Getting the Most Out of Success
Mar 15, 2010

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. Minister Vic Toews granted FrontLine Security an interview that we will publish in the next edition, along with an analysis of the effectiveness of the plan.

Second, the H1N1 reaction, by PHAC in particular, minimized the damage of a potentially dangerous pandemic and it was reassuring to see the level and extent of communication to the public.

And third, the magnificent Olympics awakened Canadian pride and achievement which flourished under discrete, yet effective, security preparations. Blair Watson explores some of these in his article on the Olympics, pointing out that 15 law enforcement agencies, at all levels of national and international governments, were involved in the 2010 Winter Games. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud ­Mercer states that “the safety and security inter-agency cooperation and relationships will remain in place for years to come.” Business as usual, we would hope, but I suggest that this will require some periodic nurturing.

Successes from the 2010 Winter Games will provide sustaining value to the rest of the country – for example this summer in Huntsville, Ontario, the G8 security environment will have systems and procedures that add to the overall security of an international event and these solutions were first introduced last winter in Vancouver.

It is now time to reflect upon getting the most out of these successes. We all must capitalize on these fresh lessons learned, ensuring that we can maintain and improve upon what works – and identify where and how to improve the rest. To that end, we discuss, in this edition, the critical need to create, improve and maintain strategic and tactical relationships, or establish the new partnerships needed to secure the safety of our citizens.

From his most interesting strategic view, Lieutenant-General Mike Jeffery of CDFAI stresses the need for federal vision and leadership for Canada’s future security by creating “a political and organizational environment that will bring all stakeholders together and ultimately see the emergence of a more effective national system.” He also sees the need to eliminate or minimize barriers and improve international cooperation. Good measures indeed, and which, by the way, can be used to evaluate the new Federal Emergency Response Plan.

At the coal face, Steven MacLean and Bill Mackay’s articles propose a disciplined approach (DA) for public and private sector Emergency Managers. They seek to effectively train responders from all sectors and equip them in a common way to conduct situation analyses, prioritize objectives, arrive at response strategies and “manage the response through to completion.” This is a key partnership objective in the developing mosaic of security inter-relationships.

Likewise, Brian Rexford of AT&T highlights the serious efforts being made towards the all-encompassing and increasingly-important role of cyber security in the national threat arena. These efforts must include a “need for strong public-­private partnerships as the best path to ­mitigating the globally diverse botnet threats.” We should also study the U.S. Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) in this domain, especially for methods of framing partnerships.

Two major efforts from the United States include a look at the Homeland Security Institute, a Private-Public Partnership that works to provide analysis on possible solutions such as public engagement in counterterrorism efforts; and an article by Dr. Craig Galbraith and Christy DeFelice on the guidance provided for Command, Communications and Coordination of First Responders. See also Ed Myers’ article about ECS, a U.S. company, and its approach to data fusion as a solution to effective national security collaboration.

Peter Avis and Doug Hales, in their follow-on Maritime Domain Awareness article, analyze our history of non-cooperation in this area and prescribe a new way forward. Justice Minister Alison Redford expounds on Alberta’s model Safe Communities initiative and partnerships that are essential to smooth operation.

Harold Bottoms is back in this edition with a very pertinent pitch for leadership in the criminal intelligence field, particularly in the fusion of criminal information in private and public domains. Also, Hal Newman offers some interesting thoughts on the role of social media in emergencies. Both pieces imply that computer and communications technologies can be used to advance public safety and national security.

There is still much work to do at the national level – coordinating standards, mitigation measures, plans and responses to protect our critical infrastructure domains – and FrontLine will pursue these in coming issues. This is a major “Private-Public” partnership and leadership challenge.

Money Laundering and Immigration Fraud are also key areas of concern. Denis Constant and Garry Clement provide advice in this area for our next edition.

One final issue that I wish to bring to our readers’ attention is the changing dynamic in our border security measures. Major changes are forthcoming in the U.S. approach to some of their tremendously expensive Smart Border initiatives and some rather critical weaknesses in measures that Canada has just recently imposed. For instance in January, the Globe and Mail reported that “Canada’s border guards fear that they may be letting in terrorists because of inadequate information-sharing agreements with other agencies, both federal and international.”

All in all, I hope that you will agree that focusing on Partnerships is indeed a proper way to launch this decade, confront the work ahead, and encourage all to work together towards a safer world.  

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2010