Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 9 - Evidence - Meeting of November 22, 2010
OTTAWA, Monday, November 22, 2010
The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day
at 4 p.m. to examine and report on the national security and defence policies of
Canada (topics: the role of Canada in NATO; and national threat assessments);
and to consider a motion to change the official structural name of the Canadian
Senator Pamela Wallin (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: I call to order this meeting of the Standing Senate
Committee on National Security and Defence on Canadian national security and
defence policies, including Canada's NATO role, the national threat assessment,
and a look at changing the official structural name of the Canadian navy. We
will not be dealing with Item 4 on today's agenda; that is Senator Rompkey's
motion in the Senate.
Senator Dallaire: Madam Chair, I have a small statement before we
commence with our first witness.
I humbly announce that our colleague, Senator Joseph Day, has been elected
Chair of the Defence & Security Committee in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
The Chair: We will let him have a question today.
Congratulations, Senator Day.
Senator Segal: I hope that security committee has long meetings,
mostly in June, July and August.
Senator Day: I am very familiar with that.
Senator Segal: I am hopeful that he will be so occupied in June and
July that we will not have long meetings here on the federal budget.
The Chair: Deal.
This past weekend, the leaders of the NATO countries concluded an important
summit in Lisbon, Portugal. They reached an agreement on the nature of NATO's
engagement in Afghanistan and on ending it. As well, they made some progress on
ballistic missile defence and on the new strategic concept. They also met with
the President of Russia, NATO's former Cold War enemy, to see if those relations
might warm just slightly.
Last spring, this committee heard form Paul Chapin on the subject of NATO.
Mr. Chapin has served more than 25 years in the Department of Foreign Affairs
and International Trade. He was once Canada's representative on NATO's Political
Advisors Committee in Brussels and has managed the operations of Canada's
missions to NATO. He has been watching the summit closely, so we thought we
would invite him to give us a summary. I understand that you have an opening
statement, Mr. Chapin. Welcome and please proceed.
Paul Chapin, Member of the Board of Directors, Canadian Defence
Associations Institute, (Former Director General of International Security,
Foreign Affairs and International Trade), as an individual: I proceed with
some trepidation this afternoon because the NATO summit concluded only 48 hours
ago. I hope for your indulgence if I do not cover all of the subjects in the way
that you would like me to do.
We can give NATO full marks for so superbly organizing the summit. All summit
documentation and background documentation is available on its website,
including videos on some important issues. I would commend the committee's
attention to that website.
Preparing for this event, I thought I had better first educate myself on what
was happening, so I prepared a sheet. I have several copies of it in English
with me today. Unfortunately, neither time nor my capacity in French permitted
me to provide you with a copy in French. I am happy to make these available to
I accord this particular NATO summit an A minus. It delivered on the most
important issues before it and it launched initiatives in a number of areas that
will stand it in good stead in the future. The alliance is in good repair.
It was not a complete triumph, in my estimation, because it failed in some
respects to rebrand the alliance in a way that it might have been able to do in
order to present a more benign, constructive and impressive face to the world.
Also, it missed a few opportunities to move on some issues that are of
importance to Canada. Notwithstanding that, an A minus is probably a good score.
I would identify four highlights in no particular order except the order in
which they were addressed at the NATO summit. The first session had to do with
the strategic concept. The document, as it has appeared, articulates well the
alliance's mission and purpose. For the first time, I believe, it also presents
a vision to guide its future decisions. It describes itself as:
able to defend its members against the full range of threats, capable of
managing even the most challenging crises and better able to work with other
organizations and nations to promote international stability.
That stands it in good stead for the 21st century.
The second highlight was agreement on a program to protect NATO European
populations and territory from ballistic missile attack. Some years ago, NATO
launched a program to develop a capacity to protect its deployed forces abroad
from missile attacks, such as the scuds used by the Iraqi's in the Gulf wars. It
has now taken the decision to translate some of that technology, clearly with
American help but with that of others as well, to construct a broad- based
continental European defence system. I might add as a parenthesis: This means
that of the 28 members of the alliance, 27 have taken a decision to protect
themselves against ballistic missile attack.
The third highlight is a transition plan for Afghanistan that will see Afghan
forces assume increased responsibility for their own security. That has been the
plan from the beginning. It is heartening that there is something approximating
a timetable for that to happen. The plan would be to start Afghan army and
police forces assuming the lead responsibility for security in certain provinces
and districts beginning early next year, with a view to assuming responsibility
for the entire country by the end of 2014. Obviously, the issue is how doable
that is, but I would not dismiss this timetable as a political sleight of hand.
A plan will be put in place to make that happen. It can be disrupted and we
cannot control what happens in that country, but this is not a pie-in-the-sky
The fourth highlight was a new beginning with Russia. There have been other
new beginnings, and this one looks promising. The Russians appear to have turned
a page, and that is important to note. My sense is that their fear of NATO has
diminished. Maybe for public relations purposes they will see some advantage in
presenting NATO as a dark force, but they have come to the point at which they
have agreed to cooperate with NATO, not only in some areas where the cooperation
is relatively easy to tolerate, such as terrorism, narcotics and piracy — all of
which engage Russian interests; but also in a plan to cooperate on missile
defence, which was one of the sticking points over the last several years that
they seemed to have bridged. It is not finished yet; there is work to be done in
the next year or so. Deadlines have to be met and reports have to be submitted
to the defence ministers, et cetera. It looks like there is a program in place
to do that.
These are remarkable achievements that stand in contrast, which we should
note every once in a while, to the largely sterile pronouncements and empty
successes so often associated with the United Nations. As I have said before,
NATO is there because in some respects the United Nations cannot do the job in
national security. At the Lisbon meeting, NATO demonstrated quite admirably its
abilities in that area.
I will close with a couple of points about the disappointments I see. There
is still a question that needs to be asked: Is NATO becoming a European security
organization with a couple of North American add-ons? This may not matter much
to the United States, which is a super power and will never be ignored; but it
does matter to Canada. Why do I ask the question? I ask because the alliance's
Euro-centric dimensions were very much in evidence in Lisbon. They talked a lot
about themselves and the European Union because their commitment to
expeditionary operations — the kinds that we might want their help on in areas
of the world that matter to us, is still very tentative. They have said some
positive things about enhancing their capabilities in this area, but it still
remains to be seen.
Last, and probably least, but still important to note, they completely ducked
the question of financing for the organization and particularly burden sharing
within the organization, leaving a country like Canada very far away from most
of the action, arguably bearing a disproportionate financial burden.
The Chair: Thank you. That is most useful.
I want to get your opinion on something that is more corridor chatter than
pronouncement. Several people have said to me that, despite the debate here at
home about Afghanistan, Canada's decision to stay in the training role was a key
factor in keeping the Eurocentric coalition at the table and staying together.
What is your view on that?
Mr. Chapin: It probably reminded the European allies of the importance
of Canada's participation. I was not at the meeting, but one could get the
sense, from looking at some of the videos and from the statement of the
Secretary General, of their relief that someone had announced high-quality
military training capabilities of the kind that they were still lacking. I have
to assume that there was some pre-negotiation between the Canadian government
and NATO on this.
The Chair: It seemed to be an important factor, and sometimes in some
circles in the North American context it is seen another way.
Mr. Chapin: I clearly think that the Americans were very relieved and
pleased with the Canadian decision, and the Europeans, more generally, probably
Bear in mind that the Afghanistan strategy of having the Afghans assume the
lead on security functions right across the country by the end of 2014 hinges
entirely on their own military capabilities. I gather from some experts that
there is a bit of a question about whether we can mobilize 900 military
trainers, but if we can, we are critical to the exit strategy.
Senator Dallaire: The NATO training establishment for both military
and police has been in operation now for a couple of years, and there were
deficiencies in meeting the required numbers for force development. Our input
there is joining into meeting that deficiency, which is not insignificant as we
will be providing depth to the training, particularly staff and technical
training. Is that correct?
Mr. Chapin: Canada has been doing military training, as you know, for
quite some time in both Kabul and Kandahar. This reconfigures and quite
dramatically enhances the training profile for Canada.
Senator Dallaire: We had about 100 people, but they were doing
different types of training. Now we are going into building the depth of the
forces as well as putting an emphasis on the police side. Is that correct?
Mr. Chapin: I believe so. There was no reference in the NATO documents
explicitly to that, but I think I saw something to that effect in the media.
Senator Dallaire: I have read the Albright study on the future of NATO
and NATO out-of-area operations. I have read about NATO's expeditionary
capability and that NATO is in Afghanistan as an instrument of the UN, which did
not have the capacity to provide security. As we move toward 2014, has there
been any discussion of handing the mission back to the UN as a transitionary
Mr. Chapin: Not that I am aware of. It was notable that the Secretary
General of the UN was in Lisbon.
Senator Dallaire: That is why I ask that question.
Mr. Chapin: He attended the Afghanistan session, which included 20
other countries. In fact, all the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF,
contributing countries had leaders for that session. It is my impression that
the UN is quite comfortable leaving the situation as it currently is.
Senator Dallaire: To repeat myself, has there been any discussion, as
NATO is withdrawing capacity and hoping that the Afghans will take over, of the
possibility of a UN transition team on the ground?
Mr. Chapin: I am sorry, senator, I do not know.
Senator Segal: You referred to Russia. I will refer to the broader
dynamic, and the START talks issue as it is being addressed by the Obama
administration now. That administration must wonder whether a lame duck Congress
can address that or whether they can do a best efforts proposition for more
substantive disposition of it when they come back in January. Second, I refer to
the fact that the Americans stood down with respect to missile emplacements in
places like Poland in a prior cycle after the election of the present
administration. I refer to the support we have received from the Russians on
some of the tougher statements with respect to Iran and the contact group
engagement with Iran. Finally, we seem to have side-barred or put off the
expansion process, that is, Georgia and others joining NATO. One gets the sense
that there is an unspoken arrangement here. If I did not know better, I would
say that Mr. Kissinger was sorting out a new detente, a new balance where we
accept certain territorial reach, a kind of near-far Russian reach. A reach
without accepting their ability to invade their neighbours while accepting that
they have influence in those areas. They support our side on files like Iran and
the result is that their fear of NATO diminishes because they are having
considerable success in, some would say, diluting NATO. Others would say it is
putting NATO into a more respectful context of their territorial view with
respect to their own area of influence.
I am interested in your assessment.
Mr. Chapin: I know there are some NATO members who would be livid at
the notion of NATO in any form, or the United States, courting Russia's sphere
of influence. I was in Riga, Latvia two or three months ago, and they are very
touchy on that subject there.
There is probably something to your thesis, but I think it has evolved over
the last several months. When the Obama administration agreed to reconfigure
ballistic missile defence in Europe, going from rather unproven technologies to
more proven ones, there might have been a nod to Moscow associated with that.
I do not think that anything that has happened in Washington on START has
anything to do with the Russians. The Obama administration and Congress has been
preoccupied with other things. The START draft treaty has been through the
congressional mill; the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Armed
Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee. They all looked at it
and the Senate Foreign Relations committee has reported it out to full Congress.
I gather that Senator Kyl has some reservations about it, so there is some
question that it will be feasible to hold such hearings as would be warranted
for a treaty of this consequence in the small number of days remaining, when you
consider all the other fundamental agenda items.
Nuclear and ballistic missile matters have to be negotiated with the
I think that Russia's support for a more aggressive position on Iran is in
Russia's own interest. It may well be that they have seen how little Tehran has
responded to the overtures and have concluded that it is in their own national
interest to play a heavier role.
On the expansion of NATO, at the top of the list are relatively small
countries. If NATO has to accept a country such as the former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, you know that we are importing a problem of some kind. There is
Bosnia and Herzegovina and a fourth one.
There are larger countries. Certainly, the Ukraine has been put on the back
burner because the Ukrainians have changed their mind, at least for now, about
whether they want to join. Georgia has demonstrated that it is as much a problem
as a positive factor for NATO. I think NATO has just simply parked that one for
probably quite a long time. I would say Ukraine and Georgia.
You might see the smaller western Balkan countries join at some point. It
will be a few years because they have a long way to go before they meet the NATO
standards. That is the story on expansion.
Senator Segal: You said 27 out of 28 have made a decision to be
protected by missile defence. I take it the 28th is Canada.
Mr. Chapin: That is right.
Senator Segal: Can you give this committee your advice on whether the
anomaly of that affords us the opportunity, especially because of legitimate
concerns about successful Chinese space exercises recently, that it is a debate
that this committee should help kindle in terms of re-engaging the possibility
of a full integration of NORAD and Canada within the broad missile defence
proposition? Are you of the view that nothing has changed by virtue of the NATO
Mr. Chapin: No, I think the NATO decision has put Canada in an
anomalous situation, and I think that changes the situation. It is time for
another public discussion and I cannot think of a better organization than this
one here to launch an intelligent review of the pros and cons and the merits.
My concern about the debate over ballistic missile defence is it has been so
irrational, heated and uninformed that few people who are opposed to it have any
clue what is involved. Once we get some of the harder data on the books and in
the public domain, I believe people will realize this is not the road to
perdition that is so often predicted.
