations to the then government, which was the one followed by this government. That government, to a large degree, had misgivings about membership on that committee of parliamentarians who might have in their minds something other than the unity of the country.

Can you first confirm your understanding that you expect that the recommendation by the present government will be something along the lines of the one put forward by the previous government?

Second, I would like your comment on my question about membership on the committee: How will it be selected? Will it take into account, to use the question that I asked at the time, that if an Alberta separatist were elected to the Parliament of Canada — and I am from Alberta — would it be appropriate that such an Alberta separatist, with the declared intention of changing the sovereignty of Canada, should be appointed to a committee of parliamentarians who would, by definition, have access to the highest levels of security clearance?

Mr. Elliott: I do not think there is much light I can shed on this subject. The minister has indicated that there is ongoing consideration. We as officials, and I as an individual official, have certainly recognized that there are a number of difficulties in communications between security intelligence agencies on the one hand and parliamentarians on the other. We certainly welcome steps being taken to facilitate franker exchanges of information.

The minister, as I understand it, has indicated that he intends to bring forward proposals for consideration. I am sure that the issues Senator Banks has raised with respect to membership will be part of those considerations, but I have no insight with respect to what specific proposals the government may make.

Senator Banks: However, if you were in your present job of deputy minister of public safety and you were faced with questions from a committee of parliamentarians from both houses, which committee had clearance sufficient to allow you to answer questions of high sensitivity, would you not, as a deputy minister, have reservations about answering that question before a committee that contained, let us say, an Alberta separatist? Would that not give you pause in relation to the fullness of your answer to that committee?

Mr. Elliott: I guess, as an individual, I might have reservations about answering particular questions during the course of an appearance. However, as an official, I would follow the policy and direction of the government.

Senator Banks: With respect to the policy and direction of the government, last October the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness undertook to answer questions that had been addressed to her by the chair of this committee in relation to candour in respect of national security. That minister agreed it was a good idea that there should be more transparency and that we should move much more than we have in the direction of transparency and providing this committee with examples, for instance, of the measurements of the effectiveness of things that had been put into place in relation to national security.

Can you tell us what your department has done since then to increase the transparency and accountability of that department and of its member agencies before this committee and Parliament? How does your department measure the performance and effectiveness of its member agencies?

This committee, of course, is very much interested in hearing about those measurements of your member agencies in order that we can arrive at opinions with respect to the efficacy of how money is being spent.

Mr. Elliott: I will turn to my colleagues in a moment because a number of things in your question relate to topics on which I, candidly, am not up to speed.

With respect to how effectiveness is measured, particularly in relation to emergency management and response, part of that can best be completed by engaging in exercises. I made reference in my opening remarks to the fact that funding is being provided to the department to be able to carry out more activity in that regard. Specifically, we will be completing such exercises in relation to transportation security. Money was provided and the Prime Minister made an announcement last week with respect to a number of initiatives to enhance transportation and transit security in Canada. As well, the role of existing review bodies includes the role of looking at and making judgments about the activities of departments and agencies.

Ms. Hassard: On this one, each of the agencies will have their own obligations under their own performance management structure, be it the report on performance or the priorities and planning document. Those, of course, are parliamentary documents for which they are accountable and on which this committee can call them to appear.

In the larger picture, we are attempting to be as transparent as possible about what we are doing, using the website, in particular, to put up our lessons-learned documents and our exercise calendar. Recently we have launched a new website for the Canadian Emergency Management College with some of our training material so that it is available to everyone.

In terms of accountability to Parliament, there is always how we measure up against the policy frameworks that exist, the national security policy and the response to committee reports such as the numerous ones published by this committee. They challenge us to measure our performance and, by appearing before you, we are accountable.

Senator Banks: You have just identified precisely the problem. We are less concerned with how well the department's activities and programs measure up against the government's policies than we are with how well the department's policies and practices measure up against the situation in the world. It is precisely in that context that the chair asked that question. We need to get past the barrier of having questions answered to us within the context of policy. I know that has been difficult, but the previous minister undertook that that would be the case.

The gauge by which we choose to measure the effectiveness of an emergency response to a given situation is not, "This is what the government asked us to do,'' or "This is the resource upon which we had to rely to do this.'' It is: "Did we put out the fire?'' That is the question we want to have answered. My understanding of the previous minister's answer to that question was that the government would be more forthcoming in that respect. So far, I do not think we have seen much evidence of that.

In the last budget, the government announced that it was allocating $161 million in order to provide 1,000 new RCMP officers. We do not think that is enough. We then heard in this committee from the Commissioner of the RCMP, Mr. Zaccardelli, that he was not actually getting $161 million, because about $27 million of that was being hived off by the department to hire lawyers. That was not what was undertaken by the government, or said to be in the budget.

By whom have we been wrongly informed?

Mr. Elliott: The budget announcement of $161 million did make reference to both additional personnel for the RCMP and money for federal prosecutors. I believe that the funding to which you referred was, in turn, referred to in the budget.

Senator Tkachuk: On the transparency initiative about which the previous minister, Anne McLellan, spoke, did she provide a directive or was there a committee established in the department to ensure that what she had said in committee would happen, would indeed happen? Second, was the new government briefed on these measures to ensure continuity?

Mr. Elliott: I will begin by making a quick reference to the Auditor General. In response to an earlier question about mechanisms and means for the government to be, first, evaluated and, second, held to account, I should have spoken of the important role that the Auditor General has in assessing activities, value for money and effectiveness. She has been very active in relation to investments dating back to 2001.

I will let my colleagues answer the specific question about what may have happened in the department in the past. Certainly, the issue of performance measurement and how one measures and gauges success is a particular challenge in relation to national security and emergency management. The department does have a role, and I think that role is confirmed not only in the legislation establishing the department but also in the bill before the House of Commons with respect to emergencies. They reflect that the minister and the department do have roles to play with respect to the activity of others, including things like business continuity, planning, and testing those plans.

I am not aware of what went on within the department following an earlier appearance by a minister of the previous government.

Ms. Hassard: We recognize that there is a major issue about how to evaluate your investments in public safety, whether on the emergency management side, corrections or crime prevention. In our view, the purpose in creating the department and its large portfolio that reflects the whole continuum of public safety, all the way from crime prevention to corrections to national security, is to attempt to put those pieces together. I cannot say that at this time we have the instrument that we need, but it is one of the roles we play in terms of portfolio management and portfolio leadership to try to create a collaborative evaluation tool that would allow us to benchmark our progress in public safety.

Senator Tkachuk: What happens when a minister makes that commitment? That was last October; it is now June. Does the department ignore it, or does the department seek a way to ensure that the minister's words are followed? What takes place? It has been nine months since that testimony was given before this committee.

The Chairman: There were two commitments by her six months apart. Six months prior to that, she made the same commitment to the committee.

Senator Tkachuk: I was not aware of that.

The Chairman: It amplifies your point.

Ms. Hassard: We never forget what a minister says. The point is that there is an area within the department that specializes in evaluation. I cannot speak directly for them, but I believe that there would be work going on in that area to cover this issue.

The Chairman: Could you provide the committee with some appreciation of that work, Mr. Elliott? Could you undertake to write to the committee indicating what standards are being put in place to govern the risk assessment process? Something in writing would give us a sense of what you consider a success, how you measure a success, how independently and frequently it is done, and how you test the validity of the programs on which you are moving forward. If it is different in your various organizations, as we have heard it is, perhaps you could outline where it is different, why there are differences and how you measure these matters.

Mr. Elliott: I would be happy to provide the committee with written information on that subject, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Banks: That would be my last question, chair, but at the risk of hitting the nail on the head once again, and perhaps by way of counter-sinking it, I would like to ask: The response that the chair has just asked for is not one that says, in effect — and I will use cartoon versions now; we are the subject of cartoons all the time — we do not want to hear that "We are working on it;'' we do not want to hear, with all respect, that "The department is moving towards finding a way to empanel a committee to study the possibility of perhaps having a view of giving some effect to this question.'' The kind of incident that we want to hear about is when something by way of an exercise is done that was beyond a tabletop exercise; an actual in-place, on-the-ground exercise in response to a forest fire, say, and it was found that the hoses at one end of a municipality are the wrong size to fit on the hoses at the other end of the next municipality — that kind of specificity, if I can put it that way, and I think that was the thrust of the chairman's question. We would really like to hear, to the extent that it does not harm national security, the results of those measurements of effectiveness. It is only by that means that we can be of any use in trying to effect good public policy.

The Chairman: If I could just add as a footnote, because while Senator Banks may think he counter-sunk the point, I would like to bore right through and comment, for example, on an answer you gave us today, Mr. Elliott, where you commented on how great the co-operation was in the exercises going forward, and you made specific reference to Shiprider, which is a program that related to the Great Lakes. We have a number of Great Lakes and, to the best of my knowledge, that was a two-week program involving four vessels and, I believe, eight RCMP officers; I may be off by an officer or two. Not exactly a sterling record for the sort of security we can look towards on the Great Lakes. The total involvement of the RCMP on the Great Lakes boiled down to that. We see the Great Lakes as a huge, black hole.

Mr. Elliott: Just to elaborate with respect to the Shiprider pilot, not wanting to mince words, but I think in this instance specific terms are important. It was a pilot project, a pilot operation, and yes, I believe the duration was two weeks. It did provide the basis for a second operation in January or February of this year, and that was to provide for security around the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl game itself was held in Detroit but there were actually events that took place in the Windsor area.

This committee has rightly and accurately pointed out a number of vulnerabilities with respect to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. There have been a number of investments with respect to dealing with that vulnerability. There certainly is now a better awareness of that domain. We have established, at least on a temporary or an interim basis, a marine security operation centre for the Great Lakes.

I believe that there will be further developments with respect to enhancing capacity for agencies, including the RCMP. I mentioned IBETs. I certainly would not argue that our security posture in relation to the lakes is as good as it needs to be. As I said in my opening remarks, some of the lessons that we have learned from are experiences around the Super Bowl and our experiences around the Shiprider project we can build on to provide an ongoing, enhanced security posture in relation to the Great Lakes.

The Chairman: You could also have said that, five years after 9/11, there is no capacity to enforce federal statutes on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway or the St. Lawrence River, and that would have given the committee a pretty accurate picture of where we stand.

Mr. Elliott: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman. Is that a question?

The Chairman: It is a question. Yes or no?

Mr. Elliott: No.

The Chairman: Then please elaborate and tell us about the capacity that exists.

Mr. Elliott: There is some capacity. It depends on what you mean. If, Mr. Chairman, you are referring to on-the- water capacity, that capacity is quite limited. Certainly, we do have ongoing relationships with the U.S. Coast Guard, but I certainly believe that the capacity of both the Canadian Coast Guard, which has limited capacity in the lakes, and the RCMP, which has limited capacity in the lakes, is seriously in need of enhancement.

The Chairman: Could you describe for the committee what "quite limited'' means and then what "seriously limited'' means?

Mr. Elliott: If you are asking me, Mr. Chairman, the specifics about what vessels and personnel are available on the Great Lakes for either the RCMP or for both the RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard, I would have to undertake to provide you with that information.

The Chairman: We would certainly welcome hearing from you on it, but we have received testimony prior to this that the RCMP do not have any vessels on the Great Lakes on a full-time basis, and when you take a look at the coast guard, their capacity to enforce national security issues is nil. Do you have a comment on that?

Mr. Elliott: Certainly, officials from either or both of those agencies are in a better position to provide you with that information than am I.

The Chairman: You just referenced them as the response when you disagreed with my initial statement. You referenced them as being the answer to my statement. You brought up the RCMP and you brought up the coast guard as having some capacity to do something. I am asking you to give us some example of what the coast guard can do in terms of national security on the Great Lakes. We have heard no evidence from the coast guard — and we have asked — that they had that capacity. We have heard no evidence from anyone we have asked about the coast guard having that capacity. We have recommended that the coast guard undertake a constabulary function, and the government has not responded to that recommendation. Neither the Liberal government nor the current government has responded to it. I do not understand why you raised the coast guard at all. Could you tell us why you raised the coast guard in this context?

