When the new Government assumed office after the 2015 election, it was clear that they had new policy priorities and that they were specifically intent on a more inclusive and consultative process for decision making than their predecessor. Some sceptics, myself included, cautioned that while this was understandable, governing is about making choices and taking action, and not simply holding media events to celebrate ‘inclusion’ and ‘outreach’. Put differently, governing is more difficult than campaigning, and it’s what Governments are elected to do.
The recent summit of the “three amigos” – hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and involving U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto – brought considerable excitement to the Ottawa area. The wide ranging topics discussed and agreements signed during the short 1-day event are a testament to the strength of the relationships.
Canada bears the general strain and impact of illicit tobacco the same as many communities and countries around the world, and yet the conditions in Canada are somewhat unique in that the black market for illegal smokes is largely self-imposed.
Airbus Helicopters today announced the delivery of the first of two H215 helicopters to join the Finnish Border Guard fleet.
After protesters shut down five oil pipelines carrying Canadian crude oil, police and energy companies say preventing a disruption is 'near impossible'. After the attacks, police, pipeline companies and government officials on both sides of the Canada-US border addressed the threat.
In the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, one of the most important realizations by Government was that a society’s crime vulnerabilities were likely national security vulnerabilities with potentially enormously dangerous consequences.
This year has been busy one for Canadian Search and Rescue (SAR) professionals (paid and unpaid), as well as First Nations on Canada’s West Coast and in the Arctic.
(June 2009) This document updates the Secure Border Action Plan from 2006 and reviews other important areas of interest that have emerged and which require investigation and action.
(Feb 2009) High Altitude Aerial Platforms & Payloads: New in-depth report includes detailed analysis of today?s persistent market, its inhibitors, drivers, and opportunities, combined with penetrating technical examination of both flight platforms and payloads. The report covers a wide spectrum of upcoming military and private industry business opportunities in areas as:
(July 2014) Analysts forecast a strong comeback of the X-ray security industry generating a solid 7% CAGR. The growth will be boosted by three main drivers: expansion of the Asia Pacific secured facilities and aviation security markets; the replacement of more than 40,000 outdated X-ray systems; and despite a decade of R&D aiming at new baggage, luggage, cargo and mail screening technologies, there is no modality on the horizon that can competitively challenge the cost-performance of the X-ray based screening technologies.
We have dedicated this issue to Border Security. It is both timely and important that we do so, for we North American neighbours find ourselves at a critical juncture in this more globally accessible and competitive world where we benefit from reasonably stable governments, are blessed by vast territory, rich resources, significantly intertwined economies and secular institutions open to all members of our society.
Margaret Atwood once remarked that if the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.
As this issue of Frontline Security demonstrates, a critical part of border security is the detection and interdiction of guns and drugs, and now people, that criminals, and possibly worse, are trying to smuggle into Canada. Getting it right in border security is essential because what gets through at the border inevitably ends up on the streets of our communities, and this means more criminal activity and less public safety.
Q. After two years in a very dynamic realm of major change at the CBSA what do you view as the three major accomplishments of your agency in securing our borders in an efficient manner and what, in your view, are the three greatest challenges in the next three years?
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.
Engineers at Eurocopter set out to prove that it was possible to create a ‘low cost’ helicopter that could attain high speeds. This summer the company brought its new ‘proof of concept’ X3 helicopter to tour the United States. One year previously, the X3 had flown at 232 knots in level flight at 80% of available power – substantially faster than a conventional helicopter’s 150-160 knots. Speaking in Grand Prairie, Texas at the X3’s U.S. debut in June, Dr.
Weaknesses and Threats
Most serious security practitioners recognize the Western world’s vulnerability to maritime-based terrorist violence and that its inability to combat serious criminal activity at sea is increasing. Traditionally, global financial crises, like today’s, have resulted in marked deterioration of national and personal security. The need for flexibility in our national responses to maritime security challenges has never been greater, and with that flexibility comes the clear need for technology.
Tsunamis, earthquakes and nuclear crises in Japan, droughts in China, the “Arab Spring” upheavals, Osama dead, Ratko captured, tornadoes in southern U.S., floods in Australia and, at home, fires in Alberta, floods in Manitoba and Quebec ... These and other situations force us to focus on the question: “What is the state of our emergency preparedness and security?”
An interview with Rear Admiral (Ret) James Arden Barnett, Chief, Federal Communications Commission,U.S. Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security,discussing the 700MHz bandwidth situation in the USA.
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.
Innovative South American narco-traffickers have recently expanded their cocaine smuggling repertoire with the use of diesel-electric submarines capable of handling ten-ton loads, replete with conning tower, periscope and air-conditioning. Such stealthy shipping vessels demonstrate clearly that well-funded drug cartels can approach the transportation of their product imaginatively.
Much has happened since our last edition. Three events in particular deserve mention here. First, I must commend Minister Toews for finally releasing the government’s first Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP). With the Minister’s announcement of the FERP, Public Safety Canada has successfully responded to the call from many, including the Auditor General, to take the lead in setting policy and procedures for a robust response to any national emergency.
