2013 issue [current-page:url:args:value:2]


Managing Large-Scale Security Events


(2013) This is a planning primer was created by the US Bureau of Justice Assistance for law enforcement agencies at the local level. When law enforcement executives are tasked with managing a large event, they can maximize their efforts by learning from other agencies and adopting proven practices. Too often, however, past lessons learned are not documented in a clear and concise manner. To address this information gap, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance worked in partnership with CNA to develop this Planning Primer, which synthesizes salient best practices pertaining to security planning for a large-scale event, specifically pre-event planning, core event operations, and post-event activities. This document includes detailed information on 18 core operational areas that law enforcement executives can give to lead law enforcement planners as supplemental guidance. This guidance can be used as a foundation for coordinating area-specific operational plans and can be modified to accommodate event security requirements and existing protocols. Furthermore, supplementing each operational area presented in the Planning Primer are actionable templates, checklists, and key considerations designed to facilitate the planning process.



2013 Data Breach Investigations Report


(May 2013) Will your organization, or one you work with, suffer a security breach this year? Nobody’s immune, no target is too small, or too large. The methods used by hackers to gain access to data are numerous, wide-reaching and ever-growing. This isn’t a threat you can afford to ignore.



Editor's Corner
Beyond the Border Agreement
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

Our Roots
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.

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783) which ended the war between the separating colonies and Great Britain, the 45th parallel and the St Lawrence and Great Lakes became the agreed boundary. Through parallel evolutions to the West, and the odd family feud along the way, our common border was extended along the 49th parallel from those lakes to the rocky Mountains in 1818 and thence in 1846 to the Pacific. Later, in 1903, a joint United Kingdom – Canada – U.S. tribunal established the border with Alaska, the largest U.S. state, along the 141st meridian West. Canada’s only land borders are with the United States and are 8,891 km (5,525 mi) long; the great majority of our population lives within 200 km of the southern border.

Early in our border relationship, in 1794, an International Boundary Commission was established to map and survey the boundary and maintain markers and monuments. It was made a permanent joint organization in 1925, and still does its work, though this has expanded somewhat. Major efforts, such as the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the 1960s, NORAD beginning in the Cold War years and, more recently, the Free Trade Agreement, all strengthened and reinforced this spirit of cooperation and mutual prosperity and well-being between ourselves and our only neighbours.

It has not been without some bumps, such as the war of 1812 and the dispute in mid-19th century on the Oregon Territory, and there are indeed debates today on such issues as ownership of the riches of the Beaufort Sea and our own declarations of sovereignty in the NW passage. These will continue, hopefully, to be resolved as has the 49th.

Our Future
With the tragedy of 9-11, the dark side of globalization took its toll. Security experts in this world of increasing travel and instantaneous communications, emerging markets and economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (referred to as BRIC), are crying out for more resources of all kinds.

With mega criminal organizations and lawful societies both relying more and more on immigration for sustained growth, the notion of border security required a new vision and approach. In 2006, the US introduced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), the precursor of the Beyond the Border Agreement. The thrust was on more trustworthy identification of people and materiel entering the continent and devising methods to accelerate the passage of legitimate goods and people (with trusted traveler programs such as NEXUS, FAST, and SENTRI) and to thwart the illegitimate traveller.

With the September 2012 Beyond the Border Agreement approved by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, a major step was taken in describing and providing our common border security while ensuring that hemispheric freedom of movement of legitimate people and goods to our common benefit was achieved. Key to this was the setting of tangible goals for which our two countries would be mutually accountable and which would ensure that we minimize duplication and waste by sharing intelligence, technology and working as combined teams.

In this edition, we provide the first reports from our two major federal agencies on our achievements so far and on their plans to face immediate challenges.

Public Affairs staff at CBSA answered questions in respect of this major change to their inherited mandate and as to the implementation of their key tasks in the BTB Agreement.

In that same vein, Chief Inspector Joe Oliver of the RCMP did the same, pointing to some interesting major successes in the making. In this new “intelligence led” world of ­surveillance and efficient information exchange, some key elements arise as we progress. One is the need for everyone at the coal face to share common intelligence in a timely way and be able to act quickly to the maximum of their legal mandate to take best advantage of resources and opportunities.

But, is there an elephant in the room? Yes there is, and it is the weight of major change and the understanding of a reasonable need for urgency to see this change take place. This applies in many realms including enabling legislation in many domains, subsequent effective harmonization of regulation of the actual processes of clearance, arrest and prosecution if needed and, finally, maximum effective use of all members of the international team to deter and catch those in violation.

The Elephant in the Room
I draw to the attention of our readers, the excellent piece by our Associate Editor Scott Newark wherein he addresses, in relevant detail, the issue of deficiencies in our immigration screening and enforcement which can have an all too frequent consequence of reduced safety and security in Canada. I also strongly recommend to our readers the complete interview series on these same issues which Mr Newark did with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute at:






For those who might feel screening needs more emphasis, note that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews indicated last year that CBSA had deportation orders for about 40,000 people, though it was unclear how many were still in the country. Last September, a CBSA spokesperson confirmed in an email to Lee Berthiaume of Post Media that: “Canada does not have measures in place to verify the exit of foreign nationals or Canadians from Canada.” We must resolve this issue – just as we must close the swinging door of illegal refugee appeals and the continuing selection of Canada as an asylum of convenience by certain groups. These situations cost our taxpayers much and reduce the number of legitimate and necessary immigrants who await approval.

From the front, we have an eye-opening interview of the head of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), Mr. Jean-Pierre Fortin on the unique and active role played by his union on proposing sound changes over the last six years against what appears to have been unnecessary lethargy or resistance by authorities at higher levels of CBSA and Public Safety.

We are pleased to present yet another perspective from CBSA border guards by Megan Ryder-Burbidge on the perplexingly long time, unnecessary risk, and what would appear to involve an unusually expensive cost to train and certify border agents to allow them to safely do what they must with their new side arms.

Ed Myers continues his illuminating series on the complexities of enforcing regulations dealing with illicit trade in tobacco, and we have two articles on the continuing drama and challenge of improving border relations efficiency. The first is a well-reasoned  article by Colin Robertson which was initially published in the Globe and Mail on the now muted, yet still silly, proposal of border crossing fees that runs counter to other Smart Border initiatives. Decision-makers should try to ensure this issue does not arise again. The other is a short but very ­pertinent and timely piece from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Interoperable Communications across Borders. It reinforces and amplifies other life-saving benefits of the Beyond the Border Agreement.

We must all remember that, when it comes to Border Security, there are some serious rough edges to repair. On 10 June, Kathryn Blaze Carlson reported in the Globe and Mail about a cancelled Air Canada flight from Toronto to New York that was scheduled to leave at 5:15 PM and which remained at the gate (with all passengers on board) while, as the pilot announced at 7:45, “US customs and Canadian customs officers were in talks about whether we had technically left the country… They were arguing whether we had to, once we got redirected and put on another flight, go through customs another time”.

That being said, we must salute the efforts that have been made to date in so many aspects in the last two years to improve our border posture, particularly in respect to meeting the clear tasks of the BTB Agreement. There is, however, a need for an urgent and major change – toward not only more efficient operation of our ports of entry but of policing and controlling illegal entry and exit, including points of embarkation before accessing our continent. Our international cooperation is coming along well, as the expectations in the BTB Agreement indicate they must, and our intelligence-led information sharing must keep up with innovative technology and criminal initiatives.

In our last edition, in the article by Jim Phillips the CEO of the Canadian American Business and Trade Association, our readers got a glimpse of the efforts to accelerate and simplify legitimate business traffic across and onto the continent. We at FrontLine strongly suggest that an equivalent effort and urgency is needed to secure those areas and concerns between and beyond the ports of entry and within each country to thwart illegitimate trade and passage of criminals.

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2013



Editor's Corner
Dealing With Terrorism In A Globally Connected World
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

With the minds of the media focussed for the time being on options of the major powers to respond to the use of chemical warfare agents by authorities of the Assad regime in Syria against civilians, where several Middle East terror organizations on both sides are battling for power at the expense of 2 million civilian dead and refugees, it is indeed timely that we offer you some knowledgeable reflections in this issue on anti-terrorism. It is also timely that this issue follow the recent updates in the last two months on the state of the national anti-terrorism policies of the UK and Canada and the privacy vs security debate in the world of surveillance.

Our readers will find the articles interesting as they deal with our policies and compare other national approaches as well as propose some meaningful measures to face the evolving anti-terrorism challenges ahead. Terrorism is not new to Canada and goes back further than the consequences of 9-11. It is wise to remind readers that on June 23, 1985, Canadians experienced the worst terrorist attack in our history when a bomb on Air India Flight 182 killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard, most of them Canadian. On this same date in 2011, the PM announced the Kanishka project, named after the downed aircraft, whereby a new 5 year $10M initiative has been invested in research on pressing questions for Canada on terrorism and counter-terrorism, such as preventing and countering violent extremism. Since that time three series of funded studies have been approved.

In 2012, the Government unveiled its Anti Terrorism Strategy entitled Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy. Our readers would be well advised to review the 2013 Public Safety Canada summary of its first report on the matter at http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/trrrst-thrt-cnd/index-en... (modified on 7 August 2013). Some keynote issues are worth repeating here.

First, a reminder of the framework on which the August 2012 strategic plan is based:

To counter domestic and international terrorism in order to protect Canada, Canadians, and Canadian Interests.


  1. Building Resilience.
  2. Terrorism is a crime and will be prosecuted.
  3. Adherence to the rule of law.
  4. Cooperation and partnerships.
  5. Proportionate and measured response.
  6. A flexible and forward-looking approach.

The Executive Summary of this year’s anti-terrorism assessment and government actions report also bears repeating:

Global violent extremists, particularly al-Qaeda and its affiliates, remain the leading terrorist threat. Al-Qaeda has been in decline, but still provides strategic guidance to other global terrorist groups. Al-Qaeda’s official regional affiliates, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Shabaab, pose a persistent threat. Some al-Qaeda affiliates withdrew from territories in Yemen and Somalia in 2012, but others made advances in Syria and Northern Mali. Although they often favour pursuing regional goals, al-Qaeda and its affiliates still intend to conduct international attacks if the opportunities arise.

Terrorists are more active in Africa. Political transition and instability in Africa have in some cases created room for terrorists to control new territory or to increase the scale of their operations in support of old conflicts. As the terrorist attack in Algeria early in 2013 demonstrated, violence can spill across borders, undermining regional stability. Northern Mali is at risk of becoming a hub for terrorist groups, attracting terrorists from other countries to the region.

Syria is emerging as a major theatre of operations for terrorists. The civil war in Syria has already provoked a humanitarian tragedy. The war is also emerging as a cause for terrorist activities. Terrorists from around the world are travelling to Syria to join groups involved in the conflict. Prolonged conflict and regional instability will only serve to increase the terrorist threat. Of particular concern is the prospect that fighters will return from Syria to their home countries to radicalize others or conduct terrorist attacks.

State support for terrorism is an ongoing concern. Canada “listed” both the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran as state supporters of terrorism in 2012, facilitated by the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. Canada also listed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force as a terrorist entity under Canada’s Criminal Code. State support to listed terrorist groups like Hizballah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas is an ongoing concern for the Government of Canada. The Government is also concerned about the prospect of terrorist groups acquiring Syrian chemical and conven- tional weapons.

Homegrown violent extremists pose a threat of attack. In Canada, homegrown violent extremists have been involved in attempts to recruit supporters, raise funds or acquire other forms of support. Authorities in several other countries, particularly in Europe, disrupted plots or made arrests in 2012. The majority of these cases involved individuals influenced by the ideology of al-Qaeda. However, terrorists supporting a variety of causes and issues continue to challenge local authorities around the world. To help resolve this problem, the Government of Canada is taking additional steps to address individuals travelling abroad if they intend to facilitate or participate in terrorist activity.

Our Government will take all appropriate actions to counter terrorist threats to Canada, its citizens and its interests around the world. The Government of Canada takes a principled approach to the threat of terrorism. Its efforts remain grounded in respect for the rule of law and human rights. Canada has taken a stand against state-supported terrorism. It will monitor emerging global threats and list new terrorist entities when appropriate. It will also continue to explain as openly as possible what these threats mean for Canadians. The Government will take measures to counter the terrorist threat, whether a threat within Canada, support for violence abroad or activities that undermine Canada’s efforts to secure international peace and security.

Things are similar but seemingly more advanced elsewhere, such as the UK, as indicated in the comprehensive article on CONTEST, the UK Counter Terrorism Strategy, by Angela Gendron. Among their many initiatives, we would be well to heed such concepts as the role of a National Security Advisor and other such structural coordination measures with authorities at all levels of government, as well as the development of serious security standards for critical private sector infrastructures.

In the U.S., the challenge of “home grown” terrorism was there for all to see around the world at the last Boston Marathon. In his article on Policing Terrorism after the Boston Marathon, Mathieu Deflem points to the American perceptions on terrorism and how they also have changed and imposed corollary adjustments to policing in the United States. Many similarities with Canada will be recognized in this article as well.

In my interview with Senator Hugh Segal, Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism, I believe that our readers will be interested in his reflections, particularly on such issues as cyber security and the absence of “any legislative oversight, whatever, on national security and defence activities”.

In the security vs privacy debate, Professor Gabriel Weimann brings us a sober world look from Israel at the fastest- growing threat, the presence of the “Lone Wolf” terrorist and how they operate in today’s wired world.

Likewise, Leah West Sherriff offers us a knowledgeable taste of the dilemma of security and surveillance in the Wireless World of cell phones in the criminal and terrorist environment. The security versus privacy dilemma rings loud here as well. Some very timely reflections are offered as, alarmingly, all new technologies are quickly assessed by criminal elements for their abil- ity to disrupt a peaceful society. We have seen many examples of this at work.

The oft-repeated “follow the money trail” all too often leads back to what are often described as “lesser” crimes such as the smuggling of contraband goods. Simon Smith brings perspective to our continuing monitoring of the criminal involvement in Contraband tobacco and pleads for more dedicated resources to police and shut down these lucrative and unhealthy operations that serve to springboard youth into a lifestyle of crime.

Finally, expressed with his typical well-cloaked tact, Associate Editor Scott Newark gives us a direct, logical and bluntly honest assessment on fighting “home grown” terrorism. Let the debate begin!

Comments always welcome!

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2013



Calgary Transit Takes a New Direction
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

Arriving at Calgary’s City Hall C-Train platform, it is bustling as usual as I wait for Vikram Kulkarni, a Peace Officer with the Public Safety and Enforcement Section of Calgary Transit.

Peace Officer Kulkarni emerges in uniform to greet me before leading me to the offices of Calgary Transit’s Peace Officers. The department currently maintains over 100 full-time employees, including 89 full-time Calgary Transit Peace Officers. Kulkarni explains that throughout the past few years the ­Public Safety and Enforcement Section has undergone an overwhelming transformation in leadership and direction.

Before long, the Superintendent of ­Public Safety and Enforcement at Calgary Transit, Brian Whitelaw, joins us in a conference room. A veteran in the field of law enforcement, Whitelaw’s leadership is arguably the major catalyst behind rebuilding the once maligned organization. He left his position as an inspector with the ­Calgary Police Service in 2008 and came to Calgary Transit tasked with the responsibility of building up the Calgary Transit Peace Officer program. While safety and security measures were well underway in 2007, the homicide of a women stalked from a Transit Station was the catalyst that resulted in an intensive review of safety and security processes and methods across the system. The topic dominated the news for a long time and the crime struck an exceptionally strong chord throughout the city’s general populace. It served to intensify Calgary Transit’s commitment to ­systematic organizational transformation and a revision of safety and security.

Whitelaw remains candid about the weaknesses in organizational culture that were present – he recalls some of the critical issues that needed to be addressed. “It was important to ask ourselves whether we had sufficient resources and whether our tactics and strategies could prevent violent crime and disorder,” he acknowledges. “This was a flashpoint for Calgary Transit and very damaging to our reputation. This was the environment that I came into in 2008.”

The challenges ahead seemed daunting, however, Whitelaw and his team set about the task of rebuilding the badly shaken security establishment. “I took an immediate look at how safety and security services were delivered,” explains Whitelaw. “My responsibility was to say first of all we don’t have enough people to adequately ensure the safety needs of our customers. In addition, there needs to be an entire program developed around the three principles of prevention, problem solving and proactive activity. I saw that none of that was in place.”

Many experts believe that it takes at least five years to transform an organization’s culture, and the Public Safety and Enforcement Section of Calgary Transit appears to be a perfect example. It has taken approximately that long for the department’s members to completely embrace a more proactive, forward thinking and efficient culture. “Getting the right people is critical, and so is building our programs around the best practices in our industry and maximizing the use of our human resources,” emphasizes Whitelaw.

Most importantly, from a criminology perspective, Calgary Transit has increased its number of Peace Officers. From just 44 in 2008, the organization is currently at double that strength. There was reason for celebration when, in May 2011, a culturally diverse group of 16 new recruits commenced new careers at Calgary Transit. One of the largest graduating classes, the new Public Safety and Enforcement Peace Officers marched to bagpipes during their graduation ceremony at Fort Calgary. One of those recruits, Vikram Kulkarni is proud of the professionalism and skill level that he and his colleagues bring to their positions in the security field. Prior knowledge and security experience in the field is an asset, however, preference is given to a post secondary education and previous experience in a paramilitary or security enforcement role.

The authority granted to Calgary Transit Peace Officers in their areas of responsibility has also been increasing. Calgary Police Service has essentially diverted responsibility to Calgary Transit to look after its own day-to-day policing requirements. This has been facilitated through a number of partnerships and agreements. Specifically, Calgary Police Service and Calgary Transit are sig­natories to an MOU (memorandum of understanding), which gets reviewed every three years. Under the agreement, Peace Officers are authorized to carry batons and pepper spray. They have authority to arrest individuals and are also permitted to execute outstanding warrants for bylaw, provincial and criminal code violations.

“We essentially look after about 90 percent of the types of things that occur on the transit system,” explains Whitelaw. “Some nights are extremely busy on the system and our resources are exhausted, but we have the Calgary Police Service to back us up. There is also the advantage of sharing information with the Calgary Police Service. They have dedicated officers in the field collecting essential information about people and situations and they can quickly assess the risk to the community and its transit system.”

Meanwhile, Whitelaw says that his department must continue to plan toward the future. Calgarians made 101,971,700 trips on the transit system in 2012, which is also the year the 8.2 km west leg of Calgary’s Light Rail Transit Line commenced operation. With a substantial section ­elevated above ground, the West LRT project remains the largest infrastructure endeavour ever undertaken by the City of Calgary. A relentlessly expanding public transit system is a reality in a city such as this, yet Whitelaw and his staff of dedicated Peace Officers are confident that they can manage the growth.

Statistics reveal that serious or violent crimes on Calgary Transit are extremely rare and that the new approach to security is working.

The most common “crimes against ­persons” are minor assaults and unarmed robberies. According to Whitelaw, concerns for personal safety while using transit are typically based more on exposure to antisocial behaviors (aggressive panhandling, swearing and causing a disturbance) and signs of physical disorder (graffiti, unclean or poorly lit locations) than on actual crime.

Peace Officer Kulkarni points out that in 2011, the Public Safety and Enforcement Section at Calgary Transit formed an alliance with Calgary Crime Stoppers Association. The primary objective of the partnership is to communicate with the public and to engage Calgarians in combating crime on the public transit system. Calgary Transit also has an active Transit Watch program which is focused on the premise, “If you see something, say something.” ­Citizens are encouraged to anonymously alert Public Safety when they witness damage or vandalism to transit assets and properties, including buses, bus stops, LRT stations and parking lots.

Applying the latest studies in criminology, and using state-of-the-art policing ­tech­niques are at the top of Whitelaw’s agenda. “Our deployment is evolving more to hot-spot policing of trouble areas,” he says. “We know, for example, in terms of urban planning and urban design that we’re going to get more calls concentrated at C-Train stations where there is a nearby retail outlet or major shopping mall. Our goal is to make sure we build a working network of safety and security resources with the owners of retail locations and the mall security.”

As our meeting adjourns and I prepare to leave, Kulkarni reiterates that throughout the department’s extensive transformation the one thing that has remained constant is their commitment to ensure the safety and security of users across the system. That will “always be a high priority,” he affirms.

Jaqueline Chartier is a FrontLine staff writer based in Calgary.
© FrontLine Security 2013



A Border-crossing fee into the US?
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

Margaret Atwood once remarked that if the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.

But is paranoia towards the United States justified? Not usually. Take a closer look at reports of a new border-crossing fee that are creating a lot of noise. This is not protectionism. Rather, the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by U.S. laws (the sequestration) have obliged all departments to become more creative in funding. Within the Department of Homeland Security 2014 budget is a recommendation to conduct a study on whether to collect a fee from pedestrians and vehicles crossing between the United States and Canada by land.

The new revenue, Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress, would pay for the hiring of new customs and border officers. There might be something for Canada in this scheme, as without new staff, the chances of getting pre-clearance at Toronto’s Island Airport are slim. But the first call will be to staff the southern border because enforcement will be a key part of any new immigration deal.

Unlike budgets in Canada, however, what goes into the congressional legislative process bears little resemblance to what comes out the other end. This is why the U.S. legislative process has famously been compared to sausage-making.

The checks and balances inherent in the U.S. system mean that regional and sectoral interests can also be counted on to block such initiatives.

A new toll is the absolute last thing we should be doing if we want to grow the economies of Western New York and the U.S., warned Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins. “To slap travellers here with onerous fees is a bad idea,” argued New York Senator Chuck Schumer. “We don’t need a study to tell us that.”

There is also the practical problem.

An estimated 400,000 people and 140,000 cars cross our border daily. Does the U.S. really want to slow down traffic and turn the border agents into toll collectors when their primary task is to look for bad guys? We need to distinguish between what is noise in the Homeland Security proposal and what is important.

What is important is that the biggest infrastructure project at our largest border gateway, the new Detroit-Windsor bridge, was recently given a Presidential permit with the backing of nine D.C. agencies.

This bridge odyssey has taken 14 years and constant effort by our Detroit consulate and the Ontario and Canadian governments. We are fronting a half-billion dollars for its construction, which is also the estimated daily value of the goods that cross this vital gateway. There will be more bumps before the traffic flows, but we are at the beginning of the end.

The lesson we can draw from both the DHS kerfuffle and the bridge saga is that we need to wage a permanent campaign in the United States on behalf of Canadian interests.

We need a thousand points of contact to complement our embassy and our consulates. This means taking our game to the States because by the time a problem reaches Congress, we are fire-fighting. Recent budget paring in Canada has reduced our consulates in the U.S. to 15. Yet, what we need is representation in every state. We can do it, within budget, by doing diplomacy differently.

How? Recruit talent from Canadian expatriates who are already living in each state. Have them practice digital-age diplomacy. Drop the black tie in favour of a BlackBerry and a working knowledge of new media. Our embassy’s prime location on Pennsylvania Avenue is crucial, and the Los Angeles consul-general’s residence is a second home for Canada’s entertainment industry. From home or office, diplomats can spot opportunities for trade and investment.

As U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson repeatedly reminds us, the most important thing the United States can do to help the Canadian economy is to get the U.S. economy back on track. For 35 American states, their principal export market is Canada. This trade supports nearly eight million U.S. jobs – a fact not lost on President Barack Obama, who has promised to “export the U.S. back into prosperity.” Last year, U.S. exports to Canada exceeded total U.S. exports to China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore combined.

Canadian exports to the United States were almost three times greater than our combined total to the rest of the world. Trade with the United States represents almost half of our GDP.

A half century ago, Minister of Trade and Industry George Hees encouraged members of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service to “bust your ass” for Canada. The instruction stands.

Former diplomat, Colin Robertson, is senior advisor at McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP, and vice president of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Counter-Terrorism Strategy from the UK
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

The United Kingdom’s response to terrorism has been shaped by the various terrorist threats it has faced during the 20th century; from Russian anarchists, Irish republicans, Middle Eastern groups, to the supporters of causes such as animal rights. While the threat from Irish terrorism has diminished, an ongoing and serious terrorist threat to Northern Ireland remains. Currently, the UK assesses its most significant risk to national security as that from terrorism associated with and influenced by al-Qaeda.

For much of the previous decade, the threat level from international terrorism in the UK has been classified as SEVERE, meaning that a terrorist attack in the UK has been judged ‘highly likely.’ In more recent years it has been SUBSTANTIAL. Successive UK governments have been accused of overstating the threat from terrorism, although the Independent Reviewer of Counter Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson, is satisfied that there is a serious threat and that special powers are needed.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the UK’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, known as ‘CONTEST’, has been criticized both for its alleged disregard for human rights and its inability to ensure the security of citizens. Research fellows at the Henry Jackson Society in London recently described the Strategy as having become “mired in a thorny liberty vs. security debate, not only over profiling but over indefinite detention, deportation, police ‘stop and search’ powers, and anti-terrorism legislation.”

Since its inception in 2003, CONTEST has undergone several revisions to reflect the changing nature of the threat, particularly since 2005 when the 7/7 bombings and the failed attacks on 21/7 in London made it plain that UK targets were threatened as much by home-grown terrorists as by those from abroad. Preventing current attacks, while avoiding measures which potentially alienate members of the Muslim community who might be susceptible to radicalization, is a key and freely acknowledged challenge for the UK Government.

This evolving threat has stretched the resources of the UK because its diverse and changing nature has increased the difficulty of identifying potential threat actors who operate across national boundaries and are generally not members of any structured, organizational hierarchy. While the incidence of coordinated, high impact terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda and its affiliates and associated groups may have lessened, ‘opportunistic’ attacks by individuals inspired by al-Qaeda, but acting alone, have increased.

The extremist aspirations of “homegrown” jihadists often incubate invisibly within otherwise law-abiding Muslim communities; individuals can become radicalized very quickly and are often ‘clean skins’ or new converts to Islam with no previous criminal or security record.

Since terrorism is a global phenomenon, countries facing similar threats can learn from and support each other. No doubt considerable information-sharing occurs between national security and law enforcement services, but nation states have different values and interests and these can affect their perception of the threat, the strategies they adopt to counter it, and the extent to which they will co-operate with others. A strategy relevant to UK circumstances, for example, would not necessarily suit the Canadian experience. No national strategy can stand in isolation, however, in our globalized world where states have become intimately interconnected and interdependent, the strength of all is deter- mined by the weakest link. The UK acknowledges that much of its success in countering terrorism has been achieved through international collaboration.

According to the latest annual report on CONTEST, published in July 2013: “The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terror- ism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.”

CONTEST is a key component of the UK’s National Security Strategy, which introduced a new way of thinking with respect to the provision of intelligence for the purposes of public protection. It accepts that anticipatory policies can help in the formulation of predictive judgements and that identification and implementation of policies can reduce the risk to society by prevention, where possible, and preparation where not.

The role of intelligence is to provide a predictive capability where possible in order to detect, prevent or pre-empt attacks and reduce vulnerabilities. Intelligence-based assessments not only inform operational decisions on alert and warning states, countermeasures and resource deployments, but allow a deeper understanding of the threats in terms of the individuals and groups, their motivations, aims and techniques.

The strategy comprises four strands: Pursue (to stop terrorist attacks); Prevent (to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism); Protect (strengthen protection against a terrorist attack); and Prepare (to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack). Of these, Prevent is the most controversial and has been the most heavily criticized. In part, this is due to the inherent tension between the Pursue and Prevent strands of the strategy (i.e. between short and longer term objectives) and, in part, because of what is now seen as a conceptual flaw in the strategy itself. Following the murder of a British soldier on the streets of Woolwich in East London this year by al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists, CONTEST is undergoing further review to consider how best to respond to the ideological challenge posed by Islamist extremism.

The most immediate priority is to stop terrorist attacks through combined efforts of the police, security and intelligence agencies. To that end, much effort has been spent on developing counter-terrorism powers that enable the various agencies to detect, monitor, pre-empt, arrest and prosecute people for terrorist offences. Of the three civilian security and intelligence services in the UK – the Security Service (MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – it is MI5 which bears most responsibility for protecting the United Kingdom from threats to national security, including terrorism. Intelligence agencies have no executive powers but work at arm’s length through law enforcement services to detain, arrest and prosecute suspected terrorists.

A raft of anti-terrorism legislation has been developed since 2001, some of which have been subject to challenge in both domestic courts of appeal and at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Domestically, political disagreement between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party has centered around human rights issues, although many measures have been accorded all-party support. The period of ‘detention before charge’ was one such issue; another has been a ‘stop and search’ power which caused much resentment and was finally removed by the repeal of section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Generally speaking, the Conservatives are perceived as being tougher on crime and terrorism, and more vehemently opposed to ECHR decisions that thwart the UK’s ability to defend itself in the way it sees fit. As an example, it took eight years before the UK was finally able to despatch Abu Qatada, a notorious extremist preacher who openly urged others to violence. Notwithstanding this frustration with the ECHR, the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, is on record as saying... “if we’re serious about stopping extremism, we’ve got to make sure that our anti-terrorism legislation doesn’t clamp down on those freedoms we’re trying to defend.”

Given that most terrorist plots in the UK have overseas connections, efforts have also been made to improve collaboration and coordination with other countries and multilateral organizations, to tackle the threats at the source, gather intelligence on terrorist plots and operators, and achieve successful prosecutions.

As well as catching and prosecuting terrorists, the importance for the longer term of stopping people from becoming terrorists has been the most controversial element of CONTEST. Cooperation across a wide range of sectors and agencies in the public and private sectors, as well as central government funding, has spearheaded counter-radicalization efforts aimed at providing timely advice and support to communities where individuals are at higher risk. A network of coordinators, in priority Local Authority areas, support Prevent programmes and coordinate with community organizations, agencies and departments. They are developing a range of community based Prevent projects in conjunction with the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office which are increasingly being merged with other aspects of Local Authority work such as child protection.

Prevent work in prisons, by the police and the National Offender Management Service, is attempting to counter radicalizing activity and help prisoners disengage from terrorism and extremism. Pilot projects challenging al-Qaeda related ideologies are showing some promise.

Partnering with other organizations and agencies has entailed difficult choices and provoked criticism with respect to the selection of appropriate partners: Muslim organizations which seemingly eschewed violent means but shared the ideology and aims of militant jihadists, were originally included in the consultation process and received government funding. It later became apparent that this culture of inclusion helped to promote extremist views and, in effect, groomed and channeled recruits for militant jihadism.

Policy measures have been revised to address this particular issue and respond to the ideological challenge posed by Islamist extremism in order to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Refuting the claims made by extremist and terrorist organizations and their propagandists in the UK and overseas is an essential element of Prevent work, as well as promotion of the values of a liberal country (freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex and sexuality).

Far right groups which have developed an Islamophobic and white supremacist ideology are also recognized by Prevent as anti-democratic, intolerant and conducive to violence.

The 2013 Strategy document identifies the following objectives for the Protect strand: Strengthening UK border security; reducing the vulnerability of the transport net- work; increasing the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure; and improving protective security for crowded places.

Protective security procedures were the traditional frontline defence against terrorist attacks. Such passive defence measures (infrastructure reinforcement, compliance with personnel security practices, and procedures for handling and classifying information), acted as deterrents aimed to reduce the likelihood of attack. The addition of a range of new protective measures better help detect and prevent threats including: new airport security scanners to detect non-metallic explosives which have been deployed at all major UK airports, and “no-fly” arrangements to prevent people who pose a ter- rorist threat from flying to or from the UK.

Longer term analysis of terrorist capabilities and intentions guides investment in the CONTEST Science and Technology (S&T) programme, in which the efforts of Government research bodies, industry, academia and international partners, are all coordinated and funded from OSCT. The programme aims to improve the UK’s counter-terrorism capabilities by developing and applying new technologies for Protect and Pursue purposes, in order to ensure that adequate measures are in place to counter the use of new technologies by terrorists.

The responsibility to gather and share intelligence on threats to likely targets (and achieve security and accountability standards) is an essential element of the proactive approach to protection encompassed by CONTEST. A key central agency in this respect is the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

In 2012, improved performance reporting for Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) was introduced to determine security gaps. Government Departments and Devolved Administrations work closely with CNI operators to deal with any significant vulnerabilities. The resources of central agencies are limited, and traditionally have been focused on the CNI, but ways are being found to provide support to private sector companies in assessing and managing threats and risks. For example, companies seeking help to secure or cleanse their cyber networks and achieve required security standards are now referred by the government’s technical authority (an offshoot of GCHQ) to one of five approved security companies who have a certified capability.

