According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in its 2007 Fire Prevention in Aboriginal Communities report: “Fire incidence rates for First Nations are 2.4 times higher than for the rest of Canada. First Nations residents are also 10 times more likely to die in a house fire. The victims are often young children.”
My first 9 months as executive editor of Frontline Safety and Security has been a great learning process that included meeting with and learning from the people and organizations responsible for keeping Canadians Safe and Secure. The purpose of these meetings was to learn more about their issues, about what they wanted – and needed – to read about in the pages of FrontLine.
Fear and propaganda are the weapons of war and, increasingly, so too is social media. Indeed, social media has come under attack as it becomes the ideal media outlet for terrorists and extremist groups. Recruitment, training, planning and coordination of attacks, intimidation tactics, and displays of weaponry and power have all been achieved online through avenues such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp.
It has been an interesting first few months for me as the new editor of Frontline Safety and Security. I have spent the last few months meeting with organizations tasked with, or interested in, keeping the public safe – let’s call them partners in safety and security. These have included various intelligence organizations, associations, first responders, and Universities.
(Aug 2009) CDFAI Fellow, Colin Robertson describes how the Canadian banking system and good government initiatives have helped the nation weather the economic recession and garner the rare distinction as the only country in the industrialized world that has not faced a single bank failure, nor called for bailouts or government intervention in financial and mortgage sectors. CDFAI is now called the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
(May 2009) The new report details the future Technology and market trends of major HLS-HLD market sectors including: Biometrics, Aviation security, Maritime security, Information. Technology and Cyber terror security, CBRN security, Infrastructure security, Counter terror intelligence, the private sector HLS, RFID based systems, Border security, Perimeter security, First responders, HLS-HLD C3I systems, Nuclear-Radiological screening systems, and more.
(March 2008) The UK has published the first annual update of the National Security Strategy which sets out an updated assessment of the national security threats facing the UK and includes proposals for combating threats to cyber security.
(February 2009) The Canadian Society for Senior Engineers (CSSE) ranks the various Canadian Aerospace program areas, and makes strong recommendations to the Government of Canada. Included among them is a call to increase R&D funding in these areas.
(April 28, 2009) In this address to the Canadian Airports Council, Derek Burney, former Ambassador to the US and CDFAI Senior Research Fellow, argues that in the midst of this global recession and time of uncertainty for geopolitical institutions such as NATO and the G8, Canada must reinvigorate its relationship with the United States if it is to have meaningful global influence).
General Clive Addy steered this magazine throughout its first nine formative years; following in his footsteps will be a distinct honour. Throughout the many years of service to his country, he has given much. Upon retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces, he found a unique way to continue to serve his country – he used this magazine as a vehicle to promote awareness of the need to enhance national security. It is with pleasure that I have accepted the position of incoming Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
The formidable array of speakers included; Stephen Rigby, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister; Richard Fadden, the Deputy Minister of National Defence; and Major-General Christian Rousseau, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command. In addition, panels of eminent practitioners and trainers from the intelligence community provided other expert views.
Q1: Following the severe flooding in Southern Alberta in June, you have been appointed by the Alberta Government as the Chief Assistant Deputy Minister for the Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force. What preparations had been in place for mitigating such an event, and what improvements are you now working on?
One of the most important issues in policy development is to make sure that the subject being scrutinized is accurately identified so the right questions can be asked to help get the most effective answers. This is critical because the converse is also true; ask the wrong questions and you will get the wrong answers.
Dr Michael Kempa is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa, and a freelance journalist who enjoys diving into the messy reality of the politics and economics of policing and security. Editor Clive Addy talks to him about the current situation of rising costs without the benefit of rising budgets.
Many people believe the sale of contraband tobacco is a “victimless crime,” acknowledges Gary Grant, a retired police officer and spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. In fact, he suggests every Canadian is a victim of the contraband tobacco chain. Profit from illegal cigarettes finances criminal gangs, cuts legitimate tax revenues, defeats attempts to discourage tobacco use (which is overloading the health care system), and harms new generations of Canadian young people every day.
