2010 - A Lot Done and More to GO!

Dec 15, 2010

At the beginning of 2010, the government had just published its Critical Infrastructure Strategy and Action Plan and published this October another major ­document, its Cyber Security Strategy. Mr Justice Major revealed the findings of his inquiry on the Air India intelligence and other law enforcement shortcomings. Canada had the Olympics, the G8 and G20 to secure in an ever more visibly terror-laden world.

At the national level, Public Safety remains the department charged with the coordination of national efforts and international cooperation in these matters and we addressed with Minister Vic Toews, his views on the three challenges of Border Security, Critical Infrastructure and Cyber Security. We also talked with Senator Hugh Segal, Chair of  the Senate Special Committee on Anti-terrorism. Readers will note that much has been accomplished, however, some serious divergence of ­opinion remains, such as on the need for and role of a legislated National Security Advisor.

On the matter of Emergency Management, this issue offers a veritable compendium of ideas and resource recommendations for concerned emergency planners and responders at all levels. Aaron Wynn and Dr. Kieran Moore share some challenges related to public health ­surveillance practices at major international events.

The smart use of technology and the sharing of better practices at all levels is vital to improving the safety of Canadians. A good example is the electronic collaboration on best practices between partners across Canada evolving with the process of Partnership Towards Safer Communities (PTSC), originated by our Fire Chiefs and made known by Bill MacKay. The ever-more-common practice of “texting” offers numerous dangers and it is refreshing to see that wireless providers have stepped up to waive fees in support of an education program for young teens by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

Barb Mills, Disaster Management Coordinator in the Peterborough area reminds us of the important responsibility of Business Continuity planning for not-for profit organizations of all sizes. Likewise, Sean Tracey, Chair of the Canadian ­Centre for Emergency Preparedness, underlines the importance of small and medium businesses and their Business Continuity planning. Tyson Macaulay, from Bell Canada, exposes the critical interdependence of infrastructure sectors when considering business continuity, and, most importantly, provides a wise way to evaluate and mitigate the risks. Ron Meyers from the Canadian ­Standards Association advises FrontLine readers of the new Z1600 Standard on Emergency Management & Business Continuity Programs as the guide across Canada.

Blair Watson offers a most interesting update on recent events and response procedures to major air disasters.

Our editor Ed Myers brings us up to date on the recent Disaster Integrated Response Exercise (DIRE) on a simulated earthquake in Ottawa, and comments  on the need for National Emergency standards where he encourages the department of Public Safety itself to take the lead and develop its capacity to assist others.

As usual, our own Scott Newark has the Last Word; a lessons learned on the Omar Kadhr case.

Enjoy the ride and the read, but remember to let us know what you think we need to make Canadians safer!  

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2011