Securing an Open Society : Canada's National Security Policy

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April 2004

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Table of Contents

National Library of Canada cataloguing in publication data
Message from the Prime Minister
Executive Summary
Chapter 1 - Canada's Approach to National Security
Chapter 2 - Building an Integrated Security System
Chapter 3 - Intelligence
Chapter 4 - Emergency Planning and Management
Chapter 5 - Public Health Emergencies
Chapter 6 - Transportation Security
Chapter 7 - Border Security
Chapter 8 - International Security

Message from the Prime Minister

Security issues are not new to Canada. They were influential in the decision to create our country in order to provide peace, order and good government for Canadians. Throughout our history, we have managed a wide range of threats to our society - from the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 to the risk posed by Soviet bombers that led to the creation of NORAD. And we have a proud history of contributing to international peace and security, including the supreme sacrifice made by our citizens in places like Vimy Ridge and Afghanistan.

We have addressed these threats to our society in a way that has strengthened the open nature of our country - open to immigrants from around the world and respectful of differences among us. Our prosperity is directly linked to this openness and to our ability to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world.

The horrific events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated how individuals could exploit such openness to commit acts of terrorism that attempt to undermine the core values of democratic societies. Those events were a stark reminder to Canadians of the tragic loss of 329 lives aboard Air India flight 182 in 1985.

The recent SARS outbreak and the 2003 electrical blackout showed how our interconnectedness to events originating elsewhere can have a major impact on the health and economic well-being of Canadians. And we continue to face more longstanding threats, such as organized crime and natural disasters.

The Government of Canada has taken important steps to respond to this increasingly complex and dangerous threat environment. In the past few years, it has funded over $8 billion in additional investments to address our key security gaps. On my first day as Prime Minister, I announced important organizational changes that will further strengthen the capacity of the Government to deal with this new environment.

But we need to do more. Working to prevent attacks like the one launched against commuter trains in Madrid requires a more integrated approach to national security - integrated inside the Government of Canada and with key partners. Such an approach will also help us to develop a long-term strategic framework to more effectively prevent and respond to other types of security threats. In short, we need to take the historic step of issuing Canada's first-ever comprehensive statement of national security policy which provides an integrated strategy for addressing current and future threats to our country.

Securing an Open Society articulates core national security interests and proposes a framework for addressing threats to Canadians. It does so in a way that fully reflects and supports key Canadian values of democracy, human rights, respect for the rule of law, and pluralism.

It outlines the integrated security system the Government of Canada will build. This system will be supported by $690 million in new initiatives to address priority gaps in the Government's areas of responsibility. The Government is moving forward deliberately with this plan, but recognizes the seriousness of the challenge and the sustained nature of the effort required.

Addressing many of these threats requires a co-ordinated approach with other key partners - provinces, territories, communities, the private sector and allies. In these areas, the policy sets out processes for engaging those partners in developing co-ordinated plans to support the overall framework. It recognizes that we need to build a dynamic system that is able to continually evolve to address emerging threats and that will rely heavily on contributions from all stakeholders.

The fact that this is Canada's first-ever comprehensive statement of our National Security Policy makes it particularly important that we engage Canadians on its content. We are tabling the policy with Parliament so that it can facilitate that added dialogue.

This policy puts us on a long-term path to enhancing the security of our country. The measures announced in it will address important gaps in our system, but the project cannot end here. The Government is determined to build a system that works to continually enhance the security of Canadians and contribute to the creation of a safer world.

Prime Minister Paul Martin

Executive Summary

There can be no greater role, no more important obligation for a government, than the protection and safety of its citizens. But as all Canadians know, we live in an increasingly interconnected, complex and often dangerous world. The increase in terrorist acts and the threat of rapid, globalized spread of infectious disease all challenge our society and the sense of security that is so critical to our quality of life. Canadians understand this new reality. They know that the threats to security and public safety are not just the problems other nations face. We too are touched by, and face, similar challenges.

Securing an Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy is a strategic framework and action plan designed to ensure that Canada is prepared for and can respond to current and future threats. The focus is on events and circumstances that generally require a national response as they are beyond the capacity of individuals, communities or provinces to address alone.

The first-ever policy of its kind in Canada, Securing an Open Society adopts an integrated approach to security issues across government. It employs a model that can adapt to changing circumstances over time. It has been crafted to balance the needs for national security with the protection of core Canadian values of openness, diversity and respect for civil liberties.

The National Security Policy focusses on addressing three core national security interests:

  1. protecting Canada and Canadians at home and abroad;
  2. ensuring Canada is not a base for threats to our allies; and
  3. contributing to international security.

It contains several measures to help build a more integrated security system in a way that is consistent with the goals of the policy:

  • An Integrated Threat Assessment Centre will be established to ensure that all threat-related information is brought together, assessed and reaches all who need it in a timely and effective manner.

  • The Government will establish a National Security Advisory Council, which will be made up of security experts external to government.

  • An advisory Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, composed of members of Canada's ethno-cultural and religious communities, will be created.

  • The new Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will be designated as the body responsible for the testing and auditing of federal departments' key security responsibilities and activities.

The National Security Policy also includes chapters on six key strategic areas. Each chapter builds on important steps already taken, addresses specific security gaps, and sets out the principles upon which the policy will be implemented and evolve. Several specific new measures have spending implications. New investments in these measures total $690 million and will be funded from the security contingency reserves in Budget 2001 and Budget 2003, and most recently supplemented by Budget 2004.

Highlights of Key Measures


  • Further investments will be made to enhance Canada's intelligence collection capacity, with a focus on Security Intelligence.

  • An arm's-length review mechanism for RCMP national security activities will be created.

  • The proposal to establish a National Security Committee of Parliamentarians will be implemented.

Emergency Planning and Management

  • A new Government Operations Centre will provide stable, round-the-clock co-ordination and support across government and to key national players in the event of national emergencies.

  • The Emergency Preparedness Act will be reviewed and modernized to achieve a seamless national emergency management system.

  • A permanent federal-provincial-territorial forum on emergencies is proposed.

  • The Government is committed to co-locate, where practical, with provincial, territorial and municipal emergency measures operation centres.

  • The Government will release a position paper this summer setting out the key elements of a proposed Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada.

  • The Government will increase its capacity to predict and prevent cyber-security attacks against its networks.

  • A national task force, with public and private representation, will be established to develop a National Cybersecurity Strategy.

Public Health

  • The new Public Health Agency of Canada and the position of a Chief Public Health Officer for Canada will be created.

  • The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses in Guelph will be enhanced.

  • The National Emergency Services Stockpile System will be replenished and updated.

  • The Government will establish Health Emergency Response Teams made up of health professionals across the country to enhance capacity to respond to health emergencies.

  • The Government continues its commitment to work with the provinces and territories to address vulnerabilities and build on existing public health strengths across Canada.

  • The Government will increase public health surveillance capacity across the country.

Transport Security

  • The Government is strengthening marine security through the implementation of a 6 six-point plan that will:

    • clarify responsibilities and strengthen co-ordination of marine security efforts;
    • establish networked marine security operations centres;
    • increase the Canadian Forces, RCMP, and Canadian Coast Guard on-water presence and Department of Fisheries and Oceans aerial surveillance;
    • enhance secure fleet communications;
    • pursue greater marine security co-operation with the United States; and
    • strengthen the security of marine facilities.

  • In partnership with the private sector and our international partners, Canada will identify strategies to enhance our aviation security, including air cargo.

  • The Government will improve and extend security background check requirements for transportation workers.

Border Security

  • Canada will deploy facial recognition biometric technology on the Canadian passport, in accordance with international standards.

  • The Government will complete implementation of the RCMP Real Time Identification Project to achieve an automated and modern fingerprint system.

  • The Government will table new measures to streamline our refugee determination process to ensure efficient protection for people genuinely in need and to facilitate effective removals of people attempting to abuse our refugee program.

  • Canada is developing a next-generation smart borders agenda with Mexico and the United States, building on the success of the Smart Borders Declaration signed with the United States in December 2001.

  • Working with our international partners and in international forums, such as the G8 and the World Customs Organization, Canada will internationalize the Smart Borders model.

International Security

  • The Government will make Canada's national security one of the top priorities in its International Policy Review.

  • The Government is committed to ensuring that the Canadian Forces are flexible, responsive and combat-capable for a wide range of operations, and are able to work with our allies.

  • Beginning with the establishment of a dedicated capacity-building fund, Canada will leverage its experience in building peace, order and good government to help developing, failed and failing states.The Government is allocating funds from the International Assistance Envelope (IAE) towards efforts to help build peace.

  • Canada will continue to play an important role in countering international terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and defusing key intra- and interstate conflicts.

Chapter 1 - Canada's Approach to National Security

Security and Values

There is no conflict between a commitment to security and a commitment to our most deeply held values. At their heart, both speak to strengthening Canada.

Canadians have built a remarkable country shaped by a deep attachment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and pluralism. Our way of life is based on an openness to ideas and innovations, and to people from every part of the world - a commitment to include every individual and every community in the ongoing project that is Canada - and a steadfast rejection of intolerance, extremism and violence.

A core responsibility of the Government of Canada is to provide for the security of Canadians. The right to life, liberty and security of the person is enshrined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A clear and effective approach to security is not just the foundation of our prosperity - it is the best assurance that future generations will continue to enjoy the very qualities that make this country a place of hope in a troubled world.

We have always faced threats to our national security. As we move forward into the 21st century, we face new and more complex ones. Today, individuals have the power to undermine our security in a way that only hostile states were once able to accomplish. The September 11, 2001, attacks were a powerful example of this.