First Responders strive to keep the public safe during emergencies. Such careers often put their own safety at risk, and yet we regularly hear stories of courage in the face of those perils.
The warning was unequivocal: Canadians must confront the steadily increasing numbers of technological traps, trip-wires and hazards that await the unprepared, the careless and the unaware.
In October, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) president Tim Page opened SecureTech 2013, by describing Canada’s security environment. “Serious risks to pubic safety, threats to our eco systems, traditional way of life and national security challenges abound, and are growing in complexity, impact and cost.”
The United Kingdom’s response to terrorism has been shaped by the various terrorist threats it has faced during the 20th century; from Russian anarchists, Irish republicans, Middle Eastern groups, to the supporters of causes such as animal rights. While the threat from Irish terrorism has diminished, an ongoing and serious terrorist threat to Northern Ireland remains. Currently, the UK assesses its most significant risk to national security as that from terrorism associated with and influenced by al-Qaeda.
Clive Addy: First, might I thank you, Senator, for accepting to do this interview. A few years ago, terrorism was seen as something that happened elsewhere and was performed on and by people other than Canadians. How times have changed! Today and most recently, Canadians have witnessed fellow citizens being involved in terrorist activity, funding and support around the world.
Unfortunately, the clamour over the dangers of tobacco has overpowered any intelligible discourse concerning what to do about illicit tobacco. The only audible voices expressing concern are organizations that are trying to protect their bottom dollar as the market turns towards cheaper products.
Unfortunately, the clamour over the dangers of tobacco has overpowered any intelligible discourse concerning what to do about illicit tobacco. The only audible voices expressing concern are organizations that are trying to protect their bottom dollar as the market turns towards cheaper products.
As we embark on 2013, it is timely to reflect on the state of the various components of the security sector in Canada including to note progress made and action required. To do that, it’s helpful to reflect on that which happened in 2012…and that which didn’t because for both reasons it was a year of great significance for safety and security issues in Canada. This factual analysis will also demonstrate what needs action now.
Though well-recognized as vital in the public safety and security sector, interoperable communications remain a constant challenge. This was made clear at a recent closed door event coordinated by General Dynamics Canada (GDC), where industry, government and customers addressed today’s capability gaps.
Frontline Security continues its thrust to influence national security policies – to enable citizens, first responders and government officials to protect Canadians as we would expect in today’s world. One of the major determinants of this world is the rise in overall influence, for good and bad, of the cyber presence. This edition includes many articles on technology and the sharing of information to elicit better responses to safety and security challenges.
Canada's largest law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), has long recognized that businesses operating in the defence and security industry sectors routinely encounter complex issues that require a specialized type of legal expertise. For this reason, it created a Defence and Security Industry Group comprised of lawyers, patent agents and other professionals who have sectoral experience working with industry clients in a wide range of areas.
Michael Nolan, President of the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) has a day job that is devoted to responding to the needs of his community in Renfrew County, Ontario. When not on that job, he is buried in dealing with the issues facing the EMS professionals across the country.
Canadians see Mexico on a split screen. On one side, they see a tourist paradise that attracts 1.5 million Canadians every year. On the other: a drug war that has claimed 50,000 lives in five years...
Canadian Military meets with Mexican Army
When my generation of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel thinks of data sharing in the field, we have visions of Squad 51 using their Biophone; a combination voice and telemetry radio communications system. Paramedics could call the base hospital and not only talk to the doctor but could also send live cardiac data by way of electrocardiogram rhythms.
The Canadian government expects 500,000 highway capable plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on Canadian roads by 2018.