Mr. Elliott: The coast guard operates a civilian fleet of vessels and the coast guard certainly is involved in the examination of vulnerabilities, and means to address vulnerabilities in the Great Lakes.

The Chairman: Could you outline for the committee what the priorities are in terms of establishing security on the Great Lakes? What would be the first priority? Could you give us the first two or three?

Mr. Elliott: I am clearly not in the best position, for a number of reasons, with respect to my position with the public safety department, to provide information to the committee with respect to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Chairman: That may be the case, sir, but you raised it as an example of one of the cases. I assumed that if you were giving it to us as an example, you had some reason to support it. I did not raise the coast guard; you did independently, in your answer. I assumed that you must have had some reason to raise it. I am just curious as to what your reasons were.

Mr. Elliott: I mentioned the coast guard because they are operators of vessels in the Great Lakes.

The Chairman: That is correct. They tend buoys; they deal with navigation aids; they are involved in search and rescue; and they are involved in boating safety.

Mr. Elliott: They provide support, albeit limited, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Chairman: They provide taxi service for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or they did for a very brief, experimental period last summer. Is there anything beyond that?

Mr. Elliott: My information with respect to the activities of the Canadian Coast Guard, Mr. Chairman, is more than a little dated.

The Chairman: Would you undertake to provide the committee with a more fulsome answer in writing on this subject?

Mr. Elliott: I am certainly happy to facilitate the provision of information. However, the information that you are asking for, as I understand you, relates largely to the Canadian Coast Guard — which is not part of either my department or the public safety portfolio — and to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Chairman: Again, sir, it came up in the context of your answer. I am just asking you, with the support of your department, to provide the reason or the rationale for your answer.

Mr. Elliott: I think I can provide the reason or the rationale for my answer here. What I cannot provide you at the moment are the specifics of what I have described as the limited resources of the coast guard and the limited marine resources of the RCMP in the Great Lakes. I was simply referring to the fact that those two agencies have some capacity; but I am not arguing that it is a large capacity or that it is adequate.

I could certainly provide you with more details, if it would be of use, with respect to the Shiprider project and the subsequent work that the coast guard and the RCMP were both engaged in, I believe, around security for the Super Bowl.

The Chairman: We would certainly welcome that. You also mentioned that there was a Great Lakes initiative?

Mr. Elliott: Marine security operation centre, I believe.

The Chairman: Marine security operation centre, which is located in Halifax, is that correct?

Ms. MacLaren: Actually, the information comes from Halifax, to a large extent, but the centre is located in the Great Lakes.

The Chairman: Can you tell us if that centre can provide a real-time maritime picture on the Great Lakes?

Ms. MacLaren: The centre is limited in its operations. It only operates eight hours a day, five days a week.

Senator Banks: Can I pursue that?

The Chairman: Terrorists work bankers' hours. Go ahead.

Senator Banks: Of course they do. It is the same question but from a different angle, Mr. Elliott. You can take our word for the fact that the Canadian Coast Guard has no constabulary power. They cannot arrest a bad guy. Let us put aside the security of the Great Lakes. We are not asking at the moment about the question of safety of navigation devices or search and rescue capability but, rather, interdicting bad guys and bad stuff.

There is a treaty on the Great Lakes between us and the United States that precludes either of those countries from putting naval forces in the Great Lakes. We have agreed that we will never do that. However, the United States Coast Guard is, taken by itself, the third-largest navy in the world. They have what are reasonably described as cutters, which are virtual warships, on the Great Lakes because they have determined that the level of risk and capability that is necessary there to maintain a degree of security, aside from search and rescue and aids to navigation, is such that it requires that kind of resource.

We have no such resource. Has your department, to your knowledge, ever advised the government — and I presume the department advises the government from time to time — that in order to bring about a secure situation from the standpoint of Canadian interests on the Great Lakes, we need to have some kind of more robust presence there by way of vessels that can actually do something to stop a bad guy or bad stuff, and that we need to pursue that avidly? That is corollary to the point that we have made, which is that the Canadian Coast Guard ought to be invested with a constabulary capacity, in and of itself, in order that it can do that job.

Does your department have in mind recommending that to the government, or has it recommended such a move to the government? If not, will it?

Mr. Elliott: We spoke a little while ago about my being reluctant to answer questions. Certainly, the government has been provided with advice with respect to vulnerabilities associated with the Great Lakes and vulnerabilities associated with our lack of adequate capacity for on-water policing.

Senator Banks: Beyond saying that — you just said that you have advised the government that these deficiencies exist —

Mr. Elliott: I am not in a position to provide specific information about specific recommendations provided to the government.

Senator Banks: Not specific, but have you provided to the government suggested remedies to that shortfall, without reference to what those might be?

Mr. Elliott: Yes.

The Chairman: Our concern, Mr. Elliott, is that when we got on to the issue of the Great Lakes, we got an anecdote about a program with which we were familiar, which we thought was a novelty. It was fine for a two-week period, but it was presented almost as though, look, we have programs like Shiprider going, so things are okay on the Great Lakes. You did not say it exactly like that, but the implication was that we have some terrific things going on, and we heard about a two-week program that we did not think amounted to much. Then you moved on.

Our concern about transparency is that, sooner or later, the committee does get a pretty clear picture of just what is going on. When it is at variance, or when we find that we have been perhaps not as diligent as we should have been in asking questions, such as: Is there anything else that we should know, we end up not getting the right or whole picture of what is happening.

When we hear words such as "There is an operations centre looking at the Great Lakes,'' and then we hear that it does not provide a real-time maritime picture, and that it only works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, people slap their foreheads and say: "Oh, my God, there really is not anything there.'' This is not a program that we should be waving the flag about at all.

What we are saying is that, although we have no doubt that what you are telling us is accurate, we do not feel that we are getting a good picture, given the snippets with which you are providing us.

Mr. Elliott: Thank you for those comments, Mr. Chairman. If you are not getting a clear picture, that is a reflection of my poor communication skills, and not of my intention. I certainly did not, and would not do so intentionally, refer to Shiprider as a program. It was clearly a pilot project of very limited duration.

In my opening remarks, I talked about us being engaged in another limited operation, which was undertaken over only a matter of a few days, around the 2006 Super Bowl. I indicated that we thought that such projects were models for future co-operation on which we could build, but I was not meaning to suggest that they were any more than that.

The Chairman: Can we expect this summer to see Shiprider running throughout the summer months?

Mr. Elliott: I do not have any specific information on that. A number of issues were identified in relation to the pilot project that took place. I do not actually know, and maybe my colleagues do, whether there are specific plans with respect to the upcoming boating season.

Ms. MacLaren: We are not aware of any specific plans with respect to the upcoming boating season. However, an evaluation is being produced by the RCMP on both experiences, particularly the September pilot of last year. There is legal and policy work under way because there are some legal issues that we have to explore between U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. That work is under way. We are working with Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, the RCMP and others to try to resolve these issues.

The Chairman: This gets back to Senator Banks' comment earlier about the sort of answers that seem to be forthcoming from your department. You have talked about process, and you have talked about many people being involved, but it has been over a long period of time. The 9/11 incident was five years ago. This study took place last year. Next year is here. The summer is upon us. We are looking for some action as opposed to, "We are consulting about having a meeting to decide whether we should think about a policy.'' That is the sort of answer we get back from your department. We do not find that satisfactory. We think Canadians are entitled to have these programs coming forward, and to have some confidence that the problem of the Great Lakes is being dealt with. The answer we have from you is: There are no plans to deal with it this summer.

Ms. MacLaren: Senator, the answer is: Not that we are aware of. We have not had a request, so not that we are aware of.

The Chairman: Right. I am saying that that does not cut it.

Does the Government Operations Centre exist? Is it there? You said it was functioning 24/7. Last time we asked about that, word came back to us that it was not yet in a permanent location, not really staffed and not functioning in the way it was hoped to function. What can you tell us about it now, Mr. Elliott?

Mr. Elliott: The Government Operations Centre falls within that part of the department for which my colleague Ms. Hassard is responsible, and I am sure she can elaborate.

Ms. Hassard: Thank you, Mr. Elliott. There has been a lot of progress on the Government Operations Centre in the last year or so. It is up and running. It is a 24/7 operation, and it is mostly staffed enough to carry on 24/7.

The Chairman: I am sorry, I did not hear that. It is mostly staffed, or it is staffed?

Ms. Hassard: It is staffed, but not with permanent, full-time people. There are some "secondees'' and some contract workers or temporary people. It is a stable organization and is performing what we consider to be a very valuable function. It is monitoring emerging incidents and threats, and it is reporting on those. It is providing an institutional process for the coordination of federal government response to domestic incidents.

The Chairman: We recently had a 7:00 a.m. meeting at CANCOM's operation centre to see how they pulled together their reports, and we had an opportunity to talk to the staff functioning there. CANCOM has been in existence for a short period of time, but they appear to have a number of people permanently assigned there. While CANCOM is not fully staffed, their operations centre certainly is. Can we visit the Government of Canada operations centre?

Mr. Elliott: We would be happy to arrange that, Mr. Chairman.

The Chairman: Do you need much notice?

Mr. Elliott: No.

The Chairman: What if we said we would like to go tomorrow morning at 8:00?

Mr. Elliott: I cannot make it tomorrow.

The Chairman: The committee was not entirely happy with the 7:00 meeting. They would have preferred 7.30 or 7:45.

Ms. Hassard: We would be happy to accommodate you in accordance with your schedule. I should say the operations centre is somewhat under construction because it is in a location where it required more suitable accommodation, and that process is under way right now. However, they are still functioning. You may need to take that into account.

The Chairman: You are making it sound like the Senate, which is under construction permanently.

Senator Campbell: — and not functioning 24/7.

I would like to take this discussion from the big, broad picture, perhaps, down to a more local level. Would the Government Operations Centre be responsible if there was an earthquake in the city of Vancouver? I am trying to figure out what role you would play. Vancouver gets hit by an earthquake. Virtually all communications within the city are down, although we have a hardened emergency response centre and I am fairly certain it would be running. We contact your people. What then happens? Do you arrange for equipment or the army? Certainly, I know that at the municipal level I would have no capacity as mayor. I could request the army, but we have no military there. We have our militia there. What would happen from Ottawa?

Ms. Hassard: You have picked one of the nightmare scenarios.

Senator Campbell: Absolutely.

Ms. Hassard: It would be a catastrophic disaster in our estimation, and it would likely require marshalling the resources of just about every resource we have at the disposal of the federal government, and probably also our neighbours to the south.

Senator Campbell: Would you do that?

Ms. Hassard: Yes. That is the role of the government centre. In a case like that, the municipality is overwhelmed. The province needs help. It is up to us to represent the Canadian interest in attempting to assist. Requests for military assistance would be coordinated through the Government Operations Centre. Obviously, there are some military assets in the region. There are also some heavy urban search-and-rescue teams, one in British Columbia, one in Calgary, one in Manitoba, as well as several in the northern United States.

Senator Campbell: That works a lot better when it is not your community that gets hit and you do not have to try to get to where you are going, but I understand what you are saying: You would step in and say, "Okay. Here is the equipment, the manpower, the hospitals, the whole nine yards.'' You would step in and do that?

Ms. Hassard: You make it sound as though it were a straightforward exercise.

Senator Campbell: No, I know it is not. I would like to know who will do that. That is all I am asking. We need everything, and that is what we would need. You would be the ones to coordinate that exercise and work towards the end goal?

Ms. Hassard: Yes. We have regional staff in Alberta. In a case like that, we would very likely send staff to the area. There would be all kinds of coordination going on with Health Canada and with the private sector, if airlift were required. This would be an enormous coordination.

Senator Campbell: Would you take over the coordination of it all? Would you step in and be the leader?