Senator Segal: Do you think the new NATO strategic concept as passed
has changed some of the trigger points for what would constitute expeditionary
NATO engagement; for example, on a preventing genocide kind of mission? If you
think about what happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo that really
was an engagement to prevent ethnic cleansing. I know that both the former
Secretary of State of the United States and William Cohen, the former Secretary
of Defense, have worked on a separate report on the prevention of genocide that
was implemented by some measure by the American government.
Do you see any migration of some of those concerns in a way that would
produce some new trip wires constructively for NATO in terms of what they might
consider engaging in, or do you think it has changed nothing from what it was
prior to this last meeting?
Mr. Chapin: On the trigger points, there is nothing that I have read
over the last several weeks to suggest that NATO qua NATO is thinking more about
the circumstances under which it might intervene. What I think has been very
helpful in the last little while, and this has come out in the strategic concept
and in other ways, is a recognition that NATO needs to enhance its capacity for
expeditionary capabilities, including for humanitarian purposes.
More importantly — and this I believe is a small Canadian victory — is to
enhance its ability to improve the civilian/ military cooperation, the
deployment of civilians into harm's way, and that would include policing, which
we have all finally recognized is the answer to so many of these problems with
which we have been dealing.
Senator Segal: Is it the notion of a more whole-of-government
Mr. Chapin: They call it "comprehensive approach," but that is
exactly right, yes. Once you have that enhanced capacity you might be more
inclined to use it for good purposes. One can hope that that will be the case; I
see no evidence so far that there is a general consensus to be more engaged on
the contrary. I think people are still pretty shy about doing anything more than
what they already have on their plate.
Senator Day: First, Mr. Chapin, let me through you congratulate the
Conference of Defence Associations on the fine work that the conference is doing
and, in particular, last week's awarding of the Vimy Award to the former
Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson. That was just a wonderful event.
Mr. Chapin: I will convey your regards.
Senator Day: As you were going through highlights, Senator Segal was
talking on the point of enlargement. I want to suggest that it was specifically
stated that the door was left open for enlargement. An important highlight
should be mentioned, even though it will be a little slow. The important thing
is there are a number of eastern European countries that are moving towards
democratic change and putting in the types of institutions necessary to become
members of NATO, possibly, in the future. If that incentive was not there then
we would not be seeing that happening, which I think is quite a positive step.
I want to ask you about the High North. National Defence and Security of the
NATO Parliamentary Assembly has looked into the High North and emerging
potential issues and the Technology Committee, with Senator Nolin, has visited
the Canadian North for the same purpose and generated a report.
The strategic concept was not available to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
when we met last week prior to Lisbon because it was listed as "NATO Secret and
Confidential," so we could not look at it. From a parliamentarian's point of
view, who voted to support the executive's decision on these matters, I
understand that there is no mention of the North. Yet Norway, Iceland, Denmark,
Greenland and, of course, Canada, the United States and Russia, our sometime
strategic partner, are quite implicated in issues as they evolve during this
global warming and the change in the North.
Can you talk to us at all about that and why there is not some mention in
that in the strategic concept?
Mr. Chapin: I can only speculate. You are right, it is not there. On
the other hand, there is a lot that is not mentioned in this strategic concept
that has been shoehorned into previous versions. This is a much shorter
document. That is to be commended. It does not try to cover every subject.
I suspect as well that the Arctic may be considered by some to be a rather
narrow issue related to just those countries that have a concern there. The
concern itself may not be all that great. I know we are very engaged in Arctic
affairs, but it may be that others do not see the problem the way we do.
My sense as well, unless I am mistaken, there are a number of governments,
probably including the Canadian government, who are happy enough that Arctic
matters are being dealt with in other forms and in other ways, and that maybe
injecting NATO too strenuously into the discussion will change the character of
the discussions. That is pure speculation on my part; I cannot help with that.
Senator Day: Is there any specific mention is international piracy and
a role for NATO nations in that regard?
Mr. Chapin: Yes, there is. It is listed and it is given some treatment
— not extensively — in the strategic concept and in other documents. It is an
area, in fact, that has been highlighted as both a threat to NATO countries and
as an area of cooperation with the Russians in two ways. Existing cooperation
has been good and will get better with the Russians. If you look at some of the
technical documents, they talk about the Russians becoming more engaged in
Operation Active Endeavour, the anti-piracy operation of the Gulf; getting them
up to speed so the Russian Navy can deal more effectively with NATO naval
Maybe I should have highlighted piracy rather more in my opening remarks, but
I think it is one of those practical areas that you have to assume if the
lawyers can get their minds around it, we can solve it pretty quickly. Pirates
should not be a problem in this day and age, except for the fact that we have
imposed some kind of constraints on ourselves that we need to focus on a bit
Senator Day: The constraints being if they arrest a pirate, they have
no place to process them.
Mr. Chapin: Those sorts of things — can you take proactive action
against their bases, et cetera.
Senator Day: The final point I would like you to comment on is the
common funding issue and burden sharing. You did mention that, but that is
extremely critical to the future success of NATO.
All senators are aware of the fact that a commitment by a nation to go to
Afghanistan means they pay all the costs of that particular nation. Some of the
smaller countries might be able to participate with the personnel, but cannot
afford all the costs involved. There is no common funding. That is something
that I was hoping they would work on a little bit here, maybe partial common
Mr. Chapin: I agree. It may be that they will get their minds around
that down the road. Some of the smaller countries are contributing in places
like Afghanistan because they are getting financial support from other NATO
allies. That is the vehicle by which they could actually deploy and sustain
forces, even if they are small, because they are symbolically important.
I do not think Canada needs to be too churlish about the financing of NATO
operations, but it is clear that the whole funding arrangement was designed for
another time when everybody just stood and waited for the Russians to attack.
All the funding was for infrastructure and headquarters units in Europe and all
that kind of thing — pipelines and all that.
Now that you go abroad, and you go halfway across the world to do some
things, you have to figure out another way of financing those operations other
than allowing the people who are contributing to it to assume all the costs. It
is clearly counterproductive and it must be a discouragement. Clearly, even in
Canada's case it has been a discouragement. One does not contemplate spending $1
billion a year on Afghanistan, or some such number, without some folks in the
Department of Finance and other places wondering about it all.
Senator Day: How long does this go on?
Mr. Chapin: Yes.
Senator Dallaire: In Madeleine Albright's study on genocide prevention
and mass atrocities, she also inputted a new concept significantly, and we see
the expeditionary nature of the beast. Does NATO talk at all about its being
called upon to deploy, and whether that methodology will be done by a regional
body or by the UN or through a UN mandate? Alternatively, did it see NATO taking
that initiative on its own, particularly out of the European area?
Mr. Chapin: I do not think the strategic concept and the agreements
that were reached over the weekend addressed that in any detail, if at all.
However, I think what is in the public domain in terms of agreements is the idea
that NATO needs to cooperate more with the UN and with regional organizations —
and, indeed, with key countries that are supporting NATO operations in other
ways. That is important.
We have heard a lot about that. For instance, the NATO-UN consultation
mechanisms are extremely modest. They barely amount to people visiting each
other, let alone any kind of serious institutional arrangement, but the
strategic concept might just give a spur to that.
Senator Dallaire: Marvellous.
Mr. Chapin: For the time being, I think the bottom line is NATO, as an
organization, is already struggling to deal with what it has to deal with. I
think it would be quite happy to leave it to the UN, which is supposed to be the
response of first resort anyway for these issues.
Senator Dallaire: So we will read information on that later.
The Chair: Thank you very much for this. It is kind of a new thing for
us to do here, which is just to try to get a bit of up-to-date information, so
we appreciate you working so hard, keeping your eyes and mind glued on this one.
You have given us a couple of great ideas.
We have been looking at ballistic missile defence, and I think we will go
back and focus on that again. The piracy issue is most interesting, so we will
take a look at some of these things.
The reason Paul Chapin is here today is because he wrote this excellent
report on NATO for the Canadian Defence Associations Institute and was with us
at an earlier time. Thank you so much again.
Senators, ladies and gentlemen, we will switch topics, as your guideline
indicates. We will do a bit of a look at the state of national security policies
and where we are. I think our attention has, in part, been focused on this
because over the weekend, we heard from Al Qaeda that they were going to have a
change of strategy. They want to focus in on disruptive activities like mail
bombs and sending parcels through UPS — those kinds of things that we have seen
of late — because they think it will have huge consequences. That, of course,
has consequences for how the West will respond.
We are coming up on almost the tenth anniversary of the attack on New York
and Washington that killed 3,000 people, including 24 Canadians and destroyed
the World Trade Center towers. Canada responded at that time with a wholesale
revamping of its public safety and security approach. Ten years later, what are
the threats to national security and how well organized are we to deal with
To look at this issue, we have invited two men who know a lot about the
topic. Dr. Martin Rudner, Founding Director of the Canadian Centre of
Intelligence and Security Studies at Carleton University and Distinguished
Research Professor Emeritus. Dr. Rudner has written extensively on security and
We will also hear from Tom Quiggin, Security Consultant and Senior Researcher
Fellow at the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, Carleton
University. Mr. Quiggin has worked in a security and intelligence capacity for
the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration, the Privy Council Office and the
Department of National Defence. He is the author of Seeing the Invisible:
National Security Intelligence in an Uncertain Age.
Martin Rudner, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Carleton
University, as an individual: Thank you. It is indeed an honour and
privilege to appear before you this afternoon. I will commence my remarks by
addressing the first of the topics: the threats to Canada's national security.
As the chair mentioned, this past weekend al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
proclaimed a new strategy, for them, that they call "Hemorrhage." It is
intended through small scale multiple attacks to cause immense devastating
economic damage to the West. The particular targets they identify are civil
aviation, including cargo and passenger planes, and implicitly also energy
infrastructure. There are direct implications of this strategy to Canada,
including in the strategic document a reference to freeing the Toronto 17, as
they call it, and "Brother Omar Khadr."
There are direct implications of this new strategy for the national security
of Canada. Other threats that we could address in discussion would include the
challenge of home-grown terrorism, a phenomenon which we have experienced in
Canada not unlike the United Kingdom and European countries, where Canadians are
radicalized, recruited and mobilized for terrorist activities in this country.
A variant on that which we have experienced is the recruitment of Canadians
for training abroad in Afghanistan, in Somalia and possibly in Yemen for
redeployment back in the home country in Canada for terrorist attacks.
Other threats I would like to mention, which we can discuss further, include
terrorism finance where the attacks may not happen in Canada but the funds are
raised and mobilized in Canada for financing terrorist operations against other
friendly and allied countries.
The second topic is: How are we organized to respond to these threats? In my
estimation, Canadian intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies have
been demonstrably very effective in preventing attacks on Canada. That is why
they have not happened, not because terrorists have not tried. Our security,
intelligence and law enforcement communities have prevented them.
Looking at the threats on the horizon, I see a need for enhancing our
capacity to do analytical assessments of threats at the horizon. Until now, our
intelligence analysis tends to respond to the collectors. The collectors collect
the intelligence and the intelligence analysis people analyze the information.
In future, I see intelligence analysis driving counterterrorism, if you will, at
the horizon through the five Ps of counterterrorism. Intelligence analysis will
contribute to preparation, protection, prevention, pursuit and prosecution. We
could talk about this in the discussion because I would like to address a third
issue: The need for Canada to have, in order to develop these analytical
capacities, a research centre on terrorism and counterterrorism.
The final report of the Air India commission of inquiry stressed that Canada
needs to have a research centre. They used the term "Kanishka" centre after
the Air India plane that was blown up. We do not have such a centre in Canada.
Other like-minded countries have centres that specialize in intelligence and in
research on terrorism and counterterrorism: the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and
Sweden among others. They do superb work that has contributed to the Canadian
counterterrorism effort by sharing information. I believe that we urgently need
to establish the Canadian centre. Thank you very much.
Tom Quiggin, Senior Researcher, Canadian Centre of Intelligence and
Security Studies, Carleton University, as an individual: Madam Chair and
senators, it is always a pleasure to be here. I would like to follow up on Dr.
Rudner's comment about research centres being established in a number of
As I mentioned to some of you before, Hezbollah has its own think tank. I
have to admit that I chuckled when I first read that but, when I started reading
some of their product, I was surprised to find that they run a really good
research centre on terrorism, which they refer to as political violence. I am
surprised to find that Canada does not have one, while Hezbollah does have one.
It is interesting that al Qaeda put out that message on the weekend. I spent
the last four days in the field with the Canadian Forces on a training program.
It is the usual military good fun: out of bed at five o'clock in the morning, up
until about eleven o'clock at night and very focused on intelligence officers
and operators who will be deploying overseas in the near future, maybe until
2014, if I understand correctly.
One of the exact issues we focused on is how terrorist groups and many
insurgency groups are finding it harder and harder to carry out the big attack.
The Toronto 18 wanted the one big bomb. Momin Khawaja, from Ottawa, was trying
to help out with a 1,200 pound bomb. Terrorists are learning by experience that
this kind of thing is tough, and more and more of them are saying that they
should quit the big attacks, get some guns, go in and open up. They are thinking
that might be much more effective. The Mumbai attacks were the forerunner of
that sort of thing.