At the January 2012 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Sea Power Conference in Sydney, Admiral Maritime Datuk Mohd Amdan bin Kurish, Director General Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), gave a presentation on Maritime Cooperation in the Malacca Strait. Describing the relationship between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, Admiral Kurish stressed the need for: trust, information sharing and interoperability among the countries.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has initiated a research program to answer these questions and empower communities across the country to build risk assessment capacity. In partnership with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and supported by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), NRCan’s Earth Sciences Sector has developed a risk assessment framework known as Pathways that aims to link natural hazard risk assessment with community planning.
In her keynote address at Ottawa’s GTEC conference last October, Corinne Charette, the Government of Canada’s CIO, commented that “Our ability to harness and leverage information effectively, within government, across jurisdictions and with our citizens will be the key to our success, not only in modernizing government, but in improving the well-being of society as well.” She went on to say, more specifically, that
The scandal surrounding the flirtatious e-mails from MP Bob Dechert, a parliamentary secretary to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, to the Xinhua News Agency Toronto bureau chief appears to have awakened the Canadian public – and it is hoped, officials – to the risks of greater engagement with China. However...
Corporate espionage is linked to national security – in fact the concepts are tightly intertwined. Our national security is linked to our state secrets but it is the R&D and economic activities of companies that produces those sensitive intellectual property that is sought after by those who wish to gain any corporate advantage. With its knowledge-based society and cutting edge technology research centres, Canada and its companies represent a very attractive playground where international competitors can come to steal that R&D.
My introduction to the world of state espionage in Canada began in the mid 90’s with a phone call from a Liberal Cabinet Minister looking for help. The Minister had been alerted to some extremely serious, and substantiated, evidence of coordinated hostile activity by a foreign government within Canada. The evidence actually came from dedicated Canadian government officials and it exposed an incredibly complex web of organized crime, “business” investment, deliberate infiltration of institutions and disturbing political associations.
After more than 12 years in operation, Airport Watch has become a North American-wide concept. Its early beginnings date back to 1999 when a partnership was formed at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport between members of the Ottawa Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the airport authority, and a newly formed group of aircraft enthusiasts turned citizen volunteers.
The Ontario Provincial Police is led by Commissioner Chris Lewis. With a 32-year career behind him (four of these as Deputy Commissioner), Lewis has significantly contributed to the OPP’s history of successful leadership.
“There is a new world emerging above the Arctic Circle. It is this world, a new world for all the peoples of the Arctic regions that we in Canada are working to build”
– Stephen Harper, August 2008, Inuvik, NWT
As disasters strike around the world, and each seemingly more devastating than the last, the visible damage is all too apparent. However, we are often not aware of the pervasive psychological damage that goes along with such physical destruction.
Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence in the Workplace, which I co-wrote in 1994, was one of the first books published on the complex and potentially tragic Business Security issue. The centerpiece of the book featured my prison interview with Robert Mack, who in January 1992, had shot and killed the HR supervisor handling his termination from General Dynamics in San Diego, and also shot his boss (who later died from those wounds).
Can a local university make a significant difference in regional first responder and homeland security efforts? The answer is yes – if done right. Universities often have the reputation (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) of being intellectually and physically distant from the surrounding community, the classic “ivory tower” analogy. This is somewhat understandable since the historical dual-pronged mission of higher education institutions is to first, educate our post-secondary students, and second, contribute to the continuously expanding body of scholarly knowledge.
As this issue of FrontLine Security forcefully demonstrates, when it comes to security related matters, coordination of activities is an essential element of success. This is so because the subject matter involved frequently involves both the private and public sector, all three levels of government and multiple inter-connected infrastructures or activities. Put differently, notwithstanding the wishes of some for a single, all powerful, government entity that is in charge of everything, that’s not reality – nor, thankfully, is it ever going to be.
In July of 2004, the damage done during the ‘Peterborough Flood’ devastated many businesses and organizations in the area. Non profit agencies were the hardest hit. Many were unable to attend to their clients for days. “Business Continuity” immediately became the new buzz word!
