Seaspan Ferries Corporation (SFC) officially welcomed two new, state-of-the-art dual-fuelled/hybrid (liquefied natural gas, diesel and battery) vessels to its fleet today during a double commissioning ceremony held at SFC’s Tilbury Terminal.
GE’s Marine Solutions announced that the United States Coast Guard commissioned Munro, a new National Security Cutter (NSC), on April 1 in Seattle, Washington. All of these new Legend class cutters use the same reliable COmbined Diesel And Gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system featuring one GE LM2500 gas turbine and two diesel engines.
The Canadian Coast Guard, which became a Special Operating Agency in 2005, accomplishes its work with resources at its disposal, but there are undeniable deficiencies, some of which undoubtedly prompted Prime Minister Trudeau to prioritize the needs of the Coast Guard in his mandate letter to the Minister.
The Canadian Institute of Marine Engineers is seeking nominations for its 2016 Medal of Excellence, an award that recognizes outstanding contribution to marine engineering in Canada, including technical innovation, sea-going service, substantial leadership in the industry or the teaching of marine engineering.
The Canadian Coast Guard has transferred a fast rescue craft to the Maritimes branch of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The fast rescue craft was previously used by the staff of the CCGS Courtenay Bay at the Coast Guard SAR lifeboat station based in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The Auxiliary will use the vessel for search and rescue training and missions, and to increase their presence at marine-related events in the region.
A Transportation Safety Summit, led by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), wrapped up two days of discussion last Friday in Gatineau. The Summit brought together a broad cross-section of senior Canadian transportation executives from government, and from the marine, pipeline, rail and aviation industries, including some of their bargaining agents.
For instance, during some winter test flights near Quebec City, Dr. George Leblanc and his team discovered a new and unexpected ability to get important data from recently disturbed snow.
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.
Securetech 2015, the public safety, emergency management and security trade show and conference organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), is moving to Ottawa’s EY Centre, home to the Association’s highly successful annual CANSEC defence trade show.
(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:
OPERATION DRIFTNET – Charged with monitoring and protecting the state of the vulnerable resources that lay below, Frank Snelgrove (below) hovers above the North Pacific Ocean in a CP-140 Aurora aircraft, monitoring the endless expanse of water for hours on end.
Frank Snelgrove stands near a CP-140 Aurora preparing for duty.
As we head into 2014, FrontLine Security offers some very pertinent reflections on the complex challenges of policing and disaster management. I trust that our articles will stimulate the additional discussion and debate.
First, Dr. Michael Kempa, a most respected researcher in his field, gives us a broad but comprehensive perspective on challenges in modern Canadian Policing in this more complex, and interconnected global environment, and the correspondingly changing face of Canadian community policing.
Newspapers were full with stories of how the RCMP, supported by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), had just prevented a “terrorist attack” at the BC Legislature on July 1st (Canada Day) 2013. These unfolding events provided a revealing background to my inquiries about Canada’s maritime security infrastructure, and were relevant to my inquiries on how culturally different federal departments work together efficiently.
A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 1986, Chief Superintendent Oliver became Director General Border Integrity in April 2009. He was responsible for overseeing the delivery of five law enforcement programs that contribute to the national security of Canada, and the protection of Canadians from terrorism, organized crime, and other border-related criminality.
The motto of Toronto’s Harbour Square Park is “The world in one place.” This phrase pertinently describes the diversity of people, activities and festivals celebrating Toronto’s multicultural society in the restaurants, shops, concerts, exhibitions and parks that straddle Toronto City inner harbour. With the proliferation of high rise condominiums, the area is one of Canada’s higher density residential locations. During the summer, the population expands by thousands as tourists flock to participate in the city’s many festivities.
(Also see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/decades-long-mission-to-replace-sea-kings-hits-another-snag/article4384407/)
A Globe and Mail editorial of 5 June 2012 proclaimed that a sea change is needed in Canada’s Armed Forces as priorities change from land fighting in Afghanistan to preparing for this era defined by the Royal Canadian Navy as the "maritime century.”
We are on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the creation of a single Canadian federal department focused on “Public Safety.” After 9-11, an obvious need to form a more robust coordination of our National Security. Thus, from the Solicitor General Branch and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) in the 90’s, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada was created in 2003, headed by Minister Anne McLellan.
Canadian Cops Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) give public agencies new ‘eyes in the sky’ and Canadian law enforcement is leading the way.