I will address the changing nature of government and how it is perceived by
society, especially in light of the current economic situation. Second I will
look at the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre and how threat assessments are
done there and throughout the rest of Canada. Third, I will look at the human
resource issue, which seems to complicate everything we try to do.
As an overview, I will make a rather obvious statement that in times of
change, risk increases. That is axiomatic, but I would add that we are in a
period of not only great change and stress but also a time when some fundamental
underpinnings of our society are being looked at by those who would do us
violence; and they are coming up with different ways of attacking us.
By example, at Princeton University is Professor Emeritus Sheldon S. Wolin,
who recently wrote a book, which contains a quote that is worth looking at. He
writes, "In totalitarian regimes such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism,
economics was subordinate to politics." He notes that we are in a position
where many people believe "the economic sphere and its personnel dominates the
political sphere" at the expense of the democratic process and the well-being
of the middle class.
I should point out that the firebombing of the Royal Bank of Canada in Ottawa
in May was not an isolated incident. That was a series of about 12 different
attacks against the Royal Bank across Canada and a series of about 20 attacks,
which I identified in 2008. For your convenience and reference, I put them on
the back of the statement.
A mentality is going through the protest and social activist communities, in
particular those who would deal in political violence and terrorism. They have
come out and directly stated: Do not waste your time protesting the government
or attacking the government. Do not even waste your time going after the
corporations. Go after the people that have the real power — the banks and the
financial companies, because they are the people that decide whether you get a
job, what your health care system looks like, et cetera, et cetera.
The Greeks have taken this up. You might have noticed that recently that
Greece has experienced fire bombings and people killed in banks. We are seeing
this in banks across Canada. Even the environmentalists and I specify those who
use violence in the environmental movement, have decided it is best to go after
the money. Do not go after a particular oil company because if you get rid of
them the next one will just come in. However, if you stop the financing of the
project, it becomes a much more effective way of protesting.
Others have used this model such as the Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, SHAC
movement. Instead of going after Huntingdon specifically, they go after everyone
that deals with them. They were successful in getting a stock market transaction
stopped one day. It was quite a good campaign in the sense that it was
The retired president of Syncrude, Jim Carter, had his house burned down in
Edmonton a couple of years ago, and this was directly related to this kind of
I point out that many anarchists are developing this point of view. Not only
do we see professors in universities advocating that this is how it is
happening, but we see the intelligencia of the anarchist movement writing about
this stuff, and we see street punks with black hoods and rocks going through
windows articulating the same sort of idea. The concept is that government is
losing its power — and I mindful of the fact that I am sitting in front of a
room full of senators while I am saying this — and that the real centres of
power in our societies now belong to the financial institutions and the banks,
and that is what they will start targeting in the future. We have seen that to
be quite successful in a number of different countries.
I will move to ITAC. One of the greatest problems with how we do threat
assessments in Canada is in ITAC's name. It is the Integrated Threat Assessment
Centre. A threat is merely a vulnerability that can be exploited by someone who
does not like you. A threat assessment is typically just a laundry list of all
those vulnerabilities that could be exploited by people who wish to do you harm.
Starting at the top down, we should be doing risk assessments. A risk
assessment must not only convey the idea of a vulnerability but also cover the
concepts of probability, mitigation, impact and response. All too often we see
laundry lists of threats. The various agencies look at them, acknowledge them,
but do not know what to do about them. They are told that that is an agency
problem, not a central bureaucracy problem, so deal with it. I think that is a
serious failing. We should be focusing on risk assessment.
A couple of years ago the Conference Board of Canada identified that the
greatest threat to the national security of Canada was — and again I know where
I am sitting — the government. They focused specifically on human resource
issues. I have seen during investigations where real people are trying to place
real bombs to kill real people that we cannot get human resources people to
respond to move people and resources around to get the right person in the right
job at the right time.
Human resources, as far as I can tell, and this is just as an observer, have
become the departments of "no." "No, you can't do that; no, you can't move
that person; no, it will take a year to get that posting cleared." That,
ironically, is one of the greatest weaknesses of national security.
The Chair: Thank you for those comments. You seem to be right on the
risk assessment issue, because that is what we are seeing on all corporate
boards, for example. The newest and most powerful committee being constructed on
any board is risk assessment with exactly the same questions.
Senator Dallaire: With the restructuring of our security establishment
bodies that have roles in security, including intelligence gathering and so on,
I am uncertain how the material is being collated and analyzed to conduct the
threat assessment, let alone the probability assessment.
What instrument is ensuring that all the information from the different
bodies in this country is being collated?
Mr. Quiggin: I will start by making two quick observations about the
United States and Canada. In 2006, the American government did an extensive
study of exactly this issue. How good are we at sharing information back and
forth across institutional boundaries? They chose to focus only on unclassified
but sensitive information, realizing that to try to study classified information
would take forever and probably would not happen.
The result was that they felt that five years after 9/11 there were greater
barriers to information sharing and less information was being shared across
institutional boundaries, even at the institutional level, and this, of course,
was all being done at the unclassified but sensitive level. Their suggestion was
that if this is the problem with the unclassified but sensitive level, the
problems are even greater at the classified level.
I am not aware that here in Canada we have ever undertaken any kind of
focused study on the question you have just asked. However, through personal
observation from having a wide range of contacts in the RCMP, CSIS, the
military, CBSA, CIC, et cetera, I can tell you that since the Arar inquiry the
willingness of people to take risks to share information with the guy down the
road has dropped rather than increased. People are using tear lines more
extensively than they were in the past, and a lot of information is not flowing
from point a to point b as it should.
That is my view by observation, senator.
Mr. Rudner: Mr. Quiggin is absolutely correct. I was a member of the
policy panel on the Arar commission. The commission emphatically stated in their
report that nothing in the report was intended to limit the sharing of
information. Of course, the unintended consequence was that there are immense
barriers today due to fear of litigation, which constrains the lateral flow of
To characterize the situation a bit facetiously, the analytical component of
the security and intelligence community is not unlike Canadian federalism. There
is a lot of work being done at the agency level, be it CSIS, the RCMP or any of
the other members of the intelligence community, very little of which filters up
to the two central agencies for analysis. The two are ITAC, which Mr. Quiggin
mentioned, which is supposed to deal specifically with terrorism threats, and
the International Assessment Staff at the Privy Council Office, which is
supposed to deal with broader strategic perspectives. Neither of them have their
own staff. All staff is seconded. They do not get all the things they need to do
their job. They do their job well within their limitations, but those
limitations are grave.
The Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air
India Flight 182 made the point that we need a new paradigm of analysis driving
collection rather than the analysts waiting for the collectors to see what they
can share given the fears of litigation, privacy and the rest.
Senator Dallaire: Would it not have been in the purview of a new
minister, such as the minister of Public Safety, to have received, through
either legislation or cabinet, authority to build that capacity and direct it in
the accomplishment of the minister's duties?
Mr. Quiggin: On a number of occasions it has been suggested that a way
of sidestepping the problem of information not flowing across boundaries would
be to set up an open source intelligence centre. Most intelligence today exists
outside of government. Even in those areas of specific government competencies
such as defence, intelligence, security, terrorism, borders and the military,
most knowledge exists outside of government. One way of coercing, if that is the
right term, the agencies into sharing would be to set up an open source
intelligence agency that could publicly demonstrate the recent changes in
terrorism and the economy and how that affects security, and perhaps embarrass,
cajole or drag the classified agencies into moving along.
The Chair: Is that what you are proposing, Dr. Rudner, or are you
proposing something different?
Mr. Rudner: In agreement with Mr. Quiggin, let me add that part of the
problem is that, although the Department of Public Safety has a coordination
role, the coordinator of intelligence is not in Public Safety but rather in the
Privy Council Office.
Senator Dallaire: That is why I asked the question.
Mr. Rudner: The question now becomes who coordinates. The answer
currently is that very little coordination occurs. In his final report on Air
India, Mr. Justice Major said exactly that and recommended that there be an
enhanced capacity for the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister to be
the coordinator. In my view, that role would also require analytical staff,
assessment staff, to feed the kinds of perspectives Mr. Quiggin is mentioning,
from open sources, to add to the classified material so that the intelligence
community has the big picture of the risks and threats facing Canada.
Mr. Quiggin: In reference to Dr. Rudner talking about the Kanishka
centre, I had some awareness in that because I had some small hand in dealing
with it when it was first proposed. That was exactly one of the ideas. It would
be able to exploit and develop an open source intelligence capability,
particularly on terrorism, which would put it at a significant advantage against
most of the classified agencies. If the Kanishka centre were to be formed, that
would be something that could come into play there. I believe, the government is
moving in that direction. That would be a very useful task to perform.
The Chair: We gather there has not been much activity in that regard
at all. That is what we are gathering.
Senator Mitchell: In some sense, you have laid out a kind of
depressing view of where we are with terrorism. I appreciate that that is not
unrealistic, perhaps, but on the other side I look at the billions of dollars we
have spent fighting wars, such as the Afghan war, the billions of dollars
undoubtedly we have spent on restructuring our CSIS and intelligence services,
the billions of dollars we have spent on security at airports and elsewhere.
Have we made no progress whatsoever? Is it not better than it was? Are there any
best practices or something useful coming out of all of this?
Mr. Rudner: The answer, I think, is absolutely yes. The fact that we
have not had bloodshed in Canada at the sword's edge of terrorism is because our
intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies have been effective in
prevention and, in fact, they have also been effective in pursuing and, indeed,
Yes, I believe we should have confidence in our capabilities in dealing with
the terrorist threat to Canada. My concern is the risks, to use Mr. Quiggin's
phrase, which were new and emergent, which are there, we see them coming from
outside of Canada, penetrating with tentacles into Canada, we will need new
adaptive measures to prevent, protect, pursue and ultimately to prosecute.
Mr. Quiggin: There is some positive news. We were asked to discuss
problems so that is what we tend to do. It is always tough to focus on good
Again, by observation, one of the things I have seen is that at the lower
levels and amongst the younger kids coming into CSIS, the RCMP and the military
in particular, there is a genuine understanding and sense of awareness that
information has to integrate itself across boundaries. You do see kids who have
grown up with the iPod and computers, and the idea that information can move
from point a to point b to them is normal. They do not understand why everyone
would not want to do that.
Then at the centre you have this massive bureaucracy, where you have many
people doing old school things. They are more concerned about their careers. The
bureaucratic imperatives tend to outweigh the operational imperatives. No, I
cannot tell anybody about that, do not share, we could get in trouble if we do
that, and then at the top you have the government itself and the senior
directors saying we need to get going on this.
There is good news at the top, there is good news at the bottom, and the
folks are actually out carrying the guns or doing the investigations or
whatever, they kind of instinctively get it. That is good news for the future. A
lot of the time — again remembering where I am and this is being recorded — a
lot of people at the end of the day look and ask what is the right thing to do.
It is the bureaucratic thing they are looking at and saying, I know that is what
the bureaucracy wants and I know what the right thing to do is, and at the end
of the day if there are lives at risk I will do the right thing instead of what
the bureaucracy says. That impulse amongst the youth and the younger generation
is an amazingly good thing. I saw a bunch of that this weekend out running in
the woods with kids who are a third of my age. It is scary but good news.
The Chair: I just want to remind you too that we know where you live,
so it is not just that it is being recorded.
Mr. Quiggin: Apparently I have a reputation for saying what I actually
think. I do not know how I get that though.
Senator Mitchell: Often you solve problems that seem insurmountable by
doing those seemingly small things that you can actually do relatively easily.
One of the things that strikes me is it cannot be all that difficult to get this
lack of coordination between the PCO and the Public Safety Department worked
Why is that? Is that a failure of leadership? Why would someone not be able
to say to stop it and get it fixed?
Mr. Rudner: I will give a cynical but real answer: No one wants to be
called before a commission of inquiry and challenged on how they could have
violated the Privacy Act or whatever other legislation applies to the
bureaucracy. It is career limiting. In fact, it is not that bureaucrats are
being bureaucratic because they are born as bureaucrats: They are trained, quite
properly, to follow procedures and to comply with statute and with policy
procedures, which themselves in fact limit urgent initiatives.
A perfect example of this is the unintended consequences of the Arar
commission report, which says, "Thou shalt share information." Virtually
everyone who has read the report, primarily the bureaucrats, is absolutely
terrified to share information. The bureaucrats are terrified they will be
called before the next commission of inquiry and asked, "Why did you share
Mr. Quiggin: I will give a perfect example. A British police force
called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and said we just discovered that a man
who just left on a plane for Toronto is wanted for rape. They said we want him
for rape and he has been convicted of rape in Canada. They gave his last known
address to the RCMP. The RCMP thanked the British police for the heads-up. Long
story short, the guy gets to Toronto, he gets through security and gets out into
Toronto. The Toronto police say we know where the woman is that he raped last
time, we have to figure he has no address over here right now and that is where
we have to figure he is going. They went over, grabbed the guy outside the
woman's house, arrested him and threw him in jail.