In today’s electronic world, criminals routinely use sophisticated means to steal personal identity data from both public and private organizations. As the stability of identification credentials is breached, one response is to turn to the collection of biometrics. Biometric identity solutions are emerging on a global scale as nations and industry recognize the integral role it will play in non-transferable, unique identification.
With the latest, but by no means last, chapter now concluded in the long running Omar Khadr saga following his guilty pleas and sentencing, it’s a good idea to reflect on how these events came about and why so we might be able to prevent them in the future.
U.S. Defence Press Operations, Pentagon, on Oct 31, 2010 shows a file photo of Omar Khadr constructing an IED.
In a recent book entitled Tainted Money, author Avi Jorisch states: ‘As Washington reaches out to financial and foreign ministries around the globe, policymakers and laymen alike should be keenly aware of the financial dangers we will need to counter – whether they stem from rouge regimes like Iran and North Korea, the Osama bin Laden’s of the world, or criminals that are engaged in illicit activity.
“Financial and material gains from criminal activity should not be enjoyed by criminals. Not even after they have served prison terms.”
At 6:41 p.m. local time on 19 January 2010, a woman arrived at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel in Dubai, accompanied by a large man in a Panama hat. Unbeknownst to hotel staff or authorities in the popular emirate, the couple were part of a clandestine group sent to Dubai to track and kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas commander.
Espionage has been described as “the second oldest profession, and just as honourable as the first.” The practice of intercepting wireless signals existed at the time of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. The disciplines of electronic warfare (EW) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) evolved over the years. The doctrine of Information Warfare (IW) reached its peak in 1994, and cyber espionage then emerged in nation states. China and Russia were quick to add the concepts to their arsenal, which evolved throughout the 20th century into “the last, best-kept secret of the state.”
This issue of FrontLine Security provides a fascinating look into the full spectrum of financial issues in the security and crime investigation worlds. These subjects are frequently overlooked especially by our increasingly sound byte-driven media and political decision makers.
If you talk to Alison Redford about what it takes to do her job as Alberta’s Attorney General, her answer isn’t what you would expect from the province’s top lawyer. Crime rates have eased since she was appointed in 2008 but Attorney General Redford would not attribute this success to any one development alone. And, she makes the point that getting tough on crime takes more than just getting tough – it takes getting smart.
The security industries’ supply chains have evolved over the past decade to include various subcontractors or specialized resources that help you bring your products to market. When looking at the bigger picture, your supply chain has grown to encompass other organizations that add value to your products. These partnerships form your value network and can include research laboratories, universities, testing facilities, clients, and government. All of these partners play a role in your success.
Effective Understanding for Decision-Making
We can see from the definitions offered in Part 1 of this article (see Winter 2009/2010 edition) that an “effective understanding” of the Maritime Domain must come from a knowledge of the facts -- whether they originate from geo-spatial surveillance and reconnaissance data or intelligence analysis and assessment.
Coming in the next edition of FrontLine Security is an examination of the interworkings of organized criminal networks – what are the threats, and what can we do about them. Topics will be targeted at all security stakeholders, including first responders, government security policy managers and every business and individual who is concerned about or has experienced any fraudulent activity or identity theft.
We need a National Security Policy with teeth, now. Particularly its Emergency Preparedness and Critical Infrastructure Protection elements, and one which allies, neighbours, businesses, provinces and municipalities can, with confidence, know is indeed protecting our citizens and resources reliably… as most, incorrectly, expect we now do.
For six generations, approximately 95 percent of the Canada-US border was undefended; official crossing points were the chief exception. The boundary between our nation and the United States spans 6,416 kilometres – 2,878 km on land and 3,538 km on water – and includes terrain that is flat, hilly, and mountainous, vast tracks of prairie and forests, and lakes, rivers, creeks, and marshes. For decades, governments on both sides have tried to curtail smuggling and human trafficking.
Video surveillance cameras have been used widely for two or three decades and are now so prevalent that almost every Canadian living in an urban environment is captured on camera at some point in their day.