Across the vast expanse of the Arctic coast, on Great Slave Lake and in the Mackenzie Delta, boaters in distress look to members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) for assistance. In the Northwest Territories, the all-volunteer CCGA has units in Aklavik, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray. In Nunavut, the eastern Arctic, CCGA units are in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Pangnirtung.
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.
Since 9/11, marine port security has been the subject of increased scrutiny as it is clear that contraband flows – undetected and uninterrupted – through access and egress points of both Canada and the United States. Numerous reviews initiated by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence have clearly articulated that ports are a haven for criminal activity and organized crime, as well as targets for potential terrorist activity.
With globalization, many national economies, including Canada’s, are dependent on global trade – and maritime transportation is the strongest link in the international supply chain. International shipping has become a fundamental contributor and facilitator of economic growth; but it is increasingly susceptible to events that could result in the full or partial closure of ports or associated critical infrastructure.
The marine industry is an essential lifeline for so many of our daily needs. Annually, Canada’s commercial marine industry generates $10 billion in economic activity and $117 billion in international trade. It is responsible for 100,000 jobs that manage and move the 456 million tonnes of cargo annually.
The purposeful monitoring of activities and actions of persons or things of specified interest has been with us from cavemen watching neighbouring tribes to Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride to chain smoking cops with binoculars on stakeout. What’s changed, and always will change, are the tactics, technologies and targets the ‘good guys’ use in the identified service of the common good. What’s also changed is the sophistication of the ‘bad guy’s’ wilful surveillance of the ‘good guys’ or what’s known in criminal and security circles as counter surveillance.
A Strategic Imperative
(January 2009) This report provides a qualitative analysis of risk factors for five potential marine incidents likely to happen as shipping, tourism, exploration and development of natural resources (e.g., oil, gas, minerals) occur with the retreating Arctic ice cover.
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.
Our common border with the United States stretches across 8,893 kilometers (5,526 miles) of land and three oceans. According to Government of Canada statistics, the annual two-way trade in goods and services between Canada and the U.S. in 2007 was worth over C$576 billion. Clearly, border security is a vital component of our economic security.
On November 27, 2008, while vacationing in Goa, India, I checked my email to discover a message from a friend in Toronto; he was inquiring if I was affected by events in Mumbai, 600 km up the road. Instinctively, I switched on CNN and immediately became aware that the city was under siege. Terrorists were killing innocent bystanders, destroying some of Mumbai’s landmarks, attacking Jewish residents and seeking out holders of British and American passports.
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.
Few post 9/11 security challenges are as daunting as the one facing Canada when it considers what is generically described as maritime security. The sheer size of the Canadian maritime environment is mind numbing. The coastline alone, including Newfoundland and PEI, is almost 72,000 kilometers long with frontage on the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Add in the hundreds of islands and that coastline more than triples.
Feeling a bit like a tourist, I carry my bags “across the brow” of the Canadian navy frigate HMCS St. John’s. The little cabin that I will share with two other officers for the week-long mission can best be described as “a little hole in the wall.” The bunks are barely as long as I am tall, with less than three feet of space in between, but the black ball cap, embroidered with the name HMCS St. John’s, catches my attention. Lieutenant (Navy) Neville Lockyer informs me that the middle bunk, and the cap, are indeed for me.
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).
National Security – The Sea Matters
Over the last six years, in the changed global security environment, Canadians have learned that National Security is a modern imperative that requires profound thought, development, investment, resourcing, and, most of all, government leadership and action. The new threat environment includes globalized threats such as terrorism, multi-national crime organizations, disease epidemics, and natural disasters – not simply traditional, state-oriented threats.
As this issue of FrontLine Security illustrates, the marine component of domestic security measures has never been as important for Canada as it is today. The reasons for this is, of course, are fairly obvious.
With the longest coastline in the world (243,772 km), and a marine area of responsibility of over 11 million square kilometers, Canada faces a formidable surveillance challenge! Along these shores are 250 ports and, on a typical day, 1700 ships are in our area of responsibility. It is important to know exactly what is happening in the ocean approaches to our borders. The goal in marine security, therefore, is to obtain “domain awareness” so that we can deal with potential threats before they get too close.
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.
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.
(2005) Marine shipments of hazardous chemical cargo may be attractive terrorist targets because of their large volume and inherent toxicity or flammability. The Maritime Transportation Security Act and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code give the U.S. Coast Guard far-ranging authority over the security of hazardous marine shipping. The agency has developed port security plans addressing how to deploy federal, state, and local resources to prevent terrorist attacks.