Ms. Hassard: That would depend very much on what the province was doing — and we would be in contact with the province — if, as you indicate in the scenario you are positing, the scenario is one where the Emergency Operation Centre is still standing. Normally, if it is the kind of event where we can make our way there, we would make our way to that op. centre with the RCMP and with Canadian Forces, in which case we are sitting with them in joint communication, so that the situation can be managed from one location. It is much easier that way. It would depend to a certain extent on the level of communication that was left.

Senator Day: I have a number of questions with respect to the Government Operations Centre as well, but now that we have decided to visit, perhaps I will leave my questions until that time.

Are you working towards interoperability in all of this activity? You will not take the Prime Minister and all the ministers to what is left of an operations centre in the lower mainland of British Columbia, but the Prime Minister and the minister could well have a role to play in communications and in reassuring the public. What interoperability exists between this national operation centre here and the various operation centres across the country?

Ms. Hassard: We have full connectivity with all the provincial and territorial operations centres on the emergency management side. We generally use the same software product so it does make our communications a bit easier in a particular event.

Clearly, what you are also talking about is the public communications aspect of disaster response and disaster management. That is one area where there are relationships between the public safety ministers and the communications community, right across the country. I think we are all well aware that the public demands finely tuned communications right at the start of a disaster. It is something on which we put a lot of time and emphasis, to get it right.

Senator Day: Do you do a "lessons learned'' study of other situations? I am thinking about New Orleans and the problem they had there between different command centre jealousy and the inability to coordinate the activity. Do you take a look at those kinds of things and work on a better plan for the next happening?

Ms. Hassard: Yes, the last year has taught us a lot about disaster management. In our study of other people's disasters, we have found that usually three things go wrong: One is clarity of roles and responsibilities, one is communication, and the last one is the lack of a common operating picture. You need all of those things in order to make the decisions. Probably of the three, the first one is the most critical. It is also perhaps the most difficult to achieve because you really have to get all of the players, whether it is provinces, territories, municipalities, first responders, private sector or voluntary organizations, to see themselves in the overall plan. Yes, we try very hard to learn the lessons from those other events, in particular Katrina and the London bombings, because they are so recent and relevant, and so disastrous.

Senator Day: You indicated that your philosophy is that the first responder is the municipality. That is clear. It may be a provincial or a federal role, depending upon the extent of the damage done. Let us go back to the program that you referred to earlier. I think Mr. Elliott referred to it during his introductory comments of the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program, the JEPP?

Ms. Hassard: That is correct.

Senator Day: Is that still funded? Is it still in existence? Was it funded in the last round?

Ms. Hassard: It does still exist. If I am correct, it costs $4.7 million per year.

Senator Day: Is that continuing?

Ms. Hassard: Yes, it is.

Senator Day: Either you or Ms. MacLaren indicated that 90 per cent of that funding found its way from the federal government, through the provincial coffers and down to the municipalities?

Ms. Hassard: That is correct.

Senator Day: Therefore, 10 per cent stays with the provincial government, administrative fees or whatever.

This committee had the opportunity to meet a number of first responders in a number of different communities, and I can remember the comment more than once that they found it very difficult to acquire the equipment that they felt they needed to do the job that was expected of them. They were not blaming it on the province; they were blaming it on the federal government. They knew it was a federal government program, but they wondered why they could not deal directly with the federal government on this. We understand the political structure that we have, but is there any way that this could be improved? Do you work on a protocol with the provincial government to ensure that they do not put too onerous an obligation on the municipality and say: "You pay for 75 per cent of this or we will not allow you to buy it.''? If the municipality wants a new fire truck or a decontamination spot, they are told by the province: "No, you do not need one because there is one 300 kilometres away.'' Do you leave all of that up to the province to make those decisions? The province determines what the municipality can do. The municipality makes a request but they cannot participate in the way that they feel they should. What control, if any, do you have over that situation, or do you just pass a cheque over to the province and let them deal with it?

Ms. Hassard: The funding formula is such that there are some national priorities set in it as well. It is a well- established, well-run program, if I say so myself.

Senator Day: Let me interrupt you, because that does not get there. There are people at the other end, namely the first responders, the number one priority guys, who are not saying that it is well established and well run. They are frustrated and are not able to get what they feel — or you feel — they should be getting. Therefore I do not think we can start by saying that it is a well-established, well-run program.

Ms. Hassard: It is also an oversubscribed program, which may be the source of some of the frustration.

Senator Day: Who subscribes to the program, the municipality or the province?

Ms. Hassard: It is funded through the province. That is the basis of our agreement. As I indicated, however, the vast majority of the funding does go to the municipalities. It is a long-running program. There was an evaluation not that long ago but I think it is something where, if there are continuing concerns, we will be looking at them.

Senator Day: What are you doing to find out about these continuing concerns? We put them in our reports. We give you comments from municipalities. We know there are continuing concerns. If the provinces are asking for more than is available, what recommendations are being made to provide that extra funding? Are you content that enough funds are reaching the municipalities so that the municipalities can do the job that is expected of them in the event of an emergency?

Ms. Hassard: In answer to that, we support the program. We would like to see it enhanced. We think there is room for it being enhanced.

Senator Day: How much did you say, $4 million a year?

Ms. Hassard: It was $4.7 million.

Senator Day: It could use how much, ten times, to get the job done properly?

Ms. Hassard: I am not sure how much more would be adequate. It is one of those things that is oversubscribed, but you may find that some of the requesters have not put forward their ideas because they know there is a limited pot of money.

Senator Day: What role is your department playing in ensuring that the needs and concerns of the entity that you have identified as "the first people up-front,'' that is, the ones standing there looking after the problem, are able to make their input into your planning process?

Ms. Hassard: We have regular discussions with our colleagues in the emergency management community. I am aware of the pressures for further funding. We certainly are promoters of the program.

Senator Day: Do municipal fire chiefs and police officers provide input on their needs or do they go first to their provinces, which might sanitize the needs before they take them to PSEPC?

Ms. Hassard: We have a federal-provincial-territorial fora. Recently, we established a domestic group on emergency management, which includes chiefs of police and associations of first responders. We have regular meetings with them and emergency management services people.

Senator Day: Does that domestic group contact help you to establish their needs?

Ms. Hassard: They have told us that the program should be enhanced.

Senator Day: On that program, and dealing with the municipalities, is the protocol the same for each province? I would like to know whether there is a funding mechanism in place. For example, do all three levels of government contribute to the cost of the program? Is that public knowledge?

Ms. Hassard: I would be surprised if it were not public knowledge, and so I have no difficulty in providing that to the committee — how the criteria are applied. Each year there is a process with a call letter and requests for proposals, following which the criteria are set up. We can include that in our undertakings.

Senator Day: Am I correct in assuming that it is a three-level funding mechanism?

Ms. Hassard: Yes. Often the municipalities contribute, as well as the provinces.

Senator Day: Are they required to contribute?

Ms. Hassard: I do not believe so.

Senator Day: If municipalities were required to contribute where their provinces control what they can borrow, then the provinces, in effect, are controlling all of it. For example, a municipality might want to buy a new fire truck but cannot receive permission to do so from the provincial government. You said that the money is available but it cannot always flow down to the municipalities. I look forward to exploring that more.

The Chairman: Can you give us the amount of oversubscription in the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program?

Ms. Hassard: I would have to obtain that information and send it to the committee.

The Chairman: Yes, please. Mr. Elliott, the committee has been recommending for some time that your department audit the capacity for continuity of business in all other government departments. That was not a function that it had taken on at that time. Has PSEPC since taken that on, or does it plan to take it on?

Mr. Elliott: The short answer, Mr. Chairman, is yes. We have begun to work with departments and agencies on their business continuity planning.

Ms. Hassard: We took up this role as a result of the national security policy. A small unit within the department is developing expertise on business continuity planning. A standard for business continuity planning in government was issued by Treasury Board. We recently sent a questionnaire to federal departments asking them to benchmark their progress on their business continuity plans. We have embarked upon this as a role for PSEPC. We anticipate growth in that area so the department can develop the expertise required to provide assistance.

The Chairman: Could you provide the committee with the Treasury Board standard and the questionnaire, please?

Ms. Hassard: Yes.

The Chairman: On behalf of the committee, I should like to thank you, Mr. Elliott, and your colleagues for your testimony today. We look forward to future opportunities to hear from you.

Mr. Elliott: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and senators. Certainly, we will follow up on the information requested by the committee. We look forward to further discussions.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, we have before us today Mr. Louis Ranger, Deputy Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Mr. Ranger has worked for the federal government since 1974 in a variety of roles. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in February of 2006.

Mr. Ranger, this is your first appearance before our committee. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mr. Ranger is accompanied by two other officials from Transport Canada: Marc Grégoire, Assistant Deputy Minister for Safety and Security, and Margaret Purdy, who is Special Adviser to the Deputy Minister.

Louis Ranger, Deputy Minister, Transport Canada: Good afternoon, honourable senators. I welcome this opportunity to talk with you this afternoon about transportation security in Canada.

Before I proceed further, I would like to extend our sincere condolences on the loss of your colleague, Senator Mike Forrestall. Both as a parliamentary secretary and a dynamic committee member, Senator Forrestall made an important contribution to the Canadian transportation sector. He will be missed.


My colleagues today are Ms. Margaret Purdy and Mr. Marc Grégoire.


Ms. Purdy is known as one of the top security experts in Canada. I have had the blessing of having her advice in the last few years. Mr. Grégoire has a career path similar to mine, a very impressive academic background as an engineer, and also is a pilot, with long experience in transportation. I am very pleased that they are with me here this afternoon.

I have a long speech, which is available for the record, but I will give you the short version.

Let me start by looking back briefly. In all modes of transportation in Canada, safety has always been a priority and a main line of business, but safety and security are not synonymous. Safety risks come from unintended failures, errors and misfortunes, whereas security risks come from a deliberate or a malicious attempt to disrupt, disable and destroy. We admit security was a second tier concern in the transportation sector in Canada, except for the aviation mode, before September 11. Security programs were certainly in place in other modes, but primarily to prevent or reduce vandalism, theft and other crimes.

The first international counterterrorism conventions were signed in the 1960s. They dealt mainly with aviation security threats. This reflected the fact that from the 1960s to the early 1980s, airplane hijackings and hostage takings were almost synonymous with the word "terrorism,'' but only rarely did these event touch North America.


Naturally, everything changed in 1985 when bombs exploded at nearly the same time onboard flight 182 of Air India and at the Narita airport in Japan. As you know, those events had been organized in Canada.


Our aviation security programs in 1985 met or exceeded international civil aviation standards, but the Air India and Narita events told us that we needed to broaden our perspective to take into account new possibilities. As a direct result of Air India and Narita, Canada was the first nation to demand the matching of passengers and baggage on international flights and among the first to impose background checks on airport employees. This put Canada in a leadership role internationally in civil aviation security, a position we continue to hold.

Of course, September 11 attacks had an undeniable aviation focus. We learned from these attacks that we had to bolster aviation security to deal with previously unthinkable acts of violence. However, September 11 also prompted major reviews, not only in Canada but globally, on how to enhance protection of ports and waterways, rail and urban transit systems, ferries, trucking, bridges and tunnels, and so on. We had to consider security in a new light and we needed to plan for many new scenarios.


As many of you may know, I have spent most of my career at Transport Canada. I was there when major changes were brought about in the transportation sector in the eighties and nineties. And I can tell you that the period following 9/11 saw more changes again, as radical and ambitious as the previous ones.


An unprecedented level of attention and action on the security front over the past years has enveloped and preoccupied not only Transport Canada but the entire Canadian transportation industry. I am extremely proud of Canada's transportation security accomplishments and of the leadership that Transport Canada has displayed, starting with the Herculean task of dealing with the hundreds of aircraft and thousands of passengers diverted to Canadian airports on September 11.

However, Transport Canada has not done, and cannot do it all when it comes to transportation security — far from it. Just as Canada's transportation system is a complex patchwork, so too are the arrangements and responsibilities for security.