Video cameras have been widely used for two or three decades and are now so prevalent that almost every Canadian living in an urban environment is captured on camera at some point in their day.
In a way, the “Brampton 18” is also an indicator of the change we have seen since 9/11. In one corner, we have seen civil liberties be reaffirmed with the demise of the vague and damaging security certificate; in the other corner we see the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Anti-Terrorism Act in triumph with the pleas of guilty to terrorism charges that three of the 18 have made.
A small town in Alberta’s Peace Country, already the site of one of the oldest and most northerly community colleges in the province, is now hoping to make history of a different kind – with a very special vintage airplane.
Canso Recovery Crew, from left: Joey Gans, Norbert Luken, Brian Wilson, Won Wieben, Doug Roy and Henry Dechant.
Catastrophe struck on 31 May 1985, in the form of a devastating blast from Mother Nature. A tornado ravaged the busy community of Barrie – providing what current Mayor Dave Aspden describes as his city’s wakeup call. The CBC later tallied the devastation to this city of 128,000: Eight lives lost, 155 injuries, 300 homes destroyed, and more than $100 million in damages.
The array of neon colors, glittering on a flimsy strip of foil, is almost blinding. The colours illuminate a vertical row of five 5s, each in a unique set of pastels – green on purple, green on orange, coral on purple, and so on. Tilt the foil 45 degrees, however, and three of the 5s become the symbol for the euro, in different colours than before. Tilt again, and the strip is solid silver, with no colours or neon, with the 5s and euro symbols barely visible.
Canadians can be forgiven for wondering which way is up when trying to decipher the flood of news recently surrounding the status of Canada’s actions in security related cases. One day we’re subjected to shrieking headlines announcing the judge ordered “end” of security certificates – complete with a grinning Adil Charkaoui cutting off his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet – and the next it’s confirmed one of the ringleaders from the 2006 Toronto terrorism plots has just plead guilty.
Programs created by the federal, provincial and municipal govoernments have proven inadequate and a sense of hopelessness reigns both in Ottawa and on every reserve across the country.
Hobbema Cadets visit RCMP Training Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.
A severe tornado ripped through the city centre of Atlanta, Georgia in March 2008.
Q:As Chief Operating Officer responsible for the security 2010 Games, what is the scope and role of your challenge as you see it since your arrival in November 2007?
Muslims should be prepared to kill "every single person on earth, in order to eradicate shirk." (idolatory)
A Strategic Imperative
Mitrovica is Europe’s most divided city – Belgrade’s last bastion of influence in Kosovo – a thorn in the side of both the newly sovereign Kosovo Assembly in Pristina and the international community overseeing Kosovo’s new status. It is the flashpoint of most post-independence violence and demonstrations, and the seat of power for the illegal “parallel-institutions” that divide Kosovo’s internal governance with that of Belgrade’s.
(Sept 2009) Issued by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, this year's Report profiles a total of 133 economies, providing the most comprehensive assessment of its kind, with an extensive section of data tables and global rankings covering over 100 indicators.
(May 2009) Recent conflicts have featured innovative approaches to communications intelligence, which include utilizing civilian telephone networks to achieve tactical and psychological objectives. The 'cell war' between the IDF and Hamas is indicative of an ongoing global struggle between asymmetrical insurgents and state actors to control large-scale telecommunications structures.
(June 2009) The security of the UK and its citizens remains the highest priority for the Government. Since publication of last year?s National Security Strategy, substantial work to strengthen our national security framework has been driven forward. This report updates an assessment of the threats faced in the UK and the underlying drivers of insecurity. It also announces plans for addressing changing security threats in long-established environments and tackling challenges in new and evolving domains such as cyberspace.
Putting this Border Security edition together, in the wake of the world-wide recession, increased tension in the Middle East, and much turbulence in both Canada and the U.S. over government regimes, was indeed a wonderfully stimulating challenge. Yet, it turns out, the real challenge remains to secure our borders without isolating ourselves (which would reduce our chances of mutual prosperity)… the same issue we have tackled for over 50 years.