You would think that would be a wonderful success story, except we all wound
up in trouble. Why? Because the communication the British service used to
contact the RCMP was designed for terrorism, not for criminality. Therefore the
next thing you know we have the Privacy Commissioner coming in wanting to know
why we violated this man's rights.
If you want to know why people are frustrated in it, and at a certain point —
again, I know where I am — just say the hell with it, those examples occur on a
regular basis and the frustration is just through the roof.
Senator Mitchell: It is true; we have auditors auditing auditors
auditing auditors in government today. There are more commissioners of whatever
and it is because there has been this profound attack on government. It is all
bad. Ever hear anyone say government does good things? No. People are paralyzed
by it. I agree, it is not just here; although it is dangerous here, it is
This may sound obtuse, but when you are assessing risks, the fact is that
climate change is being assessed as a risk by the military in the U.S. and it is
being assessed as an international risk potential in Canada by our military. Of
course, the more it happens the more tension it creates and the more people who
are displaced, the more it can foment terrorism that can affect us. Do the
effects of climate change over time to risk assessment figure into your
Mr. Quiggin: You guys love asking questions.
There are a series of fundamental changes occurring: Globalization; who runs
the economy; who runs government; the environment is certainly one of them. I
think we are seeing an immense number of problem areas, in the environment, in
international security, in terrorism, in drugs, in human migration, in
smuggling, in organized crime, and in transnational organized crime. The list
goes on and on.
It gets back to the same similar problem about how one goes about integrating
that information across boundaries. Most of our agencies tend to be specialists
in nature, or they are divided into compartments where there is a bunch of
specialists working on a specialist type problem.
If you train someone to be a specialist or put them in a special field, that
is what you get, a specialist. The general theory is you can take 10 specialists
and put them in a room and then they can talk with each other. However, the
reality is what you have is 10 specialists in a room; you do not have one
Structurally and fundamentally from an intelligence analysis point of view,
we will have to start looking a lot more at folks who are intelligence analysts
first and specialists second so they are capable of integrating knowledge across
It is good to see some of the stuff. In the military, we are out in the
middle of a field, trees everywhere, we are miles from anything and we are
recycling. I can tell you we did not do that in 1980. The rounds are all
collected, any oil, POL, any of that sort of stuff that has spilled is
immediately dug up. Again, I can assure you when I started doing that in 1980 it
was not an issue.
The changes are there, but the biggest fundamental problem is that
integrating across boundaries takes generalists who have the ability to move
across those boundaries, and government is structured hierarchically, not
The Chair: I want to move on because we have Senator Segal with us
today. He is the Chair of the Anti-terrorism Committee, which is dealing with
many of these issues.
Senator Segal: Last week, we had before us senior police officers from
Toronto, Montreal and Quebec, who focused specifically on terrorism. We asked
them specific questions, which are now on the record.
One question was, did they think we needed a statutory base law that forced
the sharing of information between all the agencies; and, more importantly,
whether they thought that the national security adviser in Canada should be a
statutory position. We asked if it should be a statutory position as opposed to
an appointment under the Privy Council Act, with statutory responsibilities and
obligations with respect to his or her mission, as it might be defined by a law.
Their response was uniformly — the same for our colleagues from the Province of
Quebec — yes, it would help them immensely in the work they do. They had a high
regard for their relationship with federal agencies, which have been very
constructive — G8, G20 and the Olympics, et cetera. They worked on a strong
horizontal basis with their federal colleagues across the country and in local
situ. However, they did not feel that same capacity existed between specific
events and they wanted to see a statutory base to do that. I would like your
The second question concerned the issue of legislative oversight. In that
matter with respect to the fellow coming here from Europe and being arrested,
one thing that exists in Australia, the United States, France and the United
Kingdom is a capacity for agencies to go to their legislative oversight in
confidence and seek permission to do what might be necessary to prevent a crime
from happening. These countries have that capacity to protect national security,
even though it might not conform exclusively with privacy laws, for example.
Those requests are few and far between. They are not always granted, but when
they are, that gives our security forces a measure of protection. They are not
only relying on the good faith of some official in some office who said at the
time it seemed okay, but who forgets that is conversational and the matter
becomes controversial latterly.
We do not have legislative oversight in that sense. In this country, we do
not have our legislatures or our parliamentarians — let us take the elected side
— who are given sufficient security clearance to participate in that activity.
We essentially have SIRC, plus what is being considered with respect to the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
I would be interested in your view as to whether that is problematic in
national security issues, whether it represents an opportunity or whether you
think there is another way to go.
Mr. Rudner: In response to the first question relating to the
information brought to the committee by the law enforcement officers who were
here, I would agree with them fully. In fact, I would even go beyond what they
themselves are aware of, in the sense of when one looks at the experience of
counterterrorism across the range of jurisdictions, the first indicators for
prevention and pursuit were law enforcement, the boots on the ground, the local
police constable being very aware and very observant about anomalies in
In those societies, mechanisms existed for local police officers to transmit
the information to centres where the information was integrated into the big
picture, which enabled the analysts to then drive further collection to
determine the nature of the threat and then to pursue and prosecute.
Indeed, local police have a very important role to play in the exercise, but
the important thing is the mechanism that enables their awareness, their
familiarities, their citing of anomalies to be transmitted to people who can
analyze, compare, contrast and make sense of it.
I would fully support that concept and I believe it has a very important role
to play. Perhaps it is through the office of a more robust, enhanced National
Security Adviser, with an analytical staff who can create the pyramid so
information flows upwards and laterally, so it becomes a "need to share" as
well as a "need to know" model.
Senator Segal: Do you have a bias as to whether that adviser's role is
defined by an act of Parliament, where all parties participate in that
discussion, or by an order-in-council?
Mr. Rudner: I would prefer an act of Parliament, precisely because it
protects the National Security Adviser and his or her mission. It becomes in the
national interest, so to speak. That is an important instrument for the National
Security Adviser vis-à-vis all the other actors in the national security and
On the second question on legislative oversight, in Canada, we have review
rather than oversight. That is the role of SIRC; it is the role of the CSE
Commissioner, and it may be the role of whatever is established to deal with the
RCMP and other components of the community.
Review is different than oversight. I like the idea of oversight, as you
mentioned, but I believe we would have two problems in Canada. One of the
problems is, unlike other jurisdictions, we tend not to have continuity of
members of the House of Commons, as we have in the Senate. In other
jurisdictions, there are people who have served a great deal of time,
multi-partisan, who develop a familiarity with security issues who constitute
the membership of those select committees. Second, they have security clearance.
In Canada, I think we would have great difficulty finding long-serving
members of the house — the Senate would be much easier in that respect; and
second, to provide security clearances, which inhibit parliamentarians from
speaking their mind. In Canada, parliamentarians do speak their mind, but it
would not be appropriate in that type of format, which the Australians and
others have. It is a challenge for Canada. I would like to see it, but it is a
Mr. Quiggin: In response to your first question about should there be
a statute or a law that requires sharing: Yes, definitely. You may want to call
it the "need to share" law, which would replace the "need to know" mentality
we have now.
The law would also, I would hope, address such issues as the deliberate
over-classification of intelligence that occurs on a regular basis. No one knows
because no one is able to break down the barriers to do the study. However,
observation, experience and discussions with people that do this say that 50 per
cent to 90 per cent of all intelligence has been deliberately over-classified.
It has been deliberately over-classified not to protect the source, which is
fundamental, but rather for bureaucratic imperatives to avoid embarrassing
We see that WikiLeaks just released 400,000 documents or whatever. Did anyone
get killed? Did anything bad happen? No, other than the government was badly
embarrassed by it. We deliberately allow agencies to over-classify intelligence
for reasons of bureaucratic imperative rather than reasons of source protection.
That is an issue that could really be addressed.
Whether the national security adviser should come from Parliament or an
order-in-council is beyond my competence to understand. However, my feeling on
that would be that the national security adviser should have real teeth — the
same with public safety. They have no budgetary control; the national security
adviser has no teeth.
The National Security Adviser should be able to go to the Prime Minister and
advise him on national security. He or she should be able to say agency a is not
playing nicely with agency b; would you please go break their skulls until such
time as they decide play nicely with each other? Failing that, maybe go after
them on finances. If you can hurt someone's budget, you can hurt them. If you do
not have that kind of control, I am not sure where they are useful.
Just a reference to that rape case I mentioned. It is difficult to imagine
how crushing that is to morale and how destructive it is to future operations
when you are out there doing the exact right thing. We were doing everything we
were supposed to do such as international cooperation with another police force,
employing technology to make information move quickly,
federal-provincial-municipal sharing, and all that stuff we were supposed to do.
Everything worked; and then we had the Toronto police use some honest-to-God
shoe leather smarts and figure out where this guy was going to go, literally
pick him up outside that woman's house, and yet we all got dropped into trouble
for it. It is difficult to express how frustrating and limiting that is when we
see that sort of thing happening.
Senator Patterson: Mr. Rudner, please elaborate on your concept of a
research terrorism centre. You have thought about it and I believe you have
written about it. It is no secret that we are heading into an era of federal
financial restraint. Would this centre be constituted from a realignment of
existing resources within the existing security establishment? If not, what are
the new required elements that perhaps we do not have?
Mr. Rudner: There are two models available to establish such a centre,
looking at the international experience. I might begin by saying that the key
element is that these are not bureaucrats doing the same job within a different
forum; it is in addition to what is done. In fact, the people in the research
centre would be either academics or practitioners employed for the purpose,
whose full-time job is to analyze the risks and threats to Canada and the
experience of other jurisdictions in counterterrorism.
We have two models: The Security and Defence Forum was established by the
Department of National Defence, which until now funds some 12 research centres
at universities across Canada dedicated to research on defence related issues.
The other is the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at
Carleton University. It is called the "Canadian Centre" because it is a
national centre, not just Carleton University. Its remit is national, and its
focus is engaging in empirical research on intelligence and security topics;
mounting conferences to disseminate that information; seminars and workshops to
share it in small groups, as appropriate; and publication.
The idea is that we do not want another bureaucratic or, in a shallow sense
of the word, academic forum. We want people who are knowledge specific. For
example, if we are talking about al Qaeda, we want people who know the Arabic
language, the Islamic faith and the history of the given societies. In other
words, these people would possess a highly specialized and detailed type of
knowledge, which does not exist in Canada because if anyone acquired that
knowledge, they would be considered overspecialized, and their careers would be
That does not happen in the other jurisdictions that I mentioned, such as
Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, which have centres developed precisely to
generate that type of knowledge to a high order.
We can do that in Canada as a national centre in universities or as a set of
centres across the country. My preference would be to have it as a single
national centre because the human resources are scarce. We do not have a large
number of qualified people. We need the critical mass and they should be brought
together in one place and enabled to build the knowledge that we need for
Canada, for the intelligence community, for the media to ensure informed
journalism, for Parliament and for the public to build a security culture.
The Chair: Are you saying that this centre would be outside
Mr. Rudner: It would be independent trustworthy and at arm's length
The Chair: Would it have access to information? This is a critical
Mr. Rudner: Yes. That worked successfully at both the SDF centres and
certainly at the Carleton University Centre of Intelligence and Security
Studies. We were at arm's length from government, but there was a professional
relationship with the security and intelligence community.
Senator Patterson: I might have misunderstood the concept when you
raised it. Thinking of resources, would you see this centre supplanting the work
of the SDF or in addition to it?
Mr. Rudner: I would see it in addition because the SDF is doing
valuable work for the Department of National Defence in the defence domain. Its
budget is approximately $2 million per year for 12 centres plus a chair at
Queen's University in management issues. The amount of $2 million would be a
very generous provision for a national centre on terrorism and counterterrorism.
Senator Dallaire: Are you aware that the SDFs will likely lose their
funding under current budgetary exercises?
Mr. Rudner: I understand the funding is under review. Hopefully the
review will prove and demonstrate its value to the department and to Canada. It
was reviewed previously by the Auditor General and by Treasury Board, both of
whom found it to be of good value and money well spent.
Mr. Quiggin: In terms of resources, we could look at any one of a
number of models. One issue we looked at was a centre of six to eight
researchers supported by two to three administrative and finance staff. Someone
would look at technology in terrorism and how it is employed. Someone would look
at terrorism theory, which would most likely be a "real academic." Someone
would look at the machinery of government and how it responds to intelligence,
terrorism and sharing and how we should restructure our laws and agencies to do
a good job on it. One person would look at airlines, airline security and
airports, because this would be the Kanishka centre as wished by the Air India
family. Someone would look at intelligence issues as they relate to terrorism.
Someone would be looking and media issues and would training the media, which
would not be a bad idea. I have talked to reporters who are not against it. The
reality is that it would not be a bad idea to talk to reporters because some of
the best minds in the country who have a broad knowledge of terrorism work for
the National Post and The Toronto Star. The last position that
would be useful to is a foreign position — a rotating door at the end of the
hallway. When I was working in Singapore, we had the incredible privilege and
luck to have Sir Richard Dearlove stay with us for a few months just after he
retired from MI6. To have a guy like that walk in, sit down and speak to his
experiences and views was incredibly valuable. Someone in a foreign position
would look at recently retired people from a number of posts.