The cyber dimension has particular relevance for the Protect and Prevent strands of the counter-terrorism strategy because it is perceived as a threat multiplier which increases the capabilities of terrorists both to recruit operatives and launch attacks while at the same time making detection and pursuit more difficult for security authorities. The vulnerability of cyber networks is also relevant in terms of building resilience against the impact of threats emanating from terrorists or natural events.

CONTEST 2 (2011) warns that al-Qaeda has called explicitly for “cyber jihad” along with other terror operations. While this threat is so far latent, the UK has accepted the need for a pro-active stance that attempts to seize the initiative and not only block attacks but defeat, or at least impose high costs, on the attacker through the use of intelligence. The cyber dimension also provides opportunities for security authorities to exploit opponents’ weaknesses to challenge and undermine the jihadists’ narrative in order to address the longer term aim of reducing and defeating terrorism.

Two separate units in the UK are working on an offensive capability to strike back at those who are attempting electronic attacks on critical infrastructure. One demonstration of this commitment was the use of a virus by GCHQ to replace bombmaking instructions with a cupcake recipe in an online jihadist publication.

At a conceptual level, there is acceptance that, however robust and pro-active protective security measures are, resilience planning to reduce the impact of an attack and allow a society to ‘bounce back’ as quickly as possible is an essential defence element, given the likelihood that, sooner or later, an opportunist attack will succeed.

The purpose of Prepare work is to reduce the impact of a terrorist attack that cannot be prevented. CONTEST sets out four objectives: to continue to build capabilities to respond to and recover from a wide range of terrorist and other civil emergencies; to improve preparedness for the highest impact risks in the National Risk Assessment; to improve the ability of the emergency services to work together during a terrorist attack; and to improve communications and information sharing for terrorist attacks.

The blurring of the line between the public and private sectors; between national secrets and pro- prietary sensitive information; between ‘national’ critical infrastructure and privately owned and operated assets (which are nevertheless of economic and societal importance); and the cyber links upon which all are dependent and interconnected, has reinforced the view that Protect measures can only take us so far. Being adequately prepared for an emergency event, whether human induced or otherwise, is essential if the impact is to be minimized.

The shift in emphasis towards the resilience of the information society as a whole, as opposed to the protection of specific key assets, has been characterized by innumerable outreach initiatives to close vulnerability gaps and engage all sectors of society in preserving the safety and economic well-being of the British public.

Central government can lead, coordinate and facilitate; it can provide incentives and require particular security standards for its own contracts but, ultimately, it is for individuals, enterprises and regional authorities to be prepared and take responsibility for their own security. This is the principle of “subsidiarity” which builds on the expertise and specialized knowledge that exists at the local level and encourages collaborative and cooperative partnerships based on trust.

In promoting this security message, the UK has created a National Risk Register with a National Security Advisor. This has been instrumental in launching education and awareness initiatives that reach out to schools, universities, and other civic establishments. It provides advice and assistance to the private sector, and has also taken steps to build a pool of talented people with cyber security skills to meet the current shortfall in both public and private sectors.

Traditionally, security issues attracted all-party support, but today internal opposition to the Government’s security policies is coming not only from the official Opposition but from members of the Coalition Cabinet. Principles and politics combine to produce mixed messages, and the pragmatic business of government militates against legislative solutions. Libertarians philosophically favour the early dismantlement of special security powers while those responsible for public safety prefer to err on the side of precaution. The Home Secretary recently said that she wanted to ‘re-balance’ CONTEST, (taken to mean a commitment to reducing some security measures). The comment was made against a backdrop of growing concerns about “home grown” terrorism and a per- ception in some quarters that the threat from international terrorism had diminished.

With respect to the Prevent strand of CONTEST, the key question of: with whom should the British government engage (or indeed tolerate inside and outside the country) as part of its efforts to counter radicalization and terrorism, is a central point of contention and a work in progress.

A Conservative Party Green Paper on Security explicitly referred to the philosophical gulf between the previous and current governments on the conception of Prevent. Prior to the release of the 2009 CONTEST update, a witness who gave evidence to an APPG (All Party Parliamen- tary Group), claimed that “the central theoretical flaw in Prevent is that it accepts the premise that non-violent extremists can be made to act as bulwarks against violent extremists.” It was noted that, while non-violent extremists had become ‘well dug in’ as partners of national and local government efforts to address the grievances of angry young Muslims, they were themselves at the forefront of stoking those grievances against British foreign policy; Western social values; and alleged state-sanctioned “Islamophobia.”

The Coalition Government’s revised Prevent Strategy published in 2011 reaffirms changes made in 2009 to deny public funds to “any group that has recently espoused or incited violence or hatred or undermined British values.”

Beyond the partnership debate are issues concerning privacy, trust and free speech. A Muslim community in the West Midlands region was recently successful in forcing the government to remove a phalanx of CCTV security cameras because of their concerns that they were being used for spying purposes. The credibility of community police and local authority workers has also come into question – are they providing counter radicalization support or are they gathering intelligence for law enforcement purposes?

Government attempts to force the Vice Chancellors of some British Universities to do more about extremism on campus has met with mixed reaction and concerns about curbing freedom of expression.

The integration of defensive and offensive measures to counteract specific threats has introduced new overt tactics and approaches in an effort to respond to concerns of individuals and community leaders who ‘push back’ against extremist groups.

CONTEST calls for openness with respect to its objectives and assessments, on the grounds that success critically depends upon persuading the various stakeholders to ‘buy into’ the strategy. Although the revised 2009 version of CONTEST set out to ‘sell’ the strategy to regional authorities and groups across the country, the All Party Parliamentary Group assessment in 2011 nevertheless noted that significant challenges remained. Many stakeholders were not fully engaged and some were finding it difficult to deliver their respective commitments.

There has been a significant increase in the UK’s counter-terrorism capacity since 2005, and has been largely protected from recent budget cuts: Government funding for counter-terrorism policing was around £573 million in 2012/13, a slight reduction from the £582 million of 2011/12.

The Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism is an executive directorate of the Home Office with direct responsibility for some aspects of counter-terrorist strategy and a co-ordinating role in relation to others. OSCT was formed in 2007 to replace the Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Directorate, and has a staff of around 500.

The three civilian security and intelligence agencies have no executive powers, but work with policing services throughout the UK to assist in the identification of terrorist threats, the monitoring and arrest of suspects, and the successful prosecution of cases which are brought to court.

MI5 allocated 72% of its resources to “International Counter-Terrorism” (ICT) during 2011/12; a further 15% was, and remains, allocated to Northern Ireland. MI6 allocated 36% of its resources to ICT in 2011/12, while GCHQ devoted about one third of its overall effort to counter-terrorism. Staffing in all three agencies has increased considerably.

As far as policing is concerned, at the end of March 2013 there was a budgeted strength of some 8,500 personnel within the CT network, 6,500 of them police officers and 2,000 civilian members of staff. In addition, some 850 locally funded Special Branch personnel assist in protecting national security and are in some areas managed and tasked by the regional Counter Terrorism Units (CTUs).

In 2006, the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) was created which is based in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at Scotland Yard in London. It is led by an Assistant Commissioner who is also the national police lead for counter-terrorism.

The CT network comprises four regional police CTUs which are based in and run by regional police forces in the North East, North West, West Midlands and South East of England. These units include detectives, community contact teams, financial investigators, intelligence analysts, hitech investigators, ports officers and officers working closely with MI5. There are also regional Counter-terrorism Intelligence Units (CTIUs) which focus on intelligence rather than the investigation of offences and are managed by the relevant local police force. The CT Network oper- ates in full and active partnership with counterterrorism policing structures in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A National Crime Agency (NCA) has been established, and should be fully operational by the end of 2013. The NCA will replace the Serious and Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and will lead police work on serious, organized and complex crime including cyber crime, and border security. Its components will include a Border Policing Command responsible for the physical security of the border. It has not yet been decided whether or to what extent the NCA should in the future have a counter-terrorism role but, in the meantime, the NCA will co-operate with the CT Network on issues of common interest including financial crime, border security, work in prisons, forensics, specialist technical capabilities and corporate support functions.

In a 2012 speech, then MI5 Chief Jonathan Evans warned that internet “vulnerabilities” were being exploited by criminals as well as states. He also cautioned against thinking the terror threat had dissipated. “In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here,” he said.

Canada too is confronting terrorist threats. The difficulty lies in distinguishing between those who merely talk from those who might soon become actively militant. When does the fantasy of becoming a martyr slip into the reality of criminal preparation? The methods and procedures we adopt to thwart and constrain terrorists in the interests of public safety will be shaped by the severity of the perceived threat. Yet, is it possible to preserve democratic values while continuing to accord rights to those whose activities violate the rights of others? The corollary is that terrorists must be bound by the same laws as the rest of us, and held rigorously to account.

This perceived inability to hold terrorists to account has caused frustration in the UK. Concerns rage about the emphasis given to individual rights when public safety is at risk. In national security cases, idealism and the desire to do what is right comes up against pragmatism and the need to find practical solutions for preserving both democratic values and security.

An effective counter-terrorism strategy must find ways to be creative and innovative in using the law to do so. There is no place for absolutism. The cautious liberalization of UK anti-terrorism law from 2010 to 2012 and the identification of other areas where further liberalization could be achieved without materially increasing the threat from terrorism has demonstrated that the UK is cognizant of this dilemma.

Angela Gendron is a respected senior fellow at the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, and a senior fellow at the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University (UK).
© FrontLine Security 2013



The Business of Intelligence
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

The formidable array of speakers  included; Stephen Rigby, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister; Richard Fadden, the Deputy Minister of National Defence; and Major-General Christian Rousseau, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, and Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command. In addition, panels of eminent practitioners and trainers from the intelligence community provided other expert views.

CANIC 2013 was predicated on “the big idea” that Canadian government intelligence activity constitutes an overall Canadian Intelligence Enterprise (CIE), defined as the integrated, purposeful activity aimed at keeping Canada and Canadians safe by providing foresight that enables government, at all levels, to act with advantage against a wide spectrum of threats (natural and man-made) at home and abroad. As well, the supporting concept of an intelligence value chain was introduced, recognizing a wide array of relevant entities in the intelligence enterprise beyond traditional collectors and analysts. Many others in government, military, industry and academia play complementary roles in enhancing the intelligence enterprise.

The conference revealed a number of strategic influences affecting the future of the CIE. First, it was made clear that future intelligence development would continue to be impacted by the 2008 downturn in the global economy. Moreover, as a slow and uneven recovery continues to hinder any early return to strong economic growth, ongoing fiscal efforts to re-balance the books will constrain most government programs. As a result, intelligence organizations will be driven to adopt more ingenious ways of collaborating and cooperating.

Resource constraints will demand bureaucratic imagination (perhaps an oxymoron?) in the search for ways to, once again, “do more with less.” As the world gets more complex, the CIE enterprise must find simpler, yet more effective ways of dealing with it.

Another major influence comes from myriad challenges to global unipolarity and American hegemonic influence. Waning unipolarity is not only agitated by global economic weakness, it is also aggravated by troublesome instability across North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. However, even as American global power and influence has been relatively reduced over time, the United States (US) remains the single most powerful state on earth, capable of acting decisively where its vital interests are threatened. For Canada, this means our intelligence links with the U.S. and the Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) community will remain our principal intelligence relationships.

Finally, there was lament over the apparent lack of an active strategic culture in Canada, exemplified by the absence of an explicit national security policy and consequent national security strategy. Foreign and defence initiatives were said to be too often based on short term political expediency rather than guided by serious consideration of our national interests. It goes deeper. Concern was also expressed over the apparent privileging of partisan ideology over objective strategic assessment.

As former Clerk of the Privy Council Mel Cappe recently told a University of Ottawa audience, “Ideology doesn’t need analysis, and if you have the answers you don’t need questions, and that’s where we are these days.”

As suggested by one panelist, part of the problem might lie in the structure of government. What was lacking, in his view, is a senior cabinet advisory body (that might be named the Canadian Office of National Assessments), which would be composed of a mature and eclectic, highly qualified group of expert analysts responsible for providing high level, broad, all-source strategic assessments to cabinet, to support government decision making. Such a body would be the ‘head office’ of the Canadian Intelligence Enterprise.

Objective policy advice may also be in short supply because there are too few independent think tanks in Canada, largely due to the lack of robust and interested sponsorship. It was pointedly noted that government had eliminated funding for the Security and Defence Forum (SDF), a program that helped Canadian universities sponsor courses and projects related to Canadian security and defence issues.

Conference presenters recognized that, within these troublesome circumstances, the threat spectrum facing Canada had not only grown in breadth and depth, it has now also become incredibly complex.

It is no longer sufficient for intelligence to find that ‘needle in a haystack.’ Intelligence is now expected to find any small piece of a specific needle anywhere in a field of haystacks. Where there once were straightforward ‘enemies,’ there are now adverse conditions, subversive influences and pathological ideologies proliferating throughout the traditional maritime, land and air domains of warfare and beyond, in the contemporary domains of space and cyberspace.

Modern cyber threats abound in all domains of warfare. According to Kent Schneider, President of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association, writing in the October 2013 issue of Signal magazine, “Cyber has been identified in every part of the world as the number one threat arena.” It is perhaps the one uniquely ‘new’ dimension of the intelligence enterprise.

Cyber threats have brought about a technological blurring, even erasure, of domestic and foreign boundaries. At a July 2013 International Cyber Symposium hosted by U.S. Cyber Command, Sir David Omand, a former United Kingdom Intelligence and Security Coordinator, recently made a case for the creation of a new intelligence discipline dedicated to the exploitation of social media – Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT).

With social media, the message itself is far different than that delivered by other media. It is of a different order than simply looking at messages by individuals. Social media reveals group sentiments. Marketing firms, police departments and health agencies are already conducting SOCMINT-type analysis. It will not be long before ­governments begin to formally engage Social Media Intelligence.

Government intelligence organizations will require professional astuteness to explain appropriately their work against targets within Canada. On the other hand, Canadians at large will have to acquire a better understanding of intelligence methods being used on their behalf against all targets, foreign and domestic.

Government and parliamentary oversight and review mechanisms, if they are to enjoy popular support, will have to be made more open, transparent and understandable to average Canadians. The intelligence enterprise, as a whole, will have to take a more active and confident role in helping to educate Canadians about the value and legality of intelligence work within Canada. Conferences like CANIC 2013 could prove to be an important part of the solution.

Moreover, government or military establishments are not the only, or necessarily the principal, targets of cyber attacks. Canadian private sector companies, particularly those who own and operate the vast majority of Canadian critical infrastructure, are constantly under threat and frequently assaulted by cyber marauders. The need for a new and reinforced intelligence relationship between government and industry has never been more urgent. Industry will have to provide government with vital information on all cyber intrusions, so intelligence organizations can help deter and prevent future attacks on all Canadian or allied targets. Commercial businesses acting in this way exemplify the growing intelligence value chain in Canada. As with all intelligence work, this evolution will require elevated levels of trust on all sides.

One certainty hanging over the CIE is the fact that everyone in the intelligence value chain will eventually have to move on, to be replaced by future generations of practitioners and entrepreneurs. Government generally, and the CIE particularly, have a professional responsibility to prepare the next generation, but it seems little is being done in this regard. Government intelligence training and education activity is decidedly limited and grossly underfunded.

Only the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has an established intelligence school, the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence (CFSMI), to train serving personnel. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) have their own formal training programs. The Privy Council Office (PCO) conducts mixed distance learning/residential entry level and managerial intelligence training for a number of other government departments, but not to the same extent as the CAF, CSIS or CSEC.

More needs to be done by all. Military intelligence training programs are just adequate at the junior and mid-career levels, as are CSIS and CSEC programs. The PCO intelligence training program is less adequate at either level. More government interest and resources would help here. A troubling weakness across the entire CIE is the lack of serious and intense interdepartmental intelligence training for senior appointments at the Director/Lieutenant-Colonel level. It is most disappointing to note that no intelligence training is conducted at the Canada School of Public Service.

Perhaps even more egregious is the general lack of attention paid to advanced academic study of intelligence, and the absence of opportunities for intelligence professionals to pursue advanced degrees in such studies. Intelligence studies in Canada are anemic at best, due mainly to general public and government apathy. Apart from the respectable effort put forward by the War Studies program at the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Intelligence and National Security stream run by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, intelligence-related courses are run only sporadically at other universities across Canada. Government sponsored students are few and far between. There has been some discussion in Canada, led by the Department of National Defence, about establishing a national intelligence academy that would cater to all government intelligence training and education requirements. However, such discussion has consistently foundered on issues of responsibility and resources.

More positively, defence research and development efforts related to intelligence is proceeding at world class standards. Traditional applied scientific research, providing technical solutions to intelligence problems, continues, examples of which are; studies of signal and image processing, probabilistic thinking, concept mapping and sense making. Concurrently, a second track acknowledges the need to keep defence scientists in contact with ‘real’ world issues at the tactical level, where solutions are demanded ‘now.’

As operations become more complex (were they ever simple?), they generate increased demand for estimative intelligence, something that has proved very ­difficult to sense remotely. The nature of tactical problems tends to render many mathematical and analysis techniques impotent. The challenge is to ensure our dominant intelligence technologies remain relevant and effective in all forms and at all levels of warfare. So, while defence scientists work to solve the most difficult and complex scientific problems facing the CIE, they must also remain in close contact with field headquarters, to provide what is needed in a practical sense. There must be optimal balance, between the laboratory and the field, in how defence science identifies and defines its research directions.

Reflecting on the substance of CANIC 2013 makes clear the fact that the CIE faces little that is genuinely new in the future.

Put ‘simply’, intelligence needs to be done more effectively, more efficiently, more imaginatively, even in the face of continuing fiscal constraint.

The emergence of modern cyber threats will make this work considerably more difficult. In all this, it is felt that the CIE will achieve its full potential only if it comes to grips with the need for institutionalized higher intelligence education programs, on a scale that approaches the study of law, medicine and commerce. Only then will there be a true intelligence profession, a necessary development to ensure government can act with advantage against all threats to the safety and security of Canada and Canadians. 

Dr. James Cox is a former Canadian Army Brigadier-General who completed a 38-year career in operational command and staff appointments. He later served as a Library of Parliament analyst supporting parliamentary committees dealing with security and defence issues. He holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, teaches at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and serves as Vice-President, Academic Affairs with the Canadian Military Intelligence Association.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Immigration Screening & Enforcement Improvements
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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. As great a challenge as that is, especially for a country of our size and terrain, Scott Newark explains that second component of border security that has been largely overlooked for decades...

Comprehensive border security in today’s increasingly mobile world of international travel and sophisticated phoney documents also includes properly screening exactly who it is that shows up at a port of entry as well as ensuring effective enforcement by removal of non citizens who are not entitled to be in Canada. Once again, deficiencies in immigration screening and enforcement can have an all too frequent consequence of reduced safety and security in Canada.

While the federal Government and its multiplicity of acronymed Agencies continue their glacial pace at addressing illicit traffic between ports of entry, the distinctly good news is that there has been an unprecedented series of targeted reforms in the past year to improve immigration screening and enforcement. These measures are especially impressive because they authorize effective security measures while cutting through the arcane maze that is the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Much credit on this file is due to Minister Kenney, his dedicated (and tireless) political staff and a motivated Department led by Deputy Minister Neal Yeates who embraced and led substantive internal change rather than trotting out the traditional ‘no can do’ response. I understand the federal Department of Justice is still in shock.  

The changes are found in a variety of Bills that have recently been passed by Parliament (C-11; C-31 and C-45) or are in the final stages of Review by the Senate (C-43). They are also supported by a series of policy actions undertaken by the Department and by published Regulatory enactments. Rather than attempt a single massive overhaul, the changes have been carefully crafted to address specific problems. The result, however, is a cumulative upgrade to the efficiency and effectiveness of our immigration system.

In just over a year, the reforms include:

  • Authorizing the Minister to designate organized human smuggling operations that deliberately avoid pre arrival screening as ‘irregular arrivals’ with defined disincentives like reduced bail reviews, restrictions on sponsorship and increased penalties for the criminal smugglers. Originating from the Sun Sea and Ocean Lady Tamil human smuggling incidents, the new power has been invoked for the first time for the organized smuggling of Roma ‘refugees’ that entered Canada through unguarded roads in Quebec;
  • Required biometric (face and finger) screening of designated Temporary Residence Permit applicants from 29 designated countries and the Palestinian Authority;
  • Requiring Electronic Travel Authorization screening from non visa countries (hopefully to be supported by face recognition biometric screening matched to a ‘bad guy’ lookout database);
  • Authorizing pre departure information sharing to ascertain ‘No Fly’ status and inadmissibility (yup…we used to do it after the plane took off)
  • Expedited refugee processing from 29 (so far) designated ‘safe’ countries (like the US, Mexico and EU) with reduced appeals from denials (Getting the Americans on board to improve the Safe Third Country Agreement and extending it to the EU and others is the ultimate goal but this is an enormous first step that will save Canadians tens of millions of dollars ­annually and improve systemic processing of legitimate ­applications.)   
  • Requiring that removal of inadmissible persons be done ‘as soon as possible’ rather than ‘as soon as reasonably practical’ which tended to mean ‘when we get around to it’ or ‘as long as it’s not controversial’ in CBSA-speak

Soon to be enacted are two other important improvements found in C-43:

  • Reduced appeals and expedited removal of non citizens that are convicted of crimes in Canada and receive a custodial sentence of six months or more;
  • Expanded discretion based on defined ‘public policy’ security considerations for the Minister to deny admissibility to individuals with annual reporting to Parliament      

These measures clearly support the security enhancements intended by Canada-US Beyond the Border Agreement. They also demonstrate the benefit of developing and deploying a face recognition biometric ‘bad guy’ database for port of entry screening rather than just looking at the documents presented. This point was specifically made by Minister Kenney while testifying at Committee as he referenced actual case examples previously cited by Frontline Security. A good sign to say the least.

The momentum created by these important improvements will almost certainly generate activity at CBSA and the RCMP as both agencies will be involved in the enhanced screening systems. Let’s hope it also serves as a model for Public Safety Minister Toews to direct both agencies to step up and candidly identify what’s required in joint force personnel (that includes CBSA) and automated, analytical sensor surveillance technology to provide what’s needed between ports of entry.

We appear to be off to a good start in 2013. Over to you, ­Minister Toews.

Scott Newark is a former Alberta Crown Prosecutor, Executive Officer of the Canadian Police Association and security advisor to Governments in Canada.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Policing Terrorism After Boston
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)


The policing of terrorism involving the practices initiated by criminal law enforcement agencies in the fight against terrorism, both at home and abroad, has been a traditionally neglected area of investigation among scholars, policy analysts, and the general public alike. This situation has not changed substantially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, despite the fact that, since then, police organizations have been even more involved in counterterrorism than they had in the years and decades prior to the worst terrorist incident to hit the United States. This relative neglect of the police dimension of counterterrorism, how- ever, was suddenly and rather dramatically altered more recently, on 19 April 2013, when American television audiences and, by implication of today's global spread of internet-based communications technologies, people across the world could witness in “real time” the work done by police and security officers from multiple agencies in pursuit of one of two perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings. That night, many of us were glued to our TV sets and hand-held or desktop electronic devices to witness the very real impact of the rather enormous counterterrorism apparatus that is now at the disposal of the security and law enforcement community. This sudden and fairly intense popular acknowledgment of the police role in counterterrorism in the Boston case needs to be viewed more broadly in the context of changing patterns and dynamics of counterterrorism policing over the past years, so that the public at large, as well as students and scholars of relevant policies, might appreciate fully the role of police institutions in fighting terrorism.

Globally, the policing of terrorism is an uneven phenomenon that has been affected by various factors related to both police organization, on the one hand, and crime and terrorism, on the other (seeDeflem 2010 below). Obviously, the policing of terrorism is affected by the occurrence of terrorist incidents and the relatively stable or, conversely, sporadic presence of terrorism in various national contexts. Police and security forces in countries where terrorism is of long-standing concern have a greater known history of developing counterterrorism capabilities than police from countries that have largely been spared from terrorist attacks. For instance, it can be observed that police and intelligence agencies in many European nations had already expanded their counterterrorism role during the 1970s, when several politically motivated terrorist groups were active on the continent, rather than in the United States, where the homeland has long been free from activities described as terrorist. U.S. involvement in counterterrorism was initially more focused on and affected by developments abroad, specifically attacks perpetrated against Americans and/or oriented at American interests on foreign soil. Traditionally in the United States, terrorism was perceived as a “foreign” problem.

The situation of counterterrorism policing in the United States was altered primarily by two events. First, the Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995 clearly showed that terrorism can also hit at home, even in the heartland of America, and can be perpetrated, even more shockingly, by a U.S. citizen for reasons distinctly related to the American context. Second, the events of 9/11, like no other incident before and since and, even more remarkably, like no other incident anywhere else in the world, has shaped counterterrorism policing in the U.S. as well as in many other parts of the world. September 11 was and remains the major catalyst of counterterrorism policing, a security function which has expanded and intensified greatly following those tragic events.

It must be carefully noted, however, that 9/11 is not to be seen as a singular moment but instead must be viewed as one instance evolving from a broader pattern of development, since police and other security agencies had already begun to improve counterterrorism practices well before the fall of 2001. More remarkable still is that the elaboration of counterterrorism policing since September 11 is completely in line with the developments that had already been set in motion during preceding years and decades on the basis of acquired police expertise and professionalization. These principles of professional policing involved both the means and the objectives of counterterrorism that police agencies develop and apply.

With respect to the means of counterterrorism, police institutions rely on the central principle of employing the most efficient methods to fight terrorism. The emphasis on high efficiency standards is reflected in the premium that is placed on technological advances in fighting terrorist groups and individuals. Efforts and resources are focused to ensure swift and direct methods of information exchange among police agencies of different jurisdictions, both domestically as well as across national borders. Also recognized as instrumental for effective counterterrorism policing are systems of cooperation among police and related security agencies rooted in the informal networks that exist among police rather than blind reliance on legal regulations or formal policies established by governments (see Bayer 2010 below). In addition, the use of various technologically advanced instruments of crime detection in counterterrorist investigations are deemed important. These range from the tracking of cell phone communications and the uncovering of money-laundering schemes to the use of officers with special linguistic and other culturally appropriate skills of human intelligence who can complement machinebased technologies.

With respect to the objectives of counterterrorism, it is most important that police agencies define terrorism as a crime and approach terrorists as criminal suspects. Thus, terrorism is de-politicized, despite the often political and/or more broadly ideological motives associated with terrorist acts. The key is in understanding that terrorism itself is not necessarily linked to national security interests. Instead, terrorism is defined by police as a criminal act that, irrespective of the motives of the perpetrators, involves the illegitimate use of violence and other acts punishable by criminal law. As a result, terrorism can, for police, be both domestic or foreign in nature, and attention from police agencies indeed goes to both of these forms of terrorism, irrespective of the relative difference in emphasis that can typically be attributed to them at the political level of governments.

Importantly, the police approach to terrorism as a crime impels police agencies to view their counterterrorism activities as other than a 'war on terror', in the strictest sense. Police have no role in warfare, which is a function delegated to military forces. Unlike soldiers engaged in war with the obligation to kill or capture enemies, police officers conceive of terrorists as criminal suspects that have to be arrested and brought to trial for a determination of guilt or innocence. Strikingly, the lines between the “war on terror” as a military function, and “counterterrorism” as a civilian task have too often been blurred in recent years. Delicate situations, such as in the case of the apprehended terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay and, on a more permanent basis, in post-invasion Iraq and Afghanistan, have placed a special burden on the military to take on police duties, while also pressuring civilian police to adopt a quasi-military role.

The spectacular chase of the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings made instantly visible, almost literally, for “all of the world” to witness how important is the role of criminal law enforcement agencies in the fight against terrorism. That high-profile event, arguably the most prolific on U.S. soil since the events of 9/11, clearly illustrated the vital importance of cooperation among various security agencies at the local, state, and federal level, as well as among functionally specialized organizations such as police, firefighters, medical teams, and other emergency responders. The Boston events also sadly revealed the very real dangers involved in counterterrorism policing, most distinctly so when an officer of the MIT university police was killed by one of the perpetrators of the bombings.

What the Boston events, hopefully, will also bring about is an increased and more lasting awareness of the important role of police agencies in counterterrorism. For, it must be clear, especially now that the war in Iraq has ended and the U.S. involvement in the invasion of Afghanistan is nearing its end, terrorism is a problem that must be expected to continue to remain present in our increasingly global age. To the extent that at least the risk of terrorism is a real concern affecting multiple nations today and tomorrow, the role of a permanent force of police in securing citizens from the harm of terrorism must be recognized, understood, appreciated, and supported now, more than ever before.

Mathieu Deflem is Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina. His specialty areas include law, policing, popular culture, and theory. Visit his website at: www.mathieudeflem.net
© FrontLine Security 2013



Lac Mégantic – will we listen this time?
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

On the 6th of July of this year, Canadians awoke to images of a tremendously dangerous derailment of a Montreal Maine & Atlantic (MMA) freight train and the explosion of its volatile cargo in the Québec town of Lac Mégantic, on its way to Saint John, New Brunswick from Montreal. By mid-July, Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigators reported that:

“At approximately 23:00, the train stopped at the designated MMA (crew change point at Mile 7.40 near Nantes, Quebec. The single operator secured the train and departed for the evening leaving the lead locomotive unlocked and the train unattended on mainline track with a descending grade of 1.2%.

“At about 23:50, a local resident reported a fire on the lead locomotive (MMA 5017) to the 911 emergency call centre. Subsequently the local fire department responded along with another MMA employee. At about midnight, similar with established operating practice, emergency shutdown procedures were initiated on the lead locomotive and the fire was extinguished. After extinguishing the fire, the second MMA employee and the fire department departed the site, again leaving the train unattended.

“Shortly before 01:00 on 06 July 2013, the train started to move and gathered speed as it rolled uncontrolled down the descending grade into the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, 7.4 miles southeast of Nantes. While travelling at well in excess of the authorized speed, the train derailed near the centre of Lac-Mégantic. The locomotives separated from the train and came to a stop about ½ mile east of the derailment. The derailed equipment included the box car (buffer) and 63 tank cars.

“Several derailed tank cars released product resulting in multiple explosions and subsequent fires causing an estimated 38 fatalities and 12 persons still missing, extensive damage to the town centre and precipitated the evacuation of about 2000 people from the surrounding area.”

Surprisingly, other occurrences of “unintended movement of equipment” have been investigated by the TSB. In April 2002, a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) Train collided with stationary freight train which had been left unattended in the siding near Natal, British Columbia.

Now, some 4 months later, after $120 million in expenses for initial clean-up, another $190 million has been approved by PM Harper and the province of Québec to decontaminate the centre of town. All have recognized that money cannot bring back the 47 victims whose remains have been identified or those yet to be found, nor erase the trauma and disruption to so many, however, the respected mayor and outstanding leader of the stoic community, Colette Roy-Laroche, responded with grace: “Today’s announcement is coming at the right time; with winter and the holiday period around the corner, we really needed some good news.”

She told all that she had received estimates that this phase would last at least 18 months and that approximately 40% of the decontaminated soil has been excavated and removed.

Respected local Écho de Frontenac journalist, Ms Claudia Collard, was on holiday at the time of the disaster, but on her return, commented about the impact of this tragic occurrence:

“I had much difficulty believing what I saw and heard. It was surrealistic. Back at work, however, a few days later, I faced an incredible shock at what I saw. Like so many of my fellow citizens, I cried easily and frequently and floated about in a vaporous unreality. At the same time, I ­covered the news [including] our two new heroes, our mayor Mme Roy-Laroche and fire chief Denis Lauzon […] I must admit that at the start I had no objectivity and it was well that I did not. My work proved very therapeutic indeed. As to the costs, these have been estimated at over $500 million. To date, it would be realistic to say that about $80 million has been spent. The soil decontamination itself has not even begun, so I would not be surprised if the costs would rise above the quoted half billion dollars, once the town returns to normal. We feel the many unknowns of our citizens: When will we have access to our devastated city centre? Will we be able to reconstruct or must we be satisfied with a central empty green space too contaminated to rebuild? Will the railway really be moved out of town; if so, when might we know?”