Terrorism is a global challenge that has been recognized by the United Nations as a crime against humanity. Canada is not immune to this threat. For example, the 1985 bombing of an Air India jet departing Toronto killed 329 individuals - most of them Canadians.

But the threats we face are not limited to terrorism. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak demonstrated the power of individuals to unintentionally transmit threats around the globe at the speed of air travel.

The Government is determined to pursue our national security interests and to be relentless in the protection of our sovereignty and our society in the face of these new threats.

The new and more complex security environment requires Canada to deal frankly with the reality that in an open society, tensions can develop among communities. There is a risk that the seeds of conflict and extremism can take root even in the most tolerant of settings. Canadians stand together in reaffirming that the use of violence to pursue political, religious or ideological goals is an affront to our values and must be met with a determined response by Canadians and by their governments.

Our commitment to include all Canadians in the ongoing building of this country must be extended to our approach to protecting it. We reject the stigmatization of any community and we do not accept the notion that our diversity or our openness to newcomers needs to be limited to ensure our security. No one better appreciates the need to protect our society than those who chose this country as a place to build a better life or who fled the consequences of instability and intolerance in other parts of the world. The A deep commitment of Canadians to mutual respect and inclusion helps to mitigate extremism in our society.

The Government needs the help and support of all Canadians to make its approach to security effective. Therefore, it will introduce new measures to reach out to communities in Canada that may feel caught in the "front lines" of the struggle against terrorism.

  • Create a Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security

To this end, the Government is creating a Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, which will be comprised of members of ethno-cultural and religious communities from across Canada. It will engage in a long-term dialogue to improve understanding on how to manage security interests in a diverse society and will provide advice to promote the protection of civil order, mutual respect and common understanding. It will be a partnership with all communities to work to ensure that there is zero tolerance for terrorism or crimes of hate in Canada. The roundtable will work with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Justice.

Our knowledge and experience in the hard tasks of fostering democracy, pluralism and the rule of law are also a means for Canada to play a significant role in the struggle against terrorism. They provide us with a rich set of assets we can deploy in failed or failing states to assist in removing the conditions for extremists to operate and gather support. Our security interests and our international policy goals work hand in hand.

Canadians have proved themselves willing to put in place important measures to address extraordinary threats. The Anti-Terrorism Act was carefully crafted by parliamentarians to provide such measures in a way that was consistent with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and with our core values. Given the nature of the measures adopted by the Government, we are committed to their legislative review at the end of this year to ensure that the balance struck was appropriate. We also need to ensure that there are effective mechanisms for oversight and review so that, in protecting an open society, we do not inadvertently erode the very liberties and values we are determined to uphold.

The Scope of the National Security Policy

National security deals with threats that have the potential to undermine the security of the state or society. These threats generally require a national response, as they are beyond the capacity of individuals, communities or provinces to address alone.

National security is closely linked to both personal and international security. While most criminal offences, for example, may threaten personal security, they do not generally have the same capacity to undermine the security of the state or society as do activities such as terrorism or some forms of organized crime.

Given the international nature of many of the threats affecting Canadians, national security also intersects with international security. At the same time, there are a growing number of international security threats that impact directly on Canadian security and are addressed in this strategy.

Threats undermine the security of Individual, Society/State, International System

The middle circle in the chart above delineates the focus of the national security strategy. The security environment includes a wide range of often interrelated threats. While all threats ultimately impact on individuals, threats to national security have the capacity to seriously impair the security of Canada. A growing number of international security threats impact directly on the national security of Canada.

The type of response required also differs as one moves along the continuum. Individuals have a primary role in taking responsibility for their personal security. Their efforts can be amplified when they work in communities to address challenges in their midst. As threats become more significant, they may require the assistance of the local police, a provincial government, a national government or the wider international community to address them effectively.

While the Government has a role to play in all three areas of security, this policy focusses on national security threats.

National Security Interests

Although threats to Canada will change, our security interests are enduring. The Government believes that there are three core national security interests that Canada needs to advance.

1. Protecting Canada and the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad

Canada's foremost national security interest is to protect Canada and the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad. This requires the Government to protect the physical security of Canadians, our values, and our key institutions.

In addition, the Government has a responsibility to be able to defend against threats to Canadian sovereignty, ranging from illegal entry to incursions into our territorial waters.

The Government also has an obligation to offer assistance to Canadians working or travelling abroad. Canada's international presence can also be a target and it is imperative that we take appropriate security measures to protect our diplomats, aid workers and other personnel representing Canada abroad.

2. Ensuring that Canada is not a base for threats to our allies

Our second national security interest is to ensure that Canada is not a base for threats to our allies. Just as Canada expects other governments countries to control activities in their countries that might have an impact on Canada and Canadians, we have a responsibility to manage threats to the security of our allies.

The interconnected nature of the modern world makes it impossible to isolate Canada from the effects of any serious threatening event or activity. The September 11 attacks demonstrated the profound effect an event in the United States could have on Canadians and the need to work together to address threats. Canada is committed to strengthening North American security as an important means of enhancing Canadian security.

3. Contributing to international security

Canada has a long tradition of contributing to international security, even where our direct security interests are not affected. But the changing nature of the world has increased the number of international threats that can impact on Canada's national security. Failed and failing states can provide a haven for terrorists, which can pose risks to the security of Canadians.

Canadian security will be increasingly dependent on our ability to contribute to international security.

This may require the deployment of military assets to protect against direct threats to international peace and security or the provision of development assistance to strengthen public institutions in weak or failing states. It will certainly require Canada to continue to play a leading role in strengthening and modernizing international institutions so that they can contribute to international security.

Current Threats

The world is a dangerous place, even if the relative safety of life in Canada sometimes obscures just how dangerous it is. As recent events have highlighted, there is are is a wide range of threats facing Canada from pandemics to terrorism. These threats can have a serious impact on the safety of Canadians and on the effective functioning of our society.

Terrorism. The bombings of commuter trains in Madrid in March of 2004 provided a stark reminder of the risks of terrorism and the vulnerability of open, democratic societies to it. The Bali bombing of October 2002 and the attacks of September 11 are part of the same phenomenon. In a taped message released on November 12, 2002, Osama bin Laden identified Canada as a target for attack.

Terrorism may be motivated by a variety of causes. Broadly speaking, four key types affect Canada, though they can be intermingled:

  1. Religious extremism, including that practiced by a network of groups known collectively as al-Qaeda, remains a direct threat to Canada.

  2. Violent secessionist movements pose risks to Canadian citizens. Major secessionist movements from other countries have been active in Canada in a variety of ways.

  3. State-sponsored terrorism continues to be a serious problem and contributes to a more dangerous world that affects Canada's security and prosperity.

  4. Domestic extremism, while not very muchprevalent in Canada, has in some cases resulted in violence and has threatened Canadians, including immigrant communities and religious minorities.

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their delivery systems, poses a risk to Canadians. Evidence exists that terrorist organizations and states with troubling international records have sought and experimented with such weapons - an example being the foiling of a planned attack using the deadly chemical ricin in 2003 in the United Kingdom. Whether or not Canada was the primary target of such an attack, the impact on our security could be immense. The physical effects of such attacks would not respect borders and would have a significant impact on the global economy.

Failed and failing states. The growing number of failed or failing states is one of the most disturbing of recent security developments. These states contribute to spreading instability and can be a haven for both terrorists and organized crime groups that exploit weak or corrupt governing structures to pursue their nefarious activities. These activities have had consequences far beyond their borders, including for Canada.

Foreign espionage. Foreign espionage against Canada did not stop with the end of the Cold War. As a highly advanced industrial economy, Canada is subject to foreign espionage which that seeks to steal Canadian industrial and technical secrets for gain. Economic espionage can impact on our prosperity by undermining the competitiveness of Canadian companies. Though Canada may not face the same level of military threat from foreign states as during the Cold War, some countries remain interested in our defence and security plans, particularly as they relate to our defence co-operation with the United States and other allies.

Natural disasters. Many regions of Canada have been subject to severe natural disasters in recent years which have taken lives and caused extensive property damage.

Critical infrastructure vulnerability. The August 2003 electrical blackout that affected Ontario and eight U.S. states demonstrated how dependent we are on critical infrastructure and how vulnerable we are to accidents or deliberate attack on our cyber and physical security. Cyber-attacks are a growing concern that have the potential to impact on a wide range of critical infrastructure that is connected through computer networks.

Organized crime. Organized crime in Canada is increasingly becoming part of a globalized network that supports the narcotics trade, migrant smuggling and the trafficking in persons, weapons smuggling, money laundering, theft (including identity theft), commercial fraud and extortion. A number of terrorist movements have advanced their activities by developing links with organized crime. Elements of organized crime are also increasing their attempts to undermine our justice system.

Pandemics. The SARS epidemic demonstrated how accelerated international travel patterns have amplified the risk of pandemics and related health threats to the security of Canadians. It demonstrated the devastating physical and economic impact these threats can have on communities in Canada.

All of these threats pose a real security challenge for Canada. Often, they do not exist in isolation from one another. For example, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a problem in itself, but when terrorism is involved, the threat increases dramatically. The danger of pandemics is amplified if groups seek to spread disease deliberately.

The complex threat environment we are facing evolves continuously. Therefore, the system we build needs to be capable of responding proportionately to existing threats while adapting quickly to meet new threats that may emerge. While we strive to eliminate these threats, this is not always possible. Strengthening our security is also about managing and reducing risks. The Government is determined to work with our partners and with all Canadians to meet the new risk environment and to build a more effective national security system. The next chapter describes the integrated system that the Government will develop to meet this requirement.