As identified by the Canada Council, competing ports in the U.S. have a much better foundation under which to work. American ports are publicly owned, and port officials are elected locally, therefore, port developments in the local public interest receive grants derived from local taxation. Alternatively, limited human and financial resources continue to present a significant disadvantage for Canadian ports.
Dr. Ed Amoroso, AT&T’s Chief Security Officer, with over 20 years in this field, was in Ottawa recently, speaking at a Cyber Security Conference by the Conference Board of Canada on Proactive Defence of Critical Systems and Information.
Natural and man-made disasters don’t recognize political boundaries; the path of a radiological plume will not respect a port of entry. Border communities share many of the same concerns, but there are also some unique conditions that require innovative initiatives from multiple partners. Increased security requirements have heightened tensions at the borders that prior to 9/11/01 were easily resolved with local cooperation.
Usually critical of government (in)action on criminal justice and security issues, I was uncharacteristically upbeat when asked by FrontLine Security to comment on the state of current progress on border security in Canada. Such unusual confidence comes from the simple but unmistakable fact that – despite all the foot dragging, doubletalk, cost overestimates, institutional rivalries and the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ attitudes – progress has been made, and more is clearly on the way.
As our renewed government faces new and major economic readjustments on a global scale, I am pleased to present this issue on Cyber Security.
Constable Les Gramantik, of the Firearms Training Unit, demonstrates the new rifle power. (Photo courtesy of the Calgary Police Service)
So often, for those of us who deal daily with the vulnerability of our critical infrastructures, what we do for a living feels like selling insurance to people who are just trying to survive day to day.
Reading the latest Report on Emergency Preparedness in Canada from the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, one cannot help but feel the Committee’s frustration, anger and foreboding. While their observations can be sarcastic and glib, they have certainly earned the right to be so.
Our Spring issue on Terrorism and Critical Infrastructure Protection generated much interest and comment. As we embark on the key trial of Momin Khawaja, the first Canadian-born to be charged under the new terrorist legislation, the issues brought up in our last edition by Howie Marsh and Tom Quiggin will surely resonate in the minds of our readers.
Today, the threats to industry vary from those of a decade ago. The natural gas distribution industry has responded to the challenge – we have improved our understanding of new threats; and we have taken steps to ensure the continued reliability of the critical infrastructure that delivers 24% of Canada’s end-use energy to Canadian industry, businesses and homes, and exports half of our production over 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to the U.S.
In the Drug Situation Report – 2006, the RCMP presented for the first time the troubling fact that: “Within a two year period, Canada has reversed its Ecstasy supply pattern status from an import and consumer nation to a major production and export country.” Continued smuggling of the MDMA precursor chemical MDP2P from China to Canada in 2006 confirmed heightened domestic Ecstasy manufacture.
In their November 2007 report entitled, A Resilient Canada: Governance for National Security and Public Safety, by Trevor Munn-Venn and Andrew Archibald, the Conference Board of Canada has produced an insightful analysis of how Canadians formulate and implement governance in their national security and public safety organizations. Interestingly, after interviewing public and private sector leaders and experts in this subject area, the Board found that the greatest threat to national security perceived by these experts is “a lack of clarity around governance.”
Country and Western singer Toby Keith immortalized this phrase in his gravelly ballad about relationship expectations. His sentiment was right at home last month at the Conference Board of Canada’s Critical Infrastructure (CI) Security Conference. As several presenters and delegates noted, despite the passage of six and a half years since 9/11, Canada still lacks a comprehensive, clear strategy aimed at securing Critical Infrastructure and ensuring, to the extent possible, its business resiliency.
Our main theme for this edition is on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The protection of these essential assets (80% of which are privately owned) is a major government responsibility that requires proper legislation and coordination. It is saddening how little progress and attention seems to have been brought to this real safety concern for all Canadians. The pleas go unanswered, but we continue – it is that important!