The owners and providers of networks have a major role to play in this matter. Provinces, territories and municipalities also share the responsibility to use or to regulate various components of our transportation network. Employees in the transportation industry, who number about a million across the country, are also essential partners for ensuring safety.


Together we have been running a security marathon, literally, since September 11. I will not go over the long list of all our accomplishments since 2001 in terms of new legislation, new programs, new organizations, and new funding commitments of more than $3.5 billion. All this information is publicly available. I would like to take a few minutes, however, to talk about the challenges of making choices when it comes to transportation security.


Every day, we wonder if we have established the levels and types of safety measures that are required to face threats that are difficult to detect and prevent.


The list of transportation attack scenarios is endless, and so too is the list of potential vulnerabilities. We could reduce the risk to zero but on that day, no goods or passengers would move. That is probably true also for safety. We could divert the entire budget of Transport Canada and still have no guarantee of protection from attacks.

The smart approach, to use a popular term, and indeed the only appropriate approach in public policy terms, is to embrace risk management and to base choices on the best possible analysis of threats, vulnerabilities and impacts. We recognize that we cannot protect everything. We must focus our efforts and resources on those areas that pose the greatest risks.


Risk management has two objectives: reduce the probability of negative events and, when they happen, mitigate their consequences.


Risk assessments guided our early decisions after September 11; it guided our subsequent choices in the marine sector and it is the foundation of the work now under way to consider how best to enhance security in rail and urban transit sectors. Adopting a risk management approach will always be controversial. We know that we cannot eliminate risks. Even with the best intelligence and the best analysis, we may still get it wrong in terms of deciding which areas are of highest and most immediate risk, and critics will always be able to find what they consider gaps in defences.

Senators, I know that some believe that risk analysis and risk management is a big black box. This is a serious business. We believe that the risk management methodologies we use are among the most sophisticated in the world. If you wish, we could expand on that later.

We apply risk management with our eyes wide open. While a systematic assessment of relative risks is at the core of our approach to security, it is not the only basis on which we take decisions.


Each of our decisions is based on the sum of the continuous efforts we make to find the right level and the appropriate balance between three major objectives: to ensure safety, to reach maximum effectiveness and to protect the rights of Canadians.


We must balance security with efficiency and the rights of Canadians, starting with privacy rights. We are acutely aware that transportation is the third largest sector of the economy, employing one in 15 Canadians. We know that the transportation system moves more than $1 trillion worth of goods every year — almost $2 million a minute.

We seek to avoid setting security policies and regulations that will cause unnecessary delays or complications. We keep in mind the costs of security to our stakeholders, and we must work with them to ensure that we can restore systems quickly if there were to be an attack.

Finally, respect for privacy and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is another overarching objective in developing policies and programs for transportation security.


We take our responsibilities very seriously, as shown by the extent of our consultations before the implementation of our program of background checks of workers in our ports and of our passenger protection program, the famous Canadian flight interdiction list.


As I said, we are extremely proud of the work that our department has done so far, and the work of our partners in the industry. I can say with confidence that Canada has one of the world's most secure transportation systems. We know that gaps and vulnerabilities remain; we know that we may have to deal with attacks despite our best efforts.


Security is a journey, not a destination.


Security is a journey, not a destination. The announcement by the Prime Minister last Friday of a $254 million investment over two years to bolster air, rail, transit, and marine security forms part of that journey.

At Transport Canada, we place considerable emphasis on taking a strategic perspective on thinking about security over the long term and in innovative ways. In this regard, last year, at my specific request, we launched the development of Canada's first ever transportation security action plan to guide priority settings and decision making over the next five to seven years.


It's the most ambitious safety project ever set up in the transportation field in Canada. We've already consulted hundreds of people, especially individuals, such as representatives of industry, unions, provinces and territories, government departments and agencies, as well as international experts and academics.


The action plan, which will be ready by the end of this year, will assess the threat environment, take stock of past achievements, look into the future, identify gaps that need to be addressed, and recommend actions based on risk management approach.


The action plan will try to find the right balance between the need to improve safety and the need to facilitate the movement of people and goods while ensuring the utmost respect for privacy and human rights.


With that, senators, I will conclude. My colleagues and I look forward to your comments and questions.

Senator Moore: I want to touch on one point. In your remarks you mentioned that, last Friday, the Prime Minister announced a $254 million investment over two years. That is not new money. Was that not announced before?

Mr. Ranger: Much of it is new, sir. We did open up a bottle of champagne on budget day. The $26 million for cargo is definitely new money.

Senator Moore: The $26 million for cargo is new money?

Mr. Ranger: Yes, for cargo. The $133 million for CATSA is new money. The $95 million for transit was contemplated by the previous government, but it was only in May that this money was enshrined in the budget. One month later, we are in a position to announce that we are proceeding with that project. We are just a few days away from a final decision on program details. This is all new, based on plans that we have been working on for quite some time.

Senator Moore: I want to ask you about CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act. What is the status of the review of that statute?

Mr. Ranger: Ms. Purdy could expand on my answer, but essentially by law we must conduct a review before the fifth year after the creation of CATSA, which brings us up to April 1 of next year. In fact, we are well ahead. We set it up in such a way that we will have a report from the panel by the end of summer, which will give ample time for the minister to look at it well within the time that the legislation allows. By the end of the year, we will know pretty well where we stand.

Senator Moore: The review will be completed at the end of this calendar year, do you expect?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

Margaret Purdy, Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Transport, Transport Canada: The independent advisory committee has been asked to present its report to the minister by the end of summer. By law, the minister must have completed this review by the end of the next fiscal year. This is a timeline that is set out in the legislation. The minister also must table the results of the review in both Houses of Parliament. That is also a statutory requirement. There are some pretty strict timelines that we are working on. A three-person, independent panel is doing the major part of the review for the minister.

Senator Moore: It will be completed, and what then?

Ms. Purdy: There are two phases. The panel will do its work.

Senator Moore: You mentioned the end of the fiscal year, that is March 31, 2007?

Ms. Purdy: Yes, the minister is required to finish the review of the legislation five years after the organization was set up.

Senator Moore: I would like you to explain who runs an airport. There are the independent airport authorities, then your department, the RCMP, who are doing security work, and the local police in some instances. Who has the final say? Who is ultimately responsible for what goes on in terms of security of people and goods passing through one of our airports?

Mr. Ranger: Let me take a few seconds to explain the overall governance of airports. We have 26 airport authorities, managed by boards that are set up through a process that involves local chambers of commerce, local groups that have representatives on the board. The federal government has two board members, the provinces have one and the municipality has one or more, depending on the number of municipalities that are impacted by the airport. The other board members are from the business community; they manage the airport. The government still owns the airport; these boards have 60-year leases with us. However, as far as the day-to-day operations are concerned, they definitely run the airports. They have the power to borrow.

Sometimes, we are asked if the model is working. Fundamentally, the model is working in the sense that, collectively, our airport authorities have been able to borrow $8 billion. When you travel across Canada, almost every airport has construction under way and there is not a penny of taxpayers' money there. Overall, the boards are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the airport.

Within the airport, which is like a big village and sometimes a city, there are individual responsibilities. In terms of the screening of passengers, for example, it is definitely the responsibility of CATSA, which has that mandate by law to ensure proper training.

Senator Moore: What is CATSA, for the information of those watching?

Mr. Ranger: The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, which is a Crown corporation. Other departments have other responsibilities by law — be it the Food Inspection Agency or the Canada Border Services Agency — that have very discrete responsibilities under that roof. Of course, all this must be coordinated by airport management.

Senator Moore: If, going through security, a Canadian Air Transport Security Authority person discovers something that is a security risk, does the CATSA person report to the RCMP or to the police on duty in the airports so that they can assess the situation? What is the protocol? To whom do they report? Who is in charge?

Mr. Ranger: Basically, CATSA is a Crown corporation with a mandate to provide screening.

Senator Moore: Yes, of people and their luggage.

Mr. Ranger: Yes, and to manage this function on a day-to-day basis. At every airport, Transport Canada has a number of security inspectors who oversee and monitor the work of CATSA.

Senator Moore: Are they on the screening line?

Mr. Ranger: They are not on the screening line; they are sort of inspectors at the airport, watching the operation. If they see an infraction, a CATSA screener not performing his or her job properly, they can intervene. If it were known at an airport that on a Monday morning there is a security threat, of course members of that community do talk to each other — airport management, Transport Canada security officers and CATSA.

Senator Moore: Who does that person on the screening line report to — the supervisor?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

Senator Moore: What does the supervisor do with that information?

Mr. Ranger: If they become aware? Usually, it is the reverse; it is probably either us at Transport Canada or the information we would have from the RCMP or CSIS. That information will be communicated to CATSA, so it is more from the top down. If there is a concern on Monday morning that there is a particular alert or something, then it is a top-down process where screeners will be asked to be more vigilant.

Senator Moore: My hypothetical situation was the reverse: if someone comes through and is discovered, I want to know what happens after the screening person reports to his or her supervisor?

Mr. Ranger: In that case, the CATSA supervisor would be made aware and then instruct the people under him or her.

Senator Moore: Would he or she bring in the RCMP?

Mr. Ranger: Certainly if, for example, in the judgement of our security officers there is some criminal activity or some reason.

Senator Moore: Are your supervisors armed?

Mr. Ranger: No.

Marc Grégoire, Assistant Deputy Minister, Safety and Security, Transport Canada: No, the supervisors are not armed; neither are the screeners. Your question is what if the screener finds something in the baggage, is that correct?

Senator Moore: Yes.

Mr. Grégoire: The passenger will be prevented from moving. The armed police present at the airport will be called on site, if it is thought necessary to do so.

Senator Moore: So the police are brought in?

Mr. Grégoire: Armed police would be brought in, but not necessarily the RCMP. It depends on the airport.

Senator Moore: I guess whoever is under contract.

Mr. Grégoire: Yes, exactly.

Senator Moore: I want to ask you about testing the airport security systems. Tell me what you do there, how often you do it, what you find and how often you report.

Mr. Ranger: There are two kinds of testing. CATSA, a Crown corporation, is mandated to conduct screening. They invest considerable amounts of money in training — about $4,000 per screener. They have their own way of testing — quality control — as any operator would do.

Having an oversight responsibility, what we do is conduct what we call infiltration tests regularly. We have people who will go through the system with a hand grenade.

Senator Moore: To try to violate it somehow?

Mr. Ranger: Yes; they will have a grenade, a hand gun, a simulation of an explosive device, et cetera. We will see if the inspector detects it.

Senator Moore: How often do you do that?

Mr. Ranger: Very often, sir; every month at random across the system.

Senator Moore: Do you keep records of these tests?

Mr. Ranger: Yes. Not only do we keep records, if there is a failure on the spot, it is brought to the supervisor's attention immediately and that screener is taken offline and sent back to training. If there is a repeat incident of that nature, then action is taken. We intervene on the spot.

Based on the monthly results, we certainly have very precise discussions with CATSA as to what remedies will be brought if we find there are trends. If it is always the same kinds of incidents that are not detected, we will certainly try to resolve those.

Senator Moore: What do you do with the results of your tests? Do you publish them or make them available to committees such as this? Do you make them available to a committee of the House of Commons? I am thinking that the taxpayer is footing the bill here and he or she would like to know what his or her tax dollars are buying.

Mr. Ranger: That is a fair question. I would argue — and I have argued in the past — that with all of the money that we have invested in those systems, if you are looking for one test, that is probably it. In the end, is it working? Are we detecting those devices? This is one test that is very important, but you will understand that this information is protected. It is confidential information.

Senator Moore: It is confidential?

Mr. Ranger: Yes, most definitely. It is secret, actually.

Having said that, I recognize that it is the single most important indicator of whether we are —

Senator Moore: Can you say legitimately that we have a safe environment in the airport?

Mr. Ranger: I have said that several times in my statement.

Senator Moore: Yes, I know.