As the Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine, I called to extend words of solidarity to Denis Lauzon, the outstanding fire chief of Mégantic, who many watched on TV as he reassured his fellow citizens and relatives mere hours after the explosions. He was reticent, as were the local authorities of the Sûreté du Québec, to respond to technical questions at this time because of the on-going inquiry on specific issues.

As Wendy A. Tadros, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, wrote in The Globe and Mail (16 October 2013):

“The next accident, however, won’t be exactly the same… Prevention, therefore, now means taking a wider view, and adopting even broader safety measures. It will mean that corporate leaders and government will have to think hard about worst-case scenarios and question the way things have always been done. It will mean a proactive plan that not only meets but exceeds government regulations.

“And so, as our railways and shippers ramp up plans to move even more oil by rail, let’s hope everyone involved understands what’s at stake: safety, yes – but also the trust of Canadians from coast to coast. Because it’s clear that the people of Canada already know what the risks are. They understand that every day, hundreds of freight trains carry goods all across the country – and that those trains follow tracks that run along their rivers and lakes, and through their cities. It’s also clear that they deserve more than “messaging” about safety being the top priority. They deserve action – and freedom from the fear that the next accident will happen in their city, at a railway crossing in their town, or even in their backyard.”

FrontLine strongly encourages such change. Indeed, we call for immediate and focussed action by all our governments and industry to enforce effective transportation policies to reassure Canadians that their safety remains paramount.

Clive Addy is Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Illicit Trade: Tobacco (part 3)
Courses of Action
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

Unfortunately, the clamour over the dangers of tobacco has overpowered any intelligible discourse concerning what to do about illicit tobacco. The only audible voices expressing concern are organizations that are trying to protect their bottom dollar as the market turns towards cheaper products.

However, illicit tobacco is a low risk, high-profit criminal activity that undermines the national economy, exposes minors to unsavoury people and products, and places unlawful profit into the hands of organized crime. As such, this issue requires the attention of government authorities that are willing to see past the ruckus and focus on the “illicit” part of the problem. This matter cannot be remedied by a single initiative, nor through the sole efforts of law enforcement. As such, a comprehensive program that approaches the problem with meaningful strategies is long overdue.

This article will examine a few different courses of action, best practices, and perspectives that are being promoted and lobbied by different interest groups in Canada and proposed next steps.


The most obvious remedy to reduce and possibly eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco is to completely abolish taxes on cigarettes. Remove the illicit profit margin and you remove the problem. While effective, this is an overly indulgent solution as it would mean less ­government revenue and the potential for more people to take up smoking, which in turn burdens the health care system. Clearly, the implementation of indulgent policies has far reaching repercussions that impact more areas than otherwise intended. Just as lower taxes would threaten successful smoking cessation habits, higher taxes undermine lawful process, support criminal enterprise, and put an enormous burden on law enforcement. Health care, public safety, and government revenue are just some of the more obvious interests impacted by how this issue is managed.  

Health advocates have long touted higher taxation as the primary way to promote smoking cessation, however, this singularly-focused strategy may have already saturated its objectives in Canada. A 2011 report by the Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian public policy organization, states that “recent research has found that the deterrent effect of higher tobacco taxation has waned in recent years.” This suggests that those who take up smoking or continue to smoke have entrenched attitudes about smoking despite an increase in the rate of taxation or the knowledge that it’s bad for you. These are generally lower income smokers, and the question becomes whether it is possible to direct them to legitimate, regulated products.

The notion that prohibitive pricing models are counter-intuitive is a common enough assessment. At a recent European conference on smuggling tobacco products this February, a professor from the Warsaw School of Economics made reference to the Laffer curve, which explains why prices cannot grow endlessly. At some point, consumers will switch to cheaper, smuggled or counterfeited goods.

In Canada, two professors at the Department of Economics at Concordia University produced a report in May 2012 for the C.D. Howe Institute, an independent not-for-profit organization focusing on economically sound public policies. The report, A Taxing Dilemma, assesses the impact of tax and price changes on the tobacco market. Their research suggests that an increase in taxes “would further increase the price spread between the legal and illegal products and, consequently, place more pressure on enforcement and exacerbate the problems that attend the illegal market.” At the same time, the report recognizes the value of a taxation policy to generate revenue and to meet health concerns.

However, attempting to address the issue with token tax reductions will not dramatically alter the situation as the illegal market would still benefit from a disparity in pricing. In other words, the report suggests leaving the taxes as they are and consider other strategies to mitigate the illicit market. In summation, the authors recommend increasing the price of black market products through legal or enforcement pressures on unlawful suppliers.

Ironically, in contrast to this staid economic approach that appears to at least consider other aspects of our social fabric, the World Bank invariably promotes one position: raise tobacco taxes. Its website explains that “even where smuggling becomes a serious problem, tax increases bring greater revenues and reduce smoking.” Fortunately, unlike many other countries, Canada is not forced to boost tobacco prices in an effort to support the national economy and/or to get the funding and assistance from the World Bank. Seemingly, the World Bank’s key motivation is to gain quick money for cash strapped governments. It fails, however, to consider the country’s long-term, sustainable, economic integrity much less corresponding enforcement challenges or the unintended social ramifications of its proposed policies.

The Fraser Institute, on the other hand, calls for the revocation of taxes as one of the steps needed to counter contraband in Canada. According to its February 2012 report, “Combating the contraband trade is particularly difficult given the tax environments of neighbouring jurisdictions. A price differential between domestic and smuggled cigarettes increases opportunities for black market profit.” It suggests that a drop in these taxes will deter the underground trade in tobacco.

Far from being a devious argument conceived by big tobacco, the emergence of illicit tobacco is clearly a direct result of taxation policy. While it appears to have abated smoking habits in the past, increasing taxes has reached the threshold of its effectiveness. Moreover, increasing tobacco taxation in Canada will continue to be ineffective in preventing new generations of smokers unless there is a concerted effort to suppress the illicit trade in tobacco.

Kahnawake Mohawk Territory (Montreal). Currently, Aboriginal tobacco commerce is a privatized and unregulated sector that is not subject to the same taxes or scrutiny as other legitimate tobacco industries operating in Canada.

The problem of illicit tobacco is due in part to a scattered legislative framework that results in price disparities of legitimate products between jurisdictions. It is not uncommon for seized contraband tobacco products to have some form of legitimate stamping but then be transferred outside its authorized market for illicit gain. Introducing a harmonized tobacco tax, or striving to set a fixed rate on the sale of cigarettes across Canada may remove some of the financial incentives and loopholes used by traffickers.

A similar solution is being proposed in Europe, where implementation of a single, high EU-wide cigarette tax, starting in 2014, is being considered. This approach seeks a new minimum cigarette tax rate and strives to tackle price disparity within an entire region. Even if this could be accomplished within Europe or Canada, there still remains a price differential across the next border. A harmonized cigarette tax initiative does not completely eliminate the illicit trade of tobacco, however, it approaches policy change in a coordinated fashion that can serve to undermine opportunities and levels of unlawful profit.

The RCMP’s Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Strategy reaffirms, year after year, that the “Canadian contraband tobacco market continues to be dominated by tobacco products originating in Aboriginal communities in Central Canada and the adjacent state of New York. It is therefore crucial to the success of addressing the illicit tobacco trade to increase dialogue on the issue with those ­communities.” In fact, most courses of action include engaging Aboriginal leaders and developing a closer partnership with their communities. The following are possible options through which to shape effective anti-illicit tobacco strategies when reaching out to Aboriginal governments.

First Nations has a flourishing tobacco industry that provides employment and growth to reserves across Canada. Any consideration towards harmonizing tobacco rates in Canada must also ensure price parity is achieved with tobacco produced on sovereign Aboriginal land.

Currently, Aboriginal tobacco commerce is a privatized and unregulated sector that is not subject to the same taxes or scrutiny as other legitimate tobacco industries operating in Canada. A comprehensive anti-illicit tobacco strategy must include discussions and consultation with Aboriginal leaders in order to put the tobacco prices in both industrial sectors at par.

An Aboriginal tobacco tax, for example, would serve to reduce illicit profit margins and also provide Aboriginal communities with a way to generate their own independent revenues that encourage legitimate and viable economic development on reserves.

A number of legal instruments are already in place for First Nations to introduce taxes on reserve. The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development website states that current tax policy allows agreements under which federal, provincial or territorial taxes would be abated or cease to apply on the lands where the corresponding harmonized tax of the Aboriginal government applies. Although the process of negotiating a tax agreement is a time-consuming process, the same website lists over 30 First Nation governments that have already made an arrangement to apply some form of tax on tobacco products.

A 2009 report by the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) advocates for an acceleration in policies to allow First Nation governments to more readily impose their own tobacco taxes.

In Part 2 of this article, we touched on the Aboriginal Cigarette Allocation System (CAS). Aboriginal manufacturers, whether licensed or unlicensed, have the legal right to produce cigarettes as long as federal excise duty is paid and quantities are within ­Aboriginal population quotas. The problem is that more tobacco is manufactured on reserve than could ever possibly be consumed by the Aboriginal population.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently published a report, entitled “How Much is Contraband Tobacco Costing Taxpayers in Ontario?” It alleges to have demonstrated that the majority of tobacco sold on Aboriginal reserves ends up in the black market. “If all recorded allocation tobacco sold on Ontario reserves was for personal, legal use, Status Indians who are smokers would need to consume an estimated equivalent of 32 to 70 cigarettes a day. At its high end, that is 466% of what the reported smoking rate is for Aboriginals and just under three packs a day,” according to key findings from the report.

A course of action proposed by the NSRA is to make wholesalers responsible for ensuring that no product is supplied in excess of the quota and that “the federal government should not hesitate to revoke any licence if a tobacco manufacturer operates without the required provincial licence and vice versa.” The NSRA recognizes, however, that this initiative is wholly dependent upon a government’s commitment to enforce the quota. In order for this proposed course to be effective, First Nation leaders and other Aboriginal authorities would need to be consulted and involved.

Dialogue with First Nations leaders on tobacco strategies keeps returning to the unresolved issue of Aboriginal land claims. Far from needing to justify overages in cigarette quotas, some Aboriginals do not recognize the CAS because it was established by a provincial body. They claim their reserves are on federal land and that the provincial government does not have jurisdiction to enforce any controls. Therefore, courses of action that recommend enforcement of the quota system, appear altogether too naïve. Before effective enforcement can take place, there needs to be clarity on what all participants should be adhering to.

The authority of Canadian enforcement action is another matter that needs to be addressed. Provincial police routinely confiscate cigarettes that are federally stamped under the Excise Act 2001 but are not stamped for sale in the province where they are seized.

In areas where land claim issues are unresolved, law enforcement and regulatory oversight quickly becomes a sticky issue. In November 2012, a provincial court ruling to shut down a Manitoba smoke shop came only after police had raided the smoke shop five times. The smoke shack, jointly run by the Dakota Plains, Sioux ­Valley and Canupawakpa First Nations, had been selling cigarettes manufactured by Rainbow Tobacco, a federally licensed facility located on Quebec’s Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. The federal excise tax had been paid, but not the Manitoba provincial taxes. According to the operator of the smoke shop, Chief Frank Brown of the Canupawakpa First Nations, and other Aboriginal leaders in the community, the real issue is not the cigarettes but forcing Ottawa to settle a century-old land dispute. A National Post article, published soon after the court ruling, stated that Chief Brown “wants the province to give him a legal document saying the Dakota people have to pay provincial sales taxes on their own land. Until that ­happens, he said he’s not breaking any laws.”

Grey areas in dealing with the extent of Aboriginal self-government are not confined to the topic of tobacco. Another National Post article, “Ottawa’s policy vacuum undermines its oil sands rhetoric”, illustrates how First Nations communities are challenging the legality of a lucrative oil project through land claim disputes.

In yet another case, the Westbank First Nation near Kelowna has plans to build a private hospital. There have been rumblings that this project will be challenged by the federal government. In a CBC News article, a constitutional expert noted that the Westbank self-government agreement suggests the band does not need approval from the province to build and run the hospital. “There’s a difference of opinion, apparently, about how far self-government extends,” said Gordon Christie. “This is pretty much untested waters.”

Thus, the threat and harm posed by illicit tobacco in Canada is a by-product of a much larger and older issue that must be addressed by the federal government. In a complete lack of deference to a growing pile of issues, there is a general unwillingness to work with Aboriginal leaders. Instead, ‘Idle No More’ and other related tensions dominate the headlines, and the situation appears to be getting worse. Areas of immediate concern are relegated to constitutional experts or to the courts, rather than being managed with any diplomacy or strategy. In the interim, police investigations and regulatory oversight as proposed courses of action will continue to be a challenge until the Federal Government, along with First Nation leaders, define the degree to which Aboriginal self-government extends.

Cases of cigarettes inside vehicles. Photos: RCMPLaw enforcement efforts are mostly mobilized off reserve along the St Lawrence Valley Region, where the infamous Smugglers’ Alley is used by upwards of 175 organized crime groups, according to the RCMP.

A common course of action relates to prohibiting the supply of raw materials to unlawful tobacco manufacturers in Canada. Tobacco production in Canada is predominantly confined to southern Ontario, which means it is the responsibility of the Ontario Ministry of Finance to regulate the tobacco supply chain.

A few days after the Ontario Ministry of Finance officially assumed its new regulatory role on October 1, 2012, it issued a “temporary” grace period from the requirement to ­register with the Ministry of Finance before engaging in raw leaf tobacco activities. This means that anyone who grows, processes, sells, buys, imports, exports or inter-jurisdictionally transports any varieties of raw leaf tobacco prior to March 31, 2013 will not be required to hold a registration certificate with the Ministry of Finance. More amazingly, that grace period was recently extended to January 1, 2014.

Prior to October 2012, it was the responsibility of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board to help ensure the supply of raw leaf tobacco stays in the legal market. The Ontario Ministry of Finance has not only compromised any forward momentum of its predecessors but has taken huge backward strides. The good news is that any tiny step the Ministry of Finance may take towards fulfilling its mandate could quite accurately be identified and interpreted as “progress”.

According to our research, regulatory oversight of the supply chain can be improved by:

  • Having the Ontario Ministry of Finance work with the previous administration, the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board, in order to get advice and an historical overview of tobacco yields by farmer;
  • Enhancing information sharing practices and developing working relationships between investigators at the Ontario Ministry of Finance and law enforcement;
  • Requiring suppliers to submit regular reports to the authorities for all of their shipments;
  • Placing Ontario Ministry of Finance investigators on the ground with the wholesalers and farmers to ensure an understanding of the scope and nature of their working environment and to identify loopholes that allow for the diversion of raw tobacco to the black market; and
  • Having the Ontario Ministry of Finance prepare an official strategy and report on its progress.

On November 12, 2012, delegates of more than 140 parties to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) adopted a new international treaty, setting the rules for combating illegal trade through control of the supply chain and international cooperation. The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products commits countries to establishing a global tracking and tracing system to reduce the illicit trade of tobacco products. It focuses on controlling the supply chain through licensing, due diligence, tracking and tracing, record-keeping, security and preventive measures, sale by Internet, telecommunication or any other evolving technology, free zones and international transit, and duty free sales. Canada is a signatory to the WHO FCTC although it has yet to sign the Protocol.

Many countries are already looking at ways to better track and trace legitimate products. A retail group in Ireland suggests working with the tobacco industry in printing a unique 12-digit code directly onto packs and cartons during manufacturing. These and other ideas should be explored in a Canadian context. The Canadian government, in particular the Ontario Ministry of Finance, should be forced to report on its progress as provided in the new WHO FCTC framework. There will be pressure to scrutinize gaps in the supply chain and to establish improved systems throughout Canada.

As mentioned, the political and geographical situation of illicit trade on reserves presents unique enforcement challenges for Canadian, American and First Nations authorities. A 2010 report, Contraband Tobacco in Canada, prepared by the Fraser Institute summarily concludes that “it is exceedingly difficult for law enforcement to obstruct illicit trade and smuggling activities if they lack access to the territory on which it takes place and do not possess the clear authority to take enforcement actions.’’ Past confrontations like the 1990 Oka crisis and the land-claims dispute near Caledonia are reminders not to approach Aboriginal issues with force. As a result, law enforcement efforts are mostly mobilized off-reserve along the St Lawrence Valley Region, where the infamous Smugglers’ Alley is used by upwards of 175 organized crime groups, according to the RCMP.

The Harper government announces a 50-officer RCMP anti-contraband tobacco force.

Ongoing surveillance in the St. Lawrence Valley Region is the most widely promoted strategy in the fight against illicit tobacco trade in Canada. Between the Canadian and American shores of the St. Lawrence River sits Cornwall Island, home to Canada’s Akwesasne Mohawk community and the U.S. St. Regis Mohawk reserve. This unique geographical and political node makes the port of entry at Cornwall an important gateway for regulatory and law enforcement presence.

Currently, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) serves that port of entry, however, there are plans to move the Cornwall border station across the St. Lawrence River to a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station in Massena, New York. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, convenience store operators fear more cigarette smuggling if the Cornwall border station is moved. The intent of the U.S. authorities, they contend, “is to intercept the truckloads of raw and fine-cut tobacco before they reach clandestine cigarette manufacturing plants on the U.S. portion of Cornwall Island.” Canadian interest groups believe that moving the port of entry to the United States “will leave the door to the Canadian mainland wide open for those who can find a way to skirt Massena or ship Canadian-grown raw tobacco to the island for processing and then back on across the undefended bridge to Cornwall and the rest of eastern Canada.”

Various law enforcement members who are willing to express an opinion on the matter agree that the decision to move the port of entry is not in Canada’s best interest. The decision to create a 50-officer force to combat the illicit trade may have been a concession and a way to offset the challenges posed by the new port of entry arrangement. As it stands, however, 50 officers in lieu of a Cornwall border station is being interpreted as “one step forward and two steps back.”

While it is clear the border continues to be vulnerable and porous, it is nevertheless important to examine the shifting nature of the illicit trade in tobacco and to ensure that human and financial resources are invested towards meaningful outcomes.

RCMP records over the past few years show a decline in contraband seizures, however, it is unclear if this is confined to the location of its operational efforts – the St. Lawrence Valley Region.

Is a shift taking place in Canada? Are federal, provincial and municipal strategies in line with current realities and/or emerging patterns? Why has Aboriginal tobacco commerce (including the manufacture of cigarettes) developed at an exponential rate over the past few years?

As mentioned earlier, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation report shows that Aboriginal production under the Cigarette Allocation System far exceeds authorized sales. This suggests a possible new development and shift in the routes and distribution channels of illicit tobacco to communities across Canada.

Prior to embarking on any type of investment in anti-illicit tobacco strategies, it is important to gain accurate, timely and rele­vant intelligence. Instead of using RCMP progress reports on contraband as a means to promote successful outcomes, Canada would be better served by identifying gaps and challenges that need to be addressed.

Effective strategic intelligence assessments are best conducted outside of the sphere and influence of law enforcement in order to remove any conflict of interest. Understanding the environment will ensure the issue is approached with the proper focus and appropriate solutions. External groups would be able to provide audits on law enforcement strategies, plus strategic assessments and primary research required for operational activities.

Another course of action relates to increased collaboration between the various federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal law enforcement authorities. Collaboration with American and Aboriginal counterparts is an equally important dynamic in making law enforcement actions more targeted and efficient. This type of professional outreach is critical to any initiative and requires innovative solutions that include hosting conferences and producing joint operational and tactical intelligence reports.

There are a host of regulations and legislative changes that can reduce the threat and harm of the illicit trade in tobacco. Enhancing the risk associated with criminal activity is a powerful way to offset the allure of unlawful profit. Moreover, innovation in regulatory and legislative frameworks should strive to empower law enforcement authorities in a way that removes unnecessary impediments and provides the necessary tools to effectively enforce compliance. While not an exhaustive list, following are some possible courses of action in the domain of regulatory and legislative changes:

The Harper government recently announced plans for a new ­Criminal Code offence with mandatory jail time for repeat offenders involved in the trade of illicit tobacco. The enhancement of criminal penalties is intended to establish a stronger deterrent to involvement in criminal activity. It is a course of action that is increasingly being used in regional anti-illicit tobacco strategies. New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia are just some states all pursuing similar legislative changes.

While it is beneficial to introduce stiffer penalties to those transporting or selling illicit tobacco products, it should not be confined to one stage of the process. Tobacco manufacturers should also be held liable if their products are discovered and seized on the black market. A 2009 report by the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association states that “penalties should be stiff enough so that it would become a financial incentive for manufacturers to stop supplying any customer (distributor or retailer) involved in any kind of smuggling activity.” For legislation to be effective, it must scrutinize each step of the illicit trade process with due diligence. Penalties need to be sufficiently steep in order to discourage unlawful activity from suppliers, leaf buyers, manufacturers, street level retailers and consumers alike.

Anti-illicit tobacco investigations can be complex and require a significant investment of resources. In the United States, investigative units are able to request financial support through the Churning Authority. It allows the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use the financial proceeds obtained through undercover operations to offset the expenses incurred in other long-term, complex investigations. The Churning Authority is just one example of how to support and empower law enforcement operations. Establishing similar legislation and authority to Canadian law enforcement would go a long way towards sustaining meaningful investigations that are resource-intensive.

There are different ways to put pressure on criminals involved in the illicit trade of tobacco while also providing a benefit to law enforcement and regulatory authorities. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the U.S. and the tobacco industry is an example of a course of action that not only generates revenue for anti-illicit tobacco strategies but also points a spotlight on ­participants that stand to benefit from the sale of tobacco. Initially focused on a settlement with major industry players to address health care, it was later expanded to cover the whole industry. It required all tobacco participants to register with authorities and pay into escrow accounts. This overarching oversight allows regional governments to impose taxation and escrow requirements on sales of tax-free tobacco to non-natives, and prosecute offenders if they are not compliant. The conditions of the MSA allow regulatory and law enforcement authorities the latitude to ensure compliance and it is used as a tool to identify participants of the tobacco trade.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) currently serves the port of entry, however, there are plans to move the Cornwall border station just across the St. Lawrence River to a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station in Massena, New York.

For many Canadians, the illicit trade in tobacco is more often ­identified as a victimless crime than organized crime. Informing the general public about the threat and harm posed by contraband is intended to dissuade them from buying unlawful products. It should also be designed to engage them to contact authorities if they see suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods and ­communities.

The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) launched a 10-week billboard campaign last year about the harmful effects of illegal cigarettes. While it was an excellent initiative, it may have been perceived as a self-serving platform to protect retailers’ bottom line. When promoting awareness that delivers a message intended as a public service, the source of the message is paramount, and usually scrutinized by the audience. To lend credibility to the issue, the government should be engaging or endorsing these types of educational campaigns. To date, however, the ­government has only been receptive to funding anti-tobacco ­campaigns, minus the “illicit” or public safety part of the equation.  

The general public is an important audience to target, however, it could arguably be more prudent to hone in on the farmers and leaf buyers involved in the supply chain. Whether it is informing them of regulatory requirements, the harm and threat of illicit tobacco, or the penalties associated with supplying raw leaf to unlawful manufacturers, it is imperative that those directly involved in the trade are informed of developments and key government messages.

Using ­taxpayers’ hard earned dollars on feel-good, tokenistic efforts is offensive and irresponsible. Such initiatives seldom meet long term objectives and are devised to support political posturing without an informed understanding of the issues. Announcing a 50-man force to combat contraband, for example, may sound impressive – but not when compared to losing authority of the port of entry that serves Cornwall. Isolated efforts are ineffective if they are not working in tandem with a greater overarching strategy. The dots need to be connected between different stakeholders who can apply pressure on criminals involved in the illicit trade in tobacco. Some of the ways to jump-start the process are listed below and should be conducted prior to investing more public funds.

Prior to engaging in solutions on the topic of illicit tobacco it is important to establish a balanced and objective decision-making body that is willing to become informed on the many facets of the issue. This body can facilitate discussion and commission studies. For example, the Virginia State Crime Commission was asked by a Senate Joint Resolution to document the impact of illegal cigarette trafficking on state and local governments and on the industry, review statutory options to combat illegal cigarette trafficking, and determine the beneficiaries of illegal cigarette trafficking. The report was presented before the Virginia Legislative Assembly in January 2013 and provided a total of 12 policy considerations. In Canada, the establishment of a similar committee on illicit tobacco can be facilitated through an existing parliamentary standing committee or other dedicated group that is in a position to request information from various informed stakeholders.

Left: The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) launched a 10-week billboard campaign last year about the harmful effects of illegal cigarettes, which appeared in locations around Ontario. Right: Contraband cigarettes confiscated by Cornwall RCMP. Organized crime networks are using the illicit tobacco trade to exploit aboriginal communities, say police.

There does not appear to be a regional conference in North America that invites senior government officials and subject matter experts from relevant disciplines, countries or regions to provide different perspectives that can inform policy and anti-illicit tobacco strategies. A conference on this topic, if undertaken, can yield impressive results and shed light on ways to combat the illicit trade.

A recent conference in Warsaw in February examined the illicit tobacco trade through various national perspectives, specifically focusing on smuggling across the European Union’s (EU) eastern border. With the financial support of a major international tobacco company, the conference was hosted by EurAcitv Poland, a member of the EurActiv Network that delivers localized EU policy information and follows EU legislation from the beginning of the process to implementation and evaluation. Participants at the conference included government officials from different political parties and representatives from the border agency, taxation office, customs, and commerce. The enlisted speakers of various disciplines, including economists, examined the draft update of the EU Tobacco Products Directive and expanded the debate to look at wider smuggling issues. Each offered a glimpse into their country’s particular circumstances while offering solutions and best practices to combat the problem.

The United States also had a similar approach. A one-day conference sponsored by the Tobacco Merchants Association (TMA) was recently held in Virginia in February 2013. Federal officials, tobacco industry executives, professors and other experts gathered to discuss the persistent illicit trade in tobacco products such as large-scale interstate trafficking of tobacco products and the smuggling of cigarettes into the country by criminal organizations. The conference analyzed the wide range of schemes used to engage in illicit trade, and some of the steps that could be taken to address it. Topics included a case study on the public health cost from illicit trade in Canada, the financial cost, enforcement experiences and challenges in the United States, Native American enforcement issues, and tools to support enforcement.

The results from these and other conferences can be used as a stepping stone to inform policy. Having the tobacco industry sponsor such an event should not be viewed as a conflict – legitimate tobacco companies are eager to contribute resources and provide solutions to combat any illicit aspects of their business. A host of participants from different and opposing viewpoints and agendas can offset the potential for manipulation. The main objective is getting policy makers in a forum to hear different points of view from all stakeholders prior to deciding, developing and implementing strategies.

Research, strategic assessments and the development of intelligence on illicit tobacco is intended to assist law enforcement, the government, and legislative and regulatory bodies in a quest to shape policy and determine the efficacy of their respective tobacco control strategies and anti-illicit tobacco programs. The findings are also picked up by assorted media outlets to promote awareness surrounding the issue and potentially identify successes and/or existing gaps.

Empirical evidence and research is therefore exceedingly important and should come under intense scrutiny prior to being presented to an audience. Without examining those numbers and demonstrating some due diligence, it is easy to formulate flawed policy and strategy. The methodological approach must be sound, and specific to the sociological and geographical areas in which it claims to offer intelligible analysis. Not only do methodology, geography, and sociological factors have to be defined, it is equally important for the research to be timely and reflective of the changing dynamics in the criminal market place.

What do we know about the prevalence and volume of illicit tobacco specifically in Canada from 2011 to 2012? What can we expect in 2013? Not much. The Canadian government does not conduct its own research on this topic and relies on external data to formulate policy.

A November 2012 news release by the Association québécoise des dépanneurs en alimentation states that illicit tobacco in Quebec is on the decline, which flies in the face of anecdotal feedback from provincial police. The retail group bases its assumptions on outdated statistics or data provided by Euromonitor’s global study. It is unfortunate that both the Gfk and Arcus annual studies were abandoned after 2009 – their methodologies were less flawed and less abstract than most and, attempted to look specifically at the Canadian context and its unique realities.

May 2013 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) seized 6,514 kg of ­contra­band tobacco (with an estimated street value of over $500,000) at the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing (south of Montreal). Examining the vehicle, CBSA officers found loose tobacco hidden under piles of used clothing.

Discrepancies in available data add to the challenge of accurately conveying the impact that illicit tobacco has in Canada. It is up to policy makers to take a serious peek behind the numbers or to commission much needed empirical research on the illicit trade in Canada. For the moment, a wanton use of flawed statistics on illicit trade and other posturing dominates Canadian headlines.

While there is some disagreement on taxation as a way to manage the illicit tobacco trade in Canada, other courses of action are ­generally agreed upon and advocated by a number of different organizations and associations. These include working with Aboriginal communities to discuss taxation agreements, educational campaigns about contraband tobacco, increased policy and enforcement against those involved in contraband from supply to retail, and updating legislation on penalties associated with the illicit trade in tobacco products.

There is no single policy instrument or initiative that can overcome the challenges and dynamics of illicit tobacco on its own. A concerted approach is needed that is based on a strategic vision ­versus a hodgepodge of token feel-good efforts.

Edward R. Myers is the Editor of FrontLine Security Magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Senator Hugh Segal
Terrorism in Canada
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

Clive Addy: First, might I thank you, Senator, for accepting to do this interview. A few years ago, terrorism was seen as something that happened elsewhere and was performed on and by people other than Canadians. How times have changed! Today and most recently, Canadians have witnessed fellow citizens being involved in terrorist activity, funding and support around the world. Senator Segal, your Special Committee on Anti-terrorism has been most active in this domain. Can you give us your perception of the relative seriousness of terrorism in Canada, both as a direct threat to us and to our allies?

Senator Segal: The nature of the terrorist threat has changed. Recent arrests in Toronto and elsewhere reflect a home grown radicalization challenge which requires important engagement by intelligence, police and community authorities. The Boston marathon event and the allegations made about a possible plan to attack a VIA train speak to new dynamics in the fight against terrorism.

To follow on, Senator, from this theme of terrorism in Canada; on June 6 of this year, your Committee debated the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Jaffer, calling the attention of the Senate to radicalization in Canada, and the need for a national strategy that more proactively addresses terrorism by emphasizing a community-based approach to preventing such radicalization and to facilitating “deradicalization”. Can you provide our readers with some of the major thrusts of this debate and, specifically, what measures taken by whom at what levels seem to be achieving consensus as the right direction to facilitate this deradicalization?

Senator Jaffer has been a very constructive voice, both in the Chamber and in committee, alerting Canadians of the threat to some Canadian populations posed by agents of radicalization. In the work of our committee, she has encouraged more intense collaboration between police and security personnel with cross cultural community leadership; specifically as it relates to young people. Religious leaders, teachers, coaches and parents are vital strengths in our protection of national security, especially when we can work together and share perspectives. Our Committee, which operates in an utterly non-partisan way, has been very supportive of these areas of cooperation.

What measures, if any, in respect of immigration and refugee procedures and screening, would your Committee consider as worthy of study to reduce the threat of home grown radicalization?

Our Committee reviewed and passed new Government legislation that, it should be noted, originated in the Senate, making it illegal for any Canadian resident to travel abroad for activities, or in support of groups that would be illegal in Canada. This has now been passed by the House and been given Royal Ascent. This legislation deals directly with efforts by some to attract disaffected young people from various communities to go abroad to places like Somalia, for example, to support terrorist groups. Recently reported events in a terrorist attack on a natural gas plant, allegedly involving young Canadians, further underlines the importance of this new legislation.

In the midst of all of this, is the exploding use of technology such as social media to both facilitate and support the perpetration of terror activities, and the corresponding need for police and other security agencies to use this technology to counter the threats. For instance, Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy, dedicated in October 2010, in two “tranches”, some $245 million of new funding to build on significant existing and longstanding government investment in information technology security. How much of this (or more) is necessary and destined to private infrastructure that owns and controls so much of this technology? Is there supporting anti-terrorism legislation necessary to guide them and with which they should comply?