We would look at six to eight people, two real academics five or six
practitioners and some support staff. Given the size of the Canadian government,
the issues and the cost of terrorism failure, I do not see this as a big issue.
However, I do not sit where you guys sit.
Senator Day: Mr. Quiggin, you talked about cooperation and
frustration. Is not the heart of that problem the difference between the
techniques for fighting terrorism and the techniques used in prosecution under
the criminal process and the way evidence is dealt with? I find it interesting,
Dr. Rudner. One of your Ps is prosecution, presumably in the criminal law sense,
which does not always fit in with what we heard earlier and what we have been
discussing in terms of how to deal with the process and the evidence, and how
you get the information. Could each of you comment on that?
Mr. Quiggin: The first response is with the case in Toronto. That was
an appearance that this guy's privacy rights somehow outweighed the rights of
this woman not to be raped in her home by someone who has done so before. From
the point of view of soldiers, policemen and intelligence people, they do not
get it. They think that protecting the woman is more important than protecting
some guy's privacy rights. Somehow, the privacy rights people have the upper
hand in the struggle. You could imagine what that all looks to.
In terms of prosecution, I am one of those people who have argued that
terrorist offences and plots should not be disrupted but should be prosecuted.
The public has a right to know, to see and to understand what is going on. We
should be pursuing, at all costs, prosecution against these folks to show the
public what is going on rather than forming suspicious views of what they read
in the media.
I have done lectures on intelligence and evidence for the Guantanamo Bay
Military Commission; I have done lectures on intelligence and evidence for the
Department of Justice; and I have testified in criminal court in Canada, in
Federal Court a few times and in immigration court on issues specifically
related to terrorism, as an intelligence guy.
It is always said that it is hard to get the two to work; they cannot fit
together; they are built for different purposes, et cetera. I understand that
but having done it successfully on a number of occasions, it can be done; it has
been done; and it needs to be done. It is just a matter of getting that mindset
changed that intelligence cannot talk to evidence and we cannot have
intelligence in court. Why not? It has been done successfully.
Mr. Rudner: You raise a very important question. I am in full
agreement with Mr. Quiggin. There have been successful prosecutions of
terrorists in Canada and in other democratic jurisdictions whose court systems
we fully respect.
The Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the
Bombing of Air India Flight 182, Volume 3 has an entire section by
Mr. Justice Major devoted exactly to this issue. It discusses how one can
translate intelligence that is collected on a standard of reasonable grounds to
suspect, as it must be, into evidence that has to have the threshold of probable
cause to commit a criminal offence. It is doable. It has been done. It requires
training of prosecutors and preparation of prosecution.
Like Mr. Quiggin, I have appeared in courts in this country. One can see
intelligence brought forward as evidence, presented by quite capable prosecutors
with expert witnesses from the security and intelligence community and other
knowledge sectors, culminate in successful prosecutions of terrorists under the
Criminal Code. Therefore, yes, it can be done.
Senator Day: I would like each of you to comment on the evolution of
what we used to call the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and
Emergency Preparedness that morphed into some branch of Public Safety Canada. It
was intended to be the federal government coordinator of all the provinces in
assessment of risks and being ready to deal with them.
What has happened in that regard, and how does that fit in with the
intelligence risk analysis you have talked about?
Mr. Rudner: In my estimation, it has become a shambles. We have 10
critical infrastructure sectors in Canada. The lead role was taken by Natural
Resources Canada, which set up the Energy Infrastructure Protection Division,
which did exactly what you suggest. It did analytical work. It brought together
the provinces, the industry and the federal authorities and agencies. They
instituted two new mechanisms. The first was classified briefings. Industry
received classified briefings from the intelligence and law enforcement
community. In fact, there is one taking place on Wednesday of this week because
the process continues.
They also created an energy and utilities sector network.
Senator Segal: Is all of that deeply classified?
The Chair: Apparently not.
Mr. Rudner: Let me put it this way. What is interesting is that the
classified briefings are classified, and there has not been a leak. I am one of
those who participate, and I cannot tell you what we discuss. It is not
operational, but it is highly sensitive. What is important is that there has not
been a leak, so it works.
The unfortunate thing is that NRCan was punished, if you will, financially by
Public Safety and had its budget cut. It had to dismiss its analytical staff
mainly for reasons to do with Public Safety, which I think relates to their
difficulty in getting their act together as to what constituted a viable
approach to critical infrastructure protection across all 10 sectors.
Earlier this year, after six or seven years, they came forward with a
strategic plan. In fact, if you read the text, it is very much of an inaction
plan. It is a statement of aspirations and intentions rather than of explicit
decisions of what to do and how to do it.
There is a new deputy minister at Public Safety, and I have every confidence
that he will develop within his department a capacity to build on what was
achieved at Natural Resources Canada, to extend it laterally across all 10
sectors so that they could become the coordinating department for critical
infrastructure protection at a high level in Canada, analyzing the risks, coping
with the vulnerabilities and protecting our critical national infrastructure.
Mr. Quiggin: Public Safety and their 24/7 watch centre that was
supposed to be the hub of critical infrastructure seems, as far as I can
understand — and I am glad you are saying these things so it is not just me they
will be coming after — to be focused on communication and facilitation rather
than on decision making. That seems to be the greatest weakness, as far as I can
Again, the bureaucratic imperatives of not being held responsible for
decisions seem to outweigh the operational imperatives of who takes charge in a
situation if something happens to our critical infrastructure. There does not
seem to be much in place for an event at a nuclear plant, a terrorist attack,
the failure of the ATM system, et cetera.
You are from New Brunswick, Senator Day?
Senator Day: I am.
Mr. Quiggin: I am glad I got that right.
It has been my observation that there are two bits of good critical
infrastructure work going on in Canada. One is in New Brunswick and the other is
in Alberta. One is driven by money — it is fun to be Alberta and have lots of
money — and the other, in New Brunswick, seems to be driven by a paramedic who
actually understands what you need when things go wrong at the front line.
There are examples out there that could be observed. If you are looking for
someone to testify on who is good at critical infrastructure protection, that
person in your own backyard would be good.
Senator Day: I am glad you mentioned that.
The Chair: That is a wonderful suggestion.
We will get from you, Dr. Rudner, your list of 10 and some of your other
Thank you both very much for this overview. We will get to this issue later,
but we wanted to get some views on how things stand today.
Dr. Martin Rudner, founder of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and
Security Studies at Carleton University, and Tom Quiggin, security consultant
and senior research fellow at the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security
Studies, thank you both very much for being with us.
We have been moving around on the topic front today, so bear with us because
we will now change gears. However, it is actually back to a topic that we have
been hearing testimony on quite recently.
The committee has been studying a motion by Senator Bill Rompkey that asks
the Minister of Defence to change the official structural name of Maritime
Command to "Canadian Navy." In conducting this study, some committee members
have also suggested that Maritime Command revert to an earlier name, the Royal
We have not heard much testimony on that, but today we are pleased to hear
from retired navy Commander Chris Thain (Retired), president of the Winnipeg
branch of the Naval Officers' Association of Canada.
Commander (Retired) Chris Thain, President of the Naval Officers'
Association of Canada branch in Winnipeg, as an individual: Good evening,
Madam Chair, honourable committee members. It is a privilege to appear before
you today. Security and defence being a fundamental responsibility of
government, I consider the work of this committee to be of the utmost
importance, so I thank you for the time allowed for me to speak to you regarding
the motion put forward by the Honourable Senator Rompkey to change the
structural name of Maritime Command to "Canadian Navy."
I am a retired naval reservist who joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in
1957, as a member of the university naval training divisions. I received my
royal commission in 1962 and held the rank of lieutenant navy when unification
arrived in 1968. I retired in 1985 with the rank of commander, having served as
Commanding Officer of HMCS Chippawa in Winnipeg from 1978 to 1981. I
speak to you today as president of the Winnipeg branch of the Navy Officers'
Association of Canada. My purpose is to encourage support for Senator Rompkey's
Many would see the change to "Canadian Navy" as simply another step in what
has been a long process of moving away from the effects of attempted integration
and unification. In part it may be that, but it is not just a step back to
reclaim something of the past. It is a positive move that would replace a term
used only because it is required in official conversation and documents with one
that is used in everyday conversation, in all sectors of the military and by the
general public both here and abroad.
If it were only a step back to the past, then many of the members of the
Winnipeg branch would call for a return to the "Royal Canadian Navy," but it
is not a step back. It is a step forward, replacing outdated terminology with
what is in common use. Not only is "Maritime Command" outdated in service use,
it is a term with little meaning to the Canadian public that unfortunately can
be decidedly apathetic when it comes to things military.
Coming from the mid-continent, I can tell you that for those in much of the
country it sounds like the title on the office door of someone with some
authority over something to do with oceans and may be only applied to the
The motion speaks of the naval centennial and recognizes the service of
Canadian naval personnel. As an English- speaking Canadian, "navy" and "naval" are the terms I use when speaking of the sea-going component of any
country's Armed Forces, be it the U.S. Navy, Russian Navy or any country that
sends warships to sea.
Passage of Senator Rompkey's motion encourages the Minister of National
Defence to replace an awkward, publicly misunderstood term, only used in
official speech and writing, with a term that is commonly used throughout the
military and understood by the general public in this country and abroad.
I would also like to note that for those who are or have been in the naval
service, the term "navy" has far more than a simple denotative meaning. The
word "navy" has, and has had for many years, a positive connotation all its
own. Men and women proudly refer to themselves as being in or having been in the
navy, a term that carries a very real sense of pride and camaraderie with all
sailors of the world, a feeling not evoked by the term Maritime Command.
In this centennial year for the Canadian navy, we continue to honour our past
with the welcome return of the executive curl. We continue, as we always have,
to honour the linkage to our origins and the monarchy with the designation of
our ships as Her Majesty's Canadian Ship. As we look to the future, we do so as
a Canadian navy, proud of its roots, proud of its accomplishments and proud of
its current reputation among other navies of the world.
I only ask one question. I do not speak French, but a French-speaking member
has informed me that he believes the stated translation as "Marine Canadienne"
is misleading as it could also refer to the merchant navy. He believes that the
translation should be "Marine National Canadienne" so there is no ambiguity
with "Marine Marchand Canadienne".
In essence, the Senator Rompkey's motion calls for the sea-going component of
the Canadian Armed Forces to be officially referred to by a name that to
everyone everywhere reflects the reality of its very nature and purpose, the
The Chair: Thank you very much, Commander Thain. I appreciate that and
your succinct approach. We have a lot of strong feelings on this committee, so I
will say, as a gentle reminder, before we begin that we are not actually taking
testimony from committee members, we are taking questions. We have so many
questions today. We will start with Senator Dallaire. Please be short and to the
point. We have a lot of people to run through in our very brief time.
Senator Dallaire: Imagine trying to get a general, who is now an
apprenticed politician, to work on brevity. That is quite a challenge.
The Chair: I will put a stop watch on it.
Senator Dallaire: I acknowledge that the French translation, which has
an interesting dimension that has been raised, would require an official
translator, but I would contend that "La Marine Canadienne" has been used in
quite regularly in Quebec City, where I live, and by two of my children, in
fact, who were in the naval reserve.
Was the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve identified as an actual entity
that also ended with unification?
Cmdr. Thain: It was part of the Canadian navy. It was not a separate
entity. We were reservists within the Canadian naval forces.
Senator Dallaire: When we are looking at officers who served in the
Second World War and so on, you were not identified as "Royal Canadian Navy" —
brackets "R" for reserve, is that correct.
Cmdr. Thain: There were several designations. There were voluntary
reserves; there were reserves. If you looked at my commission, you would not
know that I was a reservist. My commission is a commission into the Canadian
Senator Dallaire: The Royal Canadian Navy at the time?
Cmdr. Thain: Yes.
Senator Dallaire: Thank you very much.
Senator Plett: I want to say I am from the same part of the country
that you are from and from the same city, so welcome here. I can identify with
the comment you made about "Maritime" having a connotation that it is only a
small part of our country that is being represented, so I support that.
I have a bit of a preference for "Royal Canadian Navy." My preference for
this is largely because I believe that it is about according Canada's naval
forces the respect that they deserve. It is about honouring our sailors by
restoring a historical name, one under which many fought and died, a name that
instils pride and respect.
Your argument today has been mostly — although I identify that your
preference is "Canadian Navy" — about changing the name from "Maritime
Command" to "Canadian Navy." I would like to hear a bit of the argument about
why you think "Canadian Navy" would be better than "Royal Canadian Navy." I
want to say I will accept "Canadian Navy" with pride, if that is the outcome
of this committee and the Senate.
Cmdr. Thain: First off, it was because I was addressing a motion that
referred to "Canadian Navy"; it was not a motion to go to "Royal Canadian
Navy." When it came up, it was discussed nationally by the Naval Officers'
Association of Canada, as it was discussed nationally by many organizations with
military and naval ties.