Mr. Ranger: That information has been made available to the Auditor General. The Auditor General paid us two very extensive visits. The test results were made available to her. She concluded that, although there were problems, overall, resources have been well spent, and she had access to the full details of our infiltration tests.

The Chairman: They are secret. They have not always been secret.

Mr. Grégoire: No. They have been secret since September 2001.

The Chairman: Why is that?

Mr. Grégoire: If vulnerabilities exist, we do not want to expose them to terrorists.

The Chairman: Why did you make it public before 2001?

Mr. Grégoire: I arrived in Ottawa in January 2002.

Mr. Ranger: As I said in my opening remarks, security was not the first issue in our minds except in some areas on the aviation side. We did not have that many resources at the time. This, obviously, has become a primary line of business. We have had to reassess all of our processes, and that was one conclusion we reached.

This is a very concentrated industry. We may have over 2,000 airlines and 1,100 aerodromes, but there is a high concentration. Fifty per cent of our traffic goes through Toronto. If we were to disclose infiltration test results, even in a very aggregate way, anyone with a grade two education could extrapolate that we were talking about Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver. We have looked at the situation from all angles, and we would be officially concerned if those results were made public.

The Chairman: If there is an issue with the results, you have just told the terrorists where the three problems are.

Mr. Ranger: No, I am saying if we disclose them.

The Chairman: You said it is because of the concentration in three cities.

Mr. Grégoire: Ninety-two per cent of the traffic is at the top airports.

The Chairman: I heard what he said. If the concern is about three cities, then you have told people —

Mr. Ranger: I did not say what the results were. Maybe the results are —

The Chairman: We happen to know the results are lousy. We have that on very good authority. We do not understand why you do not make the results public after you address some of the problems. The answer may be that the trends are going in the wrong direction. We can see no reason for not releasing the results six months, eight months or some longer period of time after you have conducted the tests and have had an opportunity to correct the deficiencies. One reason you do not have good results is that you keep it secret.

Mr. Ranger: As I said, the Auditor General has full access.

The Chairman: The Auditor General could not report on the information. She only had access to the information on the condition that she not make it public.

Mr. Ranger: She could draw conclusions and publish those conclusions without disclosing the indicators.

The Chairman: Has she expressed frustration to you about this process?

Mr. Ranger: Yes, she has.

The Chairman: Yes, she has. She does not like it, so do not use her as your validation point. She thinks your system is very frustrating. She tells anyone who will listen to her that she does not like the way it is set up. You are pretending she is your litmus test; she is not.

Mr. Ranger: In terms of not being able to disclose, but it does not prevent her from drawing conclusions that are available to Parliament.

The Chairman: I am a parliamentarian and she has told me that she is immensely unhappy with this setup.

Mr. Ranger: Has she said that we misuse resources? After all, it is a test of whether we use resources properly. That is the litmus test.

The Chairman: Not, the litmus test is whether the system works and whether the grief that Canadians go through to pay for these systems and the lines they stand in will result in us having a safe system. If you have a failure rate at a certain level, Canadians will say, "Why are we spending this money? Why am I standing in the line?'' We can understand that there is a public relations element involved. We can understand that when people feel confident about their system, it encourages economic activity, and it was very important after 9/11 to get people back travelling. Canadians have the right to choose what level of risk they want to undertake and what level of risk they want to expose themselves to.

If it takes six months to resolve the problem, why could you not provide the results six months later? How will the terrorists take advantage of that information if you are providing it six months after you have corrected the problem?

Mr. Ranger: Again, the Auditor General usually follows up on all audits. She certainly can come back, and I am sure she will come back.

The Chairman: No. I am asking you to tell me what problem arises from releasing the information, on a regular basis, six months after you have solved the problem so that taxpayers know if their money is well spent and whether you are making progress in detecting weaknesses in the system.

Mr. Ranger: To use your example, if, despite best efforts, after successive periods of six months the results improve but, in the view of the average person, the failures are still too high, it continues to provide an indication that there is a problem.

The Chairman: Right. Then we get a chance to fire the people responsible; then we get a chance to change governments; then we get a chance to do something about it. Are you using the prospect that after three or four six- month periods the results are still lousy as your justification for not making the information public?

Mr. Ranger: No. I am saying the Auditor General can have access to this information —

The Chairman: Leave the Auditor General out of this, Mr. Ranger. Just give me an explanation of why, after six months, there is a risk that terrorists will exploit the problem if you have used those six months to correct the problem.

Mr. Ranger: I have to describe the system that exists now. The Auditor General can come back to the minister, who certainly has access to all this information.

The Chairman: Mr. Ranger, I do not know how many times I have to tell you that I do not want to hear about the Auditor General again. I am asking you to give me an answer without relying on the Auditor General.

Mr. Ranger: Given the structure of our industry, the disclosure of information of that level of sensitivity is a concern. It is communicating information to terrorists.

The Chairman: Why is it communicating information to terrorists if you have solved the problem six months previously?

Mr. Grégoire: What is an acceptable level of performance for you? What if infiltration was reduced by .1 per cent? Would you consider that to be good or bad? If the results improved by 10 per cent, would you consider that to be good or bad?

The Chairman: What if they are currently in double digits and the system fails in the teens or higher on a regular basis?

Mr. Grégoire: We are doing the same as like-minded countries. No like-minded countries publish their results, and for the same reason.

The Chairman: In the United States the results —

Mr. Grégoire: They do not publish their results.

The Chairman: The results in the United States a year ago were worse than before 9/11; they were regressive and legislators there who had access to the information wanted to string people up. I know who they would be stringing up if the same situation existed here in Canada.

When you say that other people are playing the same game, it looks like you are covering up for political purposes, and there is concern that this will not stand up in Question Period or with the public. There is concern that you are wasting money, putting people through a lot of grief, and that you do not have the results to prove that that is not the case.

What I am saying is that there is no confidence in your system because you are not being transparent about it, and there are ways for you to be transparent without giving terrorists an opportunity. The system having a reputation of being effective is far more important than the PR embarrassment when you publish the first results, providing you have that downward trend, that you are getting better and better.

Ms. Purdy: I will just add, Mr. Chair, my understanding and what I have confirmed since I have been at Transport Canada. The decision was made on one basis only, and that was on the basis of the risk that the information could be used for nefarious purposes. You can argue whether terrorists would actually find and use that information, but that was the sole basis for the decision not to publicly disclose the results of infiltration tests. If you have solved the problem after six months, I appreciate the question, but the tests are extremely complicated. They use a variety of lock devices. They test both the equipment and the people. It is not a matter of saying you fix the system to overcome the results that may have come through on infiltration tests. The testing is very complex, and some of the answers to the results could lie in new equipment, different equipment, more regular maintenance of equipment, or they could deal with staff or more training.

Fixing the results of infiltration tests, whether ours or that of other countries, is very complicated. You have argued against our decision to not disclose publicly that information, in the same way that other departments have chosen not to make publicly available floor plans and other information, which seemed fairly innocuous before 1997. We are all rethinking, and we do not want to do one single thing that will make the job of terrorists any easier. That is our position.

The Chairman: You have not made the case yet, as far as this committee is concerned, that you are making it any easier.

Ms. Purdy: I realize that.

The Chairman: You should address it, then. You should not come in and just repeat stuff that we do not find useful. We have heard that answer before, and it does not wash. You are not explaining to the satisfaction of the committee that you are actually doing the job here. We have reason to believe that, in fact, the results are not impressive and that people would be asking for the officials responsible for this situation to resign. We do not think we have a good system here. We would like that to be demonstrated, and we think one way to do it is to put a sufficient delay on so that the terrorists cannot do it. Likewise, we are not talking about identifying a specific machine at a specific location. We are talking about information in the aggregate. That is a whole lot different than saying, "Machines 1 through 7 at Pearson are problematic, so if you want to slip through, you have your best shot going through Machines 1 through 7.'' We are not saying that at all. We are asking how the overall system is doing, and for you to let us know once you have had a chance to address the concerns.

Senator Moore: Can you indicate to the committee what the trend is? Are the tests proving that we are getting better, or is it a constant line because of new personnel? Can you give us some indication without getting into specifics? We are not looking for that.

Mr. Grégoire: We have taken a conscious decision, as Ms. Purdy has explained to you, not to debate the subject in a public place.

Senator Moore: How long have you been doing these tests?

Mr. Grégoire: We have been doing tests for probably over 20 years.

Ms. Purdy: I would also add that there are measures of the effectiveness of CATSA screening and of the oversight by Transport Canada of that screening in the numbers that are reported regularly by CATSA for the items that they have seized at the screening line. In addition, certainly you read from time to time that sterile areas are evacuated because a screener has identified something that should not have gone through, and did. We have regular assessments of the effectiveness of CATSA screening, through some of the information which is made public on a regular basis.

Senator Moore: That is the regular passenger line. That is not the same thing. A smart, well-thought-out test, which is what you would be up against in the event of a terrorist scheme, is a different test.

Mr. Ranger: Senators, I can assure you that we spend a lot of time conducting those tests. If you had the management of CATSA here, they probably would tell you that we impose considerable stress on screeners because we monitor the work of screeners very closely, on a daily and hourly basis.

The Chairman: That is not an impressive answer. The only impressive answer is whether you can show an acceptably low level of infiltration and whether you can show progress. You are doing neither.

Mr. Ranger: With respect, sir, is this not part of a somewhat broader issue? We are not the only department involved in security. We are not the only department committing large resources to ensuring security. Other departments have their own indicators, which are not disclosed either. Is there not a broader issue on how the performance of departments is being assessed? To the extent that this is an issue, and I recognize it as an issue, we are a small part of that bigger issue as to how parliamentarians are properly kept informed. The person we are not supposed to talk about here did express concerns generally about having a responsibility to report to Parliament and yet having to respect the secrecy of information. We are not alone in that situation. There is perhaps a structural problem that needs to be looked at.

The Chairman: That is another issue. There appears to be too many people in charge of too many things, so everyone can pass the buck on to the next guy. You are trying to do that here.

Mr. Ranger: No, no.

The Chairman: If there were a higher level of confidence in how you were organizing our port security, you might get away with it, but we looked at your instructions for CATSA, for example, with airside workers, with baggage handlers, with groomers, with caterers, with people who refuel, and the occasional random searching that you have with them opens up the whole system to abuse and makes the screening of passengers a farce. Can you tell the committee why you choose to direct CATSA to randomly inspect?

Mr. Ranger: Yes. I would like to explain what we do for non-passengers, or workers at airports. On September 11, we were one of the few countries in the world already conducting background checks on employees. It is a five-point test: tests for any criminal record, tests for any problem with the credit of the employee, verification of —

Senator Moore: At all ports of entry? Seaports as well as airports?

Mr. Ranger: No, but we are moving to that. We have very systematic background checks.

The Chairman: I am sorry. Come on. Do not tell us they are systematic. Describe what the checks are. Tell us what a CPIC check is and what a CSIS check is. You are not talking about a full field of investigation. You are just seeing whether their name pops up on a list.

Mr. Ranger: I will definitely answer that. I was about to say it is like peeling an onion. There are several layers. We do background checks, and we will discuss how we do that. For greater certainty, we have asked CATSA to conduct random tests as they enter restricted areas. CATSA stops about 2,500 employees every day.

The Chairman: Out of how many?

Mr. Ranger: One hundred and twenty-five thousand passes are issued overall, but not all of those people are at the airport every single day. As you know, sir, we are intending to introduce restricted area identity cards with biometric features, so that someone cannot get into the airport with a false pass. You have to have a match between biometric features and the pass.

This morning I was asking my colleagues: Once that system is in place, will we still maintain the random tests? The answer is yes, even though we will have this system that will be difficult to break with the biometric features, we would maintain the random tests anyway as an extra precaution.

Who could answer the question on how we conduct the background checks?

Mr. Grégoire: Senator Kenny seems to have a good understanding of the process. We do take the fingerprints of individuals and the information of individuals. We run a credit check on the individual. We run a CPIC check, level 1. We do a CSIS check.

The Chairman: What is CPIC level 1?