There are varieties of cyber threat. The use of the internet to transmit radicalizing propaganda, or material information on bomb-making, for example, are threats we have discussed in Committee and on which we have heard testimony from experts at home and abroad, as well as from anti-terrorist units in our largest urban police forces. Both their testimony and our own recommendations underline the vital importance of contextual awareness relative to what is being transmitted via Jihadi sites while avoiding censorship, as well as the consideration of some of the same proscriptions as may apply to the policing of child pornography.

We considered aspects of the cyber threat to our digital infrastructure within hearings dealing with infrastructure security overall – from banking systems to pipelines, transportation and government. As these systems often rely on a mix of private and public system protection, our Committee has called for more research, more collaboration and a more explicit, publicly audited checklist of preventive measures.

The withdrawal of the “lawful access” legislation proposed earlier in this parliament to address the use by police and security agencies of legitimate and lawful surveillance measures against criminal or terrorist exploitation of the internet, and the recent controversy in the U.S. and elsewhere about metadata oversight, indicates that there is still much public debate worth having on the pros and cons of the various approaches to protecting our freedom from fear, within the very freedoms we take seriously in Canada.

Senator, there are major and parallel challenges across Canada in the “Economics of Policing” with both ever-expanding technologies and the changing human face of Canada. Can you share your thoughts on legislation or proposals that you or your Committee might be considering to specifically lessen the anti-terrorism threat and minimize the financial burden?

In a sense, the way our public markets operate means that many corporations that operate in areas of transportation, energy, communications, banking, etc., have had to meet their insurers’ standard, relative to minimizing exposure to the disruptive threat of various forms of terrorism and cyber system security. The Cabinet Committee on National Security, now with the former Defence Minister and present Attorney General as chair, will, no doubt, have a regular review of this issue on its agenda.

It is not clear that new legislation is required beyond those laws in place with respect to CSIS, CSEC and the rest. Sometimes finding more collaborative ways to enforce legislation as smartly as possible is of compelling value.

One area of specific federal responsibility is the serious issue of nuclear anti-terrorism. As stated by world leaders who attended the 26–27 March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Korea:

“Nuclear terrorism continues to be one of the most challenging threats to international security. Defeating this threat requires strong national measures and international cooperation given its potential global political, economic, social, and psychological consequences.”

Can you share with FrontLine readers some concerns and possible measures and legislation that your committee might consider to face this challenge in our ever growing technological and global world?

Let me first of all report that this last parliament saw the introduction by the Government in the Senate, consideration before our Committee, with expert testimony on nuclear terrorism, and passage by the House of new legislation creating new criminal offences that met Canada’s ratification duties relative to the non-proliferation treaty signed in Seoul. This tough legislation makes it illegal for the unauthorized movement, possession and other use of nuclear materials by unauthorized individuals-with very severe penalties. It has also been signed into law.

Are there any final issues on anti- terrorism that you would wish to share with our readers?

The one critical area where Canada is an outlier from our NATO and G8 allies is the [complete] absence of any legislative oversight, on national security and defence activities. This means that the lack of a security-cleared legislative oversight prevents senior security, police and defence officials from speaking as frankly as they can in the UK, U.S., France, Australia and other allied countries. This is a serious weakness about which our Committee has made recommendations to the Government to adopt the UK parliamentary approach.

Clive Addy is Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Rail Safety
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

Transport Canada issued a “protective direction” on November 20th, requiring the major railway companies to provide detailed information on their cargoes to municipalities and first responders – but the quarterly and annual reports will only cover what had been shipped in the previous three months and 12 months, respectively. At best, it would give municipalities and first responders a feel for what has already gone through their jurisdictions, not what’s coming (somewhat akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted).

Issued under the auspices of the 1992 Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, the “protective direction” requires that any Class 1 carrier (Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific) to provide municipalities with quarterly aggregate information on dangerous goods carriage. Other railway companies are required to provide the information annually. “The information must outline the nature and the volume of the dangerous goods that the company transports,” Transport Minister Lisa Raitt told reporters on Parliament Hill. “Municipalities must also be immediately notified of any significant changes to this information as soon as possible.”

Prompted mainly by last July’s derailment and subsequent explosions which gutted the Québec community of Lac Megantic, the “protective direction” is effective immediately. “We’ve heard from people, municipalities and first responders,” Raitt said. “They want to be able to conduct risk assessments, emergency planning and ensure they have appropriate training.”

Asked whether her initiative could have prevented the Lac Megantic accident if it had been in place earlier, Raitt said that railway companies already provide information to municipalities “but it’s not grounded in regulation” – which means there were no penalties. “That was the ‘big ask’ that the municipalities had […] They wanted to ensure that their first responders had the information.”

Minister Rait added that while the Transportation Safety Board had yet to issue its report on the Lac Megantic accident, “it’s an opportunity for us to work with industry and with the municipalities to make it an even safer system.”

The “protective direction” does not give municipalities to authority to block rail traffic they may consider to be undesirable. Raitt pointed out that transportation of dangerous goods “happens every day” and “now they have the information so they can be able to respond to it.”

While she couldn’t speak for the municipalities, she said that mayors in at least a half dozen provinces made it clear that municipalities want to keep the railways. “They know that dangerous goods are going to go through,” she said, “it happens every day on the road with respect to trucks. […] we need to do it as safe as possible and we want to enhance our safety in any way we can. Transportation of dangerous goods, 99.997% of the time, makes it from origin to destination without any kind of incident. Our railways are No. 1 in North America in terms of safety. Our system is absolutely a world standard. What we’re doing today is we’re making it better. We’ll move forward with regulations so that this information is written in stone and, if it’s not provided, there will be penalties.”

Ken Pole is a staff writer at FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Jean Pierre Fortin
Customs and Immigration Union
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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. He reflects on the border control changes past and those that lie ahead.

Q: The Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) and its predeces­sor, CEUDA, are unique in Canada as a union that is recognized as a major public policy player in all issues relating to border security and more recently immigration screening and enforcement. How did that come to be?

If we’re recognized as a major public policy player, it’s due in great part to our members and because they got involved. Our union’s membership is comprised of all the Border Services Officers and Immigration Screening and Inland Enforcement Officers, as well as Intelligence Officers and support staff who work both at the border and inland. Our members include those you see when you approach a land, air or marine port of entry (POE), and those you don’t see, who are hard at work developing and disseminating the intelligence on which enforcement actions are increasingly based.

Our name change from CEUDA to CIU reflects the evolution of our union’s role, and the change to CBSA’s mandate from tax collection to security that took place in 2000.

About 20 years ago, and as a result of officer safety concerns, our union began to make the public policy case to Government that enhanced enforcement authorities and tools were required for our members. Because of the nature of their work, there was, and is, an inevitable public policy aspect to the officer safety issues for which we have been fighting. This started with ensuring our officers were equipped with the right tools which, in the beginning, meant protective vests and the lawful authority under the Criminal Code to deal effectively with whatever might come their way. This expanded to include making sure members had access to relevant information in a timely fashion. Back in those days, Immigration Screening was separate from Customs Inspections, and there was a lack of communication between the two.

I wish I could tell you that after identifying and presenting our concerns to ­management, the problems were resolved, but that’s not what happened. We were ignored. Undeterred, we started communicating directly with the Minister’s office and had some success, although not on every issue. We also appeared before Parliamentary Committees such as the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense (SCONSAD), then chaired by Senator Colin Kenny. Anyone who appeared before SCONSAD when Senator Kenny was the Chair could expect pointed questions. The no-nonsense, factual reports that were issued by this Committee led to improvements for CIU members. At that time, it was clear that Departmental officials did not enjoy appearing before this Committee.

This entire process also put us in ­contact with Members of Parliament of all parties. In Opposition at the time, members such as Peter MacKay, Gord Brown and Brian Masse were interested in border ­security issues. The CIU’s approach has always been to talk to anyone about our recommendations and, while they may ­disagree with us, we’ll always tell them the truth about why we are advocating a particular change.

Our approach led to a productive working relationship with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day after the Conservative government came to power. That Government’s 2006 election platform had included arming border officers and ending workalone situations – issues the CIU had been championing. CIU had also commissioned its own border safety report, “A View from the Front Lines”, which was conducted by the Northgate Group. That report drew attention to the need for changes, such as an improved database that identifies dangerous individuals or those an officer would want to stop at the border (lookout system), and a joint force border patrol. Some progress has been made but there’s still work to do.

As we began to work for these changes, we realized that it was important to understand the various security technologies that are relevant to operational circumstances, because technology can be a powerful enabler when applied on an informed basis. Technologies such as automated analytical radar surveillance, face recognition biometrics and electronic monitoring can assist officers in their work, although we recognize that these cannot replace our members. In addition, these technologies would be useful to a future border patrol, if created, and led (hopefully) by CBSA.

It’s also important to look at our Government’s spending practices. How would taxpayers want their tax dollars to be spent? If we take a look at questionable spending and can identify wasteful expenditures or can suggest less expensive alternatives, I think taxpayers would want us to do so. For example, the CBSA spends over $250 million annually on vaguely explained contracts with third parties. Could these millions be reallocated to prevent frontline operational and intelligence cuts? When we hear that the Conservative Government takes $50 million from the Border Infrastructure Fund for non border purposes, would anyone criticize CIU for looking into this?

Over the years, CIU developed good working relationships with other law enforcement organizations and border-focused entities such as the Canadian American Border Trade Alliance and the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. Working together with different groups and candidly sharing insights and experiences is a good way to reach common goals.

It’s also important that Canadians fully understand what the issues are and know what’s at stake. We’re not shy about speaking out and giving media interviews when we need to get our message across. This doesn’t always go over well with CBSA or the Government, but we need to strike a balance and, at the end of the day, our members are on the front lines and they know what’s working and what isn’t.

As is the case for those who work in law enforcement agencies, which is what our members do, there is a real connection between what affects their safety and what affects public safety.

I could give you many examples. When our members are put at risk because the lookout system deployed by the CBSA is grossly deficient, Canadians are also put at risk because people who should not be entering our country are doing exactly that, and others who should have been handed over to authorities when entering the country are crossing the border without being stopped. When our members are forbidden from pursuing people who run the border and because there is no border patrol, Canadian public safety is inevitably compromised. When insufficient numbers of officers are assigned to handle a high volume of traffic, less checks are done at the border in an effort to keep people moving. Again, this compromises public safety.

That said, and thanks in great part to the activism of CIU members nationwide, we were able to convince decision makers at the CBSA and Government to make changes that improved officer safety and border security. We’re proud to have played a part in these improvements. However, there’s still work to do and we’re determined to achieve even more.

Q: A few CBSA officers do not want to become armed. Is this a source of delay?

It is true that some veteran officers do not want to become armed. For obvious reasons, it is not in the interest of those about to retire to take a firearm training course, nor is it likely to be in CBSA’s best interest, given the costs associated with training.  Some officers do not want to become armed for other reasons (such as medical) and they should be “accommodated”, in accordance with the Human Rights Act.

The main problem for the delay, however, is a result of poor planning and management on the part of the Agency. Only two training locations have been made available for training purposes. Some members from the east coast are flying across the country for training, others from the west are travelling to the east. Training facilities elsewhere could have been put to use, which would have been far more cost effective. The CIU had proposed this years ago, but our suggestion fell on deaf ears.

We must also look at training targets that were set. A total of 5,500 members are scheduled to be trained by the year 2016.  In the last six years between 2007 and 2013, a mere 2,400 officers (400 per year) have been trained – that leaves 3,100 members to be trained by 2016 (approximately 1,030 per year, or more than double the number trained yearly in previous years).

Q: Arming officers has under­standably received signifi­cant public attention. What other specific changes have occurred or you’re working on?

Absolutely! At the outset, we have to remember that Canada’s first line of defence is at the border. We must also recognize that the world has changed since 9/11. This brutal awakening exposed many deficiencies at the border, and on many levels. Getting the Government to agree that it simply wasn’t safe in today’s world to require officers to work alone was a significant accomplishment for our members and for Canadians.

Another achievement was that of ensuring full internet connectivity at every port of entry to enable POE officers to access CBSA databases. Although CBSA managers told Senator Kenny at a SCONSAD hearing that everything was fine in this regard, CIU’s national survey of all land ports of entry painted a flagrantly different picture. CBSA would be well served by ­listening to its employees and our union more often. We had a 100% response rate from our members and, again, Senator Kenny’s Committee and the Public Safety Minister’s office played instrumental roles in ensuring internet connectivity was achieved.

We also helped refute the bogus claim that every POE had a formalized written agreement with neighbouring police agencies to deal with port runners. Certain clarifications have been made, but the issue of pursuing port runners and non-reporters remains unresolved and we intend to continue to work to have this fixed.

By citing examples of specific scenarios experienced by our members, we have been able to demonstrate to the CBSA how its policies are needlessly restricting the enforcement activities of our members. We believe these policies hold negative consequences for Canadians.

Ongoing issues include: modernizing the lookout system (finally); ensuring officers at primary inspection booths obtain the intelligence information they need; and having CBSA formally acknowledge the full powers and protections provided by peace officer status so that our members can enforce CBSA’s mandate away from ports of entry (such as port runners, inland immigration removals among others).

It can be frustrating at times because it seems that CBSA’s inevitable response to any issue involving lawful authority for our members to perform enforcement duties is that no authority exists. Our members rightfully expect us to counter this. We have, and will continue to do so. For example, we demonstrated that the decision not to have CBSA officers doing patrol and interdiction work as part of joint force operations such as the Shiprider program is not, as originally claimed, because of a legal restriction; it’s because of a 1932 Order in Council policy decision.

Despite CIU having emphatically and repeatedly pointed this out to CBSA management and the Public Safety Minister, the Government recently ratified the Canada-U.S. cross border enforcement Shiprider Agreement, which excludes the Canada Border Services Agency. In today’s world of scarce resources and enhanced operational needs, it makes no sense to exclude CBSA officers who are trained, equipped and ­otherwise authorized to do the job.

Finally, we are fully engaged to provide the CBSA and others with our members’ input regarding the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan. The initiatives of this plan will have an impact on our members, and clearly they must be consulted accordingly. We proactively engaged in the consultations and have made submissions since its release.

Q: Let’s expand on this Beyond the Border Agreement. Does it cover the relevant issues and how does the union feel about the goals of enhanced border security? Is that truly achievable or is it just political spin?

The biggest stumbling blocks to achieving the goals of the BTB Action Plan are the completely contradictory announcements from CBSA and the Government. On the one hand, the Government claims that border security is a priority while, on the other hand, CBSA managers are making significant cuts to front line and intelligence jobs. Few details are provided, but I can assure you that cutting these jobs is unnecessary, unwise and completely counter ­productive to the BTB Agreement that Canada signed with the United States.

Remember when Finance Minister Flaherty said that spending cuts would be directed at “head office bureaucracy”? Well guess what? At CBSA, all of the cuts were to our members in enforcement and intelligence jobs and none were to management. Last year, after the Government announced a $143 million budget cut, CBSA advised us that we would lose 1,350 jobs over three years. These cuts undermine any efforts the Government makes to interdict and prevent cross border smuggling of guns, drugs, tobacco and people. As any law enforcement officer will tell you, what gets through the border illegally ends up on Canadian streets. All too frequently that means more crime and less public safety.

In our post 9/11 world, we have a significant understanding of who we want to stop at the border and of their behaviour patterns. Our officers at the front line, with the assistance of good intelligence, clearly provide the best security for Canadians.

As automation becomes more and more commonplace at the border, we must ensure that we continue to monitor the ­border effectively, and to do so, we must remain unpredictable. No amount of technology can accomplish this alone.

I appreciate that these are not easy issues, and that they can’t be fixed overnight. It’s clear that improvements have been made, especially since 2006. It seems to me that a key part of what’s required is that we listen to those who work for CBSA, be they on the front lines or at their desks every day. As National President of the CIU, I intend to listen to my members and will ensure that their voices are heard.

At its October 2011 National Convention, the CIU elected, by acclamation, Mr. Fortin as its National President.

Photos courtesy of CBSA
© FrontLine Security 2013



Virtual Pack of Lone Wolf Terrorists
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

Wolves never hunt alone
Lone-wolf terrorism is the fastest-growing kind of terrorism. Contrary to the popular perception that most terror attacks are orchestrated and organized by groups, the lone wolf attacker has become the contemporary norm: The huge majority (90%) of terror plots in the West since the 1990s have come from people who decide to do it on their own and who don’t have links with the outside. A lone wolf is an individual or a small group that uses traditional terrorist tactics, including the targeting of civilians, but which acts without cooperation with any (official or unofficial) terrorist organization, cell or group. The Unabomber, the Oklahoma City bomber, the Norway attacker, the Fort Hood shooter, and more recently, the attackers of the Boston Marathon are clear examples of this new form of terrorism.

In nature, wolves do not hunt alone: they hunt in packs. So, too, with the lone wolf terrorists: there is a virtual pack, a social network, behind them. They may operate alone, but they are recruited, radicalized, taught, trained and directed by others. As Raffaello Pantucci concludes in his recent analysis of lone wolf terrorism:

“The Internet is clearly the running theme between most of the plots included in this dataset [on lone wolves] and it appears to be a very effective tool: it provides a locus in which they can obtain radicalizing material, training manuals and videos. It provides them with direct access to a community of like-minded individuals around the world with whom they can connect and in some cases can provide them with further instigation and direction to carry out activities. Many of the individuals in the dataset demonstrate some level of social alienation – within this context, the community provided by the internet can act as a replacement social environment that they are unable to locate in the real world around them.”

Wolves in cyberspace
As my study reveals, in all recent cases, it was evident that these lone wolves had minimal contact with like-minded individuals in real life, but did maintain active contact with people on the Internet. These contacts, as well as the consumption of online extremist propaganda and the online discourse, contributed to their radicalization and inspired them to commit their acts. According to my 15-year long monitoring of terrorist online presence, the Internet has become the principal means of communication for extremist groups. Online social networking platforms have become a powerful apparatus for attracting potential members and followers. These virtual communities are growing increasingly popular all over the world, especially among younger demographics. Jihadist terrorist groups are especially targeting youths for propaganda, incitement and recruitment purposes. Accordingly, terrorist groups and their sympathizers are exploiting more and more the predominately Western online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Second Life, to export their message.

Online social media sites attract high numbers of users. Internet forums are an effective means to address targeted audiences, including supporters who have no off-line links to terrorist organizations. Most forums restrict access, wholly or partially, to vetted members who need to prove their credentials and loyalty, or be recommended by established members before admission. Forum members are strongly advised by their moderators to use encryption software for direct communication.

Deas Kadyrbayef (left) with Dshokhar Tsarnaev.

Born in different republics of the former Soviet Union and eventually naturalized in the U.S., the April 15 Boston Marathon bombers were also active in online social networking. According to FBI interrogators, the Tsarnaev brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, suspects in the bombings that left three dead and hundreds severly injured, were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs. Though not connected to known terrorist groups, they had been radicalized and taught to build explosive weapons by an online magazine published by al-Qaeda affiliates. Older brother Tamerlan (killed during the ensuing manhunt) had posted links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like: “Salam world, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts”. He also had links to pages calling for independence for the Chechen Republic (which has been trying to gain independence from Russia since the early 1990s). Moreover, it appears that the brothers both learned how to build their home-made bombs from online manuals. “How to Make a Bomb in Your Mom’s Kitchen,” published in a 2010 edition of the Jihadi online magazine Inspire, has been down- loaded by Islamist militants plotting terror- ist attacks in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Eight pages were devoted to building a basic but lethal device.

Calling Lone Wolves
One of the most difficult challenges faced by al-Qaeda today is the ongoing loss of a large part of its first-, second- and even third-generation leadership – some have been assassinated, others arrested, and others have dissociated themselves from the organization and its terrorist methods.

Partly out of necessity, al-Qaeda has now thrown its weight fully behind “lone wolf” terrorism. As early as 2003, an article was published on an extremist Internet forum called Sada al Jihad (Echoes of Jihad), in which Osama bin Laden sympathizers were encouraged to take action without waiting for instructions.

In 2006, a text authored by an al-Qaeda member, Abu Jihad al-Masri, “How to fight alone,” circulated widely in jihadist networks. Another prominent Salafi writer, Abu Musab al-Suri, advocated that acts of terrorism be carried out by small, autonomous cells or individuals. He outlined a strategy for global conflict that took the form of resistance by small cells or individuals and kept organizational links to an absolute minimum.

In March 2010, As-Sahab, al-Qaeda’s media wing, released an English-language video featuring American-born spokesperson, Adam Gadahn, entitled: “A Call to Arms.” The video, directed at jihadists in the United States, the Middle East, and the UK, highlights the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan, whom Gadahn describes in glowing terms (“a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role model who has opened a door, lit a path, and shown the way forward for every Muslim who finds himself among the unbelievers...”). Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an al-Qaeda affiliate, has been especially vocal in encouraging lone acts of terrorism. Its online English-language magazine Inspire promotes “open-source jihad.” The magazine became an important tool for recruiting, informing and motivating these lone jihadists as the al-Qaeda leadership steadily vanished in the decade following 9/11.

The articles in Inspire clearly promote individual jihad; its Fall 2010 edition editorialized: “Spontaneous operations performed by individuals and cells here and there over the whole world, without connections between them, have put the local and international intelligence apparatus in a state of confusion, as arresting the members of aborted cells does not influence the operational activities of others who are not connected with them.” The ideas and methods for terror attacks are meant for anyone, including those without direct ties to al-Qaeda or affiliates.

Issue #9 includes an article entitled, “The Convoy of Martyrs: Rise Up and Board with Us,” that declares: “The objective of this workshop is to communicate with those seek[ing] martyrdom operations, or those who want to execute a slaughter to the enemies of Islam, [or] those who have no means of contacting their mujahideen brothers. Whatever the reason, the aim is to activate them in the midst of the enemy, weather [sic] the enemy is the Jews, the Christians or the apostates. It is becoming obvious to many that the concept of individual jihad, which [has] begun to appear recently, has been called for by the leaders of jihad.”

There is convincing evidence of the impact of Inspire magazine among lone wolves. A growing number of such individuals have been linked with this online magazine, including: Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim U.S. soldier who allegedly plotted to attack the Fort Hood military base; Jose Pimentel, who had started making a pipe bomb based on the online recipe when he was arrested; and numerous others.

The Challenge
The alarming spread of lone wolf attacks highlights the challenge of counterterrorism measures. The fact that lone wolves are not completely alone and rely on online platforms and networks may lead to several potential countermeasures.

If the process of recruiting, supporting and training lone wolves relies on online platforms, these channels and sites can be monitored and studied. Outreach by law enforcement into radical, extremist, jihadist and other terrorist communities is also key to providing early warnings of threats. Warning signs can include ties that may have developed with known radicals or online interactions through radical websites and social networking.

Another tracking measure is the use of online undercover agents and informants. For example, the New York Police Department has developed a Cyber Intelligence Unit, in which undercover cyber agents track online activities of suspected violent extremists and interact with them to gauge the potential threat. The unit has played a key role in several recent terrorism investigations and arrests.

Not long ago, President Barack Obama expressed unease at this new trend. In an August 2011 speech, he argued, “The most likely scenario that we have to guard against right now ends up being more of a lone wolf operation than a large, well-coordinated terrorist attack.”

The challenge presented by virtual packs of lone wolf terrorists requires new hunters, new skills and newr egulations.

Dr. Gabriel Weimann is a Full Professor of Communication at Haifa University in Israel. His research interests include the study of media effects, political campaigns, new media technologies and their social impact, persuasion and influence, media and public opinion, modern terrorism and the mass media. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC.
© Frontline Security 2013



Come Hell or High Water!
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

Q1: Following the severe flooding in Southern Alberta in June, you have been appointed by the Alberta Government as the Chief Assistant Deputy Minister for the Alberta Flood Recovery Task Force. What preparations had been in place for mitigating such an event, and what improvements are you now working on?

First, I would like to explain that this has been the worst natural disaster in the history of the Province of Alberta. It has affected at least one hundred thousand people on some way, shape or form. The world changed for many Albertans when communities in Southern Alberta, as well as Fort MacMurray, were in many ways devastated by this disaster. Those affected needed help, and our Government took strong and immediate action to help ­Albertans and to rebuild communities.

My job is to lead a Whole of Government response to the Alberta 2013 floods. In many ways, the Province was prepared for this event through the organization of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency as well as the continued evolution of the Alberta Emergency Plan. The result was a quick response and seamless transition to the recovery phase throughout Alberta. Moreover, in this unprecedented event, the Province took additional steps to deal with a very unique situation. A sub-committee of Cabinet, called the Ministerial Task Force, was created through an Order in Council to deal with the flood recovery effort.

This Cabinet Committee was empowered to make decisions and was resourced with funds and staff to ensure those decisions translated into action on the ground. An immediate $1 Billion was provided for recovery efforts across the Province with more funds to come, as required.

As the recovery effort continues, we evolve as a Recovery Task Force. The Task Force has grown in size, calling on public servants from across the Government of Alberta to deal with recovery efforts. The core Task Force is now approximately one hundred strong and we reach into every key ministry that has a part to play in this common effort. We look to the future and ensure that, as part of the recovery effort, we build a stronger Alberta that will be more resilient to flooding in the future.

Q2: Can you describe the variety of government and other agencies involved and the effort required to get the Calgary Stampede going through this and its affect on citizens’ morale? What was the scope of challenges and how were they prioritized?

With respect to the Calgary Stampede we must give them full credit for making the decision to carry on “Come Hell or High Water” and for doing this on their own as an organization. While the Alberta Government was behind them all the way, the reality is they needed little in the way of help from us. The most significant support provided was to facilitate and expedite approvals for work to be carried out to prepare for the Calgary Stampede. Many volunteers and residents did an amazing job to do the work required to ensure this event took place. The positive impact the Calgary Stampede had on this Province as a whole was nothing less than extraordinary. It showed the world that Alberta is strong and would work hard to recover from this flood in record time.

Q3: Are there any major lessons on evacuation that you feel would be useful to share with other cities? Likewise, what about recovery; how do you set priorities and manage expectations after such an event?

The most important lesson learned so far has been the quick reaction and decision making processes set up by the Provincial Government. For the first time, the Province created a special sub-committee of Cabinet and then empowered that committee to make decisions. The creation of a 100-person Task Force also resulted in quick and seamless action on the ground.

In order to react quickly and provide money to victims, debit cards were distributed. The management of individual Disaster Recovery Program files continues to be a challenge and the Government continues to add more resources to a program that was never designed for such an unprecedented event in terms of its scope and size. Understanding how to work through this is an important lesson learned.

In terms of putting a Recovery Plan together, I would point to our plan which is available online at the Government of Alberta Flood Recovery website (www.alberta.ca/Flood-Recovery). The Recovery Plan is based on a solid set of principles focused on people and priorities. We have four key recovery elements that include People, Reconstruction, Environment, and the Economy.

Q4: What major infrastructure improvements and struc­tural regulations might you consider after this to mitigate damages?

At this point in time, the Government of Alberta is working on a long term flood mitigation plan that will include seven key elements: overall watershed management; flood modelling and prediction; flood risk policies; infrastructure; erosion control; local Municipal mitigation; and individual mitigation for homes. These elements of long term mitigation form a system, or layers of resiliency that will reduce risk to people, property, communities, and the environment.

Long term mitigation is focused on reducing risk and ensuring the province is more resilient in the future with respect to flood mitigation.

The layers of resiliency include infrastructure options for upstream, within municipal districts, and ensuring the downstream effects are controlled in a positive way. They could include dams, diversion canals and a system of dykes and berms in areas that are required to reduce risk.

Clive Addy is the Executive Editor of FrontLine Magazines
© FrontLine Security 2013



Q&A with CBSA
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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?

In 2010-11, the CBSA adapted rapidly and responded effectively to planned and unforeseen major events, including the G8 and G20 Summits as well as the arrival of the Sun Sea migrant vessel. These alone resulted in large increases in workload volumes. Simultaneously, traveller and commercial workload volumes increased at the busiest ports of entry across the country, many of which were already operating at, or in excess of, their full capacity during peak periods.

Major achievements included:

  • advancement of the eManifest project;
  • the development of a new Targeting Business Model;
  • improvement of pre-arrival risk assessment systems for people and goods; and,
  • intelligence gathering with domestic and international partners.

For example, resources within the CBSA’s international network of Liaison Officers were realigned to better carry out the CBSA’s mandate abroad, while the Agency began to implement the National Targeting Centre at home. The National Targeting Centre will result in a centralized targeting process that allows the CBSA to identify and mitigate threats more effectively before they reach the border.

Internally, the CBSA continued to entrench a culture of service excellence, to attract, retain and develop the right people with the right skills. The Agency's programs and services are managed more consistently through rigorous financial management and performance monitoring. As a more integrated organization, we are better positioned to carry out our mandate.

Furthermore, CBSA also strengthened the security of our border by: carrying out critical policy work related to refugee reform, admissibility review, and human smuggling; launching the “Wanted by the CBSA” program; and contributing to the Government of Canada’s migrant vessel prevention strategy.

In the years ahead, the Beyond the Border Action Plan will facilitate trade and travel across the Canada-U.S. border while enhancing the CBSA’s ability to protect Canada’s population from border-related risks. They Agency will also continue to advance progress toward implementing the structure, capacity, processes and corporate culture needed to continue to improve on the delivery of the CBSA’s mandate. As its staff works to modernize the Agency’s business processes, they will work to enhance the security of Canada’s population through better internal and external harmonization of systems and approaches.

Q.What initiatives has the CBSA been assigned the responsibility to lead under the BTB Agreement and what is the status of those projects?

On 7 December 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama released the Beyond the Border Action Plan, setting forth a vision for Canada and the United States to work together within, at, and away from our borders to address threats as early as possible, and in a way that supports job creation, economic competitiveness and prosperity within a secure environment.

The Beyond the Border Action Plan is a priority for the CBSA and the implementation of its initiatives will allow the Agency to better deliver its mandate – to protect national security and facilitate the flow of legitimate travel and trade. The CBSA is the lead on 10 initiatives in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

The CBSA’s emphasis is on measures to “push out” border operations away from the Canada-U.S. border to identify high or un­known risks earlier in the process, to allow for smoother and more efficient of low-risk people and goods across our shared border.

The CBSA plays a critical role in Canada’s partnership with the U.S. on issues of national security, trade facilitation, intelligence-sharing, cross-border law en­forcement, immigration and cooperative border management. Work on the Action Plan is further strengthening this collaboration.

2012 “BEYOND THE BORDER” accomplishments

Launch of Cargo pilot project at the Port of Prince Rupert
On 1 October 2012, Canada and the U.S. launched the Port of Prince Rupert pilot ­project which focuses on marine cargo arriving from offshore that is destined by rail to U.S. locations. The pilot is based on a harmonized approach developed by Canada and the United States which allows for the screening of inbound cargo arriving from offshore. As a result, there is increased security and the expedited movement of secure cargo across the Canada-U.S. border under the principle of “cleared once, accepted twice”.

This pilot is the first of a number of which will be undertaken by Canada and the U.S. to shape and inform the implementation of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy (ICSS). This ICSS will address security risks associated with inbound shipments from offshore and lead to expedited crossings at the land border.

Launch of the Entry/Exit pilot project at four land ports of entry
On 30 September 2012, Canada and the U.S. began implementation of a pilot project exchanging the data of third-country nationals (those who are neither citizens of Canada nor of the United States), permanent residents of Canada and lawful permanent residents of the United States, at four ports of entry.

The Phase I pilot project will allow Canada and the U.S. to test IT capacity to exchange and reconcile biographic information on the entry of travellers such that a record of entry into one country could act as a record of exit from the other.

By establishing a coordinated Entry/Exit system, the CBSA will be able to identify persons who potentially overstay their visa, better monitor the departure of persons ­subject to removal orders, and verify that residency requirements are being met by applicants for continued eligibility in immigration programs. It will also serve to establish a history of compliance for legitimate travellers.

NEXUS accomplishments
The Canada-U.S. Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness (Action Plan) builds on existing initiatives to accelerate the flow of people across the border. As part of the Action Plan, Canada and the U.S. have agreed to a number of enhancements to improve Trusted Traveller Programs with a focus on NEXUS. Action Plan items implemented include:

  • conducting enrolment blitzes to assist with increasing application volumes;
  • streamlining the membership renewal process;
  • lifting the three-year residency requirement for Canadian and American citizens to apply to NEXUS;
  • delivering on a commitment to expand NEXUS lanes and booths by June 2013 at nine agreed locations – Abbotsford, Pacific Highway; Douglas, B.C.; and Sarnia, Ontario are now completed;
  • expanding the trusted traveller Canadian Air Transport Security Agency (CATSA) security screening lines in ­pre-clearance areas at 14 major and ­mid-sized Canadian airports; and
  • expedited clearance through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre-Check lanes at 27 participating U.S. airports for domestic travel.