Chapter 2 - Building an Integrated Security System

The increasing complexity of the threats facing Canada requires an integrated national security framework to address them. It is critical for our key security instruments to work together in a fully integrated way to address the security interests of Canadians. The lack of integration in our current system is a key gap that has been recognized by the Auditor General of Canada.

The Government of Canada agrees that the key to providing greater security for Canadians and to getting the most out of our security expenditures is to co-ordinate and better integrate our efforts. The Government is committed to providing the leadership, resources and structures necessary to build a fully integrated and effective security system.

On December 12, 2003, the Prime Minister announced a series of organizational changes that help facilitate more effective integration, including:

  • the appointment of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, with a new department supporting the core functions of security and intelligence, policing and enforcement, corrections and crime prevention, border services, immigration enforcement, and emergency management;

  • the creation of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Public Health and Emergencies to co-ordinate government-wide responses to emergencies and to manage national security and intelligence issues; and

  • the appointment of the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister to improve co-ordination and integration of security efforts among government departments.

The Government is building a fully integrated security system that ensures that we can more effectively respond to existing threats and quickly adapt to new ones. The evolving nature of threats to Canadians requires a fully integrated government approach that ensures that issues and information do not fall between the different parts of our security system. This system needs to be fully connected to key partners - provinces, territories, communities, first line responders, the private sector and Canadians.

The diagram below articulates the integrated security system that we are developing. It will help to ensure that all of the necessary government resources are brought to bear in a more co-ordinated way to ensure the security of Canadians.

The system begins with a comprehensive threat assessment. It provides both tactical and strategic information about risks to Canada. This threat information is used to structure and trigger proportionate, integrated capabilities to prevent or mitigate the effects of the threat. When an event occurs, an integrated system for managing its consequences is triggered. In order to ensure the continuous improvement of the system, effective evaluation and review are conducted.

This system is capable of responding to both intentional and unintentional threats. It is as relevant in securing Canadians against the next SARS-like outbreak as it is in addressing the risk of a terrorist attack. Above all, it is a flexible system that continually evolves to learn from past experiences and to respond to emerging threats.

Threat Assessment - the Security System

Threat Assessment

Effective threat assessment allows the Government to objectively and continuously assess the risks to Canadians based on all available information. This assessment is grounded in intelligence and trend analysis, and evaluates both the probability and potential consequences of threats.

  • Create an Integrated Threat Assessment Centre

Although many individual federal departments and agencies conduct threat assessments, there has been no comprehensive and timely central government assessment that brings together intelligence about potential threats from a wide range of sources to allow better and more integrated decision-making. Consequently, the Government is creating an Integrated Threat Assessment Centre to facilitate the integration of intelligence into a comprehensive threat assessment, which will be made available to those who require it. The integrated approach that the Government is taking will help to reduce the risk that information held by one part of Government will fail to be provided in a timely fashion to those who can utilize it.

Protection and Prevention Capability

This integrated threat assessment must be connected to an effective, tactical capability to deploy resources in proportionate response to specific situations, and communicate relevant information to first line responders such as the law enforcement community. These new threat assessment capabilities will allow the Government to more effectively co-ordinate activities in response to specific threat information to prevent or mitigate threats.

The Government will ensure that its own systems are structured to better share information on threats. For example, threat information needs to be provided on a timely basis to border services agents so they can act on that information to prevent people who represent a known threat from entering Canada. A key objective is to strengthen our watch list system to ensure that it is fully integrated and updated on a real-time basis. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will have clear responsibility for the integration of watch list information across the Government. This is a complex project that requires the integration of many different information systems and will be undertaken in a way that respects the privacy rights of Canadians.

The department will also be responsible for reviewing alert and warning systems across government to ensure that they are structured to respond effectively to threats.

  • Strengthen watch list system
  • Review response and alert systems
  • Enhance threat information sharing with other levels of government and critical infrastructure owners

It is not, however, enough to connect activities within the federal government. We need to better connect our threat information to first line responders, law enforcement officials, critical infrastructure providers, and provincial, territorial and other governments. The department has such a system to respond to terrorism. It will expand its capacity to ensure full connectivity on a wider range of threats and respond to create a truly national system of protection and prevention.

Consequence Management

While much of our national security effort is directed at preventing events from occurring, our system needs to be able to respond to incidents and their consequences. This can range from providing emergency medical assistance to prosecuting individuals for committing security offences. The measures identified below in Chapter 4: Emergency Planning and Management help to strengthen the Government's capacity to meet its core responsibilities and build a national emergency management system with key partners.

  • Co-locate federal, provincial, territorial and municipal emergency operations centres

While that national strategy is being collectively developed, there are important tangible steps that can be taken immediately to enhance co-operation. To this end, the Government is working to co-locate federal, provincial, territorial and municipal emergency operations centres to ensure that officials build strong practices of collaboration and can operate seamlessly during emergencies.

Evaluation and Oversight

An effective national security framework must, of necessity, be a continual work in progress. We need to continuously evaluate the success of the system by testing its effectiveness. The Government believes that it is essential to benchmark our progress against appropriate standards including the systems adopted by other countries. While the Auditor General and parliamentary committees will continue to play an important role in reviewing our performance, we are committed to building a more systematic approach within Government to testing and improving on the effectiveness of our systems.

  • Evaluate emergency operations plans 
  • Enhance use of live testing of security systems 
  • Create the National Security Advisory Council

To this end, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will be given responsibility for strengthening the testing and auditing of key capabilities and conducting assessments of other departments. This will include a review of the plans of federal departments to ensure their ability to continue operating during emergencies. The Government will also enhance its live testing of federal security systems to assess their effectiveness.

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Cabinet Committee on Security, Public Health and Emergencies, supported by the National Security Advisor, will ensure the development and implementation of the security system described above. The Government also believes that it can benefit from the advice of security experts from outside the Government in evaluating and improving our system. To this end, it will create the National Security Advisory Council to advise the Government on the implementation of this policy framework.

This integrated national security system will help ensure that the six key security activities described in the following chapters work together more effectively in meeting the security needs of Canadians:

  • Intelligence
  • Emergency Planning and Management
  • Public Health Emergencies
  • Transportation Security
  • Border Security
  • International Security

Chapter 3 - Intelligence


  • Increase capabilities for intelligence collection and assessment
  • Enhance focus on security intelligence
  • Create a new Integrated Threat Assessment Centre
  • Enhance existing security and intelligence review mechanisms by establishing an arm's-length review body for RCMP national security activities
  • Propose the creation of a National Security Committee of Parliamentarians


Intelligence is the foundation of our ability to take effective measures to provide for the security of Canada and Canadians. To manage risk effectively, we need the best possible information about threats we face and about the intentions, capabilities and activities of those who would do us harm. The best decisions regarding the scope and design of security programs, the allocation of resources and the deployment of assets cannot be made unless decision makers are as informed as possible.

Canada has a long and distinguished record in the field of intelligence collection and assessment. Our history in this area goes back to important contributions Canada made during the Second World War. Agencies like the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment are recognized by our allies as highly effective professional organizations. They contribute significantly to our own security as well as that of the global community.

Intelligence is important not only for Canada's security but also for sound international, military and economic policy. Unlike a number of our closest allies, Canada does not have a single agency dedicated solely to collecting foreign intelligence abroad. However, a number of Canadian departments and agencies gather information in Canada and abroad relating to a wide range of interests. In circumstances where it is required for the protection of Canada from security threats, this can include operations abroad by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

The threats we face do not respect national or international boundaries. Terrorist organizations, for example, raise money, recruit and train operatives and plan and carry out operations around the world. This has been clearly demonstrated in the terrible attacks of September 11, 2001, and in subsequent attacks in Bali and most recently in Madrid. Other threats, such as weapons proliferation, pandemics, failed and failing states and organized crime, have transboundary implications.

The nature of intelligence is that we rarely, if ever, have complete information. Rather, intelligence reporting and assessments are based on fragmented and sometimes contradictory information. It is therefore essential to bring together information on threats to Canada from all available sources and properly assess it in order to provide as accurate and complete a picture as possible. It is also critically important that the resulting product be conveyed in a timely, accurate and usable manner to those whose actions or decisions depend on it.

Progress to Date

The Government of Canada significantly enhanced its security and intelligence sector in the wake of the events of September 11. This included a 30 percent increase in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) budget and a 25 percent increase in the budget of the Communications Security Establishment. The new Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada allows us to identify, assess and track suspicious transfers of money that could indicate support for terrorist activity or money laundering. Funding has also been provided to increase intelligence capacity in a number of other departments and agencies, such as the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada. Our analytical capacity has been significantly enhanced by doubling the size of the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat within the Privy Council Office, which provides government departments and agencies with assessments on international issues.

The Government has made important legislative changes to ensure that we can better respond to evolving threats, while maintaining the balance between collective interests and the rights and freedoms of Canadians. The Communications Security Establishment has been placed on a legislative basis for the first time. The Government has proposed further clarifications and enhancements in the proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 to a number of legal authorities that impact the security and intelligence community.

Structurally, the Government has made key changes to better enable it to integrate and act upon intelligence on threats to Canada. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness brings together key departments and agencies under one ministerial roof, including CSIS, the RCMP, Emergency Management, the Canada Border Services Agency and others. Complementing this change, the National Security Advisor, located within PCO, briefs the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister on national security from an integrated government-wide perspective.

The Way Forward

The Government believes that additional resources need to be allocated to enhance intelligence collection and assessment capabilities. Important initiatives have also been proposed in relation to accountability and review. Therefore, we are committing an additional $167 million in this area.