Mr. Grégoire: I am not an expert on that. You seem to know more on the subject. We have an MOU with the RCMP where they will share any information with us on criminal organizations or affiliations of individuals to organized crime. We take all of this, along with the criminal record of the individual, and we assess if the individual represent a threat to aviation security. This is the basis on which we can accept or refuse a transportation security clearance. The legislative authority is within the Aeronautics Act, so we do that.

No, we do not do an infield check nor do we run interviews on people. This is only done for high level government clearance. We do not do that for airport workers. In addition, those tests and clearances are renewed every five years. If we are made aware of anything during that period, we can suspend or cancel a security clearance; suspend if there is an inquiry into the person, or cancel.

We have also added more stringent rules to the process since the summer of 2005. We now require information for five years, verifiable information. That means that if a person comes into our office with missing years of information, we will find ways to get this information; if we cannot, we will not grant a clearance. We have been forced to refuse quite a large number of clearances for that reason since the summer of 2005. CSIS, unfortunately, does not have an agreement with all countries from whence those people come, and it would be too labour-intensive to go to these countries and seek the information. If it is not there, or available, and if we cannot counter-verify the information, we do not give the security clearance to that person.

Mr. Ranger: We verify every five years and that means, in terms of workload, to give you an idea, between 30,000 and 40,000 names a year that we assess to keep a list of 125,000.

The Chairman: You talk about a CPIC check and the CSIS check and the credit check. I would ask you, Mr. Grégoire, if you would provide the committee with the details, if you are not clear on what they are. If you would provide that to the clerk, I would be most grateful.

I have a couple of things I want to run through. The first one is: People work inside airports without having these checks take place, do they not?

Mr. Ranger: And have access to restricted areas?

The Chairman: Contractors take people in.

Mr. Grégoire: They have to be accompanied by someone with a pass.

The Chairman: How many people can one person accompany? Can one person accompany more than one person?

Mr. Grégoire: There is a very specific security measure, but I do not remember what it is.

The Chairman: Is it five people, ten people, who can be supervised by one?

Mr. Grégoire: We will provide you with that information.

Mr. Ranger: I am sure it is more than one. We will give you the details.

The Chairman: If you are director of security, I think this would be a relevant thing to know.

Mr. Grégoire: I would hope that my director of security knows that.

The Chairman: There is also the checking of vehicles that are coming in and out: You are aware that people just wave at the vehicles?

Mr. Ranger: I am aware of such incidents, thanks to you.

The Chairman: But it is not just "such incidents.'' This is the norm. The exception would be if someone came out and said: "I think I would like to look behind your front seat.'' That would be the incident. That would be what is unusual. It is not the norm.

Mr. Grégoire: We have set up a working group between Transport Canada and CATSA to look at options to start a program of vehicle search. When we announce the non-passenger screening program, which you would prefer we do 100 per cent, we also said that eventually we would screen cars and vehicles going into the restricted area around the airport, but that is not yet in place. However, we agree with you that we need to put it in place eventually.

The Chairman: We have had a serious incident that has been referred to today with the Air India bombings, two of them. Where were the bombs placed?

Mr. Ranger: I have to defer to Ms. Purdy.

Ms. Purdy: It was in the cargo hold.

The Chairman: We are searching everyone who goes into the passenger compartment.

Ms. Purdy: Yes, and their luggage.

The Chairman: We are not, however, searching all of the people who work in the cargo hold.

Ms. Purdy: Who work in the cargo hold?

The Chairman: Who go in and leave it during the course of the day.

Ms. Purdy: The people who move cargo into passenger aircraft?

The Chairman: That is correct.

Ms. Purdy: I believe that is a restricted area, so they would be subject to checks, I would assume.

The Chairman: They are not all searched when they go in, are they?

Ms. Purdy: They are subject to the same random checks.

The Chairman: Does that not work out to less than 1 per cent?

Ms. Purdy: I do not know the figures.

The Chairman: We just got the figures: 2,500.

Ms. Purdy: These are people who are now being issued with biometric-based passes, so you cannot put them in the same category as passengers. These are people who have been vetted.

The Chairman: The reality is, these are not terribly valuable checks. We have deposed people who have smuggled drugs off planes, who work in the airport, and have described how they are able to move back and forth as much as they like, sometimes taking as many as 20 trips to unload their drugs out of an airport. We have deposed baggage handlers who have told us they can bring anything they want airside in their lunch pail. We have deposed groomers who have said they are the last people in the passenger cabin and no one checks them. They could be carrying a box cutter if they liked, and they could leave one by every seat.

We have had all of this testimony before this committee. This is all in the context of the RCMP coming before this committee and testifying that all of the major airports have organized criminal families there. Now, in light of the fact that the federal police force is testifying that there are organized criminal gangs functioning airside in restricted areas, Ms. Purdy, inside the airport, you are saying that it is appropriate not to search them every day going in and — I would argue — coming out.

Mr. Ranger: As Mr. Grégoire just explained, we now have an MOU with the RCMP that allows us to have access to information on individuals who may have criminal associations. We now have access to that, and you will recall that this is one area where the Auditor General took us to task to fix that situation, and we did.

I would like to add also that because of the very concern you are expressing, the government has asked CATSA to introduce those new identity cards that have a biometric feature. That project is progressing well and will be fully in place by the end of 2006. As we speak, approximately 33,000 people have that pass, so it is moving quickly. All airports have the equipment to issue the cards with the biometric feature. It is simply a matter of registering as fast as they can.

The Chairman: It might be well under way but if people have the capacity to come and go at will from an airport then some organized people are doing it. You said that an MOU has been introduced. Does that mean that when we call Mr. Sam Landry, the inspector in charge of Pearson International Airport, next week or next month, he will tell us that he does not have organized criminal gangs working within the airport?

Mr. Grégoire: If he tells you that, I would hope he would tell us as well.

The Chairman: He tells the whole world. We published it in our last report.

Ms. Purdy: As both my colleagues have mentioned, we have enhanced the background checks on these individuals significantly through this MOU. It is not simply a piece of paper. It means that everyone subjected to an airport restricted area clearance is checked against a number of RCMP databases and not just CPIC — those that show criminal associations. When we are clearing, re-clearing or renewing the passes for these individuals, the RCMP officer can bring to our attention that criminal associations should be looked at. We would look at the material and determine whether to issue a pass to that individual.

With that plus the requirement to have five continuous years of verifiable and accurate information, we have strengthened the background check system in co-operation with the RCMP, who know organized crime in airports better than anyone else knows it.

The Chairman: Certainly, the RCMP have told us that it is extensive. In the case of the smuggler that we deposed recently, the individual's circumstances had changed after a couple of years, which caused them to get into the line of work they were in. It is a question of whether the checks are frequent enough.

Mr. Ranger: I am well placed to tell you that we refuse many people because of incomplete information. The minister has delegated authority to me to sign off the refusal forms. I see them all each week. I have to confirm refusals on a large number of people who apply for jobs at airports.

Senator Banks: I would like to continue on this vein so that I am clear on what you are saying. It is the position of the department, with respect to people who work airside in sensitive areas, that a background check is sufficient to allow them to cross to the airside area, where they can do more than I can do as a passenger, and be subject to random checks; is that correct?

Mr. Ranger: Yes, but we are saying that that is not good enough. Background checks and random checks are not sufficient. In addition to that, we are issuing an identity card with biometric features, to be fully in place for all airport workers by the end of 2006.

Senator Banks: We will know who they are but we will not search them regularly.

Mr. Ranger: That will be done on a random basis.

Senator Banks: I have been flying for 56 years and I have a CAN pass, a Senate identification card, and yet I have been examined at least twice and often three or four times each week, week in and week out, for many years. The likelihood that I am carrying contraband or a knife in my carry-on luggage is fairly remote.

Applying your logic, will you recommend that passengers who carry acceptable levels of identification and are known not to be direct threats will not have to be searched all the time when they get on airplanes? It would save a great deal of money.

Mr. Grégoire: I would like to make two points. First, on the non-passenger screening on random checks, we are ahead of many countries around the world. Many countries do not screen the workers at the airports. However, there is some talk, especially amongst European Union countries, about starting to screen 100 per cent of workers, similar to what you are trying to convince us to do.

We have not said we would never do it; we are saying that we are not doing it now. Perhaps one day we will do it. It is a matter of risk management and a matter of addressing the issues and spending the money on the basis of that risk. The current program with the restricted area pass, which we will introduce, and the improved background check is complemented by random checks. A random check means that the employees do not know when it will happen. If they know, then we will have to improve the system, and we would discuss that with CATSA. The three items constitute a good framework.

Your question was on frequent, no-threat travellers. We have asked CATSA to develop a program for frequent travellers but we have concerns about it. We do not want to move to soon into that because the security advantages to the traveller are not clear to us. For instance, are we ready to let just any registered traveller board a plane without screening them? I do not think so, not yet.

Senator Banks: Yet you are prepared to let baggage handlers go into airplanes every day without searching them.

The Chairman: It is not a random check. The first two people in a herd might be checked. They do not come one at a time but rather in groups of 20s and 30s. The first two get stopped and everyone else walks through. They talk to each other on cellphones and thus know which gates are busy and which are not busy.

Mr. Grégoire: It should not be that easy. Now that you have identified those weaknesses, we will talk about them.

The Chairman: I identified those weaknesses three years ago.

Mr. Ranger: It is not only when they enter the area. An inspector can go on the runway at any time and identify —

The Chairman: Yes, they can go, but it does not happen. It happens when they are passing through the gate.

Mr. Ranger: Primarily, I agree, the option is there.

The Chairman: The option is there but it is not exercised.

Senator Moore: Senator Banks is mentioning by way of his own situation: Would a NEXUS card eliminate the need to go through security?

Mr. Grégoire: No.

Senator Moore: You would not let him pass? Even with a NEXUS card he still has to go through security?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

Senator Moore: I know it relates to customs but it is quite a serious application to get one of those cards. It is not just a simple piece of paper.

Mr. Ranger: There are security issues. For example, an open question for those who would avail themselves of the benefit is: should there be a fee? Would you be prepared to pay $100?

Senator Banks: Allow me to make something clear. I was only using it as an analogy for the argument. I do not want to be excused from my baggage being searched. I do not want anyone to be excused from their baggage being searched to get on an airplane. I want every person's baggage to be searched, whether they are carrying it or it is checked in for cargo, more carefully than is currently the case. I want the same degree of scrutiny to be applied to other people who are on that airplane just before me. I do not want to be excused. That was not the purpose of my argument. I will move on to the next question.

With all due respect, Mr. Grégoire, I know what you are up against. However, you gave an answer to a question raised in the report three years ago about trucks, cars and other vehicles entering the airside area of many airports. Today, you said that you have now established a committee that will examine what kind of process might be put into place to deal with that question.

Members of this committee and others brought this situation to the attention of the previous government. That was three years ago. How is it possible that something as simple as that, as simple as saying that we think we should do even random checks, on some reasonable basis, on vehicles that go airside, which we know is not now the case; that is not in place yet. Now you are telling us today that you are beginning to look at the possibility and examine whether it might be undertaken somehow?

Mr. Ranger: CATSA has clearly been mandated to do this for workers, individuals and vehicles. Phase 1 is workers. Phase 2, they are not there yet, and frankly this is something we need to deal with but there is a resource issue there.

Senator Banks: Why does phase 2 take more than three years?

Mr. Ranger: There is a resource issue.

Mr. Grégoire: Phase 1 is not finished yet. That is what Mr. Ranger said: Phase 1 will be finished by the end of year. Yes, it is taking longer, but there is a matter of resources. The government just announced on Friday major resources for CATSA. The traffic has been increasing significantly at all major airports and the resources must be put, first, towards the screening of passengers.

Senator Banks: We assume that the bad guys will be saying "We will not go airside because they have not finished phase 2 yet.'' There is no possible logic to it, but I want to ask you a specific question about the $26 million that is new money.

Senator Moore: It was announced in the budget.