In the Spring 2007 edition of FrontLine Security, I described the work underway to develop voluntary partnerships between those who own and operate our critical infrastructures and their U.S. and Canadian governments. These partnerships will help establish trusted mechanisms to share information between governments and the critical infrastructure (CI) sectors; information that is essential to address the threats and hazards that could disrupt the reliable delivery of basic services such as telecommunications, electricity, water, fuel, and natural gas.
Mr. Elcock is a respected veteran of security matters in the higher levels of the federal Public Service, having headed CSIS and been more recently the Deputy Minister of National Defence. FrontLine Security’s Executive Editor, Clive Addy, welcomes his perspective as a follow-up to our recent edition on the security of the 2010 Olympics.
THE COWARDLY ACT
In our winter issue, we have chosen to examine security for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics and have a first glance at how preparations are progressing since the official unveiling in September 2006 in Whistler.
After meeting Mark Camillo at a recent Conference Board of Canada event covering the Transportation Security Challenges of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, FrontLine Security’s Executive Editor, Clive Addy, contacted him again in Washington for a more in-depth discussion of his insights on this topic. His extensive experience in these matters provides an objective view of the security challenges facing Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver... and beyond.
One comment currently being heard in British Columbia is that the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will be “a sporting event, not a security event.”
Over the past several years, a series of previously unthinkable events have caused the RCMP to consider its state of operational readiness. Sept 11th, Hurricane Katrina, and massive bombings in Madrid and London required extraordinary efforts from a wide range of responding agencies. Here at home, reports of flooding, forest fires, severe weather, blackouts, terrorist threats, and warnings of an inevitable flu pandemic arrive from all quarters on a regular basis.
Motivated partially by self-preservation, but also by a “carrot & stick” combination of grants and threats of litigation – the public and private sector “information sharing and analysis” that occurred prior to Y2K was unprecedented.
One of the most knowledgeable and comprehensive examinations of the state of our Maritime Security has been one conducted by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. For the last six years, during its study, it has heard testimony, examined data, held regional hearings and visited our ports. The Committee has twice published its recommendations in ominously titled reports: Canada’s Coastlines The longest undefended borders in the World (2003), and a rather damning update of this initial report, entitled simply Coasts (2007).
In the wake of independence in 1962, Algeria came under the growing authoritarian governance of the socialist National Liberation Front (FLN). Tensions exploded in 1988 when a series of youth riots, which left over 500 dead, set off a new Islamic revolt in Algeria. The government subsequently acquiesced to the first multiparty election, however, when the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut – FIS) won a round of parliamentary elections for local councils in 1990, the FLN changed the electoral laws so it could win in the future.
Despite the last six years of pressure, Al Qaeda and its inspired followers are still capable of taking the initiative in operations. Recent events in Pakistan, especially in the North West Frontier Province, demonstrate that Al Qaeda is rebuilding its core capabilities. Its highly successful propaganda and recruiting media machine, “As-Sahab,” also continues to function with a high degree of effectiveness.
Canada has experienced a long and tortuous history of policing our Ports.
At the end of the First World War, the port police in Montreal are believed to have had more than 100 officers but in 1920 they numbered three individuals with limited responsibilty.
Radar surveillance systems have long been proven to be effective security tools in military applications – and now are affordable enough to be used by homeland security and law enforcement agencies that have tight budgets.
Accipter Radar tracks displayed at Operations Centre
We are fortunate to have a piece by the new Commissioner of Public Safety in Ontario, Commissioner Jay Hope on his role and that of Emergency Management Ontario and the ordinary citizen.
Across the world and across the street, on the battlefield or at the scene of disaster, where there are signs of trouble you will see one of the most recognized symbols in the world: the Red Cross. With a legislated role as “auxiliary to the public authorities,” in addition to its non-profit status, humanitarian mission, volunteer-driven structure, and long history in disaster management, the Red Cross has a unique vantage point to gain knowledge from lessons learned and promote best practices in disaster management for the volunteer, non-profit sector.