Increase Capabilities and Focus

No changes to the current mandates and structures of Canada's security and intelligence agencies are being proposed at this time. However, in order to combat elusive threats and address other risks to our security, intelligence collection and assessment capabilities will be increased. Given the security threats facing Canada and our allies, we will devote a greater proportion of our efforts to security intelligence.

Working with Our Allies

A part of our ability to access intelligence derives from our intelligence alliances and relationships. For many years Canada has exchanged intelligence with key allies. To effectively meet the security and intelligence challenges we face, Canada has also developed important new relationships. These relationships focus on a variety of issues, such as anti-terrorism, non-proliferation, new and emerging health concerns and the protection of our armed forces personnel deployed abroad.

These relations are enormously beneficial to our country. Canada alone could not replicate the benefits gained through these international arrangements. But we are also a significant contributor of intelligence. These contributions are recognized and appreciated by our allies. Many of our key allies are moving ahead to enhance their intelligence collection capabilities, including making use of, and adapting to, new and evolving technology. We will keep pace with our allies and with the evolving security environment.

Integrated Threat Assessment

Close allies such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have all recognized that the current scope of threat assessment requirements exceeds the capacity of any one organization and have moved to integrated models.

The United Kingdom has created the Joint Threat Assessment Centre. The United States has created its Terrorist Threat Integration Center and the Terrorist Screening Center to ensure that threat related information reaches all levels of government. Australia has also developed its National Threat Assessment Centre. All these efforts have brought together both intelligence and expertise from across the respective governments to give the most accurate and timely picture of possible threats. As an ally, Canada will benefit from those decisions. We will follow suit in order to improve our capacity to protect Canadians and to contribute more significantly to international efforts.

We need to ensure that we have the ability to assess information on threats to Canada and Canadian interests. Departments and agencies must co-operate closely and, wherever appropriate, share relevant information with each other. In addition, a structure must exist to ensure that the results of integrated analysis can be quickly transmitted to those who need them in order to take action. We cannot allow organizational silos to inhibit our ability to identify and respond to threats to the security of Canada.

As highlighted in Chapter 2: Building an Integrated Security System, Canada will create a new Integrated Threat Assessment Centre. It will be supported by, and staffed with, representatives of a broad range of departments and agencies including Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, CSIS, the RCMP, the Communications Security Establishment, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Privy Council Office, Transport Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency. It will also be able to draw on expertise from other departments and agencies, as required, including Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Environment Canada.

Though housed within CSIS, which is accountable to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the new centre will be a community-wide resource working in conjunction with the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. The centre will do a comprehensive analysis of all available information on potential threats to Canada and make the results of that analysis available to all who require them. Systems and procedures will be developed and implemented, within a framework that provides for appropriate safeguards on the dissemination of information, to ensure the collaboration and sharing upon which fully integrated threat assessments depend.

Review Mechanisms

The nature of intelligence is such that much of our effort is not known to the general public. A primary reason that we engage in security and intelligence activities is to protect Canadians and the society we have built together, based on democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights. It is therefore fundamentally important that safeguards be in place to ensure that the exercise of authorities and the activities of our agencies are completely appropriate and are in compliance with Canadian law and policy.

A number of effective mechanisms are already in place for review of security and intelligence activities. These include the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the Inspector General for CSIS, the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment and the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Beyond these structures, the Government has put in place other safeguards, including the recently established protocol with the United States concerning the treatment of Canadian citizens.

As the legal authorities and activities of our security and intelligence agencies evolve to respond to the current and future security environment, it is vitally important that we ensure that review mechanisms keep pace. In this context, the budget of the Security Intelligence Review Committee has recently been increased to enable it to continue to effectively review an expanded CSIS. The Government has also made two significant new proposals.

The first is to create an arm's-length review mechanism for the RCMP's activities relating to national security. The Deputy Prime Minister has asked Mr. Justice Dennis R. O'Connor to provide advice to the Government on how best to proceed with this important initiative.

Second, the Prime Minister has proposed the creation of a National Security Committee of Parliamentarians. The Deputy Prime Minister recently tabled a discussion paper on the proposal in Parliament. Committees of the House of Commons and of the Senate have been asked to consider the mandate and structure of such a committee and to make recommendations to the Government.

As part of the ongoing evaluation and oversight described in Chapter 2, the Government will monitor progress in relation to enhanced intelligence collection and assessment as well as development and implementation of expanded review mechanisms relating to national security. This will help to determine whether further adjustments are required in this critically important area.

Chapter 4 - Emergency Planning and Management


  • Establish the new Government Operations Centre
  • Modernize the Emergency Preparedness Act
  • Host a permanent, high-level federal-provincial-territorial forum on emergencies
  • Co-locate federal, provincial, territorial and municipal emergency measures centres
  • Enhance cyber-security for federal government systems
  • Build a Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada
  • Establish a public-private task force for the National Cyber-security Strategy


The diverse array of emergencies in Canada in recent years - September 11, 2001, SARS, BSE, Hurricane Juan, the B.C. forest fires, floods, the Ontario blackout, and avian influenza - shows the importance of transforming our national emergency management system to meet the challenges of protecting modern Canadian society from the effects of increasingly complex emergencies. This increased complexity is a function of several factors:

  • transnational threats, including international terrorism, globalized disease outbreaks and natural disasters, many of which have significant economic and health impacts;

  • the near simultaneous engagement of multiple government departments and jurisdictions, often in more than one country; and

  • the need for quick responses to minimize human and economic losses.

Canada's current approach to emergencies dates back to the Cold War era. The system is based on a highly decentralized and distributed division of responsibilities among first line responders, provinces and territories, and lead departments at the federal level. There is currently an urgent need for a more modern, integrated national support system for first line responders, and there remains a system-wide question about the adequacy and sufficiency of resources for key players across the country, particularly in the context of sustained and operationally intense emergency situations. Interoperability of policies, systems and personnel is also a major national challenge that must be tackled. And there is undoubtedly a need for clear national leadership - both on the ground and in communications - on emergencies of national importance.

Effective emergency management comprises several phases, including mitigation, prevention, preparedness, detection, response, recovery, and evaluation. In all of these phases, our national capacity must be bolstered, and our policies and operations made seamless across jurisdictions. In saying this, the Government of Canada recognizes that first line responders lie at the heart of our emergency management system and that the federal Government will often play only a supporting role in emergency management to provinces and territories, communities and the private sector. The Government has identified two important elements for modernizing Canada's approach to emergency management:

  • first, building on key measures taken to date, the Government will put its house in order by launching initiatives to fill the highest-priority gaps; and

  • second, the Government will, in concert with its partners in the provinces and territories, and drawing on communities, first line responders and industry, launch a process to determine how we may collectively modernize the national system of emergency management.

Progress to Date

Since September 11, 2001, the Government has taken steps to bolster its performance and capacity to effectively manage complex emergencies:

  • It increased resources for dealing with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks (CBRN) including networked federal laboratories for research, the development of a four-level training program for first line responders and the accelerated delivery of new technologies to first line responders through the CBRN Research and Technology Initiative.

  • It implemented the National Urban Search and Rescue program to build and enhance the capabilities of first line responders to respond to emergencies resulting in structural collapses.

  • It enhanced the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate cyber-incidents and other threats to national security.

  • It enhanced federal-provincial-territorial co-operation on emergencies, including major exercises.

  • It created a new Government of Canada standard for maintaining government operations during emergencies.

The Canadian Forces have also figured prominently in the consequence management of national emergencies, helping civilian authorities respond, over the last several years, to floods in Quebec and Manitoba; the ice storm in eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick; the aftermath of the Swiss Air crash off the coast of Nova Scotia; the Y2K transition; forest fires in British Columbia; and Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia in 2003. Since 2001, the Government has taken specific measures aimed at bolstering the capabilities of the Canadian Forces in emergency preparedness and support. These measures have included:

  • setting up, with our American partners, the Bi-National Planning Group at Colorado Springs to develop co-ordinated Canada-U.S. military planning to support civil authorities in responding to potential terrorist attacks and natural disasters within North America;

  • creating a dedicated military nuclear, biological and chemical response unit to support first line responders in a domestic situation, if requested, and to support deployed operations;

  • enhancing and rationalizing the Canadian Forces' nuclear, biological and chemical equipment;

  • increasing the Canadian Forces' holdings of nuclear, biological and chemical medical countermeasures, and improving stock maintenance;

  • enhancing the Disaster Assistance Response Team's contingency-planning capacity, and providing for some additional domestic response capability when the unit is deployed overseas; and

  • ensuring that the Canadian Forces and Canadian first line responders are adequately prepared to protect Canadian interests by upgrading and consolidating the facilities required to provide training, advice and technological support to the Canadian Forces, Canadian first line responders, and other government departments.

In December 2003, the Government also announced:

  • the creation of a Cabinet Committee on Security, Public Health and Emergencies, chaired by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to provide political leadership in emergencies;

  • the integration of the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness into the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, which merged into a single area the Government's strategic response capabilities for both non-terrorist emergencies and terrorist emergencies, and buttressed the ability of the Government to effectively connect with provincial and territorial emergency preparedness networks;

  • the creation of the new position of Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness); and

  • an increase in Canadian Forces Reserves available for civil preparedness, including a capacity to deal with natural disasters and local emergencies.

The Way Forward

Building on the measures taken to date, the Government will take immediate steps to put the federal house in order by addressing the highest-priority gaps in its capacity to manage emergencies in the areas of overall strategic co-ordination, critical infrastructure protection and cyber-security. We are committing an additional $105 million to address these gaps.