FAST pilot project
A pilot started 17 October  2012 in Sarnia, Ontario, to evaluate the impacts of allowing Partners in Protection (PIP) members access to Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes. The pilot grants trusted traders easier access to FAST lanes and booths when crossing the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia and aims to reduce wait times and speed up trade across the border. The FAST expansion pilot will allow members of PIP or Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) Trusted Trader programs access to Sarnia’s FAST lanes or booths without having to be members of both programs.

This is an example of one of the border enhancements for industry taking place over the next few years that allow the CBSA to manage risk at the border and focus its efforts on goods of unknown or higher risk.

More information on progress made over the past year can be found in the Beyond the Border Implementation Report at: http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/page/bap-paf-bbg-tpf/2012-beyond-border-imple....

Q: In light of the priority our Government has placed on enhanced border security and facilitated trade and travel, which is now so clearly laid out in the BTB Agreement with the US, is it simply the 1932 Order In Council policy decision that is preventing CBSA from participating in joint force patrols and the Shiprider program between ports of entry, and is it true CBSA declined to participate in Shiprider despite being asked?

The CBSA and the RCMP share an enforcement mandate and collaborate with one another including detecting and investigating offences under border legislation in Canada. Shiprider operations take place on the water which is the responsibility of the RCMP together with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Q: A big issue in the BTB Agreement has been the need for improved screening to prevent the entry of persons who are inadmissible to Canada, especially on security, criminality or a fraudulent immigration basis, such as previous deportees or failed refugee claimants. The current government committed to creating a face recognition biometric lookout system in 2006. Yet, seven years later we still don’t have one. What is the status of this initiative and when might Canadians look forward to having that promised improved border screening tool in place?

Starting in 2013, travellers, students and workers from certain visa-required countries and territories will be required to provide their fingerprints and have their photo taken before they arrive in Canada. When a visa holder arrives at a Canadian port of entry, the CBSA will verify that the visa holder is the person to whom the visa was issued and determine if they are admissible to Canada. Under the BTB Action Plan, Canada has also committed to implementing the Interactive Advance Passenger Information initiative to make “board/no board” decisions on all travellers flying to Canada prior to departure.

Q: What coordination is taking place by CBSA with Immigration Canada and other government agencies on pre-clearance of people and goods entering Canada at ports of departure outside Canada?

The CBSA and its government partners are committed to ensuring a more open, secure and efficient border and facilitating the flow of low-risk people and goods.

Traveller continuum
We are working together on several initiatives under the BTB Action Plan that will strengthen security and enhance the ability to identify, screen and mitigate risks in the country of departure. For instance, by 30 June 2014, Canada will develop a system to establish exit, similar to that in the United States, under which airlines will be required to submit their passenger manifest information on outbound international flights. In 2015, the Government of Canada plans to introduce the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), a new electronic document required for entry to Canada, to screen out and prevent inadmissible foreign nationals from travelling to Canada while facilitating travel for those who are low-risk. The Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) initiative, scheduled for implementation in 2015, will provide the technical means to conduct advance screening of all commercial air travellers prior to boarding an aircraft bound for Canada. Following a thorough risk assessment, CBSA will communicate, via electronic means, a “board/no board” recommendation.

Trade Continuum
Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, and the secure and efficient flow of legitimate goods is vital to our economic competitiveness and mutual prosperity. As part of the BTB Action Plan, the CBSA and other government departments, such as Public Safety are:

  • working together to provide traders with a single window through which they can electronically submit all information required to comply with customs and other government regulations;
  • implementing pilot projects to push out the border, help reduce barriers to trade and strengthen our economic competitiveness, job creation and prosperity; and
  • developing a comprehensive approach to pre-clearance and pre-inspection covering all modes of cross-border trade and travel.

More information on pre-clearance can be found on Public Safety Canada’s web site.

Q: There have been myriad claims and counterclaims about whether or not CBSA positions of front line border officers, intelligence officers and dog inspection teams are being cut to meet the Government’s spending reduction goals. Will any of these front line positions be cut and, if so, in what numbers and what if any equivalent numbers of positions are being cut in management and at regional and national headquarters?

As part of the Government-wide efforts to reduce the deficit, the CBSA reviewed spending with a focus on operational costs and will deliver $143.4M in ongoing savings by 2014/15. The CBSA remains unwavering in its commitment to deliver on its mandate of protecting Canadians while facilitating travel and trade.

Safety and security will not be compromised through the implementation of any of these budget reduction initiatives. The CBSA will reduce spending in areas of declining and lower priority and derive savings from business transformation and organizational restructuring.

There will be little to no impact on front line services for travellers and traders who are crossing our borders. As changes are introduced, service excellence will continue to be an Agency priority.

CANINE Detectors
CBSA uses the most effective tools for each job. Detector dogs are a great tool in the right circumstances, but they will no longer be used when there is a better tool available. However, all drug detector dogs at land border crossings have remained in place.

Intelligence officers
Using a risk-based approach, the Agency will focus intelligence activities on priority areas and enhance the oversight and monitoring of intelligence program activities. Our priority remains ensuring a safe and efficient border.

Q: As recent events in Quebec have shown, human smuggling now includes driving past manned ports of entry and fleeing into Canada. The law clearly permits border officers to pursue and apprehend such ‘port runners’ but does CBSA policy expressly permit this?

People who illegally enter or are smuggled into Canada threaten the integrity of our border and the safety of our communities.

It is important to note that the CBSA has jurisdiction at designated ports of entry. The RCMP is responsible for the enforcement of laws between ports of entry. The authority to pursue port runners rests with local law enforcement. The CBSA does not engage in the pursuit of port runners.

In Quebec, the CBSA has installed an automatic security gate near its border crossing on highway 143 in Stanstead to stop vehicles trying to enter Canada illegally using the outbound lane (the south bound lane). Barriers such as this have already proved effective at other border crossings in Quebec and across Canada.

The CBSA works closely with local law enforcement agencies, the RCMP, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to prevent the illegal entry of individuals into Canada. Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs), which include the CBSA, RCMP and U.S. CBP, work to deter criminal activity and to stop high-risk people entering Canada between the ports of entry. In instances where the CBSA is aware of people failing to report to the CBSA at a port of entry, the CBSA immediately alerts the RCMP and/or local police of jurisdiction so that these individuals can be apprehended.

Q: The last Auditor General Report on the subject confirmed that over 40K people have been ordered removed from Canada and are the subject of arrest warrants, and that we have no idea where they are or if they’ve left the country. Can you explain how such a situation developed, what steps are being taken to address it, and if we are likely to see other changes? Can you tell us how many crimes have been committed in Canada by people: who entered or re-entered Canada despite being inadmissible; who could have been removed for previous crimes but weren’t; or who had warrants out for them after having failed to appear at some point in their removal process?
The CBSA is always on alert for inadmissible people in our continued commitment to protect the safety and security of all Canadians. On a daily basis, the Agency works closely with our law enforcement partners, including the RCMP and local police, in locating, detaining and removing individuals who are inadmissible to Canada.

Here is some additional information on how the CBSA’s works to ensure the safety of Canadians:

Pushing the Border Out
The CBSA screens people at several points along the travel continuum: at the earliest opportunity overseas, in transit, and on arrival at the Canadian border. Receiving and reviewing documentation in advance improves the CBSA’s ability to target and interdict inadmissible people, and acts as a deterrent to those contemplating illegal immigration and who pose a threat to public health and safety.

CBSA has Liaison Officers (LO) deployed in strategic locations around the world to identify and mitigate threats at the earliest point possible from Canada. The LO’s role is vital in identifying improperly documented people before they board a plane destined for Canada. The LO’s work protects the integrity of our border and the immigration system for people who come to this country lawfully.

As part of their duties, these officers, who are experts in document integrity, verify the validity of travel documents and work with local authorities and airlines to prevent those who are inadmissible and pose a security threat from reaching Canada. LOs intervene in the cases of approximately 6,500 improperly documented travellers annually and, at the same time, facilitate through direct intervention approximately 3,000 legitimate travellers, the majority of whom are Canadians returning home. By “pushing the border out” admissibility screening takes place before a person departs their country of origin, and those who are found inadmissible are prevented from entering Canada in the first place.

At the border
CBSA border services officers at ports of entry are responsible for assessing the admissibility of persons seeking entry to Canada. The CBSA places a high priority on the detection and interdiction of inadmissible persons and plays an important role in their identification at designated Ports Of Entry. The patrol of areas between designated POEs, including unguarded roads, is the responsibility of the RCMP.

Dedicated and professional border services officers use proven indicators and advance information, innovative technological tools, information sharing and training to carry out their mandate to target high risk goods and people.

CBSA officers receive extensive, specialized training which focuses on passport and document fraud, intelligence collection and reporting, identifying inadmissible persons and threats to national security, detecting migrant smuggling and human trafficking. Officers have information on lost and stolen documents as well as fraudulent document trends. The CBSA utilizes technology such as document readers and other specialized equipment, in order to identify and intercept fraudulent documents.

The CBSA works closely with all of its law enforcement partners both in Canada and the United States. The CBSA contributes to cross-border security and cooperation through its participation in partnerships such as the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams and Border Enforcement Security Taskforce teams. Drawing on the expertise of and participation of partners, which include the RCMP, the CBSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Office of Border Patrol, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Coast Guard, these multi-agency teams detect, investigate and disrupt threats to national security while deterring criminal activity between Canada and the U.S.

The CBSA is always looking at innovative ways to focus our enforcement efforts on where it matters most—investigating and removing those who pose a danger to Canadians, while helping maintain the integrity of our immigration system.

Our inland enforcement officers perform several different functions which include investigating and reporting inadmissible persons in Canada; arresting and detaining inadmissible persons; investigating the location of persons wanted on warrants for arrest; and removing or escorting high-risk inadmissible persons from the country.

The CBSA is committed to removing all those persons found inadmissible to Canada as soon as practicable. The CBSA places highest priority on removal cases involving national security, organized crime, crimes against humanity and criminals. CBSA employs Inland Enforcement officers across Canada to investigate people who may be inadmissible under the Act. CBSA makes every effort to locate individuals who fail to show up for their removal or any immigration proceedings.

The "Wanted by the CBSA" web page, launched in 2011, has proved a successful tool in assisting border services officers to locate individuals who are wanted for removal. The page features the names and photos of individuals who are inadmissible to Canada and have failed to make their whereabouts known to immigration authorities. Since the launch of this initiative, the CBSA has been able to locate 37 individuals in Canada and four individuals abroad. The CBSA has removed 26 of these individuals from Canada.

In 2011-2012, the CBSA removed a record 16,514 individuals who were inadmissible to Canada, an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. Of these, a record 1,911 were criminals, making up 12 percent of overall removals, and 11,947 (or 73% of total removals) were unsuccessful refugee claimants. This is the fifth consecutive year that the CBSA has increased its removals levels and demonstrates the Agency’s innovation in detecting, apprehending and removing those who no longer have a right to stay in Canada.

Q:Given China’s clear espionage history in Canada, and recent U.S. and Australian decisions not to deal with China in such realms, and appreciating that you can’t get into specifics, can you explain the reasons you decided to brief a Chinese border delegation on CBSA border practices?

As leaders and innovators in border management, we value our strong domestic and international relationships and are dedicated to working together on critical safety, security and trade issues. The CBSA needs to be engaged internationally in order to ward off transnational threats and provide the services necessary to help keep our nation safe.

Any action taken by the CBSA is done in conformity with Canadian law. Meetings held with Chinese officials in 2012 were sanctioned by CBSA and fully consistent with standard practices concerning cooperation with our international counterparts.

Modern border management is increasingly a global enterprise that depends on our working with the international community. The CBSA routinely works with international counter­parts both within Canada and abroad. This work is essential in detecting and interdicting threats and ensuring the safety and security of our respective borders and people.

The work we do makes a difference in the lives of Canadians and contributes to global security. Simply put, we cannot work alone. Working with our international counterparts, including growing economies such as China, enables us to better carry out our mandate to protect Canadians while facilitating legitimate travel and trade from every part of the globe.

These responses were provided by a CBSA media liaison.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Crime and the Wireless World
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

Though it may be cliché to comment on the way wireless technology has changed the modern world, today, mobile devices allow us to express ourselves through social media in real time, help us navigate our daily lives, enable us to bank, trade, buy and sell on the move, and allow us to carry the internet’s unlimited information resources in our back pocket.

The irony of this amazing innovation is that cell phones have equally altered the ease with which criminal and terrorist organizations operate – and enhanced their ability to threaten national security.

The use of cell phones to detonate Improvised Explosive Devices has been a known threat to military forces since the early years of the Iraq war. Since 2005, reports to the U.S. Congress specified the threat of cell phone detonators – and identified the use of electronic jamming systems with low-power radio frequencies that block their signals as an effective countermeasure. While such measures can be successfully implemented in a war zone, the consequences of using jamming techniques in North America are not only unacceptable, they are illegal. Recognizing this, terrorists have increasingly attempted to leverage the use of cell phones in planned attacks on Times Square, a Manhattan Federal Reserve Building, Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, a Dallas skyscraper, and Chicago synagogues. In Canada, the now infamous ‘Toronto 18 plot’ to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange and two government buildings also included the use of an explosive device triggered by a cell phone.

As an alternative to jamming, in March of 2012, the American Federal Communication’s Commission (FCC) sought com- ment on the implementation of wireless service interruptions by government authorities for the purpose of ensuring public safety. The FCC’s request was prompted by the controversial choice made in 2011 by San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transport System (BART) to suspend its underground cellphone service in order to thwart a planned protest and maintain passenger safety.

The FCC acknowledged that wireless communications serve “vital free expression interests,” are critical to the national economy, and play a central role in ensuring public safety. However, the commission noted that concerns that “wireless service could be used to trigger the detonation of an explosive device or to organize the activities of a violent flash mob have led public authorities in the United States and abroad to consider interrupting wireless service.” Not surprisingly, civil rights advocates, law enforcement agencies, and industry leaders have weighed in on the issue.

In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, news outlets reported that the city’s wireless networks had been shut down by police. Speculation was that the terrorists, since identified as brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had used a cellular phone to set off the bombs that exploded near the marathon’s finish line. In the following hours of uncertainty, few questioned the suspension of communications or the implications that a denial of cellular service might have on constitutional rights. The threat of another bomb was imminent, particularly worrisome was the terrifying belief that anyone with a cell phone could have triggered the bomb. Security trumped all.

Among respondents to the FCC request was a privately-held Canadian tech company that offered an alternative to service shutdowns and jamming. The Montreal-based firm had developed an inexpensive, remote, network-based solution that can discretely disable wireless devices that have become “weapons of mass destruction worthy of the most aggressive forms of counter response.” What’s more, because the company’s technology does not rely on radio frequencies, it claims it is capable of operating without interfering with legitimate cell phone traffic and is thus ideal for operations in controlled environments.

This Canadian innovation could potentially provide the answer to a significant threat growing on both sides of the border: contraband cell phones in prisons. For years, Canadian and U.S. Correction Officials have identified the use of illegal devices by inmates as a significant threat to public safety. In the U.S., the problem of contraband cell phones was so out of control, that by 2011, some 15000 devices were confiscated in the state of California alone.

These cell phones are not innocent means of keeping in touch with loved ones. They allow inmates to continue to execute criminal activity, and there have been several cases of prisoners using contraband phones to threaten guards and even facilitate murder. One inmate in Maryland used a device to order the death of a state witness; another in Texas used a contraband cell phone to threaten a state Senator and his family, and a New Jersey prisoner used a contraband device to order the murder of his girlfriend after she testified against him at trial.

Last year, Canada’s Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security reported that the use of contraband devices allowed inmates to continue to carry out illegal operations and organize drug transactions from inside correctional facilities. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews responded to this report, recognizing that “despite continued efforts to detect and seize these devices, rendering these devices ineffective may prove to be the most effective means of disrupting these criminal activities.” The minister did not comment on any proactive investigations or investment into new technology, stating simply that jamming remains prohibited because it may cause interference with radio communications required for emergency management.

Yet in the U.S., an April 2013 report published by the FCC supported the increased implementation of Managed Access Systems (MAS) in prisons. Instead of jamming signals, MAS essentially creates an umbrella over a defined geographical space and then captures and analyzes all incoming and outgoing calls to determine if they are authorized. If authenticated, authorized devices are permitted to transmit normally while unauthorized calls are terminated. MAS systems can also triangulate the location of cell phones, and the FCC has asked service providers to comment on the feasibility of terminating service to specific devices upon request from an authorized party. Only a few U.S. jurisdictions have successfully implemented MAS in correctional facilities because the systems are very expensive, and can, at times, interfere with legitimate wireless activity. Additionally, and perhaps not surprisingly, because the MAS systems are physically installed on site at the prisons, they have been prone to frequent damage. Beyond prisons, it is easy to envision how MAS and the technology developed in Montreal could be adapted to support law enforcement during major security events.

The Wider Criminal World
Having the ability to harness, control, and leverage the flow of communications and the vast amount of data generated by the use of cell phones is vital to countering the criminal world’s increasing reliance on these devices. Cell phones play a critical role in many facets of organized crime including narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation.

For instance, reports from the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership & Policy found that, in terms of human trafficking, “interviews with law enforcement stressed the widespread importance of one technology: mobile phones.” This in-depth study also indicated that captured information related to cell phone use was “the most critical element, in building their cases against traffickers.”

Often described as a “hidden crime” because it is difficult to identify and prosecute, human trafficking is a US$32 billion a year industry. This modern form of slavery not only provides a regular source of funding for organized crime and terrorist organizations but also has a significant impact on the world’s economy due to the loss of human and social capital. USC concluded “the centrality of mobile phones has major implications for counter-trafficking efforts and may represent a powerful new tool in identifying, tracking, and prosecuting traffickers as well as in other counter-trafficking efforts.” Access to subscriber information, the smartphone’s geolocation capabilities, and the developing capacity to target and deny service to individual users, might even tip the scales in favor of law enforcement.

Allowing the exploitation of electronic communications by government agencies requires strong oversight and accountability. In the U.S., reports in June of this year that the National Security Agency has not only been collecting the private phone records of millions of Americans, but has gained unrestricted access to the central servers of major internet companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, shocked the nation and led to demands for greater judicial oversight despite the program’s authorization by Congress. In Canada, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart recently called for updated privacy laws to better protect Canadians in the digital age.

In 2012, the Conservative Government introduced Bill C-30, the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act, which would have implemented mandatory reporting requirements for requests for customer information from telephone service providers. Currently, information which includes a subscribers name, address, phone number, local service provided identifier, and IP and email addresses is voluntarily provided to law enforcement (without any oversight) tens of thousands of times per year. According to data obtained under the Access to Information Act by privacy expert Michael Geist, the RCMP alone made over 28,000 requests for subscriber information in 2010.

Bill C-30 was the fifth attempt since 2005 to modernize Canada’s wiretap and electronic surveillance legislation, and once again the proposed laws spawned significant debate about the virtues of privacy versus security. Unfortunately, polarizing statements made by Minister Toews including, “either stand with us or stand with the child pornographers,” and a campaign led by hacker group Anonymous which claimed "all this legislation does is give your corrupted government more power to control its citizens,” left little room for compromise. Instead of bringing Canadian surveillance laws into the 21st century, the bill was abandoned, leaving both law enforcement officials and privacy advocates frustrated.

Until the government can pass legislation that authorizes police and national security agencies to track, interdict, and in a crisis, deny cell phone usage in a way that conforms to Charter values, both the security and privacy of Canadians is being compromised. Quite frankly, the only people who benefit from maintaining the status quo are criminals and terrorists, like the Boston Marathon Bombers.

Leah West Sherriff served 10 years as an Officer in the Canadian Army and has an MA in Intelligence. She is currently studying Law at the University of Toronto, and plans to run the Boston Marathon again in 2014.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Editor's Corner
Modern Policing
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

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.

Jacqueline Chartier, our intrepid ­Calgary-based writer, spends a day with Peace Officers in the Public Safety and Enforcement Section of Calgary Transit, and shares some of the background of its cultural transformation.

Cyber expert Dave McMahon advises us on the many ways privacy may unknowingly be jeopardized during the Winter Games.

Dr. Jim Cox reports upon the recent conference of the Canadian Military Intelligence Association and its view of the move towards greater coordination in its “Future Enterprise”. Again here, the integration of resources for the greater security of all Canadians bears noting. Similarly, FrontLine’s maritime correspondent Tim Dunne travelled to Ottawa this fall to attend the SecureTech 2013 conference, which also highlighted the fact that more federal emphasis must be placed on the need for sustained efforts in terms national security – yes, even in Canada.

As well, FrontLine writer Tim Lynch explains how the RCMP and Coast Guard work together in the Maritime Security Operations Centre for the Great Lakes. Our own Richard Bray continues our series on the challenges and ­apathy encountered when trying to enforce laws against illicit contraband trade (and tobacco in particular), as he interviews Gary Grant, spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco.

Following up on major Canadian natural disasters in Lac Mégantic and Calgary, we are fortunate to have reports on the actions of local responders and authorities. In the face of these disasters, these two cities can claim the title of most resilient communities of 2013! We also thank André Corbould, Chief Assistant Deputy ­Minister for Emergency Measures in Alberta, who talks about the Flood Recovery Task Force in his province. Following up on government progress on the issue of rail safety, our own Ken Pole updates us on Transport Minister Lisa Rait’s response.

Pierre Poirier, the Chief of Security and Emergency Management at the City of Ottawa, details progress in CBRNE response issues.

And wrapping up this edition, Scott Newark explains that asking the right questions is the only way to uncover truly effective solutions when examining the economics of myriad policing requirements.

We are lucky indeed to live in North America, what will 2014 bring?

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2013



Arming our First Line of Defence
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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.

Back in 2006, as a result of increasing security concerns and a volatile security environment, CBSA produced an arming initiative evaluation report which concluded that its officers face real threats of assault and/or bodily harm while conducting their duties. Activities such as the interception of weapons, drugs and high-risk individuals present an ongoing risk to the safety of officers and the public. The Government of Canada subsequently approved a $785 million dollar initiative, to be phased over a 10-year period, to arm more than 5500 CBSA officers.

It was a logical step. As an agency with a versatile mandate, including national security and public safety, CBSA Officers must be considered an integral element of both enforcement of our laws and forward defence of our Canadian sovereignty. It ­follows, therefore, that they should be given the appropriate tools to protect our country and themselves while performing such duties.

The decision to arm CBSA officers also enhanced border security, improved officer effectiveness, and brought the Canadian border services in line with those of most other western nations. Further, the initiative provided officers with a broader range of options when responding to dangerous situations and conducting enforcement activities along our miles of undefended borders. Many believe that armed border officers provide a more credible deterrent to trouble-makers and criminals.

If there is a down-side to the initiative, it is the incredible length of time it is taking to implement. Why, six years after the initiative was approved, was Bowcock doing inspections while unarmed?

Admittedly, Bowcock had not finished her formal training. But neither have more than half of Canada’s border guards. The CBSA is sticking to its rigid timetable of training about 1000 officers a year, with a completion date anticipated sometime in 2016. Given the increasing risk of violence of the times and the potential for major criminal activity along the Canada-U.S. ­border, more and more violent incidents must be expected. It seems that tweaking the CBSA’s arming schedule might be in order.

And speeding up the arming of border guards is certainly now within the art of the possible.

Lori Bowcock was shot and wounded while working the Peace Arch border.

Initially, the CBSA conducted weapons training at RCMP facilities in Ottawa, Ontario and Chilliwack, BC; however, just last year, the agency cut the ribbon on a new $57 million training facility in Rigaud, Quebec. The training center provides CBSA recruits with the necessary weapons and shooting skills and, just as importantly, includes tactical exercises designed to practice new officers in problem solving and improve reaction time and judgment skills.

At the new training programme, officers determine threat levels, practice deliberate and quick risk assessments and participate in simulation exercises that provide practical scenarios in which border guards might find themselves.

No longer does the Agency have to beg, borrow or steal training time and resources from the RCMP, but can now begin to set its own training priorities and legitimate qualifications.

Ironically, one possible reason for the lethargic pace of the arming initiative is the reluctance of some officers to strap on a weapon. The CBSA has hinted that the officers’ union is insisting that veteran officers cannot be forced to take weapons training, nor made to arm themselves. This, the Agency states, has resulted in vacancies on weapons training courses and in significant scheduling difficulties.

Whatever the cause, the reality is that the arming initiative is progressing at a ­glacial pace.

It is surprising that this dangerous situation has been allowed to deteriorate as it has. This is a significant issue about which the Government of Canada and Canadians should be concerned. There are compelling reasons why CBSA Officers should be given the necessary training and equipment that allows them to do their jobs because they are in harm’s way. And this training should take place sooner rather than later.

Similar to their federal, provincial and municipal counterparts; such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and local police forces; CBSA policy states its officers are “instructed to use their duty firearm when they have reasonable grounds to suspect that they are under threat. Whether that be for self-preservation or the preservation of anyone under the officer’s protection, or when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is armed and presents a danger to the officer, fellow officers or members of the public in the area.”

Clearly, policy recognizes the potential threat, danger and the inherent responsibility the Border Officers face in protecting Canadians and the general public.

The omni-present risk of encountering high-risk individuals presents an ongoing risk to the safety of border officers. The volatile situations in which CBSA officers find themselves on a daily basis require them to be effectively armed, and trained as diligently and thoroughly as those in our national, provincial and local enforcement agencies. It is certainly the belief of many serving border officers that they are as likely as most law enforcement officers to witness and experience dangerous situations. To effectively equip and train them is no less necessary to secure a balance of personal and public safety.

From a force protection standpoint, the act of arming trained border officers will provide an effective deterrent for those wishing to enter Canada with ill intentions. This has been proven time and time again by international experience. Similarly, the arming of its officers also encourages cooperation with potentially volatile people attempting to enter Canada. Most police officers would attest that an armed authoritative figure often holds the upper hand in confrontational situations.

Naysayers have suggested that having armed border officers at our ports of entry conveys a message of suspicion and hostility that unnerves individuals visiting Canada, returning to Canada or immigrating to Canada. This begs the question: “Is this a problem?” With transnational crime and threats of terrorism at all-time highs, this type of visual representation of forceful authority is, unfortunately, a real necessity. The lone wolf scenario that occurred at the Douglas port of entry, as well as drug and arms smuggling, and human trafficking are all examples of daily threats that Canadian border services officers may encounter.

Arming Canadian Border Services Officers provides a much needed tool in our options for dealing with high risk situations directly along our borders. Whereas, in the past, a border officer’s only option was to withdraw from dangerous situations and contact local police units, now they can initiate responses directly.

By having armed officers at the border, the Government of Canada and the CBSA, with the support of local, provincial and national police units, have created a mechanism to effectively handle critical situations at otherwise vulnerable ports of entry.

Arming our first line of defence, and increased interoperability with our U.S. partners, will increase the effectiveness of managing our border safely and ­efficiently.  

Megan Ryder-Burbidge is currently working in the defence and security sector. She has travelled extensively internationally and is a part-time freelance journalist.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Unfortunately they need to be armed. It is a very different crazy world.

Illicit Tobacco
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

By getting serious about the problem of contraband tobacco, there are numerous benefits for Governments including to the population's health and national coffers. It's time that collectively we stop taking dated approaches of continually increasing taxes that only prompt further black market activity and approach the subject anew.

Since it was first declared, the war on drugs has occupied tremendous international attention and focus along with the associated manpower, financing and political capital designed to produce results in the field. The United States has spent over one trillion dollars over 40 years in efforts to win the war on drugs.

With nearly $500 spent every second in the United States in 2012, the money has achieved realizable results (with $1.6M of product seized during arrests) and is the principal cause of the U.S. having one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. Despite this, a recent Gallup poll found that 82% of police chiefs and sheriffs in the U.S. believe the war on drugs has failed. Both heavily praised and criticized, the war on drugs has been a polarizing public policy effort since the Second World War but has maintained its status as a priority initiative.

In contrast, the fight against illicit tobacco is often treated by public policy makers and agenda setters as a problem to be addressed, but with no greater urgency than numerous other files.

In the 2012 RCMP report on illicit contraband, it notes that “low public appreciation”, “perception of a victimless crime”, “apathy of loss tax revenue” and “exploitation of political sensitivities” all combine to feed the contraband market in Canada. In essence, tobacco crime is widely perceived as a low priority. The illicit tobacco market is simply under the radar, and combatting it typically falls behind other pressing demands.

Both heavily taxed and regulated, the tobacco industry shares significant undertones with the temperance movement that successfully lobbied for prohibition nearly a century ago. As with alcohol, tobacco has significant ‘sin taxes’ levied on it – spawning a lucrative black market in the process. With at least 190 of 900 iden- tified criminal groups in Canada highly involved in the manufacture and distribution of tobacco, the industry is helping create modern gangsters, just as prohibition made the infamous Alfonso Capone. While drug trafficking has stiff sentences and enforcement requires significant resources, violations are treated with far more tolerance than most crime.

In 2012, the Canadian tobacco market was $31.1B, with total provincial taxes of $4.51B and $2.92B in federal taxes, representing a combined government take of $7.42 billion. It is widely accepted that at least 30% of Canada’s tobacco market (over 40% in Ontario) is underground. This represents a combined loss of $13B in legitimate trade going instead to the black market, and a $3.15 billion loss in taxes. With a $13B annual market for contraband tobacco, the trade is fueling organized crime. It is central to their operation in terms of profitability, limited risk in penalties and the relative obscurity of the marketplace.

The costs and impacts of modern scandals or criminality pales in comparison to the continual cost and damage being done by illicit tobacco. Given the financial gravity of over $3.15B in annual tax losses and the enormous cash flow generated to organized criminal groups, one would guess governments would quickly wake up to the priority of combatting this behavior. Surprisingly, that is not the case.

Since 9/11, all western law enforcement groups have struggled to maintain traditional priorities while budgets and political will focus on counter-terrorism and internationally focused threats. This has whittled away already meager funding allocations for traditional problems facing advanced democracies. It is unfortunate that governments tend to approach the subject only from a law enforcement or health lens, in which illicit tobacco is but one of many considerations.

It is only when viewed on a taxation basis, that it becomes an urgent national priority – one which could quickly fix funding deficits across the country by recovering the lost tax income.

While New Brunswick, in its 2013 budget, is using increased tobacco taxes to reduce its deficit, no mention is given to the corresponding increase in the illegal market, nor is any attempt made to reduce the existing contraband trade.

The Government of Canada has recently undertaken some positive efforts, including a 50-man task force established by the RCMP, and the creation of new trafficking offenses and inclusions of tobacco-related products in the Excise Act that allow easier prosecution of criminals. While good steps, these efforts showcase the dated legislation that tie hands and meager resources that are allocated to fight this multi-billion dollar problem.

In light of the large potential benefits for governments and their citizens, one wonders if the stigmas, labels and connotations built by health advocates were to be removed, how would contraband tobacco be tackled by governments. Would it be approached with the same intensity as the war on drugs, or with the same conviction as fighting human trafficking? Would trademark infringements of brand names be as aggressively pursed as IT patents and designer goods? Would Governments allocate the level of priority to ensure the elimination of the underground economy as a potential efficiency measure that could net over $3.15B a year?

Governments at both the federal and provincial levels need to increase their focus on stopping the illicit production and trade in tobacco as well as strongly confront the criminal forces that administer the illicit operations. By getting serious about the problem of contraband tobacco, there are numerous bene- fits that Governments can promote, including to the popula- tion’s health and national coffers. It’s time we collectively stop using the dated approaches of continually increasing taxes (which simply prompts further black market activity) and approach the subject anew. The sooner contraband tobacco is given the same regard as the war on drugs, the sooner we can stamp out our tax losses and stop adding the billions to fund dangerouscriminalnetworks.