It is a strange issue. If we had never lost the "Royal," it would be there
and nobody would question it. To bring it back raises the possibility of people
seeing it as a move back toward colonial ties. It is not the Royal Australian
Navy or the Royal New Zealand Navy, which carry on; they never lost their "Royal" designation so it has been a continuum.
The Naval Officers' Association spoke to senior officers in the navy and said
what do you want us to do? They said there is nobody in the navy now who ever
served under the RCN. You would have to be in the navy 42 years to have done
that. Therefore, we do not want to do anything that we do not see as absolutely
necessary, that it might upset people. We do not want to raise flags that could
cause problems, so let us just go to "Canadian Navy" and let it go at that.
I spoke to the Royal Canadian Legion national convention in Winnipeg this
summer. They had a motion on the floor to advocate for a return to the "Royal"
and that motion was defeated after long argument for the same reasons. If "Royal" had always been there, had been carried through, it would be there
without a problem. To go back to it might cause problems nobody wants. You would
not have mutiny on the coasts if it came back, but the navy is not advocating
for it. I will put it that way.
Senator Plett: Strangely enough, I had a member of the media talk to
me today about this. That individual suggested that we may not ever have
entirely done away with the name "Royal," which was a strange comment to me —
that, in fact, this would be quite simple because the name is still there. Is
there any truth to that? Is that gone? Would that be a larger process than
having "Canadian Navy"? That is my last question, chair.
Cmdr. Thain: I believe there are still Royal Canadian regiments. We
still have Her Majesty's Canadian Ships. Some people will say there should not
be any sort of public upset at putting "Royal Canadian" sailors on board Her
Majesty's Canadian ships, but again, the HMCS has been there; it is part of our
history. We are not returning to it as it has never gone away.
We might be having this same debate if somehow, in 1968, we had gone to
"Canadian" ships rather than "Her Majesty's" — the debate of whether we go
back to it. Again, it would be seen as a contentious issue to go back to it once
it has been lost.
Senator Day: Explain to me how many serving naval officers would have
served using the executive curl. I am trying to apply your argument to the
Cmdr. Thain: The navy has always had something distinctive over the
rank on its sleeve. For us, it was the executive curl. When we lost that, we
lost the distinction not just in colour of uniform when we went to green and so
on, we lost that distinction on our sleeve. Whether it is in various navies,
various things on the sleeve, the navy does have that distinction on the top
rank stripe on the sleeve.
It is looked on very fondly, and we have never lost it on our mess dress. It
was only on the walking out uniform that it went.
Again, there are young officers in the navy who say: Gee, that looks neat.
However, to those who have been around for any length of time, the return of
that curl meant something to them.
Senator Day: That is because there was a lot of goodwill associated
with that and a lot of pride in distinctiveness.
Cmdr. Thain: Yes, senator.
Senator Day: Is that not the same for the "Royal Canadian Navy"? I
am an old trademark man and I used to work in that area. I know the value of
something that has an association with it that existed for a long time. My
political friends here will understand when someone adopts a political name like
the Green Party, how quickly that rose because the name has an association. It
was not entirely new.
What I am looking at with RCN, "Royal Canadian Navy," is the same thing as
I see with the executive curl. It is something that has an inherent value that
will come back and give pride to all of the serving members, as well as those
who are no longer serving.
Cmdr. Thain: I tend to agree with you. It puts us in a difficult
position because the navy has sort of said to the Naval Officers' Association of
Canada: Do not push it. We have bigger fish to fry and we do not want to get
everyone upset about something that we can live without.
I spoke to the executive officer of HMCS Chippawa the other day, and
he said: Gee, it all sort of felt good when we were down in the States and
someone would call us "RCN" and you perked up a little bit. It was sort of
nice. However, he said the crew of HMCS Winnipeg was in town fairly
recently, and talking to them, they sort of shrugged and said: No, the
"Canadian Navy," yes, we want to go back to that. They are quite happy with
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship, but they do not have that same link to being the "Royal Canadian Navy" that those of us do who served as such.
Senator Day: And they did not have the same link to the executive curl
that some of you had who served back previously.
Cmdr. Thain: They had it on their mess kit.
Senator Day: Yes. How do you think the serving members would feel who
say: Oh, yes, I am working with the "CN" now?
Cmdr. Thain: That came up, and I doubt that you would use "CN" as we
used to use "RCN." We would just say "navy."
Senator Day: For that reason.
Cmdr. Thain: Yes.
Senator Day: The second point is how pervasive is the word down from
the top of the navy, telling people we have bigger fish to fry; do not make any
comments on this?
Cmdr. Thain: I am not sure. Fairly pervasive, I would think.
The Chair: I guess my best attempt to have people not testify is not
working, so I will try again; Senator Segal.
Senator Plett: I did a good job.
The Chair: You did a pretty good job.
Senator Segal: I have two brief questions. The first one is was the
executive curl not something that united our navy with all the other navies? It
was not about going back to a pre-unification status; it was about reminding
everyone that our uniform was a naval uniform by definition. It had nothing to
do with the Royal escutcheon, per se.
Cmdr. Thain: That is correct. Back in 1968, another grizzled sailor
said to me, "Sir, a Canadian sailor has more in common with a Russian sailor
than he has with a Canadian soldier." There is a basic fundamental truth to
that statement. That executive curl takes us back into the naval community of
Senator Segal: I say this because of my very high regard for the work
of the naval reserve and its ability to provide technically adept and flexible
young men and women to be of immense value to the regular force, responsible for
patrolling our coasts. Would you share with us from your experience, for which
we should all be grateful, the quality and the tone of the debate that took
place either at the Royal Canadian Legion or at the Naval Officers' Association
of Canada? Clearly, some people of goodwill who believe in strengthening the
navy are of the strong view that the "Royal" would be constructive and
helpful. I do not happen to be of that view, but I respect their reason. Could
you give us a sense of the debate back and forth so that we better understand?
Cmdr. Thain: The debate centred on how it will be perceived by the
general public. We are very conscious that the general public, as I said in my
opening remarks, stand aside from the military. They do not understand much
about the military, and some view it a bit askance. The military is very careful
in how it deals with the public. There is concern about public perception and
whether this might be a step back to some sort of colonial link. We all know it
is not; but then we would have to convince the general public that is not the
case. That was the general tone of the debate at the Legion.
Senator Manning: Thank you and welcome. I will follow up on some of my
colleague's comments and questions. I will not pretend to have the knowledge
that you have, sir, in that you joined in 1957 and I was born in 1964. Needless
to say, I am sure your expertise speaks louder than mine, but I have been
intrigued by some of your comments.
I want to touch base, if I could, on the unification in 1968, the changes to
the uniforms and to the name from Royal Canadian Navy to Maritime Command, and
the feeling among the troops back then.
Maybe you could give us some idea of whether there was a cost to morale.
Certainly, changes to the uniforms created a big issue and loss of the executive
curl was another issue. How did that play out, in your experience, among the
Cmdr. Thain: It was a terrible hit to morale at the time for all the
forces, but I do not think the navy was hit any harder than anyone else by it.
It was a loss of distinction. Someone once said that we have more in common with
the Russian navy than we have with Canadian soldiers. When you try to integrate
army, navy and air force — three forces that have entirely different lifestyles,
do different things and have more in common with those in other countries that
do the same thing. It was the unification and trying to bring it into one force.
I am sure there was some reason to try to integrate some of the supply chain and
other things, but to try to pretend that a sailor was a soldier was an airman
wearing a different uniform with a little bit different training was a morale
hit to the forces. Sailors felt they were quite a bit different than soldiers
and I am sure soldiers felt they were different from sailors and airmen and so
Senator Manning: Certainly, it leads us to believe that. While the men
and women of service are all under the Canadian Armed Forces, there are the
separate entities of the navy, the air force and the army. One of the comments
you made was about the loss of distinction. That is where it comes back to me
because I support the "Royal Canadian Navy" name not because of Royalty or
colonialism but as the distinction. I believe it provides a level of
You mentioned earlier that there would not be mutiny on the shores over it. I
sense that most people involved want to see the name changed from Maritime
Command to "Canadian Navy" or "Royal Canadian Navy." I understand that some
people support the use of "Royal" and others who support "Canadian Navy."
As you said, you had a significant hit back in 1968 with unification. Since
then, our army, our air force and our navy have continued supplying wonderful
service to the people of Canada and to the people of the world; and we are proud
of them. A few weeks ago, when the hurricane hit Newfoundland, the navy stepped
up with the army and the air force. They continue to work in tremendous ways so
it has not hindered their progress to do tremendous work. What is your take of
going from "Royal Canadian Navy" to "Canadian Navy?"
Cmdr. Thain: As I am sure Senator Dallaire will confirm, — a
serviceman does what he is told and gets on with it no matter what he thinks of
it. That is what happened in 1968; we got on with the job. If it goes back to
"Royal Canadian Navy" or to "Canadian Navy," the navy will continue to
operate efficiently. You will thrill a lot of World War II vets and older
service personnel if it is changed to "Royal Canadian Navy." You would not
upset the current navy if it were "Canadian Navy." As I said before, if it
went to "Royal Canadian Navy," there would not be a mutiny on the coasts; life
would carry on and that is what would happen.
Senator Pépin: I understand how important identity is. How does the
Maritime Command name affect the navy identity?
Cmdr. Thain: I am sorry, I missed the question.
The Chair: How does the name "navy" and Maritime Command affect the
Cmdr. Thain: Maritime Command is not understood by the general public
to be "navy." To the people on the street, when you say "Maritime Command,"
they have no idea what you are talking about, unless somewhere down the road
they have had a connection to someone from the navy. If I walk down the street
and ask people what Maritime Command is, 9 out of 10 people will not have a clue
what I am talking about. When you say "navy," everyone knows what you are
talking about. That is the difference.
Senator Dallaire: When I commanded Land Force Quebec Area, I
immediately had to say "the army in Quebec;" similar terminology that the navy
had as a problem.
However, when unification happened and the executive curl as part of uniform
distinction was eliminated, it was not eliminated totally from the uniform; it
was eliminated from the dress uniform and from the garrison uniforms but not
from the mess uniforms. Is that correct?
Cmdr. Thain: That is right.
Senator Dallaire: When the navy deployed from port, did the officers
not wear the curl on their normal dress uniform in the last 15 years or so, in
particular the submariners?
Cmdr. Thain: Negative, to my knowledge, senator. The only time that
the curl was worn was on mess kit.
Senator Dallaire: I have a bit more information; thank you. The curl
has always been there, but the "Royal Canadian Navy," as a term, ended with
Cmdr. Thain: Yes, senator.
Senator Segal: Our witness would be impeded from sharing covert
information of that kind, even with a retired general.
Cmdr. Thain: I like that term, "covert."
Senator Mitchell: I would like to represent the other side and I am
not making a statement.
It seems that, to some extent, and maybe to a huge extent, the use of
"Royal" in front of "Canadian Navy", and the arguments surrounding it, hinge
upon what that conjures up. For me that conjures up a past that, to some extent
— I do not want to say "betrays" because that is a powerful word — but belies
the evolution of this country.
One of the greatest moments in our military history was winning at Vimy. That
served to help us establish the distance from the colonial supervision of
Britain. I am very supportive of the monarchy, but is there another way of
looking at that? To me, it just drags us back into the past and belies that
effort, those accomplishments and many of the great moments in Canadian military
Second, some say that it somehow gives us greater pride to say "Royal
Canadian Navy." I have a great deal of pride thinking about the Canadian navy.
That is what we are.
Cmdr. Thain: I agree. When HMCS Winnipeg was off the coast of
Somalia involved with the pirates we got more front-page news about the navy
than we had seen in the last 30 years, and the term "Canadian Navy" was used.
It was "Navy" on the front pages and people were proud of the HMCS Winnipeg
and what she had accomplished.
There is and will continue to be pride in the Canadian navy. I do not think
that the term "Royal" is necessary for pride. We would have pride whatever it
was called. Maritime Command is still proud of what they have accomplished. It
is just an outdated term that is not recognized.
The Chair: If you went to "Canadian Navy" or even "Royal Canadian
Navy," what precedent would that set? What would happen to the other forces?
Would we go back to "Royal Canadian Air Force" or could they be the "Canadian
Air Force"? What about the army?
Cmdr. Thain: I thought about that the other day as I drove out to my
air command in Winnipeg for 17 Wing mess for TGIF. There is a building there
with "Air Command" on it. That is up to the air force. Somehow that seems to
fit more than "Maritime Command" fits with the navy.
The Chair: Thank you for that. We appreciate you coming today and your
We will continue our discussion about the name of the Maritime Command, or
the navy, as it is commonly known, with our final witness today, Senator Bill
Senator Rompkey is the author of this motion which asks the Minister of
Defence to change the official structural name of Maritime Command to "Canadian
Navy." He will be our final witness today, but probably not our last in this
Welcome, Senator Rompkey. We are very pleased to have a colleague sitting in
Would you like to make some opening remarks?
Hon. Bill Rompkey, P.C.: Yes, I would. However, I would first like to
thank you very much for the expeditious way in which you are dealing with this
matter because I and others are hoping that we can deal with it before the end
of the naval centennial year.
