The Changing Face of Security

Sep 15, 2012

We are on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the creation of a single Canadian federal department focused on “Public Safety.” After 9-11, an obvious need to form a more robust coordination of our National Security. Thus, from the Solicitor General Branch and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) in the 90’s, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada was created in 2003, headed by Minister Anne McLellan. This later became the Department of Public Safety under Minister Stockwell Day

More important was the First National Security Policy where the Minister of Public Safety was given the legal coordinating responsibility with other departments and levels of government as well as critical public and private infrastructure in matters of the Safety and Security of Canadians. 

Much has been done since then, and achievements continue to meet the evolving challenges that justify this structure. However, like all government structures, it must continue to be effective and accountable to retain its pertinence.  

At this time, we are honoured to have the contribution of Jim Phillips, the long-serving, well-respected President & CEO of the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance (CANAMBTA). He heralds what many consider the most comprehensive Canada/U.S. agreement since NORAD and NAFTA, the Beyond the Border Agreement and its exemplary Action Plan. Much of this reflects Jim’s prominent imprint of common sense, influence and hard work. 

An article from Ray Boisvert, recent Assistant Director, Intelligence, at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, addresses the challenges of modern intelligence gathering and the ever-present, but much evolving, role of spying. 

I suspect the second in our three-part series on illicit trade and cigarette smuggling by our own Edward R. Myers will be an eyeopener for many.

Tim Lynch examines the Navy’s challenge of balancing domestic shoreline and global obligations, and a separate article looks at the interesting work and evolution of the Toronto Police Marine Unit from the perspective of its dedicated members. On the maritime theme, Joseph Spears and Michael Dorey tackle SAR needs for the increasing cruise ship traffic in Northern waters. Interestingly, on 25 November the BBC announced that gas tanker, Ob River, had just left Norway, carrying liquefied natural gas, and has sailed north of Russia on its way to Japan through the Arctic passage. It is set to become the first ship of its type to sail across the Arctic. A new trend!!!

André Fecteau examines clever Emergency Preparedness changes in Saguenay, Québec and we thank Arthur Hsieh for his insider perspective on Emergency Medical Services in the U.S., where the challenges seem quite familiar indeed. 

Peter Pigott looks at the contenders to supply the Coast Guard with their new helicopter requirements.

This last decade has witnessed many security accomplishments, but we still see some dragging of feet in some domains, particularly critical ones, as pointed out in Scott Newark’s regular One Last Thing, as well as in the recent Auditor General of Canada Report (Chapter 3) on Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructure. Clearly there is still work to do, and Frontline Security proudly continues to serve an important part in sharing key information among these related sectors. Ring in the New Year, roll up your sleeves, and be safe! 

Clive Addy, Executive Editor