Simon Smith has worked as a politically-exempt policy advisor for all three levels of Canadian government, with more than a decade in senior strategic roles.
© FrontLine Security 2013



One Last Thing
Ask the Right Questions
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

One of the most important issues in policy development is to make sure that the subject being scrutinized is accurately identified so the right questions can be asked to help get the most effective answers. This is critical because the converse is also true; ask the wrong questions and you will get the wrong answers.

Nowhere is this reality more critical than in the ongoing debate regarding what has been called the ‘Economics of Policing’. It appears that the point of the exercise is for all levels of government to figure out how they can cope with the reported increased costs of policing, especially at a time when fiscal restraint is looming (due, in large measure, to seemingly unrestrained spending in other less urgent sectors).

Not surprisingly, superficial ‘answers’ abound such as: there too many police officers, or their salaries are too high. While these are legitimate issues of inquiry, even a cursory analysis reveals that, per capita, police ratios are not significantly different, nor are the rates of wage increases much different from other public groups, including the lawmakers themselves.

So if it’s not bloated overpaid police services, then what is the problem?

To properly answer that question we need to start by recognizing that ‘policing’ is not a stand-alone function, immune to influence from the multiple environments in which it operates. Policing is, in fact, a critical, but not exclusive, component of our criminal justice system, which actually has multiple (hopefully) interacting institutions. Additionally, it is an undeniable reality that what happens (or doesn’t happen) in one component of the justice system has significant impact on the others.

So let’s look at the environment(s) in which modern day policing works and see what changes have occurred that might be relevant to the costs being incurred. The first place to examine, of course, is the criminal court process itself. Since the introduction the Charter of Rights, some 30 years ago, our court process has evolved (devolved?) into one whose primary function is not to determine innocence or guilt or even find the truth about what happened in a particular incident, but one where the dominant issue is: “is the evidence admissible?”

This change of focus has been gradual but it is now, unquestionably, a process-focused system. Forget the incriminating nature of what was found after the search, or heard on the wiretap, the issue has become did the cops fill out the right forms and comply with every nuance known or suggestible because if they didn’t the evidence will almost certainly be inadmissible, and, without evidence, a “not guilty” verdict is inevitable. And when you’re in the well-paid business of helping people avoid criminal responsibility for their actions, that’s what counts.

A process-focused system is also one that is inherently prone to delay as evidence takes a back seat to admissibility. It also doesn’t help that we’ve developed a legal aid system where the amount paid to lawyers is based on how long it takes to complete the case. Throw in an antiquated duplicative hearing process and you begin to understand why more cops spend their days filling out paperwork and cooling their heels waiting to testify rather than doing foot patrols, protecting the public, and solving crime.

The good news is that if we ask the right questions, we will begin to see where improvements can be made, like: increasing mandatory provincial court jurisdiction; using the Contraventions Act for minor offences; defining content (in designated forms) for judicial authorizations to obtain evidence; and moving to a full-time, salaried Legal Aid system rather than one that rewards delay.

Let’s also make sure that we do everything we can at our border (and between ports of entry), including with analytical surveillance technology, to stop the illegal entry of guns, drugs and people – because what gets through at the border ends up on our streets, and all too often becomes a police responsibility.

Police officers are also involved in crime prevention through various mental health, addiction, housing and education partnerships. While incredibly effective, they further deplete police resources. It’s also worth noting that vast bureaucracies existed in these areas previously but more effective results seemed to materialize when the cops get involved. How about providing funding from those sectors to support the police involvement rather than just complain about increased policing costs?

The economics of the justice system is an important and complex issue where we need to ask the right questions to ensure we get the right answers. If we do, real progress is possible.       

Scott Newark is an Associate Editor at FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



RCMP C/Supt Joe Oliver
Beyond the Border Policing
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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. He is now ­Director General Operations Prioritization and ­Protective ­Services under the re-engineered model of the RCMP Federal Policing.

Q: Many of our readers are indeed aware that the Beyond the Border Agreement, has been heralded as a most effective CANADA/U.S. policy agreement – up there with such others as the Free Trade Agreement and NORAD. Can you give us a perspective on how this evolved?

As a country, we share a border with the U.S. that spans over 8,900 kilometres. This unique environment – the length and geography – requires that, as Canada’s national police, the RCMP deals with a range of challenges that require a concerted approach and a timely exchange of information with our domestic and U.S. partners.

In 2011, our Prime Minister and the U.S. President issued a “Declaration on a Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.” The goal was to develop a new, long-term partnership that would accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods between both countries while strengthening perimeter security. Within this declaration, four areas were identified: addressing threats early; trade facilitation, economic growth and jobs; integrated cross-border law enforcement; and, critical infrastructure and cyber security.

In cooperation with Transport Canada, we co-lead the initiative related to enhancing domain awareness for law enforcement in the air, land and marine environments. The RCMP also works closely with our ­colleagues at Public Safety Canada to implement bi-lateral law enforcement ­programs and provide interoperable radio capability for law enforcement. These ­initiatives are a result of many years of hard work and commitment by all agencies and authorities along land, marine and air ­borders in both of our Countries.

From a policing perspective, the starting point can be traced to the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) established in the late 90s on the Pacific Coast between the U.S. and Canada. Over the past two decades, cross-border crime fighting has evolved from cooperation to coordination, to models of integration.

We are proud of the accomplishments of IBET operations, and the related evolution of the Shiprider program. Shiprider, formally known as Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations, is an integrated operational approach to maritime law enforcement and security in our shared water ways between Canada and the U.S. (both inland and coastal).

One of the key elements to the ­success of this initiative has been the cross designation of specially trained Canadian and U.S. officers with the necessary legal credentials from each of our countries. This measure was taken to increase effectiveness and reduce effort and costs while respecting the distinctive jurisdictional authorities and laws of each partner. The sovereignty of each country is maintained as visiting officers are under the direction and supervision of host country officers and must respect host country laws.

In addition, we have also been able to adopt common procedures and compatible equipment, as well as common command centres, resulting in increased efficiencies and the reduction of costs on both sides of the border.

To contribute to the success of Shiprider, the RCMP established a Border Integrity Operations Centre (BIOC) in British Columbia which strengthens domain awareness, officer safety and operational command and control. Complementing Shiprider, the RCMP, in close collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard, has developed leading-edge technology to enhance maritime domain awareness. This system has significantly expanded capabilities, performance and strength, and provides approximately 84% of border coverage in the Pacific Area of Responsibility.

Since April 2012, the system has been used to support multiple marine operations from the BIOC, including surge operations, investigations, and response to intelligence. The monitoring capability has also been expanded to the Pacific Marine Security Operations Centre (MSOC) and the Vancouver Island Border Integrity Unit.

The RCMP has helped establish three Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs), with the Department of Defence leading the two Coastal MSOCs and the RCMP leading the Great Lakes (GL) MSOC.

The GL MSOC is a component of the Federal Government’s 2005 and 2008 budgets to further enhance the security of Canada’s marine transportation system and maritime borders. It is an RCMP-led program that includes on-site participation from Transport Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of Defence, as core partners. The GL MSOC is supported by Public Safety Canada and the Department of Justice.

The MSOCs collect and analyze marine information, with partner agencies, to create an overall picture of maritime activity, and provide actionable intelligence in support of marine security.

Increased intelligence, operational and investigative capacity, achieved through national and international partnerships and common goals within the MSOCs, enables the detection and prevention of marine threats and events. The ability to identify threats early allows for an integrated and joint response.

Q: Where are these actions taking you and what challenges are you facing?
The two challenges that come immediately to mind are the issues surrounding information sharing and the costs related to policing.

As an organization, we continuously search for innovative ways to address the threat environment. For instance we look at integration, how to tackle threats at their source and expanded our abilities to share the information we gather. New technologies are a great contributor to reducing costs. This allows us to strategically place resources in areas where vulnerabilities have been identified.

However, developing integrated law enforcement models involving multiple agencies from two different nations is not without its challenges. We must find ways to address differences in training, operational policies and procedures, equipment standards, technology and organizational culture. But with good will and commitment, we have demonstrated, as in the case of Shiprider and IBET, these challenges are surmountable.

I am proud to say that we have taken some concrete steps in these areas and we can build on these successes while maximizing our effectiveness and efficiency. For us and our law enforcement allies, the challenge remains to find more effective ways of delivering on our diverse mandate by building an agile and integrated Federal Policing Program, capable of addressing operational priorities while using our precious resources in the most meaningful way. The traditional way of investigating, laying charges and prosecuting criminals can be costly, so we need to develop means that maximize our investment while reaching the goal of bringing criminals to justice. Only by doing so are we able to deny them of their means and methods, disrupting their operations using all of the tools at our disposal.

Q: The RCMP proactive initiatives against human trafficking are laudable indeed. A big issue in the BTB Agreement and for this Government has been improved screening to prevent the entry of persons who are inadmis­sible to Canada especially on security, criminality or a fraudulent immigra­tion basis such as previous deportees or failed refugee claimants. The last Auditor General Report on the subject confirmed that there are over 40K persons who have been ordered removed from Canada and who are the subject of arrest warrants. What is happening to improve this situation?

Recognizing that Canada is a very desirable place to live and work, those who do not qualify under our immigration laws will constantly try to find new means to enter this country illegally. Cracking down on illegal migration is not something we can do alone. Securing Canada’s border is a shared responsibility with our colleagues at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In fact, the CBSA has the primary responsibility for tracking down individuals who have been ordered removed from Canada for immigration purposes.

As an organization we recognize that the prevention of criminal elements in Canada and our ability to stop them from trafficking and smuggling innocent victims is linked to our ability to work in a cohesive and sustained effort. In order to achieve this goal, again, we must develop and share compatible tools and new technologies with our partners here in Canada and abroad. For instance, we have developed the ability to share the information on those individuals in a timely and effective manner using biometrics and other technologies. We must responsibly share more broadly and effectively any intelligence that might indicate what, when and where these criminals and their network will change pathways, tactics or venues.

Other tools include such initiative as the Immigration Task Force (ITF), a joint forces operation comprised of law enforcement personnel from the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency. ITF has 20 members who work together to safely apprehend high-risk migrant fugitives through partnerships, teamwork and the effective use of intelligence.

Allow me to share some concrete examples of the good work we have accomplished recently on this front.

In 2009, we initiated an investigation under the name “Project Conjugal” which aimed at putting the light on hundreds of suspicious marriages. In 2012, a total of 78 charges were laid against 39 individuals. It successfully led to the dismantling of an alleged criminal organization that was bringing to Canada illegal immigrants. These charges were laid against the individuals who allegedly took part in marriages of convenience in exchange for money.

Last July, the RCMP led an investigation into human trafficking for forced labour named Project OPAPA. Throughout the investigation, the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) worked closely with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Hamilton Police Service and other regional police services in the greater Toronto. They were also assisted by several non-governmental organizations who provided support to the victims.

Numerous charges such as participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and fraud were laid against numerous suspects. Vulnerable Hungarian Nationals were brought to Canada after being promised steady good paying jobs and better lives. Once they arrived here, the traffickers controlled who the victims spoke with, where they lived and what they ate. The victims were forced to work long hours without any pay. They were told that their family members back in Hungary would be harmed if they did not comply.

To date, more than sixteen people have been convicted of offences related to this investigation. The sentences have ranged from probation to 9 years in prison. This case is just one example of the work the RCMP is doing to combat human trafficking, in partnership with many stakeholders.

Q: That is indeed a great challenge. Would you like to provide any final ideas or concerns for our readers?

We are always seeking opportunities for improvement and constantly examining new and innovative initiatives to counter the ever-evolving threats. We can never be satisfied or become complacent with respect to border security, therefore we must remain vigilant and continue to work together with domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify solutions to overcome barriers to effective cross-border law enforcement; to explore new ways to bring criminals to justice; to deny them their means and methods, and to disrupt their operations using all of the tools at our disposal.

Clive Addy is FrontLine’s Executive Editor.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Fighting Terrorism by Preventing Domestic Radicalization
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 2)

When al-Qaeda, or what it’s become, is publishing propaganda and chillingly accurate instructions to incite radicalized or radically-prone young Muslims living in the West to “build bombs in your mother’s kitchen”, it’s time to confront the reality that a new front on the Islamist war has opened up and it’s in our own backyard.

This reality of the threat from within has been the subject of largely ignored warnings from before and after 9-11 which were relegated to the back burner following those international network-driven attacks. And while there has been unquestionable success in suppressing the capabilities of international Islamist networks, that does not mean the threat itself has gone away – nor even diminished – and that means our approach must also evolve.

First and foremost, it’s time for a reminder that the threat comes from those who have an extremist and unyielding belief that their version of Islam calls for the submission of the world to its dictates and that killing those that oppose or resist this is not only permissible but obligatory.

We must never lose sight of this basic truth because terrorism is the attack dog of extremist Islam and, while it takes many shapes and targets, its motivation remains constant.

Second, it is long overdue that, uncomfortable or not, this motivation must be candidly acknowledged by both our official entities and the larger Muslim community which wants nothing to do with these radical views and who rejects Islamist goals. For them, Islam may be a religion of peace that forbids killing of innocent civilians but for others, their version of Islam commands it. There are clearly different conclusions being reached, but the good guys and the bad guys are reading from the same book, and acknowledging this is essential if we’re going to be successful in this struggle.

Candour, however uncomfortable, is a better long term strategy than the RCMP twisting itself into pretzels at each new incident to avoid offending anyone.

The final reality that needs facing is that for those that would do us harm, there is a long term goal of establishing a “global Caliphate” that involves different operational strategies. This includes a full spectrum of actors from the Taliban savagery wrought on its own people to al-Qaeda terrorism against Muslims and the West alike, to Salafist and Wahabbi funding of extremist Islamic ideology in the West in the name of ‘religion’, to the overt Islamist political efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) where democracy is but a means to their ultimate end – which is Islamist rule.

For Western countries like Canada and the U. S., the Muslim Brotherhood has cleverly chosen a more opaque course through a shadowy network of benignly named groups that are actually dedicated to not only preventing Muslim integration into secular, liberty based, Western societies (which is what 95% of Muslims left their home countries to achieve), but also to subvert Western societies from within.

Lest there be anyone out there who still doubts the existence and clear purpose of this long term strategy, let me suggest you read the judgment and supporting evidence in the US v. Holy Land Foundation case (www.investigativeproject.org/case/65) or the compelling 2011 book, “The Grand Jihad” by Andy McCarthy, who prosecuted the Blind Sheikh for the first World Trade Centre bombing. You’ll find it in the ‘Non Fiction’ section of your local bookstore.

Although the Holy Land Foundation prosecution was specifically focused on a phoney charity that was illegally raising and transferring money to Hamas, the evidence exposed intricate details and recorded conversations and documents from a purposely constructed network of organizations with the ultimate goal of ‘destroying from within and sabotaging this miserable house’ that is, for them, Western society. Those quotes, by the way, are from intercepted conversations of persons that went on to lead various MB-linked Islamic groups, which remain active in the U.S. and Canada. One other quote worth keeping in mind is the official motto of the Muslim Brotherhood which says it all:

“God is our goal, Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death in the service of God is the loftiest of our wishes.”

Most important of all as we enter this new phase of working to prevent the Islamist radicalization that leads to domestic terrorism, this MB network of groups was shown in the HLF prosecution to have demonstrably embraced that ‘War is Deception’ and that lying to the kuffar (non believers) is fully authorized by the Quran itself through the doctrine known as ‘taqiyya’.

Since 2006, Canada has experienced multiple incidents where radicalized young Muslims, including converts to Islam, are alleged to, and in some cases confessed and been convicted of having been involved in planning intended terrorist acts of mass casualty violence within Canada. These include the 2006 Toronto 18 cases, the 2010 Ottawa plot, the VIA rail plot, and most recently the Canada Day plot in Victoria. In addition to this, there have been several incidents of radicalized young Muslim males, again including converts, who are alleged to have travelled overseas or had been planning to do so to commit terrorist acts of violence motivated by their extrem- ist Islamist beliefs.

While some cases have involved persons who appear to have received training abroad, the common theme in all these cases is that the radicalization that motivated these dangerous actions took place... in Canada. This chilling reality must no longer be ignored – and that includes determining how it took place and who was involved.

That hard truth was summed up by a parent of one of the young Toronto 18 would-be terrorists when he warned, “They’re stealing our kids.” It’s time we started focusing on who “they” are.

While there has been significant work done on analysing the general psychological profile of persons vulnerable to such radicalization, very little concrete measures have been taken to identify and then proactively target the means by which such radicalization occurs. Inasmuch as the base motivation is linked to a ‘religion’, which itself is predominate within various visible minority communities, this kind of proactive approach no doubt causes anxiety in bureaucracies where risk avoidance is Rule #1.

No one understands this more than the bad guys who perceive and consciously use our society’s cherished civil protections as a weakness to be exploited including claiming ‘Islamophobia’ as a sword to prevent scrutiny of their behaviour. The clear reality of the threat from Islamist radicalization is such, however, that looking the other way is no longer an acceptable option.

In some ways, the strategy to combat domestic radicalization issue is similar to other specialized crime issues like dealing with street gangs. Proactively working with local communities and taking informed measures to resist and prevent gang recruitment while actively helping people leave the gang culture has had some success and it may well serve as a template to prevent Islamist radicalization in Canada.

What’s needed is recognition of the reality of the threat of Islamist radicalization in Canada and the design and implementation of tangible and constitutionally permissible measures to confront and deal with it effectively. At the same time, an upgraded series of proactive counter terrorism measures to deal with the new iteration of Islamist terrorism is also advisable.

It should also be stated that what is proposed is applicable to any religious group who are motivated by what they view as ‘religious duty’ to cause death and destruction and the subversion of our Canadian society. The cold hard truth is, however, that there is only one such group with such an agenda today but that must not be allowed to prevent us from taking action. What follows, therefore, are specific action item suggestions to confront and defeat this newest security threat.


  1. Ensure there is a clear and official awareness of the threat of extremist Islamism, domestic radicalization and the supportive Muslim Brotherhood long term goals including in Canada.
  2. Identify all Muslim Brotherhood links in Islamic groups including mosques and Islamic learning centres.
  3. Identify all Wahabbi/Saudi/Salafist funding of mosques, learning centres and Islamic organizations in Canada. This issue was the subject of reporting by CTV News and the Globe and Mail a number of years ago, following similar reporting in the United States. Given the charitable or non-profit status of such organizations, the required information should be available, although sorting through it and conducting link analysis to get an accurate picture will almost certainly be required.
  4. Improve community outreach efforts to the Islamic community. This is a critical component of preventing radicalization, but it must be conducted on an informed basis so the persons included are not pursuing an agenda at odds with those seeking the outreach, such as has demonstrably occurred in the U.S. and UK. This involves conducting sufficient background analysis to ensure that liaison is established with persons genuinely seeking to prevent Islamist radicalization rather than with self appointed ‘leaders’ of the community whose views (public and private) are not representative of the communities they claim to represent.
  5. Promote integration and note segregation efforts. Successful integration into Canada’s multi-cultural society is likely the best protection against radicalization and thus efforts to promote it should be recognized and supported. Conversely, deliberate efforts by mosques, learning centres or Islamic organizations to promote segregation of Muslims away from the larger Canadian community should be recognized as cause for concern.
  6. Use civil regulatory tools. If an organization can be shown to be using its facilities for the promotion of anti-social values such as gender inequality, homophobia or eradication of free speech and secular democracy, the potential exists to use local government regulations that have ‘public interest’ requirements to prevent building permit re-issuance or expansion etc... This strategy of ‘using all the tools in the toolbox’ will be controversial but will also likely expose such anti-social practices to the light of day, which is a good thing.
  7. Amend IRPA and Citizenship Act. These statutes could be amended to render inadmissible non-citizens or persons with acquired citizenship (through revocation) who advocate or promote cultural, religious or racial intolerance, gender inequality or the elimination of any of secular democracy, individual liberty or the rule of secular law for persons within Canada.
  8. Proactive Cyber efforts regarding recruitment/radicalization sites. Self radicalization aided by jihadi websites is a reality that is facing intelligence and law enforcement personnel. While monitoring such sites to stay on top of what’s being promoted and who is visiting it is obviously a useful tactic, at some point deploying a proactive offensive cyber attack strategy to ‘melt down’ the bad guys’ servers and websites is also worth considering.
  9. Use existing legal preventive tools. There are a number of existing legal tools which are focused on prevention, rather than after-the-fact prosecution, which have the potential to prevent already radicalized persons from being able to spread their beliefs to vulnerable persons. These include supervision orders (with electronic monitoring) pursuant to section 810.01 of the Criminal Code and the ‘Passenger Protect’ database, whereby persons can be denied access to airplanes based on their perceived security risk. In the context, for example, of persons who have been fighting for al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, this could mean a dramatically reduced ability to return to Canada and effective supervision with penal consequences for any breach for persons that do return.
  10. Protect children from radicalization by their parents. Children living in Canada should receive the full benefit of our laws that are explicitly designed to protect them from harm, including anti-social indoctrination or abuse from their parents in the name of extremist Islam. This is not an academic situation as the experiences of the Khadr family and the fate of the murdered Asqa Parvez and the Shafia sisters demonstrate. Surely, as residents of Canada, they deserved better and we are obliged to ensure that such abuse does not continue because of some politically correct aversion to confronting the truth.
  11. Track visits to defined countries of interest. Canada has now begun a process whereby destination information on persons leaving Canada can be tracked and analysed for defined purposes. One such purpose could be to monitor persons visiting defined ‘countries of interest’ with respect to Islamist indoctrination and training which are clearly relevant to the potential of radicalization in Canada. While persons may have a right to visit Yemen, Syria, Somalia or Afghanistan, the rest of us have a right to notice.
  12. Support emigration for those seeking to live under shari’a law. To date, the political leadership of Canada has not unequivocally stated that shari’a law will not be invoked or allowed in Canada, despite the obvious reality that it won’t. Implementing the counter radicalization measures proposed will clearly create some discomfort for persons who are so inclined but, as always, telling people the truth is good policy. Accordingly, it may be possible to negotiate agreements with countries that have an Islamic culture and gover- nance so as to facilitate emigration of persons from Canada who prefer to live in that environment.

Like other Western countries, Canada is facing an unprecedented threat to domestic security through the radicalization of persons to a nihilistic Islamist ideology where death is a preferred tactic to discussion. While there is legitimate room for debating the extent and thus severity of the threat, there can be no doubt of its unprecedented nature and growing presence.

The suggestions offered here will legitimately generate controversy, precisely because they go to the core of the threat, which is violence predicated on religious beliefs.

Rather than shy away from that controversy, it is recommended that it be confronted – beginning with candid consultations with individual Muslims and Muslim organizations in Canada that want no part of this radicalized political Islamist agenda and who look to Canada for a tolerant multicultural society which ensures better lives for themselves and their families.

It is clearly a difficult challenge, but one that must be undertaken, and one which I am confident we can meet – if truth and candour are our guides. To paraphrase a previous commentator... “If not us then who... and if not now, then when?”

The reality of domestic radicalization also creates a new scenario of terrorism threats within Canada and thus a need to consider refined domestic counter terrorism initiatives and priorities. The following actions merit consideration:
  1. Deploy a modern face recognition biometrics and Global Name Recognition lookout system that includes international participation.
  2. Maximize the use of international the ‘No Fly’ List.
  3. Deploy fully integrated (lookout) screening at critical infrastructure, for employees and for site access.
  4. Deploy specialized mass population venue security measures.
  5. Create an Office of the National Security Coordinator, to ensure accountability.
  6. Deploy automated analytical border surveillance with mobile interdiction teams that include the CBSA and local police.
  7. Expand safe third country agreements to prevent “asylum shopping”.
  8. Modernize security inadmissibility/removal processes under IRPA to replace the security certificate process with expedited removal on defined grounds, but with full disclosure sufficient to support an inadmissibility claim.

Scott Newark is Associate Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Interview: Dr Michael Kempa
Economics of Policing
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

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.

Q1: Following the work of Senate and House parliamentary committees, what do you view as key issues in the Economics of Policing, and what role have unions and associations played?

Indeed, the effects of unions and associations on the economics of policing are the ones that come first to most people’s mind and are the most reported in mainstream media. Whenever participants go to negotiation on police contracts, typically, they specify where they are to be considered in the pecking order with respect to other police organizations, so there is something of a ratcheting up effect of salaries and total budgets between police organizations.

This has been covered most substantially and is one element that must be resolved through looking at and amending the Police Services Acts of the provinces, to eliminate those clauses from collective agreements. I do not think that anyone would have a problem with tying salary rates to inflation, or to periodic review every couple of years, but the idea of tying them to one another as police structures only, has proved problematic.

Less covered than this, but a major element that has come up in parliamentary work and last January at the meeting on the Economics of Policing in Ottawa (sponsored by the federal government), is the structural shift in technology and economics that has opened up many new opportunities for crime, and, correspondingly, defined the necessary investigative venues to police and fight crime. However, we have not yet clearly thought through how we would approach these new challenges; we basically just spent more money.

Whenever a new opportunity for human interaction and trade comes up, whether in automobiles, trade, communication, banking or whatever other technology, the law is usually very much out of date because it has not foreseen these new spheres of such activity. The pace of exchange and interaction between people has really exploded in last 10 to 12 years, and therefore the law is quite out of date, so police organizations have had to play “catch-up” with many of the new threats to people’s rights and property – considering ways ­people can be defrauded or victimized in cyberspace, or in other forms of hyper-communications technology. Police organizations have been doing their level best, however, without the law to support them and a plan in place to deal with those new spaces, such efforts will obviously be a ­little disorganized. The Police, their civilian Boards, the Federation of Canadian Muni­cipalities, and the provinces have recognized this and accepted that they must define and allocate police organizations to confront these new challenges more systematically to avoid duplication and to adopt best practices and means. Lots of money is being spent on well-meaning but ineffectively-coordinated initiatives.

There are many opportunities arising, however, for using these same technologies against criminals, and obviously these demand some specialized skills. Governments and Boards therefore challenge the police to “skill-up” and pay for the training and infrastructure needed to go out into those spaces and do coordinated policing. That has been very expensive.

There is also a profound shift in structural economics – and one of the truisms of social science and economics is that shifts in policing shadow shifts in our very economic systems. From farm-based, to industrial, then to technological economies, similar shifts in the focus, means and demands of policing were forced.

Now, in our information-heavy global economy, these shifts and interconnectivity have even greater consequences for public safety. We can imagine the scale of crime arising in an industrial time when major closures of factories led to unemployment and, in turn, to increased crime rates. However, in today’s environment, though similar, it is the scale, reach and acceleration of these criminal effects where an economic downturn on a global scale spreads the disorder and accelerates organized violence and crime. As we see around the world and at home today the police are very much in the middle of that.

There is therefore a need for a new plan, for skilling up police organizations to deal with this global economy and its technological challenges – and the catch-up of the law to support these necessary shifts in enforcement.

Q2: As we look ahead over the next generation do you see changes in the allocation of responsibilities between federal, provincial and municipal policing that might lighten the economic load on the taxpayer? Do you see technology and information sharing as reducing or increasing costs, and what realms of traditional policing might you see relegated to less costly security resources?

One of the very positive things that we have seen arise in Canada is the integration of policing. They have often included federal, provincial and municipal / local (sometimes the RCMP is contracted to do all three) as well as other federal government players that make a contribution to financial, market and environmental security, or even such other members as the Provincial Financial Securities Regulators, since organized crime crosses (and ignores) our legislative boundaries.

More and more, agencies like the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) are called upon to contribute. Perhaps then, the focus should be for say, the RCMP to create a best policing model for each of these major challenges and include the contribution to be made by each of the players, regardless of level. We have had some good examples of this ‘all level coordination’ (such as the G20), with limited time for planning, but where more could have been done to oversee and coordinate the contributions made by all of the policing players.

The Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) and others, such as the Saskatchewan Hub Model with its Partnerships Evaluation, are also successful models. There are many such cooperative efforts which must evolve and become better used.

Innovation may indeed go as far, and may incorporate work being done by less costly non-public means. Take for instance a murder investigation, a very serious crime and definitely in the public interest to see justice is done. Would there be a place, at some point in the long and serious policing process, to bring in a lower paid non-state actor? More obviously, for say a property crime, might not the bulk of the work be done by less costly means? It would most likely entail starting at the legal public police level, but then sent out to capable but less costly agents or consultants.

Again, however, I would like to make the point that all resources must be used and coordinated. In this light, very under-used resources that should be available to policing are often the Police Boards, and the provincial and federal governments themselves. I do believe that it is the “feds” that must stitch-up the laws; develop a National Framework for Policing; perform the coordination to effect these necessary changes; and do so with the cooperation of all levels of government to lessen the costs and prove effective. Canadian public safety demands such efforts to maintain order and increase efficiencies.

The key to all of this is relevant and effective legislation and policing processes, pertinent to these new dynamic challenges – and properly and efficiently enforced.

Q3: What other significant policing issues do you see emerging as we rely more heavily on immigration for our continuing prosperity in the next generations? Are there economic policing issues we should foresee?

There are two parts to that question for me. The first is pure good news. Statistical analyses done by academics and by Statistics Canada, of communities with high levels of immigration in Toronto, Montreal, and academic studies in the U.S. (most especially Chicago), show that immigration is good for crime rates. It matters not where the immigration comes from in the world, but for the first 5 to 10 years of naturalization in Canada or the U.S., the communities with the highest immigration – no matter the source – have the lowest crime rates. That is a most surprising and counter-intuitive fact.

In the first five or so years, the new arrivals have a number of protective factors. Most especially, their families and strong integration into their communities sort of insulate them from crimes or delinquency when the going does get tough, such as socio-economic inability to progress or difficulty finding jobs. At the beginning, the bonds immigrants bring on arrival keep them from criminal activity.

The warning is that these bonds do not reduce crime forever: the crime rates start to rise in those communities if they are not integrated into the broader society and given fair opportunities.

So high immigration may drive policing costs down in those early years – but the more pressing message for police organizations, is that the needs of these communities force the police to adjust their strategies and tactics in the immediate term. The police must go out to these communities and bond with these new citizens and create that basis for working with the police in a proactive fashion to reduce crime in their community. They have come here because they believed they would have a better life in Canada and we must show them that this is a safer and better place to raise a family. This means that a high degree of outreach in these communities must be maintained for all to benefit.

Organized crime and violence can rise in specific locations and groups, it is therefore vital to get the idea of trust and police presence in these communities early on to mitigate and eradicate this. This does indeed say much of what future policing in Canada must be doing as we increase our reliance on immigration to sustain our well-being.

Q4: What areas do you feel need further consideration?

Given the complexity of current security and order, and the corollary complexity of its policing, there is a definite need to increase the non-police advice at the top of non-policing organizations. What I mean by that is, not taking anything away from operational matters, or managing of policing police tactical matters, I feel we must ramp up the influence and responsibilities of Police Boards. So far, we have not really optimized the contribution of civilian oversight. Investing into this type of oversight, I believe, will result in large dividends down the road. Not all police officers are experts at organizational management – so better links between police command and outside professionals would be good.

The Police Boards have done good work, but they have not been given the responsibility and resources to optimize their full potential. Let us make sure that they have access to legal counsel and the proper complement of people with a business background to make the necessary contribution to the police effort that the police themselves do not have. We are not talking about having a bunch of anti-police cranks or radical professors harassing police management, but rather about good advice on Human Resource practices and administration and having a proper business case in respect of their needs for new technology to be able to face the challenges from those outside the “police parish”. Some up-front investment here would also bring a short term dividend, I am sure.

I would also support linking promotion criteria and remuneration more closely to skills and performance as opposed to seniority and years of experience. This is not easy but once a proper balance of skills and performance is reached in promoting criteria for policing organizations, I would suggest that whomever achieves this be sent immediately to the universities to do the same with their tenure and promotion criteria. Though most public unions – police, university and government – will shy away from this, we can expect that most agencies in the public sector will be shaken up in these ways in the near future. There is money to be saved and improvements in services delivered to be made.

Clive Addy is Executive Editor of FrontLine Security magazine.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Immigration & Borders
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

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.”

RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia told reporters that the accused had received “direction and guidance” from elements of al-Qaeda in Iran, and noted that intelligence showed the Iranian government was not involved. He added: “Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured.”