You all have before you exhibit a and exhibit b, as Perry Mason would have
described them, naval centennial pins and naval centennial promotional materials
that clearly say they are on behalf of the "Canadian Navy."
I introduce, as exhibit c, this copy of Canadian Naval Review of
spring 2010, which has as its title Canadian Navy Centennial Issue.
I show you that to make a point of what is real at the present time.
I am a Canadian. I was not born a Canadian; I was born a British subject. I
was 13 when my country joined with this country. I was 17 when I joined the
Canadian navy. It was the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve that made me a Canadian,
ironically enough, because it introduced me to Canadians across this country
that I had never met before. I spend some time in Halifax and I spent some time
in Esquimalt, and I met Canadians from all across the country. I am a Canadian,
as the Anglican baptism service says, "by adoption and grace," and by choice,
so I start with that proposition.
However, I am here on behalf of those who have served in the navy since 1968,
and they have not served in the Royal Canadian Navy; they have served in what
they call the "Canadian Navy." Their navy is the "Canadian Navy" and it is
those that I think we should keep in mind.
I moved the motion on behalf of those who did not serve because I think we
need to look forward. I do not think we, in this centennial year, should be
looking backward. I think we have to look forward. We have to acknowledge what
is in the present and what is going to be.
I would like to read, if I may, briefly, several paragraphs from the speech I
made in the house because I do not want to miss any important points.
The view of moving forward and not backward was anticipated by
Lieutenant-Commander Alan Easton in his excellent account of his World War
II sea service in his book 50 North. He recalls a wartime
conversation with a senior RN officer:
We went on to speak of tradition. He said that in the RN tradition
was a heritage of which they were very proud, and in a sense was the
moral backbone of the service. "You are not far removed from it
yourselves, you know. You are part of the Empire and much of our stock
I am not sure he knew the French were here beforehand, but a portion of our
stock is British.
That's so, sir, I acknowledged. But, although we learned your customs and
in fact were patterned after the Royal Navy, I feel, and I think most of us
feel, that we have no direct right to your traditions. Nor, could they apply
really, because, what made them occurred mainly before we were in existence.
Our tradition, I suggested, is possibly being made now.
That point of view, I believe, would be shared by the majority of those
serving in the navy today and by many who have retired. For half of the hundred
years that the navy has existed, those who enlisted did not serve in the RCN.
The RCN disappeared with a wave of Paul Hellyer's wand. Unification was seen as
an insult to the many who had served in the RCN because it instantly and
arbitrarily took away symbols and traditions that were part of their long and
distinguished legacy of service. Surely, bringing back the designation RCN today
would be doing the same thing to those who have served over the past 42 years.
What of the innovations that are truly Canadian? Now women serve and command at
sea; now we have bilingual warships; now we have a diversity of people from many
ethnic and racial backgrounds reflecting the unique mix that is Canada itself.
These are traditions that are in part handed down and are in part earned by
Canadian sailors who never served in the RCN but who proudly served in what is
commonly known as the Canadian navy. Like those who suffered from unification
they should not have their accomplishments cast aside.
The men and women of today's navy know that for some time they have been
working more and more closely with the USN whose continent we share. Indeed,
they interface more and more with foreign navies who identify them as the
Canadian Navy. Francophones have been in what is now Canada longer than any,
except for the First Nations and Inuit. Francophones do not use "Maritime
Command" when identifying the navy. For them, the French word for navy is "La Marine." Navy/marine is a term that has survived 42 years of official,
political and statutory deletion.
Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden has pointed out how closely the story of the
navy parallels the development of Canada. Both came from humble beginnings
but aspired to contribute beyond the shores of the country. Both modelled
themselves on remarkable institutions of Great Britain. Both came of age in
the crucible of war. He could have added that just as Canada has emerged
from the shadow of Britain to tread the world stage as a respected and able
nation in its own right, so did the Canadian Navy emerge from the shadow of
the RN to become a world-renowned navy in its own right. It has become a
navy reflecting the diversity, creativity, competence and multi-culturalism
of the country itself.
This chamber is not the Royal Canadian Senate, although we owe much to
British origins; we are the Senate of Canada. We are Canadians with our own
constitution and identity. So it is with the Canadian Navy, with its own
insignia, customs, practices and history.
The connection with the sovereign is acknowledged through the
presentation of the Queen's Colours, which recently occurred for the third
time in Halifax. Additionally, the use of HMCS is a practice well accepted
by today's sailors.
The face of young Canada is rapidly changing. The demographic is no
longer one of British, or even European, ancestry. The talent pool for the
future navy has no connection with the royal designation. As the population
ages, the navy is in an almost life and death competition with every other
industry. If the navy does not attract more Aboriginals, more francophones,
more of the anglophone and francophone immigrant communities and visible
minorities, it will die a slow death.
Maritime Command is a bland nonentity. . . . The time has come to
institutionalize the name "Canadian Navy/La Marine Canadienne."
Finally, I know there was a lot of discussion about what other countries do
and the fact that other countries have kept the term "Royal." Last week I was
in British Columbia studying lighthouses with Senator MacDonald, and the same
case was put to us, that many countries had done away with lightkeepers. Our
research shows that is not entirely true, but that is the allegation. Senator
MacDonald made the comment that when he was young and he told his father he
wanted to do something that his father thought he should not do his father would
say to him, "If everyone else jumped over the wharf, would you jump over too?"
We are a country in our own right, with our own traditions and heritage.
Thank you, Madam Chair, for hearing me.
The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before us today. We have
a long list of questions all ready to go, so we will start with Senator
Senator Dallaire: Senator Rompkey, I believe it was 1986 when the
government of the day invested something like $43 million to put the three
services back into service dress. Do you remember that time frame? Are you
familiar with the time they did that? Did you perceive that there was a sense of
pride that was created by the return to three separate uniforms?
Senator Rompkey: Absolutely.
Senator Dallaire: At that time, the navy did not go back to the navy
blue; it went back to black. Also at that time, the army did not go back to
khaki; it kept the green and the air force got its blue pretty well back. Do you
think that because they did not get exactly what they had before, that maybe was
a pejorative side to the encouragement of having your separate uniform?
Senator Rompkey: The uniform that I remember was black. The uniform
that I wore was black, so they have gone back to black. If I recall uniforms,
senator, it was not navy blue but black. I stand to be corrected. I think they
have gone back to what it was, but it clearly is a morale booster and a question
Senator Dallaire: I can certainly speak for the army. However, do you
believe the new uniforms to be a significant factor in the continued operational
effectiveness of these forces? Do you believe that by introducing this new
element you can boost the morale of the forces?
Senator Rompkey: I do not mean to be trite, but I was thinking tonight
that the Montreal Canadiens used to be called the Montreal Maroons. If you asked
the people of Montreal to go back to the Montreal Maroons and if you took that
CH off the sweater of the Canadians, what would that do to morale? What would
that do to the morale of the team and the people? Morale is very important.
Senator Day: I thought they were called "les habitants."
Senator Rompkey: Morale is important and those symbols of morale are
Senator Dallaire: Is it not a fact that members of the naval branch,
the Maritime Command, throughout the terrible years of unification and
destruction of the soul of the army, navy and air force by trying to unify it,
still kept the term "navy" in all kinds of paraphernalia. Is it true that they
kept all kind of expressions of their morale and their entity?
Senator Rompkey: Yes, and that is why I distributed the materials
Senator Pépin: You told us to look ahead. I really want to look ahead,
but for the Canadians who served in the Royal Canadian Navy, it is a question of
identity. This change in name will affect them, and I suggest we give them a
special decoration. Perhaps we could have some kind of recognition process for
them. These soldiers are between 85 and 90 years old; there are very few of them
left. One of my uncles is in this situation. It seems to me that they could be
given a pin of recognition, for example, and then we could open the door and
change the name to the Canadian Navy.
Senator Rompkey: To my knowledge, there is no one serving today who
was in the Second World War. Those veterans of the Second World War still wear
their RCN uniforms. Whenever they go to a mess dinner, to a Naval Officers'
Association, they will wear their RCN uniform; but there is nobody from the RCN
Senator Pépin: That I know.
Senator Rompkey: The other thing I wanted to say was there are some
from the Second World War in the Naval Officers' Association of Canada. However,
as you know from the testimony of Admiral Summers, the Naval Officers'
Association has taken the position that the navy should be called the "Canadian
Navy," even though some of their members have experience in the Second World
War. The same is true for the Royal Canadian Legion. They took a decision not to
revert to RCN.
Senator Pépin: I agree with the name Canadian Navy, but out of respect
for the oldest veterans of the Royal Canadian Navy, we could find a way to
recognize them as such, and then open the door to the rest.
Senator Rompkey: They will always be veterans of the RCN.
Senator Manning: I would like to thank our guest for being here with
us today. To think he was on the short list for the next lieutenant governor of
Newfoundland, but anyway.
I certainly have been intrigued by your motion in the house. We have had
several discussions in private and I am delighted that you are here today. As
you know, my feeling is we should go back to the "Royal Canadian Navy." I hope
I am not looking backward, but I am looking at honouring the accomplishments of
the navy over the past 100 years.
I do not think there is a right or a wrong to this issue. You quoted Senator
MacDonald's comments. My father used to tell us, even if you are on the side of
the road by yourself and everybody else is on the other side, it does not mean
you are wrong; it means you are lonely. I guess we all learn from our fathers
Coming from Newfoundland and Labrador, and wherever we are in Canada, valuing
our ancestry is important because while valuing and remembering our past as we
prepare for the future and embracing our identity.
I guess my biggest issue, and what I want to get you on record as stating, is
that when the changes were made with unification in 1968, it was a blow to the
morale of all the forces at the time — the change in uniform, the elimination of
the executive curl to the navy especially.
If we get to a point where it is "Canadian Navy," I am okay with that,
while I still push the fact that it is "Royal." I do not push "Royal" for
the simple reason of our history with the monarchy, as I said to witnesses and I
said to you. My ancestry is Irish, so it is not necessarily from the monarchy
point of view as much as I see it as a distinction — a clear distinction and an
honour. I point to institutions like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Royal St. John's Regatta, the oldest
sporting event in North America.
I am sure you have talked to many people, veterans of yesterday and the
soldiers of today. I just wonder what you think at the end of the day.
I certainly want to take it from "Maritime Command." I want to see that
abolished because, to be honest with you; I think if you asked 10 out of 10
people on most days, you would not get an answer on "Maritime Command." Most
people would not know it. We know our army, navy and air force. We know the
great work they have done.
From your point of view and all the people you have talked to, can you give
us some indication? If we choose one or the other, I know life will continue on,
as one of our witnesses said — soldiers do what they are asked to do.
Senator Rompkey: Life will continue on. You would have to make some
changes. Those pins would no longer read "Canadian Navy." The bumper stickers
would no longer read "Canadian Navy." The website would no longer read "Canadian Navy." The letterhead would no longer read
You would have to make many changes and they would be costly. They would not
be exorbitant, but they would be costly. There is a dollar figure attached to
going back to "Royal Canadian Navy" which we should not discount. However,
that is not what you asked and you asked a very important question.
Rear-Admiral Fred Mifflin's testimony was instructive in that regard. He said
he had not met anybody in his travels who wanted to go back to "Royal Canadian
Navy." Fred moves in navy circles more than I do today.
I encourage you to go on a navy ship, those of you who have not, and actually
talk to the people who live on that ship. I had the pleasure of sailing from
Cupids to St. John's about three or four weeks ago. A lot of people on that
ship, HMCS St. John's, are from my province. I did my own little informal
survey on the quarter deck. I must say that people on that ship serve in the
Canadian navy and are very proud of it. They really have no knowledge of the
Royal Canadian Navy. It is not part of their identity, who they are or who they
I have not done an exhaustive survey and I am not aware of any polls.
However, I have asked people about it over the past year or more, and my
conclusion is that the majority would rather serve in the "Canadian Navy."
Senator Manning: You are almost there.
Senator Day: He has it. It is in his soul, I know it.
Senator Manning: In terms of logistics, Maritime Command is currently
the official name. Therefore, the official name is not "Canadian Navy" at this
present time. Is that correct?
Senator Rompkey: Right.
Senator Manning: Therefore, the soldiers and people who are serving in
the Maritime Command today have never served under the Royal Canadian Navy or
the "Canadian Navy."
Senator Rompkey: They call themselves the "Canadian Navy." That is
how they are known and identify themselves.
Senator Manning: I know that.
Senator Rompkey: Officially, that is right.
Senator Manning: Officially, it has never been called that. They have
found a way back to "Canadian Navy" from Maritime Command as an opportunity to
You kind of answered part of my second question. You are not aware of any
polls among the people who are serving today, are you?
Senator Rompkey: I am only aware of informal polls. It is only
anecdotal evidence; there is no hard evidence.
Senator Manning: The argument you are putting forward is clearly an
argument that, for the past 42 years, these men and women have not served in the
Royal Canadian Navy and, therefore, do not identify with that term. That is
basically your argument.
Senator Rompkey: Right.