On June 22nd, the Customs and Immigration Union (formerly known as CEUDA) testified before the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense (SCONSAD) in Ottawa. As anyone familiar with border security will appreciate, these are two of the most active and influential groups in this important security area.
A CBSA officer and a traveller at an airport primary inspection line.
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.
(May 2009) The report covers in detail existing and evolving markets and products in the following segments: Weapons detection; Explosives detection; Multi-Threat detection including portals and standoff solutions); Biometrics; Profiling; and Behavior Tracking.
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.
Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that in today’s heightened security world, Canada has not deployed some kind of mobile patrol capable of interdicting cross border illegal activity. A quick look at a map demonstrates both the challenge and the obvious need for such a capacity. This reality was brought home recently when, during a presentation on the U.S. Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a senior American representative from the SBI prime contractor (Boeing) remarked that, unlike Mexico, SBI Net North would be focused on surveillance, intelligence and mobile interdiction.
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.
It was billed as a Transportation Security and Technology Forum with the goal of applying Canadian and global solutions. And it didn’t disappoint. Kicked off by a refreshingly candid analysis of maritime security vulnerabilities by Defense Minister Peter MacKay, the Conference Board of Canada’s November 2007 Transportation Security Conference featured an impressive array of speakers with detailed presentations and a series of specific recommendations for improvements.
(January 2008) This phrase summarizes the goal of the U.S. federal government charged with interviewing, assessing, processing, analyzing, and welcoming hundreds of millions of international visitors while finding the small numbers of people (the needles in the haystack) intent on using our openness against us. This Committee was tasked with advising the Departments of Homeland Security and State in their mission to protect not only America's security but also U.S. economic livelihood, ideals, image, and strategic relationships with the world.
On 3 September 2007, at about 6:40 p.m., officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the U.S. Coast Guard spotted an 18-foot boat transporting large green plastic bags on the St. Lawrence River. As the authorities approached, the driver abandoned the boat in the water, just off the eastern tip of Cornwall Island, Ontario, and fled on foot.
‘Big Ideas’ have long been a feature of Canada-U.S. relations. One recent very Big Idea is the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), launched in 2004 by the Prime Minister of Canada, President Bush, and the Mexican president. Several other Big Ideas co-exist with the SPP and some of them nestle under its wing. But there are many less-grand ideas, most initiated well below national level both by government and the private sector. Several of these smaller ideas may well have just as big an impact in the longer term on our lives and prosperity.
(2007) This report, published jointly by the U.S. and Canadian governments, examines the current state of illicit drug smuggling across the United States-Canadian border. The report identifies the principal substances which are smuggled in both directions across the border. The authors place special emphasis on the cooperative efforts which law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border engage in and how this has influenced the movement of these illegal substances. (Note: be patient, this link takes a LONG time to load)
The theme of this issue is very pertinent as it follows on the heels of recent pronouncements by Prime Minister Harper in Vancouver this summer and by U.S. President Bush in September. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, there is need for a great and mutual effort on all sides to ensure the free and expeditious flow of legitimate persons and goods between our two countries. This implies a mutual trust in agreed identification systems for these persons and goods.
In 2004, the Martin government formed the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by moving parts of the former Customs and Revenue Agency and parts of Immigration into this entity as a Separate Operating Agency under Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. In August 2006 in Vancouver, Prime Minister Harper reiterated his government’s commitment to reinforce the security along our border with the United States, and in recent months both U.S.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) processes about 97 million people and a constant flow of goods worth billions of dollars each year — the value of cross-border trade with the United States alone averages $1.9 billion a day. It is a massive responsibility. The task is made all the more challenging by the current post-9/11 environment, fraught as it is with the threat of terrorism and other criminal activities.
The length and geography of Canada’s shared border with the United States presents security challenges. To meet those challenges, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Border Integrity Program tackles cross-border crime by taking an international and integrated approach in their investigations.
Few would argue that 9/11 changed the world in fundamental ways. The impact in Canada was almost as profound as in the U.S. and the response by governments here and south of here was laudable – lots of scurrying round with new anti-terrorism committees, intergovernmental talks, and cross border treaties.
He has seven separate aliases (that we know of), and is believed to possess American, Guyanese, Trinidadian and Canadian passports as well as pilot training. He is an engineering graduate that the FBI reports attended Ontario’s McMaster University (where he sought to acquire nuclear material) as well as Al Qaeda training camps before 9/11. He speaks English flawlessly having been raised in New York and Florida where his associates included Jose Padilla and Mohammed Atta.
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.
In the aftermath of this past summer’s July 7th Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in London, Canada must move rapidly to adopt an integrated counter-terrorism strategy before it is too late.
As someone who’s been involved in changing laws for a decade or more, I can safely state from experience that changing attitudes is usually more difficult than changing laws. This less than profound thought occurred to me during a recent cross-country tour and security analysis of Canadian air, marine and land Points of Entry. I was in Halifax talking with an earnest young Border Services Officer (formerly called a “Customs Officer”) about how, as a member of the Marine Enforcement Unit, they dealt with ships anchored off shore that had been targeted for investigation.
(December 2006) This report uses the National Identity Scheme to strengthen borders of the United Kingdom and enforce compliance within the UK.