Criminal Code Not “Holy”
Esseghaier, an engineer with a master’s degree in industrial biotechnology, was born in Tunisia and studied at Quebec’s Université de Sherbrooke in 2008 and 2009. Prior to his arrest, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique near Montreal listed him as one of its doctoral students. During his initial court appearance, he refused a lawyer and translator and dismissed the charges against him, telling the judge that the “Criminal Code is not [a] holy book. It’s just written by [a] set of creations and the creations they’re not perfect because only the creator is perfect.”

The Toronto Star reported that Esseghaier had been under “surveillance for a year, and police became increasingly concerned after what was seen as erratic conduct aboard an airliner en route to Mexico last spring. The event resulted in no charges, but worried law enforcement.”

Fake documents, failed deportation, permanent residency
CBC News also reported that “Canada tried nine years ago to deport Raed Jaser, one of the two men accused in the Via Rail terror plot, but authorities didn’t proceed and later granted him permanent residency.” In March 1993, Jaser was a minor when he first arrived in Canada with his parents and two siblings at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on a flight from Germany. The CBC report said they provided “fake French documents”, and his parents “made a claim for refugee protection.” The family was denied refugee status, and appealed the decision. Jaser’s parents later withdrew their refugee claim, an action that resulted in them being added to the “deferred removal order” list. However, “Jaser could not be included in that program because he had criminal ­convictions,” reported the CBC. He was officially “determined not to be a refugee on Oct. 30, 1998”, and more than half a decade later “a warrant was issued for his arrest so he could be deported.”

The “Palestinian by blood” born in the UAE
At his deportation hearing in August 2004, Jaser claimed that he was a stateless Palestinian despite the fact that he had been born in the United Arab Emirates. He told officials that he was not a citizen of that country and “I am a Palestinian by blood, that does not give me any rights whatsoever in my place of birth.”

CBC News reported that Jaser’s “criminal convictions also surfaced at the 2004 [deportation] hearing”, with the government’s lawyer pointing out that Jaser had “five fraud-related convictions and two prior convictions for failure to comply with a recognizance.” Officials concluded that Jaser would be allowed to remain in Canada on bail until the government decided what to do with him. “He later applied for, and was granted a pardon,” the CBC report explained. “It’s not clear if the pardon was for one or all of his charges.”

Significantly, in 2001 Jaser was given two years’ probation, a $1,000 fine, and a five-year weapons ban after a conviction for uttering death threats (he was later ­pardoned on that charge also). Greg Weston, the CBC’s investigative reporter covering national security issues, explained that “with that pardon, [Jaser] was subsequently granted permanent residency status in Canada.”  

On April 23, the National Post reported that Jaser’s father had approached a Toronto Islamic leader, an imam named Mohammed Robert Heft, “with concerns about his son’s hardening views of Islam.” Other imams were informed about the reputedly militant Muslim and one of them was concerned enough to contact his lawyer, who in turn notified authorities about Jaser.

In an interview with the National Post, Canada’s public safety minister, Vic Toews, said that Canadian Muslims played a key role in the RCMP investigation that led to the arrests of Esseghaier and Jaser. “The community involvement in dealing with these kinds of activities is absolutely essential,” Toews commented. “In that context I’d specifically want to point out that the Muslim community was very instrumental in providing crucial information that helped the police in this case.”

Stop Pardoning and Deport Criminal Immigrants
After the initial CBC report about the alleged Via Rail terror plot, FrontLine contacted the immigration department for comment about the situation and received an e-mailed reply from the office of Minister Jason Kenney, with the following:

“I absolutely was disturbed to learn that a foreigner can get a pardon for serious criminal offences and then be allowed to stay in Canada. We also have obligations under the international conventions on the prevention of statelessness. I, in fact, this afternoon [April 26] am having a briefing with officials to see if there was any way to work to still remove someone like this who allegedly is stateless.

“You know, our obligation on the convention for statelessness is not to render someone stateless. We will not have rendered him stateless, for example, to have removed him to the Palestinian authorities’ territories. I’m looking at all aspects of this case to see if we can learn whether anything more could have been done. But I can certainly tell you that I cannot tolerate that serious criminals would be allowed to stay in Canada in perpetuity based on some pardon.”

“Why should a pardon override criminal inadmissibility?” Kenney asked rhetorically. “That’s what I’m looking at with my officials – to see whether we can make a policy change. It seems to me, I don’t care whether you get a pardon or not, if you commit a serious criminal offence in Canada you should be kicked out, period. So we are reviewing the case to see what lessons we can learn, but this is why we are massively improving immigration security screening in Canada.”

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada pointed to the following initiatives as positive steps taken by the government:

  • the Faster Deportation of Foreign Criminals Act;
  • stripping convicted terrorists of their Canadian citizenship;
  • introducing biometric visa requirements;
  • negotiating an information-sharing treaty with the United States on visa applicants; and
  • implementing new electronic travel authorization.

“It’s why we’re taking all of these steps to massively upgrade immigration security screening, and we use cases like this [the alleged Via Rail terror plot] to learn lessons,” Minister Kenney added.

Accept fewer – Screen them properly
“Canada has the highest rate of immigration per capita of any industrialized country – about one-quarter of a million people annually,” Martin Collacott explained in a telephone interview. “The federal government has not devoted ­adequate resources to properly screen such a large number of individuals, particularly given the fact that thousands of them come from areas with either known terrorist organizations or governments that provide financial and/or other types of support to groups that have advocated using terror to further their ideology or political agenda.”

Martin Collacott is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, where he studies immigration policy, treatment of refugees, and related issues involving terrorism. He worked in the Department of External Affairs for three decades, including as Director General for Security Services, a capacity involving international coordination of counter-terrorism policy. He also represented Canada in diplomatic capacities in various Asian nations and served as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Ambassador to Syria, Lebanon, and Cambodia. His professional experience includes immigration and refugee programs.

This former diplomat also noted that “the government needs to reform the immigration system significantly because of its high cost to Canadian taxpayers: approximately $20 billion annually.” Mr. Collacott’s view is that “lowering immigration to a level commensurate with Ottawa’s allocation of resources to adequately screen individuals coming to this country is the logical approach in terms of addressing the situation in the current environment of tight federal budgets.” He also observed that federal education about the country’s norms and values for foreigners who want to study, work and live in Canada has been lacking. “The government should do more to ensure that immigrants are better informed during their application process of what will be expected of them as immigrants, students, and employees adapting to a social environment that may be very different from the one they are accustomed to,” he said. In his 2008 report, “Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States”, Collacott and his colleague Alexander Moens go into much detail on this matter.

Controlling just the point of entry is not enough!
Another expert, Dr. Christian Leuprecht, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada was approached for comments. He is also appointed to the Department of Political Studies and the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he is also a fellow of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, and the Chair in Defence Management Studies.

Dr. Leuprecht told FrontLine Security that “since 9/11, the historical evidence shows that most terrorists and terror suspects have crossed the Canada/U.S. border legally at ports of entry, which suggests that enforcement resources would be better spent on flows than controls at the actual border. Controlling flows refers to enforcement along the pathways that goods and people travel, rather than at the border itself. It’s a strategy that multiplies points accessed by security officials to engage goods and people – increasing opportunities for the interception of illicit products and individuals who may need to be detained for public safety reasons before entering a country.”

A related report, “Cross-border terror networks: a social network analysis of the Canada/ U.S. Border”, authored by Dr. Leuprecht and two of his Queen’s University colleagues, was published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.

Dr. Leuprecht feels that “the recent alleged Via Rail terror plot, which the RCMP reportedly thwarted, in addition to other security operations that have kept attacks from being carried out in Canada, have generated considerable confidence in Canadians that they are adequately protected from individuals or groups intent on doing them harm.”

Since 9/11, Canada’s counter-terrorism laws and actions by police forces have been demonstrably effective. Is this just luck, or due to sound policies and effective screening? Well, the Via Rail plot reveals that there are still gaps at the federal level that need to be closed in order to protect Canadians and assets of economic value. We have heard several suggestions from known experts and the Minister responsible, which merit serious consideration. Canadians deserve to have these aired and the whole immigration system rendered more effective and safe for all.

Blair Watson is a contributing editor at FrontLine Security.
© FrontLine Security 2013



MSOC: Watching over Inland Waters
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

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.

Patrick Donovan, Great Lakes MSOC CCG Manager, examines a map of the MSOC area of responsibility.

The day the news broke, I met with S/Sgt. Steve Brown of the RCMP. As Site Commander of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway’s MSOC (Maritime Security Operations Centre) in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario, he shared firsthand information about the modus operandi of a maritime security centre for internal waterways.

Critics of the MSOC model question the likelihood of insular and culturally different federal departments working together. The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), for example, is primarily a safety organization that also provides support to Canadian departments and agencies (including the RCMP) through the provision of ships and marine services. An example of this would be when RCMP officers are required for enforcement duties. Given this relationship, it seemed all the more appropriate that my interview also include Pat Donovan, the CCG Manager for the Great Lakes’ MSOC.

Securing an Open Society
The proposal for a maritime security infrastructure arose from a 2004 Privy Council Office report: Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy in response to 9/11. After forming MSOCs on the East and West coast it was realized that such an entity would also be needed for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Along this critical waterway that separates the U.S. and Canada, both sides have multiple ports and critical transportation corridors. These important trade conduits also represent a unique vulnerability in terms of smuggling and other criminal activity. The coastal MSOCs are administered by the Department of National Defence (DND), whereas the Great Lakes’ MSOC is administered by the RCMP which has federal jurisdiction over enforcement within Canada. These arrangements are likely influenced by the 1818 Rush Bagot Treaty between the U.S. and Canada following the War of 1812, which defined the Great Lakes as a “demilitarized zone”. This historic artifact notwithstanding, Canada’s three MSOCs are reported to work in unison.

Intelligence Operations
S/Sgt. Brown explains that the organization of the Centre is a co-location of five federal government agencies who are core partners of the MSOC: RCMP, Transport Canada (TC), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and CCG. On the Great Lakes, the RCN serves as an extension of the East Coast MSOC. Each MSOC partner operates separately within their respective ­legislative authority and liaise with their respective national security components within their Agency, as warranted. Presently housed in a private corporate building, S/Sgt. Brown is looking forward to the new dedicated MSOC Headquarters being built nearby.

The “nerve centre” of the MSOC is the Watch Floor; a room that has practically wall-to-wall flat screen monitors that display the feeds coming from all parts of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. The core partners coordinate their national security and local enforcement efforts, says S/Sgt. Brown. “Every morning we highlight the maritime events that are in progress and share information that has come our way about incidents ongoing. By 9 am all core partners have an appreciation of what is happening in the Great Lakes MSOC area of responsibility and address and follow-up on any issues that might affect their Agency.”

The Watch Floor provides the ability to focus on any part of the waterway from the St Lambert Locks near Montreal to the western tip of Lake Superior, near Thunder Bay. As S/Sgt. Brown explains, “Each partner recognizes how they can contribute to the marine intelligence picture being developed. These interactions add to the situational awareness being created and assessed. No one particular Agency oversees the management of the Watch Floor.” The Coast Guard staffs the Watch Floor on a 24/7 basis. In addition, the Navy works the Watch Floor on a 16/7 basis, from 0800-2400, 7 days a week. Pat Donovan notes that “each Department is responsible for bringing information to the table when any situation or location is under review without necessarily knowing who or what the information is required for.”

The following scenario is an example of such information sharing works: If a vessel of interest is being observed, TC may provide an account of the vessel’s travel log for its last ten ports of call and its compliance with Canadian maritime regulations and environmental laws when in Canadian waters. CBSA has access to a manifest of the cargo it is carrying and the names of its crew. CCG can provide a real-time account of the marine terrain it is passing through and where it is heading. These packets of information are provided without any need for an explanation of why the information is sought or for whom it is required. Pat Donovan stresses the cooperative position for all MSOC partners: “If I don’t know the answer, I know someone who does and I can quickly contact them.”

Describing the MSOC as functioning in a “horizontal leadership” format, S/Sgt. Brown explains that “Core partner agencies communicate with each other on an individual basis as need be. Our overall goal is to generate and disseminate accurate, coherent, relevant and timely situational awareness and actionable intelligence of the maritime domain in support of maritime security. This is a lofty goal that requires a broad government approach. We are five core agencies of government. Bringing us together to work in this environment requires a lot of government resources. Public Safety Canada oversees the project, we are careful to track and report all of the interactions around information sharing that go on between the five core departments. We are still in the project development stage and so the budgets and personnel have not been solidified. We are always looking at what we do and what we need to do in order to make it work better, thereby defining our best action plan for moving forward.”

Another critically important partner of the Great Lakes’ MSOC is the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC). This not-for-profit corporation was established by Seaway users and other interested parties to administer, manage and operate the portion of the system under Canadian jurisdiction, while the U.S.-based St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) does the same for the U.S. segment.

Border Law Enforcement
Law enforcement on land between the Canada and U.S. border is managed on land through the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBET) and on the water by Marine Security Enforcement Teams (MSET). The IBET is comprised of U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officers who work with local and state/provincial law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border. MSET does not oversee law enforcement activities on the GL waterways but does participate as an equal partner with other marine units.

The MSETs patrol the Canadian side of the border on each of the Lakes. They have recently been equipped with three new 140 ft, Hero Class, Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (MSPVs), which carry two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) for interdiction and boarding requirements. The MSPVs are owned and crewed by CCG. Noting that, “MSET Police officers are very well trained, are very comfortable on the water, and they are veteran police officers with considerable experience of policing on land,” Pat Donovan explains. “It is the job of CCG to safely deliver the MSVP to where the RCMP’s senior officer wants to go. CCG is a civil organization, not mandated to conduct any law enforcement duties. Being familiar with the maritime domain, the CCG may caution against proposed actions on safety grounds but is committed to assisting the RCMP in the execution of their duties.” The Coast Guard Commanding Officer is responsible for safety of crew and vessel.

The past year has seen the introduction of the Shiprider Program to the Windsor area. This Program allows U.S. Coast Guard Officers to work on RCMP vessels and RCMP Officers to work on USCG vessels in order to enforce the laws of their respective jurisdictions as necessary. The Program is slated to operate in areas where the geography may encourage illicit transfer of contraband such as along the Detroit River. It is expected that this Program will eventually be introduced into the Kingston and Niagara regions as well.

The MSOC has no enforcement capacity on the Great Lakes. As S/Sgt. Brown explains: “There is no hierarchy among MSOC, MSET and Ship Rider. We all fall under the Criminal Operations Officer in London who oversees all of the RCMP criminal operations in O (Ontario) Division. The RCMP at MSOC reports to the O Division Intelligence Officer. If or when we come across information or intelligence that we feel our national security side of the house would benefit from, we will share where appropriate. The RCMP at Great Lakes MSOC gathers any or all information, whether it is National Security or organized crime based. Our mandate is situational awareness within our area of responsibility. We assist when requested and provide proactive information when we come across it as well.”

Transport Canada works with its partners in the MSOC to assess current and emerging threats to the marine transportation system in the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway system, which in turn supports TC’s regulatory oversight program. TC’s Director General of Marine Safety and Security chairs the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG), which is comprised of 17 federal departments and agencies with mandates for different aspects of marine security. The working group provides a forum for merging departmental maritime policies among federal Departments. TC Inspectors actively perform regulatory activities on the Great Lakes, which includes conducting security assessments, approving security plans, conducting inspections and participating in exercises.

Such duties increase TC’s ability to do surveillance and tracking of marine traffic in the Great Lakes in collaboration with the RCMP and the CCG.

Threat Assessment
The assessment of threats from within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway falls under the mandate of the Great Lakes’ MSOC, and Transport Canada also provides a critical role in that. Domestically, TC will assess potential security threats to land and marine transportation systems. Internationally, TC participates in global intelligence networks, assessing information received from its global intelligence partners and from industry. Threat information is distributed when necessary. TC’s 96-hour Pre-Arrival Reports support decisions on a vessel’s worthiness to enter Canada.

Are Canadians Complacent?
There are many complex policy fields between the national component of maritime security and community law enforcement. The community mind set needed to rationalize these complexities is referred to as community peace of mind or CPOM. The primary purpose of CPOM is the optimal allocation of resources between achieving national security and enhancing secure communities.

CPOM is seen as a community based intelligence philosophy. The primary application of CPOM is in balancing resource allocation between achieving national security and enhancing healthy communities to provide “accurate, coherent, relevant and timely situation awareness and actionable intelligence.”

The Great Lakes MSOC demonstrates unique cooperative characteristics that satisfy this requirement. As part of Canada’s maritime defence that supports regional law enforcement, and in a world where the nation’s communities are threatened by transnational crime and acts of violence, the Great Lakes MSOC mitigates against external threats and local crime through interactive roles of key organizations.

Few will argue that Canadians traditionally take their security for granted; most are unaware of how fragile their community peace of mind is. It seems that a majority of Canadians doubt a terrorist attack will happen in Canada, however, S/Sgt. Brown believes that dynamic is changing. “I personally don’t think Canadians are ‘complacent’ these days. Social media plays a big part of that. I think the younger generation in particular is more aware of the way threats can impact their lives and is more aware of international situations when it comes to extremism and terrorism. The world is a much smaller place than it was before 9/11.”

Considering this view, and the fact that criminal elements are also utilizing technology to thwart policing efforts, the MSOC provides an effective organization of organizations that are all dedicated to keeping Canadians safe – which is arguably the most important responsibility of the Canadian government.

Seeing “security” as a determinant of healthy communities should make the concept of being secure more of a social value that needs to be resourced rather than taken it for granted.
Tim Lynch is a FrontLine Maritime Security correspondent based in Toronto.
Send comments to tim@infolynk.ca
© FrontLine Security 2013



Boston Manhunt: Live on the Internet
Do Unsecure Communications Put Officers at Risk?
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

During the manhunt for the suspected Boston Marathon bombers in April, hundreds of thousands of people listened to police radio communications live over the Internet as hobbyists rebroadcast messages. Listeners then passed on information via Twitter, so that hundreds of thousands more learned how the hunt was proceeding from their computers, iPhones and BlackBerries, in very close to real time.

Much of that information was mission-critical. More sophisticated attackers could have used it to escape, or to attack again. Over clear channels, police were broadcasting exact details of the perimeters and search areas; officers’ names, badge and vehicle numbers, as well as their locations and when they were going off shift; details of the location and endurance time of the police helicopter; and taskings for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit (complete with street addresses).

As the search narrowed to one boat in one backyard, police pleaded over the air with listeners not to tweet details of their pursuit, in case the suspect was monitoring Twitter on a smartphone. Of course, a ­better-prepared attacker would carry his own portable scanner and follow police activity in real time, but no such sophistication is required to monitor Twitter. Desktop and shirt-pocket scanners capable of receiving many public service channels are freely available at stores like The Source ­(formerly Radio Shack).

Why are these communications not secured? The technology exists to encrypt radio traffic, and police services are certainly aware of its value.

In 2011, Washington, D.C. police switched to an encrypted system after officers noticed that criminals seemed to be taking advantage of their communications. In Pasadena, California, a 2102 decision to encrypt police radios sparked a battle with the Star-News newspaper about the public’s right to information that was only resolved months later when the force provided the paper’s newsroom with the keys needed to unlock their system. Fort Collins, Colorado debated the same issues this year, with the same outcome as Pasadena, but Josh Awtry, executive editor of a Colorado newspaper still worried. “An equally large concern weighing on me was that the use of the encrypted traffic would come with strings attached, that access would be taken away if coverage was negative or if we uncovered something others would prefer stay hidden,” he wrote.

Specialized units like tactical teams and surveillance units typically use encrypted systems. Some police forces have locked the public out of their main radio networks with encryption or are in the process of securing their systems, but other police radios are still wide open. Ontario’s Waterloo Regional Police Service, for example, was available to Internet listeners in May. Olaf Heinzel, public affairs coordinator for the force acknowledges that at least one website monitors and rebroadcasts its signals. There are concerns but, “On the other hand, it gives the public a better idea of the type of callouts officers go to.” The force has discussed encryption but there are “huge costs” associated with it. Meanwhile, Heinzel points out that, like many police services in Canada, a great deal of information is passed along to Waterloo Region Police officers in vehicles over secure data terminals.

Elsewhere in Canada, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), like most police forces, uses encrypted systems for specialized units such as the Tactics and Rescue Unit. The main system used by the RNC everyday is not encrypted, but RNC Patrol Services radios do use a system that prevents them from being picked up by scanners.

Public and Officer Safety vs Budget Constraints
The Toronto Police Service is gradually switching over to full encryption, according to Media Relations Officer Victor Kwong. “We have not switched completely because if we switch over completely, we need every single officer to have one of those encrypted radios which, at this moment, we don’t have. It really comes down to budget.” The service is only replacing older radios with encrypted units when they are no longer serviceable. “For us, unless everyone has it, we can’t encrypt because otherwise, we black out our own officers. Once we have the entire service switched over, then we will go encrypted,” Kwong says.

Superintendent Lance Dudar of the Regina Police Service says his force’s radio system was upgraded to the current encrypted system in order to embrace the technological enhancements and advancements that are available. “The switch over was made in 2003. We made a bulk order to cut costs and split costs with the City and the Fire Department,” he explains.

Public and officer safety remain the focus of Regina’s Communication Centre. “Ensuring that our radio transmissions are not intercepted or compromised in any fashion remains paramount to this focus.” Transmissions on the encrypted system are not accessible to the public. However, he admits that “there may be times when it is necessary to revert back to our analogue system making it possible for transmissions to be scanned by the public,” such as brief maintenance or testing requirements.

In Canada, it is illegal for people to intercept radio signals if they are not the intended receiver, but the law is difficult to enforce. Some private citizens and organizations have a legitimate interest in monitoring police communications. Towing companies and media outlets have both ­traditionally monitored public safety radio signals with either the explicit or implied permission of local authorities. Supt. Dudar tells FrontLine that Regina’s police service has sharing agreements with some local media who have purchased a radio system. “They have access to some of our transmissions. However they signed a contract and are very diligent about fact-checking with us about items heard over the radio.”

In addition to concerns about officer safety, some police forces want encrypted radio systems to maintain the privacy of the citizens they serve, and to control rumours that may spread based on incorrect or partial information.

Complex Issue
The Boston Marathon pursuit sounded an alarm to police about radio security. Encryption can secure the communications of one organization but block cooperation between different public safety groups working on the same incident. As security expert Eric Jacksch notes, “Encryption of law enforcement radios is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can protect police conversations from prying ears, and criminals can no longer gain an advantage by ­listening in with an inexpensive scanner. However, it makes inter-agency communication much more complex. We need emergency services to be able to communicate effectively with each other in the event of a terror attack or natural disaster. They’ve learned that lesson the hard way in the United States, and I hope that Canadian agencies are paying attention.”

Richard Bray is the Senior Writer at FrontLine Magazines.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Contraband Tobacco
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

Many people believe the sale of contraband tobacco is a “victimless crime,” acknowledges Gary Grant, a retired police officer and spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. In fact, he suggests every Canadian is a victim of the contraband tobacco chain. Profit from illegal cigarettes finances criminal gangs, cuts legitimate tax revenues, defeats attempts to discourage tobacco use (which is overloading the health care system), and harms new generations of Canadian young people every day.

Contraband tobacco is big business in Canada – a “cash cow” that is virtually “risk free”. Statistics Canada estimates that Canadians spent $2.6 billion on illegal tobacco in 2008. These massive profits help illegal organizations entrench criminal elements further into society. According to RCMP estimates, there are approximately 175 criminal organizations involved in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of contraband tobacco. Many of these also deal in drugs, weapons and even human trafficking.

A Moncton man was arrested recently with methamphetamines and 200,000 contraband cigarettes. Grant points to reliable indicators that show the illegal tobacco trade is becoming entrenched in Canada. “We are seeing an increase in contraband tobacco seizures in Atlantic Canada as illegal manufacturers in Quebec have realized that driving to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is not much further than driving within Ontario and Quebec. The trade is also heading west: In 2011, Manitoba’s first smoke shack opened. In Alberta that same year, the province seized nearly 16 million cigarettes that were destined for sale in the province. It’s important to note that the RCMP estimates that they only seize about 5-6% of the total market. So we still are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

That is just distribution. On the supply side, there are still more than 300 smoke shacks in Ontario and Quebec selling tobacco outside of the regulated market. And about 50 illegal cigarette factories operate without paying appropriate taxes and without inspection from health authorities.

Only a few years ago manufacturing contraband was mostly taking place on the U.S. side of the Akwesasne reserve. But the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco says it has noticed a shift to Canada. These factories now supply the vast majority of contraband in Canada, and have been left to operate with no possibility of interruption from federal authorities.

Targeting Young People
Criminals are intent on getting a new generation of kids hooked on smoking. Canadian regulations, such as requiring photo ID for purchasing cigarettes from retailers, banning cigarette ads, and hiding tobacco from view in stores, are all intended to prevent young people from getting access to tobacco. But these are undermined by the ready availability of low-cost contraband tobacco. A “baggie” of 200 contraband cigarettes can cost as much as $70 or $80 less than legal product – and contraband dealers don’t check ID. Low price and easy availability have made contraband tobacco a prime source for youth smoking. A recent study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto found that where teen smoking rates had been on the decline, that was no longer the case. In fact, the CAMH has identified contraband tobacco as a reason for Ontario’s stubbornly high youth smoking rate. “Young people are smoking contraband cigarettes, and they are smoking more of them.” Grant says. He believes decision-makers are underestimating the future ramifications as young people interpret our inaction as tacit acceptance of breaking the law, which can quickly escalate as they learn there is very little risk from the enforcement community. “As a father and former police officer, I’m worried that this teaches young people that it is acceptable to break the law, and that they can buy other illicit goods from these criminals.”

Burning Tax Dollars
A recent report by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation claims the contraband tobacco trade in Ontario cost an estimated $3.7 billion to $6 billion in lost provincial and federal tax revenue over the last 5 years. “This much-needed money could have funded many worthwhile federal and provincial programs but is instead going into the pockets of criminals who are certainly not spending that money for the welfare of all Canadians,” Grant notes. “In their 2012 budgets, both Ontario and Quebec had identified cracking down on illegal cigarettes as an important part of recovering lost tax revenues. People who smoke should pay the tax. In tight fiscal times, governments can’t allow billions of dollars in potential tax revenue to be siphoned into criminals’ pockets.”

In addition to working with law enforcement and providing police with the authority to investigate suspicious activity, regulatory authorities have an important preventive role. Since 2009, the regulatory oversight of tobacco in Canada has seen major, some say disruptive, shifts. It moved from federal oversight to provincial authorities. Then oversight was moved from the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board to the Ontario Ministry of Finance. The Ministry became responsible for licensing tobacco growers, and controlling the production, distribution, sale and purchase of raw leaf tobacco to help ensure the supply of raw leaf tobacco stays in the legal market. However, it is clear that they don’t have the resources to fulfill this mandate. Without investigative resources that can be mobilized in the tobacco growing region, they have instituted a ‘grace’ period where there really is no oversight of the supply chain, and stocks of tobacco and packaging material that support cigarette manufacturing are subject to almost no enforcement. Organized crime has not missed the opportunity. In the past few years, the lack of consistent and regulated control has allowed criminal groups to take advantage of these regulatory loopholes. The authorities in Ontario do not seem able to get organized on anti-illicit tobacco strategies in a meaningful way, and this has allowed related criminal activity to spread to other parts of Canada.

Law Without Borders
One solution to the limited resources at the Ontario Ministry of Finance is to empower local law enforcement agencies to do anti-contraband enforcement investigations directly, as is the case in Quebec. This lets the frontline police forces investigate the crimes that are affecting their communities without the need to go through a provincial middleman.

“We are seeing very gradual progress, but there is a lot more to do,” says Grant. “Ontario and Quebec have taken some steps, but their anti-contraband regime could still be bolstered.” During the 2011 federal election, the Conservatives made a campaign commitment to introduce tougher sentences for contraband tobacco repeat offenders and to dedicate 50 more RCMP officers to the problem. The government followed through on this commitment on June 4, 2013 when the Senate passed Bill S-16, which amends the Criminal Code to create a new offence of ­trafficking in contraband tobacco and to provide for minimum penalties of imprisonment for repeat offenders. However, a date for this Act to come into force has yet to be determined.

Across the board, legislation needs to be adopted that will serve harsher penalties for offences relating to the illicit trade of tobacco. With Bill 59, Quebec has given local law enforcement important powers to curb the distribution and sale of contraband cigarettes. These include allowing local police to conduct contraband investigations and lay charges, and even allowing municipalities to keep proceeds from ­convictions. It also places tougher controls on importing cigarette-manufacturing machines. In its last two budgets, Ontario has indicated that it would consider similar measures, but has yet to adopt them.

A report by the National Assembly’s finance committee in 2011 suggested a number of new anti-contraband measures; they have yet to be adopted. “Meanwhile, our highway systems remain corridors for illegal cigarette trafficking,” says Grant. “We’ve called the 401 corridor in Ontario the ‘contraband trail’, as millions of cigarettes are shuttled through Ontario and Quebec and elsewhere each year. We are even seeing more seizures in Atlantic Canada now, as smugglers have adapted their smuggling networks to head East. We have a lot of work to do.”

Need to Lead
The enforcement challenges point to a need for national leadership to bring all parties together to better address the problem. Such coordination was a key element of the RCMP’s 2008 Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Strategy, as well as in the Ontario and Quebec’s 2012 provincial budgets. To date, this commitment has not translated into action.

Observers suggest that the reason illicit trade of tobacco products is so out of control is because the federal government has not yet engaged in meaningful discussions with Aboriginal communities. With First Nations’ tobacco manufacturing and sales in a legal framework, those First Nations communities could benefit from tobacco sales, not just criminals. “Government needs to work with First Nations leaders to develop a comprehensive, long term solution to this problem,” says Grant.

Many also believe the limiting factors are perception and funding. “Until governments see this as a serious crime that is worthy of adequate budget resources,” says Grant, “this criminal element will continue to flourish and its tendrils will increasingly impact society.”

Police need more power to stop contraband. Government need to give law enforcement agencies the resources and support required to do their job effectively. More specifically, a police presence is required along the 401 corridor and along smuggling routes to the west, into Manitoba, and to the Maritime provinces.

Because illegal cigarettes cross jurisdictional and departmental boundaries, governments need to take a more coordinated approach to illegal cigarettes. It has implications for departments of finance, revenue, public safety, health, and aboriginal affairs at all levels of government. Governments need to make sure that all relevant parties are communicating with each other to ensure a coordinated response. Contraband does not stop at borders, and neither should effective law enforcement.
Richard Bray is FrontLine’s Senior Writer.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Interoperability for Responders
Improving Communications Across Borders For Responders
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

On the morning of 6 December 1917, in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, near the U.S. border in Maine, a French ship, the Mont Blanc, filled with military explosives collided with another vessel. Twenty minutes later, a fire set off the Mont Blanc’s volatile cargo and caused a catastrophic explosion – killing thousands and destroying an entire section of the nearby city. Rescue efforts were dispatched immediately from the Canadian mainland as well as the United States, but confusion and lack of immediate information delayed some of the rescue efforts for hours.

A recent joint experiment held in Maine and New Brunswick (NB), including officials from the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Province of New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science of the Canadian Department of National Defence, and Public Safety Canada, proved that even across borders, any immediate confusion or lack of information following an incident like the Mont Blanc may no longer greatly affect overall rescue efforts.

First responders and international officials on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border had been preparing since last fall for the Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE) – demonstrating the ability to exchange information between local, state, provincial and national systems and software applications, including Virtual Maine, the Mutual Aid Support System and Mission Ready Package Tools (MASS MRP), Canada’s Multi Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) and the United States’ Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), as well as the U.S.’s Virtual USA (vUSA). The vUSA library and “widget” developed by DHS S&T, and made available to all cooperating agencies and jurisdictions, allowed each agency or jurisdiction to make their unique data available to other participants. When incident specific information, alerts or warnings are needed across jurisdictional lines, or indeed across international borders, vUSA enables that information to be found and used in near real time.

During the CAUSE, two scenarios were used: a massive oil refinery fire in Saint John, NB, and the explosion of a compressed natural gas truck near the Calais, Maine, border crossing. In each case, first responders required an information exchange for response efforts from all neighboring jurisdictions on both sides of the border (bi-national first response) in near real time. This included incident reports, evacuation routes, road closures, hospital status/locations, weather issues, availability of hazmat teams, incident response assets, fire and rescue units, triage locations, availability and location of needed resources, and virtually anything else first responders might need. At the Command Posts, first responders in Saint John and Calais created incident reports, generated requests for mutual aid and issued alerts. Through the integration of Virtual Maine, Virtual USA, MASS MRP, MASAS and IPAWS, first responders were able to see, communicate and use the critical information being ­provided to them through the five systems.