Senator Manning: Before you went out and discussed this over the past
several months, you served in the Royal Canadian Navy, as I understand it.
Senator Rompkey: In the reserves, yes.
Senator Manning: In the Royal Canadian Navy Reserves. Were you
convinced to change your mind or were you always —
Senator Rompkey: No, I was convinced to change my mind.
Senator Manning: You were convinced to change your mind from the
conversations that you have had, is that right?
Senator Rompkey: That is exactly right, and I think it is a good
point: I was convinced by those I talked to.
Senator Day: Thank you. Senator Rompkey, it is great to have a fellow
senator here before us. I am taking a position contrary to yours. I just want
you to know that so you do not feel that I am ambushing you.
Senator Rompkey: It is a democracy. One of the beauties about Canada
is that is a democracy and the second is that it has a Canadian navy.
Senator Day: It does not, which is the point. That is why we are here.
It has a Maritime Command. You and I know that, but you keep calling it the
Senator Rompkey: No, they call it the "Canadian navy."
Senator Day: This is a centennial document. This would have been
approved. The one hundredth anniversary was celebrated this year, and it
commemorates the Maritime Command. The commanding officer, presumably the Chief
of the Navy, must have approved these celebrations.
Senator Rompkey: Right.
Senator Day: Do you agree with us that the "Canadian navy" is not an
official name? "Canadian navy" is not the name, yet we see documents like this
produced by the navy using an unofficial name.
Senator Rompkey: Good for them.
Senator Day: Therefore, if we change the name to the "Royal Canadian
Navy" there is absolutely no reason why they could not continue to use the same
documentation and call it the "navy."
Senator Rompkey: If you change it to the "Royal Canadian Navy," you
would have to redo all that.
Senator Day: Why? They are using it now when it is called Maritime
Command and they are using "Canadian navy." If we change it to the Royal
Canadian Navy, they could still use this stuff.
Senator Rompkey: However, "Royal Canadian Navy" would be official.
Senator Day: You do not think "Maritime Command" is official.
Senator Rompkey: It is official. That is my problem.
Senator Day: That is my point. It is official, yet this is being used.
Senator Rompkey: Yes, it is.
Senator Day: You agree, then.
Senator Rompkey: I think Senator Segal brought up the issue of covert
Senator Day: Second, have you talked to the senior naval command with
respect to this change?
Senator Rompkey: Yes.
Senator Day: We have been told that Maritime Command commanding
officers have passed the word down through that there are bigger fish to fry.
Senator Rompkey: That is true.
Senator Day: So you agree with that.
Senator Rompkey: I agree with that. You need ships more than a name
Senator Day: It is not likely in a military command structure where
the top boss says, "Cool it on this issue" that you will hear any comments
from anybody else.
Senator Rompkey: I am not sure he said, "Cool it." He just said he
had bigger fish to fry. He did not say, "cool it."
The Chair: We will be taking testimony, just for the record. He will
Senator Rompkey: Okay.
Senator Day: That is my terminology, but "let it lay" instead of "cool it." Would
"let it lay" be more appropriate?
The Chair: He did not say that.
Senator Rompkey: They could have done the same with the executive
Senator Day: Yes, they could have.
Senator Rompkey: It is in the same general category. It is not in the
category with ships, weapons and recruitment. It is not in that category, but it
is in the category with the executive curl and it is relatively easy to do. The
curl really did not cost very much.
Senator Day: However, as I understand it the executive curl was not an
initiative by Maritime Command. It was a political initiative.
The Chair: No.
Senator Day: But it was not an initiative by the Maritime Command
Senator Rompkey: The chair is shaking her head.
The Chair: I do not think that is the order in which it came. That was
very much coming up from the —
Senator Day: The command did not ask for it.
Senator Rompkey: Well, whatever.
The Chair: We will ask him when he comes.
Senator Day: We will ask him when he comes.
Senator Rompkey: They like it. They agree with it.
Senator Day: We know they liked it, once they were given it.
Senator Rompkey: The point here is that this can be done fairly easily
with the stroke of the minister's pen. That is what I would like us to ask the
minister to do because it is relatively easy and relatively inexpensive.
Senator Day: I just have one other point that I would like you to
clarify with respect to recruiting. In the words from the speech that you gave
in the Senate and which you talked about here, you mentioned recruiting and how
important it is to recruit from a broad sector of the public nowadays and how we
have a multicultural society. Are you suggesting, therefore, that HMCS
Winnipeg, HMCS Victoria and HMCS St. John's are making it
difficult to recruit?
Senator Rompkey: No.
Senator Day: Why were you talking about recruiting in light of
changing the name to —
Senator Rompkey: That is the name they use in recruiting now; the name
they use in recruiting is the "Canadian navy." If you watch the TV ads, and
they are wonderful, they are on behalf of the "Canadian Navy." Some of them
say, "Fight with the Canadian Forces," but some of them say, "Fight with the
Senator Day: Therefore, your point is that the wording is used to help
Senator Rompkey: Right.
Senator Day: However, if they said fight with the "Maritime Command"
Senator Rompkey: Oh, absolutely.
Senator Day: We all agree that "Maritime Command" should go.
Senator Rompkey: Right.
Senator Day: You are telling us that the title "Maritime Command"
has already gone; in effect and unofficially, Maritime Command is not being
Senator Rompkey: It is not being used, but it is not gone.
Senator Day: No, unofficially is what I am talking about.
Senator Rompkey: Unofficially "Maritime Command" is not used in
promotion, as I understand it, and you have evidence in front of you.
Senator Day: Yes.
Senator Rompkey: It is on behalf of the "Canadian Navy."
Senator Dallaire: This argument on recruitment is perhaps a little
simplistic. What do you think the introduction of "Royal" will do to
recruiting in the Province of Quebec and to the million other Franco-Canadians
in this country?
Senator Day: Yes, I think it is important to face that question.
Senator Rompkey: You may be able to answer that question, senator,
more easily than I can because you come from that province and I do not.
Senator Manning: Answer your own question. I am interested.
The Chair: No, we will have other testimony on this.
Senator Day: What does it do to Royal 22e Régiment?
Senator Dallaire: It was first an Infantry battalion called the 22e
Régiment and asked to become "Royal" in 1921, and the Queen asserted that, and
that was fine. However, we are now in 2010. To seek Royal Assent for, let us
say, the "Canadian Navy" would be a different exercise. In addition, I remind
you that none of the new units created since 1968 has the term "Royal," and
there is a reason for that. There was no demand for that term to come back
within any of the new units created in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Chair: Thank you.
Senator Mitchell: I have nothing to add to the excellent case that you
made. I could not augment it; I could not improve on it.
Senator Rompkey: Actually, I was going to say the same about the
remarks you made before I got here.
Senator Mitchell: I will repeat those, thanks.
To use Senator Manning's analogy, I do not want you to feel that you are
alone on that side of the street because you are not. You made an excellent
case. I will ask some questions that might seem to be leading, but justifiably
I have a feeling that "Royal" conjures up an era of a shroud of colonialism
that covered Canada that does not reflect the present era. In this era, we can
have true pride as an independent nation in the world. That independence was
very hard fought for by all of our services and certainly by the naval services
of Canada in our history.
Senator Rompkey: There was a revolt in the navy just after the war. A
review was commissioned, headed by Admiral Mainguy, who was captain of
destroyers in St. John's during the war. The Mainguy report identified exactly
that, namely that there were certain practices, insignia and customs that the
Royal Canadian Navy at that time wanted but which were denied because many of
the officers in the Royal Canadian Navy had come from Britain, and those who had
not had a mid-Atlantic accent, if you know what I mean.
There was a movement, and the Mainguy report helped to change that and to
institute Canadian practices and Canadian customs. They started growing from
about 1950 onwards and have continued.
Senator Mitchell: I would like to address the precedent that some of
our colleagues are trying to draw between "going back to the curl" and
therefore legitimizing going back to "Royal." You see, I do not buy that
precedent. I think there is another precedent. Resurrecting the curl is
necessary to distinguish a service. Resurrecting a name without "Royal,"
simply the name "Canadian Navy," is distinguishing a country, a country that
deserves to be distinguished internationally as a country of independence, as a
country of a new era of a future where it is not beholden to other nations and
Senator Rompkey: That is exactly right. The executive curl, if you
remember the testimony from Admiral Mifflin and Admiral Summers, and so on, was
to distinguish them from airline pilots and commissionaires, although Admiral
Fred Mifflin said he would be happy to be identified as a commissionaire because
many of them come from the Armed Forces.
You are right. The curl is to identify you as being part of the international
navy community. That is what it says. "Canadian navy" says you are
representing a nation.
Senator Mitchell: Exactly. I guess as a final comment, in my heart of
hearts, I cannot see how "Royal" in front of "Canadian Navy" can in any way,
shape or form augment, enhance, inspire greater pride than simply "Canadian"
all by itself. Why do we need a crutch?
The Chair: Do you have any sense of what this means for the other two
Senator Rompkey: No, not really, although we have never had the
"Royal Canadian Army." We have always had the Canadian army. You raise a good
point, namely that there has never been a "Royal Canadian army." There has
only been a Canadian army. In a sense, going to the "Canadian Navy" is simply
as a reflection of the Canadian army.
What the air force will want to do, I have no idea.
The Chair: Senator Plett wanted to give testimony as well today.
Senator Plett: Madam Chair, I was the shortest one last round, and I
will be again.
The Chair: You were.
Senator Plett: First, I find it exciting that I am on the same side of
an issue as Senator Day, and I realize that all is right in the world because I
am not on the same side as Senator Mitchell. The problem, of course, with being
on the same side as Senator Day is that he somewhat asked the questions that I
was going to ask, but I do want to continue on that just a bit.
Senator Rompkey, a number of times you referred to the fact about going back
to the RCN would be a slap in the face of the soldiers that are serving —
Senator Rompkey: I am not sure I used "slap in the face."
Senator Plett: No, that is correct. You did not use those terms.
Absolutely you did not, but you implied — and I am not sure whether it was
insult — that it would not be what they would want.
Senator Rompkey: Yes.
Senator Plett: As Senator Day and Senator Manning have said, we do not
have a Canadian navy; we have Maritime Command. They are printing things at
someone's command, but certainly not because it is official.
When this name is changed, and I have every reason to know that it will be,
either to "Royal Canadian Navy" or to "Canadian Navy," I want you to know,
sir, that I will not only put this on to either a bumper or somewhere, if it is
"Canadian Navy" I will put it on it proudly. I am equally sure that our fine
men and women in uniform, in the navy, will be proud to serve in the "Royal
Canadian Navy" if that is the name. I do not accept the fact that they will say
that something has happened to belittle their stature.
Yes, we served at Vimy Ridge as the Canadian army, and wonderful on us. I
support that wholeheartedly, and I am so proud. If we have the name "Royal
Canadian Navy," everyone will understand that we are the Canadian navy. We are
the "Royal Canadian Navy" in Canada. Those are religious comments.
There was apparently a survey done at the Naval Officers Training Centre that
revealed that 80 per cent of junior- serving officers were in favour of
returning to "Royal Canadian Navy."
Senator Rompkey: Can you table that survey?
The Chair: Yes, before we put that into testimony, we need to have
Senator Plett: Fair enough.
Senator Rompkey: Can you table it?
Senator Plett: In all fairness, a number of people have used
unsubstantiated comments about what their polling has revealed. I am not sure
that we need to table it. These are unsubstantiated, and I am simply reading a
question to the senator as to whether or not he is aware of such a survey.
Senator Rompkey: No, I think I said in an earlier answer very clearly
that there is only anecdotal evidence. There has been no poll to my knowledge
and there is no hard evidence. I said quite clearly, I think, that I spoke to
people on the upper deck and on the lower deck, and my conclusion was that they
served in the "Canadian navy" and would rather do that.
However, there is no hard evidence. If you have some, I would be glad to see
Senator Plett: Thank you. I have already taken you up on your
suggestion about getting on to one of our fine vessels. It is in the works.
Senator Rompkey: If you get on to HMCS St. John's, she will get
you to the port that has more bars per capita than any other city in Canada.
Senator Plett: Wonderful. That is also a plus.
The Chair: Committee, our time is up. This better be five seconds.
Senator Day: There have been a number of suggestions of surveys and
doing things. I am hoping that this committee can take the time to do those
surveys, go on the ships and find out for ourselves before we vote on this.
The Chair: I think that would be informal. That would be more
anecdotal evidence. We do not have the capacity to do an actual poll.
Senator Day: The witness has suggested that this is something we may
want to do. I agree that we should do so before we vote on the motion.
The Chair: I will take that under advisement.
Senator Dallaire: I would totally disagree inasmuch as we have seen
what the navy thinks. We have seen what it thinks because it has related 100
years of history and it has called it the "Canadian Navy." I think the chain
of command should be held in front of this committee to give us what it thinks
it sees the future of the navy and, ultimately, it will be held accountable for
whatever answer it gives and not a poll from the forces
The Chair: Which we will do three weeks from today. Senator Rompkey,
thank you very much for being here. The meeting is adjourned.