Strategic Co-ordination

The Government will build a centralized Government Operations Centre to provide stable, round-the-clock co-ordination and support across government and to key national players in the event of national emergencies. The Operations Centre will be housed in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and will provide leadership in emergencies of national importance.

A seamless national emergency management system requires a comprehensive, modern legislative foundation, informed by consultations with provinces, territories, communities, first line responders, and industry. To this end, the overall statutory framework for the Government's emergency management activities - in particular the Emergency Preparedness Act - will be reviewed and modernized to reflect the emerging requirements of emergency management. These requirements cover the areas of mitigation programs, critical infrastructure protection, cyber-security, information-sharing between federal departments, agreements with international and private sector partners, and protection of sensitive private sector information.

Recent events in Canada such as SARS have called into question the effectiveness of existing disaster financial assistance arrangements to deal quickly and effectively with response and recovery. The need for consistency of application, improvement of federal-provincial-territorial co-operation, and a comprehensive federal response is driving the development of a framework for responsive disaster recovery assistance. As part of this, the Government will complete an ongoing review of the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements, develop guiding principles for other federal instruments to complement these arrangements for situations such as public health and animal health emergencies, and examine the inventory of existing national programs and legal tools to enhance their applicability to emergency response and recovery.

Major emergencies require extremely close co-operation between the federal government, provinces and territories, communities, first line responders and the private sector. National emergency co-ordination currently suffers from the absence of both an effective federal-provincial-territorial governance regime, and from the absence of commonly agreed standards and priorities for the national emergency management system.

The Government will therefore invite provinces and territories to establish a permanent, high-level forum on emergencies in order to allow for regular strategic discussion of emergency management issues among key national players. The Government is also committed to moving ahead on the co-location of federal, provincial and territorial emergency operations centres. To this end, it will work with its provincial and territorial partners to put this in place where practical.

The Government needs to be able to continue to provide core services to Canadians during emergencies. Building on existing work in this regard, federal departments will ensure that they can continue to serve Canadians regardless of circumstances by strengthening their continuity planning processes and requiring regular exercises to test these plans.

Critical Infrastructure and Cyber-security

Critical infrastructure protection is one of the main challenges of modern emergency management. Most of our critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector or other levels of government, and much of it is connected to international networks.

To establish a basis for the federal, provincial and territorial governments and the private sector to meet critical infrastructure protection challenge, the Government will release a position paper setting out the key elements of the proposed Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada this summer. The Government will consult senior-level provincial, territorial and private sector leaders to inform this strategy. Key international partners such as the United States will be part of this consultation process. The Government will work with provinces, territories and the private sector to drive forward a national process that prioritizes substantial improvement of our national capabilities in critical infrastructure protection.

Cyber-security is at the forefront of the transborder challenge to Canada's critical infrastructure. The threat of cyber-attacks is real, and the consequences of such attacks can be severe. To achieve a more proactive cyber-security posture and to keep pace with the efforts of key allies, the Government will strengthen its capacity to predict and prevent cyber-attacks. To this end, the Government will substantially improve threat and vulnerability analyses for its systems, and strengthen its ability to defend its systems and respond to cyber-incidents.

The Government will also convene a high-level national task force, with public and private representation, to develop the National Cyber-security Strategy to reduce Canada's vulnerability to cyber-attacks and cyber-accidents.

Bringing Key Players to the Table

The federal Government is often not a lead player in emergency management. Consequently, the Government will initiate a process with its partners in the provinces and territories to bring key emergency management actors from across the country to the table. This includes communities, first line responders and the private sector. The objective will be to collectively assess the requirements of the entire national emergency management community to better position the country to meet the increasingly complex security environment that we face.

The Government will work with provinces and territories at key meetings of federal, provincial and territorial security ministers and deputy ministers this summer. The Government will propose four strategic areas as national priorities:

  • building operational capacity and seamlessness across the national system, including strengthening surge capabilities;

  • developing a broad process that includes the private sector and will lead to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada;

  • staging regular national and international exercises involving civilian and military resources to assess the adequacy of the national system against various emergency scenarios; and

  • working closely with allies, particularly the United States, to continuously improve capacity and coherence in continent-wide emergency management.

Chapter 5 - Public Health Emergencies


  • Create the new Public Health Agency of Canada, and appoint the Chief Public Health Officer for Canada
  • Establish health emergency response teams
  • Replenish the National Emergency Services Stockpile System
  • Enhance laboratory capacity
  • Enhance public health surveillance
  • Provide $300 million to provinces and territories for the National Immunization Strategy
  • Provide $100 million to provinces and territories to relieve stress on National public health systems at the front line


A robust public health system is a critical line of defence in protecting Canadians against many current and emerging threats, including contamination of our food and water, major disease outbreaks such as SARS, natural disasters, major accidents like chemical spills, and even the terrorist threat of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack. The complex, multijurisdictional nature of such threats also speaks to the necessity for Canada's approach to public health emergencies to be more than strictly local or national in its orientation, and to proactively contribute to the building of a more resilient international public health architecture. This approach must also seek to continuously include the public health dimension in the ongoing national security debate.

Indeed, the SARS outbreak in 2003 highlighted a number of challenges to the national management of public health emergencies. These challenges include:

  • a lack of clarity in leadership, legislative authority and roles and responsibilities among jurisdictions;

  • uneven capacity and co-ordination within and between jurisdictions, particularly in relation to research and development, surveillance, and emergency response; and

  • a shortage of public health human resources, resulting, among other things, in insufficient surge capacity.

The Government of Canada has moved to respond to these challenges. This document sets out measures to fill prominent gaps in our public health emergency readiness, and reaffirms the multi-party process already laid out to modernize our public health emergencies system.

Progress to Date

A number of key accomplishments should be noted as the Government works with key partners - provinces, territories, communities, first line responders, industry and international partners - to build a more resilient national public health emergencies system.

  • The Prime Minister has appointed a Minister of State (Public Health) with specific responsibility for helping to implement the new Public Health Agency of Canada.

  • The Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response was created in 2000 with the mission of leading and co-ordinating national health emergency preparedness and response. The centre's Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in emergencies, such as SARS and the 2003 power outage.

  • The National Microbiology Laboratory, located in the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg, houses Canada's Biological Safety Level 4 containment laboratory, one of just 15 such laboratories in the world equipped to handle some of the most virulent pathogens.

  • Canada has developed a Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan to co-ordinate the federal response to an uncontrolled release of radioactive materials.

  • Canada's ability to track and detect bioterrorist events has been enhanced through the purchase of more advanced equipment for our laboratories and the provision of timely information sharing on disease incidents and the development of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network.

  • Canada plays a leading role in the Global Health Security Initiative. The initiative is a partnership among G7 countries, Mexico, the European Union and the World Health Organization to strengthen global public health preparedness and response to the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism. Canada provides the secretariat for the initiative and also chairs the Global Health Security Action Group, a network of key officials responsible for developing and implementing concrete actions to improve global health security.

  • As part of the Canada-U.S. Smart Border initiative, Health Canada and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are building on their existing relationship to develop and begin to implement a biosecurity public health work plan.

  • Canada and the United States are developing and harmonizing international nuclear emergency arrangements through the Canada-U.S. Joint Radiological Emergency Response Plan, as well as working with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

  • Canada, together with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, has established an international network dealing with scientific, technical and intelligence aspects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism issues.

  • The Government is expanding its stock of pharmaceutical and medical supplies in warehouses strategically located around the country, ready to be deployed quickly and efficiently in support of provincial and territorial governments.

  • Improvements have also been made to Canada's capacity to provide quarantine services at our major international airports.

The Way Forward

The Government will continue to enhance the coherence and capacity of the national public health emergency management system, and will continue its efforts to address key strategic challenges with its partners. To these ends, Budget 2004 committed an additional $665 million over the next three years.

Strategic Co-ordination

The new Public Health Agency of Canada is being established to strengthen Canada's public health and emergency response capacity, and to develop national strategies for managing infectious diseases and chronic diseases. The new agency will be based upon a distributed model that builds on existing offices across Canada - in Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Guelph, Montreal and Halifax. The work of the Agency will be carried out in all jurisdictions through its regional offices, through the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network, and through the new Centres of Public Health.

The agency will be led by the new Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, who will be charged with providing timely, objective and evidence-based advice on all matters pertaining to public health and national readiness to deal with public health threats, providing leadership in advancing Canada's interests in international agencies focussed on public health matters, and helping to co-ordinate the national public health response during public health disasters and emergencies.

International co-ordination and capacity will be strengthened by linking the new Public Health Agency to an international network for disease control and emergency response, alongside the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies in Europe and Asia.

Building National Capacity

Health emergency response capacity will be increased by establishing health emergency response teams, made up of health professionals across the country. These professionals will continue to work in various health care settings, but will be available to come together and assist local authorities in an emergency situation.

The National Emergency Services Stockpile System will be replenished with the necessary supplies (portable hospitals, mini-clinics, blankets, etc.) and the national inventory of drugs will be updated.

The Canadian Field Epidemiology Program - a federally sponsored and run program for public health graduates - will be expanded to address human resources shortages in this important area.

Funding will be provided for fellowships, bursaries, chairs and community-based public health apprenticeships.

Public health surveillance will be enhanced through work with the provinces and other stakeholders to develop and implement improved data collection standards to facilitate sharing of public health information on a national basis. Budget 2004 provided an additional $100 million to Canada Health Infoway to support the development and implementation of a national public health surveillance system.