“In every exercise of CAUSE,” noted S&T’s lead Dr. David Boyd, “it worked more effectively and rapidly than we had hoped. This is a tremendous milestone in tearing down the technological ‘tower of Babel’ along national borders.”

 “When we get calls from first responders in Calais and Washington County,” noted MEMA’s Deputy Director Bruce Fitzgerald, “our role is to provide support and help so that we can save lives and property. In  this experiment, we requested international mutual aid, including ambulances and hospital resources from New Brunswick, and requested an available helicopter medevac unit from the New Hampshire National Guard to support the operation. Responders at the incident scene in Calais, at the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Augusta and our partners in New Brunswick were all able to visualize these resource deployments using their respective situational awareness tools, Virtual Maine and MASAS. Sharing incident data in a common operation picture has been a long standing goal in both Maine and New Brunswick. We are very pleased to have achieved that through the CAUSE experiment.”

CAUSE is a direct result of the Joint U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Initiative signed by President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper in February 2011 to further enhance the economic and national security of both nations. The CAUSE demonstration represents an important milestone for the Beyond the Border Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

Submitted by the Department of Homeland Security.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Spy Games 2014
Surveillance, Censorship, Intolerance and Violence
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

Implications for privacy at the Sochi Olympics
Athletes train their entire lives to compete in their sport at the Olympics. But in Sochi, our athletes, their coaches, sports organization representatives, spectators and dignitaries may find themselves competing in a different sort of games… that have already begun (without an opening ceremony).

Let What Games Begin?
The social network presence, telecommunications and e-mails of those attending the 2014 Winter Olympics (and their friends) will be under intense scrutiny prior to, during and after the official games. They will be exploited for competitive advantage, political-economic intelligence, hints of sedition, identity theft, and future manufacturing access.

The Russians have the means, motive, and a history of surveillance, censorship and the repression of ideas that run counter to the state’s doctrine. Leading up to the Games, there is clear evidence of a growing surveillance apparatus ­gaining momentum.

These Olympics are taking place amidst a profound and unprecedented technological capability for pervasive surveillance. Sochi ­provides a concentration of targets of opportunity within the State’s sphere of control. In what could be called the 2014 “spy games”, the Russians have home-turf advantage.

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is the country’s principal security agency and successor to the USSR’s Committee of State Security (KGB). However, the FSB is much more than just an ordinary security service – it combines the mandates of an elite police force with those of an intelligence agency.

Ironically, by delivering details of Western signals intelligence capabilities directly into the hands of the Russian State Security and Intelligence Services, American intelligence thief Edward Snowden may have helped advance Russian surveillance capabilities in the lead-up to the Games.

Affecting Athletes
Athletes participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics may face the most technically intrusive surveillance in the history of the Games – with spying that extends into social media and the Internet at large.

The profiling of athletes probably began as soon as they were named to a team. This most likely includes harvesting the athlete’s social media presence, the content of their posts, political views, their social network of friends, pattern-of-life, possible indiscretions, or online training logs, heart-rate zone performance, and so on. Entrapment, or breaking into a trusted circle of friends or groups may have already been attempted and may, in fact, continue long after the Games are over. Athletes and their electronics were also exposed during any travel in advance of the Games. In fact, simply visiting web sites related to the Sochi Olympics may have been enough to infect ones computer with spyware.

Although athletes hope to take home medals, they may be taking home something else on their laptop. During the Games, one should assume that all phone calls, e-mail, texts, web browsing, access to voice-mail and online banking will be intercepted and exploited. The confidentiality and integrity of any computer or device brought to the games can be compromised with momentary physical access (such as when passing through security). Personal contacts and account passwords on a laptop or phone can be stolen, or hacking malware installed in mere seconds.

Strategy discussed in team dressing-rooms or over the air are subject to eavesdropping, whereas team radio communications are also vulnerable to electronic warfare tactics such as deception, spoofing, interference or jamming at critical moments during play.

Consider what some have described as the “cozy” relationship that Russian security services share with organized crime. These entities stand to benefit from information collected from the state-espionage infrastructure. Consequently, your banking and identity information are also at risk.

The U.S. State Department’s bureau of diplomatic security warned anyone travelling to the Games to be extremely cautious with communications, explaining:

“Russian law permits the monitoring, retention and analysis of all data that traverses Russian communication networks. Business travellers should be particularly aware that trade secrets, negotiating positions, and other sensitive information may be taken and shared with competitors, counterparts, or Russian regulatory and legal entities."

Russian Roulette
What you say before, during and after the Games can get you and others in trouble. The FSB system does not discriminate between free-speech, social advocacy, sedition or espionage, and homosexuality is equated with pedophilia by the state. Russian authorities often postulate that organizations working on human rights and other issues have subversive agendas. Protests, including online ones, had been banned during the run-up to the Olympics, however that was later modified so that protesters who register could stage protests, albeit many miles from Games’ facilities. Should athletes feel compelled to speak out on various important issues, they should do so with an appreciation of the risks, and take the necessary precautions.

Comments about gay rights, Russia’s internal conflicts, religious intolerance, or support for the opposition will flag you for special attention. Even discussion-threads on social media back home are visible to the Russian government. Friends posting certain content to your wall that is publicly visible can be problematic.

The new law regarding gay propaganda falls under the guise of ‘things that are harmful to children.’ This is, quite simply, a catch-all criterion that allows the government to prosecute people who voice ‘unsanctioned’ ideas. Mostly, this includes the gay lifestyle but also includes recreational drug use.

Specifically, if someone “propagates non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” the law calls for a U$125 to $160 fine, deportation, and/or 15 days in jail for foreigners (however, if the foreigner uses media or the Internet, fines can increase to U$1500-$3000). This is not the Olympic experience that most athletes have in mind.

Russians that you befriend within these proscribed online discussions will also be at risk for being arrested, or they may be disguised government agents trying to trap you. Similarly, athletes must be aware that showing sympathy or expressing a feeling of brotherhood with insurgents will likely create a risky situation for themselves.

It goes without saying that joking about bombs or acts of terrorism, even in a private conversation, will likely be treated seriously by the authorities.

Among the Most Dangerous Olympics
Sochi is located in the North Caucasus, very close to the ongoing insurgency that is predominantly in Dagestan. Historically, Sochi is a Soviet resort town offering skiing in the winter and beaches in the summer.

The area has been the scene of armed insurgencies since the breakup of the USSR, essentially two armed conflicts that have deteriorated into guerilla warfare. Though violence has decreased significantly since the mid 2000s, the grievances have festered. Currently, the most violent region is Dagestan, followed by Chechnya, and then Ingushetia.

The insurgency is not limited to a single actor, but includes several independent entities. The largest and most well-known insurgency, the Caucasian Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz or IK), has shifted its vision from a global concept of Jihad to an anti-Russian, nationalist vision. Recent increases in Western and ethnic-Russian individuals joining the cause has created many splinter groups, each with their own set of objectives.

Conversely, fascist and neo-Nazi gangs, styling themselves as nationalists, are a serious and growing concern in Russia. The far-right is extremely xenophobic; believing strongly in racial purity and a Slavic brotherhood. They target anyone who appears to be migrant workers from the former Soviet Union, whom they view as occupiers and criminals. These groups have strong ties to violent hooliganism in sport.

Meanwhile, state security services are intent on monitoring and cracking down on anything that threatens to disrupt the Games, as well as capitalizing on exploiting opportunities in the pursuit of national objectives. Here, Russian organized crime stands to profit the most.
“As Sochi Olympic venues are built, so are Kremlin’s surveillance networks. Terrorism threat and Kremlin paranoia prompt Russian spy chiefs to build unprecedented eavesdropping system,” wrote Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan and Shaun Walker, in The Guardian, October 2013

Censorship, Surveillance and Violence
New online censorship legislation, spearheaded by Russia, could mean that filtering in the region is poised for activation. As it is, the censorship landscape in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is in constant flux. The fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, ‘protecting ­children from harmful online content’, and the defense of intellectual property is laying judicial practices to waste.

Under the pretext of protecting children from harmful online content, Russia has legitimized the blocking of websites.  Kyrgyzstan went so far as to cut off the entire country from the Internet during uprisings in 2010, thus demonstrating the capability. Belarus has a documented history of blocking access to opposition websites and independent news, particularly during elections. Even those countries in the CIS that are not typically associated with online restrictions have reverted to tactics, such as “just-in-time” blocking, at critical times in the game.

The filtering practices of one country, typically Russia or Kazakhstan, can migrate to others through transit agreements between major ISPs. Upstream filtering, traffic shaping, legislative developments, and growing information security concerns, have led to unpredictable online spaces in the CIS, and differing levels of filtration and censorship.

Someone is Listening
Western diplomats, foreign journalists and businesses report a huge rise in surveillance and harassment agents of the state, leading up to the Games.

A shadow infrastructure of electronics is being outfitted to the venues, constructed by Russian oligarchs, to provide inescapable video surveillance and capability to collect, filter and shape communications traffic of its guests. The System for Operative Investigative Activities (SORM) is the eyes and ears of the security and intelligence services.

Russian organizers are promoting the fastest Wi-Fi networks in Olympic history, free of charge. Just remember: “If it is free, then you are the product.”

Doku Umarov, leader of the Caucasian Emirate insurgent group, cancelled the moratorium on attacks on civilians in Russia. While not necessarily connected, a female suicide bomber from Dagestan blew herself up in a bus in Volgograd on 21 October 2013. In the past, ethnic Russians have been targeted instead of foreigners, however, being at the wrong place at the wrong time is an unfortunate risk, as is getting caught in the cross-fire between insurgents, right-wing extremists, and state paramilitaries.

Far-right extremist groups predominantly target ethnic communities, especially groups from the Caucasus and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia. Attacks are vicious, and there is a history of violence against ethnic minorities of all ages in major cities, like Moscow.

No one is immune. As recently as 15 October 2013, men posing as electricians broke into the flat of a Dutch diplomat, tied him up, hit him, and drew a heart with LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) on his mirror. This appeared to be an orchestrated attack by Russian authorities after the arrest and release of a Russian diplomat several days before.

Extremists and nationalists have also targeted those with non-Slavic features and skin-colour, albeit significantly less frequently. The police do little to prosecute hate crimes, possibly due to reportedly high levels of corruption among security forces.

Indirect Risks
It is a safe bet that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA), and numerous national sports organizations and governments have already been compromised by targeted cyber-espionage, most likely originating from China or Russia. Canada-based WADA was first compromised in August 2009 – that exposure reportedly lasted more than a year and the server used by the intruders had collected over a year’s worth of evidence. Credible reports explain that the attack began with a spear-phishing email which was sent to an individual with the right level of access; the email contained an exploit which, when opened on an unpatched system, triggered a download of implant malware. Responding to this news WADA stated it “has yet to be convinced that [hacking] took place.” In disputing the report, the Association assures that the ADAMS system, which plots the whereabouts of athletes, remains secure.

Although Canadian athletes can reach the podium, they may have to navigate a few more challenges than previous Olympics. Athletes, coaches, officials, and visitors alike are counselled to exercise discretion on-line: either discussing team tactics or sensitive issues like gay rights. Not only does this present a personal risk, it could also erode Team Canada’s competitive advantage or place native LGBT Russians at risk.

Across the globe, state capacities to conduct surveillance and censor cyberspace are growing, and those advocating for Internet freedom are often at grave personal risk. As new, digitally-empowered generations use technology to amplify their political and economic voices worldwide, we are witnessing the coming-of-age of networked movements and power. The potential for cyberspace to deepen democratic development, engagement and inclusion is unprecedented. And yet the use of cyberspace is under threat.

Currently, over 650 million people live under some form of state-imposed internet censorship. This is expected to rise, as less democratic or authoritarian states use a combination of regulation and extra legal means to enforce internet censorship and surveillance. In some countries – including and especially those afflicted by civil war – digital activists and citizen reporters are under extreme personal threat.

Countries in the Eurasia region are on the frontline in the battle for internet freedom. A groundswell of local lawyers, academics and activists network to support innovative policy/advocacy interventions and turn back the rising tide of internet censorship and surveillance across the region.

Digital activists – such as human rights activists, journalists, citizen reporters, lawyers, non-violent civil society organizations and ordinary citizens – continue to strive towards improving digital safety and security, expanding access to online communication and information, raising public awareness of the issues at stake, and engaging the policy debate. We must support them.

Dave McMahon, a former Canadian national biathlon champion, is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the SecDev Group, which advises on the game-changing impact of cyberspace.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Volunteer Fire Fighters
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 1)

Did you know there are more volunteer firefighters in Canada than there are full time firefighters? More than 127,000
volunteer firefighters
provide services, largely in rural and remote areas, across Canada. Most urban and larger fire ­services began as volunteer services – as the population of the area grew, so did the fire services need, and many of those ­volunteers eventually became full-time members. Volunteer departments are an absolute necessity in areas that cannot afford to staff a full-time department.

I have worked in marketing for more than 16 years and it was only recently that I joined the Val Des Monts Fire Department. In fact, a high school friend was one of the reasons why I joined. After hearing stories about rescues, fires, medical emergencies, etc. I was immediately attracted to the exciting lifestyle while meeting my inner needs of wanting to be of help to others. An early indication of this desire to help was discovered in 2008 when I was volunteering as the coordinator of the City of Lachine’s Relief Emergency Center. The ice storm had rendered several electricity grids useless in and around Montreal, forcing families to stay for a few days inside a local high school. I was amazed at how vulnerable we can be, and at how emergency professionals are important anytime, anywhere.

Well, I must admit that I am totally new to this. I joined last spring and I have been in training ever since. It’s a funny feeling, as an established adult, to start from zero to learn new things. I have always been fascinated with fire fighters, police officers and soldiers and now, I am so fortunate to be part of a wonderful team of recruits.

In Quebec, training is somewhat different than other provinces. Even though we are considered volunteer firefighters, we still have to take the same training as full time “big city” fire fighters. It kind of makes sense because the principles are identical regardless of a firefighter’s official status; a fire is a fire and a car accident is a car accident. There is no great difference during an intervention other than the number of (volunteer) firefighters who are on site. I expect that by July I should have my training complete and be ready to fight fires. But on that note, believe me, I am in no rush to enter a burning home. Personally, I want to make sure that I am ready, that I clearly understand the dangers I will be facing when entering a burning building or tackling a car fire. I am not alone in this desire for being well trained for any situation. My fire department and my instructor are very keen on this principle, and they encourage us to take small steps, and to learn from the more experienced fire fighters. On several occasions, I hear the experienced guys comment that they are continually learning new things, even after 10 or more years on the job. I find this reassuring because I know that even though I’m feeling as though I have a lot to learn, my veteran colleagues are also still refining their knowledge related to fires and rescue.

Volunteer firefighters live a different kind of life, and I would like to tip my hat to all the spouses and other family members who have to hear the pagers, radios or phones at 2 or 3 in the morning. Sometimes they can be so disruptive that they wake up the whole family. I strongly believe that the spouses need more recognition. It is somewhat “easy” for us to drop everything and head to the fire station, full of anticipation and adrenaline. The spouses, on the other hand, have to endure the spur-of-the-moment, sudden dislocation of their spouse. They are forced to reorganize school and/or social activities with friends and family, become the sole chauffer for kids’ hockey or soccer games – continually sacrificing their own needs and wants. I’ve left my BBQ’d steak sitting on my plate a few times. We all understand that this responsibility is on a volunteer basis but for us, it’s like a drug. Once we are hooked by the knowledge that your training can help someone through a life-threatening situation, it’s almost impossible to say no (or in my case, stay home). I am pretty sure that some of my colleagues across Canada would agree that they’ve missed out on birthdays, family Christmas dinners or simply catching up on daily chores at home.

I must admit that at the beginning, it was quite the rush to wake up to the sound of the pager, or to be called to an emergency just before sitting down to watch a hockey game. I still get that adrenaline on each call, especially when we know there are people in serious need of help, or knowing that we are being sent to save a home from total destruction.

In 2012 alone, we answered approximately 530 emergency calls in a region of less than 18,000 residents! The high volume of calls ranged from house fires to brush fires to car accidents to medical assistances. I believe that I alone, have participated in more than 200 calls. For me, every call, every person is as important as the last one.

Each year, during the hot, dry days of summer, we receive several calls from concerned residents about outdoor camp fires. These non-emergency calls could be about a family enjoying a tranquil evening of roasting marshmallows to wild bonfire parties. I remember one night in particular. We received a call from 911 saying there was a big bonfire in someone’s back yard that had the potential to turn dangerous. When we arrived at the scene, there were roughly 40 to 60 people, mostly women, partying. The partiers thought we were a group of hired male strippers coming to dance or do a special performance. We managed to extinguish the fire but once the job was done, it was definitely a challenge to convince our team to get back into the truck when they were being showered with attention. Definitely a memorable evening!

As you can imagine, we are in the business of helping those in need, of saving lives, saving someone’s property or protecting the environment, so it is expected that from time to time we will answer calls that are not pleasant. I am often reminded that we were not the instigators or the reason for an accident, a fire, or a situation, and that we must always consider our safety first before leaping into action.

It is the incidents where we feel the most helpless that remain at the forefront of our minds: The person who crashed while driving a snowmobile on a lake, who didn’t survive the sustained injuries in the crash and died later in hospital; the multiple suicide attempts; the young infant that stopped breathing for what seem to be a long period and the parents are completely devastated.

It’s always hard to know that someone you are trying to help might die, and it’s even worse when it is someone you know. I dread the day I will come across an accident or a medical assistance and find that the person I am helping is a member of my family or a close friend.

I find it helpful to keep a picture of my kids right beside my locker. Every time I leave to answer a call, I’m reminded that I have a compelling reason to be careful, that I need to be alert and anticipate every action – for me, for my colleagues, for my family. Sadly enough, despite all the training and constant learning, there are still some who never make it back home to their families.

Although the stories on the news or in the paper do make us sad, do make us face someone’s misfortune, I believe that what I do makes a real difference in someone’s life. That’s what keeps me moving forward, answering that pager, and reminding me to savour every moment of my life.

Marc Caroll Dupuis is a Volunteer Firefighter for the Val Des Monts Fire Department.
© FrontLine Security 2013



First Responders and CBRNE
© 2013 FrontLine Security (Vol 8, No 3)

First Responders strive to keep the public safe during emergencies. Such careers often put their own safety at risk, and yet we regularly hear ­stories of courage in the face of those ­perils.

The work of Canadian fire fighters, police, and paramedics is much more than responding to emergencies and criminal action. Their skill and knowledge about the risk context in which Canadian emergencies occur places them at the core of emergency management in this country. Not only are they active responders to emergencies, they are planners, managers, financiers and advisors who are charged with the mammoth task of accurately predicting the emergency potential of their community and then ­planning, preparing, resourcing and building the capacity to respond to what they have anticipated – and they must do all that in the face of competing priorities and constant budget constraints.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) in an All-Hazards Context. In the capable hands of Emergency Management (EM) personnel from all levels of society, EM protocols are becoming more standardized. With a focus on the full range of hazards that threaten the public, an all-hazards approach to EM has become the standard requirement.

In recent years, there has been an increasing acknowledgement of the necessity of unique but standardized approaches to CBRNE response, and this brings a number of questions to the fore. How do we encourage greater standardization and interoperability in CBRNE-related operations to achieve risk reduction in that arena? How do we accomplish that in a way that builds on the maturing science of EM? How do we ensure that CBRNE finds a place in the full range of acknowledged hazards against which we continue to build response capability?

Why a Recommended Equipment List (REL)?
The April 2005 Auditor General’s Report on National Security in Canada assessed ­government-supported, post 9-11, anti-­terrorism initiatives that had been funded to build a response capability in the event of terrorist attacks on this county. One of the clearest criticisms in that Report was directed at the process used by government to allocate the funds, and at the resultant “diluting [of] the response capacity.”

Since 2005, CBRNE efforts in Canada have informed our understanding of the many challenges faced by those charged with the allocation of that funding. Faced with strict timelines, they were forced to move quickly in the absence of CBRNE risk information and with cripplingly ­limited first responder knowledge of related equipment. However, that 2005 evaluation was thorough and unearthed key information about how CBRNE response capacity was evolving in Canada. It identified critical issues and made recommendations that have since guided efforts to improve the response readiness should such an event occur. The genesis of the REL Project can be found in that 2005 Report.

What is the REL?
The REL is a CBRNE-focused resource aimed at assisting Canada’s tri-service responder organizations to increase response capability where needed and reduce the related risk. It guides the analysis of equipment needed to respond to CBRNE terrorism and lists related equipment.

The REL supports analysis and interpretation of CBRNE-related needs and data, with the critically important risk assessment process. Too often in the past, the required risk assessment was completed, data assembled, and then filed (never again to see the light of day). Now, the REL performs a meaningful interpretation of risk assessment results and helps users understand exactly what the risk assessment has uncovered.

How does the REL approach that interpretation? Underpinning the most effective use of the REL is the capability-based planning (CBP) process (a form of all-hazards planning that recognizes growing uncertainty in the threat environment). The REL recognizes that approaches to risk assessment vary across first responder organizations, but offers clear and thorough guidance on developing a risk assessment tool in an all-hazards context.

A key working assumption, and one that is fundamental to the working beliefs of REL, is that the CBRNE threat would be part of the data revealed by many all-hazards-based risk assessments carried out across the country. REL offers assistance in analysing the CBRNE threat by looking at potential targets, along with local geographic realities and their related history, through a set of questions.

What CBRNE equipment should be available to deal with CBRNE terrorism?
The REL aims to help answer the question: Do we have the right mix of planning, people, training and equipment to carry out a response to any potential CBRNE threats?

Working with the risk assessment data, the CBP approach uses Canadian resource-type criteria established by first responders to identify what capabilities an organization should have to respond to a wide range of emergencies – the REL applies that information only to a CBRNE event. Target levels of capability are established which can be broken into component pieces including technology, equipment, training and applicable standards. These become the “targeted” capabilities that can enable emergency organizations to prevent, respond to and recover from potential threats, including terrorist attacks.

A first time breakthrough offered by the REL is a data-based reflection on the CBRNE threat, which seeds a hypothesis that full “capability” might not be a requirement for many Canadian first responder organizations. But that should not prevent first responders from preparing for real and present CBRNE threats.

How should an organization begin planning and preparation in an environment where some threat exists but does not sit first in an all-hazards based list? The REL introduces the concept of building the level of capability that is warranted and is fiscally sensitive. It defines a subset of capabilities that are reflective of the Canadian environment – these are called Levels of Service.

It is intended that informed use of the REL will enable communities to allocate resources more effectively as they address primary risk priorities, most particularly, those related to CBRNE. The principle of sharing limited resources across regions and across partner organization also frames REL messaging.

Training and standards related to the equipment are cross-referenced in the REL in order to facilitate building appropriate and comprehensive capabilities. Increased compliance with standards, and related training will promote interoperability and responder safety, and improve strategic planning by response organizations.

A Prototype for Interoperability
Interoperability has been a fundamental principle that has supported the work of the REL project but, even more importantly, it has been a critically important driver of REL efforts and the single biggest factor in its successful completion.

With the objective of developing an instrument that would enable Canadian response organizations and their communities to plan, with improved fiscal efficiency, to reduce CBRNE risk and achieve greater interoperability, the REL project brought together a committee of experts to develop a CBRNE “Recommended Equipment” list. The REL Project Technical Committee includes designates from the Chiefs and Membership Associations of Canadian Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, along with representatives from Standards and Training institutions, and expertise relative to public safety, security, science and technology. The REL would not have been possible without the leadership and funding support of the CBRNE Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI) and project delivery support by the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC), two former federally-funded programs led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS).

The CSS was created in 2006 through a partnership between Public Safety Canada and the Department of National Defence to provide science and technology support and services to address Canada’s public safety and national security priorities. In June 2012, the Government of Canada announced the new Canadian Safety and Security Program, which harmonizes the mandates of three predecessors – the CRTI, the CPRC, and the Public Security Technical Program. This new program will continue to support projects and activities that bring together experts from science and technology, policy, operations and intelligence communities.

International Interoperability at Work
The support and mentorship of the United States’ InterAgency Board (IAB) has been critical to the development of the REL. The REL Project Technical Committee recognized the potential value in “Canadianizing” the American IAB Standard Equipment List (SEL) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Authorized Equipment List (AEL). The IAB’s assistance allowed their existing material to be used as raw material for the REL. The level of support provided by the IAB, as well as several other participating American organizations, has been well beyond what anyone on the Committee could have anticipated. As a result, the REL is currently much more than it originally set out to be. The original project goal was to produce a paper document printed for distribution in Canada. Instead, with the generous contribution of our U.S. colleagues, the REL, with appropriate hyperlinks, is available online at http://psprc-crpsp.ca. It is synchronized with the SEL and AEL and available as a downloadable electronic document. Hyperlinks connect the REL to the U.S. Responder Knowledge Base (RKB), with extensive supplementary information specific to the technology itemized in the lists. This raising of the bar improves access to the REL and increases its ultimate value to communities and emergency agencies.

The Business Case
Decisions about where to spend limited resources in a risk reduction context must be made with care. The REL advises that all spending decisions be supported by data gleaned from the risk assessment process that have been analysed and placed in the context of a community’s risk reduction ­priorities. Rigour is then ensured that will support the resulting business case.

One of the key objectives that motivated the REL project was to provide guidelines to help improve fiscal efficiency. The reality is that resources are limited, and that many identified hazards sit higher in priority than CBRNE-related risks. In that ­context, the REL stresses the importance of a strong business case when funds are requested. The business case should be supported by rationale that points out that a rigorous and systematic approach was used to find and analyse the supporting data. Using such an approach ensures that funding agencies understand that the resources being requested are not random and are essential to respond to community needs.

If the case is built based on the foundation that CBRNE risk reduction is appropriate when such spending is considered in the context of all-hazards risk assessment data, it frames a solid business case which allows your “ask” to be put in the right order of priority within the complete hazard picture.

There is also a possibility that the risk assessment may have led stakeholders to decide not to spend on CBRNE preparedness. Related considerations that can optimize fiscal spending and perhaps allow reconsideration of the CBRNE request could be that resources purchased with limited funds can do more than one job and that resources can be shared across jurisdictions. We do not all have to buy the same piece of equipment.

The sustainability of such a commitment is another factor to be considered. By looking at the costs of sustainability, including all lifecycle management implications (consumables, storage costs, shelf life, training and retraining, care and maintenance, wear and tear, damages…) the real impact of the purchase can be assessed.

Many communities have learned the hard way that if the resources required for sustainability are not factored into the ­business case, this becomes a problematic burden in future years. Historically, procurement programs have fallen short of addressing the full costs of sustainability, and this can result in capabilities dropping off over time.

It is reasonable to expect that funding requests which have addressed not only procurement issues, but importantly, have factored in sustainability strategies and related costs will meet with increased acceptance across the whole of Government.

The REL has delivered on a resource that has long been on the wish lists of many first responder groups. Its key contributors are the first responders who understand the needs of our communities and will be the most consistent users of this resource.

The definitive CBRNE scope of the REL was necessitated by the fiscal limitations of this project. However, the REL, having successfully established proof of concept, has spawned encouraging interest in enlarging the next iteration of the REL so that it encompasses all-hazards and is more broadly useful across the full Emergency Management spectrum.

Pierre Poirier, Chief, Security and Emergency Management at the City of Ottawa, Chairs the REL Project Technical Committee.
© FrontLine Security 2013



Technology & Resilience
© 2013 FrontLine Defence (Vol 10, No 3)

The warning was unequivocal: Canadians must confront the steadily increasing numbers of technological traps, trip-wires and hazards that await the unprepared, the careless and the unaware.

In October, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) president Tim Page opened SecureTech 2013, by describing Canada’s security environment. “Serious risks to pubic safety, threats to our eco systems, traditional way of life and national security challenges abound, and are growing in complexity, impact and cost.”

The conference portion featured four panel discussions that focused on the federal government’s Beyond the Borders Action Plan; emergency management; the econo­mics of community safety; and critical infrastructure. The first day was dominated by discussions about security of cross-border commerce and measures taken to enhance Canada-United States commerce while ­preventing criminal misuse of the transportation system conveying goods and materials. The second day addressed public safety and law enforcement, and the economics of community safety such as fire fighting and paramedic services.

The conference featured remarks and presentations from Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety; Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transportation; and Senator Vern White. The conference included many well-known Canadian and U.S. experts for the various panel presentations – each an acknowledged authority on security issues regarding cross-border trade and travel, maritime challenges, law enforcement, and public safety and security.

In his opening keynote address, Minister Blaney underscored the necessity to seek new ways to meet future cyber threats and conduct research into security challenges.

Cyber attacks from individuals and groups looking to steal identities or valuable information from businesses and government are evolving. He advocated increased efforts to protect Canada’s cyber networks and critical infrastructure.

The first Conference panel, This included details of how air and maritime radar are combined with other sensors through inter agency operations to ensure domain awareness and efforts to detect and interdict the “bad guys” before they gain entry to Canada.

In Beyond The Border: Leveraging Technologies to Improve Border Security, chaired by Dr Tim Nohara of Accipiter Radar, panelists turned their attention to security issues surrounding U.S-Canada trade and prevention of criminal misuse of the cross-border transportation grid. A substantive discussion ensued over efforts to enhance U.S-Canada trade while improving intelligence-led security at and between ports of entry. This included details of how air and maritime radar are combined with video, infrared, seismic and magnetic sensors, overtly and covertly along the border to detect and catch the “bad guys”.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt explained the importance and impact of land, marine and air transportation, comprising the backbone of the nation as a global trading partner. Without safe, secure and reliable transportation systems, she warned, our current international trading relations will be jeopardized, leaving us unable to capitalize on new markets.

On day two of the conference, former Ottawa Police Chief, Senator Vernon White addressed the cost of policing and public safety, the fastest-growing areas of municipal spending, typically utilizing more than 20% of local budgets. The dichotomy of a 42% increase in policing costs over the last decade, while crime levels remain stagnant or are reducing, only serves to aggravate a public that doesn’t see the linkages, he noted. His presentation explained how the cost of policing includes much more than salaries. That said, he advises decision makers to look at cost avoidance -  measures to divert troubled individuals away from police and direct them to other agencies, such as mental health and youth resources, before their actions become criminal.

Community mobilization, simulation, and multi-responder exercises were cited by panelists and attendees as possible activities to improve municipal and community emergency response.

Panelists discussed emergency management and disaster response, and presentations focused on issues such as the train derailment at Lac Mégantic, Quebec, earthquake preparations in British Columbia; and the Alberta Government’s response to flooding in Calgary and High River.

Panelists singled out industrial control systems for special attention. The value of cyber security systems and services, they warned, has to be recognized or they will not be purchased, and without necessary changes to enhance cyber security their efforts will fail.

During the panel on law enforcement, officials from both sides of the border recognized the Shiprider program as one area of notable success. A shared Canada-U.S.  initiative, Shiprider fosters collaborative cross-border law enforcement. The many successes of joint programs such as Shiprider, attendees were told, underscore the critical need for officials on both sides of the border to cooperatively anticipate threats and collectively approach issues. One of the most challenging aspects is interoperable communications because, as one speaker noted, “swapping radios just doesn’t work.”

Firefighting services, subject to the same economic pressures as police services, also typically use a “risk-based” model. Panelists discussed economic value options.

The conference concluded with a description of the impact of increasing social issues and anti-social behaviour, much of which stems from alcohol abuse. If left unaddressed, these activities will likely become criminal, with people in the 15 to 24 year old age group more likely to perpetrate and be victimized. The World Health Organization notes that violence is a global problem with 80% of its roots in alcohol, a $20 billion annual market in Canada.

Taken in its entirety, the conference paints a sobering picture of Canada’s future public safety and security challenges. It urged elected officials, decision makers and leaders of Canada’s corporate and industrial sectors to take deliberate and immediate steps to guard against and address vulnerabilities that will lead to cyber attacks, interruption of production and theft of privileged information.

FrontLine correspondent Tim Dunne attended the two-day conference in October. The next event will be November 2014.
© FrontLine Security 2013