"The Times They Are A Changin!"

Mar 15, 2011

Tsunamis, earthquakes and nuclear crises in Japan, droughts in China, the “Arab Spring” upheavals, Osama dead, Ratko captured, tornadoes in southern U.S., floods in Australia and, at home, fires in Alberta, floods in Manitoba and Quebec ... These and other situations force us to focus on the question: “What is the state of our emergency preparedness and security?”

In addition, we have new challenges to Arctic sovereignty and economic security, major threats in cyber space, and requirements for better coordination of intelligence and emergency response. This year has indeed heralded a strategic shift in the winds of change. In this issue, we offer a wide variety of topics that we hope will help to guide the discussion to a safer world and focus our direction on needed improvements at many levels.

Learning from, coordinating and cooperating with others at the local, business, municipal, provincial, national and international levels are broad themes in many of our articles. They go beyond mere rhetoric and actually provide concrete domains in which to coordinate our limited resources for better security. Be it the allocation of the soon to be released 700 MHz band for emergency responders as espoused by Rear Admiral (ret) James Arden Barnett of the U.S. Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security, or mutual border security initiatives as explained by OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis, the need for cooperation is paramount. The OPP have four officers working full time in the United States, as part of Border Enforcement Security Task Force teams, run by the U.S. Federal Law Enforce­ment and the Department of Homeland Security, and sworn in as peace officers in the United States. They also have officers assigned to the RCMP on the Shiprider Program patrolling the Great Lakes.

The security and well-being of our ­citizens is too important a trust, given to leaders and governments at all levels, to be risked by wasting time on preserving­ ­prerogatives, disregarding innovation or engaging in ivory tower debates. The technology urges, and allows us to be better informed, cooperative and prepared – the public will not tolerate incompetence if we are otherwise. We need better and effective coordination of intelligence processes and means to respond to foreseeable and other threats to our safety.

We urge the Canadian government to review its views and appoint a National Security Coordinator as espoused by Scott Newark’s article and by the March report of the past Senate Special Committee on Anti-Terrorism. We applaud the promised leadership changes at the RCMP and encourage the joint border initiatives between Canada/U.S. and other potential partners. We encourage all governments to do the same and we salute the local emergency responders and Canadian Forces assistance in recent events. It is reassuring to see clear evidence that the CF is ready and able to assist during emergencies on the home front.

Crises are increasing around the globe, but technological and cooperative human solutions are out there with responders in place. The key is to utilize all resources efficiently to achieve the safest environment possible. The public demands and deserves no less than our best efforts.  

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2011