Funding will be provided to establish regional centres of excellence in public health to advance understanding and action on key priority areas, for example, communicable disease epidemiology.

Laboratory capacity will be enhanced at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses in Guelph, including acquisition of new equipment. Support will be provided for a new emergency operations centre at the National Microbiology Laboratory and laboratory networks will be strengthened. Increased funding will also be provided to support laboratory-based research to increase Canada's diagnostic capacity.

Budget 2004 makes $300 million available to the provinces and territories over the next three years in support of the National Immunization Strategy to assist with the introduction of new and recommended childhood and adolescent vaccines.

Budget 2004 also makes $100 million available to help the provinces and territories relieve stresses on their public health systems and to address immediate gaps in capacity.

Building on Momentum

Going forward, the Government intends to take all necessary measures to fully integrate its approach to public health emergencies with the national security agenda. As indicated previously, the public health dimension will figure prominently in the Government's integrated threat assessments, and the new Public Health Agency of Canada will be launched as a matter of priority.

To ensure that the new Public Health Agency is able to take its place among the best public health agencies in the world, key international partners such as the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom will be engaged during its development so that Canada may benefit from their expertise.

The Government is also working, and will continue to work, with the provinces and territories to address vulnerabilities and build on existing public health strengths across Canada. To this end, the Minister of State (Public Health) is consulting with stakeholders across the country to discuss how to improve intergovernmental collaboration on public health and to seek their guidance on how the federal agency and the Chief Public Health Officer should function.

Chapter 6 - Transportation Security


  • Strengthen our marine security through a six-point plan that includes:
    • clarifying responsibilities and strengthening co-ordination
    • establishing marine security operations centres
    • increasing the Canadian Forces, RCMP, and Canadian Coast Guard on-water presence as well as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans aerial surveillance
    • securing fleet communications
    • pursuing greater marine security co-operation with the United States
    • strengthening the security of marine ports and facilities
  • Enhance security in aviation, including air cargo
  • Improve and extend security background check requirements for transportation workers


Canada relies on its transportation network of roads, railways, pipelines, shipping and airlines to move people and goods between communities within Canada as well as between Canada and our trading partners in North America and around the world.

Terrorists' use of aircraft as weapons of mass destruction and subsequent terrorist attacks on commuters - most recently in Madrid, Spain - have offended our sense of security and have sparked a reassessment of the vulnerabilities of the Canadian transportation system.

Canada has a responsibility to contribute to the security of the North American transportation system by working jointly with our neighbours to manage the security of our skies, our surface routes, and our waters, by encouraging stringent, consistent regulatory standards, and by collaborating in our efforts to better detect, assess, and respond to threats.

Canada must also do its part to secure the international transportation system by working bilaterally and through multilateral institutions with our international partners to raise transportation security standards, and to increase international co-ordination.

Progress to Date

Canada has long been recognized as having one of the most safe and secure aviation systems in the world - including through the objective assessment of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The tragic loss in 1985 of an Air India jet after departing Canada prompted the Government to implement measures such as searches of passengers and their carry-on baggage, matching baggage with passengers, and conducting background checks on airport workers.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, we took further steps to build on these efforts to secure the air transportation system. The Government committed $2.2 billion to enhance Canada's aviation security. Of these funds, more than $1 billion was allocated to acquire and operate advanced explosives detection systems at Canadian airports. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority was created to provide a professional corps of well-trained security officers to screen passengers and their baggage, to screen non-passengers entering restricted areas at airports, and to implement an enhanced restricted-area pass system at Canadian airports.

To protect aircraft in flight, the Government required the fortification of cockpits through the installation of reinforced cockpit doors, and we played a leading role at the International Civil Aviation Organization to have this requirement adopted internationally. Furthermore, the Government established the Air Carrier Protective Program, placing specially trained, armed RCMP undercover officers on selected flights.

Since 1985, Transport Canada, with the support of the RCMP and Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, has conducted comprehensive background checks on airport workers. To further enhance our security clearance system at airports, the Government is moving to screen individuals for links to organized crime and other criminal associations.

In recognition of our shared responsibility for our common air space, Canada and the United States have been formal partners since 1958 in its defence and security through NORAD. Since September 11, NORAD has adapted to the new threat environment by increasing its operational readiness and by addressing threats within and outside North America. Canada and the United States have also further enhanced North American defence and security co-operation through the creation of the Bi-National Planning Group located at Colorado Springs, Colorado. This group, among other things, is working to improve marine security co-operation, protecting North America from marine threats.

The Government has allocated additional funds for marine security to better track vessels operating in Canadian waters, increase surveillance, protect marine infrastructure, and improve domestic and international coordination. Key measures include long-range detection technologies; enhanced screening of ships' passengers and crews; advanced reporting requirements to improve the assessment of potential risks posed by vessels, their passengers and cargo; and measures to intercept vessels of concern before they arrive on our shores.

The Government has taken steps to strengthen security at marine facilities. For example, the RCMP has established National Ports Enforcement Teams at Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal.

Canada also played a leading role at the International Maritime Organization to develop a comprehensive international marine security regime set to enter into force in July 2004. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code now require security assessments and plans for ships and marine facilities, including the designation of security officers on ships. The amendments to the convention require ships to be fitted with transponder systems that automatically transmit the vessel's identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety-related information to shore stations, other ships, and aircraft.

Intermodal cargo containers, which can be moved intact between trucks, trains, and ships, serve as the backbone of the international system for the trade in goods. Over 2.5 million 20-foot equivalent units move through our ports every year - many of them destined for the United States. Along with enhanced electronic screening capability, the federal government is invoking mandatory advanced notice requirements and automated targeting systems to identify and target inspections on high-risk cargo. Canada has partnered with the United States to jointly position customs officers at key North American ports. Technology investments such as gamma-ray systems, ion mobility spectrometers, and trace detection systems, permit effective and unobtrusive screening of containers for explosive, chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological devices.

The Way Forward

The Government will work with our international partners, bilaterally and through multilateral forums, to enhance the security of our skies, our waters, and surface routes for the movement of people and commerce. With the United States, we will work to develop stringent, consistent regulatory standards, and we will collaborate more closely to better detect, assess, and respond to threats. We will work with other countries to strengthen international standards for transportation security, build confidence in one another's security standards, and where this has been accomplished, mutually recognize them.

Aviation security remains a primary concern and further steps will be taken in this area. The proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 would, among other things, clarify and strengthen authorities for the RCMP, CSIS, and Transport Canada to request passenger information to assess threats to transportation security, and for other limited purposes.

In partnership with the private sector and our international partners, we will identify strategies to enhance the security of air cargo. These strategies should build on programs pioneered by Canada for the movement of cargo by truck. This would include building on programs such as the Partners in Protection program for identifying trusted shippers, filing advance notice of cargo being shipped by air, and automated targeting systems to identify high-risk cargo for closer inspection.

We will work with the United States and with our G8 partners to develop further security measures, including co-operation on threat and vulnerability assessment methodology. This will be used, for example, to assess risks and effective countermeasures for potential attacks from shoulder-fired missiles.

The Government will implement a six-point plan to strengthen marine security, and invest $308 million from the security reserve set aside in Budget 2004.

First, we are clarifying and strengthening accountability for marine security amongst the various portfolios that have a role to play in securing our waters. As a result of changes implemented the day the new government took power, the Minister of Transport has lead responsibility for marine safety and security policy co-ordination and regulation. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will continue to have lead responsibility for enforcement and policing. The Minister of National Defence will be the lead minister for the co-ordination of on-water response to a marine threat or a developing crisis in our Exclusive Economic Zone and along our coasts.

Second, we are establishing Marine Security Operations Centres. Headed by Canadian Forces Maritime Command, the centres will include staff from the CBSA, Transport Canada, the RCMP, and the Canadian Coast Guard. Reflecting the approach the Canadian Forces and Canadian Coast Guard take to carry out search and rescue operations, these Marine Security Operations Centres will have the authority and capacity, through interagency staffing, to bring to bear all civilian and military resources necessary to detect, assess, and respond to a marine security threat. Marine Security Operations Centres will be networked with the Coast Guard's vessel traffic and communications systems, and with the new Government Operations Centre in Ottawa.

Third, we are increasing on-water patrols to better position the RCMP, Coast Guard and the Canadian Forces Maritime Command to intervene, interdict, and board ships that may pose threats to Canada. As well, the Government is increasing the Department of Fisheries and Ocean's aerial surveillance activities. Combined with Canadian Forces aerial surveillance activities, these programs detect, track and classify vessels in our waters.

Fourth, the Government will implement secure communications technologies that will enhance the ability of our civilian and military fleets to communicate with each other and with the Marine Security Operations Centres.

Fifth, Canada and the United States will work more closely to protect and defend our coasts and our territorial waters. Given that we share responsibility for our contiguous waters, we will work with the United States to pursue enhanced marine security cooperation, including encouraging mutually high and compatible rules, standards and operations, among other measures.

Canada will propose collaborating more closely in the enhancement of the security of our ports and vessels by conducting of common threat, vulnerability and risk assessments, and through security audit programs. Canada will also strive to closely co-ordinate our Marine Security Operations Centres with the U.S. Coast Guard Operations Centres. Working together, these centres would provide a comprehensive picture of vessels operating in our contiguous waters. They could systematically share information on vessels, crew and cargo that may pose a threat to our shared security, and we would propose that they co-ordinate efforts to target and intercept these threats.

Sixth, the Government will strengthen security at ports and other marine facilities, such as locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway. We are implementing mandatory regulatory standards for marine facilities that will require operators by July 1, 2004, to have in place plans that address security vulnerabilities.

