BACKGROUNDER: Securing An Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy
(Source: Government of Canada; issued April 27, 2004)
OTTAWA, Ontario --- “Securing An Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy” is a strategic framework and action plan designed to ensure the Government of Canada can prepare for and respond to current and future threats. The policy adopts an integrated approach to security issues across Government, employs a model that can adapt to changing circumstances, and reflects Canadian values of openness, diversity and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.

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

--Protecting Canada and Canadians at home and abroad;
--Ensuring Canada is not a base for threats to our allies;
--Contributing to international security.

It contains several measures to ensure that the framework is implemented in a way consistent with the goals of the Policy, including:

--Establishing a permanent, high-level federal-provincial-territorial forum on emergencies, to allow for regular strategic discussion of emergency management issues among key national players;

--Establishing a National Security Advisory Council which will be made up of security experts external to government; and,

--Creating of a Cross-Cultural Roundtable which will be comprised of members of Canada's ethno-cultural and religious communities.

The National Security Policy focuses on six key strategic areas. A summary of key measures included in each section is listed below. Funding of $690 million for new initiatives is being provided from the Security Reserve which includes significant new funding allocated in Budget 2004.


SUMMARY OF KEY MEASURES

**Intelligence
--An Integrated Threat Assessment Centre to ensure threat related information is brought together, assessed and reaches those who need it in a timely and effective manner;
--Further investments 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; and,
--Proposing a National Security Committee of Parliamentarians.


**Emergency Planning and Management
--A Government Operations Centre to provide stable, around-the-clock coordination and support across government and to key national players in the event of national emergencies;
--The review and modernization of the Emergency Preparedness Act to achieve a seamless national emergency management system;
--The commitment to co-locate, where practical, with provincial and territorial and municipal emergency measures operation centres;
--Release of a position paper setting out the key elements of a proposed Critical Infrastructure Protection Strategy for Canada;
--Increase in the Government's capacity to predict and prevent cyber-security attacks against its networks; and,
--Establishment of a task force, with public and private sector representation, to develop a National Cyber-security Strategy.


**Public Health
--Creation of the new Public Health Agency of Canada and the position of a Chief Public Health Officer for Canada;
--Establishment of regional centres of excellence in public health and expanding laboratory capacity at the National Microbiology Laboratory and the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses;
--Replenishment and updating of the National Emergency Stockpile System;
--Establishment of Health Emergency Response Teams made up of health professionals across the country, to enhance capacity to respond to health emergencies;
--Continued commitment to work with the provinces and territories to address vulnerabilities and build on existing public health strengths across Canada; and,
--Increased public health surveillance capacity across the country.


**Transport Security
The Government is strengthening marine security through the implementation of a six-point plan that includes:
--clarifying responsibilities and strengthening coordination of marine security efforts;
--establishing networked marine security operations centres;
--increasing the Canadian Forces, RCMP, and Canadian Coast Guard on-the-water presence and Department of Fisheries and Oceans aerial surveillance;
---enhancing secure fleet communications;
--pursuing greater marine security co-operation with the United States; and,
--strengthening 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; and improve and extend transportation security background check requirements for transportation workers.


**Border Security
--In accordance with international standards, Canada will improve the way in which identity can be verified through Canadian passport photos by deploying facial recognition biometric technology;
--Completion of the RCMP's Real Time Identification Project to automate and modernize the existing fingerprint system;
--The Government will table new measures to streamline our refugee determination process to ensure efficient protection for people genuinely in need and facilitate effective removals for people attempting to abuse our refugee determination system;
--Canada will develop a next generation smart borders agenda with Mexico and the US, building on the success of the Smart Borders Declaration signed with the US in December 2001; and,
--Working with our international partners and in international fora, such as the G-8 and the World Customs Organization, Canada will work to help apply the Smart Borders model around the world.


**International Security
--National security will be one of the top priorities of the International Policy Review;
--The government is committed to Canadian Forces that are flexible, responsive and combat-capable for a wide range of operations, and 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 countries as well as failed and failing states;
--Canada will also continue to play an important role in countering international terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and defusing key inter/intra-state conflicts.


NEW FUNDING SUMMARY:
--Integrated Threat Assessment Centre - $30 M
--Intelligence Enhancement - $137 M
--Government Operations Centre - $14.95 M
--Securing Critical Government Information Systems - $85 M
--Cyber-Security Task Force - $5 M
--Marine Security - $308 M
--Passport Security Strategy - $10.31 M
--Real Time Identification Project (fingerprints) - $99.78 M

-ends-




prev next

Official reports See all