Maritime Security
Sep 15, 2007

In this our Fall issue, we have chosen to focus on Canada’s Maritime Security – ­primarily because of concerns following recent Senate Committee reports, and the obvious impact that a continued lack of reasonable maritime security would have on our safety and prosperity.

First, we offer three perspectives on this issue. In an interview, we hear from Senator Colin Kenny, the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Security and National Defence, whose reports have constantly called upon the national government to deal with this issue in a clear, urgent and strategic way.

The second view is a personal one from Capt (N) Peter Avis, a recent member of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Maritime Security and now the Commander Maritime Operations Group Four in Esquimalt, B.C. who has written extensively on this topic.

Lastly, Scott Newark, who has served as Security Policy Advisor to both the Ontario and Canadian governments expresses his view of the challenges of a solid maritime strategy for Canada.

What is interesting is the common and urgent call for a National Maritime Strategy for Canada from all three of these knowledgeable analysts. There are obvious and healthy nuances in all, but such common elements as a need for shared maritime domain awareness, ­layered and coordinated response are obvious, minimum and common requirements that all deem have quite clearly not been met.

It is also interesting, as reported in the Spring 2007 newsletter of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, that the Senate Transportation Com­mittee stated that: “Container traffic between North America and Asia alone is expected to grow from 15.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2003, to 33.5 million TEUs in 2015. By 2020, the value of this containerized trade is expected to reach $75 billion, contributing $10.5 billion to the Canadian economy each year.”

Competing for this commerce are also the various ports to our South. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff, in his address to University of Southern California last July, shortly after the release of the “U.S. Strategy to Enhance International Supply Chain Security,” elaborated that Port Security was a paramount concern of U.S. Homeland Security. He explained his three principles for security. “First, (he said) we believe in public private partnership… we also believe in risk management – not risk elimination …and in a layered approach” from overseas to, in and beyond the ports at home. He also explained that “in line with [these] three principles, we’re essentially deploying a two-pronged strategy: First, we’re focused on locating and removing dangerous cargo. Second, we’re investing in the protection of the infrastructure at our ports… Our Container Security Initiative is about 100% screening rather than scanning, and scanning where appropriate… As we look to the future, we also want to implement sensible security measures specifically regarding small boats. There are more than 17 million of these vessels operating in U.S. waters.” As you read the three articles above, see similar proposals and ask yourself what Canadian authority speaks for any similar strategy.

Another critical concern in this domain is the policing of our ports. This issue, though vital to our credibility as a competitor, has not been treated with the seriousness and urgency it deserves. Senator Kenny mentions it, and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities expressed serious concern that this was a missed issue in recent national policy announcements. It clearly stated: “a new ports policing model under the auspices of the RCMP was fully expected. The model has now been more fully developed and we expect announcement in the near future on a new ports policing model for Canada.” In this vein, Mike Toddington, the Executive Director of the IAASP, representing Ports Police across America, gives us his views on this thorny issue.

It is not solely the terrorist threat that should concern us, but rather, and mostly, the serious criminal threats as well, be they human, weapon, car and drug ­smuggling or the myriad of other costly ­dangers to our safety. André Fecteau gives us a snapshot of international police activities though IBETs to deal with some of these issues in the Cornwall area.

Our three commentators also remark upon our lack of responsible maritime security on our Great Lakes, where such simple initiatives as the purchase of an inexpensive and available Canadian–made radar system could go a long way to ­providing a greater share of our mutual security responsibility in this area. Again here, a multi-layered strategy is urgently required.

In rounding out this issue we have an interesting article by Doug Harrison, on Risk Based Emergency Management. His experience at the head of the Ontario Emergency Management program for ­several years makes this article most pertinent to all Emergency policy planners and authorities.

On the International scene, I believe you will enjoy the perspectives of Tom Quiggin and Sunil Ram on a suggested Canadian approach to Terrorism and the U.S. response to the expansion of it in the Sahel in North Africa.

In keeping with the tradition of good work on security and emergency man­agement coming from the Canadian Standards Association, I draw to the attention of all involved in CBRN, the interesting trials described by Ron Myers that should result in important new ­standards by February 2009.

Finally, Scott Newark, in his inimitable way, closes this issue with his ­presentation of the Rubik’s Cube for Command and Control of the pyramid of stove-piped organizations involved in Maritime Security. Enjoy!

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2007