The Government has a range of programs that require security background checks for transportation workers, for example, for those working in restricted areas at airports and for commercial truck drivers crossing the Canada-United States border. The Government has committed to introducing similar requirements at marine ports. We will explore expanding the requirements for background checks to a broader range of transportation workers.

Canada will work with the United States to improve the security of intermodal cargo containers. Our aim is to deepen our existing co-operation by partnering in the Container Security Initiative. We will explore the deployment of customs officers at overseas ports to verify inspections of high-risk containers before they are loaded on vessels destined for North America. Given the integrated nature of North American shipping, we will increase the compatibility of our systems for automated targeting of high-risk cargo at seaports, and we will establish protocols for sharing information on such cargo.

We will work with our international partners to identify and implement new technologies, such as electronic seals, global positioning system tracking, and embedded computer chip technology, to signal breaches of the physical integrity of shipping containers - whether at a port, or on a truck, ship or train. With our G8 partners and the World Customs Organization, we will work to establish an integrated container security regime that enhances the level of security of intermodal containers globally.

It is important to do more to protect our critical transportation infrastructure. This will require collaboration with provincial and municipal governments, and with independent operators responsible for key parts of our transportation system.

For example, rail operators own the track that carries passengers and freight across Canada. Pipelines that are privately owned and operated carry oil and gas resources to our urban centres and to the United States. Bridge and tunnel operators are responsible for key trade corridors to the United States. NavCanada owns and operates Canada's air navigation system on which Canadians rely for continued safe operation of our air space. Airport and marine port authorities are responsible for the gateways connecting Canadians and the Canadian economy with the rest of the world.

As described in Chapter 4: Emergency Planning and Management, the Government will work with provinces, territories and the private sector to define the Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada. This will include the protection of Canada's critical transportation infrastructure.

Chapter 7 - Border Security


  • Deploy facial recognition (digitized photograph) biometric on Canadian passports
  • Complete RCMP electronic fingerprint system
  • Streamline refugee determination process
  • Further develop next generation smart borders agenda
  • Apply smart borders principles internationally


Effective border management requires governments to treat the border as more than a single line at which threats can be intercepted. Well before the events of September 11, 2001, Canada had taken significant steps to enhance border security - recognizing that a modern border requires, as much as possible, that screening activities should take place before a traveller or cargo arrives at our ports of entry. Management of our borders is in keeping with the need to facilitate trade and travel, while preventing high-risk travellers and cargo from entering Canada through air, land, and marine ports.

Progress to Date

Border management became even more urgent in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The Government of Canada took immediate steps to enhance the security of our borders by allocating $646 million in Budget 2001 to initiatives including equipping and deploying more intelligence, investigative, and front-line personnel.

The Government also provided funds to improve the screening of immigrants, refugee claimants and visitors and to enhance the capacity to detain and remove anyone posing a risk to Canada. This permits the Government to better identify individuals posing a threat to Canada while facilitating the flow of those who do not.

The Government created the Immigration Intelligence Branch, currently located in the Canada Border Services Agency, to better support screening of persons suspected of terrorism, organized crime and war crimes or crimes against humanity. The Government also improved the screening of visa applicants abroad and began to security screen all refugee claimants immediately after a claim is made. Canada also introduced the new Permanent Resident Card, which has been recognized as one of the most secure identity documents in the world.

Criminals and other persons who pose security threats will sometimes try to use forged documents to gain access to other countries. A Canadian approach that has been successfully adopted by other countries, including the United States, is to place migration integrity officers abroad to combat illegal migration, including people smuggling and trafficking. Working with partners, these officers work to identify and stop high-risk travellers before they can board planes bound for Canada. They also train local airline and airport authorities to identify false and altered travel documents. In the past six years, these officers have stopped more than 40,000 people with improper documents from boarding planes for North America.

In 2001, Parliament passed the Government's new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which provides more tools to address security threats. The Act contains more stringent penalties for people using or selling forged or false documents and it allows the Government to deny individuals who are confirmed as security threats access to our refugee determination process. The Act also provides additional tools to prevent access to Canada by members of foreign-based organized crime groups. New provisions include grounds of inadmissibility for persons involved in people smuggling and trafficking, money laundering and trans-border offences related to the possession of illegal substances. There are stronger and new offences for counterfeiting and for people smuggling and trafficking; and there are reduced appeal opportunities for organized crime members who are ordered deported.

The Government also imposed new visa requirements on 10 countries, as well as on seafarers, to allow for the screening abroad of potential security risks. We quickly implemented an advance passenger information/passenger name record system to obtain information on travellers destined for Canada. This data is used to identify high-risk individuals before they arrive at Canadian ports of entry.

To strengthen our ability to verify the identity of individuals seeking to enter Canada, the Government deployed LiveScan digital fingerprint machines at major border offices. These machines capture fingerprints, biographical information and photographs of all refugee claimants and individuals whose identity may be in doubt. This data is sent electronically to the RCMP for further checks.

To help meet the challenges posed by international terrorism, the RCMP set up integrated national security enforcement teams in key locations. The integrated national security enforcement team members collect, analyse and share intelligence about national security among partners. Working together, they are better able to enforce the law and they improve partner agencies' capacity to manage national security threats and meet specific mandate responsibilities. Integrating intelligence and enforcement, from the very early stages of criminal activity or organized crime, has proven to be a highly effective model for successful prosecution.

As part of the structural changes announced in December 2003, the Government created the Canada Border Services Agency. This agency brings together the border security and intelligence functions formerly with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. To better link these efforts with the policing and broader intelligence community, the agency was brought into the new Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness - which includes the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the RCMP. These actions are helping us to better integrate our intelligence and law enforcement officials with those responsible for making risk-based decisions on the flow of people and goods at our borders.

Smart Borders Discussions with the United States

Canada took the lead in proposing to the United States a comprehensive smart borders strategy that would enhance North American security and prosperity. The Smart Borders Declaration, signed with the United States on December 12, 2001, supports a detailed 32-point Action Plan to enhance the security of the flow of goods and people and the transportation system, and to strengthen intelligence and law enforcement co-operation. The Smart Borders initiatives make both countries partners in systems and programs that expedite the flow of low-risk goods and people while increasing the information that is needed to screen higher-risk flows.

Examples of progress in the Smart Borders discussions include:

  • The joint NEXUS program expedites the flow of pre-approved, low-risk travellers in both directions across the land border. NEXUS currently operates at 11 high-volume border crossings, with more sites planned.

  • The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program takes the same approach to low-risk, pre-approved commercial goods and truck drivers. It currently operates at the 12 highest-volume border crossings and will be available at all major commercial crossings by the end of 2004.

  • The Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement has been signed which, once implemented, will permit both countries to better manage the flow of refugee claimants across our common land border.

  • Canada and the United States have expanded integrated border enforcement teams to cover the 14 geographic regions along the land border. These multidisciplinary teams deal with potential terrorist and criminal activity between ports of entry.

  • The Canada Border Services Agency created the National Risk Assessment Centre to improve information sharing about high-risk individuals and cargo with the United States. This is increasing the capacity of the two countries to detect and stop high-risk travellers and cargo destined for either country. The National Risk Assessment Centre will be linked to the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre described earlier.

The Way Forward

Canada has made considerable progress on improving border security. However, we need to continue building a 21st-century border that demonstrates to the world that security and prosperity can be simultaneously pursued effectively. The Government is taking a comprehensive approach to enhancing the measures taken to secure our borders, including:

  • continuing the focus on our domestic border security;

  • completing the Smart Border Action Plan launched in 2001;

  • developing a next generation smart borders agenda with the United States and Mexico; and

  • applying the smart borders principles around the world.

In support of domestic border security initiatives, we are also committing to spending an additional $110.1 million in this area.

Domestic Border Security Initiatives

We will continue to study emerging technologies that could significantly improve our ability to screen passengers and goods destined for Canada. We are examining the possibility of implementing a program to permit us to screen passengers while they are making their flight reservations abroad. This would allow us to stop known risks from boarding a flight destined for Canada.

The international community is increasingly using new technologies, including biometrics, to facilitate low-risk travellers and interrupt the flow of higher-risk travellers. Canada has worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization to develop globally interoperable security standards for travel documents. In May 2003, the organization announced that facial recognition would be the international biometric standard for travel documents. Canada will begin issuing a biometrically enabled smart chip passport in early 2005. There will be no change in the way that Canadians apply for a passport. However, the photo that they submit will be digitized and stored on a chip imbedded in the passport.

Given the critical role that biometrics increasingly play in authenticating the identity of travellers, the Government will also work toward a broader use of biometrics. In accordance with international standards, Canada will examine how to use biometrics in our border and immigration systems to enhance the design and issuance processes of travel and proof-of-status documents and to validate the identity of travellers at our ports of entry.

The RCMP is responsible for fingerprint identification and criminal record activities on behalf of Canada's law enforcement, criminal justice and public safety communities. The Auditor General's Report in 2004 criticized the Government for not yet implementing the RCMP Real Time Identification project, an automated process for electronic fingerprint screening. To achieve this system, the Government has allocated funds from Budget 2004 to complete the project. This system will allow fingerprints to be electronically recorded, transmitted and instantly verified against broader databases. It will also permit the RCMP to avoid future backlogs and to modernize criminal record and fingerprint identification processes.