Ms. Purdy: That is new.

Senator Banks: Can you tell us exactly what that $26 million will be used for, and when, and what key stakeholders will be involved in that process, and what functions will they carry out? Can you walk us through, just for the record, what the timeline is that you now plan on the implementation of that initiative? Give us an idea of how long it will take before that program is in place. The one about trucks on the airside was three and a half years ago and we have never had an undertaking from anyone to say "This is how long it will take us to fix that.'' Now, here you have $26 million new dollars to deal with cargo and airplane. How long will it take?

Mr. Ranger: First, it is not as if nothing exists now. I know it has been criticized, and rightly so, but there is a known shipper program that exists already. We have been concerned. There are gaps there that we need to deal with. That money will serve to design a program that will undergo a pilot test. There will be some specific interventions.

Senator Banks: Is that to address those gaps?

Mr. Ranger: To address those gaps. I will ask Mr. Grégoire to elaborate on what the intentions are.

Mr. Grégoire: This money is to design and pilot test enhancements of air cargo. It is not to fill in all the gaps yet. We want to evaluate and develop regulated agent and known shipper security programs to increase security in the supply chain integrity. That will be done with approximately 1,000 companies, give or take a few dozen. We want to evaluate and develop a known shipper database to help identify low-risk supply chain partners. Here we would like to eventually have up to 30,000 registered companies.

I should have mentioned that when we say "we,'' I am referring to Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, and I understand that you have heard from Mr. Jolicoeur this morning. Then we want to evaluate and develop air cargo screening and inspection protocol to deal with high-risk cargo. The idea is to come up with a program to determine how we will deal with the known shipper cargo, how we will deal with the unknown shipper cargo, what kind of screening we will do, and who will do the screening.

Mr. Ranger: At every step of the way, sir, there is the shipper, there is the broker, there is the airline, there is the consignee, and we must just think through the whole supply chain and identify gaps at every stage of the way.

Senator Banks: I understand the non-shipper program. I understand the practicality of that. Will this $26 million have anything to do with looking at a package that I take up to Air Canada Cargo and address to you in Ottawa? Will that package be screened as a result of this $26 million, or will this $26 million set up a program that might look at whether that package should be screened?

Mr. Grégoire: I would say a combination of the two answers you just gave. Your package might be screened because we will assess technology in this pilot project so we will test different technology and the means to deliver that technology. The screening could be done by the airline, it could be done by CATSA, it could be done by another provider or it could be done by CBSA itself.

Senator Banks: The $26 million is partly being spent to decide who is in charge here?

Mr. Ranger: Yes, who will do what, more precisely.

Senator Banks: How long will that take to get the answer?

Ms. Purdy: The money is for two years.

Senator Banks: Will you have the answer at the end of two years?

Ms. Purdy: We will have tested both processes and equipment, and we will have a way forward. We hope by then that we will be screening. In particular, our focus will be on high-risk cargo going into passenger aircraft. That has to be the focus at the beginning.

Mr. Ranger: I should say the government is well aware that this initiative is going forward. However, we will need much more funding. We had identified $26 million as our needs for the next two years, and we got $26 million.

Senator Banks: Ms. Purdy talked about high-risk cargo that is going into passenger aircraft. More than three years ago now, this committee discovered that with respect to mailed packages, virtually all of which go into passenger aircraft if they are going to another city, the post office department told us that they do not screen that mail because others do; Air Canada, in turn, told us that they do not screen it because others do. No one in the department ever said that they screened the mail.

You have just talked, Ms. Purdy, about high-risk cargo going into passenger aircraft. If we know this chink exists in regard to mail, the bad guys know this chink also exists. Is there a program in place — are we looking at some way of saying that if I put a package in the mail in Edmonton, where I live, and mail it to you in Ottawa or Toronto, that somehow, someone, instead of pointing fingers at each other, will look at that package? That is currently the way to get whatever you want on to a passenger airplane, whether it comes from a known shipper or not.

Mr. Ranger: That is what the $26 million is all about. In the three programs we identified, if we had been asked what the top priority would be, it would have been that one, and we have been saying that for a number of months now.

Senator Banks: Mail, specifically?

Mr. Ranger: Mail and cargo. I would say mail specifically is a concern. That is what we want to deal with.

Senator Atkins: Does CATSA have anyone at field aviation checking passengers on private aircraft, or baggage handlers or aircraft handlers?

Mr. Ranger: Are you talking about the issue of screening or not screening at fixed space?

Mr. Grégoire: CATSA only screens people and baggage at main terminals. This is an issue that we have been looking at recently — "recently'' being a bit of a loose term, since we have been looking at it for over a year and a half.

Senator Atkins: It is a sieve, then.

Mr. Ranger: In my introductory remarks, I indicated that there are gaps. Yes, senator, there are gaps. We do risk assessments and it is an area that we still need to deal with. It is our view that, based on the risk assessments, it has not been our top priority. We need to look at that as well.

Mr. Chairman, if I may, I specifically asked a year and a half ago for an action plan here. As we appear before these committees, and as a new event occurs in Madrid or London, we say "What about this and what about that?'' We said as we deal with those urgent issues, we must also come up with an action plan; we must look at the full range of the gaps in the system, whether it is with respect to cargo or hand-held missiles or the whole range of issues. In the overall spectrum of threats and vulnerabilities, where do they fit? We are conducting very sophisticated risk assessments of all those possible threats, and basically trying to rank them.

Inasmuch as we have been able to get $2.5 billion so far, we have been challenged by central agencies, as we should be, and we did not have all the tools to explain why this particular area is more important than that particular area. We are now developing that tool. There is no doubt that the fixed-base issue is identified very specifically; where does it fit in the range of vulnerabilities and how much money should we devote to that, as opposed to spending more time on CATSA?

The Chairman: There was a tax introduced to pay for this particular item, which has since been reduced before all these vulnerabilities were fixed. That tax was there. We also see variations between different airports, which also have the capacity to tax.

When you were describing airport authorities, you did not mention that they had the capacity to tax; yet some airports search pilots and some do not. We do not understand that. Regarding fixed-base operations, why was the tax cut when the job was not finished? You say you have a resource problem. You would not have the resource problem if you had not cut the tax.

Mr. Grégoire: Most operators, fixed-base operations or general aviation areas, use corporate aircraft. Most of the aircraft used there are used by owners or renters of aircraft. Everyone knows each other. Sports teams use the fixed- base operations and they know each other as well. Most of them use small aircraft, which carry less than 20 passengers each and which represent a smaller risk.

The Chairman: The people who work there will tell you any one of those planes could destroy any building in the city. You are looking at a committee that has walked on to those fixed-base operations without anyone asking for identification, without anyone knowing who we were, and we had never been to that place before. You just walk on; and if you look like you know where you are going, you pass right through — no ID, no questions; just move and you are in. We have all done it.

Senator Atkins: I gather from what you say, you do categorize the risk of airports. You named three. How would you categorize Fredericton or Regina? Is that high risk?

Mr. Grégoire: It would be lower risk than the main airport.

Ms. Purdy: It is one of the 89 where there are CATSA screening services provided, so it is certainly considered enough of a risk to require the screening of passengers and baggage, as takes place now.

Senator Atkins: How does CATSA determine the number of CATSA personnel that would be stationed at, say, Regina or Fredericton?

Mr. Grégoire: It is largely based on the volume of passengers. They each have to be screened, so let us put it to the ultimate. If there is only one screening line open and you have many flights, the passengers will have a very long waiting time. It is an operational question based on how many people you can screen per hour.

Senator Atkins: In Fredericton, you will have an airplane that will carry 20 people to Halifax, and there will be eight CATSA people on duty; half of them are standing around doing nothing. Some of them may decide that they should be doing something, and rather than being user-friendly, they are user-unfriendly. I think you have a problem because a lot of the personnel that work for CATSA, it is a public relations thing that is out there to persuade us that things are really going right. I have to tell you, when you are down in the Maritimes or you are in other parts of this country and this sort of situation takes place, it creates an attitude that I find unbelievable.

Mr. Ranger: Sir, I share your concern and I have specifically raised that point with CATSA. With respect, I would invite you to perhaps invite the CEO of the corporation to come and explain.

In the early days, I had the same observation and there were some unresolved issues. For example, some of the people were on their break, but there was no space for them to go to somewhere else in the airport, so they just stood there and created a very negative perception. Over time, they may have fixed some of those problems. However, on the question of the number of people that they need to operate a line of screening, it is definitely an operational decision, and CATSA should answer for that.

Ms. Purdy: I will also point out, in response to Senator Moore's question, that an independent panel is looking not just at the CATSA legislation but at the operation of the organization. They have been travelling from coast to coast, and I think they have now visited about 22 airports. They have met with citizens and interested parties in major cities, including in the Maritimes. They have been taking in information and will be reporting to the minister on the legislation — whether it is adequate, but also how CATSA has been performing its functions since its creation in 2002. There is that track of work under way as well.

Senator Atkins: The only reason I raise it is that you talk about CATSA having 125,000 people —

Mr. Ranger: No, that is the whole industry, including flight attendants, pilots, et cetera. That is everyone involved in providing services.

Senator Atkins: How many would be employed by CATSA?

Mr. Ranger: There are 4,000 screeners.

Mr. Grégoire: Actually, CATSA employs approximately 200 people and subcontracts to screening providers. I think they have five screening providers and over 4,000 screeners employed by those screening contractors. I believe they are now up to 4,200 screeners; when they started operating five years ago, the airlines were employing about 2,800 screeners.

Senator Moore: Who makes up the 125,000?

Mr. Grégoire: That is all of the workers throughout the airport: the pilots, the flight attendants, the caterers, the airport workers.

Mr. Ranger: People who work on maintenance.

Senator Atkins: Is the distribution of human resources where it should be?

Mr. Ranger: I have raised that question myself. The nature of the industry now is that the airlines operate with flight banks. There is the morning bank and the afternoon bank, and the whole system is geared on that. In the middle of the morning or the middle of the afternoon, there is hardly anyone flying, yet you must keep those people at the airport.

Mr. Grégoire: They must take them on as an eight-hour shift, on average. As Mr. Ranger explained, if they have a need for a lot of screeners in the morning and evening and you show up for the single flight at lunchtime, then yes, there are too many screeners for that flight, but these folks are there because they have to do their eight hours. That is unlike the big airports, where you will not see that because you have many lines that are in operation.

Senator Banks: You said in response to Senator Atkins that Fredericton and Regina were judged as being lower risk.

Mr. Grégoire: I meant lower than the big airports.

Senator Banks: On the basis of what?

Mr. Grégoire: The volume of passengers, mix of aircraft, volume of aircraft.

Mr. Ranger: Having said that, obviously some airports are less vulnerable than others; but CATSA right now provides what we call universal screening. Everyone is essentially screened the same way, whether you depart from Iqaluit or Toronto. CATSA would like to have a debate on that as to whether we should tailor the screening, depending on the risk at Iqaluit versus Toronto.

Senator Banks: If there is a commercial airport at which a person can get on a commercial, scheduled airliner, it does not seem to me a good mental exercise to say that Iqaluit is less susceptible to a problem than is Toronto. A bad guy will instantly know to get on the plane in Iqaluit.

Mr. Ranger: That is the current thinking, but there is a view out there that on some days you should not do any screening at Iqaluit. We do not support that view, but there is the view that as long as the information is not publicly available, on certain days of the week, certain airports —

Senator Banks: You cannot be partly pregnant. We either have security or we do not.

Mr. Ranger: I thought that is what you would say.

Senator Atkins: Is there a limit to the extent of inspection of an individual? Are there guidelines to which an employee must adhere? If there are, I must say that they are overstepping their bounds, in a number of cases.

Mr. Ranger: Do you means in terms of removing shoes?

Senator Atkins: Yes, and unzipping flies, et cetera.

Mr. Ranger: I have experienced it myself. They know that I am the deputy minister and they want to show me that they are doing their job thoroughly. I feel that I have to remove my shoes more often than the average passenger.