On 15 June, the order to stand down on the Fraser Flood Emergency Response was given by the Solicitor General of BC and a successful operation was completed. Earlier, weather experts had warned that the melting snow would soon cause the mighty Fraser River to flood its banks. This, of course, triggered emergency response personnel at all levels to dust off their plans and equipment and prepare. In analyzing a natural disaster in the making, FrontLine Security interviewed a key player in this response.
Just hours before Hurricane Katrina reached land along the Gulf Coast on August 28, 2005, New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency and ordered a mandatory evacuation. For many reasons, but mostly for lack of means, approximately 25,000 city residents did not evacuate. In the end, an estimated 1,600 – 1,800 lives were lost. Had the entire population in the affected area been properly evacuated, a majority of these individuals would be alive today.
Our winter Borders and Biometrics edition was very timely.
The protection of critical infrastructure is a key national security issue in a way that it has not been since the ‘snakes and ladders’ days of the late 1950s and the early Cold War civil defence program. Today’s threat has changed from Soviet rockets to various state and non-state actors armed with an equally wide variety of weapons. With this revolution in military affairs, has come a renewed interest in asymmetric confrontation of the Superpower and its NATO and Western Allies.
Professional emergency planners know that even the best plans depend on the extent to which critical infrastructure (CI) services are available to help responders mitigate and recover from the event. While local emergencies such as storms and accidents often disrupt CIs, work-arounds are often possible in short order, and additional materials and labour can be supplied from outside the affected area.
In Malcom Gladwell’s book of the same name, “Tipping Point” is defined as “the magic moment when an idea, trend or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire.” It has also become a metaphor to describe the spread of a disease or the acceptance of a new technology.
In this fickle Canada of six-month business plans and two-year governments influenced by the latest polls or stock-market prices, and where “second quarter results” are used as an indication of long term profitability, and “reality” TV is distracting us from the dangerously true reality, are we ready for a necessary, difficult and prolonged commitment to... anything? Is there the pragmatic realization that we are now at war… really?
There is no more important role for government than the security of its homeland and the safety of its citizens.
While government is ultimately accountable for a nation’s safety, it is by no means exclusively responsible for it. The private sector shares this responsibility and must be an integral contributor to the government’s national security framework for the following three reasons:
Chief among their conclusions ought to be that this threat has global reach and is alive and well – and that there is no silver bullet counter measure that will prevent the next attack. Both assessments have profound meaning for how our state and local public safety agencies are organizing and preparing their people for this new age of security.
Demands on information security are increasing due to complexities from regulatory change, such as the Privacy Act, and added requirements to share more information broadly and quickly, as brought on by recent threats to public safety. Organizations and information providers are faced with escalating demands to exchange information, sometimes across jurisdictions or to groups for whom the information was not originally intended.
Outsourcers have a responsibility to protect client data regardless of where it flows or is stored – as is certainly highlighted by a barrage of client data security breaches of late.
Almost one year after his appointment as Commissioner of Emergency Management for the Province of Ontario, Clive Addy, FrontLine Security’s Executive Editor, interviewed Julian Fantino about his thoughts on Security and Emergency Management.
When Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy was promulgated in April 2004, the authors billed it as a “strategic framework and action plan.” It is not a national security strategy. In fact, it would seem that the Canadian government did not feel an urgent need for a national security strategy. Rather, they often seemed to leave this sort of thinking to the U.S. government in the context of North American security strategy.
After 9/11, governments around the globe sprang to respond to the new threat. In Canada, the federal government implemented major structural changes and allocated billions of dollars to strengthen National Security and Public Safety. As well, recent natural catastrophes and public health scares have reminded us that terrorism is not the only danger we face. Although most governments have reacted energetically to these new challenges, the rest of society, including the business community, have for the most part, been sitting on the sidelines.