I don’t have any one specific Canada-related homeland security topic to discuss or highlight. In fact, this post will go up near the end of the day. However, I felt it important to wish all our Canadian colleagues, friends, and family a Happy Canada Day!
It should be obvious the important role that Canada plays in our own security. We share a long border. They are one of our, if not the most, important trading partners. Canada has been an integral part of our air defense system, epitomized by NORAD, for decades.
Despite the old backpacking idea that Americans should sew a Canadian flag on their gear for extra protection overseas, Canada faces the same terrorist threat that the U.S. is dealing with today. In case it has already been forgotten, the Canadian Parliament was attacked by a terrorist after he killed a soldier standing guard at their national war memorial. In a scene that should be familiar to all Americans, Canada came together in solidarity following this tragedy.
Not unlike the Patriot Act, the Canadian parliament has passed legislation aimed at responding to this evolving threat.
“Canadians know that Canada is unfortunately not immune to the ever-evolving threat of terrorism,” jointly stated Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General Peter MacKay.
This legislation “will directly address the threat of terrorism by enhancing our government’s ability to share information between relevant government departments and agencies for national security purposes; criminalizing the advocacy and promotion of the commission of terrorism offences; preventing terrorists from travelling and recruiting others; and providing our police forces with the additional tools they need to prevent, detect, deny and respond to the threat of terrorism.”
Every year one of the preeminent conferences focused on disasters is held in Toronto: The World Conference on Disaster Management.
Last, but not least, it should be pointed out that one of the most intelligent and insightful homeland security analysts working today comes from the Land of Gretzky. Sharon Cardash, Associate Director at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, previously served as Security Policy Advisor to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has authored and co-authored many perceptive and thoughtful pieces on homeland security topics. About the only reason to question her analytical rigor is her insistence that Tim Hortons is better than Dunkin’ Donuts…
And, following the Iraq war and the missing WMD, in case you may have forgotten how misguided our intelligence services can sometimes be, the following evidence provided by the Canadian Desk at the CIA should give us all pause…