Canada's openness to refugees is a reflection of our international commitments and humanitarian tradition. As announced in December 2003, the Government is developing strategies to reform the refugee determination process to create a more streamlined system. This includes a reformed appointment process to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the Immigration and Refugee Board. As an initial step, on March 16, 2004, the Government announced strengthened criteria for individuals being considered for appointment to the board and an increased role for parliamentarians in the nomination process. The Government will table new measures in the coming months to better provide protection to those genuinely in need and to more efficiently identify and remove those individuals who may be attempting to abuse our refugee and immigration system.

The Government continues to examine ways to enhance our capacity to detain and remove individuals who are inadmissible to Canada. Investigations and removals of high-risk individuals are integral to our overall border management strategy. Without these key activities, the integrity of our immigration system would be severely undermined.

Completing the Smart Borders Action Plan

We will follow through on our commitment to complete the initiatives identified in the 32-point Action Plan. We will implement the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Party Agreement signed in December 2002 to better manage the flow of refugee claimants across the land border. We will also implement the agreement with the United States to automatically share advance passenger information/passenger name record data on high-risk travellers destined to either country.

Under the Canada-U.S. Cross-Border Crime Forum, the two countries are finalizing a joint threat assessment to identify high-level organized crime priority targets that pose a threat to both countries and are updating the 2001 Canada-U.S. Border Drug Threat Assessment and have begun work on a bilateral action plan to combat trafficking.

Developing a Next Generation Smart Borders Agenda

We will build on the success of the existing Canada-U.S. Smart Borders process to develop a next generation smart borders agenda with the United States and Mexico that will allow us to further enhance the security and prosperity of Canadians. Detailed discussions on this initiative, already underway, will seek to strengthen strategies to reduce the transactions that are required at the border. This agenda would both deepen and broaden the existing Smart Borders Action Plan and include new areas such as food safety, cyber-security, public health, marine and transport security.

Applying Smart Borders Principles Internationally

Finally, building on Canada's history of international co-operation, we have the opportunity to contribute to the security of the international system of trade and travel by working with our international partners. Through institutions such as the G8, the World Customs Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, we will seek to enhance international standards and to internationalize our Smart Borders programs.

Chapter 8 - International Security


  • National security will be one of the top priorities in our International Policy Review.
  • Leverage Canada's experience in building peace, order and good government to help developing, failed and failing states, beginning with the establishment of a dedicated capacity-building fund
  • Continue to play an important role in countering international terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and defusing intra- and interstate conflicts
  • Engage in new forums for dialogue that will broaden international consensus around our security priorities


Canada's national security will be one of the top priorities in our International Policy Review. The international policy that results from this review - particularly in the security realm - will also reflect our increasingly integrated approach to defence, diplomacy and development (the "3Ds").

National security is a key driver of Canadian defence policy. The primary obligation of the Canadian Forces is to defend Canada and Canadians, particularly from external military threats. They also play a key role in protecting Canadians from internal threats to their security, both accidental and intentional.

Our diplomatic pursuit of international peace and security is also driven, in large part, by our national security interests. Our security was the paramount rationale for our activism in the shaping of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and for our contributions to arms control and disarmament initiatives during the Cold War. More recently, national security concerns have influenced the types of assistance we provide to certain failing and failed states in crisis.

The International Policy Review will make important recommendations regarding the Government of Canada's diplomatic, defence and development agenda, as well as the structure of the Canadian Forces. Without prejudging the final shape of these recommendations, the Government has identified a number of security priorities in this area.

Progress to Date

Since September 11, the Government has reaffirmed Canada's commitment to both NATO and the United Nations and has engaged on several fronts to counter threats to our national security. Based on the current threat environment, we have placed the highest priority on countering international terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, assisting failed and failing states, and defusing intra- and interstate conflicts that threaten our national security.

International Terrorism

In response to the attacks of September 11, Canada was actively involved in NATO's decision to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which provides for the collective defence of an ally who is attacked.

From the outset, Canada was an active participant in the military campaign against both al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that had sheltered and supported this terrorist network. Canada deployed significant ground, air and naval forces. The Government also announced in Budget 2001 that it would enhance the capacity of JTF2, our military's special forces, to counter terrorism both at home and abroad.

At the United Nations, Canada played a key role in negotiating the implementation of that organization's 12 international terrorism conventions. In addition, we acted quickly and decisively to freeze terrorist assets through both the UN Suppression of Terrorism regulations and the Canadian Criminal Code.

We enhanced our counter-terrorism capacity-building efforts in developing states. For a number of years, Canadian experts across the Government have provided assistance to these states to enable them to prevent and respond to terrorist activity in accordance with international norms and standards, including those related to human rights.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Canada has played a leading role in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Under the Canadian presidency in 2002, the G8 created the Global Partnership Program aimed at preventing the acquisition, by terrorists or those who shelter them, of materials and expertise associated with weapons of mass destruction.

Early in 2004, Canada became a full partner in the Proliferation Security Initiative, which aims to deter and halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials. This security initiative contributed to Libya's important decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction program.

In support of our international commitments, the Government is further strengthening Canada's licensing and import/export controls on materials that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Budget 2001 funded the creation of a dedicated nuclear, biological, and chemical response unit to support first line responders in a domestic situation, if requested, and to support deployed operations abroad.

Finally, Canada is discussing the possibility of participating in the U.S. ballistic missile defence system to increase the security of North America. Our final decision on participation will be consistent with our long-standing opposition to the weaponization of space.

Failed and Failing States and Intra- and Interstate Conflicts

Canada has also been actively engaged in international efforts to prevent conflict, as well as to keep and build the peace in failed, failing and post-conflict states. Our diplomats, aid workers and armed forces are currently deployed around the globe in a variety of peace efforts. On the peacebuilding front alone, Canada is involved in Haiti, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.

In Afghanistan, Canada is playing a critical role to help restore peace, stabilize the country, and rebuild democratic institutions. In 2003-04, Canada provided the largest contingent to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Canada has pledged $600 million over seven years to help Afghans rebuild their lives and their institutions. This is our single largest bilateral aid program ever. Canadian aid workers and diplomats are working with Afghan leaders and civil society to help build a representative and democratic government.

The Way Forward

The Canadian Forces

The government recognizes that the Canadian Forces constitute an essential national security capability. The vital role they play in responding to emergencies has been referred to in Chapter 4. Our forces must also be able to defend Canada, help secure North America, and address threats to our national security as far away from our borders as possible.

Indeed, getting the right balance between domestic and international security concerns will be an important consideration in determining the roles and force structure of the Canadian Forces.

In this increasingly unstable international threat environment, Canada must have armed forces that are flexible, responsive and combat-capable for a wide range of operations, and that are able to work with our allies.

This government recognizes, however, that the Canadian Forces are more than a national security capability. When Canada engages internationally to protect human rights, for example, it needs to be able to call on both diplomatic efforts and military power.

We must be selective and strategic when considering the deployment of our armed forces. Key questions need to be examined, including: Which efforts would be of greatest relevance to our national security interests? Do we have the capacity to meaningfully contribute to a successful outcome?

Peace, Order and Good Government

Assisting failed and failing states is one area where the links with both our national security and our capacity to contribute are clear.

Failed and failing states are potential havens for international terrorists and organized criminal networks. Terrorist and criminal networks are already co-operating in money laundering and other illicit activities, all of which bodes ill for these host states and the rest of the world.

Our preferred approach is to help states avoid slipping into conflict and fragile situations. Canada's international development cooperation program already devotes significant resources to this end and these efforts will be enhanced. However, when states do fail, Canada's expertise must also be brought to bear to re-establish security and to rebuild institutions.

Canadians have built a bilingual, multicultural federal state whose system of government and public service is respected around the world. We have an excellent reputation in international capacity building and in peace support operations.

The Government will therefore enhance Canada's capacity for helping restore peace, order and good government in failed and failing states. Beyond offsetting direct threats to Canada, the assistance we provide to these countries is an expression of our values.

One of our initiatives in this area will be to ensure we have greater military-civilian capacity. We will provide military and police forces to secure the peace and civilian expertise to help build democratic institutions. On the civilian side, we will facilitate contributions from across the Government, as well as from provinces, territories, communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and the Canada Corps.

We are also allocating funds from the International Assistance Envelope towards counter-terrorism capacity building in developing states; these funds will be managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs. We expect to provide additional funding for broader capacity-building programs in failed and failing states in the future. Details will be provided in the International Policy Review.

Our efforts to build peace, order and good government will involve greater integration of our defence, development and diplomatic assets. The impact will the simultaneous advancement of our national security interests, international peace and stability, and human rights.

Other Specific Areas of Action

As part of the fight against international terrorism, Canada will maintain its military presence in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. When our current commitment ends in August 2004, we will send a new rotation of ground troops and air personnel to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

We will continue to play an important role in efforts to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In September 2004, for example, Canada is expected to chair the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. During our one-year term, we will seek to strengthen nuclear safeguards and to build international consensus for responding to the dangerous nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea.

Finally, we will do our part in defusing intra- and interstate conflicts that threaten our national security. In consultation with our allies, we will determine where Canada can best make a difference in the advancement of peace.

Engaging the International Community

We recognize that Canada's national security interests are well served by working with like-minded countries to ensure the continued and enhanced relevance of both NATO and the United Nations. The former is our best insurance policy in an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable threat environment. The meaningful reform of the latter is our best hope for a truly global peace.

We recognize the importance of broadening international consensus on dealing with threats. Canada has been particularly active in highlighting a security agenda at the G8 and will continue to do so. We will continue to pursue a coherent security agenda with key international partners and other relevant multilateral organizations. We are ready to engage in any new forums for dialogue that will broaden international consensus around our security priorities.