They are well trained. You can be sent for a secondary inspection and be subjected to a thorough search. I am not personally aware of what you would call abuse, but sometimes the search can be very thorough indeed, particularly in the middle of the day, perhaps because there are fewer passengers then, but I believe it is all within the standards set by CATSA.

Senator Tkachuk: The Chair alluded to the airport security tax earlier. How much was collected in 2005, 2004 and 2003 in airport security tax?

Mr. Ranger: It costs between $400 and $500 million a year, and it does vary.

Senator Tkachuk: That is what is collected?

Mr. Ranger: That is what it costs.

Senator Tkachuk: For what?

Mr. Ranger: For screening at airports.

Senator Tkachuk: How much is collected through the airport security tax?

Mr. Ranger: On average, the same amount. The money that is collected through the security charge goes into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. It is not put into a separate pot of money, out of which this service is paid for.

Senator Tkachuk: In other words, it is a user tax?

Mr. Ranger: It is a user fee.

Senator Tkachuk: That is what I am getting at.

Mr. Ranger: The government's commitment is that over a five-year period not one dollar collected through the charge will be diverted to anything else. It is available for security.

Senator Tkachuk: But in the past, it has not been?

Mr. Ranger: It may be on a year-by-year basis.

Senator Tkachuk: We should know how much money has been collected through the tax in 2003, 2004 and 2005. How much is spent on airport security?

Mr. Ranger: The amount of money collected is available in the financial monitor —

Senator Tkachuk: You do not know that? I will look it up.

Mr. Grégoire: The Department of Finance website contains this information.

Senator Tkachuk: Have you never bothered to check? Would you not say that if $500 million has been collected through the airport security tax, it should be spent on airport security?

Mr. Ranger: One hundred and thirty million dollars has been added. The economy is booming and traffic is high. This has imposed a financial burden on CATSA. There are more people to screen.

Senator Tkachuk: When I do not get an answer on something that seems obvious to me, I get suspicious.

We had airport security before 2001, albeit not as much. How much did we spend then?

Mr. Ranger: It was all paid for by the airlines.

Senator Tkachuk: Exactly. Do we know how much it cost them?

Mr. Ranger: Between $70 million and $75 million.

Senator Tkachuk: Have we let them off the hook on that $75 million? Do they pay nothing for it now?

Mr. Ranger: The airlines pay nothing for it now.

Senator Tkachuk: What is the difference between what they used to spend and what is spent now?

Mr. Ranger: It is much more, sir. At that time they were paying minimum wages and providing no training, and there was a high turnover. People are better paid now and they stay longer on the job. As I said, it costs $4,000 to train each employee. It is a more elaborate system now.

Senator Tkachuk: I will try to get that information myself. Perhaps you can tell me — and you should know this — what was spent from 2000 to 2005 on security at airports. I am not talking about what happens here; I am talking about what happens at airports. At one time, airlines paid $75 million for security. What are we paying at airports per year today? What did we pay last year, the year before and the year before that?

Mr. Ranger: This information is available from CATSA's annual reports.

The Chairman: Just to clarify, it was flying passengers who paid, both before and now?

Senator Tkachuk: Yes.

Senator Atkins: For the same security?

Ms. Purdy: The air traveller security charge is not only to fund CATSA, you must remember. It is also to fund the RCMP and some of our work. It is for aviation security, not strictly for CATSA. When you paint the picture of how much was collected and how much was spent —

Senator Tkachuk: Why would airline passengers have to pay for RCMP? Why should the general taxpayer not have to pay for them?

Ms. Purdy: The air marshal program is a new program that was put in place at the same time the air traveller security charge was introduced. We now have specially trained RCMP officers travelling on certain aircraft to designated airports around the world and domestically. That is being paid for out of the air traveller security charge, as an example. There is some very specific RCMP aviation security.

Senator Tkachuk: It is important for us to know this, and I think the taxpayer would also want to know this. It covers security at airports and what else?

Ms. Purdy: Aviation security.

Senator Tkachuk: What does "aviation security'' mean exactly? Is it RCMP passengers?

Mr. Ranger: Screening —

Senator Tkachuk: No, no. That is airport security. Let us go on to all the other things it pays for.

Mr. Ranger: It covers part of the cost of policing at airports, although not all of it.

Senator Banks: Does it pay for baggage screening machines?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

The Chairman: In fairness, the number of police at airports has decreased by almost 40 per cent. Traffic is up and the number of police is way down. Even if you add in the air protection officers, you do not get the same total of RCMP in any of our airports. It is a red herring, Ms. Purdy, for you to bring that up.

Ms. Purdy: Is it is not only the RCMP. Response from police forces to airports is not by the RCMP. It is usually officers of the police force of the local jurisdiction that come if there is an incident at an airport.

The Chairman: I said that the total number of police at airports is way down. At Pearson, if you add the number of RCMP to the regional police force who are there, it is 40 per cent less than when it was just RCMP.

Ms. Purdy: I am just saying that the total police picture is not the number of police officers in uniform patrolling the airport.

The Chairman: I was saying that if you added in the air protection officers, there are still less.

Ms. Purdy: There are various ways to calculate police presence at airports, including those who are within three, four or five minutes' response time, which is what we expect for certain scenarios that may unfold at an airport. In terms of uniformed police officers patrolling the terminal, I do not know whether the numbers are up or down. That is only one part of it. There are also many undercover, covert operations that take place at airports that include, if it is a federal investigation, the RCMP. The police picture cannot be measured with one measure, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Tkachuk: That does not come out of the security tax.

Senator Moore: It is an RCMP investigation.

Ms. Purdy: Some of the funds go to help the airports pay for policing at their airports. CATSA is a funnel for that money to go to local police.

Mr. Ranger: After September 11, we used moral suasion to get the airports to bring in more police presence. They said that they could sustain that for a month or two but then would need help, and the government agreed to make a permanent contribution. It does not cover the full cost, because we recognize that the police presence is required to protect physical property, and so on. It is not enough, as the airport will tell you, but we do cover part of the cost of the police.

The Chairman: If, as you allege, this is true, will you provide the committee with the figures prior to 9/11 and post 9/ 11?

Mr. Ranger: With respect to the number of police officers?

The Chairman: You are alleging that it has gone up.

Ms. Purdy: No.

Mr. Grégoire: No, we did not say it had gone up.

The Chairman: It has gone down. That is what is so frustrating.

Mr. Grégoire: No, we never said that, either.

The Chairman: You and Ms. Purdy are contesting it, so we would like to see the numbers.

Mr. Grégoire: You want the RCMP numbers?

The Chairman: Yes, together with the numbers of people hired by the airport authorities.

Mr. Grégoire: The $2.2 billion announced as part of budget 2001 is funnelled through CATSA to help fund the airport for part of the armed police presence there. Since 2001, we have imposed on the airport more stringent requirements for armed police presence.

We cannot compare what the RCMP does or does not do. The RCMP have people at the airport, but they are there for other purposes. We need armed police at airports to be able to intervene at the airport. We need them to be able to intervene at the pre-clearance area of border crossing. This is paid for by the airports. I can guarantee to you that there are more police now than there were on September 11, or before September 11, but that is not counting the RCMP. It includes police there before and the ones we have now. That is why the government has decided to pay for a portion of those numbers through CATSA.

The Chairman: You guarantee it, Mr. Grégoire, but that is contrary to the testimony we have heard from the RCMP, who are taking into account total figures.

Would you please provide the committee with your figures? We would like to compare them with the other testimony we have had.

Mr. Grégoire: I do not know how many RCMP officers there are at the airport.

The Chairman: I am talking about all levels of policing. The figures we have are broken out. In the case of Pearson, for example, it is broken down into the OPP, the regional police and the RCMP. You say it is guaranteed that there are more. We would like the figures to demonstrate that. Can you provide that information?

Mr. Grégoire: We will provide the numbers that we have now.

The Chairman: That is what we would like to see.

Mr. Ranger: I will need to get that information from the airports.

Senator Tkachuk: I would like to follow up on this point, so if we cannot get the information today we should be able to eventually get it.

I used to go through airport security, as did everybody else here, and there was security before 9/11. I used to go through a little metal detector. After 9/11, it was costing an extra $7 one way, $12 for a round trip and $20 for international flights. It is presently $5, $10 and $17, respectively.

What extra do I get as a passenger for that money that each passenger in Canada spends every time they board an airplane? You should be able to tell me that now.

Mr. Ranger: You are right, sir. The amount of money the government has collected in year one, two and three must be available. It is available.

The amount of money collected in year one was probably higher than what CATSA was able to spend. They placed orders for equipment and had to hire people. Over time, that equipment came in, people were staffed and it is possible that in year two they spent more than we collected. The government has said that, over a five-year period, there will be a match. Finance is monitoring that very closely.

Overall, there is a commitment by government that none of that money will be redirected towards any other use. On a year-by-year basis, you cannot have an exact match between revenues collected and amount spent.

There was, and still is, a concern in the industry, with both airlines and airports, that the money is being kept on hold or is being spent somewhere else. The government commits that that is not so.

Senator Tkachuk: The airlines saved $70 million as a result of this program, right?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: Did that go directly into their pockets?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

Senator Tkachuk: They did not have any responsibility for airline security?

Mr. Ranger: I am glad you raised that issue. The airlines, as you know, are still saying today that the government was not there when times were tough and traffic was obviously down. However, there is a fairly long list of things that the government has done for the industry, starting with this $70 million-plus year after year, which is an obligation that no longer rests with them. For example, we contributed $35 million for cockpit doors. That is money in the bank.

I guess we do not do a good job in communicating that today the government continues to cover war risk insurance beyond $150 million for everybody doing anything on the premises of an airport, whether it is an airline or a refueler. The Government of Canada assumes that responsibility. The cost to airlines of purchasing war risk insurance, if it were available, would be a big fortune, not a small one. The government is covering that item at the moment.

I am glad you raised that issue. It gives me an opportunity to demonstrate that the government has done a number of concrete things for the industry.

Senator Tkachuk: I will look up how much the government has taken in on the security tax. How many years has it been in force now, four or five years?

Mr. Grégoire: Security tax began on April 1, 2002.

Senator Tkachuk: Tell me how much has been spent in the last few years on airport security. I would like it broken down for all members of the committee. For example, this is what is spent on assessing the customer when he walks in the door, compared to what used to be spent, and here is what is spent on extra police that was not spent before. Do not put the whole expense in there because that gives me a false picture of how things have changed since the security tax has been implemented.

Ms. Purdy: We will certainly provide that detailed information.

From one perspective, what did we not have on September 10 that we have now? We have CATSA. We already talked about how the number of screeners has risen by 1,400. They are better trained, they stay longer, their retention is better and they are certainly providing a more consistent level of service.

We also did not have a state-of-the-art explosive detection system that is being deployed to screen bags going on both domestic and international flights. We did not have fortified cockpit doors or air marshals from the RCMP, who are trained and are working every day on airplanes. We did not even have the random screening of non-passengers that we have now. We did not have a biometric identification card for airport workers. We did not have the more rigorous background checks.

Those are things we did not have on September 10 that we have now. That is just a small piece of the roughly $2.5 billion that has been spent since September 11 on aviation security. We can give you a breakdown if that would help you.

Senator Tkachuk: That would be appreciated.

The Chairman: Mr. Ranger, we have kept you beyond the time that you committed to appearing here. I apologize. However, we still have a number of issues that we have not covered. If we communicated them to you in writing, could you reply to those?

Mr. Ranger: Yes.

The Chairman: Thank you very much.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all three witnesses for appearing here today. We look forward to having you back again in the not too distant future so that we can continue inquiring about some of these issues.

Mr. Ranger: We are here to assist you, senator.

The Chairman: Thank you.

For members of the public who are viewing this program, if you have questions or comments, please visit our website by going to We post witness testimony as well as confirm hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance.

This meeting is adjourned. We will continue in the opposite room briefly in camera.

The committee continued in camera.