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.
Her Majesty's Canadian Ships (HMC Ships) Brandon and Whitehorse recently concluded their participation in Operation CARIBBE 2015 with a substantial contribution to the multinational campaign against illicit trafficking in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
(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expansion of the Asia Pacific secured facilities and aviation security markets; the replacement of more than 40,000 outdated X-ray systems; and despite a decade of R&D aiming at new baggage, luggage, cargo and mail screening technologies, there is no modality on the horizon that can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.
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.
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.
The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), as it is now called, has followed in the tradition of its precursor and remains at the forefront of adaptation to the changes implied and imposed by the Beyond the Border initiatives of Canada and the US. In October 2011, the National Convention of the CIU elected by acclamation Jean Pierre Fortin as its National President.
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?
On Tuesday 16 October 2012, unarmed Canada Border Services Officer Lori Bowcock was shot and wounded in the line of duty at the Peace Arch border station in British Columbia.
Officer Bowcock was one of many recently-graduated officers of the CBSA College in Rigaud, Quebec, who had yet to complete the mandatory arming initiative that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has instituted for new recruits.
On April 22nd, CBC News broke a story about the RCMP arresting “two men accused of conspiring to carry out an ‘al-Qaeda supported’ attack targeting a Via [Rail] passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area.” The two suspects, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto, were charged with “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exactly who is getting into Canada and how they get to stay has been in the news recently – and for good reason. As always, the issues behind the headlines less clear than the instant criticism of anyone who tries to change the status quo (which Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, has finally said is on the agenda).
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.
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.
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.
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.